Sunday, January 27, 2008

My Secret Place

By Hazel Holland

This is a copy of my first oil painting. Because I enjoy flowers and meadows and mountain streams in the Springtime, I wanted to paint a picture that would be my own private getaway... a place that I could escape to when I needed to get away from the stress of life.

I would imagine myself sitting beside this mountain stream, listening to the babbling brook as I drank in the beauty of this Alpine meadow. But as much as I love nature, the beauty of God's creation only brought momentary relief from the cares of life. It didn't bring lasting peace to my weary soul.

Then I discovered Someone who could quiet my restless spirit and calm my troubled soul. I could go to Him with all my stresses and problems and He always welcomed me with open arms. Being in His presence I found rest from the cares of life... I discovered the secret places of His heart for me, His beloved child. He has become my Hiding Place, my Safe Getaway that I can go to at anytime. He's always inviting me to come walk with Him in His green pastures and rest beside His still waters so that He can refresh my soul and free my spirit. Now all I want to do is love and worship Him!

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Reflections of the Past

By Hazel Holland

Yesterday I remembered the last place where I had hidden this oil painting... For over twenty years I have moved it around from one place to the next... trying to forget the sad circumstances under which I painted it. But today it came out of hiding! Today I choose to no longer hide the pain of my past mistakes and broken relationships! Today I choose to share God's love through it all...

Monday, January 21, 2008

Tough Times

By Hazel Holland

When I painted this oil many years ago I wanted to honor my grandfather's memory... his frugal ways and the simplicity of his life style. But I had a difficult time getting his face and hair just right. So I decided to add a beard to his mustache, and extra hair to the top of his balding head.

But then the painting looked too bare and uninteresting so I decided to add a dog. I hesitated at first of putting a dog in the picture, because my grandfather disliked animals, and would have reluctantly shared his meal with this furry friend. 

After placing the dog in the picture I realized that the painting spoke eloquently of my grandfather's ways... He was a recluse who enjoyed the solitude of sitting by a warm fire, eating a bowl of bread and milk, alone with his own thoughts. He would have dismissed the dog's presence, and ignored his pitiful begging. 

Although I loved my grandfather, and lived with him and my grandmother much of the time as a child, I could never get close to him. He was always distant and removed, and didn't appear to be very interested in what was going on around him most of the time. 

As I got to thinking about this painting recently I realized that as a child I was the little dog in the picture who was "begging". I was "begging" to be heard"... "begging" to be noticed... "begging" for some expression of love that would let me know that I was valuable to my grandfather.

Then I realized that sometimes we view God like a distant grandfather. We behave like God is so far removed from our daily lives that He cannot possibly be interested in our every day needs. We feel like we have to beg and plead in order to get His attention and be heard. 

But that is not who God is. He is the opposite of my grandfather. He is not emotionally absent. Scriptures reveals that God enjoys His children so much (God has no grandchildren), that He dances over them with singing (Ephesians 3:17). We don't have to beg God or plead with Him for anything because He is very attentive to our needs. David says of God that he has never seen the righteous forsaken or his seed begging for bread.

How much more willing is God to give us "bread" than we are to give good gifts to our children? We don't have to "beg" Him for "food", but to open our hearts and minds and receive the Living Bread that He has already given us so freely in Jesus Christ.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

God is My Redeemer

By Hazel Holland
"Look, He is coming with the clouds, and every eye will see Him, even those who pierced Him; and all the peoples of the earth will mourn because of Him.  So shall it be! Amen." Revelation 1:7

Cabin in the Woods

By hazel Holland

All Creatures Great & Small

By Hazel Holland

I did this oil painting many years ago.  However, just recently the Lord impressed me to start sharing my artwork with others so that you can be blessed as you see God's heart expressed in the beauty of all His creatures.

More Oil Paintings

He Made them All

By Hazel Holland

I did this oil painting many years ago.  However, just recently the Lord impressed me to share the gift that He has given me with you so that you may also be blessed as you see His creatures living together in harmony.

From His Heart to Yours

By Hazel Holland

I painted this watercolor many years ago and just stashed it away in a file drawer because I didn't have room in my house to hang anymore artwork.

Just recently when I retrieved it from its hiding place I was surprised by the depth of the colors of the little blue and mauve for-get-me-not flowers.  How insignificant and small they seem, and yet what richness and beauty their presence brings to the larger bouquet.

Then I heard the Spirit speak to my heart... "Nothing in My creation is insignificant no matter how small it is.  Because you are made in My image you have significance and purpose and are designed to be a blessing to others.  The aroma of Me in your life is like a sweet smelling perfume.  You are like a bouquet of freshly picked flowers whose scent fills the whole room.  You are my beloved creation, made in My image to fulfill your purpose and destiny in Me."

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Promise of Hope

By Hazel Holland

During the storms in our lives when we feel like the darkness and disappointments will never come to an end, God reminds us that He is our God of Hope...

Mountain, "MOVE!"

By Hazel Holland 

This “human mountain” of terrified children that I saw in a dream twelve years ago depicts the “covenant from Mount Sinai that bears children who are to be slaves” (Galatians 4:24). This watercolor painting will be the book I am writing, "The Naked Truth..." that was originally called, "Say to this Mountain, MOVE!” 

Promise of Peace

 By Hazel Holland

"and His name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, The Mighty God, The Everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace." Isaiah 9:6

I painted this watercolor in the Spirit a few weeks before Christmas (12/07).  I pray that its message of hope would bring you encouragement and assurance as you look to Jesus who is your Peace. He fulfilled the work God gave Him to do when He died on the cross for you. Because it is a finished "work" He sent the Holy Spirit to be with you and in you so that you could come to know Him personally, and share His love with others.

Morning Glory

By Hazel Holland

"As the deer pants for streams of water, so my soul pants for You, O God. My soul thirsts for God, for the living God" (Psalm 42:1-2).

I painted this picture in oils at a time when I was trying to make sense out of the turmoil of my life. After going through many years of "wandering in the desert" I was hungry and thirsty for the living God to satisfy my unmet needs. He did not disappoint me.

Morning Reflections

By Hazel Holland

"In the morning O Lord, You hear my voice; in the morning I lay my requests before You and wait in expectation." Psalm 5:3

Just recently the Lord impressed me to make this oil that I painted many years ago available so that others can be blessed as they see the beauty of God's heart expressed in His creation. 

I was going through a very dark and difficult time in my life when I painted this early morning scene.  The sunlight that is breaking through the mist and is reflected in the pond reminds us that even when things seem hopeless, God is our hope and His mercies are new every morning.

Friday, January 18, 2008

Father's Heart (2)

 By Hazel Holland

Here's another view of the Father's Heart that I painted that expresses how He is touched with the feelings of our infirmities. He identifies with us in our pain. Indeed, He was a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief. May your heart be healed today as you reach out to be embraced by His.

Father's Heart (1)

By Hazel Holland

 "The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me... to bind up the brokenhearted..." Isaiah 61:1

About ten years ago a friend of mine was in a coma for about a week. Before she died the Lord gave me this picture in the Spirit as I prayed for the family to be comforted in their grief. Because of my step-mom's recent death, the Lord brought back this vivid picture that I received at that time of God's heart being broken as He identifies with the deep feelings of our sorrow and grief. The Father's heart is broken for you so that your heart may be healed.

Trumpet at His Lips!

By Hazel Holland

"For the Lord Himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first" (1Thess. 4:16).

I was compelled by the Spirit to paint this watercolor a couple of months ago on the day of my step-mom's funeral (11/26/07).  I wanted to bring hope and comfort to my dad, and step-sister, and her family after my step-mom, Mary, died from a stroke, followed by a heart attack while eating a Thanksgiving meal the day before Thanksgiving!

You can imagine the shock and grief in the timing of our unexpected loss...  Amazingly, painting this brought me out of my own depression over my family's grief and into His sweet presence.

(This is the first watercolor painting I painted in the Spirit from a vision that I received in 1995 while worshiping at a Cleansing Streams Weekend Retreat).