Thursday, December 22, 2011

Merry Christmas | They Called Him Jesus

Praying that you are blessed with joy, peace, love and all the blessings of Christ this Christmas and throughout the coming new year. Much love, M.

[Original Mixed Media on Paper (Pencil and Ink), (c) Michelle Bentham 2011. "They Called Him Jesus," All Rights Reserved.]

Friday, November 25, 2011

Dancing Waters (Matthew 14:22-36)

Dancing Waters... A couple of weeks ago I sat down at my easel and turned up the worship music and began to paint. The end result thrilled and mesmerized me. As I finished the painting a couple of days later I found myself returning again and again to the story of Peter and the disciples in the boat during the storm.

Jesus did not go with them as their boat left the shore, and then in the fourth watch of the night a storm comes up and begins to rock the boat of disciples. Imagine these seasoned fisherman on the water late at night - the darkness and storm consuming them as the waves rise and fall tossing the boat to and fro. Perilous moments.

Matthew 14:22-36 (NKJV)
Immediately Jesus made His disciples get into the boat and go before Him to the other side, while He sent the multitudes away. And when He had sent the multitudes away, He went up on the mountain by Himself to pray. Now when evening came, He was alone there. But the boat was now in the middle of the sea, tossed by the waves, for the wind was contrary. Now in the fourth watch of the night Jesus went to them, walking on the sea. And when the disciples saw Him walking on the sea, they were troubled, saying, "It is a ghost!" And they cried out for fear.

But immediately Jesus spoke to them, saying, "Be of good cheer! It is I; do not be afraid."

And Peter answered Him and said, "Lord, if it is You, command me to come to You on the water."

So He said, "Come." And when Peter had come down out of the boat, he walked on the water to go to Jesus.

But when he saw that the wind was boisterous, he was afraid; and beginning to sink he cried out, saying, "Lord, save me!"

And immediately Jesus stretched out His hand and caught him, and said to him, "O you of little faith, why did you doubt?"

And when they got into the boat, the wind ceased.

Then those who were in the boat came and worshiped Him, saying, "Truly You are the Son of God."

When they had crossed over, they came to the land of Gennesaret. And when the men of that place recognized Him, they sent out into all that surrounding region, brought to Him all who were sick, and begged Him that they might only touch the hem of His garment. And as many as touched it were made perfectly well.

Friday, November 11, 2011

When Eternity Steps Into Time

A few weeks ago I was sitting in the back rows of the auditorium at Gateway Church as my pastor, friend and cousin... Oh, and did I mention he happens to be one of my oversights as well... Taught on what it means to have "Appetite for the Eternal." It is one of my favorite teachings offered at an event we call KAIROS.

KAIROS is a two day Freedom Ministries event. It is worship intensive with a focus on inner healing, both spiritual and emotional. For two days hundreds of people gather, worship, receive and often break so that healing can begin.

As I sat listening to the up and down tones of Alan's voice delivering a message that speaks to the deep places in my heart, a picture began to take shape. I dislodged my sketch book and pencil case from my tote bag and opened to a fresh clean page. I began giving line and shape to the images coming to life inside my mind.

At the end of the class, my picture was complete. I inked in the lines with a Sharpie marker and asked God who should receive it. I heard, "Julie."

My friend Julie works one office space up from me in the halls of Pastoral Care. Four times a year we host the event called KAIROS and Julie administratively manages & coordinates every detail from the pre-event registration and prayer team right down to the snacks we eat and the play by play, minute to minute activity and details that are drawn up in plans over several months throughout the year. Julie takes care of the details so that KAIROS is a fresh, safe atmosphere where people come to recieve.

I heard God say, "People are free because Julie takes care of the details."

This one is for Julie - because she has a heart to see people free and orchestrates an atmosphere of freedom by coordinating the event in such a way that the atmosphere and details provide ministry as much as the gifted speakers and teams who pray and speak. I love how God makes us fit together. He is all about the details!

Monday, October 17, 2011

He Rises with Healing in His Wings

To see more of Michelle's Work visit Gallery Views in the menu at the top of the page. 

But to you who fear My name The Sun of Righteousness shall arise With healing in His wings; And you shall go out And grow fat like stall-fed calves. You shall trample the wicked, For they shall be ashes under the soles of your feet On the day that I do this," Says the Lord of hosts.Malachi 4:2-3 (NKJV) 

This painting is particularly close to my heart. I did not realize it was so until I began painting it and my daughter reminded me that I've been drawing and coloring with markers or pen some form of this painting for some 15 years now. Last night, after I reached a stopping point, I sat in front of the painting and let it minister to my heart.

I realized as tears broke free that this painting represents a part of my journey that is somewhat complete. As I said, I have been using some form of that heart with wings for years, but the picture has never had the meaning it has for me as I sit here today.

This painting has a number of parts. The first - obvious is that Heart with wings. This represents the Sun of Righteousness in Malachi 2, or Jesus, who carries healing in His wings. When I pictured this painting before I began it on Sunday, I pictured it with real feathers. Last night as I painted, I began to position the feathers and felt torn - I loved the idea of REAL FEATHERS, but I also loved the feel and look of the feathers that were taking shape as I worked and reworked the white and azure paints on my palette.

I finally submitted it to my covering, my husband, and he said, "Don't use the feathers."

DONE. Then came the healing pieces. The last thing I added were the drops of water. They represent the healing rain of God. The three pieces represent three areas of restoration where God has delivered significant healing to me.

Timepiece | Time
"He has made everything beautiful in its time. Also He has put eternity in their hearts, except that no one can find out the work that God does from beginning to end." Ecclesiastes 3:11 (NKJV) 

God redeems the time. In Joel it says He will give back the years the locusts have eaten. I have experienced God's redemption of time in my own life in many ways. I feel like a kid again more than anything. 

Crown | Identity
"Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new." 2 Corinthians 5:17 (NKJV)

I am in Christ. Ephesians 1 tells me that I am blessed, chosen, adopted, redeemed, forgiven, predestined, blameless, loved and planned for according to His will. 

Key | Healing/Deliverance

"The key of the house of David I will lay on his shoulder; So he shall open, and no one shall shut; And he shall shut, and no one shall open. I will fasten him as a peg in a secure place, And he will become a glorious throne to his father's house." Isaiah 22:22-23 (NKJV)

Revelation 3 includes a commendation to the church in Philadelphia that includes a quote of this verse. It is a beautiful testimony to the faithfulness of God even when times are difficult. He will bring you through every fiery trail and heal all your wounds. Healing and Deliverance is about shutting the door on the past and its pain while allowing God to open you up to a whole new reality and revelation of who He is and what He has for you, His beloved.

I love the way light works with the painting. Bright light directly on the canvas illuminates and highlights all the bright features. Limited or diminished lighting brings out the details.

"Healing in His Wings" is a 30x40 Acrylic on canvas. Time invested: 15 hours. 

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

"Something New" Isaiah 43:19 HCSB
"Look, I am about to do something new, even now it is coming; Do you see it?" (paraphrase)
Have you ever had the strong sense that something was coming. Something new waits just beyond the Horizon and You are on the cusp of a grand new adventure with God? That is the heart behind "Something New." I painted it as a gift for a friend who is cresting her new season even as we speak. Please stop by again as I will posting new paintings on a regular basis.   

There is a donation button on the left side of the page if you would like to provide a gift to help support the creative ministry provided. All who donate will receive a hand painted 4x6 frame-able Thank You gift.

Check back often as posts and new pages will be added regularly between now and the grand opening date of November 1, 2011.