New Works 2008 - Love True Love Exhibit

February 2008 at the Expressions Gallery, Wayside Christian Mission, Louisville, KY

The following information was posted with the artwork for the exhibit Love True Love...

 

Love True Love – Sacrifice

28“ x 72“; acrylic on Linen; $316- (100% of sale to Wayside Christian Mission)  

 

Love True Love – Sacrifice was inspired by the love and grace that God has shown us through the sacrifice of his only begotten Son, Jesus Christ.  

 

Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends.(John 15:13)  

"I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.

(John 10:11)

"For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.(John 3:16)

 

On January 19, 2008 I got to listen to a talk by Max Lucado.  Here are some notes that spoke to my heart:

 

No on can restrict God’s grace and love.  He says that WHOEVER believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.  What does this mean to me?  I can lose my sobriety, my mouth, my sanity but I cannot lose God’s love and grace that he has waiting for me.

God accepts me HOWEVER he finds me.  I don’t and can’t be perfect.  He is not waiting for me to straighten out to be able to come to him.  There is no cover charge or dress requirement for me to be in God’s love.  Luke 16 verses 19-23 talk about us not having to be a certain status or certain health to receive his mercy.  He accepts me whether rich or poor, healthy or unhealthy, etc.  

Luke 16:19"There was a rich man who was dressed in purple and fine linen and lived in luxury every day. 20At his gate was laid a beggar named Lazarus, covered with sores 21and longing to eat what fell from the rich man's table. Even the dogs came and licked his sores. 22"The time came when the beggar died and the angels carried him to Abraham's side. The rich man also died and was buried. 23In hell, where he was in torment, he looked up and saw Abraham far away, with Lazarus by his side.

God will take me WHENEVER, I look up!  There is only one expiration date and that is when my life is over.  If you have a pulse and can say a prayer, he is still waiting on you!  There is a parable of this grace that is waiting at all times of your life in Matthew 20 verses 1-16.  God will take you whenever you decide to be his.

WHEREVER he finds you, God will accept you.  You are never too far to step out of God’s grace, and you are never so far that you cannot come home.  He loves you and wants to be part of your life, no matter how good or bad it may be going.  God is like the father in the prodigal son story in Luke 15 verses 11-32.  When the son is at the end of his rope and finally decides to come home, the father has been waiting for him all along.  Luke 15 verse 20  So he got up and went to his father. "But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion for him; he ran to his son, threw his arms around him and kissed him.  It gives me such hope and joy to know that all my years of being a prodigal, God had been looking for me and waiting for me to come home all along.  

This is love, true love.

 

Love True Love – Overcoming Death

40“ x 60”; acrylic on Linen; $316- (100% of sale to Wayside Christian Mission)  

 

Love True Love – Overcoming Death was also inspired by the love and grace that God has shown us through the sacrifice of his only begotten Son, Jesus Christ and inspired by how powerful that this pure love is to overcome death.  Romans 6 verse 23 For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life through Christ Jesus our Lord.  It is amazing to say the least.  Only God could do this.  In John chapter 20 there is a detailed account of the empty tomb and Jesus appearing to several people and also performing miraculous signs.  It is also recorded in Matthew chapter 28, Mark chapter 16, and Luke chapter 24.  1 Corinthians 15:20 But in fact, Christ has been raised from the dead. He is the first of a great harvest of all who have died.

 

The Many Forms of Love V - Forgiveness

8“ x 16”; mixed media; $50-

 

The Many Forms of Love V – Forgiveness  What is the toughest way to show love?  I contend that it is through giving or receiving forgiveness.

     Matt 7: 1 "Do not judge, or you too will be judged. 2 For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you. 3 "Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother's eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? 4 How can you say to your brother, 'Let me take the speck out of your eye,' when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? 5 You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother's eye.

     Matt 7:37  Do not judge, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven. 38Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.

     Matt 18:21 Then Peter came to Jesus and asked, "Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother when he sins against me? Up to seven times?"  22 Jesus answered, "I tell you, not seven times, but seventy-seven times.[a]  23"Therefore, the kingdom of heaven is like a king who wanted to settle accounts with his servants. 24 As he began the settlement, a man who owed him ten thousand talents[b] was brought to him. 25 Since he was not able to pay, the master ordered that he and his wife and his children and all that he had be sold to repay the debt.  26 "The servant fell on his knees before him. 'Be patient with me,' he begged, 'and I will pay back everything.' 27 The servant's master took pity on him, canceled the debt and let him go.

 28 "But when that servant went out, he found one of his fellow servants who owed him a hundred denarii.[c] He grabbed him and began to choke him. 'Pay back what you owe me!' he demanded.

 29"His fellow servant fell to his knees and begged him, 'Be patient with me, and I will pay you back.'

 30"But he refused. Instead, he went off and had the man thrown into prison until he could pay the debt. 31 When the other servants saw what had happened, they were greatly distressed and went and told their master everything that had happened.  32 "Then the master called the servant in. 'You wicked servant,' he said, 'I canceled all that debt of yours because you begged me to. 33 Shouldn't you have had mercy on your fellow servant just as I had on you?' 34 In anger his master turned him over to the jailers to be tortured, until he should pay back all he owed.  35 "This is how my heavenly Father will treat each of you unless you forgive your brother from your heart."

[a] Matthew 18:22 Or seventy times seven [b] Matthew 18:24 That is, millions of dollars [c] Matthew 18:28 That is, a few dollars

 

Love Is…

30“ x 40“; mixed media on gallery wrap canvas; $340-

 

Love Is.. began as a painting solely based on 1 Corinthians 13.  It was going to be a painting of a heart filled with words like kindness, patience, etc.  Then, using www.biblegateway.com, the more I looked up words like love is or heart the more inspiring scripture showed up on the monitor.  What to leave out?  There are several scriptures with the word love or heart in them so these are just a few included in the painting.  Proverbs 3:1-6, Proverbs 7:1-3, and Psalm 119:1-16 are included inside the heart because they refer to writing God’s word on the tablet of our hearts.  To me this means keep his Word and precepts always on my heart and mind.

 

1 Corinthians 13 is such a great reminder of what love is.  A friend once described how to practice love towards others using the principals in this scripture.  When you think a person is completely unlovable and have no desire to show that person love at all, consider using 1 Corinthians 13 bit by bit each day.  For example, pick your first day to conduct yourself with patience and kindness.  If that is too much for the first day, just pick either patience or kindness for that day! J  Just when you think you can’t love that person, remember Love is patient, love is kind.  Or if you have trouble forgiving someone, remember love keeps no record of wrongs.  What about when you think everything should be your way all the time, remember it is not self-seeking.  

 

What a great  blueprint God has given us for modeling love to others throughout the Bible!  1 John 3:16  This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers.   What if just 50% of the U.S. population decided to follow his model for love.  That we would give up our pride, selfishness, envy, keeping score and trade it with a love that is patient, kind, trusting, hopeful, forgiving, and a perseverance to finish the race of marriage, family relationships, and life.  What a difference this world could be!

 

A list of the scriptures used in this painting…1 Corinthians chapter 13 verses 1-13; 1 John 3:11; Deuteronomy 6:5; Galatians 6:9; Psalm 34:18; Psalm 63:3; 1 John 3:16-24; Psalm 103:17; Psalm 115:1; ; 1 John 2:15-17; Psalm 116:1-2; Proverbs 14:1; 1 John 4:8; Proverbs 3:1-6; Proverbs 7:1-3; Psalm 119:1-16

 

The Many Forms of Love I

36“ x 48“; mixed media on gallery wrapped canvas; $450-

 

     The Many Forms of Love was inspired by how I’ve been shown love in so many different forms and unbeknown to myself was giving love in many different ways.  The books The Five Love Languages by Gary Chapman and Love and Respect by Emerson Eggerichs were big eye openers to me about how many different ways people can receive and give love.  Many times people are married and do not know each others love languages – or how their mate best perceives love.    

       In The Five Love Languages, Chapman talks about how important it is to communicate emotional love to your mate and puts these communication avenues in 5 different categories.  Here’s some information about the book from http://marriage.about.com/cs/communicationkeys/a/lovelanguage.htm  

Dr. Gary Chapman, Christian counselor and author of The Five Love Languages, writes about the importance of being able to express love to your spouse in a way that your spouse can understand. He calls this type of communicating using the five love languages.

Chapman's Five Emotional Love Languages:

· Words of Affirmation - This is when you say how nice your spouse looks, or how great the dinner tasted. These words will also build your mate's self image and confidence.

· Quality Time - Some spouses believe that being together, doing things together and focusing in on one another is the best way to show love. If this is your partner's love language, turn off the TV now and then and give one another some undivided attention.

· Gifts - It is universal in human cultures to give gifts.  They don't have to be expensive to send a powerful message of love. Spouses who forget a birthday or anniversary or who never give gifts to someone who truly enjoys gift giving will find themselves with a spouse who feels neglected and unloved.

· Acts of Service - Discovering how you can best do something for your spouse will require time and creativity. These acts of service like vacuuming, hanging a bird feeder, planting a garden, etc., need to be done with joy in order to be perceived as a gift of love.

· Physical Touch - Sometimes just stroking your spouse's back, holding hands, or a peck on the cheek will fulfill this need.  Determining Your Own Love Language

Since you may be speaking what you need, you can discover your own love language by asking yourself these questions:

·How do I express love to others? ·What do I complain about the most? ·What do I request most often?

Speaking in your spouse's love language probably won't be natural for you. Dr. Chapman says, "We're not talking comfort. We're talking love. Love is something we do for someone else. So often couples love one another but they aren't connecting. They are sincere, but sincerity isn't enough."

Emotional Experiences

The number one emotional experience reported by folks is feeling the presence of God in their lives. The emotional high of being in love (which generally lasts around 2 years) is the second highest emotional experience that people reportedly have.

That is why it can be so difficult to try and talk some sense into someone who is in the midst of falling in love. Chapman stated that obsessive love can render people mentally incompetent. "There's not much difference between being in love and being insane."

Fading Tingle and Empty Love Tanks

After the first or second year of marriage, when the initial "tingle" is starting to fade, many couples find that their "love tanks" are empty. They may have been expressing love for their spouse, but in reality they were speaking a different love language. The best way to fill your spouse's love tank is to express love in their love language. Each of us has a primary love language. Usually, couples don't have the same love language.

Tank Check

Dr. Chapman recommends that you have a "Tank Check" 3 nights a week for 3 weeks. Ask one another "How is your love tank tonight?" If, on a scale from zero to ten, it is less than 10, then ask "What can I do to help fill it?" Then do it to the best of your ability.