The Super Spiritual People

So many persons consider themselves spiritual.  You know the type.  Always lecturing others to count their blessings, quoting famous spiritual writers and the bible, and in general feeling very pleased with themselves about their spirituality.  Many of them are very active in organized religion.  They look down on others who don’t go to church, or aren’t as active as they are in service and volunteer work, or who have a lot of struggles and difficulties in life.

What I’m wondering is this – if there are so many super spiritual people in this world, why does the world seem to be spinning out of control?  Why is there so much more violence, immorality, and poverty?  Why are so many nations at odds with each other?

What I’ve noticed is, that when I have an issue, or am upset, these super spiritual people, instead of coming alongside me in compassion and kindness, they tend to lecture at me, preach at me, judge me, and criticize me.  It is as if they are using my misfortune to lift themselves above me, and give themselves a quick feel good boost emotionally.  They tend to come off as arrogant, harsh, cold, uncaring, judgmental, and sometimes even condemning.

Here is what Jesus said about religious people who lack love:

Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal.  And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing.  And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing.  1 Corinthians 13: 1-3 KJV

I don’t know if it is just something in American Christianity, or worldwide, but it seems as though many Christians have lost the spirit of love.  And the Bible says “God is love”.   The Bible says that the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, faithfulness, and self control.  Yet, more often than not, what I personally witness is Christians who are arrogant, self righteous, harsh, cold, quick to judge, and rudeness.

Could it be that many of us have become the whitewashed sepulchers that Jesus talked about in the gospels?

For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:  Not of works, lest any man should boast.  For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.  Ephesians 2: 8-9 KJV

Could it be that 2 Timothy 3 is becoming even more relevant today, as we near the time of the return of Jesus Christ?

“This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come.  For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God; Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away.”

Jesus’ most scathing words were reserved for self-righteous Pharisees.

Yes, I’ve neglected my blog…

… because of a veritable storm of family issues.  There have been 3 significant injuries over the past 2 weeks – 2 dislocated shoulders, and a dislocated toe.  My older son Jonathan got his car totaled on a 3 week road trip all over the western USA, then got stranded in Colorado (we live in Missouri) because a freak hailstorm with tennis ball sized hail ruined all the rental cars.  My husband and I were spending the week dealing with the various health issues and auto insurance claim stuff.  Many other things have gone on too, which I don’t want to bore people with.  I’m extremely thankful that he and his girlfriend came out of this unharmed.  Thank you Jesus!  I had been praying for him every day, and the Lord was with him.

Fortunately, I have been able to still squeeze in some time for painting.

I like to walk every day if I can.  I go around my neighborhood.  I’m fortunate to live in south St Louis, where there is quite a lot of old and beautiful architecture, and tree lined boulevards with shady parkways in the middle.  One day, I walked past an alleyway, and saw a charming wooden fence.  Someone must have planted some meadow mix along the base of it. There were some colorful wildflowers growing along the base of it.

There is a subtle complementary color scheme going on here.  It is yellow and violet.  The fence is based on yellow orange, and the alley and some of the flowers are blue violet.  I went impressionist on this by using broken color on the fence and pavement.  I also have an interesting contrast between the urban elements of street, power line shadows, dumpsters, and fence, with the organic plants, tree, and flowers.  The rather austere appearance of background dumpsters and garages emphasizes the beauty and grace of the blooming things.  Here is the listing in my online store.

Alley Rhythm.jpg
Alley Rhythm, oil on canvas panel, 24″ x 18″

From Darkness to Light

I seem to have taken a turn towards the abstract.  I never thought this would happen.  However, I have become interested in expressing ideas, instead of physical stuff lately.  This piece was entirely hand drawn – no computers here.  I only used a ruler for the lines I drew in perspective.  I hand drew all the ovals.

Before I knew Jesus Christ and had a personal faith in Him, I was in darkness.  I came to trust in Him in 1976.

The square light represents Him.  All the small surrounding ovals in white, yellow, green, and blue represent different facets of me, and also me in various stages of my life.  Some days in my life,  I am towards the dark, blue ovals.  Other times I am in the light yellow area.  Most days I’m in the green or yellow green areas.

For the past couple of months, I had been struggling with bitterness and resentment.  I was in the darker bluer areas at that time.  In the past few days, God has really been dealing with me, and I’ve repented of unforgiveness.  I’m praying for some people that have been persecuting me and falsely accusing me.  I’ve forgiven them.  I have to see them as broken, hurting people, which they are.  I have to look beneath the surface, which is usually hard, tough, aggressive, and often polished and pretty.  My sins against Jesus are so much greater than any transgressions against me.  I can only forgive and let go through the power of the Holy Spirit.  I have felt such peace and joy since I’ve released all the wrongs done to me.  I’m praying for the people who hurt me, sincerely.  Thank you Jesus.

Here is the link to my etsy store listing. 

fromdarknesstolight
From Darkness to Light, pastel, 24 x 18