“And look, I am with you always; yes, to the end of time.” Matt 28:20
This was one of my last paintings before i sprained my right wrist and thumb. Now i can’t even hold a pen, much less a brush, without experiencing agonising pain. What a reminder from God to me to never take anything for granted.
When i first spotted this small beautiful church, with the cross on its steeple reaching up to the clear blue sky, i knew that i had to paint it. My eyes were irresistibly drawn heavenward, towards the cross, to God. Immediately, i felt at peace.
With a world that is constantly changing and becoming saturated with more sad than good news, Faith becomes a rock that stabilises me. And Hope flickers on in a time of darkness.
“Since you are my rock and my fortress,
for the sake of your name lead and guide me.” Psalm 31:3
“Be always on the watch, and pray that you may be able to escape all that is about to happen, and that you may be able to stand before the Son of Man.” Luke 21:36
God’s note: A rare local Buffy Fish Owl.
“He had a dream in which he saw a stairway resting on the earth, with its top reaching to heaven, and the angels of God were ascending and descending on it. ” Gen 28:12
Climbing up a staircase takes some effort, going up a narrow and spiraled one is even harder. So is our daily struggle to reach heaven, step by step, with the Grace of God.
Going down a slide takes no effort; we just let gravity do its job. Giving up or letting go in our endeavour to lead Christian lives is also an easy slide that leads us everywhere but Heaven.
Dear Lord, please give us the strength to carry our crosses every day after You. Amen.
“Do not be wise in your own eyes;
Fear the Lord and turn away from evil.
It will be healing to your body
And refreshment to your bones…
My son, do not reject the discipline of the Lord
Or loathe His reproof,
For whom the Lord loves He reproves,
Even as a father corrects the son in whom he delights.
How blessed is the man who finds wisdom
And the man who gains understanding.
Prov 3:7-8 , 11-13 (NASB)
Ironically, i found myself painting more after i had eye problems. Funny how it’s only when we know we may lose something valuable that we start to cherish whatever we have. Far better to use it now than regret it later.
In order not to strain my eyes too much, i started painting smaller pieces. I also joined a group doing Still Life as well as en plein air. I found myself appreciating more of God’s creations when painting actual scenes instead of using photo references. There is a certain kind of joy painting live objects, under the warmth of the sun and amidst the atmosphere of a place.
I feel peace when i’m completely absorbed in my painting, even when i’m surrounded by people or other distractions. For once, I no longer have to worry about how others may judge my painting but just simply enjoying the process.
What’s more important is that i have since stopped asking God whether painting is really what He wants of me. Now, i simply ask Him what else He wants me to paint. Is there a message that He wants me to convey through my paintings?
In spite of my blurry vision, the doctor recently told me that the condition of my eyesight was still stable. I was surprised. But knowing that everything is in God’s hands, i decided to place my trust in God.
So here i go, letting my humble brushes paint whatever God inspires. Praise be to God always! By Renee
But as for me, the nearness of God is my good; I have made the Lord GOD my refuge, That I may tell of all Your works.
This was supposed to be a painting in memory of an old woman and her dog. Sadly, the painting of the woman turned out disastrous without a reference photo, and so i was left with only her dog.
In the village where i used to live, there was an old neighbour and her faithful companion. Wherever she went, he(?) followed. Every evening, both would take a stroll to the village entrance where she would sit on a stone bench. The woman had her walking stick and her dog would lie down beside her seat. There, she would wave or have a chat with anyone who walked by.
One day, she passed away. At her wake, everyone was touched by the sight of her dog lying beside her coffin. I could never forget the forlorn look in the eyes of her faithful companion. He refused to leave her side or eat anything. Shortly after, he passed on too.
This unforgettable story often reminds me of two other relationships in the scriptures – that of Mary and John, with Jesus.
While Martha was busy with all the preparation, her sister, Mary, chose what was more important and “sat at the Lord’s feet listening to what He said“. (Luke 10.:39)
John, the beloved disciple of Jesus, was the one who leaned on His chest, which showed how close he was to Jesus. John was also the courageous apostle who stood by Jesus right to the end, at the foot of the Cross. (John 19:25-27)
How faithful are we to our own Master, our Saviour? By Renee
We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans. And He who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for God’s people in accordance with the will of God. Roman 8:26 (NIV)
grant us Your Peace in this peace-less world;
grant us your Hope in the midst of despair;
grants us Your Joy in our sadness and suffering.
We hold on to the peace that this world cannot give,
We cling to the Hope that our Faith brings,
And we rejoice knowing that You have given us Your most precious gift – the Holy Spirit.