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The worlds rivers are drying up. (Google search)
"Remember, you ARE the salt of the earth.....
however, you are NOT the taste, which is Christ!"
Isabelle Murray Art
...I'm an artist and I am good!!" (five year old granddaughter!)
What is happening?
Worlds major rivers are drying up. (BBC News)
Isaiah 19 vs 5 - 10
The water will be low in the Nile, and the river will gradually dry up.
The channels of the river will stink as they slowly go dry. Reeds and rushes will wither,
and all the crops planted along the banks of the Nile will dry up and be blown away.
Everyone who earns a living by fishing in the Nile will groan and cry; their hooks and their nets will be useless.
Those who make linen cloth will be in despair;
weavers and skilled workers will be broken and depressed.
Revelation 16 vs 12
And the sixth angel poured out his bowl onto the great river Euphrates, and its water was dried up so that the way of the kings from the rising of the sun might be prepared.
I'd like to take you back fifty-five years, to my small country village.
The village consisted mainly out of a main street where you could find two schools, Christian and state school, two churches, Reformed and a slightly different Reformed Church, and the grocery store.
It is this one woman grocery store where the story starts.
Dawn the store lady was already running the shop for years. As a widow she tried to make a living for herself and her only teenage young son.
By the nature of her business Dawn knew practically every household in the village including the financial situation of each of them, measured by how regular they were able to pay their weekly grocery bills.
Her shop was the natural gathering place of many villagers including myself at a very young age.
This is the environment where I enter this true story as a ten year old in 1955. The old copper bell mounted on the door usually rang out loud as the door opened. I always liked that glorious moment of entry with the loud bell-noise because it was ME who made it ring. On the other hand at the same time it was kind of embarrassing as all the people present in the store looked at that very moment at you when entering.
The store was one of the old type with a large oak counter and behind the counter many shelves, stacked with all types of groceries. On top of the counter, apart from the scales and the mechanical cash register, were usually big glass-storage bottles stacked on top of each other at a certain angle, kept together by a steel frame and containing all types of candies.
During the usual long wait, I used to look at the different types of candy on display imagining what they would taste like. I did not know because our family was not in a position to buy them.
Then it was my turn. I handed Dawn my shopping list and waited patiently till she had gathered all we needed. She put it neatly in the big brightly colored cotton shopping bag and then leaned over the counter eyeballing me in a friendly but authoritarian way:
"Did mum give you money, my boy" she asked.
I shook my head because my mum never gave me money and she should know that by now.
Still looking me in the eyes she said:" Go and tell your mum that I will write it down in the book. However next time she will have to pay".
I always felt the awkwardness of the situation and I rushed out of the store causing the doorbell to ring even louder. As young as I was I kind of sensed a lingering hopelessness during these encounters and was glad to be on my way home with my unpaid groceries.
That as far the real life time story goes.
Now the fictional part:
Allow me to restart the story at the moment where.....
.....Dawn put the groceries neatly in the big brightly colored cotton shopping bag and then leaned over the counter eyeballing me in a friendly but authoritarian way.
"Did mum give you money, my boy" she asked.
I shook my head because my mum never gave me money and she should know that by now.
By that time the doorbell had rang out quietly and a neatly dressed young man had entered the store and looked at the waiting people.
He was not a villager and the group of waiting clients was buzzing while eying up the handsome visitor.
He just caught the words Dawn was whispering to me and came forward putting His hand on my head.
Looking at Dawn He asked: "How much does he owe you?"
Dawn, struggling with the awkward question looked at the other clients present in the store, who were all holding their breath.
"No need to tell me" He said hastily, seeing her embarrassment. "I will pay for this family now and for all their future spending in your store. From now on, you can send me all the outstanding bills and I will pay them in full.
This offer is not only valid for the family of this boy, but for all the families who shop at your store".
The people in the store were stunned and gasped for breath.
I rushed home and told the whole story to my astonished mum.
"Do you mean to say that we will never have debt ever again?" she asked.
As she dried her tears she smiled and said," I will even be more conscious in spending the money now, I might be able to help others less fortunate then ourselves.
I knew that was my mum, directing her thankfulness somehow along the same lines as the stranger did.
I have always wondered whether that response had been the main purpose of the generosity of the neatly dressed young man, who never showed Himself again but paid Dawn all the bills promptly up to this day.
Like many of you, I've heard and read it countless times!
I know this story already for more then fifty years!
Then one day as by a divine touch, the real meaning of this rich deep story hit home, at least it shook up my life.
This divine touch can leave you potentially confused, excited, reassured or, as in my case, with a glorious revelation experience!
I am talking about the Samaritan woman at the well in the Gospel of John 4.
By many preachers, she has always been painted as the lady with a questionable past, who went through five husbands, and the one she was living with was not her husband either, according to a very reliable source: Jesus!
Surprisingly, Jesus does not turn away from her in horror and disgust, but He choses to do the opposite...to teach her!
She becomes one of the first human beings to be taught the miracle and principle of the Kingdom.
Here she is, a woman belonging to the despised Samaritans, a human being without any credibility according to the Jewish laws and attitude of the time.
Even the disciples were at least "mildly" disturbed, when they found Jesus talking to her by their return to the well.
Their behaviour gives us some insight in their preconceptions and ways of thinking regarding situations like these.
The disciples had no idea that they were about to go through a life-changing experience that would absolutely shatter their pre-conceptions about religion and human relationships, and would add inevitably a new level to their spiritual maturity.
First, Jesus paid attention to the person whom He knew had more spiritual depth then many of His own people.
He looked past the five husbands which could easily have been a dramatic run of illnesses in that family, and that she was therefore cared for by an appointed man according to the laws at the time.
We find a similar situation in the case in the old testament of the prophet Elijah living with the widow of Zarephath and her son.
This Samaritan woman turns out to be very knowledgeable about the religious environment of the times. Yes, she even knew about the Messiah who was about to come.
She rises far above the mediocrity of her fellow villagers, reaches out, absorbs and processes the words of life, provided by Jesus.
This exhibition of faith puts her on a similar level with Simeon who was waiting in the tempel for the arrival of the Messiah.
There is plenty of reason and evidence to believe that, instead of the perceived impression of a lady with a past, she was in fact a lady with a future and leadership, as she was evidently a highly esteemed prophetess (Revelation 19:10... for the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.)
and well regarded by her own people.
This explains her obvious gift of perception, the ease and authority by which she gets her fellow villagers to listen to the words of that strange Jewish teacher: Jesus.
She was clearly steeped in religion as she new the conditions of worship in her own culture as well as the Jewish, and was most likely familiar with the "theology" surrounding it.
She had all her religious facts lined up in a row and nothing would possibly surprise her.
Yes, apart from an underlying yearning for more, she was content with it, despite the obvious religious "enslavement" aspect.
Little did she know about that glorious spiritual glowing fire that was brooding under her spiritual feet, a fire that would free, purify and cleanse her for the rest of her life, and would put her into a real-life relationship with the person she was currently meeting. (Another man added to her list!)
In His short teaching-session, Jesus gets straight to the point by exposing the center-core truth about the Kingdom, which is in a nutshel the Spirit of God governing man,
thereby heralding the coming demise of the known formal type of worship, including the use of the buildings dedicated to that purpose.
The emphasis in His teaching is on the walk of a human being by the government of the Spirit of God.
This Spirit is the bread of Life and the Living water, providing for every possible need and directs the receiving person into a lifestyle which is worship by nature.
When the Spirit of God directs a personal daily christian-church-life into a daily reality-worship-life, Truth is the result.
Since Truth is the person of Christ, it is easy to see that a Spirit governed personal life is the real life Gods children are all meant to experience, lead by the living Christ.
Is it not wonderful that Jesus entrusted the principle of the Kingdom to these despised people. They invited Jesus and the disciples to stay in their village and Jesus accepted.
They stayed for two days and reading their responses and reactions, Jesus's time in their midst touched these people involved dramatically, perhaps including the disciples. They all went through, what we would call, a real-life seminar/workshop, and many must have come out on the other side as changed people.
Understanding that this Kingdom-blueprint was also meant for the believers in the following ages, for us, raises in me the question; what on earth have we done with the Kingdom teaching!
Jesus always taught the spiritual reality of the Kingdom, never mentioned "church" or encouraged a church belief system, only the English translation bibles and institutional churches do.
The word "church" never shows up in the original transcripts but has been added by translators for a less then holy purpose.
Perhaps we are called to de-emphasize/abandon the church model (walking/living by instruction) and choose again for the Kingdom reality (walking/living bij revelation), in order to experience unobstructed the Christ of Christianity.
"God's plan" for your life.
Last night I watched one of these very eloquent TV preachers manipulating his audience with absolutely unrelated scripture quotes regarding "living for God", and thereby projecting an image of a God who has your life mapped out.
"God has a plan for your life" is the constantly repeated message, with a liberal sprinkling of additional words like "I think", "I sense", "I feel", "I believe".
One does not need much "spiritual discernment" to pin-point the origin of this type of ridiculous sermons as soulical.
They preach that you have to search for God's plan and consequently walk in it in order to have a fulfilled life.
This often results in a situation where saints potentially spend a considerable amount of time constantly looking over the fence for that elusive God's greener-grass-plan, while unknown to themselves, they are already knee-deep standing in it!
God has not a plan FOR you, YOU ARE God's plan!! Now THAT is inspiring!
Look what Christ achieved for the saints by His redemptive work on the cross:
He changed you from sinner to saint,
from darkness into the light,
from death to resurrection,
from an earthly father to a heavenly Father,
from a temporary earthly destination to an eternal new-earth destination,
from being oppressed under evil to seated with a ruling Christ at the right hand of God,
from an old Adamic nature to a new Godly nature,
from a decaying human body into an eternal temple,
from ruling to serving,
from compulsion to freedom,
from hatred to loving,
from a restless self to a resting in Him,
instead of "living" life yourself, enabled to have Him living HIS life through you!
All this made real because the Creator of heaven and earth decided to dwell IN you!
Having been gifted all this and walking in it, what possible reason would you have to look over the fence for God's so called "plan for your life?"
Matthew 11:30: For My yoke is easy, and My burden is light.
Email: Contact the artist
Here you can read an extended background study of The Hebrew Covenants
Christ...the Way...the Truth...the Life.
I used to think that the way to the Father was the finished WORK of Christ, an honorable act and something one could talk about and perfect to build theologies on, I never thought about the PERSON.
I always thought studying the Bible was the way, isn't the Bible the way?
It points to THE WAY, which is according to His own words the person of Jesus Christ! ( John 14 vs 6: Jesus said to him, I am.. the Way )
The Father loved His world, His Art work so much that He sent His only Son to wash away the sin of this world, white!... that's it, you got it, which is the new Covenant of Grace, the Good News Christians are supposed to bring to 'the world.' instead of that old gloomy message of sin and Law.
He placed the life-giving Christ-life in those who repented, acknowledged and embraced Him and the work He had done, and entered into an active personal relationship with their Saviour.
These accepting ones, whom we call disciples or Christians, experienced an act of recreation/rebirth within them, enabling them to be presented by the Son, Jesus Christ, as a new creation, saints, sons, members of the Kingdom Family before Him, the Father, ready to do His will!
So what does this teach me. It teaches that Christianity is not a knowledge that I can obtain by Bible study or just a higher moral standard, it is not a status that I can reach after mountains of good works.
It teaches me that The Way is a Person and that Christianity is all about a personal relationship with that Person Jesus Christ.
Him, Jesus Christ knowing ME is just as crucial as ME knowing Him. ( Mat 7:23 .... I never knew you! )
It is within this two-way personal relationship that the real purpose of my existence here on earth becomes apparent, which is, to do the will of the Heavenly Father, functioning within the purpose of the Kingdom of Heaven.
This is very critical and should cause us to sit up and ultimately get us out of our often misguided contemporary deadly/sleepy do-good-church-spirit-slumber as the following frightening scripture clearly suggests!
Mat 7:21 Not everyone who says to Me, Lord! Lord! shall enter the kingdom of Heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in Heaven.
Mat 7:22 Many will say to Me in that day, Lord! Lord! Did we not prophesy in Your name, and through Your name throw out demons, and through Your name do many wonderful works?
Mat 7:23 And then I will say to them I never knew you! Depart from Me, those working lawlessness!
Joh 20:26 And after eight days the disciples were inside again, and Thomas was with them. Jesus came, the doors being shut, and stood in the midst and said, Peace to you!
Joh 20:27 Then He said to Thomas, Reach your finger here and behold My hands; and reach your hand here and thrust it into My side; and do not be unbelieving, but believing.
Joh 20:28 And Thomas answered and said to Him, My Lord and my God!
Unfortunately, this story has generally been used to highlight the lack of faith in Thomas, while in fact, Christ points Thomas to the truth of the unique combination of His perfect earthly body and His divine post-resurrection state, the combination of the two is HIM, the TRUTH.
Thomas clearly understood Christ's teaching as he answered: "My Lord AND my God!
The two elements, (red and white in the painting) the human body combined with the divine state, are the foundation of the Christian teaching of the resurrection of the body into a perfect state.
No other religion preaches the physical resurrection of the body and the opposite of this biblical teaching forms the cornerstone of the anti-Christ spirit deception.
Only Jesus Christ is combining the physical and the divine in one person as a future-promise to all who believe.
In this act, He exhibits the perfect truth. Outside Him is no truth.
Many of these anti physical resurrection-teachings have filtered through into the Christian church by early philosophers, have found a firtile environment within the Christian thinking, and are the root of false teachings on this subject within the worldwide church.
This is what John and Paula Sandford have to say in their book
"The Elijah Task"
"Only Jesus is truth. He has embodied truth, lived it, expressed it, and contained it within his own gracious character and personality.
In Him, truth has become a way, the way, and life.
This means that, for the Christian, truth has ceased to be confined solely to logical fact. Truth is either done within the character and personality of Jesus Christ, or it has failed of fulfillment as truth, no matter how factually accurate."
"A man can present truth so arrogantly that man will not listen, That man's truth has failed to find expression in our Lord's way; therefore, however factually true it may have been, it has failed to become truth to his fellow men"
When reading scriptures closely, we will notice the many situations where situations seem to be in paradox with our perceptions.
He died, opened up the way to salvation for the entire world. That is the Good News we can pass on to the world: you are forgiven by Grace. However forgiveness is not salvation. To become part of the new covenant, the Kingdom of God, one has to embrace the One who atoned, namely Christ.
Those who have accepted Christ will show the new life of Christ as a replacement of their old. One that dies with Him cannot hide the new life we live in Him now, and that's the working of the cross.
The cross is not logical. Satan expected a frontal -head on attack and I believe he was prepared for that.
Satan did not get to face an attacking Christ, instead an atoning Christ.
In His atoning act, Christ puts His people outside the eternally devastating ownership of Satan by having His people spiritually die to the old situation and with Him,
resurrected into the new life, outside the reach of Satan.
Out of the reality of the sinful human life, through the cross into a new life eternal.
Like many things in scripture, that sounds back to front. In fact it was the glorious plan of the Father to get this human race out of the grasp of the dark one,
by providing light in darkness and life in death.
Behind the pictures
mural by Monsma (1980)
through my web-site and seeing the limited space I have for the
explanation of my work in my Galleries, I came to see the need of
conveying a more in-depth view of how and what I
noticed that many of the visitors to my web site would like to know
more about the thinking, motivation and meaning of the
to meet that desire, it is my intention to use this page, as an
ongoing, self renewing medium towards my visitors to provide some
more background information concerning my art work and what moved
me to paint it.
"Creation" mural by Monsma (1980) at the Christian
Reformed Church, Drachten, The
call it "Speaking in tongues with paint" but
*Expressionism is an artistic style in which the artist
seeks to depict not objective reality but rather the subjective
emotions and responses that objects and events arouse in him.
He accomplishes his aim through distortion, exaggeration,
primitivism, and fantasy and through the vivid, jarring, violent,
or dynamic application of formal elements.*
Detail "Creation" mural by Monsma (1980)