An amazing journey with God...the story behind the painting and the music.
A SESSION WITH GOD
This oil painting and it's title were inspired by this verse of scripture: 2 Chronicles 7:14... a direct answer to a prayer I was putting before God. "Are we doomed? Is there any hope for America? What can I do? What can anyone do?" Seemed like the sun was going down on America.
This scripture immediately came to my mind...and for me that was significant.
I have often seen God answer exactly like that before - when I was really sincere and open to His answer...whatever it might be. This was one of those prayers.
I KNEW He was challenging my faith. It's all about believing...REALLY BELIEVING. We had been at this place in other circumstances...and I was being reminded of His Faithfullness to His Word. He never lies.
BUT...this was a Big one..."we're talking about the whole country, God...would you really reverse the sunset on this country?" (I knew He could...but would He?)
This verse says 'Yes' - a Promise - with a Condition. Don't just pray...repent, turn!
I was getting this picture in my head...TRUE BELIEVERS encircling the flag in prayer-sun on the horizon...going down. I was reminded of Hezekiah's story...a very personal one for me. My biggest question became - 'are there enough of us?'
PONDERING THE VISION
Simultaneously I was hearing the faint sounds of drumbeats on the horizon...and then faint horns...and trumpets. God's army...waiting for His people to pray. Then the music - 3 very familiar songs combined in a medley I'd never heard. Woven together they created a vision of darkness on the horizon turning into slivers of light breaking through as the prayers become sincere, impassioned, and consistent. Heaven's host of warriors come to battle the forces of evil on behalf of God's people and the sun begins to shine again on America. But were there enough of us?
That was the summer of 2011. I came away from that experience with two assignments...paint the painting and write the music. I'm a pianist, but not an arranger. I'm an artist but don't do people really...mostly birds, animals, and landscapes. One thing I do know...if God asks you to do something, He will equip you. AND...it's not a good idea to say 'no'.
ANSWERING THE CALL
Both projects took well over a year each to complete. The painting was first. I spent HOURS researching people types, positions, clothing, etc., to get a representation of the variety of souls that make up our America. As I painted, my mind was developing the arrangement of the music. I taught my choir director the score and together we worked out the final version. His voice is hauntingly beautiful...perfect for this project...(of course!).
After MUCH practice - we presented it to our church...pianist and soloist...and were highly encouraged to record it. Miraculously (!) we found a professional studio only an hour away. That project took another year. The piano alone just wasn't reproducing what I had heard in my head, and the recording studio showed us what was available. They allowed me full access to a very special piano...with all the orchestration I was hearing. God is good. I can't count the hours of recording, listening, critiquing, and going back and forth until we had it just like I heard it. I played every note on that awesome piano...and pushed all the buttons for the orchestration...with some help from Gary, the studio owner.
What a wonderful journey!
We recovered our production costs with local sales of prints and CD's for a season. Friends and fans encouraged me to 'get it out there', and some even assisted in promoting. That's not my area of expertise, so...I tried a few things...but nothing moved forward. To me it didn't matter about trying to sell anything. I just wanted to share what God was doing wherever He led.
As the next few years passed, occasionally I wondered..."what that was all about?"
FAST FORWARD TO PRESENT DAY
2019 - God opened my eyes to what looks like a sunrise! SONRISE!
I came to learn of the multitudes that were also hearing Him that summer...and the years prior to and since...and am amazed at their stories. He was talking to any who were seeking Him for guidance...and now I see more of what He was doing. I always love to hear more stories!
But more importantly - what I was also hearing is that we need to PRAY NOW MORE THAN EVER BEFORE!
This is a real war in the heavens that will take all of our constant prayers to continue to victory. And we need to Repent...and pray for others that God is calling to repent. We need to pray with BELIEF that He hears us and is true to His promises.
God then had me revisit the music and put photos to it. I know better than to say 'I can't'.
That process also took immesurable hours to research and complete. I scoured the internet for just the right photos of what I had seen in my mind as I heard the music...photos that would convey the message matching the music I had heard.
AND...I discovered the awesome world of video making!
Click Video tab above to view the final version. And turn the volume up!
What next??? The Lord CLEARLY instructed me on what to do with the original painting...which was a no brainer. I was having prints made locally upon request. I had always thought having this image in homes could be a useful reminder to be consistent with prayer for America. But this was never about making money - only sharing the message.
Early in 2020 I was led to look at the original website, update it, and use the new technology for printing online. I discovered the print explosion happening, saw a great opportunity for people to easily carry this message without having to say a word! Just answer questions when people see this image on their bag, iphone, beach towel, etc. My...how things are changing! The company I use is very advanced and has really expanded their lines and services and I am thrilled to be working with them. And I was also led to Facebook - which I had been avoiding...hence...another learning curve. God was clearly telling me to "get in this fight...use what you have!"
Then God told me to start painting Sunrises! Well...Okay!
At this time I am encouraged by connecting to all the people out there (yes...there ARE ENOUGH of us)! I enjoy using Facebook for GOOD---helping people SEE the BEAUTY everywhere...in the people of this nation, around the world, and of His creation in nature. And...I'm having a ball matching beautiful photos (there are a lot of gifted eyes out there) to awesome Scripture.
Most importantly...I just love pointing people to GOD'S WORD...AND...the POWER of PRAYER!.
The battle lines have been drawn...God is In Control! He has called every soul on the planet to hear His voice and kneel before Him. He has given great tasks to those He would use to accomplish His goals for the nations. He has given all of us assignments. We, as God's people, must do our part...whatever that means to each of us.
Be sure of one thing...2 Chronicles 7:14...is ABSOLUTELY TRUE!
I am SO looking forward to that beautiful 'SONRISE' I KNOW is coming!
The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much. James 5:16
photo credit: Jon Tyson-unsplash
Let your light SHINE!
You are one candle. When you light others, your light doesn't diminish...it grows into a glow...and can spread throughout the world!
Photo credit: Mike Labrum-unsplash
Pelham, Ga. 31779
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