Archive for May, 2012

His good pleasure

Sometimes Jesus totally blows me away with His goodness. And then, every now and again, He seems to just wink out of the corner of His eye. He makes my heart do a little leap for joy. I can see my good friend Cara smiling, “Pure Joy.

Bird and Calla Painting by Sue Kemnitz

This happened in California recently. As you know, Callas have been frequently in my thoughts, sketches, and paintings. The fields were blooming with Calla Lillies in Mendicino. Astonishing, fascinating, and beautiful. The flowers, as well as the trees, seemed on steroids there. Huge! The whites were pure. The sun shining through the petals, sublime. (I like that word…) and the portion of the flower that makes the “cup” had breathtaking color. No kidding! I could not stop staring and admiring Jesus who created such beauty!

One afternoon we walked from our cottage at the Glendeven Inn to the main lobby for a glass of wine and hors d’oeuvres. (I do not like that word. Too weird! Its the French, I suspect.) Passing by some of the Calla’s, I thought to myself, wouldn’t it just be so cool to see a bird sitting on one of them. So, I am certain you already know what happened. The very next morning, as we walked by the exact same flower on our way to the headlands, there was a bird, sitting on that exact flower.

He, Jesus, simply makes me smile. He knows our thoughts. He knows what brings us pleasure. He’s more than we can ask or imagine.

“Instead, seek his kingdom, and these things will be added to you. ‘Fear not, little flock, for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom.’ ” Luke 12:31-32

Fear not, little flock, it is the Father’s good pleasure to bring a smile to your face and joy to your heart. Jesus!

Only believe.

By the way – just a little trivia. Calla’s are not part of the genus of lily’s. They were mistakenly called that once upon a time, and the title stuck. Because of their trumpet shape, they are symbolic of victory.
Daily Painters of Minnesota
International Abstract Artists

• • • Join my daughter, Jessica, and I at our first ever joint Art Reception at the
Ring Mountain Creamery in Eagan, MN.
Sunday, June 3, 2-5pm. We would love to see you there!!!

This sweetie has found a new home! So excited!

Bird and Calla Painting by Sue Kemnitz


two-way conversation

“In these days he went out to the mountain to pray,healing hope bird by Minnesota artist Sue Kemnitz …and all night he continued in prayer to God. And when day came, he called his disciples and chose from them twelve, whom he named apostles: Simon, whom he named Peter, and Andrew his brother, and James and John, and Philip, and Bartholomew, and Matthew, and Thomas, and James the son of Alphaeus, and Simon who was called the Zealot, and Judas the son of James, and Judas Iscariot, who became a traitor.” Luke 6:12-16

Prayer. I have always like the idea of prayer. Especially the “ask and you shall receive” part. I want every prayer to be answered. According to God’s will. Yes, I have seen prayers answered, but I want more prayers answered.

Jesus went to the mountain to pray. He wanted to be alone with Poppa God. Just the two of them, quality time with Poppa. Jesus had a specific conversation topic that evening: the disciples. Who will they be?.

I remember in college we “pulled all-nighters,” which usually meant a paper was due or there was a test to study for. Jesus, however, pulled on God—an all-nighter to be with Poppa and to seek His advice.

How does an all-night prayer start? The gates of His courts are praise. This was emphasized to me poignantly this past Saturday at the Healing Rooms. Pastor Daniel from Kenya stopped by. We asked him for a blessing for the team. He started in song. Literally praising the Lord. “You are worthy. You are Holy!” Words can’t describe his song. It was to God and was as if we weren’t in the room. I assure you, it opened the heavens! And His presence fell in our midst. Oh, that we would start each and every prayer in total praise and thanksgiving unto the Lord and Him alone!

Jesus set aside the entire night for prayer. How long did worship and adoration last? How long would we?

Once in Poppa’s presence, He quieted His mind and settled on the subject at hand. Who, Poppa God, are my closest companions here on the earth to be? Did they discuss the different characteristics and what would be needed? Or did they select based on zeal and passion? Or the capacity to listen and learn? What did each one bring that no one else could?

  • Simon. Whom he named Peter. The Father may have shown Jesus. Passionate. The rock. Someone ready to jump in and do anything.
  • Andrew. The brother of Peter. The quieter one. Liked the background.
  • James and John. A second set of brothers. Prone to justice. Like front-row seats. And a tad impetuous..
  • Philip. From the same town as Peter and Andrew. Perhaps friends of James and John.
  • Matthew. A tax collecter? He could chart the days travels, since he would know the area well. Thomas. Always wanting to check everything out.
  • Yet another James. (There’s too many Mary’s for me, too…)
  • Simon, the Zealot. The Zealots were radically opposed to Roman rule. So his frequent question may have been, when’s the rest of the army coming, Jesus. Let’s finish these guys off and get to the ruling part!
  • Judas. “Are you certain, Poppa?”

Jesus came into His courts. And the Father was pleased to pause and show Jesus what He saw in each disciple. A view from the heavenly perspective.

They took all night to chat and to joyfully explore. Prayer was conversation. Laughter filled. Many smiles back and forth. Purposeful. Intentional. And an eagerness to hear the next word from Poppa.

That’s what I want my prayer life to be. Intimate. Loving. Joy filled. And to come to morning, after a night of prayer, with resolution.

Closure. Until the next conversation. It’s not a test. Or is it?

Only believe.
Daily Painters of Minnesota
International Abstract Artists

healing hope bird by Minnesota artist Sue Kemnitz

Please say a prayer for Austin, to whom this painting is going. Its a “Healing Hope Bird.”

something greater

above by contemporary abstract artist Sue Kemnitz
Jesus continually amazes and delights me—His radical love for us.

On any average day, He turned thought patterns by 180 degrees. Having respect for the law and those in authority, He more often than not had little respect for their interpretation. Jesus show-cased “the greater…”

Take Matthew 12 for example.

One Sabbath, Jesus and the boys were out for a stroll in the grain fields, the disciples were hungry and stopped for a bite. A little grain on the side of the road, regardless of the day of the week it was. Jesus ruffled the proverbial pharisaical feathers when He did not take them to task for harvesting on the holy day.  The disciples were hungry, after all. Jesus let them eat. Jesus shows Himself to be the merciful one, the compassionate one. He wanted them nourished. (Did He also lead them to eat?)

Something greater….

As Jesus looked up, He spotted a man whose hand was crippled. It’s possible that He did not as much see a crippled hand, but saw a whole and healthy hand, and so was surprised by the pharisees question—whether or not to heal on the Sabbath. The answer He gave was brilliant. Who would not help a sheep that had fallen? Jesus, the tenderhearted shepherd, would of course restore one of His sheep, regardless of the day. It is the second bullet point in His job description, “destroying the works of the enemy,” and comes right after “love”.

Something greater…

And now, under attack, He escapes to pray. Jesus heads for the Fathers presence. To say thank you. To praise Him. To gather in the love of the Father. The perfect Sabbath activity. Though the other sheep follow—and they are all healed.

Something greater…

Think and re-think. Can we turn our thoughts and actions to be more merciful, gracious, and tenderhearted? I am the first in line…

His love and abundant blessings to all!

Only believe.

Please click “like” if you like! And, pass this on! Spread the word of His goodness!
Daily Painters of Minnesota
International Abstract Artists