Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Paintings 3 and 4 : Easter 2015

"Wow, I just found out that a lot of folks from Ukraine have been following my blog for Easter. Welcome Blessings to you all and thank you for looking. Some of the most beautiful eggs that I have ever seen decorated for Easter were from Ukrainian Artists.  In fact thank you everyone from the US and around the world for taking the time to see my blog. It is much appreciated."

I could not decide which of the two remaining Easter Paintings to put up first so I decided to put them together. The first is the one of Christ Victorious, After he rose from the grave. 

The point of the painting is once in doing that, everything that was ever claimed was substantiated and  every name given him was fulfilled at that moment. It can never be taken away. All power, all glory all might. It is huge.  And hard for most of us to even begin to understand. I am not some one who claims to know it all or even understand it all but I do know that my choice in following God could not be made possible except that Christ fulfilled his destiny... that he lived, died, and arose from the dead then  ascended into heaven to prepare the way and the time for us to join him.

Some wonder why an all loving God, an all knowing God could allow people he loves so much to suffer.  God knows our hearts and minds... we dont know each other's hearts and minds. Ever action or reaction to God and the things that happen to us are evidence that we either love him or reject him. Keep in mind that the view most of us have of heaven is probably not the reality. The reality is  that where ever God is that is where heaven is. Why would God want anyone to live with him in his house who hated him and rejected him.   My view is that this life is so we have the opportunity to either accept him or reject him. In rejecting Christ we reject God.  It is all forgivable except that we refuse to believe Christ.

In not believing Christ ... we give up any rights or claims to be with God.  If we reject the Son of God we reject God. Why on earth would anyone on this earth want to live with someone they hate and dont like.

I have found that a lot of people say they are Christians  not because they Love God or believe him, but because they cannot stand the idea of not being in heaven.  They believe they are as good as anyone else and they probably are.

Yet that is not the standard that God sets with us. We are not to compare ourselves with those who fail in perfection.. sinlessness, and  personal agendas and we are not to use our frail nature to condemn one another or excuse our own actions.  

God's way is not  to compare ourselves to other people, it is to compare our selves to him.  God is the perfection and no one can be as good as him, know as much or do as much...  I heard a Alan Hood speak in Fredericksburg, Va in 2006.  What he said I had read over an over through out my life.. he was focused on a scripture in Revelations 4:8.

"Each of the four living creatures had six wings and was covered with eyes all around, even under its wings. Day and night they never stop saying: “‘Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God Almighty,’ who was, and is, and is to come.”
Alan told us that they weren't chanting that  they were searching God  continually trying to find an imperfection .. searching every aspect, inside and out, trying to find one flaw, one bad thing, one mistake... and they could not.  They could not take their many eyes off of God and the power of his Holiness  was  more and more astonishing to them, the reality of his Holiness was more  overwhelming with each lingering and each searching of his depth. They are continuously searching him out  and still are. And Crying Holy, Holy , Holy with each breath all the time.

I realized at that moment that understanding the never ending Holiness of God is a game changer. At lest it was for me. Because it isn't about how imperfect people around me are, or how I can or cannot meet their standards or my own. It is really about my relationship to God and that no matter what I do or say or create or accomplish I will never be as Good as God. 

That is humbling. Even more so, because he doesn't expect me or you to be even remotely as good as he is. And knowing all he knows about me, and each person out there, it is a true miracle that he loves us.  Loving us isn't about getting what we want or having God play "Santa Claus" to our every need. 

God's love for us is about us being reconciled with him and being taught through His Holy Spirit how to love, how to achieve, how to stay close to him. He provides to us what we need to follow his will for our life. He never leaves us or forsakes us and he does not break any promises. In fact, God is the only one with the power to actually fulfill a promise.

Realization of this amazing Love and the Grace brings astonishment, humility and then extreme joy, and abiding peace. Which brings me to painting 4.

The scripture says that God inhabits the praises of his people... Worship and Celebration, including Thanksgiving are pleasing to God and bring about blessing.  Its not about some weird trance or repetitive words.. it is about giving your whole heart, mind and body unabashedly to that intimate time with God,that transcends anything that can compare with a human experience.

Worship refreshes you and strengthens you and releases the power of God to work in every aspect of your life. Knowing that the Holy God can love you so much has to be the most joyous thing we can experience in this life. But what is even more amazing must be the knowledge when you finally see God, that he embraces you and says "well done my good and faithful servant."

The scripture says that every time a person gives them selves over to God through Jesus and embraces God's Holiness that every angel in all the heavens rejoices with God. You are that special to him.

Friday, April 3, 2015

Painting 2 For Easter : Why they call it "Good Friday"

Sometimes I wonder if I should or should not make statements about things. Someone always is offended or seeks to argue away the point. I have known persecution on a lot of levels. Persecution on how I look, my faith, my race, my denomination, my political views, my economics, my clothing choices, my car, my glasses, my painting of wild horses, even on my language and how I speak...

I live in a free country that protects our right to voice our opinion and protects our right to worship, or expression and our right to associate freely with whom ever we choose.  It does not protect a bully who choses to harm me or anyone financially, physically, or through intimidation or through extortion of my rights in order to  usurp my rights.

Part of my faith is about the fact that forgiveness is real and sacrifice is real and compassion is real. All of these things I believe are what God's purpose for the cross is. With out these three aspects..plus God's own power over death what I believe is just another hollow political religion of conformists trying to out power everyone around them.

Jesus did not die for a denomination. In fact he was the opposite of denomination. He was God made man to show us how to live, show us how to act out our faith and to show us that we can be forgiven anything and everything. He took all the sins of those created, plus even those who had not been born yet, upon himself and took the punishment for us.   His blood was shed to wash away the natural rebellion most of us feel toward God, when we would rather be in control.

Truth is we really have little control over much in this life. If it were not for the fact that God loves us so much and is so patient with us ... that he gives us a life time to figure it all out. That the gift is God and the promise that shall never be broken: He will never leave us or forsake us now in this life or beyond. The only proviso is that we must receive the gift.

The proof that the gift is has been received is a changed heart and mind, the ability to trust God, to recognize his hand in all things, his voice and  we find we have a peace about all those things that we cannot control  because we have no doubt that God himself is in control. We have no doubt that His love for us can reach us where ever we are in the universe.

I cannot imagine what the darkness must have been like for those who had grown to think of Christ as their beloved teacher and family.  How fearful and devastated they must have been to see this person who had healed so many bodies, hearts and minds... in complete humiliation, naked on a cross. His skin stripped from him with a  whip embedded with iron. Some of my friends cannot understand how a loving God would allow his son to die such a horrid death.  We cant imagine it. Cannot fathom it.

Who but a loving God .... and how else could it happen...unless He is a God of no limits, who knew the outcome, that His son would live and not die...and that He Himself was His own son.  It blows our tiny little human minds that there could be any logic in this. But since when is there any human logic in LOVE. Even the kind of God so loved the world ( all the people of the world) that he gave His only begotten son that who so ever believes in Him should have everlasting life... kind of love.

When I painted this painting .. . all I could think was the blood of Jesus ... was not measured in pints and liters. It was poured out in a never ending flood of love... that covered the whole world spiritually.. from the moment the first drop splashed down his face when they pressed the thorn crown to his head and it flows continually around the world bathing everyone who calls upon the name of  the Son of God... this is such a gift.. such an amazing gift to bring life and second chances and  I stand amazed, sit amazed... that God loved me so much that He sent His only son to die for my mistakes, my short comings, all of the silly things that went wrong in my life, even my inability to start out trusting God. 

That is the same love that He has for every single person that has lived or lives on the earth. We can choose or not choose to believe. This is the same love that He has for you.  The love that passes all understanding and all human logic.

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

What I believe and Why I paint what I paint.

We live in some very turbulent times. Times of change .. and times foretold by the prophets of old. We have lost our ability to discern the truth in words and we have lost our ability to see what is right in front of our face.

I do not have to tell you that in these times things are going nuts. Even "Good Christian" people are out right attacking and  disrespecting other " Good Christian" people. I expect to be occasionally persecuted by those who do not believe. But to be persecuted by those who say they  are Christians  is as much "anti-Christ" as anything out there.

I've been praying about the personal attacks since they started... well every time I do or say something publicly or on facebook that I feel is a direct leading of God to do, yep someone attacks me.  And I don't actually do much that is controversial. Just mostly, I  paint animals.

My calling  is to bless people with my art.  Jesus even instructed us to bless those who didn't believe him. So  even in my imperfect little life  in my sweet little town filled with imperfect people that is exactly what I am striving tirelessly to do every single day that God allows the breath to stay in my body and my heart to beat.   And guess what..  It is only going to be done when He says it is done.

Oh, yes, I do get discouraged. And sometimes I have to make myself paint or sketch or draw because of it. But hey, that is everyone's life, not just mine.

This week much to my dismay and distraction.. a "good Christian"  did not like my answers on a certain political debate involving "religious" freedom and instead of asking  me the question, " What do you think about ________?" or "Do you support _______?" The person proposed a hypothetical thinking that I would show my hand on what I would do in a certain circumstance if I had to choose between what the established church said and what people who opposed it said.   I said basically in all things I would seek to do "God's will" in each circumstance.

 Big mistake on my part... because what I actually did was to answer a hypothetical statement that really has no baring on faith or on what God might have me do in any circumstance. And you know what? It is actually outside the will of God and what the Bible says to even worry about those hypothetical things.  God promises to put the words in our mouth that He wants us to say in any given situation when we trust him.    I was distracted... yeah, it took me two days to figure out what had happened and what I did wrong. And it is not like I didn't know.I just didn't expect it to come at me from  that unexpected direction. Whew. Hopefully I will be more vigilant in the future.

So when ever you answer those questions, and make no mistake they are manipulative, it pretty much always  gets you into trouble; because, it is pretty much meant to trip you up. Thus any response you give  will either make you feel stupid, or guilty or to shame you into changing the way you think and often it will target you and open you up to abuse.   I am going to tell you that any person who puts you into that situation is trying to control you.   I , personally, seriously felt violated,over interpreted and totally misrepresented and need I say victimized?

So over the next few days I am going to share with you 4 mixed medium paintings I prayerfully painted in 2006 that say exactly what I believe.   There will be no arguments.  No heated discussions. It is not meant to be offensive.  I am just sharing my faith with you, which is a constitutionally guaranteed right in my country.  I am doing it with the hope that you will understand why I love God so much and How much  I wish everyone knew how much he loves all of us.

Being Humble before God is not Humiliation.
A person who loves some one would never Humiliate them.
11 by 16 inches Watercolor/ graphite and Ink
by Linda L Martin

Don't miss Signing up for the
LLMartin Artistic Services Newsletter

 email me at: info@llmartin.com

All North and South American World and Electronic Rights Reserved.