PART 49: SEASON OF DREAMS COMING TO PASS! Painting for the Lord after all these years.

 PART 49: Season of Dreams, coming to pass. Many years ago, almost thirty, I had a dream in my heart to paint, make jewelry and crafts. And be a missionary. I even went to Bible school for that. The Lord put that same calling on Bryan’s heart! This is a little different than I had intended. Turns out I raise money for missions and Bryan does his missions in stories (until his miracle.) It had been almost thirty years that I did not paint until God put it in my heart to do it for missions. Back then, when God first gave me the dream, He even gave me a name to call my Art business, “Just For You”. All these years I thought the name was Just For You because I always did custom work. Turns out, the “Just For You”, is for Him. I see that now! Just For You Lord, Just For YOU! This is the season of dreams coming to pass (for many.) He is allowing me to speak through painting to share His heart. This is the way he allowed me to be a missionary. Artist preach with every stroke of their paint brush! 

Thirty years ago, about the time I painted the tree that I titled, There Is Always Hope, a prophet came to our church, named John Avanzini. He prophesied over me and said, “God said why do you have your breaks on? I want to bless you, take the brakes off.” I remember those words perfectly! He went on to say more, but I forget the rest exactly, but to the effect, I was to do my painting and crafts business. Back then, I was nervous and shy. I did step out after that and named my business Just For You. I even went door to door with a portfolio of my work and had all kinds of orders, but I could not balance family and the work load. And with little kids, I did not have a place to get my paint out. I never fully took off the breaks back then, but I did release them a little to go a wee bit faster! The scared part inside of me that hesitated to step out, trusted God, knowing He would help me when the time came. I probably did not do what I should have back then, but God is the God of second chances and dreams that don’t die.

I raised a family and tucked the dreams away in my heart, putting them on hold. I’ve painted a thousand paintings in my mind, waiting for the day I would have time to put them on canvas. This is that season. I am glad you are in it with me! I know there are many of you awakening to your own dreams. Go ahead, dream with God! It is always a new day with Him and his answers are yes and amen to the dreams he put in your heart!

When Bryan decided to enter the mission field, He actually planned on selling everything he owned and becoming a missionary! Those were his dreams. God put it on my heart at that time to paint to raise money for those missions. Bryan had just helped me make a little gift shop and set up my Art studio. We just got done the night before his accident! The last thing he did was put a light together for me in the shop. It took me five years after his accident to start to write about it. Then the Lord, once again, put it in my heart to paint to raise money for missions. 

This Is dreaming with God for me and for Bryan. Bryan is right by my side while I paint. He is a blessing just having him here! He knows how much I loved to paint, too, and always wanted me to paint again. To do it now, in his honor, is my way to carry on for him and go on with the plans God put in our hearts, me painting, Bryan missions. His stories are like him going on missions all around the world. Check out the Lion post that I share his stories on, it has gone all over the world with stories of God’s love, mercy, grace and saving power! It has everything that was in Bryan’s heart to share when he decided to be a missionary! By the way, if there are any Artist out there that God has put on your heart to paint, and you have a heart for missions, please join me on this journey. I will share your work on my website, just let me know if you are interested. 

It was a long way to get here, and I wish Bryan was not in the accident, but we go on anyway, and are thankful. “Father God, the brakes are off. Thank you Daddy. I love you!” I say the brakes off because not only am I painting like He put it in my heart to do, but I am going full force to raise money for missions, preach the gospel and make an opportunity for other Artist to do the same. I am sharing for Bryan, too! Artist, Remember I said earlier, we preach with every stroke of our paint brush. 

This has been the longest journey anyone could imagine as a Mom. My heart broke a thousand times and a thousand times God healed it. My hope is in the Lord and I will never give up on believing for a miracle for Bryan. In the meanwhile, I am thankful he is here with me. I love this boy so much! Thank you for all your love, prayers and support for Bryan, myself and our family. 

My testimony (part one) is with the Lion pic at bottom. Just click on pic to read. The horse on this post is the first painting I painted in 2015. Many more to come! I would be so honored if you tell your friends about me. To be notified of new art or stories you can click the like button on top of my art page and from that same button, select get notifications. Art page link: https://www.facebook.com/Propheticartjustforyou Thank you so much! God bless you! Love, Pam, Bryan’s Mom! 

Blog of prophetic art paintings and inspirational stories by Pam Herrick, artist at Just For You Prophetic Art.

Archieves

Part 5: More on love...religion is not love, God is.

More on Love. My husband was invited by his boss to a church Valentine dinner. They’re Mennonites. We are kind of not your normal looking Christians. Long hair, tatoos… but we sure love the Lord very much! I felt a little funny about going. Knowing how “proper” they are in their religion, but felt it would be a dishonor to turn down the invitation. So I went. I told my husband, I’m not putting my hair up. I have very long hair and it gives me a headache to put it up. He laughed and said I’m not putting mine up either! His is almost as long as mine, lol! Mennonites and the Amish here where I live in Pennsylvania put their hair up and wear a covering. 

We get there and all eyes are on us kind of thing. I smile, because I love people, whether they are biker looking, prim and proper or somewhere in between. I can’t help however thinking they probably think I am going to hell. Sorry, just a little honesty. I notice no one has a wedding ring on. I ask my husband’s bosses’ wife about it. She says they don’t believe in Jewelry. I said, “oh”. I look over at my husband’s hands. He has a ring on every finger except one thumb! I have my wedding ring on. I give her a cringed, eyebrow raised smile and she pats me on the shoulder. I respect their ways, but I don’t like it when religion strips life and beauty away. Isn’t the ring a symbol of love and commitment in the Bible? And in the old testament, they even wore nose rings! The rules take away any expression of self. You know, God likes our individuality, He made us each unique. I don’t think He has a problem with us expressing it. The Amish are only allowed to wear brown, black, or blue…depending on which order they belong to. I don’t understand it. God made colors, why not be able to wear them? Anyway, back to the dinner party.

It was wonderful food and I really enjoyed the way they came together as a community. Lots of kids. I mean lots, like over 8 a family. It was nice. They were nice to us, we did get some looks, but they were nice to us. I think they were in there minds going to convert us to Christianity, not knowing we were already Christians. 

I asked the boss’s wife how many kids she had. She gave me a number. I forget how many she said, maybe 10? Then she said she used to have one more and she looked down while she said it. Her expression got instantly hard. I was taken back at the change. She said they had written him off because he wanted to listen to Contemporary Christian music. She admitted he loved the Lord but that he was not allowed in their home. He was kicked out and banned. Over music. Not even bad music. Not that that matters, we should love beyond all things, I don’t care what is going on, you love, you pray, you encourage, you stick with your kids! It killed me to hear her talking. MY HEART HURT. She said he was not allowed back since he refused to stop listening. And she cut him cruelly out of their lives. There was no kindness in her words to him at all. Only her sticking strongly to her religious standpoint. What good is a religious standpoint if there is not love in it? 

I was feeling a little shocked. I didn’t know what to say. I encouraged her that he could not outrun the love of God. And that God loved him very much and would look after him. She softened a little with those words and I hoped that a seed of love and acceptance was planted. It came to the end of dinner and the Pastor prayed after giving a good message on community and helping one another. But when he prayed, he prayed God convict the kids not to listen to Contemporary Christian music so they did not go to hell and to help the parents keep their kids pure from the world, from the devil. I don’t remember all of the prayer, but that part stung. It was controlling and it lacked love, in my opinion. I can still feel the sting in my heart. The prayer for protection was good, I pray for protection all the time for my kids. But to link it to not do this so they don’t go to hell? Jesus is the only reason we don’t go to hell, not us not listening to Contemporary Christian music or any music for that matter. Yeah, I’m being a little harsh, but seriously! God says praise Him with the harp, the string, the drum…help me out here, all kinds of things right? I don’t think I ever read once, praise me only with a church organ and piano and don’t ever sing anything unless it came from a church Hymn book. OHHH really!? Ok, rant over. My apologies. Couldn’t help myself. 

When I got home, I did not go in right away. I sat in the car alone for about a half and hour and cried. I was so weighed down in my heart for what I had seen and heard. I was hurt for that kid that was banned from his home. He was probably hungry for the Lord. He wanted more and since he did not conform to the religious expectations, he was booted out. I just cried. My words expressing the mother’s contempt did not do what actually happened justice. I can’t even explain it. And the Pastor praying like he did. I just had to sit and cry it out and pray for them. They know God. They believe in Jesus, but where does all that other stuff come from. Religion sucks. Excuse my words. But it does. It strips grace, it demands, it says I only love you if you get it right. It says if you follow these rules, I will love you. If not, you are out. God’s love is unconditional, His laws are written on our heart. His Holy Spirit convicts and leads each of our hearts closer to Him and we weed stuff out of our own heart as He makes it known to us. I just sat there in that car and cried because I did not know what to do with the pain of having heard a mom just unlove her kid. How do you do that? Religion has a very strong hand. 

I had to share that story while I spoke on love. After sharing Bryan’s heart on love. Our kids really need love. Of course they need boundaries, especially while younger, and need training. But all that can be done in love. When our kids are older, we did our job training. At that time more than any other, they need love. God will convict their hearts if they get off a little. He will never leave them or forsake them. All the days of their life! They can’t outrun God’s love. 

Ok, I hope I shared the beauty of Grace compared to the harsh taskmaster of religion. When I say religion, I mean all the man made rules and expectations put on the hearts of men to earn God’s love. IT IS FREELY GIVEN AND POURED OUT AND YOU CAN NEVER EARN IT, IT JUST IS, IT WILL NEVER CHANGE, YOU CAN’T OUT RUN IT, YOU CAN’T LOOSE IT. YOU ARE LOVED WITH AN EVERLASTING LOVE. NO MATTER WHAT! PERIOD! That love will lead your heart where it needs to go, will protect you, will forgive you, will help you to forgive. EVERYTHING YOU NEED IS IN THAT LOVE, THE LOVE OF GOD FOR THE WHOLE WIDE WORLD. How big is that LOVE? He sent JESUS to die for all sin so the world could have GOD’S LOVE, NOTHING HINDERING IT. There is absolutely nothing that can separate you from the love of GOD, including listening to Contemporary Christian Music. In Charlie Browns words, good grief!

I pray my Art and stories are a blessing! More added all the time. Please tell your friends about my art and Bryan’s story. You can also follow me on Facebook to know what I post new art or stores at  https://www.facebook.com/Propheticartjustforyou (select get notifications from like button) or on  Pinterest for cool ideas and artsy stuff at https://www.pinterest.com/JFYPropheticArt/  Or Instagram at www.instagram.com/just_for_you_prophetic_art/Thank you so much!​ Feel free to copy and share my pics (just include my name and web address if possible) All prints are made on high quality archival photo paper. Watermark will not be on print.  I hope my art is a blessing to you! Thanks for looking!

THANK YOU FOR YOUR VISIT TODAY.
IT IS AN HONOR TO SHARE THE LOVE OF GOD
THROUGH PROPHETIC ART.
BLESSINGS!