Monday, January 19, 2015

The Miracle that Resulted from Reading a Story

Three wonderful, unexpected people stopped by our house. We offered them something to eat and drink, and a lively discussion began between two of them. The third person felt left out. She looked like she was getting ready to leave. I invited everyone to stay and listen to my husband, Paul Lloyd, read from his novel, “Fulfillment.” He is a professional author and speaker, so I knew our friends would enjoy his reading. 

We migrated from the kitchen to the family room, and Paul began to read part of the first chapter in front of the fireplace, where a nice fire was warming up the room. Immediately, the guests noticed that Paul knew when to place emotion into the story and how to emphasize sentences that tickled the listener’s ears. Peace and joy descended upon the room as Paul read his unusual and delightful scenario of how a teenage girl might respond, when Mary encountered the angel in the Christmas story. 

When he finished, an interesting dialogue ensued. Everyone shared their thoughts, which then led to further discussions. Soon, our company realized they had a lot in common not only with us, but also with each other. We had a marvelous evening together, and no one was in any hurry to leave.

Thank you, Holy Spirit, for the miracle of being united in Christ’s love, as Paul shared the love of God in his novel. Thank you for bringing people together who thought they had nothing in common, only to discover they shared the same deep concerns, and experienced some of the same trials. Thank you for expanding circles of friends, and the joy that emerged when we honored your name.

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Thursday, January 1, 2015

The Miracle of Painting in the Dark

It was exciting to have the opportunity to do a piece of prophetic art at church the Sunday before Christmas. Three other artists would also be painting in various sections of the large sanctuary. And since I would be off to the side and near the front, my painting needed to be big enough to be seen from across the room. Although I had done prophetic worship art before, it was my first time painting at Living Stone Christian Church.

God is faithful when we trust Him, so when I sought the Lord for wisdom, direction, and what image Jesus wanted me to paint, the Holy Spirit placed a wonderful idea in my head. As I sketched it out, it became apparent that the 24" x 36" painting needed to be worked on ahead of time, so I could finish it during the 45-minute worship and drama time.

When Sunday morning arrived, I made sure I was at church early enough to set things up. As the music began, I picked up the paintbrush and started to fill in the sections that needed to be completed. With joy and enthusiasm, I painted in an atmosphere of lively worship, letting images of dancing trees emerge from the background. This was such a fun way to worship Christ, using the art talent HE had given me.

Then the drama started, and that’s when something unexpected happened. The lights went out. I waited for them to come back on again, only to discover that a spotlight would be used to highlight the actors, while the rest of the sanctuary remained dark. It was then that I remembered something about the drama director mentioning that I should bring a light. Why hadn’t I paid more attention to her words?

It was too late to find a light to paint by, so I asked the Holy Spirit for help. As my eyes adjusted to the darkness, I noticed that the white spots on the canvas, where the holly leaves needed to be filled in, were slightly visible. Since the palette of green paint was already in one hand, the paintbrush in the other, I aimed for the white spots, trusting the Lord to guide my hand. When the lights came back on, all the holly leaves were finished. I quickly rinsed the brush, added more yellow ochre to the rock, threw golden glitter on it, and quietly slipped out of the sanctuary.

As I was washing out the paintbrushes, my heart was filled with joy because of what the Holy Spirit had done. HE gave me the idea, guided me along the way, and prompted me ahead of time to outline the holly leaves, knowing that the lights would go out, and then HE enabling me to paint in the dark. All honor, glory, and praise to the Lord God Most High! Thank you, Jesus Christ, for this opportunity to see your Hand at work and to paint for You.

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