And did my Sovereign die! Would he devote that sacred head for sinners such as I?”
For God so loved the world – you and me – and all of humankind, He sent His Son, Jesus.
We are loved by God. Each of us is fully known and loved, perfectly made by God alone.
Known. Seen. By God, Whose fingerprints are on our being and Whose breath is in our lungs.
He sent Jesus, His Son, to remove all barriers that might prohibit our full reception of His Love…
Barriers, the things that hurt us, the things He took into Himself and into death to free us into His Love… He frees us from things like sin and the dark things in the world, deception, and disbelief… He removes those things from us when we believe. He also gives us the belief in His time.
Believe we are loved by Him… That Jesus came to bring us God’s Love, and in Him we possess the very Life of God, Who is Love.
Jesus resurrected in the Life of the Father. He sent His Spirit to live in us. Our Father brings us into the Kingdom of the Son of His Love. “…so that in ages to come, He might show the surpassing riches of His grace, in His kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.”
This painting shows the Lamb of God, the angels escorting His Spirit into the open Door in the heavens, the transfer of His Life. “Father, receive My Spirit.”
As Jesus is Freedom, and He releases us from anything that prohibits our following Him, I modeled this painting after the Liberty statue, with Emma Lazarus’ poem…” Give Me your tired, your poor,…” and Jesus is the Lamp, the Light, lifted up for all to come to Him.
I painted this in 1996 or 97? using oils on canvas, and bits of gold leaf embedded into the trail of the angels and Spirit. It isn’t as convincing of a work as Nickolai Ge’s “Crucifixion”, but I believe it tells His Story.
Praise the Lord for His loving Grace.
“Taste the goodness of the Lord: welcomed home to His embrace,
all His love, as blood outpoured, seals the pardon of His grace.
Can I doubt His love for me, when I trace that love’s design?
By the cross of Calvary, I am His and He is mine.
His forever, only His – who the Lord and me shall part?
Ah, with what a rest of bliss, Christ can fill the loving heart.
Heav’n and earth may fade and flee, firstborn light in gloom decline,
but while God and I shall be, I am His and He is mine.”
A few years back, perhaps a few more, I had read Billy Graham’s book “Storm Warning”. I was deeply impressed and inspired by his writings about Revelation 6 and Matthew 24. The following is an excerpt from his book.
“The four horsemen of the Apocalypse point inevitably to deeper moral and spiritual problems that affect our lives. But each is unique. Each carries his own agenda. In every age, we have seen precursors of the horsemen riding over the earth.. They gave warning to the first century churches in Asia, and their warnings apply to the church today.
“Jesus Himself underscored these warnings with a command: ‘Therefore keep watch’ (Matthew 24:4). ‘Watch out that no one deceives you’ (Matthew 24:4). This is representative of the white horse who carries one who imitates Christ and promises a false peace.
“‘You will hear of wars and rumors of wars, but see to it that you are not alarmed'” (Matthew 24:6). This depicts the red horse that takes away peace and brings war.
“‘There will be famines and earthquakes in various places’ (Matthew 24:7). This is the black horse that will wipe out the food supply, leading the nations into severe hunger.
“‘Then you will be handed over to be persecuted and put the death'” (Matthew 24:9). The fourth horse is the only one of the four with a name and a color to match: the pale horse called Death.
“…’I looked, and there before me was a white horse! Its rider held a bow, and he was given a crown’ (Revelation 6:1-2). As suddenly as he appeared the rider kicked the flanks of the white stallion and raced toward the earth ‘as a conqueror bent on conquest’ (Revelation 6:2).
“…The text says he is wearing a crown and carrying a bow of great destruction in his hand. In Revelation 19, Christ is pictured on a white horse wearing many crowns. This had led some to believe that the rider on the white horse in Revelation 6 is also Christ. I do not believe this to be the case. In the Greek text, the crown worn by the rider of the white horse is called stephanos, which would refer to the crown of victory worn by a conqueror. The crowns Christ wears in Revelation 19, on the other hand, are diadema, or the crowns of royalty. Although the rider on the white horse bears a resemblance to Christ, his appearance is actually (and no doubt deliberately) deceptive. A closer look reveals his true nature. He is ‘a conqueror bent on conquest,’ greedily riding roughshod over all who stand in his way – the rider of the white horse is characterized by his lust for power, destruction, and deceit.
“Who, therefore, is the rider on the white horse? He is not Christ, but a deceiver who seeks to capture the hearts and mind of all mankind He is one who seeks to have people acknowledge him as Lord.”
There is so much more he wrote of, but this part and an earlier part in the book greatly impressed me. So it worked inside me for awhile until it came to be a painting.
Deception, War, Hunger, Death.
The Lord in us keeps us from deception, he will finish what He began…
The process of the painting was first all the above, then needing horses. So I went to a barrel racing arena, laying down (behind a fence) photographing into the view of the third barrel at which point the riders would rev up to race to the finish. Those positioning on the horses are actually cowgirls who could really ride, and their horses! Oh their horses! The cowgirls were actually beautiful women from whom I borrowed their posturing and tools, replacing them with the figures and weapons of the 4 horsemen.
The first horseman grasped my attention, and all I could see was lizardine eyes. I saw them but could not quite capture the unmentionable/untranslatable that was in them. It is cringeworthy. It was vile. Sometimes we can see that in the world today. Deception. “Therefore keep watch.”
Behind the horses in the light from whence they were released, are faces representing the souls of those crying out for justice from under the altar…. the rest is pretty much self explanatory, through the swirl of time and eras.
I think I painted this in 2014? This came up again during breakfast, re-reading the book.
My personal understanding and hope is that the ecclesia, the out-called, the church will be brought up to him soon. He is still the Light in the world in His out-called believers. I cannot easily bear to look into the darkness.
My daughter has a nice boy puppy, who’s been with her since he really was a puppy. He’s a big boy, a boxer, a protective dog and a brute if he doesn’t trust you. But he loves my husband and I.
He smiles when we come, and laughs and wags his whole body when we take him for a walk. We don’t get to see him often, once or twice a year since he was a little pup, but he remembers, and it is flattering really, to be liked so well by such a good ol’ boy.
Recently he got sick, but he pulled through. We were almost as happy as my daughter and her boys!
I painted him because the boys will remember their good friend, who lets them climb on him, who always walks into the room where they are, who was there before they were born, who protects them. He is getting to be an old good boy. Even though his growl is a little raspier than it used to be, he means business to strangers… but mostly in the loving business with the boys.
A friend indeed. A noble fellow. A good ol’ boy.
He was also walking by in the painting “Eyes On The Pies”.
The joys in life pile up daily, yet some spark love like lightning bolts.
When we went to visit the grandboys, I was able to bring a couple jars of my homemade apple pie filling. It sure made it easier to make the pies, and faster. I had pre-ground my flours for the crust as well, so all I had to do was add butter and water, mix and roll. I love my pie crust. So do the boys. I love those boys.
They were very interested in how to make an apple pie, and after this moment of filling, were happy to help spoon the apples into the crusts. And they sure do focus and take it all in. I hope I give them a good example of things.
My daughter took some photos of this time, and I based my painting from her photos. She has loving eyes.
We all had great fun EATING the pies.
It was fun, too, that during that moment, their dog Onyx walked by in the background. I had to include Onyx. He has been in the family a long time. He’s a good boy, but he didn’t get any pie.
My greatest challenge in this piece was identifying the camera distortions in the resource photo, thereby straightening entryways and one of the boy’s heads was stretched and his body leaning too far, like he fell off the edge or something. I simplified a lot of things, and maximized the duo light source. The canvas used to have a desert landscape painted on it, and I left some of the nubbies from the mesquite scrub for interesting effects.
There might be a thing or two that might spring out at me that I will make minor adjustments to, but for now, I like this one as it is.
I just ordered more oil paint from Dick Blick’s. I’ve been shopping there for many years. Getting new paint is almost as good as apple pie.
Praise the Lord Jesus for His grace and love of mankind.