Taste of Hope 2021

Published by


The Taste of Hope was a beautiful glimpse of what heaven is like. People from all walks of life came together to celebrate Jesus. The heat and humidity did not keep people from coming out Saturday July 24, 2021 to the Water Works park, Lauridsen Amphitheater in Des Moines, Iowa, USA. The Lutheran Church of Hope threw their annual summer festival that wraps up 2 weeks of Vacation Bible School. There was free food, food trucks, games, bouncy houses, make and take art, live art, several music artists, of course Jon Mero and an incredible pyrotechnic show to end the night. Thank you to all the volunteers and Hope staff for working long hours to make it happen and the 10,000+ of our community that came out to enjoy!

Meet my brother Ryan Jacobs!! We were invited to paint live during the 5 o’clock worship service during the Taste of Hope. I am so unbelievably thankful for the opportunity to paint beside my brother for such an amazing event. God works through all of us with the gifts He’s given us. Spreading Gods word through creating art alongside my brother while our Pastor was preaching and the worship band was rocking out to an incredible crowd really did feel like heaven. What a gift! Thank you God!

Couldn’t be more thankful my brother could fly back to be here for this. He was just back here two weeks prior to celebrate our parents 50th wedding anniversary. Thankful for more time together! He used to live in Des Moines and regularly attended the Lutheran Church of Hope for many years but just recently move to Colorado. His family stays connected by tuning in on Sunday’s via HopeOnline to worship together. Ryan discovered his gift for the arts at a young age and attended college for graphic arts. We have never really painted together before this opportunity so it has definitely brought us closer together on a deeper spiritual level. This was his first time painting live which is a whole other world when your used to taking your time on a work of art. Usually we get about an hour to create during the worship service but because we were at the Taste of Hope with several other music artist still performing after the sermon we were able to just keep painting. That was such a treat not even sure how long we painted maybe another hour. I felt blessed to be able to walk beside Ryan through the entire creative process. It was transformational to witness him let go and Trust God! Having my big brother literally next to me on stage eased a lot of my nerves this time around. Every time I’m called to share this gift my faith is absolutely strengthened. It’s amazing how fear trys to creep into our mind and make us believe all sorts of lies. Doubt is the enemies best weapon but Gods love is stronger and his grace has us covered!! So be Brave!

“Everything you’ve ever wanted is sitting on the other side of fear.” Consider that for a moment: to get what you want, you just need to get past your fear.

George Addair

Or what if we focused on everything that God wants for us is on the other side of fear. Letting go and trusting 100% you will be free to become everything your meant to be, the way God designed you to truly live. Everything great is on the other side of fear. Fear is the enemies way of trying to separate us from God. God is Love. And love is everything in this life, way more precious than gold. It starts in our own heart. Start by loving yourself. Then love your neighbor as yourself.

“Jesus replied, “‘You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. A second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ The entire law and all the demands of the prophets are based on these two commandments.””
‭‭Matthew‬ ‭22:37-40‬ ‭NLT‬‬

When you find that L❤️VE….SHARE it WITH the WORLD!!!!!

What is heaven like…

We were given the scripture a few weeks before the event so we could pray and meditate on Gods word that would be preached about in the sermon. What is heaven like…Revelation 22:1-5.

“Then the angel showed me a river with the water of life, clear as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb. It flowed down the center of the main street. On each side of the river grew a tree of life, bearing twelve crops of fruit, with a fresh crop each month. The leaves were used for medicine to heal the nations. No longer will there be a curse upon anything. For the throne of God and of the Lamb will be there, and his servants will worship him. And they will see his face, and his name will be written on their foreheads. And there will be no night there—no need for lamps or sun—for the Lord God will shine on them. And they will reign forever and ever.”
‭‭Revelation‬ ‭22:1-5‬ ‭NLT‬‬

So many ideas and visuals immediately start rushing through my mind as soon as I read the scripture. It was pretty challenging creating artwork depicting heaven which is incomprehensible to our limited human mind. I read the scripture many times, meditated and prayed that God would work through us.

We both prepped our canvases a few days before the event putting our base color on with some sky and river highlights.

Stencils and spray paint really helped get some detail on the canvas in a short amount of time.

Artist Statements

“Wondrous Grace”

This was such an honor and blessing to be part of this wonderful event. To paint on stage with my sister was amazing! She helped me recognize the courage & strength received by leaning into God.
My depiction of Heaven for this painting was the connection between Earth and Heaven. The River divides the two halves with Earth on the left and Heaven on the right. The stone like images on the left represents the people on Earth moving closer to Heaven. The images on the right representing the Souls praying for the people on Earth. I felt the starry background gave me a sense Heaven being larger then we can imagine. Plus, it tied in nicely with VBS.

– Ryan Jacobs


What is heaven like…Revelation 22:1-5. I am inspired daily by the view from our house that sits on a hilltop in the heart of the heartland. Is this heaven? No, it’s Iowa!

I feel close to God when I’m sitting in the country surrounded by raw nature. Blessed by the beautiful ever changing colors of the rollings hills and rainbow skies. Whisking wind moves the trees to dance and clap to the buzzing beat of the crickets and tree frogs singing. As the summer sun sets everything it’s glorious rays touch has a golden glow. When people come out to share this gift that’s when time stands still and it truly feels like heaven. But it’s not about the place even though it’s incredibly beautiful. This is all temporary. It’s about the journey that has got us to where we are right now and all the people we find ourselves walking with.

You won’t be able to say, ‘Here it is!’ or ‘It’s over there!’ For the Kingdom of God is already among you. NLT, Luke 17:21.

The kingdom of God isn’t a spiritual event that happens at some point when God feels we are ready. It’s right here and now, so you don’t have to wait for it. By following Jesus we learn how to express what is already inside us. Love. Praise God in perfect harmony.

The way to heaven, to peace, love, joy, mercy and grace is through a personal relationship with God made possibly by the sacrifice of His son. Jesus is the way, the truth and the life. We are all called to help make heaven more crowded so…Go and Share the good news! Gods kingdom is among us! I think it’s crucial for us to dream and imagine what heaven will be like maybe we’ll start living the way we imagine it. What a gift to paint alongside my brother for the Taste of Hope festival. Deeply grateful for this transformational experience! Thanks be to God!!

-Renae Zanella

Pages: 1 2 3

Leave a Reply

Previous Post
Next Post