Archive for March, 2012

Growing in favor

Jesus grew in favor.

Light of LIfe

In Luke 2:41ff Joseph and Mary take the kiddos to Jerusalem for Passover, a yearly tradition for the family. They remembered, worshiped, and celebrated. Within the tradition, Joseph taught Jesus and the boys faithfulness. After the feast and the festival, Joseph, Mary and most of the family packed up and left, along with the extended family and the entire neighborhood.

While on their donkeys the next day, Joseph leans over and says, “Mary, do you think Jesus had a good time?” Mary replies, “Why don’t you ask him,” and then, to their dismay, no one can find Jesus! They spend the evening checking in with all the relatives and neighbors to see if he’s hanging out with the cousins. Nope. They head back to Jerusalem. And then spend an entire day looking for Jesus, only to find him in the Temple; asking questions, learning from the scholars, and listening to the Father.

When Mary and Joseph found him, it was Jesus who asked the question of the day…”Why were you looking for me? Did you not know that I must be in my Father’s house?” (Vs. 49) Implied in this innocent question is, “You know me well enough to know that I love being in my Father’s presence.” A discipline Jesus enjoyed way before the annual trip to the Temple. It was a favorite pastime, when Jesus was 12—and when he was 30. He may not have even realized his parents had left.

This question also emphasizes a new season, turning from his father’s house to his Father’s house. Knowing he is the Son of God, staying pure and obedient—there is nothing more important than feasting on the Words and ways of the Father. Being intentional about learning from those more knowledgeable, and listening to Holy Spirit. In other words, preparing for a life of ministry.

“And all who heard him were amazed at his understanding and his answers” (vs. 47). Jesus sought the teachers, listened, learned, gained understanding, and discussed respectfully.

Mary was at first anxious, as we would all be, but as she looked into the loving eyes of her son, she realized, indeed, Jesus was just about his Fathers business—another tidbit to ponder and the beginning of a turning that two decades later, Mary herself brought to completion (as Jesus turns water to wine).

“And Jesus increased in wisdom and in stature and in favor with God and man” (vs. 52). He grew in wisdom, becoming spiritually attuned to the Father. He was human, so literally grew in stature. And favor, with God and man. He was pleasing in the sight and heart of both His heavenly and earthly buddies. Two thousand years later, we still seek Him.

At the end of this, I want to look into His eyes and see that incredible love. I want to be in His presence. I want to grow in favor. Thankfully, I can do all three.

Three things I ask of you. Reflect. Comment. And pass this on…

• • •  Please join us for an Afternoon Adventure. In Art. And Writing at NewDay Church in New Prague (MN). April 22, 2012 from  1-4 pm. Click here for more information and to register!

Only believe.
CFAI.coDaily Painters of MinnesotaInternational Abstract Artists


Ramblings of a revival artist

God never gives us a task, without equipping us to do it. (Really!)

Peace by Sue Kemnitz
“Now may the God of peace … equip you with everything good that you may do his will, working in us that which is pleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory forever and ever. Amen.” Hebrews 13:20-21

It is His great pleasure to enjoy the journey with us. He works with us, and through us; and in the end, it is for His glory. Isn’t it grand when we get to stand at His side and say, “Lookie what we did! Isn’t He the coolest? The very, very best!” The harder the task, the greater we feel on that day. We praise you Jesus!

How does that look in my world? How does it look to be equipped to do His will? In and through art.

  1. Does it mean that I have done all that I can do to make a piece the very best it can be?
  2. Or does it mean that I’ve consulted with Holy Spirit?
  3. In every moment?

In that order:

  1. Yes, maybe.
  2. Yes, maybe.
  3. Um, probably not. Just being truthful…

Often, more time is spent picking the supreme color that will do the perfect job at the perfect moment.

All I know for absolute sure is that I absolutely must turn every decision over to Him. Ask Him and listen to what He says. Does my inner voice have a say? Does that voice sound similar to Jesus’s voice? In all probability—sometimes yes and sometimes no. Obviously, I don’t have all the solutions. Nor, in retrospect, have I been perfect, or even a teeny bit close. However, I know He “works in us that which is pleasing in His sight, through Jesus” and it is important to remember that He is pleased with us along the way on the journey. The key is to be on the journey.

The piece of art today was done just a little bit ago. Usually I plan my art. Not every detail, but yet, pretty planned. This piece is different. There is a heart underneath it. And I asked Holy Spirit which color to paint when. I love the piece, and yet, I don’t think that I could do every piece like this. I still think it is ok to invite Him in, to plan, to plot, and then to paint.

What to name this art, and perhaps the journey, too? Though there doesn’t seem to be an explanation that I know of to like the name, “peace” or perhaps, “pieces of peace.” It is true that even in the midst of anything and everything, He is peace. And we must live from that place. I do hope that it is pleasing in His sight. That that which He worked in me pleases Him. And that it came to be through Jesus.

And subsequently, so He will be glorified.

It’s not a redwood tree, or a star, only He can create with that magnitude. It’s just a piece of me and a peace of Him. Pleasing in His sight.

• • • Please join us for an Afternoon Adventure. In Art. And Writing at NewDay Church in New Prague (MN). April 22, 2012 from  1-4 pm. Mark your calendars – more info to come!

Only believe.

Peace by Sue Kemnitz

Pieces of Peace
CFAI.coDaily Painters of MinnesotaInternational Abstract Artists

He healed all

“And all the crowd sought to touch him, for power came out from him and healed them all.” Luke 6:13

Epiphany-contemporary painting by sue kemnitz

In this, the end (part 3) to the beginning of the Haiti story, I want to share some of the healing testimonies from the Haiti trip. “For the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy” (Rev. 19:10). So if you have one of these afflictions, claim the testimony and the healing!

One of my favorite testimonies involves Shelby, an eleven-yr old who joined us on the trip. Towards the end of the trip, we teamed up as prayer partners. Someone came up with a stomach problem and I asked Shelby to start the prayer time. Shelby said a complex prayer to the effect of, “stomach, be healed, in Jesus name. Peace.” Rather than joining in the prayer,I asked them how their stomach felt. They said, “all better!” Of course! Shelby prayed. The power of Jesus went forth. It’s a done deal! I think I did pray a closing blessing. Just so I could say I added my two cents worth. Though that is not really accurate since a Jesus blessing is of infinite value.

Another of my favorites was of a blind lady led forward for prayer. I asked the translator, “How blind is she? Can she see my hand (right in front of her face)?” She could not. Blind—as in totally blind. Angie and I prayed. Nothing. We prayed again. She could now see two fingers right in front of her. And four fingers further back. K—I am excited! “How about the stage?” No. Not yet (I love the word yet). We prayed again. “Now can you see what’s happening on the stage?” “The man walking off,” she said. Hallelujah! Praise King Jesus! The power. Of Jesus.

We spent one day in the churches, equipping the Haitians. The team received a word that the Lord wanted to heal headaches. Many came forward. The first two were teens. We prayed, commanded the pain to go, and it did. Then we told them they were the new prayer team. So the teens turned, and with our encouragement, prayed over an elderly man who had shuffled forward, bent over, body riddled with pain. After prayer, we asked him to activate the healing by doing something he couldn’t before. To our surprise, he karate kicked into the air. Healed. Jesus! The next day, some of our team were at his church and he confidently came forward, walking straight and strong, to give testimony of the healing he received from Jesus.

One last testimony. We were praying up the town square one evening before the crusade. One of the translators brought a young woman to us. Although a believer since day one, the enemy had been tormenting her by throwing her to the floor and convulsing her body, often while she tried to worship. We led her through a beautiful and gentle deliverance and the Lord pulled the root out. She left a happy lady.

We are living in a good—actually a great—day! Jesus is alive and wants His people whole and healthy, the same as in the days He walked the earth. All things are possible with Him (Mark 9:23). And we expectantly and humbly wait to do the greater (John 14:12).

Let’s all just memorize this verse…“for power came out from him and healed them all!” Quote it often! And keep you eyes on Him!

Good news! Good news, indeed!


Epiphany-contemporary painting by sue kemnitz
this is still the “little one” – the big one is finished, but waiting for the sun to shoot a great photo of it!
CFAI.coDaily Painters of MinnesotaInternational Abstract Artists

the soil, the goats, and the trees

What do goats and fruit trees have in common? They live together on Haitian soil.

contemporary leaf painting by sue kemnitz

When I wrote my fund-raising letter for my recent Haiti trip, I mentioned our newly formed partnership with World Relief in Haiti with intentions to deliver goats and fruit trees to Haitian families. The exciting part of this partnership is that is fits so well with my passion to see the “greening” of Haiti. And the invitation to name our goats (Ole and Bertha) was just too much for some to pass up. Yeah, God!

On Thursday morning of our trip, we literally walked next door to an agricultural school. It houses a three-year program to teach good agricultural practices to the Haitians. There are approximately 40 students (70 goats, and hundreds of seedlings) enrolled. As we watched the goats in the pen, I quietly named goats for my sponsors, Olé and Bertha, several names are yet to come.

The goat portion of the program, goes like this: A pregnant female goat is given to a family – usually goats have twins. Five qualifications apply. The recipients must:

  1. be willing to receive education on how to care for the goats and help them to flourish.
  2. have a small piece of land for the goats to graze on. After all, the goal is to raise a flock, not a pet.
  3. pay it forward by returning a pregnant female to the program at some point. There is a vet that travels and helps bring this about. To be honest, they are still working out some kinks on this point. Lets send prayers up!
  4. have shelter available for the goat from nasty weather and perhaps the mid-day heat from the sun.
  5. be in community. In most cases this is the local church. World relief has found this to be a key ingredient so they can help each other.

At first these requirements seemed demanding, but our contacts told us a story from a few years back in another country. They gave the goats out. The farmers, not knowing any better, thought the food contained enough moisture to sustain the goats and the goats did not need any more water. Because of this misunderstanding, all the goats died off. So – education first to prevent a similar ending. These are the “5 commandments” so to speak, for the good of all in the program, humans and goats alike.

In the middle of the week, our World Relief workers Nathan and Cecelia had the pleasure of relocating 20 goats to new homes. God is good!

I just love the baby fruit trees. Truth be told, I’m way better with plants than pets. Perhaps because they only need watering once a week—they thrive on light and minimal care. Seeing so many baby trees in one spot is just plain cause for celebration! In this dry country, the baby trees had a net over the top and are watered in the beginning. They are symbolic of the harvest to come.

The seedlings remind me of a favorite parable, the sower and the seed. This parable holds me accountable. Is my soil suitable, rich even, for God’s purposes to thrive in and through me?

I was not eager to go to Haiti this time around, especially since my hubby decided not to go along this year. But I received a prophetic word that I would be incredibly blessed for being obedient to the Lord and the leaders. As I decided to go with high expectations, the Lord totally rearranged my heart. Rumor has it I showed compassion (kinda rare for me) and I fell head over heals with the country and the people, especially our excellent young translators. I honestly did not have a care in the world while there. Everything was good! And I believe it was because I decided to “break up the fallow ground,” abide in steadfast love, and seek the Lord.

While there, I read these words, “Sow for yourselves righteousness; reap steadfast love; break up your fallow ground, for it is the time to seek the Lord, that he may come and rain righteousness upon you.” Hosea 10:12

Rain on our soil, sweet Jesus! Reign over all, King Jesus!

(Next week I’m blogging on the healings Jesus did! I’m bursting to share!)

Only Believe.

contemporary leaf painting by sue kemnitz
CFAI.coDaily Painters of MinnesotaInternational Abstract Artists

hope during the climb

…our hope is in You!

“…and many peoples shall come, and say: ‘Come, let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, to the house of the God of Jacob, that he may teach us his ways and that we may walk in his paths.'” Isaiah 2:3

This past week in Haiti, we were surrounded by the hills and mountains. At one time, these hills were green and the land lush. Haiti was a huge exporter of sugar, coffee, and cotton—one of the richest colonies of the French empire. The French eventually gave the slaves their freedom and Haiti its independence. As time went on, the land was deforested by bad environmental practices, foreign greed, and the desperation of a poor people. It is hard to believe that as recently as the 1920’s, over 60% of Haiti was forested. By 2006, less than 2% was. Much of the countryside is brown and in many areas, trees are scarce, though there are currently scattered projects to replenish the tree population. (More about World Relief and the tree project coming.)

I tried several times to get the timing of the dry seasons and the rainy seasons from my good friend Rony, our translator. But he wouldn’t commit to an end of the dry season. God told the Israelites their days of exile would end after 80 years. Still it was another 400 years until Jesus came, restoring the voices of the prophets, and releasing the Holy Spirit into each of us. As we declare justice for the land of Haiti, the Lord will bless the land. He will reign in Haiti and rain upon it! He has not abandoned them. Haitians are seeking the Lord, often with a passion greater than ours; and as with the OT exiles, His heart is with them.

As we traveled Haiti and spoke to Haitians, we saw much hope. Tent cities are much smaller. There are not as many guns or men in fatigues in the streets. There truly seemed to be more green. There is still hope in the eyes of the young men translating for us, though it is sometimes deeper than I feel comfortable with. There is a determination in the youth overall to create a better Haiti.

Rony has collected and placed 16 earthquake orphans in the homes of their church members. He teaches the Word and the love and power of Jesus to them weekly. His desire is to finish college once he has the necessary monies, as both an entrepreneur and a pastor, own a computer store, and continue to pastor the Lord’s children.

After years of worshiping satan and practicing voodoo, the people of Haiti are returning from the dry areas, the hills and valleys, to the mountain of the Lord. I saw in the Spirit, many times, as did others, the rain returning to the land and the greening of the hills. The physical reflects the spiritual, and so the hearts and minds of the people are renewed and restored.

Jesus. The name above all others. Anointed with joy beyond His companions. Hope to the nations. Please take a moment to post a hopeful Word.

“Let your steadfast love, O Lord, be upon us,  even as we hope in you.” Psalm 33:22

This sketch was done at a clinic one morning. The prayers that go up to the Lord spill over from the censor (prayer bowl, hard to see through the gates at the top). The water and the Spirit cover the land. God’s will will be accomplished in Haiti. His Word always produces a harvest.

Only Believe.
CFAI.coDaily Painters of MinnesotaInternational Abstract Artists