Creative Friday: A Visual Feast – Prophetic Artist Karen Martin

Welcome to 1st Friday and a Visual Feast. This blog, riversofeden1, flows in creative expression in Christ. For me that flows through words, stories, and prophetic insights. For others, like Karen Martin, creativity flows through art. Enjoy!

Karen Martin – Lover of Jesus, Artist, Music Teacher

For an artist, inspiration comes from many sources. I can see a beautiful flower, a pond filled with Koi or some simple pots. My vision immediately focuses on the beauty of God’s creation in many different forms. This stirs my spirit to create.

 

My abstract works are often painted during a church service. I focus on Jesus and ask Him to guide me in what He wants me to paint that day. At that point, I can feel both excited and overwhelmed when I realize that the whole congregation may be watching me through the process. I often ask myself “What if nothing of His glorious nature shows up on this canvas?” Then I realize that I have to get out-of-the-way and remember that He will guide my hand and my heart. I paint and trust.

 

Other times, God challenges me to feel His heart for certain issues. I focus on abortion or human trafficking. This stirs up my emotions for some time and then at some point, an image emerges in the conscience part of my brain that reveals the issue to me in visual form. “How do I do this?” is often the cry of my heart. I feel incapable of painting something so gloriously revealed with my existing skill set. So, the challenge is on. How do I paint what I see in my mind?

 

Art seems to be in my creative DNA in Christ. I started painting as a child. My creative pursuit of art is enhanced by many various passions and hobbies in my life. Marriage, family, teaching, acting, and music – they all enhance my work.

Painting is always a struggle for me to this day…but it is a glorious struggle where I place this gift in God’s hands and both of us flow together in creating something that will bring Him glory. He is the ultimate artist, isn’t He?

Image

 

Karen Martin
Follow Me On Instagram: Renwowart

Beauty – The Master Craftsman At Work

The work of the master craftsman (Jesus) flowed through the artisans to build the tabernacle. The glory of the tabernacle revealed the beauty and majesty of God. My passion direction right now is the restoration of not only creativity to the church but also beauty.

Moses told the Israelites, “See, God has selected Bezalel son of Uri, son of Hur, of the tribe of Judah. 31 He’s filled him with the Spirit of God, with skill, ability, and know–how for making all sorts of things, 32 to design and work in gold, silver, and bronze; 33 to carve stones and set them; to carve wood, working in every kind of skilled craft. 34 And he’s also made him a teacher, he and Oholiab son of Ahisamach, of the tribe of Dan. 35 He’s gifted them with the know–how needed for carving, designing, weaving, and embroidering in blue, purple, and scarlet fabrics, and in fine linen. They can make anything and design anything. (Exodus 35:30-35 Message)

These artisans were chosen by God, filled with the Spirit, and followed the blueprints of the Lord given to Moses to build a habitation for His glory. Through the excellence of their anointing, they created something beautiful under heaven’s directive.

John 1:14All of this is now fully realized in the very person of Christ. He tabernacles among us full of grace and truth and beauty. His life was a beautiful expression of the Father’s glory. And now, after His resurrection and ascension….He lives in us by His Spirit. What is that saying? Quite simply. Our lives are the creative expression of Christ Jesus in the earth, fashioned after the blueprint of heaven, guided by Holy Spirit to show forth His glory in the earth through our lives. The Master Craftsman forms and fashions us according to the blueprint of heaven.

And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth. (John 1:14 NKJVS)

As He dwells among us, He tabernacles with us, in union with us, in our salvation. We are carriers of His glory full of grace, divine creative expression and beauty in a life sold out for Jesus Christ. We are walking habitations of His glory, a living tabernacle displaying the beauty of the Lord through our lives. We are creative. We also hunger deep inside for beauty in our lives.

Each of us, uniquely expressing a life of beauty through a life lived in the Spirit of God. This creative beauty flows through our hands, our mouth, our minds, our hearts to raise up a habitation of His glory so the world will stop and see the glory of the Lord manifested in the earth……..through us. Beauty? It’s essential.

Debra

In Christ,
Debra
About Me
Rivers of Eden Ministry

Now You See Him, Now You Don’t – Faith and Imagination

7711866066_9ffdaf3078_zFaith infused with imagination is essential to my life in Christ. How do I engage with Scripture in a deeper way? Faith and Imagination.

I remember one time being so frustrated while reading the Bible that I literally threw it on the floor, laid out flat, and put my forehead right on top of the verse that I was reading. I not only wanted to read the word, I wanted to live and experience the word. I am still that way. I want to live, move and have by being in the living Word of God, Jesus Christ.

I personally engage with Scripture on many levels.

When I study, I learn context, word meanings, and cultural background. This is a solid foundation.

When I meditate, it’s an entirely different thing. I enter an open door of faith with imagination empowered by Holy Spirit. Holy Spirit opens a door to revelation, vision, and experience. I see, hear, and experience the Word in unique ways.

The Bible is not irrelevant, archaic and obscure. As a preacher/speaker I choose words of spirit and life to stir the heart and touch the imagination so that my listeners want more and more and more. From what I can see about my life, this is true for when we minister in prophetic preaching, I see lives touched and transformed.

That is my journey, to creatively express the depth and beauty of the Living Word, Jesus Christ.

Let me give you an example as quickly as I can. Please don’t opt out. Follow me in this okay?

This morning, as I was in prayer and worship, God dealt with some issues of shame in my life. At the end of this session of praying in tongues and listening to Holy Spirit, I entered a new place of freedom. God loosed my heart after years of struggling with this. Then God spoke to my heart.

“Much of who you ARE is still tied to the past. I will reveal what was lost as to redeem the time NOW and in the FUTURE. We will walk together out of this past into the future. I am going to reveal a new way of walking with Me.”

During this time, I immediately thought of the disciples on the Road to Emmaus.

I Drove A Lonely RoadThe Road to Emmaus

That same day two of them were walking to the village Emmaus, about seven miles out of Jerusalem. They were deep in conversation, going over all these things that had happened. In the middle of their talk and questions, Jesus came up and walked along with them. But they were not able to recognize who he was.

He asked, “What’s this you’re discussing so intently as you walk along?” They just stood there, long–faced, like they had lost their best friend. Then one of them, his name was Cleopas, said, “Are you the only one in Jerusalem who hasn’t heard what’s happened during the last few days?”

He said, “What has happened?” They said, “The things that happened to Jesus the Nazarene. He was a man of God, a prophet, dynamic in work and word, blessed by both God and all the people. Then our high priests and leaders betrayed him, got him sentenced to death, and crucified him. And we had our hopes up that he was the One, the One about to deliver Israel. And it is now the third day since it happened. But now some of our women have completely confused us. Early this morning they were at the tomb and couldn’t find his body. They came back with the story that they had seen a vision of angels who said he was alive. Some of our friends went off to the tomb to check and found it empty just as the women said, but they didn’t see Jesus.”

Then he said to them, “So thick–headed! So slow–hearted! Why can’t you simply believe all that the prophets said? Don’t you see that these things had to happen, that the Messiah had to suffer and only then enter into his glory?” Then he started at the beginning, with the Books of Moses, and went on through all the Prophets, pointing out everything in the Scriptures that referred to him.

They came to the edge of the village where they were headed. He acted as if he were going on but they pressed him: “Stay and have supper with us. It’s nearly evening; the day is done.” So he went in with them. And here is what happened: He sat down at the table with them. Taking the bread, he blessed and broke and gave it to them. At that moment, open–eyed, wide–eyed, they recognized him. And then he disappeared. Back and forth they talked. “Didn’t we feel on fire as he conversed with us on the road, as he opened up the Scriptures for us (Luke 24:13-32 Message)

Like these guys, I am out walking my life, believing in things through a faulty paradigm. Then Jesus shows up and proceeds to walk with me. Rather than force Himself on me, He is the master of intriguing questions. “What’s up?” He says.

Looking at Him quizzically, I think, “Is this guy out to lunch? Where has He been?” Then I begin to tell it to Him straight from how I perceive it all.

Then He begins to tell it to me straight, destroying my false narrative of defeat, fear and shame. He then expounds Himself to me in the power of Holy Spirit. Speaking words of truth and life, He confronts me with my own misinterpretation of who I believe He really is.

Then we come to a point in the road where it seems He is going to go on but I grab Him and ask Him to stay and eat.

“Let’s sit at the table.” I say. That’s all it takes. A few moments of intimacy and the word comes alive to heal and restore. The Word is alive. My eyes are opened to see and my heart burns within me. His word to me is confirmed.

“I am going to reveal a new walk of walking with me.” Faith infused with informed imagination heals, restores and sets free.

I get it.

Debra

In Christ,
Debra

Rivers of Eden Ministry

Biblical Imagination – Michael Card (The last one slipped away on me!) Read on!

The last post slipped away by mistake before I even started. Read on!

“I would be cautious of using the word ‘imagination,’ for with an UNINFORMED IMAGINATION Jesus is merely a FIGMENT of our IMAGINATION.. But when the imagination is surrendered along with the heart and mind, it becomes a unifying bridge that opens the scriptures in a new and meaningful way.” Michael Card Biblical Imagination

I am getting my thoughts from Michael Card’s article on Biblical Imagination. My study time is taking me into a deep well or revelation. What prompted this journey? To some it may be an obscure subject, somewhat inferior to other forms of expression. NT Wright says it better than me:

“The arts, the imagination, our capacity to create beauty ourselves, is not simply incidental to what it means to be human. For generations now, many Christians have really believed, and acted on the belief, that the arts, the imagination, are the pretty bits around the edges, the kind of decorative border, whereas the middle, the main bit, whatever it is, is the kind of solid, stodgy, chunky bit in the middle which is Christian truth, dogma, belief, and ethics, and all that stuff, and then you can kind of go away and play sometimes around the edge if your lucky.” 

Tunnel_Of_LoveWithout freedom of expression in the lives of Christians, we might as well relinquish our passions to Hollywood or Madison Avenue to convey creativity. Wait, they already are doing this. Why? The church has either copied the form of the world or retreated so far back into a shell of ambiguity that we have lost the luster, the grace and the glory of Jesus Christ manifested in us and through us.

I was a frustrated creative who allowed this passion in me to be subjugated/crushed under people’s opinions, deep rejection and insecurity. Now….I am enjoying this journey, hoping to see creativity restored to Christians so that God’s glory will amaze and astound us in unique expression.

Michael Card’s article above is worth reading. Some great quotes moved me right into Holy Spirit revelation. As I am read, my notes do not always reflect what is being said but what I am hearing and what Holy Spirit is revealing to me.

The subject of imagination can be quite touchy. Many Christians would rather be entrenched in routine week by week as a spectator in a performance based church setting.  I know there is a better way but it will take brave leaders who are surrendered to the glory of God, without trying to legislate it or manipulate the flow of meetings. It will take creative leaders who raise up new expressions in a gathering besides just the usual: songs, preaching, maybe altar ministry.

ColorfulLooking at Scripture, I can see that imagination is generally presented in a negative sense. Yet, as I read the article, my eyes were opened to SEE that it is not the word imagination but actually the problem with the heart as most references in Scripture reference heart or imply heart when speaking about imagination.

“When we imagine, we are working with our hearts and minds to create images. Working in concert, they are connected by a bridge, which is imagination. Imagination seeks to re-integrate and reconnect the mind/heart from the Fall where they were fragmented.” Thoughts from Michael Card

Well there you have it. Imagination is excellent but as in all things, our focus is Jesus. We desire to bring Him glory. We follow the leading of Holy Spirit who seeks to glorify the Son. We engage with Scripture, alive and real, allowing its narrative and story to grasp our heart. This is done through study, prayer, meditation, and in worship. Images come, Thoughts form and the Word of God is alive.

So here is what I imagine. A group of people flowing in unity in Holy Spirit as the divine leader. One mind, one accord to being glory to the Son. Preaching flowing from interpreting the dance. Artists revealing process as they talk of dreams and revelation. Prophetic songs flowing from psalmist who open the heaven’s wide so that corporates we may ascend into His presence. Step by Step……..I love walking in this direction. Some of this will be flowing in Kenya on the next trip.

There is so much more to come as I am just starting out. More study on imagination. Then at some point, Holy Spirit directs me to study the Renaissance.

DebraIn Christ, Debra

I would love to speak at your conference, gathering, church or home group. Contact me here, on Facebook or on Twitter. Enjoy reading about Rivers of Eden and the Timeline of our Life!

Imagination – In Christ

Ladder to skyChristian imagination evokes both negative and positive feelings in people.

In studying this each day. I conclude that Imagination is the connector between mind/heart giving us images, pictures, revelation – in essence, bringing heaven to earth. The mind and the heart, working together.

The Greeks thought that the mind was rational and good, discounting the heart/emotions as being less superior. As Christians, we know better as our salvation is wholly in Christ without separation and fragmentation. The mind/heart is as one and as Greg Boyd points out: The mind is the thinking side of the heart. The heart is the feeling side of the mind.

Discernment keeps us focused on Christ in the power of Holy Spirit and does not lead us astray into error. Christian imagination – pictures and images formed in our mind/heart and as our lives are surrendered to Christ Jesus. Our minds are renewed and being renewed and our hearts are turned to behold the One we love in all His glory…………the veil is lifted off in Christ and off we go in complete freedom of expression and thought of heaven now

I am starting out on this journey wholly focused on this subject in all ways. I don’t throw the baby out with the bath water simply because the new age has adopted visualization techniques. How absurd!

So excited! This has always been in my mind/heart but timing is everything.It is time now to raise up a creative force in the Body of Christ. How? One step at a time. When? Now.

Processing day by day. Enjoy Creative Declaration and Courage in All ways – Especially Being Creative

DebraIn Christ, Debra