Dear Family and Friends:
This has been quite the month for Christine teaching Iconography at Ghost Ranch, NM, and Holy Cross Monastery, NY and for Michael photographing in TX.
Ghost Ranch was an extraordinary experience for all the participants who were writing an icon of St Francis with Christine teaching. There was a wonderful sense of the presence of God in the class and a lot of physical and emotional healing occurred.
The landscape and nature surrounding the ranch was a powerful influence and all who participated could feel the spiritual strength and heritage of the land.
One could understand how Georgia O’Keefe eventually sought the solitude of Ghost Ranch over the energy of the New York artistic scene of her day.
For Michael there were some wonderful walks through the canyons reminiscent for him of walking over the moors of Dartmoor in Devon. Away from all distractions, when alone in a landscape, the awareness that we live in a world so extraordinary in every way that it has to have been created by God breaks through.
Watching the daylight move across a vast landscape and then seeing how wildflowers bloom and reproduce through the extreme dessert conditions.
These are the things we should talk about- how the birds sing, how the morning light shines through the trees, how a plant lives in the dessert, how the hills are formed or how the cows moo calling to their young. Such things are a part of God’s creative nature and these are the type of things we need to wonder, ponder and explore. This is worthy of our attention, to recognize God’s creation so we can praise Him all the more.
Too much of our lives focus on an untransformed world; a world in active degradation under the orbit of the devil. Our work as Christians is to bring to reality the world of the Creator God, what God created, not what the devil has formed in its’ place. To nurture and love not only our neighbors as our selves but appreciate the whole of God’s creative hand, from the intimate center of a tulip to the vast vista of the canyon, God shows His hand.
Originally God created paradise for us to live in; all was perfect, all was created by God. There was no demonic, we walked naked in purity amongst the abundance of God’s creation. All was good.
So lets talk about and not loose sight of those things God created, like the birds singing in the morning or how beautifully our bodies have been formed and praise God for them.
We know we live in a broken world but lets focus on what God’s Kingdom is like, as Paul writes to the Philippians 4:8,
Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.
Please keep us in your prayers and for our house to sell in preparation of our move to Florida where we believe God has called the next chapter of our lives.
Please, let us know how we can pray for you.
Love and Prayers,
Michael and Christine Hales