Tuesday, 30 May 2017

my dandelion prayer | Guest Blog by Janae Werner

Guest Blog by my cousin Janae Werner

my dandelion prayer.

So this is a blog about something that hasn't happened yet. But I believe in my heart that it will. And I believe God said to me that if I write the beginning, He will write the ending. Here is the beginning of the miracle I believe is yet to come, written on April 1, 2017. And I can't wait to see how God writes it all out...
One night last week I was lying in bed and couldn't sleep. While I was lying there thinking about the day, an overwhelming sense that I was supposed to pray for healing came over me. I couldn't get it out of my head. I just kept feeling like God was asking me to trust Him with healing my body from surgery - supernaturally. I've been there before...He healed me six years ago from a sickness that kept me down for a year. I've experienced what it feels like to pray for healing, actually experience the healing, and then walk away healed. So it's not a new thing for me. But this time, it felt way bigger. And I couldn't put my finger on it. 
 50 days later - May 21...
I knew I was supposed to write down what I did, when I did, and I believe that now is the time that God is helping write the ending to this particular story. Fifty days later. I don't know why I thought it was just a physical healing or why I felt it was only for me. Ever had that problem? When you learn a lesson at some point in life, but still are shocked when it circles back around and gets you a second time? After all, God and I had been down that road before...I had been physically healed years ago. But the lesson in that for me, was where the real healing was...and if I was totally honest with myself, the real gut wrenching healing came not only in my physical body - but in my spirit. For me, This actually started about 20 years ago when I began forming who and what I thought I'd be. But it wasn't who God had planned for me to be and so He had to start scrapping away the stuff that was keeping me from being healed on the inside.
So my prayer on the night of April 1, as it turns out, wasn't just for a physical healing. It wasn't even just for me. It was for the same deep spiritual kind of healing I had experienced six years earlier. And so here we go - my dandelion prayer...
It's funny how when you finally get to the place of understanding sacrifice and truly giving yourself up for God, you think it's done. But it doesn't just end there. Maybe funny isn't the right word...ironic? Nope. Frustrating? I'm not sure what the best word is...maybe painful. But that's the lesson God is teaching me lately - Okay, you've said you died to yourself, now what? Well, let's start cleaning some things out. 
He started with the word "imitation". Then "broken reflections". Some really hard stuff. So why not write about it, right? I'd rather not, actually, but God said otherwise. So today is another day when I open up the pages to my story and turn to the chapter that's marked with a lot of tears and is torn in places from frustration. But it's one where God is victorious and the writing ends in hope...
When God asked me to write my story four years ago, I really fought it. The one thing I did manage to do, however, was figure out a title. Huge accomplishment right?! Not so much, I know, but that seemed to be the easiest, least "commitment" kind of step Incould take. So I wrote down "My Dandelion Prayer." It came from a good friend who used to say I was like a dandelion blowing in the wind...thinking I could fly, oblivious to the world around me, happy to be above the earth, happy to be floating wherever the wind blew. And I really loved that image...because to me it spoke of freedom and trust in the Lord. Rising above all the junk on the earth and living in a place where God was in charge of the direction I went - healed, whole and happy. I never did anything with it, just wrote it down and tucked it away, completely forgetting about it. Until one morning during reviveTX, when God called me to simply sit at the altar and listen. Worship and listen. Those were the instructions I got and so that's what I did.
That's when He showed me a beautiful picture that came with a profound message. As I was kneeling at the altar, eyes closed, I saw a dandelion being held delicately in the hands of the Lord. The dandelion was cupped ever so carefully in His large, gentle hands. I remember feeling so impressed that such large hands could hold something so delicate without doing any damage or causing a single seed to fall. I asked the Lord what it meant and I felt Him say that this dandelion was reviveTX - that He was holding it carefully in His hands until just the right moment. When the time was right, that He would blow - whoosh - and the seeds would scatter across the metroplex. It was one of those images that was so powerful it caused me to pause in wonder. Wow. Just one breath and everything could change. It felt big to me. Really big. 

I shared the vision with my cousin Mindi and we both had the same thought...God wanted something done with this image, this word that He had given me. Out of that conversation came one of my favorite paintings that Mindi has ever created. A dandelion with the seeds beginning to blow in the wind. 
I didn't realize that there had been a prophetic word spoken over Dallas at some point this year referencing Reunion Tower, the big rotating ball in the middle of Dallas, also known as the Dandelion. So now my attention was on Reunion Tower and I felt it important to go there to pray - mostly out of curiosity as to why the Lord had shown me the dandelion.
The timing never seemed to work out and weeks passed by until, finally one day, a group of us were given the opportunity to go. I was really excited. I felt like God was ready to show me something really significant, reveal something important, life-changing. So I went into it really expectant. As we walked around the ball and looked out over the city, I started talking to God. The question I had on my heart at that moment was: Lord, why is the church not coming? I asked it, in a pleading, whining kind of way. The answer came both with swift words and in a picture that was laid out in front of me.
 I looked at the building across from the tower, covered in mirrored windows and heard in my heart the Lord say, They are an imitation. A reflection of the world around them and not of Me. Whoa. That caught my attention, especially when I saw what the reflection of the tower looked like. The instantly recognized Reunion Tower suddenly looked mangled and messy, nothing like the original version and that's when it hit me square between the eyes: I was no different and that was the message God wanted me there to hear.

I had an idea of what I wanted to be and how I wanted to appear. Innocent enough at the start, but eventually it was something that became a trap. I kept pushing toward an image and a goal that was my own, but it wasn't who God had planned for me to be. This image of the tower"s reflection was a perfect demonstration of what I, like the church, had become. Not intentionally, but over time, conformed to the ways of the world...putting all the mirrored pieces perfectly in place to create the best version. But what I didn't realize was that it was, in fact, not the best version of me - instead it was the version warped by the expectations that others have for me, the version that the world expects from me. It wasn't the best version because it wasn't the original - the version that, when looking in the mirror, Christ is looking back.

I really think that's where we are at - the church, individuals, me. Broken reflections and imitations. I know it's a lot of work to fix, but I really don't want to look in the mirror at that mess anymore. I want to look in the mirror and see Jesus. So I'm going to let the scrapping happen, the broken pieces be put back in place, the healing begin. It results in a lot of tears, letting go of dreams I thought were mine, and learning a different way of doing things. But in all of that, there's an incredible freedom...to be exactly who God created me to be and, so far, it's a whole lot more rewarding.
 I still believe this vision is also for the church in Dallas as a whole. And I believe it's going to require healing in each of us as individuals before the seeds can be blown to the wind and a church or a city can change. I believe that's why God showed me the dandelion that day on the altar. So that I would go to the tower to get a true picture of what the city really looks like. And to be encouraged that no matter what, the Lord is holding us, ever so gently in His hands, until we are ready - whoosh - to soar into what He is calling us to.
 And so, while I thought what I was writing in April was just for me, it turns out it is also for a hurting church and for the city. We're holding on so tightly - thinking the flower looks better full from the outside, no missing seeds. But what does it look like when the seed is cast? What I believe God was telling me - is that it looks like freedom, healing and life. Letting go of an image and of control. A true picture of Jesus in me. A spiritual healing. And anywhere from 50-170 new brilliant yellow flowers scattered across the earth.
 What if the seeds of the dandelion in the vision God gave me represent  of all of us? That we can't be released until we are free...from any pre-conceived identity we have of ourselves. When we are finally cleaned out of all the stuff that creates that broken reflection. That's when we are healed and set free.  
 I know the miracle ending in this story might not even seem like an ending. And maybe it isn't an ending? Maybe the miracle is that it's actually a beginning. An end to my idea of my own identity and the beginning of my identity in Christ...exactly the ending God had in mind - the revelation that God is doing something in me. He asked me to pray for healing that night and then gave me exactly what I asked for. He didn't write it out the way I thought He would, but instead wrote it out in the way I needed. A better ending than I could have ever asked for. My Dandelion Prayer.
The LORD gave me this message: “I knew you before I formed you in your mother’s womb. Before you were born I set you apart and appointed you as my prophet to the nations.” - Jeremiah 1:4-5
"So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them." - Genesis 1:27
You can follow my cousin Janae and read about her journey here

Wednesday, 1 February 2017

New Original Art | New Beginnings

Announcing a new mini series I painted in January.  I felt the Lord nudging me to start off the year with a picture of new beginnings, the hope of promises to come and to learn how to rest in Him through the waiting.
See, I am doing a new thing!
    Now it springs up; do you not perceive it?
I am making a way in the wilderness
    and streams in the wasteland. (Isaiah 43:19)
I love eggs, nests and feathers.  There is something so comforting and inspiring about them. Gentle and quiet. The eggs represent new beginnings, new hope and the anticipation of what's coming. New things! Many of us have big dreams and promises from the Lord.  Wether its a prophetic word or a deep seeded dream of yours, the Lord wants to birth something new.  I feel we are in a new season of time in the spirit and God has new assignments and promises for people in this hour.  They are like these eggs, and it's a matter of time before they hatch and come to life!
He who was seated on the throne said, “I am making everything new!” Then he said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.” (Rev. 21:5)
I have had many prophetic words fulfilled already in my life, but still many I'm hanging on to.  I felt the Lord say to re-visit those words, dreams and promises.  He is faithful and has the perfect timing for those to come to pass.  He gently reminded me it's a time to rest in the waiting.  Rest in His protection and comfort.  
The feathers are a perfect reminder of God's protection over us.  In Psalm 91, he says he will cover us with his feathers where we can find refuge.  What a beautiful image of protection. I love how God describes his mighty protection, by comparing it to one of the most gentle, light-weight things on earth, a feather.  
Psalm 91
Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High
    will rest in the shadow of the Almighty.
I will say of the Lord, “He is my refuge and my fortress,
    my God, in whom I trust.”
Surely he will save you
    from the fowler’s snare
    and from the deadly pestilence.
He will cover you with his feathers,
    and under his wings you will find refuge;
    his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart.
You will not fear the terror of night,
    nor the arrow that flies by day,
nor the pestilence that stalks in the darkness,
    nor the plague that destroys at midday.
A thousand may fall at your side,
    ten thousand at your right hand,
    but it will not come near you.
You will only observe with your eyes
    and see the punishment of the wicked.
If you say, “The Lord is my refuge,”
    and you make the Most High your dwelling,
no harm will overtake you,
    no disaster will come near your tent.
For he will command his angels concerning you
    to guard you in all your ways;
they will lift you up in their hands,
    so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.
You will tread on the lion and the cobra;
    you will trample the great lion and the serpent.
“Because he loves me,” says the Lord, “I will rescue him;
    I will protect him, for he acknowledges my name.
He will call on me, and I will answer him;
    I will be with him in trouble,
    I will deliver him and honor him.
With long life I will satisfy him
    and show him my salvation.
The nest is an image of rest.  It's a place of shelter for the eggs until they are ready to hatch.  Where the young find safety from harm until they are ready to fly.  That's how I picture God.  He births things in us through his promises, shelters and love us, protects us from harm, takes us through a process of growth, then releases us when we are ready to fly.  
I am currently in a season of rest.  I know some big things coming and the Lord told me to rest in Him to be strengthen before the hatch.  Some things are on a calendar in the natural and I know are coming, other things are prophetic words spoken into my life that I have no idea when the time will come, but I have faith in these promises from the Lord. In the rest I will find peace and be prepared and strengthen for the assignments to come. 
I pray for each and everyone who is holding onto promises from the Lord. Re-visit them if you've tossed them aside.  They were placed in your heart for a reason.  Trust in his timing and perfect will for your life.  We say "Yes and Amen" to all His promises.
For no matter how many promises God has made, they are "Yes" in Christ. And so through him the "Amen" is spoken by us to the glory of God. (1 Corinthians 1:20)

Thursday, 19 January 2017

A unique Valentine's Day gift she won't forget | Give the gift of art

Ahhh...Valentine's Day, the sweetest day to celebrate love.  Who doesn't love a special gift?  Try something a little different this year and give the gift of art.  It's a timeless gift that won't wilt, get eaten or tarnish.  It can be enjoyed all year long and bring a splash of colour and joy into the room.  Sometimes all you need is a little art to lift the spirit.
Receive 20% OFF my entire collection of original artfine art prints on canvas and notecard collection. Order now to get them in time for this special day.
Here are a few of my favourite suggestions for that special loved one, friend, mother, grandmother, daughter, co-worker, teacher... just about anyone can enjoy art!
Give this fun, energetic pair of mini original paintings, perfect to brighten anyone's day!
"Pop of Colour" & "Colour with Stripes" | 6x6 inches | acrylic on canvas
For something a little more romantic in tone, try this beautiful trio:
"Violet Fragrance" "Lavender Infused" & "Touch of Romance" | 6x6 inches | acrylic on canvas
For something with a little more impact, this piece is full of life and love, especially if she loves a good cup of tea or coffee!
"Cup and Lemons" | 18x24 inches | acrylic on canvas
One more suggestion is a painting is full of "Elegance" 30x40 inches | acrylic on canvas

For a more affordable option, give the gift of fine art prints.  They are printed on artistic matte canvas and look like the real thing!  My top picks for Valentine's Day would be my mini floral series, they will be fresh all year long.
I have many other collections of fine art prints to browse if your interested. Click here
Give the gift of artful stationery or perfect to write your own Valentine messages.  Pair with a beautiful pen, a wonderful gift for teachers, friends or anyone who loves to encourage and write to others. 

Nothing is more special than a one-of-a-kind piece of art.  Keep in mind you can always commission me for your own unique work of art.  
I have painted portraits of wedding bouquets, pet portraits, beautiful scenery and skies just to name a few.  This is something I work with you on; collaborate with an idea, size, colours, etc.  
Time is limited before Valentine's Day, but I could do a few if interested!  This is something you can email me @ mindi@mindioaten.com to inquire about.  
Wishing you all a wonderful day and appreciate each and everyone who has supported me.  My prayer with art is that encourages and uplifts those who see. That it speaks to your spirit in a way words cannot.  
Happy Pre-Valentine's Day!