The Faithfulness of God, Amid Rejection and Strong Critique


Sometimes I've thought I “knew” what God was doing, leading me to places, meeting certain people, etc.


But the longer I live, the more I realize how little I really understand what He is doing in and through my life.

Yet, as the old hymn “Be Still My Soul” says, “in every change, He faithful will remain.”

_________________


There is an important principle in the Bible – God's ways are often opposite our own thinking, and what we think is best.

The way up is usually down.

The apostles got into an argument about which one of them was the greatest. And he said unto them, The kings of the Gentiles exercise lordship over them; and they that exercise authority upon them are called benefactors. But ye shall not be so: but he that is greatest among you, let him be as the younger; and he that is chief, as he that doth serve.” ~ Luke 22:24-26

The way forward is back.

Thus saith the LORD, Stand ye in the ways, and see, and ask for the old paths, where is the good way, and walk therein, and ye shall find rest for your souls.” ~ Jeremiah 6:16


The way to begin to live is to first die.

Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone: but if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit. ~ John 12:24

Not striving enables God to work.

And Moses said unto the people, Fear ye not, stand still, and see the salvation of the LORD, which he will shew to you to day: for the Egyptians whom ye have seen to day, ye shall see them again no more for ever. ~ Exodus 14:13

Weakness usually means God can use you.

And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. ~ II Corinthians 12:9

Loss is gain.

For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: but whosoever will lose his life for my sake, the same shall save it. For what is a man advantaged, if he gain the whole world, and lose himself, or be cast away?” ~ Luke 9:24-25

Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but rubbish, that I may win Christ,” ~ Philippians 3:8

Give to receive.

Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom. For with the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you again. ~ Luke 6:38

If you don't see how, believe by faith He sees.

(For we walk by faith, not by sight:) ~ II Corinthians 5:7

Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge [know Him intimately] him, and he shall direct thy paths. ~ Proverbs 3:5-6

___________________


Amaryllis Trilogy - Hope Springs Eternal, 24 x 48 acrylic on Canvas by Elise, April 2019

Proverbs 18:12 puts it this way, “Before destruction the heart of man is haughty, and before honour is humility.”

Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time: Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you. ~ I Peter 5:6-7


Taking Recent Opportunities and Experiencing Rejection


In March I visited NYC. I had two main purposes: One was to attend a meeting, the other was to try to find an art gallery to help market my paintings.


I stayed five days, and was preparing to leave the city early the next morning when, at 7 PM, I received a phone call from a friend I'd met in January at a Bible Study. She said, “Elise, my husband and I would like to house you for the next nine days, so you can stay in the city until your next bus leaves.” (I buy tickets far in advance, not knowing my schedule or where I can stay at the time of purchase.)


Hosta, blooming!


This extension of my March trip enabled me to attend a prayer gathering at an Art Gallery. I received a very warm welcome, and after showing some of my greeting card portfolio, I was very surprised to then be invited by the Gallery owner to participate in a Botanical Exhibition later this year, in September, at the Gallery.


"You don't paint contemporary work at all, I know hundreds of artists who can paint like you, so I want to make it clear, I liked your testimony, and I want to support you.”


Mainly, I didn't think my work fit the style of their contemporary Gallery. But I was appreciative for any help given.


After arriving home from NYC in March, I needed mat board and foam core to frame some works for a local Gallery exhibit. My sister helped me get to the shop to obtain these, and while in the store, I noticed canvas was on a 70%-off sale, the lowest prices of the year.


Blue Hydrangea found on someone's entry steps - so pretty!


I'd been thinking about a reference photo of some forced Amaryllis bulbs I'd taken at Christmastime. I felt they would make an excellent first Botanical painting, and I'd been imagining how the finished painting would look, larger than life.


I found the perfect size canvas for this painting – 24 x 48 inches – it matched the size in my imagination, and bought it.


That day I spent all the money I currently had on mat board and canvas. I was pretty penniless, but I was confident God would provide.


Time was tight, I had plans to travel back to NYC in early May. I managed to frame my watercolors, and then began painting the white Amaryllis on canvas.


Because I'm very sensitive to chemical fumes, I borrowed a large heavy easel from dear artist friends, and painted outside in around 50-degree weather, standing for hours at a stretch, “dressed for bear” in a coat, hat, neck-warmer, smock, and gloves.


Painting flowers in acrylic is challenging, especially white-on-white petals! But I really enjoyed it. I listened to beautiful old hymns while I painted and went to bed happy.


I took a break for Resurrection Day, going to see my family. It was helpful to the piece, to paint again after spending a few days away.


Amaryllis Trilogy, Hope Springs Eternal - before any varnish!
Just before I left Vermont, I varnished two pieces - a canvas print and the Amaryllis painting. The canvas print looked fine after the varnishing, but the larger Amaryllis canvas was very absorbent – it sucked up all the varnish, leaving only the white semi-matte film over the entire painting, greatly dimming the color of both petals and background!

This was the Veggie Print on Canvas after the semi-gloss varnish - it looked great!


It was a shock, to “give birth” to a large new work, feel satisfied with my effort, and then see it “die” by my own hand and varnish decision!


Amaryllis Trilogy, Hope Springs Eternal - after semi-matte varnish

A small original watercolor sold at the end of April, and this sale enabled me to travel once more. 


I had under $200 in my pocket when I returned to NYC in early May, carrying the large unframed canvas as well as a box of my best watercolors onto the bus with me.


"Where there is a will, there is a way” and thankfully God has given me a lot of determination and mental fortitude.


There was Hope for my new painting, too.


I had spoken to a Varnish Tech on the phone, and he thought if I applied a coat of Gloss over the semi-gloss, the new varnish would reactivate the undercoat, and bring the painting to life again!


I bought Gloss varnish the very day I arrived in NYC, but waited for sunny weather to re-varnish. And my painting did come to life again! I was SO very pleased and grateful to see a great deal more of the background colors once more.


Amaryllis Trilogy - Hope Springs Eternal, 24 x 48 Acrylic on Canvas, by Elise, 2019


That week was full of changes, as I sojourned – staying the first five nights with one friend, then due to unexpected and stressful “drama” at a couple locations, changed where I slept the next Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and then moved again with all my heavy luggage on Friday.


Amid these moves, on Wednesday I went to see two Galleries. The one where I'd been invited into the Botanical Exhibit had said they needed to see my work and approve it – hence my feeling of pressure, to get a piece done in time to bring it along!


But the Gallery owner didn't like my Amaryllis acrylic at all!


I was told my watercolors were much stronger, but even so, they didn't feel they wanted to help me market my work at all.


I was told there was a lot of ME in the work, but God wasn't seen in my pieces. “You talk a lot about God, but I don't see Him in your work.”


I was also told I should not be making my living as a visual artist.


I was told I need to return to my first love (God) and RECEIVE.


This is good advice, and I agree. I have been busy like biblical “Martha” and I know I need to spend more quality time listening to His voice.

I found a lot of flowering trees while walking and could tell where I was based on their beauty

Rejection is Really Good Direction


Artists in any field usually experience a LOT of rejection. I try to see each closed door as a way of learning God's direction.


Open doors often follow closed ones, but I have to respond rightly and maintain hope and faith. It's always darkest before the dawn.


There was the question of trust and getting by on a thread, too.


"I know You have a plan, Father, even when I don't,” I tell Him often.


Tali Roth, Classical Guitar Mother's Day Concert, May 12, 2019

Contentment


I was thankful to be able to attend several Bible Studies, church services, and prayer meetings where I fellowship in the city.


The first Bible Study on Friday morning had an “ice-breaker” question: “How do you define Contentment?”


The best definition I've learned of this character quality is, “Knowing God has provided everything I need for my present happiness.”


The next day, in the afternoon, I bought some needed groceries, and after eating dinner, was washing the dishes. My finances came to mind. I had one hundred dollars and some change to my name, and there was a week to live through until my bus left for Vermont.


I was tempted to worry, but instead I internally decided to trust God.


Instantly, following my heart's decision, the Holy Spirit brought Philippians 4:11b-13 to mind!


...for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content.
I know both how to be abased, and I know how to abound: every where and in all things I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need. I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me."


There was peace in this message, for I knew God saw me.

Then Sunday morning I heard the sermon – it was on not worrying!

Three days later, on Wednesday - the same day I was rejected by the Contemporary Gallery - I received three unexpected separate financial donations.

Gifts totaling $530!

This stunned me. “Why are people suddenly giving me money?” I asked my Bible Study leader's wife. Despite my sometimes lackadaisical seeking Him, He was faithful to provide for me.

God's provision, amid the uncertainty of the week with changing housing and the rejection of both my work and the evidence of my assumed relationship with God, was comforting.

I attended a Bible Study on Job that week, which focused on Suffering and how suffering often helps us learn to trust God's sovereign hand more.

Then, the next Sunday's sermon was about how God led the Israelites into the wilderness to teach them to trust God for food and drink on a daily basis!

Dogwood Blooming mightily!


Being an Instrument of His Peace



Throughout my most recent time in NYC, I was glad to share what I've learned about emotional healing and did three biofield tuning sessions for three friends. 

One woman has been calling every day since I came home, telling me her life is profoundly different – and her friends are even asking what has happened, she's changed so noticibly! 

I praise God, for it is His design, to give the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness!

I am also so pleased to help organize having another friend, who is exhausted from care-giving for both of her parents for many years, be able to come to Vermont to have a greatly needed physical rest.

I feel I was sent to NYC for other more important reasons than finding an art gallery. I'm happy to have my new Amaryllis looking “glorious” again. 

As usual, my paintings are simply a tool which teach me truths and often lead to making connections with other people.

People who have real needs I can help meet.


An Orange Tulip Bed


Back to Rejection



Rejection is known as “the deepest wound.”

Silence is a form of rejection, but rejection can come verbally, through actions and real or perceived attitudes.

People who have been rejected usually reject others, if their rejection issues have not healed.

I've learned that sometimes people just need your presence. If I pull away from all those who are struggling to heal old wounds, they will never learn how to live in acceptance and receive Love.

Ultimately, I know God accepts me, and loves me. I can (and have) experience a lot of rejection from others if I know our Father in heaven accepts me!

Flowers in a Community Garden


Job's “Friends”



Job's Friends came and told Job they didn't see his relationship with God, and they suggested he must have sinned greatly, to be under such judgement, to have lost his entire family, all his possessions and be in dire straits with his physical health. They urged him to repent.

Job replies in chapter 12:2: “No doubt but ye are the people, and wisdom shall die with you.” I think he's being very sarcastic here. They weren't listening to him at all. They just judged him, harshly and wrongly.

I remember the summer I turned forty, and was grieving over not having had children. I was in Michigan visiting a friend, and teaching an art class at the time. One mother saw my grief, and instead of being the least bit sympathetic, came and stood in front of me, “You are either not a Christian, or you lack faith,” she proclaimed.

This may have been true. I did lack faith. I was suffering from exhaustion and had just moved out of a location I loved.

I asked her, “Are these your children?” She had ten children, who surrounded her. “Yes!” she said happily. The spirit of Penninah is alive and well. Yet I didn't respond all that well to her exhortation to have more faith.

My mouth opened and out came a statement I didn't think up ahead of time, it just came out, “You remind me of Job's friends!”

She didn't know what to say next. I felt somewhat better for some reason.


White Dogwood blooming near Columbia University


Simply Trusting



I like what John Newton (the man who wrote the hymn Amazing Grace) once said, "Everything is necessary that God sends our way; nothing can be necessary that he withholds."

When I really trust our Father with every desire, every turn of events, it makes it much easier to accept what is.

As I often tell my niece, “God makes no mistakes.”

Acceptance of Rejection and Trusting the Sovereign Hand of God – whether it's rejection surrounding a Jury process, a Gallery exhibit, people's opinions, or even rejection by people you want to get to know – makes it all okay.

And coming to Self-Acceptance is very powerful, too.

I'm still waiting and looking for open doors. Art is one way to communicate His beauty and peace with others.

The second Art Gallery I visited liked my NYC street scenes a lot, so maybe there will be some movement and an exhibit to come.

I recently posted my four NYC street scenes on a Facebook Group, “Realistic Watercolors.” Nearly 250 people have liked these pieces in the past two days, so I guess some people do appreciate detail and paintings which clearly communicate specific messages.

It hurts to be told someone doesn't see God in my work, for this is what has been noticed in the past – there was Light in my paintings. I've asked our Father to forgive me for not listening more, and receiving before I paint. All this art marketing is really quite pointless if God is not in and behind it.

I also realize this is ONE opinion. Sometimes people give or project the very advice they most need to take themselves.

And I'm beginning to understand why many New Yorker's like minimalist art and colorful, contemporary canvases, more blank in direct message...it's due to the amount of exhaustion and detail in their work lives! New York is teaming with noise, people, meetings and small details. So, it makes a lot of sense that such a population would enjoy having just color on their wall, for color heals!

I like learning and knowing a bit of why things are - why people act or feel as they do!

And I remain, your artist and sojourning-friend,

with Hope, Faith and Love,

Elise


"Have none of you ever noticed, in your own lives, that whenever God is going to give you an enlargement, and bring you out to a larger sphere of service, or a higher platform of spiritual life, you always get thrown down? That is His usual way of working; He makes you hungry before He feeds you; He strips you before He robes you; He makes nothing of you before He makes something of you.

"This was the way with David. He is to be king in Jerusalem; but he must go to the throne by the way of the cave. Now, are any of you here going to heaven, or going to a more heavenly state of sanctification, or going to a greater sphere of usefulness? Do not wonder if you go by the way of the cave. Why is that?


"It is, first, because if God would make you greatly useful, He must teach you how to pray. If you can be great without prayer, your greatness will be your ruin. If God means to bless you greatly, He will make you pray greatly, as He does David who says in this part of his preparation for coming to his throne, 'I cried unto the LORD with my voice; with my voice unto the LORD did I make my supplication. (Psalm 142:1)'”


~ Charles Haddon Spurgeon
 
   Twelve Sermons on Prayer


I didn't seem to have much free time this trip, but these flowers were on the very edge of Central Park

For ye see your calling, brethren, 
how that not many wise men after the flesh, 
not many mighty, not many noble, are called: 
But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world 
to confound the wise; 
and God hath chosen the weak things of the world 
to confound the things which are mighty; 
And base things of the world, 
and things which are despised, 
hath God chosen, yea, and things which are not, 
to bring to nought things that are: 
That no flesh should glory in his presence.

~ I Corinthians 1:26-29


O bless our God, ye people, and make the voice of his praise to be heard:
Which holdeth our soul in life, and suffereth not our feet to be moved.
For thou, O God, hast proved us: thou hast tried us, as silver is tried.
Thou broughtest us into the net; thou laidst affliction upon our loins.
Thou hast caused men to ride over our heads; 
we went through fire and through water: 
but thou broughtest us out into a wealthy place. 
~ Psalm 66:8-12


Behold, I go forward, but he is not there; and backward, but I cannot perceive him: On the left hand, where he doth work, but I cannot behold him: he hideth himself on the right hand, that I cannot see him: But he knoweth the way that I take: when he hath tried me, I shall come forth as gold. My foot hath held his steps, his way have I kept, and not declined. Neither have I gone back from the commandment of his lips; I have esteemed the words of his mouth more than my necessary food. But he is in one mind, and who can turn him? and what his soul desireth, even that he doeth. For he performeth the thing that is appointed for me: and many such things are with him. ~ Job 23:8-14

Though he slay me, yet will I trust in him: but I will maintain mine own ways before him.

~ Job 13:15


Be still my soul the Lord is on thy side
Bear patiently the cross of grief or pain
Leave to thy God to order and provide
In every change He faithful will remain
Be still my soul thy best, thy heavenly friend
Through thorny ways leads to a joyful end
Be still my soul when dearest friends depart
And all is darkened in the vale of tears
Then shalt thou better know His love His heart
Who comes to soothe thy sorrow and thy fears
Be still my soul the waves and winds shall know
His voice who ruled them while He dwelt below
Be still my soul the hour is hastening on
When we shall be forever with the Lord
When disappointment grief and fear are gone
Sorrow forgot love's purest joys restored
Be still my soul when change and tears are past
All safe and blessed we shall meet at last





Relationships Between Value and Design Elements in Watercolor

Composition and Design

People can create or compose in many ways:

  • Painting
  • Music
  • Dance
  • Writing Papers or Speeches
  • Floral pieces
  • Architectural Buildings
  • Scenes on Stage or in Film
  • A Plate of Food
  • Clothing/Fashion

It occurred to me awhile back that in every Painting I desire to use elements and colors which accentuate and support the Center of Interest.

A Center of Interest is like the Protagonist in a book, Key Points in a Speech, the Melody Line in Music, or the Lead Actor in a play, or Lead Dancer in a dance routine.

Each leading role also has supporting elements. For a painting, these are colors and values which do not dominate or overtake those of the Center of Interest.

These value and color changes must be distinct enough from other elements to create a separation, but also similar enough to create Harmony.

In Painting, you use value and color tone to bring elements forward or backward, to the eye.

I tell my students that each painting, needs at least six different tonal values when completed. These different value changes create a strong painting which has depth. You can walk into the scene.

The painting progression in this blog shows how I slowly layered many different transparent washes over another below it, to create the mountains, trees and lake, leaving the sailboat as the lightest object, so that it stands out.


This was my second attempt at this same scene, I needed to repaint it slightly smaller, in order to fit the painting into the frame. I enjoyed the process of painting it a second time!

I noticed again as I painted how there are real relationships in paintings, between layers and colors. This is due to watercolor's transparent and translucent nature. Each wash is influenced by the previous one.

You can't see this aspect as much with oil and acrylic because they are opaque medias – and the artist can totally COVER paint that has been put down previously, if desired.

With Watercolor, you can see your “history”. Each layer has meaning and purpose.


Relationships in Life


As usual, I applied what I was seeing in my painting to Life.

I know the myriad decisions I make on a daily basis are often colored by past decisions, thoughts and actions.

My relationships with people around me is often supportive, but not always. Sometimes I focus on my own projects, sometimes on helping others. There is a balance to it.

I notice how when I change direction or make new decisions in life, others often either react or need to respond differently to me, just as when I paint I have to adjust values around what I've just put down.

There are times when my relationships with others seem stagnant, lacking vibrancy and growth. Other times there is connection and communication that is electric! Perhaps this is like “painting with complementary colors.”

Sometimes just small changes in attitude or vocal pattern can cause another to “move” and change for the better. I see this with my little nieces. They need to be cajoled, to some degree.


Building Good Character as you Paint


Watercolor requires applying Boldness, to paint when it's scary. To try again if a wash isn't dark enough.

Yet also Sensitivity, Gentleness and Attention to detail.

Determination is also needed. I nearly stopped before gaining just the right values at the end of this painting, “Luminous Sails II”.

The Artist's job is to help the “Center of Interest” shine!

I desired to make the sailboat sails (my “center of interest”) stand out from the sky and lake. This meant continuing to add thin layers to the sky with a soft brush.

Correspondingly in life, we are not the “Center of Interest” - this is the role of our Creator. Our lives were masterfully designed to focus on loving, worshiping and praising His glory. We are His Body, His Bride and His Loved Children. As such, we support the Head, which is Christ the LORD, the Bridegroom, and our Father in heaven.

How can I live to make Christ and His truth shine? How does my life and lips, actions and attitudes give Him glory?


Using Color Effectively


In visual art you can accomplish this accentuation using clear and grayed tones of color. For example, the sailboat in this piece is the lightest value. It is also a clear color.

Grayed tones recede while clear tones come forward. Purple recedes while yellow comes forward. Grayed purple recedes even more with clear yellow tones coming forward.

I choose a color palette at the beginning of a painting, and then I stick to using those colors.

I used the same red in the sky color as I did in the lake color. This helps add harmony. If I were to suddenly stick in a new color in ONE place in the painting, it would stand out and not look like it belonged.

There are a few times I've used this knowledge to make something especially stand out, but generally, it's best to mix the same color pigment everywhere you can, even if only slightly and faintly!



Using Value Effectively


You can paint a value study using only ONE color. It's actually quite a good exercise. You can add a second color, and then a third. I've painted entire paintings with just three pigment colors. Sometimes I use ten pigments. It depends on what I'm going for.

Too many competing flavors tend to ruin a dish of food. While Indian cuisine masterfully combines things which taste sweet, salty, sour, bitter and pungent at every meal to great affect, sometimes eliminating and finding Simplicity in a painting is helpful, too!

Trying to paint the darkest dark and the lightest light in the area of the Center of Interest is helpful to remember. It draws the eye to this place in the piece.

Usually what is far away is lighter in value. What is closer is darker in value. This happens in nature due to atmospheric conditions. There are probably some exceptions to this “rule” but it's good to remember.



Maintaining Focus Until the End


Many years ago, my mother learned during her natural childbirth classes that the brain can only focus on ONE strong stimuli at a time.

She would repeat this to me and my siblings, and I have seen this is true in painting.

While working recently on an acrylic piece, I was SO intent on gaining just the right color mix that I couldn't seem to do or think of anything else!

Perhaps it was because I was tired, a bit cold, and had been at work for several hours.

I'd been painting outside at an easel for hours on a cold Spring day and began to feel my nose dripping. I knew it needed to be wiped, but was too intent on my colors to wipe it! It was a strange sensation of need but also not wanting to be distracted from my color mixing!

Sometimes I paint while listening to people teaching or talking – sermons and podcasts. Recently, I've painted while listening to beautiful music. Just the right music helps. When I'm tired, very quick pieces don't help. But when I get to the end of a painting, and it's going well, I begin to dance and rejoice with my brush!

With every painting, with every year of life, there is usually a time when all seems lost. It's darkest before the dawn. Don't give up, learn the lesson the piece was meant to teach you, and move on! Keep painting. Keep in healthy relationship with others. Try again.

Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.” ~ Hebrews 12:2

Even when it's not the painting that goes south - it may be the varnish, there is always something new to learn and take on to another day of relationships with people and paint.

Our Father makes good endings of His Designs. He makes no mistakes in the details. So we can trust Him, the Master Potter.

Your painting-friend,

Elise


Luminous Sails II by Elise, 14x24 watercolor, 2019


Give unto the Lord, O ye mighty,

give unto the Lord glory and strength.

Give unto the Lord the glory due unto his name;

worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness.

The voice of the Lord is upon the waters:

the God of glory thundereth:

the Lord is upon many waters.

The voice of the Lord is powerful;

the voice of the Lord is full of majesty.

The voice of the Lord breaketh the cedars;

yea, the Lord breaketh the cedars of Lebanon.

He maketh them also to skip like a calf;

Lebanon and Sirion like a young unicorn.

The voice of the Lord divideth the flames of fire.

The voice of the Lord shaketh the wilderness;

the Lord shaketh the wilderness of Kadesh.

The voice of the Lord maketh the hinds to calve,

and discovereth the forests:

and in his temple doth every one speak of his glory.

The Lord sitteth upon the flood;

yea, the Lord sitteth King for ever.

The Lord will give strength unto his people;

the Lord will bless his people with peace.


~ Psalm 29



Nay but, O man, who art thou that repliest against God? 
Shall the thing formed say to him that formed it, 
Why hast thou made me thus? 
~ Romans 9:20



And I will give thee the treasures of darkness, and hidden riches of secret places, that thou mayest know that I, the Lord, which call thee by thy name, am the God of Israel. For Jacob my servant's sake, and Israel mine elect, I have even called thee by thy name: I have surnamed thee, though thou hast not known me. I am the Lord, and there is none else, there is no God beside me: I girded thee, though thou hast not known me: That they may know from the rising of the sun, and from the west, that there is none beside me. I am the Lord, and there is none else. I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I the Lord do all these things. Drop down, ye heavens, from above, and let the skies pour down righteousness: let the earth open, and let them bring forth salvation, and let righteousness spring up together; I the Lord have created it.


Woe unto him that striveth with his Maker! Let the potsherd strive with the potsherds of the earth. Shall the clay say to him that fashioneth it, What makest thou? or thy work, He hath no hands? Woe unto him that saith unto his father, What begettest thou? or to the woman, What hast thou brought forth?


Thus saith the Lord, the Holy One of Israel, and his Maker, Ask me of things to come concerning my sons, and concerning the work of my hands command ye me.  I have made the earth, and created man upon it: I, even my hands, have stretched out the heavens, and all their host have I commanded. I have raised him up in righteousness, and I will direct all his ways: he shall build my city, and he shall let go my captives, not for price nor reward, saith the Lord of hosts. 


~ Isaiah 45:3-13











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