Thursday, 28 January 2016

reviveFLORIDA - Paintings & Testimonies | Setting the Sails | Catch the Wind

reviveFLORIDA - Paintings & Testimonies | Setting the Sails | Catch the Wind

Wow, what a week we had 'setting the sails' in Sarasota, FL with reviveFLORIDA. I was so fortunate to spend last week down there taking part of a beautiful move of what God is doing.  Many churches uniting to be equipped to go out and share the simple Gospel.  People of all ages, walks of life, different denominations, all gathering to find their voice and love their community as ONE.  It's a beautiful thing to see and take part in.
My role on the Time to Revive team is to use the gifts the Lord has given me through creativity, to express what the Lord is showing me and speaking to me about.  There was an elevated anointing I felt in the Spirit this week.  For those who are stepping out in faith, taking the risk to see God move, hungry for more, many are witnessing "firsts" in their life.  I will explain what the Lord spoke to me about in the first painting I did, "The Launch."
A couple months before my trip to Florida, I had a dream in the night.  In this dream, I was in a rocket ship with a team.  We were ready to launch.  I remember the rumble of the engines ignite with fire as the rocket launched.  It was so real, the adrenaline, the excitement and anticipation of being launched into the unknown.  I felt the Lord showing me the new missions that were going to be launched this year. Greater levels and heights of what's coming.  I journaled the dream.  A couple weeks before I left for Florida, I was brushing my teeth before bed and out of no where an image of a vintage toy rocket ship flashed in my vision.  Immediately the Lord reminded me of my dream.  Then He showed me a picture of the outline of the state of Florida and it zoomed in on a picture of a launch site.  My immediate thought was, "is there an actual launch site in Florida?"  Of course there is, Cape Canaveral.  To make a long story short, I starting reading about Cape Canaveral and it mentioned that it was the site of many American's "firsts."  The word "first" jumped out at me and I heard the Lord say how he is doing many firsts for people who dare to believe and step out in faith.  I also felt Him say that this is a year of many launching into new levels.  
Out of obedience from this word, I painted "The Launch" the first night I was at reviveFLORDIA.  At the end of the evening, Laura Martin, wife to Kyle Martin, closed the evening.  She had the coolest testimony of a friend who sent her an email that reads:
"I got this email from a friend last week and I think it's true of TTR (Time to Revive) as well:  Hope you and your family had a splendid Christmas!  So wanted to share I was praying for you and Amos and your ministry and I saw a red and white rocket ship with a big flame shooting it high in the sky.  I believe that is your ministry moving fast and beyond."
Laura told her friend about the painting that evening of the rocket ship.  This is the response of the woman who had the vision of the rocket ship:
"Oh my goodness.  This made me smile SO much!!!!!  God is SO good and SO faithful.  This made my day.  Thank you for sharing this with me!!"
I just love how God weaves confirmation of what He is saying to us!  I also received another testimony of confirmation from a gentleman at reviveFLORIDA, this is what Evan Campbell sent me:
Rocket ship: 17 January 2016
(Word from the Lord Sunday night service to launch Revive Sarasota) 
"Evan, you will see and do things this week you've never seen before and so will others. This is a week of launching...for you and others. Prepare for acceleration like you have not seen and ensure others launch as well.
This was confirmed by Mindi's painting of the rocket ship a few days later. In fact, while you were still painting the background, or what would become the sky and stars, my spirit knew that you would paint something about this vision this week. I didn't expect it to be right then but I thank the Lord for the confirmation."
Thank you Laura and Evan for sharing your testimonies!  It's so fun to be a small part of the greater picture the Lord is doing.  I also wanted to mention that Kyle spoke that evening on dreams and visions.  Kyle mentioned 19 different verses in the Bible that tells of God speaking to people through dreams and visions.  These are usually for direction, declarations to respond in obedience to what the Lord is saying. In this you will see the fruit.  And they still happen today!

“In the last days, God says, I will pour out my Spirit on all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your young men will see visions, your old men will dream dreams." (Acts 2:17)
The next day I painted "The Overcomers."  Another image from a dream I had about being in an ocean in the waves.  You can read the full message if you click on the picture, it basically was about being an overcomer through Christ.  He has overcome the world and teaches us to also.  
“They will fight against you but will not overcome you, for I am with you and will rescue you,” declares the Lord.” (Jeremiah 1:19)
“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33)
This was one of my favourite days, I went to Siesta Beach with a group to share the Gospel, experience the ocean and be part of witnessing an incredible baptism.  It was a glorious afternoon that confirmed my painting that evening,"Open Heaven."  The sky was so beautiful that day and looked as though it had an opening to the heavens.  Sharing in the celebration of baptism, I was reminded of the new life and access to heaven we have through baptism.  I kept picturing a ladder to the heavens.  The access to the power in Christ we carry to go higher in the Spirit.  Not just a ticket to heaven when we die, but the access to bring heaven to earth here and now.  

For through him we both have access to the Father by one Spirit.” (Ephesians 2:18, NIV)
I also wanted to share another testimony Evan Campbell shared with me about the ladder:
Vision on 20 January 2016, painting on 21 January 2016 (both in the evening)
"During the evening service in Sarasota, FL, on 20 January 2016, there was a call to prayer in groups of 5-7. During the prayer my group prayed for repentance over this city and state. After being prompted to lie prostrate the Lord showed me, what I can only describe as Jacob's ladder. Far above the Earth was a hole in the firmament over Sarasota and Angels were freely coming down and going up to the Lord. Though the distance from the hole to Earth is great the Angels traveled the distance with such speed it was amazing. Christ could be seen through the hole looking down upon the city of Sarasota.
This was confirmed the next day when Mindi painted a ladder with, what I could only describe as light, shining down from above. The light reminds me of the Lord looking down upon His people in this city and the open heaven over this city. At first I thought the picture would be an artists easel but after Mindi painted the 3rd or 4th rung of the ladder from the bottom I knew what it was an immediately shared with a friend I had shared the vision with the night before."


This was a day of divine opening.  A shift in the spirit over Sarasota that brought the announcment of the extension of reviveFLORDIA, all confirmed through prophetic words and visions.  I went out that morning for a walk with our worship leader, Jon and his wife Amy.  On our journey I saw a gorgeous wrought iron gate.  I felt like the Lord was highlighting the gate to me that day.  Then I saw a picture of a wrought iron gate on the wall at our lunch location.  It looked almost exactly the same.  I also had sketched a gate opening in my journal before I came as I prayed for what I felt the Lord showing me for this area.  Maybe today was the day to paint it!  I also texted my husband earlier that day and asked him to pray about my painting for that night, he sent me a picture of gates in the clouds.  I felt the peace of God through all these confirmations of what I was to paint. "Wrought by His Hands" was what came out that evening.  
“Pass through, pass through the gates! Prepare the way for the people. Build up, build up the highway! Remove the stones. Raise a banner for the nations.” (Isaiah 62:10)
After the service was over, a woman named Fran came up to me with her testimony of the Lord speaking to her about the open gates.  She had a vision of gates, partially open, with water coming through.  In the middle of the gates was something that the Lord had to get rid of, making a way for the gates to open.  She was so in awe of the visual confirmation of what she was shown in the Spirit. Thank you Lord!


Saturday evenings are always so full of energy and excitement during revive.  I felt the prompting to paint a visual of setting sail.  After all, Sarasota is essentially just getting going!  "Catch the Wind" was painted that evening, full of colour and movement to display the wind of revival blowing through this area.  That day I went out on a team and we ended up down by the pier near the sailboats.  Just another confirmation of setting sail.  
The wind blows where it wishes and you hear the sound of it, but do not know where it comes from and where it is going; so is everyone who is born of the Spirit.” (John 3:8)
I don't think walking by the Spirit and learning to listen to the voice of God will ever get old.  It's the most exciting thing to live by.  He guides our steps, gives us direction and is leading us constantly.  We are never alone.  I had the most amazing week at reviveFLORIDA full of adventure and pressing in for new levels.  I'm excited to head back down there in a week.  Stay tuned for more testimonies!
All glory to Him,
**NOTE: If you ever hear the Lord speaking to you through my art or have a testimony to share with me, please email me.  I would love to hear it.

Thursday, 14 January 2016

Guest Blog: T.J. Green - Spiritual Renaissance

Guest Blog: T.J. Green - Spiritual Renaissance

T.J. Green, a pastor and revivalist, and fellow Albertan, guest blogs today, giving us a timely and beautiful writing on a spiritual renaissance we are stepping into through creativity.  So many people overlook their creative identity and how much the world needs us to express what the Lord has given us.  We were all created to create and can influence culture.  Thank you T.J. for a powerful writing that stirred in my heart to dream bigger.  
Please click here to learn more about T.J. Green Ministries and his love for family and the Body of Christ.

Spiritual Renaissance
The world needs another renaissance.  Not just a physical awakening to creativity but a spiritual one.  When I say “NEEDS," I don’t believe we can over emphasis how much the earth is groaning in eager expectation for the manifestations of the sons and daughters of the living God.  Did you know the first thing that God did was create?  The Creator created you in His image to create. I don’t care who you are, you are creative because its in your God given DNA.  You may have even said the statement over yourself that you are not a creative person. I refuse to believe that anyone having the fullness of God living on the inside of Him is not also destined to create.  My hope and prayer in writing this article is that it will stir up the artists, designers, film makers, anthem writers, photographers, poets, and inventors within the Christian community and encourage you to dream and to take risk.  As well, I’d like to charge Christian leaders to create and nurture a free culture where imagination is celebrated.  Religion despises creativity because it loves control and thats exactly what happened in the dark ages.  The age that we are heading into will either be a dark age or an enlightened one and the church’s vote counts.  What I’m praying for is a spiritual age of enlightenment that coincides with a cultural age of enlightenment.
David was a friend of God. Because of his intimacy with the Lord, he was given secrets way ahead of his time.  For instance, lets take Psalms 22 into consideration.  Listen as David writes a song describing in detail how Jesus died on the cross ages before the Romans had invented crucifixion. Psalms 22:16 says, 'They pierce my hands and my feet.  All my bones are on display; people stare and gloat over me.  They divide my clothes among them and cast lots for my garment.'
It seems to me that artists and song writers like David have the God given ability to be ahead of their time.  Just like pioneers are the first to break ground in a new country, so it is ready to build a new society. King David had to sing the anthems of Jesus to prepare the world for His Kingdom to come.  What if the earth is again needing to be prepared for the second coming of Christ? Who will sing the songs and write the anthems to prepare the earth for a whole new world?
Blaze Pascal a French economist said, “Its not those who write the laws that have the greatest impact on society, but those who write the songs.”  I believe the most influential people in the world are not the politicians, but the song writers.  Its the artist who will influence culture and society.   
I remember being so bored with a lot of Christian music and especially worship music growing up.   It seemed incredibly generic, cookie cutter and, dare I say it, stale.  In my later teenage years I worked in the Christian music industry and it was so easy to see whatever trends were big in the world, if we waited for a year or so, we could have the Christian version of that cd on our shelves.  I longed for something original that wasn’t a carbon copy of something already produced.  I don’t think that I was looking for a product. I was looking for an emotional and spiritual connection.  A musical expression that was passionate and genuine is hard to come by these days because there is nothing new under the sun.  There is a real danger of art becoming a mass produced generic swamp. 
When I was introduced to some of IHOP and Bethel’s music it opened up a whole new world of worship to me that I had never before experienced.  In the purity of that movement something amazing was taking place.  Because of their emphasis on a real connection with God the sounds and the song that were coming out of them were incredibly fresh, spiritually inspired, and anointed.  To our great disappointment creative and inspired art doesn’t always inspire creativity but duplicity.  Creativity will be in danger of being reduced to the lowest common denominator if we allow inspiration to be mass produced.  Instead of singing our own God given song sometimes its easier to sing someone else’s revelation.  The world doesn’t need another copy of a Rembrandt. 
Never forget the power of your song.  Can you imagine writing songs so epic that God himself decides to immortalize them into His best seller of all time. The biggest book in the Bible is a song book and we are still singing the anthems in our churches that David wrote thousands of years before Christ.  That should tell us something right there.  Some have speculated that David heard heavenly sounds that he couldn’t reproduce on his instruments so he actually invented new instruments. 
Amos 6:5 'That chant to the sound of the viol, [and] invent to themselves instruments of music like David.'
Even though there is nothing new under the sun I believe there are new pictures, and sounds that have not been released on the earth.  The Bible says in 1 Corinthians 2:9 'What no eye has seen, what no ear has heard, and what no human mind has conceived -- the things God has prepared for those who love him.'
I once had a dream that one of my musical acquaintances who lived in the United States was inventing a guitar pedal that had a mixture of sounds being combined to create an entirely new sound.   In the dream it was like I could see the sound waves bending and vibrating into a beautiful discovery.  The next day I called my friend excited to share my dream with him.  To my delight he informed me that he was in fact working on a new pedal and the patent for his new design was being drawn up that day.  So many inventions that have changed our world have come through people who dare to take risks and dream with God.  
The world needs the Creator to create in you and through you the expressions of heaven. The time is now for a revival of creativity, and for a spiritual renaissance to awaken the world to true love.  There are inventions, art, songs, books, and films that are waiting to be written.  I hope this inspires the psalmist in you to be a friend of God and a pioneer who will understand the power of your song.
- T.J. Green
"Art of Love" by Mindi Oaten

Thursday, 7 January 2016

Colour Trends of the Year - 2016

Colour Trends of the Year - 2016
Well…a New Year is underway. Yippee! A time for new resolutions, new goals, new ideas, everything NEW! What new things are you excited about for 2016? What am I most excited for? NEW COLOUR! I’m like a kid in a candy store when it comes to the new colour trends for the year. Seeing all the new tones, shades and colour combo’s is something I wait for season after season.
Because of my passion and background in the arts and having worked in the interior design/decorating field, I have always paid attention to the colours of the season for influences in my work… all of which Pantone sets the forecast for worldwide.  And the new 2016 Colour Trends Top Ten...(drum roll please)
For those of you who don’t know…Pantone Incorporated, is the world-renowned authority on colour and provider of colour systems and leading technology for the selection and accurate communication of colour across a variety of industries. The PANTONE® name is known worldwide as the standard language for colour communication from designer to manufacturer to retailer to customer.
Many industries, such as graphic arts, the fashion industry & textiles, home & interior design, architecture, paint & consumer markets…. All look to PANTONE for the current “colour forecast” for each season. Basically anything new that comes out in the stores and marketing is most likely influenced by this colour trend.
Pantone comes out with an overall colour palette each year, as well as, the colour of the year…and to my surprise, the first time ever, Pantone combined two colours to make up the colour for 2016:
“A softer take on colour for 2016: For the first time, the blending of two shades – Rose Quartz and Serenity are chosen as the PANTONE Colour of the Year.
As consumers seek mindfulness and well being as an antidote to modern day stresses, welcoming colours that psychologically fulfill our yearning for reassurance and security are becoming more prominent. Joined together, Rose Quartz and Serenity demonstrate an inherent balance between a warmer embracing rose tone and the cooler tranquil blue, reflecting connection and wellness as well as a soothing sense of order and peace.
A symbolic colour selection; a colour snapshot of what we see taking place in our culture that serves as an expression of a mood and an attitude.
Rose Quartz is a persuasive yet gentle tone that conveys compassion and a sense of composure. Serenity is weightless and airy, like the expanse of the blue sky above us, bringing feelings of respite and relaxation even in turbulent times.”
What an amazing blend of two of my favourite colours!  
When God created the world and everything in it, He must have had fun with creating all the colours. An infinite display of variation, tones and range that make up what we see today. He is always speaking and inspiring us through the palette of His creation. I’ve always been fascinated with colours and how they create moods, feelings and emotions. It’s amazing how everyone can be effected differently by the same colours, all because we are made so unique. What colours are you drawn to? And why?  
I am a blue person. I love every shade of blue. Blues and whites are my favorite. They create a sense of calmness and tranquility. I feel like I can breath in spaces with blues.  A breathe of fresh air. I am really excited to play with “serenity” in my colour palette this year. It reminds me of the sky. I am very fortunate to have an amazing view of the Alberta mountain scape and an expansive sky out my windows. I take time everyday to stare at the beauty of the sky and talk to God. This is where I find peace and get most of my inspiration. This is the morning view I frequently see: (taken a week ago)
Again yesterday morning, after I read the new colour report, I took my son to school and this is what we saw:
God painted the sky in the Pantone colours of the year for me to see in person. How awesome! I pulled the car over so we could take a moment to stare, appreciate the colours and just be. (Bryn was late for school, oops!)  It was beautiful. I felt the Holy Spirit refreshing me for a New Year of inspiration and creativity. It’s going to be an awesome year!
Reflecting on the colours of the year, the beauty of them in the sky above, I feel the peace that covers over us from the Lord. The Pantone report mentions the two colours balancing a sense of peace and order.
“For God is not a God of disorder but of peace,” (1 Corinthians 14:33) In a world that seems to be spiralling out of control more rapidly, God brings order and peace. Choosing to live in His presence, you will find peace and order for your soul. He is the refuge in times of weakness and peace in times of anxiety and turmoil.
“But I will sing of your strength, in the morning I will sing of your love; for you are my fortress, my refuge in times of trouble.” (Psalm 59:16)
One of my latest paintings reflects these two colours beautifully, without my knowledge of the trends for 2016. (It’s kind of fun when that happens.) “Restored Life” is based on Ezekiel 37.
This year I am going to focus on paintings I’ve always dreamed of doing. Long over-due ideas that I pass by as simple and ordinary but are full of beauty and life. Sometimes the most ordinary things are what we need to focus on. I feel the Lord speaking to me about keeping it simple this year. Don’t over look the beauty of simplicity. Take the time to just be. And rest well with Him.
I am going to play and experiment with colour – you will most likely see some of these colours – as well as subject matter that speak life to me. I want to create art that is beautiful, refreshing, and encouraging. Art that makes you feel renewed and alive. Art that can “sing a new song” or give you a sense of peace, a breath of fresh air and renewed energy.   Stay tuned for sneak peaks of new works.

 Bless you all as we enter a New Year!  And have fun watching out for these colours when you're out and about...