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Chi-Rho Newsletter – He Came By Water & Blood

“He Came By Water & Blood”   12″ x 24″ Abstract Mixed Media 3D   © 2022 by Donna Gonzalez

When I started making this piece having the background paper glued onto the canvas, I had in mind to create a monochromatic black and white abstract work, incorporating feathers and sparkly beads. And I wanted the Lord’s input, so I prayed about it. The scripture “…He came by water and blood…” came to mind. My initial thought was, “Wait, what?  What has that got to do with a monochromatic feathery design at all!”  Well it doesn’t.

[And as I write this I’m having another epiphany….funny how this whole summer all of my “plans” have changed!]

Anyhoo…..I’m sure the Lord probably hears that all the time, we have an idea in our noggin and when we ask for His advice, His answers in a much different direction. And either we bulk and sulk, plead and argue with Him to change His mind, or we can enjoy the journey by coming into agreement with Him. And that’s what I did, because I know the Lord Jesus has much better ideas and plans than what I can imagine! (I’ve done my share of bulk & sulk, plead & argue too) But this time I stepped back out of the way, obeying His advice – that’s the key –> obedience – and let Him work. There is a two-fold blessing in leaning into the Lord and just doing what He wants: freedom of enjoying the process and entering into His rest while creating His art. 😀 Here’s 1 John 5:6

“This is the one who came by water and blood—Jesus Christ. He did not come by water only, but by water and blood. And it is the Spirit who testifies, because the Spirit is the truth.”

Iconography:

This artwork is from Jesus’ point of view hanging from the cross looking down upon the ground. I used as a ground cover a textured black and cream colored batik mulberry paper, the black is the blackened soil, the blackness of sin, the cream the sand stained with the bloody footsteps of the Saviour. The twisted ripped fabric represents Christ’s destroyed garment that He wore, tattered from the cruel scourging received as the razor sharp cat-o’-nine tails tore through His clothing and through His body; now tossed to the ground in contempt. The red jasper beads and red glass beads represent drops of His precious blood, the white glass beads symbolizing His shed tears, sweat and finally the water that would gush from His opened side when the Centurion’s spear would later pierce. The pieces of mirror represent our sinful brokenness as humanity peers into the mirror to see not Jesus Christ but themselves. We see our incompleteness our shattered lives, our brokenness, that Jesus Christ came to redeem us from our sins, willingly paid that sin penalty you and I deserved because of His great love for us. He saves us from an eternity of Hell, from an eternity of hopelessness, despair and death, if we but only believe on Jesus Christ for our salvation.

May this mixed media abstract artwork bring you hope, healing and wholeness that can only be found in the redemptive work that our Saviour Jesus Christ did upon that cross. He did it for me; He did it for you, because Jesus Christ loves you that much.

In Christ Jesus,

Donna

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An Interview with Christians In the Visual Arts (CIVA)

Artist and Prophet? Tell me more.

April 20, 2021

Below is a recent conversation between CIVA and member Donna Gonzalez about prophetic art.

CIVA: What is prophetic art? How do you understand it? 

DG: To some people the phrase “prophetic art” invokes notions of spiritual mysticism or foretelling events, in truth it’s comparable to the Old Testament prophet who spoke forth God’s word to the people. Under the New Covenant, prophesy is a prophetic gift the Holy Spirit grants believers to speak forth what God has already said in His word, being used in accordance to their faith for the edification of the Church. (Romans 12:6).  To me, “prophetic art” is a very specific art genre which includes four indisputable essential components: a work created by a Christian led by the Holy Spirit, communicating a biblical truth, blessing others and resulting in God’s glory.  

Fishers of Men
Seek the Lord

CIVA: Should Christian artists be considered prophetic artists? 

DG: Yes.

CIVA: Why do you say that? 

DG: It’s part of our identity, who we are as new creatures in Christ, created and called to do good works that were already prepared in advance for us to accomplish (2 Corinthians 5:17, Ephesians 2:10). We are commanded by Christ to fulfill the great commission (Matthew 28:19-20), it’s just artists have the unique opportunity to accomplish this through their talent and creativity. St. Paul urges believers “…whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.” (I Corinthians 10:31). I’m reminded of a situation that happened to Moses where the Spirit of the Lord came down, rested upon 70 elders who immediately began prophesying, which one would expect – but God also placed His Spirit upon 2 other men, and they prophesied too. A young man ran and told Moses requesting he restrain these two men from prophesying. I find it quite interesting what Moses said. He didn’t get upset or rebuke them rather he said, “Are you jealous for my sake? If only all the Lord’s people were prophets, that the Lord would put His Spirit upon them!.” (Numbers 11:24-29). Those words echo what St. Paul said in I Corinthians 14:5 “I would like every one of you to speak in tongues, but I would rather have you prophesy. The one who prophesies is greater than the one who speaks in tongues… so that the church may be edified.” So yes, I believe that all Christian artists should be considered prophets declaring God’s word edifying the Church and declaring God’s truth to a lost and dying world! 

My Body Broken For You

CIVA: What is your journey? How did you come to consider yourself a prophetic artist?

DG: Years ago, I didn’t understand what prophetic art or a prophetic artist was. My journey simply began one night before retiring asking God what He wanted me to paint, I just wanted to use my art for His glory. Immediately a vision of a colorful mosaic came to mind. The next day I started painting a mosaic, but since it wasn’t much to look at, I decided to duplicate the painting multiple times in a photo editor, placing them into a pattern where hidden symbols and objects became visible.  Having asked the Holy Spirit what this meant, He gave me scripture that corresponded perfectly with the hidden objects. It was so unreal! The iconography became God’s message; a mini bible study if you will. There was no way I could do this if it weren’t for God’s interaction. I was awed and humbled that God would grant me the opportunity to be a conduit of His message. That’s how it all began and my mosaic paintings became the “Mosaics with Meaning TM” prophetic works, “Here Am I Send Me”, “Fishers of Men” and “Seek the Lord” are a few. 

I also paint typical prophetic works, done by inspiration after prayer and meditating on scripture, or after listening to praise and worship music, or from a vision or dream. “My Body Broken for You” is based upon a vision I had during a conversation at church. 

CIVA: Any last thoughts?

DG: Our work as Christian artists is significant, it’s redemptive, not because of ourselves but because it is a divine gift from the Great Master Artist Himself.

Donna Gonzalez lives in Wayne, MI, teaches art and is the founder of an art ministry, Resurgent Art LLC. She enjoys gardening, reading and is currently writing her first book.

Learn more about Donna at www.resurgentart.com or follow her on Instagram (@dgartist1982) to see her prophetic art and other artworks.

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Why Christians Shouldn’t Shy Away From Asking God For Patience

                                                                “Yeshua” © Donna Gonzalez

 

This week I am teaching art to a group of 3,4 and 5 year olds at a local art center; the theme is ” Art with Heart”, and how people can use art to show kindness. I had gathered the children around me to read aloud a short picture story about kindness. One little boy kept interrupting me to tell me story after story of how he was kind to his little brother or how others were kind to him. I repeatedly said “Thank you *Aaron for sharing that story on kindness…” and was just about to continue my reading when he’d interrupt again. This resulted in the reading taking twice as long to finish.

As I was driving home…I thanked the Lord Jesus for teaching me over the years how to be patient and to wait without grumbling or complaining. Many people say: “Never ask God for patience!” and you know why? Because God WILL give that person many opportunities to learn how to be patient with another without complaining about it. So people don’t want to go through that hardship and they avoid that prayer like a plague.

Ah! But let me tell you something that many forfeit by NOT enduring the trials, hardships of learning patience without grumbling or complaining…they forfeit many a blessing from God! They forfeit growing onto further maturity!

You see, when we endure those impatient times (which God uses to teach us) it is like…we have a choice: to fill up a well with patience inside of us or not. The end result is for our own good, that when trying times come (and they will come) when we NEED to give or have patience…we have it.

But, if we haven’t filled up our well full of patience.. through all those patient enduring opportunities to learn patience….then we have NOTHING to give to others, our well is empty.

Instead the only thing we have to give people is our old man, the old flesh …our grumbling, complaining, frustration, fits of anger, hurtful words, and so on. You see how this leads to misery and brings a stench of death on a Christian’s life and witness?

Learning patience is like having a resource we can lean into and use when we need it. That is a great blessing from God! And the best thing is ….. when we have learned patience, our well is full, we can draw up from it in times of need and give it to others! AND we don’t have to worry about loosing our witness for JESUS because at that moment we are showing JESUS to others! Amen? This is Soo cool guys!

So my brothers and sisters in Christ Jesus, don’t shy away from the opportunity to ask God to teach you patience from Him for He knows it’s for our own good, yes it is hard ….its the narrow way, no? And yes, we experience the joy of the Lord and it results in good to others and best of all Jesus gets the glory! Wow! Praise Jesus! Amen?

I Corinthians 13:4 ” Love is patient, love is kind…”

May you be encouraged in your walk with Jesus today!

Donna

*Aaron is not his real name

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Are you really trusting Him?

                                       “Emmanuel In My Boat” smaller size sold © Donna Gonzalez

 

As born again Christians we are commanded by God to:

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to Him, and He will make your paths straight.”  Proverbs 3:5-6

Sounds easy enough right? It’s a favorite verse for many. Until we get into the car and head for work. Sure enough someone cuts us off from our exit, causing us to slam on the breaks nearly missing an oncoming car. Top it all off that crazy driver sneered, laughing at us while flipping the bird on the expressway. And that old nature immediately kicks in; we lean on our own understanding by following the world’s wisdom. Ignoring the checking of the Holy Spirit to slow it down and stop entertaining evil thoughts towards another person, instead we chose to ignore His words. We curse that driver as we begin tailgating him hoping to cut him off at the next opportunity. Later we start arguing with the Spirit of God as He admonishes us that we didn’t obey Him: 

17  “Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everyone. 18 If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.” Romans 12:17-18

 Pride won’t budge, and to make matters worse we have a mental tribunal in our minds justifying our actions as we misquote scripture to excuse our behavior of “doing unto others as they did to us”. Besides someone had to teach that driver a lesson! Clearly he was in the wrong!

But indirectly whether we realize it or not we are telling God “I don’t trust You know the best way of dealing with people, You are wrong too.”

Hmmm…

We sinned and in that ungodly behavior we grieved the Holy Spirit, negatively affected our witness to the other drivers around us, who unbeknownst to us, were probably some of our fellow brothers and sisters in Christ. We are called to be ambassadors for Christ and instead that little stunt put Jesus’ reputation at stake just to prove a point.

Worse it just proved that we are not really trusting in the words of Christ. Don’t excuse it under the rug that it’s a moot point. To the world it is moot, but to God it’s a matter of whether or not we choose to fully accept that Jesus knows exactly what He’s talking about when He tells us how interact with others that insult us. Like turning the other cheek and leaving room for God’s wrath.

23 “Then he said to them all: “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me. 24 For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will save it. 25 What good is it for someone to gain the whole world, and yet lose or forfeit their very self?” Luke 9:23-25

Jesus’ His words ring clear but does that mean I’m to carry my cross by denying myself that little pleasure of getting back at someone who flipped me off?

Yep! Trusting in God means to lay aside our old way of thinking for His ways, of laying aside our agenda and our understanding of how to do things for His perfect better way of doing things, whether they make sense to us or not.

“There is a way that appears to be right, but in the end it leads to death. Proverbs 14:12” 

 13 “Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. 14 But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.” Matthew 7:13-14

It’s the narrow way. Entering into the narrow gate means one has to crouch low, humble oneself just to squeeze through that narrow gate. The narrow path will lead to eternal life but until then we will endure hardships, trials and even persecution in our lives. We live in a broken world but God uses those trials for our good.

2 Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, 3 because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. 4 Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything to make us mature in Christ. James 1:2-4

Faith is complete conviction and confidence in and who Jesus is. There is no room for doubt. It is knowing that trails come as a testing of our faith to produce perseverance, that it must finish it’s work. We must not hinder His work in us otherwise we will be lacking and not reach maturity in Him.

“For we walk by faith, not by sight.”  II Corinthians 5:7

We must walk as Jesus walked, persistent in faith in His Father. To live fully convinced that His words are Spirit and they are Life. Those that obey will be rewarded by God.

 “Whoever gives heed to instruction prospers, and blessed is the one who trusts in the Lord.” Proverbs 16:20

Let us therefore not be like those of long ago who amazed Jesus.

Jesus said to them, “A prophet is not without honor except in his own town, among his relatives and in his own home.” He could not do any miracles there, except lay his hands on a few sick people and heal them. He was amazed at their lack of faith. Mark 6:4-6

One would think that trusting Jesus and in His word is given for a Christian yet what is interesting is what Jesus would say at the end of His parable of the persistent widow. 

The Parable of the Persistent Widow

18 Then Jesus told his disciples a parable to show them that they should always pray and not give up. 2 He said: “In a certain town there was a judge who neither feared God nor cared what people thought. 3 And there was a widow in that town who kept coming to him with the plea, ‘Grant me justice against my adversary.’ 4 “For some time he refused. But finally he said to himself, ‘Even though I don’t fear God or care what people think, 5 yet because this widow keeps bothering me, I will see that she gets justice, so that she won’t eventually come and attack me!’” 6 And the Lord said, “Listen to what the unjust judge says. 7 And will not God bring about justice for his chosen ones, who cry out to him day and night? Will he keep putting them off? 8 I tell you, he will see that they get justice, and quickly. However, when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on the earth?” Luke 18:1-8

Christians who are steadfast in faith no matter their circumstance or outcome are placing all their trust in the Father who has their back, who will answer in due time. Apparently Jesus felt faith in Him and explicit trust in His words was so important that He needed to call into question whether or not people will have any unwavering faith and trust in God as this widow had portrayed when He returns the second time. Trust in Jesus …it’s really that important. 

 

-Donna