Thursday, March 27, 2008

No More Shame

By Hazel Holland

"Those who look to Him are radiant; their faces are never covered with shame" (Psalm 34:5). 

This is the first time in my life that I have ever tried to seriously do a self-portrait. I have always found faces hard to draw and paint, and never thought they would come out looking like anything close to the original. But after my friend, Leila, did a photo shoot of me several days ago I was impressed that God wanted me to paint a watercolor of myself being released from shame! 

As we were looking at the hundreds of pictures she had taken for the photo shoot I became aware that I had acted goofy in so many of them in an attempt to cover-up my embarrassment of having the focus of attention on myself. I hammed it up because I was having pictures taken on a bad hair day. I was sure that the angles that were used to take some of the pictures would make me look like I have a double chin…and they did. The close shots at times accentuated the flaws in my skin, hair and body. They were not pretty to see. Many of the pictures were not perfect because I am not perfect. 

But more importantly, I found that Leila was trying to give me a "loving perspective" of myself through these photos. She wanted me to be able to see myself with humor, and in light of how God sees me. She succeeded in her task. 

God sees me freed from shame. That is why I chose to call this watercolor painting, “No More Shame”, because by naming this emotion I am now publicly acknowledging that I have power over its destructive patterns in my life in Jesus’ name.

Shame in and of itself is a normal human emotion, because it shows us that we are human and have limitations. It tells us that we make mistakes, that we are not perfect, and that we need help. Healthy shame tells us that we are not God. 

But when shame as a normal human emotion is transformed into shame as a state of our being, then shame becomes our identity. Now we believe our true self is flawed and defective, resulting in toxic shame that always necessitates a cover-up—a false self that is neither flawed nor defective! 

As a result of growing up in a very dysfunctional and abusive home, I believed that I was damaged goods from an early age, and so I unknowingly began the process of trying to cover up the many faces of toxic shame… My worth was measured by what I did or did not do—not by what was inside of me. I believed I was a “human doing” rather than a human being. Although it has taken many years to free myself of this menacing enemy, I am now learning to reduce toxic shame by transforming it back into healthy shame.

I do this my admitting that I am not perfect, and that I make mistakes. I do this by setting up healthy boundaries that reflect my human need to love others, and be loved by others in healthy ways. Overwhelming feelings of hopelessness that use to be a part of my life are now a thing of the past.

I have hope and assurance of who I am in Jesus Christ. I know He is able to use my God-given authentic true self as a witness of His healing power and transforming love. He has indeed freed me from the toxic shame that use to bind me! Let us celebrate the truth that He has taken away our shame!

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

I Chose You

By Hazel Holland

"Let the little children come to me and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. I tell you the truth, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it." Luke 18:16-17

I began painting this picture yesterday after realizing the struggles that many of us face when it comes to trusting our Abba--our Daddy. Because of broken relationships, hurtful childhoods, and the numerous disappointments of life, a lot of us have learned to protect ourselves from further hurt by guarding our hearts so as to shield ourselves from really experiencing intimacy with God.

But He is calling us to come to Him like a little child... He is calling us to get in touch with that child-like part of us that is spontaneous and carefree, and that is not afraid to embrace life because we know that our lives our safely hidden in God. We can risk reaching out to love others unconditionally because He first loved us!

After I painted the child's hand reaching up to God, and God's hand reaching down to grasp the child's, I was impressed to paint city tenement buildings in the background. The message I was receiving from Him is that behind those brick and stone walls are children that He is calling to Himself...little children as well as adult children. They all need to know who Jesus is, and that God is pouring out His Spirit so that they can be drawn to Him. They all need to know that He knows them by name, and is eager and willing and wanting to embrace them with His strong arms of love and draw them into His heart.

Can you hear the cry of the Father's heart as He calls out to us to bring His lost children home? Each one is precious and chosen and known by Him. Let us ask the Holy Spirit to give us God's heart of agape love for those He is calling to Himself. We are called to be His ministers of reconciliation as we partner with God and with one another to bring His beloved children home. "Father, thank You, that You reached down and took hold of us before we ever reached out to you! Now we are forever gratefully Yours!"

Sunday, March 9, 2008

A Spirit of Lawlessness

by Hazel

I painted this watercolor this afternoon to illustrate something I saw in the Spirit about twelve years ago...something that I didn't begin to understand until today!

In this vision I saw someone dressed up like Robin Hood, holding his bow and arrow, getting ready to take aim. All of a sudden he pulled back on the bow string and an arrow went flying through the air beyond my line of vision.

Immediately, a large group of "spectators"who had been watching this "sports" event off to the right began to loudly cheer with seditious laughter as "Robin Hood" hit his target. Having successfully "hit" his intended victim, the marksman reached around to get another arrow out of his bag.

Just as he was about to release the second arrow, I heard the Spirit say, "Lift up the shield of faith!" Again the crowd of "spectators" applauded their "hero" as his second arrow hit its mark again.

I knew by the sound of the ugly laughter that this crowd of "spectators" was not human, but rather a gathering from the hordes of hell. I shuddered as I saw that they were unable to contain their demonic glee and their foul appreciation of seeing another human being fall prey to their trickery and lies. But I was stumped as to why God was using "Robin Hood" as the archer, and his "merry men" as a gathering from the hordes of hell in this vision.

To read the rest of this post go to this link:

Friday, March 7, 2008

A Man of Sorrows

By Hazel Holland
"He was despised and rejected by men, a man of sorrows, and familiar with suffering... He was pierced for our transgressions, and He was crushed for our iniquities...and by His wounds we are healed" (Isaiah 53:3-5).

I was compelled by the Spirit to paint this watercolor this evening. I think God wants to drive home the truth to us that Jesus really did carrying our sins upon Himself... The cross that I painted Him carrying is a symbol of Him bearing the weight of our transgressions and sicknesses upon Himself so that we can be healed! He took your punishment and my punishment upon Himself so that we can walk in the freedom of the new covenant gospel. We can stand tall in Jesus Christ, and no longer be held down as “prisoners of the law”!
(A larger copy of this painting can be seen at the bottom of the page at this link:

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Prisoners of the Law

By Hazel Holland

"...Only in Christ is it (the veil of the old covenant) taken away" ( 2 Corinthians 3:14).

I painted these two watercolor paintings yesterday to illustrate a scene I had seen in a vision several months ago. Why is this "army" on all fours? Why are they not able to get up, stand, walk and fight?

See: (Vision). (Interpretation).
To view larger copies of these watercolor paintings scroll down to the bottom of the page at this link:

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

The Cross

By Hazel Holland

I painted these watercolors this afternoon as I remembered my son's final words in a dream that God gave me back in 1995. In the dream as we were both looking up into the night sky a huge cross of light appeared in the heavens. I quickly realized that Rob couldn’t see it, but before I could say anything the cross of light turned into a large wooden cross with a huge knot in the center of it. The words that escaped from his lips caused me to be overcome with the joy of the Lord as I heard him exclaim, “Now I see!”

My prayer is that each one of you will come to “see” and accept the incredible gift of God’s love that has been given to each of us in Jesus Christ. May the Spirit reveal to you that although our world is but a speck in a universe of billions of galaxies, you are, and forever will be, His first love!