Sunday, March 31, 2013

Resurrected from the Dead!

By Hazel Holland

We may live in His resurrection life daily! ♥

Because of His resurrection, He has spiritually resurrected us from the dead! Experiencing new resurrection life in Him daily brings me great joy! 

Click here to see a larger image of the painting!

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Let's Celebrate Our King!

By Hazel Holland

Let's celebrate our King... not just at Easter, but every day of our lives.

Can you identify with these children?  Perhaps they were being told to hush up and keep their hosannas under control as they passed by the temple?  After all...their loud praises might disturb the worshipers inside...   Does that happens today sometimes, too, when people get hit with the joy of the Lord inside the “temple”? 

I'm talking about His joy that bubbles up inside of us at times as a result of embracing the new covenant gospel.  His joy cannot be contained because it's coming forth from the Spirit in us who wants others to know that His well of joy is available to them, too.

Remember what Jesus said to His disciples?  “If you don't let the children praise Me, the stones will begin to cry out!”  Here in Revelation 7:9 we are given a beautiful picture of God’s children holding palm branches as they praise their King in His Kingdom for all eternity. 

Saturday, March 16, 2013

New Every Morning

By Hazel Holland

Our Father's compassion and love for us is new every morning.  Even when we are having a bad day... we may face each new day with the assurance that God's great faithfulness is His gift to us.
(Lamentations 3:22-23) 

I began this watercolor painting a little over two months ago when I started teaching art classes at the senior center here in town.  Unfortunately I had a major mishap with it when I tried to remove the masking from an area that I didn't notice was wet!  

Apparently I had dropped a spot of water in the area where I was removing the rubbery masking fluid with my finger.  Immediately the nap of the paper started to get rough and roll up in little balls.  Now I really had problems, and there was no more trying to demonstrate on my painting how to paint snow that day!

I laid the painting on the shelf at  home and began to paint another picture to take it's place before my next art class.  But I couldn't get that wrecked painting out of my mind.  I found myself trying to figure out ways to fix it so that it wouldn't be a total loss...

After I prayed about it I finally came up with the idea that I might give my painting a "shave" in the area that was rough and nappy... and I'd use a flat razor to do it.  So I bravely began the arduous task of shaving being very careful not to cut a hole through the paper.  And this time the paper was dry...

Of course I never realized when I began the "shave" that the small area that initially needed to be shaved would grow in size.  Because I could find no good place to stop the shaving and end the nappy look, I continued to shave for at least half an hour, trying as hard as I could to remove the little rolled up balls of paper that seemed to multiply faster that I could get rid of them.  As soon as I thought I had found a good place to stop and end the shaving, the paper would look like it was growing grass again when I dampened it with water.

One thing I knew for sure...  the one area of the painting that was supposed to be a white snow bank would have to be covered with bushes.  You see... dark paint hides mistakes, but white paint exposes them.  Kind of like when you turn on a light...

But the bushes worked... and the painting was saved.  My students were delighted and amazed to learn that you can actually "shave" a painting instead of throwing it out in the trash.  So was I. 

This got me to wondering... how many times in life do we throw away what appears to be "trash"?  Of course we only see things from our limited human perspectives.  But what if God were to put out His arm in front of us and stop us from sweeping away those things in our lives that appear to be nothing more than a useless pile of rubbish.  

What if He were to say to us, "Everything that you are about to sweep away is not trash!"  Would we put down our broom and stop and listen to Him?  Would we believe Him?  Would we suddenly want to see things from His perspective instead of our own?

From our limited vision we are not able to see the complete picture like He does.  But the Holy Spirit has been given to us to help us see things from our Father's loving perspective.   When He looks at us He sees no second class people.  Although people may live in the gutter all of their lives, He doesn't see them as trash... as throwaways.  He sees them as His beloved sons and daughters.

So the next time you are having a bad day, or are about to give up on something that seems like it is destined for the trash heap, take another look at it... this time from His perspective.  You might be surprised to discover that something beautiful can be made, not only from the mistakes that you make, but from the mistakes that others make, too.

Click here to see a larger image of the painting!

Winter Reflections

By Hazel Holland

As I painted the warm colors of this winter sunset today it made me long for spring.  Warm spring days when everything in nature bursts forth into newness of  life.  Warm spring days when even the birds songs seem to hit a higher note.  I cherish the memory of those days because I know I'll have to wait a little longer for spring to arrive this year.

Friday, March 15, 2013

A Life-changing Encounter

By Hazel Holland

As I painted this watercolor today it reminded me of the life-changing encounter we may all experience with the living Christ.  When we do, He makes us realize that we have been destined and appointed to live unselfish and love-filled lives for the praise of His glory.  

Our destiny in Him is never to remain a captive, crippled by fear, but to be transformed into His image.  He has given us wings to fly so that we are free to love and forgive others as He has loved and forgiven us. 

As the light of His love continues to shine in our hearts, we see the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.  And we are compelled by His Spirit to declare the glory of the risen Christ, and the amazing gospel of His grace for all people everywhere. (2 Corinthians 4:6) ♥

Click here to see a larger image of the painting!

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

He Will Provide

By Hazel Holland   

"Look at the birds of the air, for they neither sow nor reap
 nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feeds them.
 Are you not of more value than they?" (Matt. 6:26)

Sometimes we wonder how God will provide for our needs.  As you look at these birds I painted, remember that He cares for you far more than the birds...  Since He knows when the sparrow falls, He most certainly knows every detail of your life, and is with you during every difficult moment you face.

Click here to see a larger image of the painting!

Sunday, March 10, 2013

God's New Creation

By Hazel Holland

When we look at this beautiful blue jay and the vibrant colors of the Fall season, we forget that what we are enjoying is part of the old creation that is gripped by an unbreakable law... the law of entropy which Paul calls "the law of decay" (Romans 8).  Eventually the autumn leaves will turn brown and die, and so will this living creature.  How we wish we could break through this unbreakable law, but we can't. 

But in Christ the breakthrough has already occurred.  In Christ, God is beginning a new creation that is not subject to this law of decay and death... and this new creation has already begun!  But in Old Testament times believers didn't know about the resurrection of Jesus Christ and the effects of it on our lives right now.

In Christ, God has already broken through the old creation.  And right in the midst of the old creation, He is creating a new creation.  This means that we can choose to live each day on the basis of this new creation!  In the realm of the Spirit the breakthrough has already occurred.  When we begin to walk in the Spirit, then we can love, forgive, and reach out to others.  We can experience new life in the Spirit right now.

This is the mystery of the gospel.  We're no longer a part of the old creation, but a part of the new.  Now we may live our lives as sons and daughters of this new creation.  We're not part of the old any more.  We're part of the new.  We've broken loose from the old creation and are part of the new creation through faith in Jesus Christ.  We are heirs through the gospel and sharers together in the promise. (Ephesians 3:4-6)

(Talking about the "law of decay"... I painted this watercolor while I was suffering from the painful effects of a decayed tooth that I had extracted last week!)

Click here to see a larger image of the painting!