Pruning the Fruitful

Since I was a little girl, Gardenias have had a special place in my heart.

One of my neighbors used to have a bush by the road, and sometimes at night, I would walk down and pick a couple.  I blame this compulsive behavior on my mother, because I remember as a little girl, seeing her constantly sneak blooms off of Gardenia plants no matter where she saw them.  Her obsession was so bad, she would even have my dad stop the car for her sometimes…so she could run out and grab a fragrant bloom.    I can still see her long fingers holding it as though it was a treasure. I remember watching her bury her nose in the blossom and how it would make her smile.

My Maw Maw, my dad’s mother, had huge Gardenia bush by her front door she’d grown from a cutting she’d taken off a shrub in Florida.  Her and my Paw Paw loved to drive down south to visit relatives there.  It had enormous blooms, and the fragrance was intoxicating.  Oh how she babied that evergreen, as her prized possession, and would cover it if there was any chance of a frost.  My Maw Maw has gone onto be with the Lord, but, before she did, I took a cutting from her bush, rooted it, and ended up planting it right beside my front door too.  It is close to 6′ tall now.

One time in a meeting, a man came up to me and said he had a word for me.  In the word, he told me God called me a flower, and he was listening for the specific flower, and then he said…you are  His “Gardenia Girl.”  That was one of those kinds of words that was so incredibly specific, and precious, you knew it was God;  it was rooted deeply in my identity.   He described me like the flowers, tender, fragrant blooms that would bruise easily, so I must be handled with care.  Since I studied horticulture, one thing I do know about Gardenia bushes though, is in the right semi tropical environment, they are a hardy ever green plant.

When I first began to paint for the Lord, He encouraged me through that same rooted gardenia bush right outside the window where I would paint.  I know that sounds weird…but He did.  He talked to me about the buds that were forming.  The first day I painted He told me to look out the window, and it was covered with opened blooms.  And my gardenia bush that year had more than a normal amount of blooms.  I was fascinated with them…and would weep as I photographed them after the rain, when they were heavy with drops…or when they were drooping because they needed rain.  God was ministering to me through them.

This year, I was out of town a couple of weeks, during the winter, and we had a heavy freeze.  I realized in the spring, I had lost a lot of my bush.  I kept waiting for in the spring for the blooms to come, but late in the season, I only found one deformed bloom, when usually the bush would be covered.   I was doing some yard work, when I found it, and I saw that it would need a good cutting back for it to look good and bloom next year.

Before I left to minister recently, I cut off some of the more straggly branches, but had the thought, it is so bad, I need to get out the hedger and really take it down low.   It is scary to just chop on something that you have babied for so many years, especially if it has sentimental value.

As I was gathering up the couple of cuttings, I had the thought.  I am going to root these and make some more bushes.  I mean, that is how I got this bush to start with.  It was such a powerful feeling, the thought of ALL the blooms I would have to enjoy.  One of my favorite things I studied in horticulture, was the ways of propagation; not just seeds, but tubers, bulbs, grafting, tissue culturing…etc.  So, amazing how God created everything to reproduce.  So, I put these cuttings in a vase with some ivy vines, and forgot about them, when I got home, I had the thought to change the water, and low and behold, there were already roots on them!  I was so excited, gasped, and then God spoke:

“This is what is next.  It is time to reproduce.”

In 1996 or so, I saw an art school in my quiet time.  I walked through it, and drew it.  The next day, I went to church and a visiting evangelist said, some of you are having visions and you have even drawn it.  I was like…wow!!!  Then he said.  “And God wants you to know it is going to happen.  That was almost 20 yrs ago.

I thought it was interesting, because I also got this word from a sister, before I left to minister, before I saw the roots on the cuttings:

“I hear ‘change of venue’, new creativity full of lavished love from the Father’s heart. A new room opened up to you: this room with white clothed tables full of beautiful colored jewels and different creative mediums for you to take and enjoy. No limit to the creative beauty. There’s such a refreshing breeze blowing through, that the white cloths on the tables are gently fluttering in the breeze”

And just the other day, I had a vision. I saw a fisherman in a river, and then I was looking from His view, and under the water were all these butterflies.  At the meeting where I had ministered, Jason Upton talked about learning to breathe under water, because God is like an all consuming ocean.  Since I have been ministering, I often see people with butterfly wings on in the spirit and that is how I know they are artists.  I think the vision was more confirmation that it is time to start a river, like the evangelist, (or fisherman) told me…and reproduce.

It says in the word, that God prunes the unfruitful, but He also prunes the fruitful…to make them even more fruitful.  I started to realize, that maybe He even uses those clippings…and roots them…to make even more new fruitful plants.

Praying now to know where and how He wants me to do this…
I have been looking at a location for some time.  So, just waiting for a door to open…
I know My Jesus will open the door for me and provide all I need.
He is a gentleman, so He likes to pay for everything, and open doors for his Bride,
…that is how I will know it is Him.

 

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Honor One Another

ok, I have a bit of a rant in me…forgive me…whilst I step onto my soap box for a bit…….

I despise it when I see people pick ministers apart. I have heard people IN THE CHURCH bad mouth Joel Osteen, Benny Hinn, Paula White, T. D. Jakes, Rick Joyner, Joyce Meyer, Ken Hagin…and many, many, many, others.

Even heard pastors badmouth other denominations…from the pulpit.

…and I confess, I have been guilty of being critical at times myself

I wonder, how can we be like that? Why would we be like that? What good will it do? When Jesus taught us a house divided will fall? How dysfunctional is that?

It releases a fear of judgement that prevents people from stepping into ministry. I know I was SCARED when God called me. I cried because I feared the judgement I knew would come against me if I began to be “seen.”

Sure, there may be things they do not do perfectly…and we all make mistakes…Lord knows…I DO!!!!!

But, can’t God handle it? Does He know how to chasten them? Does He not raise up and pull down? Doesn’t Jesus say to Pilate, “You would have no power over me if it were not given to you from above.” How much more so in the church?

When I look at Joel Osteen, I just love him. I love his smile, and positive gentle way. I love that he is carrying on his Father’s legacy…so faithfully. I don’t see how anyone could say something mean about him…

To me, it says MORE about the PERSON being critical, than it does about Joel.

I remember running from the parking lot into Joyce Meyer’s meetings in the 90′s, when she was first starting her ministry: I wanted to get the best seat I could…because the anointing was stronger than anything I had ever felt in a meeting. I even got my gift of tongues there, and one time she actually stopped to speak to my friend and I…then got up and told everyone how we had encouraged her.

How could anyone say anything about a woman that has truly laid down her life to feed so many people?

The other day, I was talking ugly about a minister…I still don’t agree with what they do, but then I realized, the minister I was talking about was precious to that person I was speaking to.

I ALSO realized, these leaders…they are our PARENTS in the Lord.

God says, we are to HONOR them, so we will live a long life…and it will go well with us in the land God is giving us. Dishonor brings dishonor…

When I was little…people always picked on my sister, and when they did, I would beat them up. She was my sister!!!! And I hated them talking about her like that!!!! I would fight for her HONOR. When my son was little, if someone said something evil about my him, I would not agree with it. I would defend him. He was my family…so I had his back. To me, it did not matter in that moment if what they said was right or not. I wanted my son to know I was standing with him. To me, that is what HONOR does.

The bible says:
Brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.

I would add…we need to talk about “such things” too. Let no unwholesome speech come from our mouths.

When you are a child, you learn, “if you can’t say anything nice, then don’t say anything at all!” I would add to that…just pray, pray to your Father in Heaven in secret. Pray for those parents to be brought to repentance if you think they are wrong…OR for YOU to be…because it just might be YOU and not them that needs to repent! Jus’ saying….

Ok…I am stepping off now…

Be tried and true, and authentically YOU!

This morning I was thinking about David and Saul.   How Saul offered David his armor, but David said no.   He replied, “I have not proved them.”   David knew that even though Saul’s armor was amazing, since he was King, it would be the best; and although it could possibly protect him, he ALSO knew it wasn’t made for him.   He did not “know” it…so it just wasn’t “him.”  But the sling HE had proven those nights in the fields, protecting the sheep, yes, he knew what he could do with that simple slingshot and just one smooth stone.   Because God had taught him.

David could have cared more about his reputation and just said yes to please the King, but he had the courage to say no to him, and to be true to himself.  David knew who he was in God.  He had a relationship with Him that was tried and true, just like he did with the sling shot.  David was authentic.

What God has called others to do, He simply may not have called you or me to do. It’s easy to copy another, and try to be like them, because we want what they have or we want favor with people.  But, that is not God’s way…and it will never satisfy the longings of your heart.

One time in the spirit, Jesus and I were walking on the beach and there were shells as far as I could see. They were piled up on the shoreline like they do sometimes.  Jesus picked one up and held it in the palm of His hand. He looked into my eyes and said,
“There is not another shell like this one…anywhere. They are all different. Everyone.”

So simple, yet so profound. How much more are we like that to Him?

Everyone is called to pray; but few may be called to a life of continuous prayer like John Welch.   All are called to trust God’s provision; but, we may not be led to “prove” the LORD by giving away everything we have and going to rescue orphans, like Rolland and Heidi Baker.   We are all called to have faith, but none of us may walk on water like Peter did.

Sometimes I see artists take classes from another artist, and when they are done, their art looks just like the art teacher’s work. Oh how that grieves me!!!! They have lost their artistic “voice” by becoming like someone else.  Why do they do that, and more importantly, why would a teacher want them to do that?   I have also I heard people start to talk like the person they are studying under…or musicians that sound like the latest “superstar” on the radio.

It is a HUGE GIGANTIC ENORMOUS pet peeve of mine!!!   I want to be so original, so authentic, so true, so VERY ME…because it is THEN and ONLY then, that I am in MY sweet spot.  That spot where I totally get why God made me.  Yes…then I find my divine purpose.  And I am living IN it.

I think David knew that one day he would be King. I believe God must have told him when he was under those starry skies, watching over those sheep, worshiping the One that made them.  I also think he was a man of honor, because he was so dishonored by his family. When David hurt, he ran to God, where he worshiped and sang to the Lord, yes, he honored Him. That was how he encouraged himself in the Lord. Then God showed David honor because God honors those that honor Him. I also think David could not stand that giant dishonoring his God, because he truly knew the cruelty of it…AND He knew his God; His God was a God of honor.  David was intimate with the KING…and he loved the Creator so much, he was willing to fight and defend His Honor!

Honor yourself, and honor others.  Don’t mimic them, or try to be like them.  A person that values originality will NOT like being copied by you. Those that are looking to dominate you or build a following…will.

Be who you were created to be.  And if you don’t know…then run to God when you are hurting and in that secret place, with your Creator, you will become who you were created to be.   You will then be like David.  You will know what has been proved, and what works for you.  And you will become a giant slayer. A leader. A person after God’s own heart. Someone God will be able to use.  You will be the true you.

Know God and know yourself.   Be tried and true, and authentically YOU!

Delight yourself in Him, and He WILL give you the desires of your heart.

Do you See what I See?

258573_273038642818795_1238941377_oDo you see what I see?

This painting ministers to me…because seeing in the Spirit is very similar.   Sometimes I see an image superimposed over my surroundings in the natural, other times I see a completely different image in the spirit.

And, when it happens, I often wonder, am I making this up, or is it just my imagination?

But God has been teaching me to “doubt my doubts” and trust the eyes He has given me to see.

AND, like a good Father, He will almost always confirm my visions…

to build and strengthen my faith, encouraging me to step out more and more.

Can you Feel the Fire?

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I love this painting! Did you know that you really can feel your paintings?

I have been in secular art shows and felt the anointing of the Holy Spirit on paintings!  Paintings of things that had no Christian images, but still, I could feel His presence on them.   I have even boldly gone up to the artists and said, “You love the Lord!”   They would look at me funny, and say, “I do!  How did you know that?”   Other times I have seen art that would cause me to begin to weep and not be able to speak, because the pleasure of God was so great on their work, it would overwhelm me.

I was at one show, looking at some jewelry and all of a sudden, I could not contain the tears.  I had to leave this woman’s booth.  I was with a friend and they asked if I was ok, but I could not talk to them, I was too overcome with emotion.  I just KNEW that this woman LOVED Jesus, and that was all I could say, “She loves Jesus…”

My friend was curious, and went back to her booth later to ask her some questions.   He found out that, sure enough, she did love Jesus.  She had defected from her country and come to the US to be able to worship freely.  She was not sure how she would be able to support herself when she met a Christian that had taught her how to create jewelry.  She was so grateful, for him, because he helped her learn a way provide for herself.   She said she created her jewelry as worship unto Jesus!!

Someone came to me in a meeting once and asked me if I had felt my paintings.  I realized, I never had.   I feel His presence as I paint so strong sometimes I can hardly stand, but I had never felt Him on my art.  I was painting  “The Golden Eagle: Seer”, at a School of the Seers, and he said when I started painting, the anointing went out about 3 ft or so, and as I continued to paint, it became larger and larger.   I thought that was very interesting.  I also enjoyed watched him as he walked around my painting “feeling” it.

I had brought the Lion and the Lamb painting with me, a prophetic piece I created, where the crowns came at the last minute, by the Spirit.   I also remembered that when I was painting this piece, a woman felt led to walk up to see it closer during a break.  I was speaking with some women off the platform and watched her move towards the painting.  When she got about 10 ft or so away, she cried out and fell backwards.   The women I was speaking with saw it too.  I asked the woman later what happened, and she told me she had always wanted to be “slain in the spirit”, but did not trust a man or woman to do it, so God decided to use His presence on my painting to bless her.

The man asked me to come and stand in front of it.   He prayed for God to let me feel the anointing on my painting, and as I stood there, I did not know what I would feel, but to my surprise, I felt a Crown being placed on my head!!!!   Totally wrecked me!

After that, I went back to my “Golden Eagle: The Seer” painting and every time I would look at it, especially the eagle’s eyes, I could feel an anointing come on my eyes!   I felt like He told me that my painting was being used to release a seer anointing!

When I was painting the Lion and Lamb painting, I ree

I always experience my paintings prophetically, then worship and pray as I paint them.  I believe that God has me do this so that He can rest in them.  Just like a song can carry His presence, everything created as worship to Him, can carry Him too.

Holding My Hand

I was a baby Christian when I first started painting in 1992 or so.   When I did, I noticed my left hand would get very hot as I worked on my art, it was such an unusual sensation, I would tell people that it felt like God was holding my hand.
Now I know…He really was ♥