Sky Blossom

A visual offering today, with a little poetry to follow…

Also posted on my art blog:

Prints and other items in this design here:


Unfettered One.png

Might it be that, when we realize that our life is hid with Christ in God, that it brings a perspective of things that rises above the mundane, yet gives wings and meaning to life? Might this be that “far off world hung shining”?


This rather wordy entry is something of a segue into a less wordy phase of life for me – where it will be my intention to communicate more by color and light than with words. This may not be an easy line of thought to follow, but it is my hope to communicate something of how new forms of art can be a form of mystical, heart to heart communication… See more beneath image.


Nothing Mundane On Munday.png

Each day I become more convinced that “in the beginning” our Creator Father never originally intended for us to live within the confines of walls. Even if they are walls of words and definitions. These “word walls” could be called PODs – PRISONS OF DEFINITIONS.

Here are a few acronyms for POD, and there’s a mixture here for good reason: place of delight, place of deception, prison of delight, prison of deception, prince of darkness, prince of delusion, price of delight, price of delusion… Perhaps there is no end to this list. Undoubtedly, dear reader, you could come up with countless more that fit the context of this writing.

Additionally when in the POD, we are POWs – prisoners of words, prisoners of (spiritual cosmic) war! Prisoners of words, one might say, are under a “spell”.

In a sense, due to our fallenness, this life is somewhat of a “life sentence” for eternal beings. At some point, however, we hopefully wake up and realize that we no longer have to accept life in the POD as POWs.When this happens, it’s the end of the game for the Poor Old Dragon whose head was crushed and who was stripped of his authority at Golgotha.

As an artist, this leads me on to an interesting phase and into a more dynamic return to, interestingly, abstract art, which (as I perceive it) communicates the Unlimited to the unlimited by the unlimited, as the POD is left behind.

Words limit with their definitions, their attempts to communicate what cannot be expressed – especially when there are attempts by those still in the PODs to define spiritual reality or experiences of God’s Grace which they have not had themselves. There is the tendency to demonize what cannot be understood. Some examples of demonization are contemplative Christian, Christian meditation, Christian mysticism, inner Christianity, or even spiritual Christianity. There is an attempt on the part of some to put souls back into the PODs of condemnation and demonization because of a heavy indoctrination of fear.

But the upshot is provided by a parable from Nature herself: Pods in the natural realm hold ungerminated seeds. For the lover of God, the POD (Place of Delight in His presence) becomes the Portal of Destiny! That which is not intended to remain, but to become what the original divine intent IS, must come to its Point of Deliverance from the Place of Darkness, enigmatically holding the inevitable seed of Light awaiting its bursting forth!

Just describing this begins to unfold why words don’t really cut it! So my excursion here is intended to encourage the quest of using art to communicate deeper spiritual reality.

The Inside Scoop: So, Why The Focus On “PODs”?

Experiencing a profound sense of frustration of late, I took a turn off the beaten path awhile to another creative “place” – a little excursion into making more realistic art and abandoning a fascination with abstract and digital forms. What this left me with was a profound sense of dissatisfaction, for while it was on one hand good to know that I could still skillfully come up with realism, on the other there was the realization (for me) that making “real” art is more like imitating, mimicking, or reproducing an image of something which is already created. For me it wasn’t anything deeper than that. It was not satisfying. It was not fun, and it made me really tense!

Maybe this is why I love Van Gogh and the Impressionists – they interpreted rather than tried to copy what they saw. It was a bridge between the classical art world and that of full blown abstraction.

I realized that, while making “real” art is a nice place to visit, I don’t care to live there. My realization about creating abstractly is that it is a non POD kind of communication – it has the potential – at a level that reaches out beyond mental constructs – to take both the artist and the viewer to a communication space outside the limited POD of either, into creative consciousness without limitation.

Now, people very much in the pseudo security of their POD’s limitation often react to abstract art with such expressions as “I can’t wrap my head around that, so I don’t like it.” “I don’t ‘understand’ modern art.” “I don’t get that.” Or even, “I can’t even look at that – it scares me!” (Yes, I did have someone actually tell me that.) There are those who even demonize it, just as they do mystical Christianity.

This is because something that “does not make sense” to the intellect challenges the limitation of the mental POD. That’s why a POD can be at the same time a Place of Delight and a Place of Darkness. Darkness – limited awareness – can be very much challenged by art which to some beholders “does not make sense”. Darkness is comfortable to a baby in the womb. Why do you suppose he screams when it’s time to be born? And there may be a whole lot of screaming when it’s time to be truly reborn!

Abstract art challenges the limitation of the POD; it knocks on that shell and says, “Hey, come out and play! There’s a whole creation out here. How about letting go of that shell of presumptions, limits, and drab colorlessness? how about a breath of fresh air. Once you do, you will never want to go back inside that POD!”

In fact, you will not be able to go back. Innately we know that, and it scares us.

This is why, in my opinion, making abstract art is an adventure into high mysticism (another anti POD word… or is it ante POD bursting?) – the demolition of the belief in scarcity and limitation. Seriously, do we really have any idea what it’s like to be truly unlimited beings?

What’s outside the POD? Color, light, sound, and the raw elements of a new creation, creativity, and unlimitedness! Once you crack through the POD, you realize the “life sentence” is over. And once the POD has served its purpose, it becomes chaff blown away by the Wind, on its way to the Fire, for that which has no life in it was once constricting and limiting and is useless for anything but burning.

Definitions of ourself or others are simply word PODs: political affiliations, religious denominations, roles in life… often create PODs of limitation because in buying into them, we fall under their “spell”.

I am this… I am that.

But the Unlimited Source from Whom we emanated and Whose holy image we bear simply says, “I AM”!

So, what do you think that makes you?

The artist who does not (pardon the pun) “feel drawn” to being a copier of what has already been created may become one who communicates more deeply from the Unlimited to all of us who are spun from the Unlimited!

These are answers I’ve been given as much needed direction at this time in my life – that I ought to be less about words, and instead embrace more the creation of “unlimited” art expression available only through the flow from the innermost being!

If you cannot wrap your head around that, it’s OK. But it may be a little tap on your POD (whatever it is) of limited, intellectual – mental constructs, and rigid definitions and living. It may be an invitation to come and have a little romp (simply defined as playing roughly and energetically, as in the case of children or animals), with what cannot be “articulated” with words.

Art And Contemplation

Rather than struggle with loading the picture here and copy pasting what I’ve already written (always a challenge for some reason), here’s the link to the original post from my website…

Happy Monday, dear reader!

Map Or GPS?

Sometimes I wonder as I wander, or am I really only perceiving this journey as wandering, because I’m no longer in the driver’s seat? This journey we are called to walk with Jesus can be a puzzling thing. Along the way there is a tendency to label views, experiences, and sadly people who do not fit in with the religious mainstream, yet love the Lord and know they have a place at His table.

Traditional, Evangelical, Charismatic, Contemplative, Christian Mystic… There must be a definition, a spiritual cubbyhole where I can be at home, where I fit in, a place where it is “safe”, where there isn’t some theologian or other robed and sheep skinned “expert”, not only defining who I am in Christ, but every serious spiritual seeker they cannot squeeze into some little convenient box. Especially the ones who are “unchurched”. I tend to see myself as all of these, yet paradoxically not any one in particular.

Yet are the labels and definitions something I think I still must have, or is that also someone else’s idea? Probably the most difficult part of the unknown country we walk is that one gets very, very tired at certain places in the journey, because just like our Lord, we have no place to lay our heads (Luke 9:58) – as in being part of the shady rest in that little church in the wildwood just outside Mayberry USA.

This line of thought has been with me all day. It is haunting and persistent. Yet none of the definitions seem to fit after awhile, and the spiritual journey may take us places where we may not understand why we are “here”. Or is it “there”? Or is it now here or nowhere? What is this all about? Where are You taking me, Lord?

As Jesus told Nicodemus, “The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is every one that is born of the Spirit. Nicodemus answered and said unto him, How can these things be? Jesus answered and said unto him, Art thou a master of Israel, and knowest not these things?” (John 3:8-10)

So, I went online looking for current “status reports” concerning some of the oases along the way providing spiritual water, food, and shelter where I grew closer to the Lord. I discovered that there is very little left of the Charismatic Renewal, as it was known in the 1970s. The Roman Catholics seem to have vestiges of what remains of this movement.

I found electronic versions of “official” pronouncements from at least one other denomination, however, filled with statements (from the 1970s) full of caution, warning and condemnation of the whole Charismatic Renewal. These of course were from sheepskins having no personal knowledge of such things, but who clearly felt threatened by contemplatives, charismatics, and Christian mystics in general.

So I’m asking, “Where to from here, Lord Jesus?”

What keeps coming to me is to not worry about labels, and to keep my eyes on Him, the Author and Finisher of our faith. As far as the journey goes, it is one of trust. We must have BOTH the map – Holy ScriptureAND the “GPS” (gospel positioning system?), the Still Small Voice of the Comforter, the Counselor, Who is both beside us and within us. These two – the map and the GPS – do not conflict!

Some have claimed that they only need the “Word” as it stands in the Bible we know today. They renounce any need for a personal experience of the Holy Spirit, where Jesus lets you know His Presence in very real ways. There is a tendency to lean toward what a friend of mine calls “Bible-olatry”. Scripture is not considered in the light of what Jesus has said about it, that the Book testifies of and reveals Him (John 5:39). These are the “map people” who are largely of the opinion that the Holy Spirit does not personally speak to anyone anymore, so there is no need for GPS.

On the other hand, there are some with whom I’ve sojourned who insist that the “inner voice” is all that is needed. They pay little if any heed to the map, insisting that for mystics or contemplatives there is no need for either the Bible or other supportive scholarship. We can listen to our “higher” self. Good luck with that!

My experience has taught me that the spiritual trek is such a challenging journey that one needs both the Map – Holy Scripture, and the GPS – the Still Small Voice of the Holy Spirit. They work together. They never contradict one another. Hearing the Still Small Voice, however, requires the kind of prayer where listening rather than talking, is the rule. He invites us to “Be still, and know that I am God…” (Psalm 46:10).

His Good Pleasure

I’m finding it difficult to post this artistically rendered affirmation today to WordPress. So I hope that you, dear reader, will not mind clicking on the link to my website to view it. Sorry for the inconvenience, and many thanks for your efforts.

Gratitude For Divine Authority

First of all Happy Thanksgiving Day, dear reader!

On a day when just about everyone is considering what we’re thankful for, I thought I’d explore that a bit in a different way. Today I’m thankful for “Divine Authority”. That idea may seem a little odd at first, but here’s how I see it.

Some people chafe at the idea of divine authority, or even just the word authority. We live in a world in anarchy and defiance (glorified in our essentially “adolescent culture”), so it’s easy to slip into that mindset, especially these days when so many people want to call the shots with their “mortal mind” without reference to or consulting with the “Immortal Mind” in Whom we live, move, and have our being.

Somewhere in that word authority is the idea of an Author, an Originator. So maybe instead of resisting Him, it might be a better idea – after having experienced one life complexity after another, where we just can’t seem to make sense of it – to get to know Who the Author is and what He has written to us through His servants, in order to find out what we’re missing through the anti-authority mindset which we may need to see within us, – something we didn’t even realize we may be harboring.

Why? Because God’s authoritative word is the only real remedy I know for curing anxiety, if it’s put into practice. More people suffer from this today than ever before. Why? I would offer that it’s because there is often an unidentified, resident resistance in them to Divine Authority. (If you are reading this and sensing a reaction and a resistance to it, it may be true for you as well.)

So if I may, I’d like to share something about that idea in a way that maybe you’ve not considered before. For that we’ll visit Philippians 4:6-9 KJV.

“Be careful for nothing (meaning “have no worry about anything”); but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things. Those things, which ye have both learned, and received, and heard, and seen in me, do: and the God of peace shall be with you.”

God offers His authority here in a unique way. It’s easy to trust God’s “authority” – since God is Infinite Love – Who basically says, “Lay all your cares on Me, and I will replace them with My peace and My presence which surpass all comprehension.” “Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you.” (1 Peter 5:7)

We trade in all our anxiety for the peace of God and the God of peace! What could possibly stand against His presence when it arrives on the scene? Releasing anxiety to the Lord along with copious, unrelenting prayers of gratitude, and elevating our thoughts and attitudes into higher places (including the apostolic examples), is God’s recommended spiritual practice for defeating anxiety!

When our prayers, gratitude, and higher thoughts become the 1st habitual response to life’s seeming no-win situations, instead of thinking or talking or reacting ourselves into a fret fest, something “strange” (because we’re not used to it) and wonderful begins to overtake us when we approach our dilemmas with God’s way: Lasting divine peace along with lasting divine presence overtakes us. But somewhere along the line, we must begin to practice what He shows us here, and that means surrendering to His Way, His authority, of approaching these things, instead of perpetuating our own approaches. That’s the real essence of Divine Authority – pure Love Who desires us to be set free from the scourge of anxiety about anything.

Therefore, why would we resist God’s authority and go speeding off on the Worry Way, when we can surrender to Authority that is pure, infinite unconditional Love and wise counsel?

Personally I cannot think of anything I can be more thankful for today than this invitation into His abiding peace and presence by the Author and Finisher of our faith!

In a topsy turvy world, upside down as it draws near to the devil and resists God, which “is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death.” (Proverbs 14:12), this great old standby passage from Philippians is a sweet way of being reminded to “Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you.” (James 4:7,8)

We’re also drawn to several verses os Jesus’ magnificent teaching on this: “Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than meat, and the body than raiment?…Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed?… Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.” (Matthew 6:25, 31, 34)

Let us meditate on these directives from our Lord, take them to heart, and put them into practice!

May your Thanksgiving Day, and every day, be marked by the presence of God, relentless gratitude, sublime thoughts, attitudes, and behaviors, and thus the enjoyment of our Lord’s benevolent authority through His grace and peace.