Friday, November 30, 2007

Todays Project

November 30 2007
On Monday I am mailing my art project as a submission to an art magazine that I discovered this summer. I need to write the article to accompany it. The devil has tried every lie to stop me. "Your art is not good enough, no one is going to understand what it's saying, you are wasting your time, you'll look like a fool." He has put every obstacle in my way. He tries so hard to confuse me. The Bible says: "I consider my life worth nothing to me, if only I may finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me-the task of testifying to the gospel of God's grace" Act 20:24.
He gave that to me at the beginning of this project. I've had to read it nearly every day. The Lord has directed this and I pray I haven't let Him down. I pray I didn't let the devil in in any way. There is so much I tried to pack into one project. Self doubt is such an evil trick to play on us. But he has lost. We won!(Jesus and I) The project is completed and the article written. Here goes.

"Cross Roads"
Bedford County Tennessee 2004
Like every other morning, I was driving to work on the same rural road I traveled every day and stopped at the four-way stop sign. On two corners, cornstalks grew right to the roads edge.
On another corner was a house. The last corner was empty but for the overgrown weeds and lone post from a long forgotten barbed wire fence. The post stood overgrown and nearly unseen with Queen Ann's Lace, tall grasses and the like. A sign was attached warning of underground cables or some such. Nothing that particularly caught your attention. But on this morning, as I looked both ways and saw nothing for miles, my attention was caught by this post and I saw it...shall we say...with opened eyes. I saw a signpost alright. But in my minds eye it had signs nailed on it pointing in different directions. The overall sight of it immediately made me think of a cross. And it even had 3 nails. I thought I had just come up with the perfect subject for a drawing. I couldn't wait to get home that evening and start sketching.
Now you have to know that I believed there was a God. I knew the story of Jesus. And I thought that I, being a pretty good person, would go to heaven. What I didn't know was that God Himself had just entered my life and introduced Himself in a way only He could. He was making me think. He was asking if I knew where I was going? He was giving me directions.
I know my Savior now. And my life is devoted to Him. I haven't shared the drawing with many, but He says it's time. He spoke to me through art and now asks that I use that art to speak of Him to others. Traveling through life with Jesus continues to be an amazing journey. What Jesus did for man is more than amazing and He is a perfect pattern for us. There could be no greater hero. He simply tries to make heroes of us.

Photo to be added soon

Thought Gathering

November 30, 2007
Today's entry is simply for me to gather my thoughts. It's out of the order I wanted to write in, but that's OK.
I am in a battle with the devil. As always, he is trying to get my mind confused and undermine my mission. I will win! Because "with Jesus, all things are possible." And what I am doing is for Him.
God speaks to me with vision. During prayer, God put in my heart three C's. I did not understand what He was saying to me for many months. Eventually, I realized He was saying "see", not the letter C.
He taught me the 3 kinds of seeing. The first two came easy. The 3rd, a bit harder to get, but simple to understand.
We see with our eyes of the flesh. We look, our brain registers what we are seeing and tells us what it is. We know. We see colors, shapes, dimensions, movement, etc. . You are reading this with your eyes of the flesh.
Then there is seeing with our minds. We form a vision of a thought, description or idea in our minds. An understanding. Notice people say "I see" when they understand what you are saying or describing. We describe something to a blind person and they have an understanding of what we are saying to them in their mind.
And then there's the 3rd way to see. It has taken months to truly understand it. I first came to realize it was seeing in the spirit, seeing like God sees. And then my pastor spoke God's words so that I finally saw. "Faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see" That is seeing in the spirit. What we ask Him for, if we believe, is already done even if we don't see it manifested yet.
Flesh, mind and faith. The 3 C's I struggled to understand. So simple now, But I learned what He was saying and grew so close to Him in seeking His guidance.

Thoreau said, "The question is not what you look at, but what you see"

That being said, I find that there is yet more to be looked at. Being an artist, I tend to look for a deeper meaning in a piece of art. But your average person only sees the surface. Let's say you are looking at a painting of a train. It looks just like a train in every detail. It's beautifully painted with soft clouds in the sky and mountains and trees in the background. There's a train station off to the side with people all around. Nice to look at. But the artistic mind looks for more. What is the painting saying or expressing? Look closely in the crowd and you'll notice a man with a look of anguish on his face. What is he looking at? Notice also in the window of the train, the sad look on the face of the woman seated inside. There's a story in the painting. I don't know what it is, nor do I understand why I used a train for an example, so don't get too involved!
I want my artwork to speak volumes of Jesus on the surface as well as on a deeper level. I want it to tell the story to those who don't look for the deeper meaning. If I am looking at a piece of artwork and I can't get the meaning by studying it on my own, I want to know the story!
( I should write the story behind it to accompany each piece)
God gave us the Bible with the whole story in it. But sometimes we can't get it on our own. "Faith comes by hearing the word of God" hence, we go to church and hear our pastors teach it and speak it. That is how our faith grows. Then we see. You see?
I feel better. My mind is clear to complete my goal for the day.

P.S. Ever notice we say "In one ear and out the other" but we never say "In one eye and out the other" ? Hmmmmm post for another day.
God Bless

Friday, November 23, 2007

Explanation Of "Jewels From Junk"

November 23, 2007
Welcome to the very first entry in "Jewels From Junk"!
I should begin with an explanation of the title.
It is a combination of who I am and what I do.
Who I am: I am a Christian. God took the junk that I was and made me into a jewel. His jewel. He loves me and taught me to love myself and others.
What I do: I take the junk left by the world and create jewels in the form of art. This is my passion and also my purpose.

I have been amazed in my journey with Jesus. Questions answered, prayers answered and it will take many posts here to get it all out. And it does have to come out, here and in my art. I prayed for quite some time for God to tell me what my purpose was. I knew He had something for me to do for Him. "Everyone and everything has a purpose" He finally answered. Well, I already knew that! It took awhile to realize what He was telling me. He tends to tell me things that seem so simple on the surface, but that have a deeper meaning when I think on them a while. It brings us closer when I seek His guidance. What He was saying was, the "everything" was the junk I'd been hording for years just knowing I could do SOMETHING with it! My purpose is finally known!!!!!! ...................O.K. Now What??