Tag Archives: Albany

The days are getting shorter and the light is getting lower. Even though it can be incredibly beautiful -the change in the leaves and the cold air at night, is the sure sign that winter is on the way. Fortunately we have Autumn to go through first with it’s brilliant colors.

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But there is a feeling of foreboding outside of the seasonal change as we face an extremely important presidential election in the US, which not only will affect America but also the whole world.

A lot depends on where you get news from as to what it reports on the same event. As has just been seen in the recent presidential debate both candidates were hailed as ‘winners’ depending whether you looked at Fox News or the Washington Post.

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The oak trees are dropping their acorns which I find so beautiful. As a child in England I would collect acorns from the oak trees and sell them to a neighboring farmer, the pigs delighted in them. Acorns for me are the symbol of the hope to come, the seed of the future. They look as strong as the trees they will produce. Oaks were referred to in the bible as geographic markers, they were so formidable and long lasting that locations were named by them; oaks of Mamre, oaks of Bashan, oaks of Moreh. The oak trees remind me of the strength and longevity of God’s word. I can hold on to it, be guided by it, receive truth from it and know that it is always there for me. I also know that it is alive through the Holy Spirit and has power and strength for us today.

We are the church.  We know that in theory, but recently we’ve had a chance to think about that in terms of our local village.  Christine and I have been concerned about the young, underserved families living here in Philmont. To some degree it is a transient population, and they are what’s always happened in this village. Children having children, poverty, and now, drugs are too easy for vulnerable young people like these.  Christine felt God suggested she look into getting a parenting class running here in Philmont.  She met with a representative from Cornell Cooperative Extension who is very willing to run a class here, and arranged a meeting with the local library.  Please keep this in prayer, that God would continue to show us the way to move forward with this.  The children in Philmont could benefit so much from this kind of support.

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Christine is also finishing up the large Icons of Saint Isaac Jogues and Saint Kateri Tekakwitha for the Albany Diocese.  They are looking stunning and spiritually light and powerful!_mg_4776

I have been getting the number three often in my prayer times recently and am asking two of the Kingdom School alumnae to join me to make three of us, to pray and declare the Kingdom of God into the streets of Albany. We are really excited to be coming together to do this and look forward to sharing what God is doing. What we believe is that through prayer and declaration the spiritual atmosphere of a place can change and God will come in. Albany needs it and this nation needs it as well.

Please let us know how we can pray for you and keep us in your prayers too.

His delight is in the law of the Lord and on his law he meditates day and night.  He is like a tree planted by the streams of water that yields its fruit in its season, and its leaf does not whither. In all that he does he prospers.

We love you all, so much!

Love and Prayers,

Michael and Christine               www.mickhales.com   www.christinehales.com

 

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Bless the Lord

Dear Friends and Family:

“O taste and see that the Lord is good; blessed is the man that trusteth in Him. ”           Psalm 34:8

_MG_5713Summer in Columbia County, NY, is full of wild flowers and one of my road side favorites is Chicory. In the morning it creates lines of strong blues along the side of the road and through the day the color lightens to almost white- finally closing up at night.

Chicory was introduced to America from Europe and its’ roots were used as a coffee substitute.

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One of the significant aspects of my personal belief in God and my faith when I am praying for healing with someone, is that I do not doubt the power of God. I do not doubt that God is all powerful and more than able to physically heal what ever illness may be present. Also I believe from His ministry through Jesus Christ that it is His will to heal people. Having seen prayers in Jesus name physically heal many people I know that He is all powerful and the visual memory of ‘seeing it happen with my own eyes’, leads me forward to pray.

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“The eyes of the Lord are upon the righteous, and His ears are open unto their cry.” PS. 34:15

However, one of my concerns as a Christian today, when Christianity is being marginalized, is that my beliefs do not fade, like chicory from a strong blue to white and then finally close up. That is why it is so important to be around people of strong faith, to be renewed in the presence of the Holy Spirit. Because if you are not seeing much healing when you pray one could easily question if God is still powerful.

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This month I have been blessed to reconnect to some old friends who are still very powerfully walking with the Lord. One is a monk who is recovering from a stroke which paralysed the left side of his body and the other was a gangster from Australia turned powerful evangelist for the Lord. Both men come from very different backgrounds, are now in very different life situations, but they call on the Lord like freight trains of the Holy Spirit. When you are in the presence of someone calling out to the Lord with deep fervor there can be no doubt we have a powerful God.

This nation needs to have powerful people calling out to God for it now. The present situation reminds me of what I think Germany must have been like when extreme rhetoric by Hitler, started to delude the moral compass of that nation. Small steps towards fear and greed are just as dangerous in this nation as anywhere. The devil is happy to do his work in small steps until it is too late to return.

My father was a scout troop youth leader and in that capacity visited Germany before the war and witnessed the ‘Brown Shirts’ start to congregate and stir up hatred. As a child, he told me, how he saw their development grow more radical and violent over the three summers he visited.

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“Innisfree”   photo by Mick Hales

“I will bless the Lord at all times; His praise shall continually be in my mouth.”  Ps. 34:1

Jesus came that we could love our neighbors as ourselves. It is not an easy road but it is a high road. It is not glamorous, straight forward and often not quantifiable. But it is the road we are called to.

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New Painting by Christine Hales

So I am thankful for powerful intercessors who pray for healing, who pray for justice, who pray for wisdom, who pray for revival in the villages, towns and cities of this country.

Our evangelist friend, that I mentioned above, is still holding revival meetings in tents pitched in fields and changing lives in rural America.

Our monk friend, is starting to move his left arm and leg and I fully believe the left side of his body will be totally restored as we continue to call out for his healing.

We are aware that God is doing something more extraordinary than we can imagine and we are called to ask him in faith, with no doubting, that each one of us can do our part with the gifts that God has given us. With faith we will see the fruit of our prayers.

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God is still with us and all powerful; Thank God.

We send you our love and prayers, and look forward to hearing form you!

Michael and Christine

www.americanassociationoficonographers.com     www.mickhales.com     www.halesart.com    www.christinehales.com    www.newchristianicons.com

 

 

April Action

Dear Friends and Family:

This is such a beautiful time of the year with the trees leafing out in chartreuse green.

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Michael has been photographing for a book of NYC public gardens and the tulips are out in force. Such a wonderful array of colors. One can understand how in 1637 Holland underwent tulipomania where a single bulb would go for the equivalent ten times an annual income. The joy of seeing vivid color after the grey colors of winter is especially welcome in the North East.

Christine delivered her two large icons [8 by 3 feet] to the Graymoor Friars of Atonement in Garrison, NY. They depict the founders of Graymoor, Lurana White, SA and Paul Wattson. SA. They will be installed in a new chapel for the friars. Father Richard Vosko , of St Vincent De Paul’s Church, Albany, assisted with liaison for the commission and was there to help with the delivery.

See a short video-  or use this link  


Michael has been working on another  short video about how God sees and is active in cities, especially in New York City. It is good to remember that Jesus’s heart is for all people and He especially enjoys seeing how people use the gifts that He has given them.

I think it must take a lot of courage to take a musical instrument down into the subways and perform on the platforms. The musicians, of all kinds and cultures, step out boldly and perform as a way of earning a living, using the gifts God has given them.

Check the video out and please share it with friends. (Link)


We are also involved with a group for intercession for Albany and the region which is meeting weekly and listening for God’s direction.

Michael has been doing some street praying in connection with that intercession particularly at seven different sites in the city.IMG_2406

Albany is a city without a heart, and it desperately needs it to be restored. Between 1962 and 1964 1,200 houses and other structures were taken by eminent domain and destroyed; leveling 98 acres of the heart of Albany. That was to create the Empire State Plaza which can be described in architectural language as Modernist, Brutalist and International. The great plan put forward by Governor Nelson A. Rockerfeller was completed between 1965 and 1976 costing around two billion dollars, as well as much anguish and back biting.

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Albany is the political center of New York state and sits as the center of a wheel of political strings which go to each corner of the state. New York City being the financial capital of the country and some might argue high on the list for the world, has a push/ pull relationship with Albany. Politics and all that the ‘spirit of politics’ carries is strong in Albany.

 

These are just two of the issues we are finding to pray into to have the Holy Spirit move powerfully in Albany. We believe the Lord is wanting that to happen, so please pray with us that Albany would have a powerful move of God, which would change the state and the nation.

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One of the words Michael got when praying on the ‘God in the City’ video was- ‘pure love is always more powerful than pure hatred.’

Believe it.

And here’s one of my recent prophetic  paintings “New King”IMG_1594

We miss you all and look forward to hearing from you!

Love and prayers,

Christine and Michael      www.mickhales.com    www.christinehales.com

October in the Hudson Valley

Hello Friends and family:

We hope you are well and feel the prayers we send for you daily. We very much appreciate and are blessed by your prayers, too – please keep  praying!photo

This past month, we held an Introduction to Icon writing retreat at St. James Episcopal Church in NYC. It was filled to maximum  with a lively, dedicated and enthusiastic group. We could feel the vibrancy and health of the St. James church community active all weekend around us. I hope many of them will return next year to make another Icon!_MG_3460

Due to the timing, we could not be present at the Artists Community Potluck Dinner that our ministry runs in Hudson, but a local ceramics artist was able to run the dinner and present her Mala meal project – an art piece that combines prayer, eating, and art as well as solidarity with the world’s poor. Thank you, Mary Anne Davis!

The weekly Icon writing class has had many absences over the fall, with only 5 or 6 people each week as opposed to the usual 10-12. It’s a busy time and also the beginning of winter colds. Our new Icon class home at Westminster Presbyterian Church is beginning to feel more comfortable and we are now able to store material there which helps a lot.

I will be having an exhibition of my Icons this coming January in Sarasota at a church and will use some of the time there to re-write my self published book on the “New Revival in Christian Art” that includes my Icons and prophetic painting.

Michael has been busy working to get some book projects off the ground and in his “spare time” he’s been painting our barn. We had a new roof put on it this summer and it is looking the best I’ve ever seen it! The beautiful, warm weather of this fall has contributed to Michael’s joy in painting back there!  photo

cshI Planted 70 bulbs – faith and hope that spring will come!

Here’s Michael:

At the moment I am developing three different books, one is now underway and the other two are still in the proposal stage. A couple of weeks ago I was photographing on the High Line Park in NYC for one of the proposals. The High Line is a park created out of an abandoned elevated railway track which runs through 15 blocks of New York City. It is an incredible achievement not only horticulturally but also to pull a project of that scale together in NYC. However not only has the railway line now got a new purpose but it is drawing so many people to it that the whole area is getting an economic regeneration._MG_4082

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After photographing the park I stopped for a slice of pizza and had an extraordinary encounter with a construction worker in the pizza parlor. He was all dressed up with construction hat, heavy boots and protective gear. He heard me say, “Praise God”, as I often do and challenged me to say it again. That started a long conversation where he eventually told me how his mother had died and how he blamed God for that. It was one of those moments when you realize, this could get very scary quickly and I started asking God in my mind what he wanted me to do. Suddenly I started telling this hulk of a man how much God loved him and that Jesus had died for him on the cross. Before I knew it he was crying like a baby.

It led me to think about how circumstances can be turned around when we receive a vision of something different, a different paradigm for the old tracks we have been on. Quite often as a Christian in our society we can see how necessary it is to show people a new vision of who Christ is and what a personal relationship with him means. It is the same old tracks but totally renewed and redeemed.  “And a vision appeared to Paul in the night. A man of Macedonia was standing there, urging him and saying, “Come over to Macedonia and help us.”  Acts 16:9

photo  Please, please keep us in your prayers, as you are in ours.

Sending  you love and prayers,

Christine and Michael

www.mickhales.com

www.christinehales.com

www.newchristianicons.com

www.halesart.com 

www.americanassociationoficonographers.com

Radical Generosity

Greetings Friends and Family:photo copy 10

While it is sad taking down the sparkly Christmas decorations and all the holiday get togethers are now in the past, it is also exciting to dig in, once again, to WORK!!  We are so blessed to love our work. Work certainly is not easy, but it is stimulating and interesting to research new icons, begin drawings, prepare for the new school semester for iconography and Kingdom School and visiting new clients.

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Last night in Kingdom School, we watched a talk by Bill Johnson from Bethel Church, Redding, CA.  It was one of the most important talks for me in a long while.  In it, he shares about how walking in power attracts rejection.  He talks about how to respond and he also talks about Daniel and his ability to have favor in a very hostile environment.  Radical generosity was demonstrated when God sent His only son to be born in a manger to bless a world full of sinners.  Bill is such an inspiration of one who holds a vision for Revival locally and internationally and who demonstrates the ways of effective and honorable leadership.  We are so thankful to be part of that Apostolic Network and look forward to the day that more of that is alive here in the Albany area.

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God is inspiring me to paint icons the way He is showing me now, and that is allowing me to evolve an individual style.  It is so exciting partnering with God – highly recommended way to go!  This small Christ study and the Saint Benedict icon are on the path to what I’m developing.  I  Can’t tell you how exciting that is to see where He will take it.   I feel the way my little granddaughter must have felt the other day on her first sled ride in Boston!   photo copy 5

I now have an icon blog and will be teaching two additional classes this winter in order to fund a project I have in mind for next winter.  I’ll be giving a demonstration of icon writing in Troy later this month at the Art Center as part of an opening reception for an exhibition of my and my students icons which is part of a larger three gallery show.  I’m looking forward to all the new people to share God’s love with!! Yippee! How different from when I used to have artist openings, BC (Before Christ :)).  I always have had Christ in my life, but being transformed is another story.  As you know.

My wonderful, spirit filled husband is taking three of our students to the Pursuit Conference in PA this month – they will have an amazing time!  He is also working on developing new clients and navigating promotion in the social networking world.  His website is always developing and looking stunning.   mick&christine

Michael’s birthday was Christmas Eve, so we went to the Boston Ballet for the Nutcracker Suite and then on to Trinity Church in Boston for Christmas Eve serve.  Truly a night to remember.

For Christmas we were blessed to share christmas stockings in Boston on christmas morning with our lovely daughter in law, Kristi, brilliant son, Mark and beautiful granddaughter Carwen.  I made Yorkshire puddings in honor of Michael and the UK!   IMG_5698

In ourselves, we are experiencing the value of having had the Global Awakening training with it’s emphasis on healing both inner and physical.  We have studied under the best teachers and are exploring how to bring that to the Albany area next year.  We so much appreciate your prayers for God’s hand to be upon us not only for provision, but guidance and direction and fruitful partnerships.
There’s so much more I’d like to share but give us a call, write or get together with us.  We love you and miss you,

Michael and Christine

I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.