Thursday, 1 February 2018

Genesis | The Promised Seed

Genesis | The Promised Seed 
"In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth." (Genesis 1:1)
And so it begins… I am well underway with my new assignment, painting each book of the Bible. Our ministry team with Time To Revive, along with others who have joined us online, are studying daily through Scripture for two-years. It sounds like a lot, but it has been the most rewarding study I’ve ever done so far. The Word of God is so rich in layers and is truly alive.
I promised to show and share with you all my journey painting, so let’s begin. Here is my painting for Genesis:
Genesis | “The Promised Seed”
The focus of our study is to see the Messiah woven throughout Scripture. The word from our teaching in Genesis is SEED. Jesus is the ‘promised seed’ to come. God had a plan after the fall of Adam and Eve, to redeem and rescue us from sin and death through a promised seed from the woman. That seed would one day come to crush the head of the snake, defeating the enemy forever. 
How many of you have read the Bible and skimmed through the genealogy lists and names?  I sure did. "Why do I need to know about all those names?" WELL... this study has sure opened my eyes to the strategic details God chose in his plan, a chosen lineage of people to carry the Seed of Christ. He chose humans to carry out his plan, to be participants with him. To me this shows the intimate nature of God, how he wants to walk through life with us. He doesn't just impose on us, but gives us all a choice to partner with him in plans or not to. The choice is ours and so are the consequences. Do we choose to partner and obey him or choose not to and fall into the seed of the serpent?  The answer is up to us.  The painting reflects this garden of people as beautiful flowers, multiplying and flourishing until the Promised Seed arrived. Genesis is a packed book, stories of the lineage that carry the Promised Seed, a promise carried out by the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.
I included the iconic apple to represent Adam and Eve eating of the fruit, disobedient to God after being deceived by the serpent. This choice brought sin into the world, therefore banishing us from the Garden of God. In the core of the apple are seeds, God always had a plan in the core of that apple... a seed would be planted, the Savior, coming through the woman. 
As I prayed for the Lord to show me a picture to represent this book, I was taken into the Garden. The Garden that humanity was always meant to live in. The Lord began to show me that it is still around us, just not in plain sight because we let sin enter the world. We still have access to this Garden here and now, it is through the SEED. Jesus came in the flesh, to die as the ultimate sacrifice for humanity, so we have access back to the Father in the Garden.  
Here is a progression of the painting: 
Here's what I'm realizing more and more as I journey with God: he prepares us for things he has purposed for us ahead of time, in far more detail than we know or recognize. You never know what little things your doing that seem like no big deal - preparing you for an appointed time.
Over the past couple years, I have spent a lot of my studio time painting flowers. (you can check out some of my original flower paintings in the link.)  I have always been drawn to paint them. I think it's because my spirit longs to be back in the Garden. This theme keeps coming up for me and think always will. I had no idea in the start of 2018, I would begin a two-year journey of painting, starting in the Garden of Eden - Genesis.
God prepares us.  
Here's another little fun story: Last October, while I was on a trip to Indiana with our team, I was given a book from a local pastor. He said the Lord told him to give me this book,"Flowers of the Holy Land." At first I thought, cool. I love flowers and to paint them.  But when I held the book, I knew I was given it for a reason.  I heard the Lord say, "you will need this someday."  Little did we both know that a few months later I would be using it as a reference for this project. Many of the flowers I painted in my Genesis painting I used from this book to reference flowers that are native to the Holy Land. 
God prepares us.  
One more story: I was sharing this two-year assignment with another artist friend and while I was explaining it, I told her I felt the project will be a season the Lord wants me to go into the womb, to learn to hear His voice on a whole new level. The word womb just fell out of my mouth, it had a weight on it I can't explain. (I've learned how the Lord speaks to me and knew this was a word he wanted me to take note.) I wrote it down and began to pray he would reveal more to me about what this means.
definition of womb: the place in which anything is formed or produced: the womb of time.
The next day I had lunch with my mom. I was excited to share with her this new assignment. When my mom heard me explain the project, she immediately told me about a Bible study her and my dad were part of back when she was pregnant with me and after I was born - it was called the Bethel Series - a study through the Bible using pictures with each book, exactly what I am going to do. How cool, I had no idea! The time frame of my life that she mentioned was highlighted, pregnancy (in the womb) and a new born. When I left that lunch, sitting in the car, it hit me. I started to cry because the Presence of God was so thick in my car. I heard the Lord say, "I knew in the womb what I had planned for you to do. This is an assignment designed for you from before you were born."  Then Jeremiah 1:5 went through my mind:
"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."
I did a little research on babies in the womb and found an article that explains that some of the most important learning we ever do happens in the womb, before we are born. There was so much more interesting things that article spoke to me about that I won't go into - but I found it so intriguing and understood more of what God was saying to me about this season of painting.
- God prepares us.
God knows all of us before we were born. He has designed each of us for purposes and appointed times. I want to encourage you all that God designed you for a purpose. You are unique and have a unique calling from him and for him on Earth. As you walk with the Lord, he will unfold it as you go. I am blown away daily with things he shows me.  
"For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." (Jeremiah 29:11)
As I close this first post, I want to encourage you all to spend some time with God and ask the Lord to highlight areas in your life he's designed in you from before you were born and throughout your life. The things that were prepared for you to walk out on Earth for his glory. Desires, dreams, talents and characteristics that are uniquely you purposed for assignments. We are all flowers in His beautiful Garden of life. Meant to be a fragrance of Christ for the world to see.
Lord, I thank you for having a perfect plan to bring forth the Promised Seed, Jesus Christ, so we can walk in the Garden right now with you. May we fully walk out and recognize the plans and purposes you have designed in us all, to see the complete Garden story being written in real time in our lives. Thank you for the Seed. 
Until Exodus... Bless you all,

Friday, 5 January 2018

2018 New Year | New Assignment

Happy 2018 everyone! I am so excited to have crossed over into this New Year. This is a year of fresh starts, new doors and digger deeper... for me, beginning with a blank canvas.  I wanted to start off the year by announcing a new creative adventure that I am honoured to be part of. It will be my primary focus for the next two years, until 2020.  

Over the last couple years I have been on an incredible journey, painting with the ministry called Time To Revive. For those of you who have followed some of my adventures, you have seen me traveling throughout the United States, prophetic painting during worship services as we pursue our mission of equipping the saints for the return of Christ in each location. I have traveled to Indiana, Florida, Mississippi, Ohio, Wisconsin, and Texas and even painted on a cruise to the Southern Caribbean. The ministry has grown incredibly over the last couple years, especially in the area of missionaries, who are carrying on the work in their regions as we leave; it’s truly amazing what God is doing.
Our team went back to Indiana (where it all started for me in 2015) this past October. As a team, we felt strongly the Lord had us back in Indiana for a reason, to invest more deeply into a community and learn how to partner with them in discipleship on a long-term basis. Through a series of words from the Lord, dreams and local confirmations, Time to Revive is officially pouring into the Elkhart County in Indiana with a daily study and discussion through the entire Bible.

“[Paul] withdrew from [the crowd] and met separately with the disciples, conducting discussions every day in the lecture hall of Tyrannus. And this went on for two years, so that all the inhabitants of Asia, both Jews and Greeks, heard the message about the Lord.”  
(Acts 19:9b-10)
Our ministry team, along with local Indiana students and some online participants, are going to dive into a daily teaching for two years, from January 1, 2018 – December 31, 2019. We are calling it, reviveSCHOOL. We felt the Lord leading us to go DEEPER into the Word; our focus will be seeing Jesus throughout Scripture. We will still be investing into new cities as the Holy Spirit leads, but we know that God is calling us to go deeper at the same time.
So what’s my new assignment?
I am going to paint each book of the Bible, 66 paintings over the next two years. I am being challenged and stretched to portray the Messiah in each book of the Bible through creativity. I am super excited and also a little nervous. It’s a big undertaking. But I know when the Lord has a plan; He is always faithful to us to complete it.
"But thanks be to God, who in Christ always leads us in triumphal procession, and through us spreads the fragrance of the knowledge of him everywhere." (2 Corinthians 2:14)
Join me in the Garden.
I will be writing blogs over the next two years about my journey painting through Scripture. As some of you know, I love painting flowers. It’s always been a subject I enjoy painting, this project adds more layers as to why I love them so much… my spirit longs to walk with the Lord in the Garden. It’s a place I commune with God, in his presence, in the Garden of life. (I had to include this link if you want to listen, Elvis Presley sings about it so well..."In the Garden")
So I am starting the New Year in the Garden, beginning in Genesis. I have no formula, no set plan on what I will be writing about, just going one painting at a time and writing as the Lord leads. I will mainly be showing you the creative process and journey of what I'm painting. Please join me on this adventure and invite others who would be interested on an artists journey through the Bible.

Join my email list on this contact page at the bottom for updates and blogs.
Join my instagram @minoaten (as I sprinkle photos of the project throughout my daily life)
You can also sign up here for Time to Revive emails and updates as well.

I am going to leave you with a painting I did called "Fresh Start." Feels appropriate as we enter a New Year. 
(On Sale Now!)

I pray you are blessed and hungry to dive deeper into the Word of God as we begin this new year.