I woke up early this morning to start writing because it was such an incredible night last night. I always have a hard time sleeping after being in the presence of God praising with the community it just gives me so much energy. Thank you Hope Worship and Lutheran Church of Hope for the opportunity for the art to be apart of this amazing service. There is some amazingly talented and gifted people on our worship and production team who brought the noise!!! It was loud!!! It was amazing!!! There was real transformational power and a sweet love overflowing in and throughout hearts onto that canvas. Amazing energy from everyone in that room!! It’s a beautiful thing to witness people praising God who has done everything for everyone!
Down below is Richard Rohr’s daily meditation. I read this the morning of worship night just hours before I was scheduled to start painting live in the midst of our community singing together. I printed it, cut it out and glued it onto the canvas during worship night. This is what I’m talking about when the sneaky Spirit shows up. I love it!!
Richard Rohr’s Daily Meditations for Nov 19, 2022
Faith-rooted organizers Alexia Salvatierra and Peter Heltzel have participated in many movements for social transformation. They recommend singing together as a simple but profound practice that has sustained many movements of the past and can nourish our efforts of love and justice today:
We all have a song to sing, and for the movement for justice to grow and be successful, everyone needs to sing their song. Music came to life in the protests and picket lines, uniting activists in one common spirit. Learning the music of the movement is thus an important way of sustaining the struggle, as music encapsulates a creative and prophetic spirituality. . .
The church is, in a way, a repository of these spiritual songs that feed our soul. Every week when we go to church we bring the pains and promises, hurts and hopes of the week into the service, but there is something about singing that goes to the heart of the matter and to the depths of the soul. The physical act of singing together, with its healing vibrations through our body, actually comforts our bodies. And the texts we sing are amplified in our hearts and minds by the melodies the composers have offered us. It is no wonder that singing played such a profound role in the civil rights movement; it offers physical, mental and spiritual comfort in a communal setting, sustaining the weary and encouraging the worn.
Ever since the first worship night at my church in May 2022 I’ve been feeling this intense pull from God like this unavoidable calling to go deeper down into the unknown. God has been inviting me the last few years to come a little closer by letting go of control. I have been hiding from that burning bush! Because it freaks me out and makes me highly uncomfortable so that is why I knew this is something I needed to do. If I want to grow my relationship with God and actually let go. Let go by having no plan when I go up to paint and really surrender it all to God in that moment. Prophetic art!! Free stylin’ with the Holy Spirit! I’m so blessed that our worship team said yes to having me create live art for this night. The art tied to scripture saved my life so I’m feeling called to share my journey through the art. However God wants.
The weeks leading up to worship night is where a lot of the transformation was happening inside my heart and mind. I wrestled with satan even right up until I left the house to head to church. The devil will show up especially when I’m bout to go throw down my heart and soul for God. I want to share with people this love that continuously pulls me from the darkness. Even while I was painting on stage he tried to make me doubt myself. There has been so many times the devil has tried to stop me from painting live especially this time having no plan. He really tried to make me doubt that anything useful could come out of a sloppy mess. But God can and he will and he did!!! Regardless of what the outcome is God can transform hearts. It truly is the journey and all of the in between times is when God is doing some deep work in our hearts.
Prophetic art and worship art is a visual experience where you have an encounter of prophesy. God can use everything and anyone to carry his message to whoever needs to receive it. Prophetic art is a gift from God straight from the heart of the artist. Something supernatural happens when we do anything and invite the Holy Spirit to take control. People who witness the surrender and the outpouring of the Holy Spirit can have their own unique encounter which can strengthen their faith and relationship with God. It’s amazing how God will wrap multiple messages meant for many people in one work of art or in a song. For art is not just a product to be purchased but and encounter to be experienced with our creator.
Usually when I receive the vision from God we start to form a plan of execution. I draw it up on my iPad and play with colors I’m being drawn to at the time. Sometimes I plan what my first strokes are going to be and how the art will unfold. I love to do a lot of research about other art that has been created around the theme or the Bible verse that worship service is based around. I read several interpretations from scholars or other churches and different translations in the Bible. I also have reference photos to refer to sometimes. So basically I expose my self to a lot of information and imagery then a pretty good plan emerges. I also try to time it just perfectly so it’ll be finished by the end of the hour. But it’s all too much control and I feel God drawing me into a more free spirit lead process. I love being immersed in this whole process of an always changing process. It’s always evolving as I grow and learn. And just so you know it never goes quite as planned and that’s ok! It’s not about me or my plan but about Gods plan. I’m learning to love the unknown and this Spirit lead journey. I’m trading in my anxiety for excitement!! And I’m trading in my doubt for trust!!
God is absolutely working through all my past paintings but I feel like God has been slowly preparing me and helping me release my tight grip that I have on the outcome. To loosen up…in all areas of my life! But my ego wants to control everything. I always get really nervous the days leading up to the event. Especially for this worship night. I’ve been asking why? This is where I talk to God a whole lot more and tell the devil to be quiet! I read the Bible, I create, listen to music and focus on my breathing…I take a lot of deep breathes when the lies creep in! This past couple weeks I said over and over “I trust you God” “I trust you God”! Each time I repeat that I feel peace ease my nerves and my sweaty palms start to dry. My fear used to make me nauseous before I would go on stage but by continually soaking myself in God‘s word my trust is growing which relaxes me. I still get nervous but more excited!!
God has been working through some things in my heart and mind the last 5 years. We’ve been working through these anxious feelings and what’s the root. The Ego! That’s really what it all boils down to. The ego wants it to be perfect and pleasing and get a lot of attention and make it all about us. But there is freedom in the liberated! We can begin to transcend and rise above our negative attitudes or thoughts and stop letting our past pain dominate our mind. For me the art connected with God has absolutely transformed my life. Not just the art but putting God in the middle of everything in my life. My coming and going and all the people I pass along the way I want to share what God has done and what’s he’s doing. I want people to know Jesus when they get to know me. I want to help bring heaven down to earth and experience the gospel on the ground. So I follow Jesus and get to know him so I can be just like him. Then I share what I learn.
God is always moving we just have to be present in his presence. Slow down, stop striving and let go of perfectionism. Seriously sit still and focus on your breathing. Every time you breath in say “I love you” like god is saying that to you and when you breath out say “I love you” like you are saying that to God. Can’t remember where I read this mantra but it helps calm my overactive mind. Gratitude will change your attitude every time. I am deeply thankful for the path I’m on with God and everything he has revealed to me. I’m extremely thankful for all the people he has put in my life and what he has in store for us. It’s amazing to keep witnessing the power of Gods love transform peoples lives.
I pray we open our hearts daily to the possibilities that God has in store for us. I pray you figure out your gift and then share it with the world.
The Hebrew word in the middle is Yahweh meaning “I am”, “Lord”, “to be”, God of Israel. Yahweh is mentioned 6,800 times in the Hebrew Bible.
I’m leaving the interpretation open for everyone to experience their own. I’m actually still digesting what happened last night and the weeks leading up to it. I did not have a plan of an end image but I did have a ton of materials, paints, tools, stencils and Parabola magazine cut outs of words and imagery. I used pastel chalks, acrylic paint, spray paint, Elmer’s glue and up-cycled magazine that I mix paint on. I felt completely surrendered and the Holy Spirit took over! Praise God for it all!!
I mixed my paints on two 11” x 14” canvases that will be going to families in Tijuana, Mexico. Each piece of artwork will reflect one home built by monies raised during West Des Moines Lutheran Church of Hope Advent Project: “Homes of Hope.” The artwork will then go to in Tijuana, Mexico, for final installation in each home that Hope builds.
God moved me to start these paintings during worship night so they’ll be soaked with Gods word, prayer, worship music and all the energy from the community singing and praising God together!
Thank you for taking time to see what God is doing!! Because he is alive and he is always working through it all!