Tag Archives: Kingdom Arts Ministry

misson to England, Michael and Christine Hales, Bristol Blog

How Can I Help?

Dear Friends and Family:

Mick Hales

This month Christine received recognition from New York State for the work she has been doing with the ‘artists dinners’, in Hudson. This a huge achievement as it has been building community for artists who often follow a pretty isolated life. It has also opened many opportunities for artists to share about their lives and what is important to them. People come together and eat, then two or three talk about what they have been doing in their art, their lives and their spiritual walk. Many different relationships have grown out of this monthly event and it has been recognized now by the state of NY.

Christine also led an icon retreat at St James Church in the heart of New York City. It was a wonderful gathering and again many people had the powerful presence of the Lord through the class.

I have done a lot of driving in June and as there is no radio in my car it becomes the perfect place for prayer. One of the revelations I have had this month is a correction in one of my prayers, which has been a prayer of ‘God help me, God help me, God help me, please.’ That was corrected to ‘God how can I help what you are doing? How can I be your helper?’

The difference is I am not asking God to help me with what I am doing but to have help- to help God with what He is doing.

Having prayed this way for a couple of hours on the way to photographing a Greenwich garden, a man approached me out of the blue and asked if I had ever photographed spiritual bodies. This opened up a whole conversation into the spiritual world, Jesus Christ and we ended up in prayer together.

Another revelation from my car time has been the praise and worship of God for His nature as creator. I felt a call to return to worship the wholeness of the Lord, his magnitude and particularly His creative nature, not only for His creation of us as human beings but also the purpose that He has for each one of us. The extent of His creative nature is far beyond our ability to hold or comprehend. To walk in the woods with all the tree leaves now fully formed, I notice each leaf has it’s own place. Each leaf has a particular placement. The bible talks of how God knows all the hairs on our head. He knows each one of us so well. We are a part of His creation, His purposes are deposited in us for us to live out through our lives. As Creator he watches how we unfold what He created in us, as He does in the trees, in the animals and in our nations. The size and magnitude of His creative nature goes unnoticed and undeclared. It is so vast, it remains untold and unrecognized. But God desires our praise and worship and I believe yearns for us to comprehend His love for His creation and for us to discover each element’s purpose.

Consequently we carry a responsibility as stewards of what God has created to allow and enable that purpose to unfold. In His wisdom God has chosen us to work with Him in this world. For us to be in relationship with Jesus, to love Him and to love our neighbors as He does. For us to steward God’s purpose for an unborn child as much as those who may stand before us in need. This is all a part and form of His creative nature and it deserves our praise.

I am also working on a video project on Psalm 23 and find the Lord is taking me deeper and deeper into this Psalm of David. Often thought of as the Psalm read at funerals, it is of course a very powerful prayer which talks of our relationship with God and His with us. I often just get filled by the first line, ‘The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.’

There is such an assigning of authority and declaration of security, I can stay with that for hours.

Please know that you are all inner prayers daily.  And we love hearing from you, with how best to pray.

Until next month, may God bless youth good health, family love, and peace and safety.

Love and prayers,     

Christine and Michael

Mick’s Photography Website                               Christine’s painting website

Icon Blog                                                                            Icon Website

 

 

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Cleaning House For Visitors

Greetings Friends and Family:   Our House Mick Hales

Over Memorial weekend we were visited by some of our family and then with short notice some strangers came through.

As we cleaned house it struck me that we keep a pretty orderly, clean, beautiful house, but if I was looking at it for the first time, as through the eyes of a stranger, I would be struck by all the imperfections of an old well worn house. What had become acceptable to me through years of living here would not look good to a first time visitor.

Through the Old Testament the phrase ‘God will surely visit you’, is used as a reminder that God’s righteous eyes will be looking at our lives and seeing how we live and what we worship. What we have become accustomed to and what our society accepts as good and normal, is often not how the bible relays God’s perspective. Of course for us to know what the bible says, we actually have to read it and sometimes the bible seems to be the last thing we want to read. Even for committed Christians there are days when the bible seems to not have the allure it once did when we first found ourselves hungry to read it, to dive in deeper each day.

What I am writing about is how we become dulled by our ongoing day to day lives. We do not notice things we ought to change in ourselves; how we act, how we think and how we pray. The passion of our first love is diluted until we are just going through the motions when we talk to God, not yearning to be so close to Jesus.

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Rhododendrons by Mick Hales

This is a dangerous place for us to be, but thank goodness, like the sun breaking through the clouds, God will visit us. He will shine his light on us and invite us back to the place of our first love with him. Our hunger for His word will come alive again. We will learn how God sees the lives we are leading and what we need to clean up.

Central Park by Mick Hales
Central Park

How can I say this will happen, because God’s love for us is so deep that he will rescue us time and time again. As the graffiti artist put it, ‘Love is a crazy thing’. We can not get our heads wrapped around the love that God has for us. It is ‘crazy’ that His son was prepared to go to the cross for us, but that is the truth and it will always be the truth.

So for me, the next time I am cleaning house, I will remember how much God loves me, that He is alive in me through the Holy Spirit and I am righteous through His redemption of me.

Christine’s Icon news is in another blog, please read for details!

We always value your prayers, and you are in ours daily.  Please keep in touch,

Blessings and prayers,

Michael and Christine

Michael’s photography     Christine’s Art     Christine’s Icons     Icon Blog

Got Home?

Dear Friends and Family:  img_5358-1

Deer painting by Christine Hales
Little Deer Painting by Christine Hales

As we come to the end of 2016 we breath a sigh of relief that a year filled with contention in the political and spiritual arenas is having a ‘time out’, at least for the time being. We also recognize that we face considerable uncertainty in both of those fields in the year to come. Thank goodness we have a God who loves us unconditionally and always will no matter how we mess up. Which is not to say there are no consequences for how we act, far from it, but that God will always love us. It is God’s love which stands as a stable rock on which we stand in these uncertain times.


Michael has just finished a short video on homelessness after having a dream which challenged him to explore what it is like to not know where you will sleep tonight. The figure is staggering as to how many people are in the world now, who have lost their homes for one reason or another, political or religious; it is 44 million. In NYC alone, 61,000 people look for shelter each night. This is more than we can understand or relate to but it is a reality for many, many people. The video, ‘Got Home?’ questions what we trust in and what is our own security. For me it has to be God’s love. Then the question is how is that love put into action for those of us who call ourselves Christians?img_5247-1

I believe this will be a more and more urgent question for all of us, in both the political and religious arenas next year.  img_5261-1

As a country whose Christian foundation is not only being challenged but often rejected, how do we really stay true to walking out Christ in our daily lives? Where Santa Claus has overtaken Jesus Christ’s birth and Christmas is now a ‘Holiday Season’, the bells are already ringing for Christians to truly live out God’s purpose for each of us. God’s love moving through us without judgement, dogma or fear will be needed even more in the year to come.img_5473-1

The good news is that Jesus Christ is as alive and powerful now as He ever has been. The bomb he set off through His resurrection is more powerful than any nuclear bomb’s destruction except it is not destructive but creative. As Christians we hold that power within us and this next year will need God’s creative nature more than ever.

Christine Hales studio
Christine at Studio opening December 2016

 

 

Christine had open studio days in her studio in Hudson before Christmas and many people saw and loved her recent work.

We send you our love and prayers, and look forward to hearing how we can best pray for you.

Michael and Christine

Mick’s website      Christine’s Icon website

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

 

Village Prayers

August is a yellow month, it seems, in native flowering plants and it is a great color, as with this water lily. I always think of yellow as representing the Glory of God when I am doing my praying / finger painting. I find the combination of prayer with the created visual image really connects me to God in a deep way. There is something about releasing our creativity which opens us up to communicating with God in a freer way.

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August is also a great month to Kayak and we keep ours at a local state park for the season. The underwater plants are often hidden below the surface by the flashing reflections of the sun. It reminds me of how important it is to be real about our relationship with Jesus and not put people off when we talk about Him. I spoke at a gathering in our village after several people had been baptized by a local pastor in his swimming pool about how important it is the first time someone hears about Jesus. The ‘law of the first mention’, underscores how important it is the first time something is mentioned in scripture to compare following occurrences with the initial one. Hence when we talk to people about Jesus it has to be done with love whatever the situation. So often it seems that people use the scriptures as a tool for condemnation, rather than a message of God’s love backed up with their own. How the story of Jesus is told is so important, it can turn someone away for ever or open a door to a new life.

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Mandylion Icon by Christine Hales

We had the opportunity to visit a local college’s art museum recently and found ourselves leaving really quickly. A lot of the material on show was literally demonic and focused on the demonic. One of the less offensive pieces was a German video we saw last year at the Venice Biennale. As we are involved with the arts and minister through them we find it very destructive when the arts are purposely being used for the demonic. However, the fact that this is happening in a respected college, which is educating the next generation of intellects, is a time bomb for our culture. This appears to now be the norm.

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Christine is excited to be hearing from God ‘to help alleviate the suffering of the very young children in our village’. A good parenting class could help both the parents and the children so we are starting to see who is working in this arena already and how Kingdom Arts Ministry can help create opportunities for young families. There are many very young adults with children and there is also a heroin problem among the youth, so caring for the small children will be very important over the next few years.

I have the good news that as I continue to pray for the monk who lost the left side of his body through a stroke, God blessed us by moving his toes in our last session.

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So much goes on, not least of all great tomatoes being grown in our garden by Christine and the Artist dinner is still active even through the heat of August.IMG_3856

 

Please pray for us for wisdom and direction and let us know how we can pray for you. How to light a fire and keep it burning- even in the water.

“We give thanks to God always for you all, making mention of you in our prayers” Thessalonians 1:2

Blessings and love,

Michael and Christine

Mick’s Website    Christine’s Icon website   Christine’s paintings

 

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

 

 

Green trees and blue skies herald in the month of June. There is always something magical about the summer arriving. IMG_3297The trees and gardens are changing so quickly. A shadow of a young fern growing is left on a window curtain, a short moment caught by the camera. Images like this remind me that there are extraordinary things happening all the time but quite often we just are unaware of them. I often think it is similar to how God works; He is doing extraordinary things all the time but we are often unaware of themIMG_3195

 

We have been able to pray for healing for several people this month, outside of a ‘church context’, and it is always wonderful to see how God uses those opportunities. Usually people feel the presence of the Holy Spirit with a peacefulness or sensation of heat on their bodies. We do not always see a healing but we are sure that God is at work.

 

This month I went to Hamilton, Canada, with our great friends and alumni of Kingdom School, Tyler and Audrey Slade for a visit to a revival starting led by Todd Bentley. There were very powerful times of worship and ministry. People had come from all over to gather in the presence of God, including a man driving all the way from Texas.IMG_3272

 

We believe God can change things suddenly if He wants and we are calling out for a change in the Albany area with prayer gatherings in homes.

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This month the Artists Dinner was well attended and we ate out side of the church building. The gathering has reached a point where people are sharing fully what it means to be an artist in our present culture, how they deal with rejection and the reality of difficult financial situations. Christine received an award from the New York State Assembly for organizing the gatherings which have been going for 18 months now.

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Christine also organized a showing of her Icons along with the icon writing students she has been teaching at Westminster Presbyterian Church in Albany. There was an evening of organ music and Icons on display by the Guild she has formed, St Luke’s Guild of Iconographers, which was very well attended by people and the presence of the Holy Spirit. Christine’s ministry through the icon writing, is touching many different people and bringing them into a new understanding of the depth of this prayerful practice.

So, we ask again for your prayers, for all things come from God, and your prayers are the covering that keeps us in His grace. Thank You!!

We pray for you, too, and send our love,

Michael and Christine              www.newchristianicons.com     www.mickhales.com    www.americanassociationoficonographers.com       www.halesart.com

UNDERSTANDING

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NYC

Hello Friends and Family:

Michael has been photographing for a book called ‘City Green’, on NYC parks and gardens, and he came across an art piece by London based artist Martin Creed called ‘Understanding.’ The piece is located in Battery Bridge Park on one of the reclaimed piers now reclaimed for a park. The word ‘Understanding’, spelled out in 10 ft high letters, is lit by red neon lights and rotates on an eye beam at changing speeds.

It is of course begging the question of, ‘Understanding’- what? The artist leaves that to the viewers designation.IMG_2739

In this time of access through the internet to amazing amounts of knowledge it seems as though to have ‘understanding’ is a comfort and necessity for people. People tend to seek to understand God, rather than believe in God. Our rational minds demand understanding before we will allow belief. God, however, is in a spiritual world as well as the physical world we are conscious of through everyday life, he does not call us to understand him but he does call us to believe in him.IMG_2826

Jesus came that we could, through faith in Him, have a relationship with God.

Michael has made a short video which explores these ‘Two Worlds’. Our lives can be so busy that we often forget there is a spiritual world in action all the time and we are participants of that world, whether we are conscious of it or not. The video is intended to open up questions for people about the spiritual world and what Jesus Christ gave to each one of us by his willingness to go to the cross.


Christine led an icon writing retreat at Holy Cross Monastery which was very fulfilling for all the participants. The retreats are full of learning not only about how to write [paint] an icon, the symbolic aspects to the different steps in the ancient process but also to undergo a personal prayer journey while immersed in the creative process. People came considerable distance for the retreat and the monastery was the perfect location to remain in an atmosphere of prayer. photo 2

Here’s a video he made that weekend:

The artists dinner continues to be a wonderful opportunity for artists to share their lives and experiences. Our ministry, Kingdom Arts Ministry, is involved with the creative nature of God and of man, how creativity is part of God’s heart and can open doors for us to be in relationship with him. This month we celebrated the artist dinner with a cake, inscribed ‘We Are Art’. Artists often have to live on the outside of society even though in the truest sense the artist’s role is to reflect or guide culture.IMG_2750

We ask for your prayers for artists and their role in our culture.  We need your prayers and support so much and are so grateful we have that!

Sending you our love,

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Michael and Christine

www.halesart.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

Joseph’s Inspiration

Dear Friends and Family:photo

Spring is valiantly trying to arrive and we send you our love and prayers, waiting for it’s signs to confirm the faith we all share that it will, indeed come! The last few months I’ve been re-reading the story in Genesis of Joseph, Jacob’s son.  Adversity and seemingly hopeless life circumstances repeatedly plagued him, however his faith never left him.  Because of their jealousy, Joseph’s brothers sold him into slavery, but God’s plans for Joseph were for good, and each step of Joseph’s journey, God allowed the tables to be turned. Slavery turned into authority and power, jealousy and competition turned into love and forgiveness, separation turned into reconciliation, all through Joseph’s ability to stay connected with the power of God’s love and the faith that His will for us is for good.

Such a good story to remember at a time when our country is polarized politically, religiously and spiritually.   Our God is the God of unity and by activating our faith in adversity, we release God’s true purpose and destiny into our worlds.

“Ye may have meant it for evil, but God turned it into good.” Genesis 50:20photo

May we help each other to remember the way with, God’s help, through the difficulties and challenges and keep a positive vision for our country.

Michael has been working on some new videos – not finished yet, but beautiful as always.  He’s in Alabama right now photographing a book.  We will be exploring more in April the possibility of finding work in Florida for the winter next year. We will do a bit of traveling and visiting to churches, galleries, and possible clients. Would love your prayers to cover all that!IMG_1053

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I’ve finished the Graymoor Icon commission- two eight foot by 3 foot egg tempera Icons.  Quite a lot of physical and artistic and spiritual work, but it’s what I love to do.  Here are a few photos of the oiling process which is the final sealant and causes the layers of egg tempera to fuse in a jewel like surface.photo

Also I’m excited about my contemporary painting – it is getting closer to being able to express the Divine in a secular language.  I hope to find some new galleries for it soon.

“Happy are those who hear the joyful call to worship, for they walk in the light of your presence Lord…You are their glorious strength. Our power is based on your favor.” Psalm 89:15-17

May God continue to bless you with His love and favor.  Let us know how we can pray for you and thank you for your prayers for our ministry of God’s presence through the Arts.

Love and prayers,

Michael and Christine

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