Tag Archives: Michael Hales

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

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God is Always Good

Sometimes that is difficult to believe. Especially if we think God is responsible for everything that happens. Bad things definitely do happen so by the above premise, God can not always be good.img_4822

However, God wanted us to have free choice so much, so we are able to choose to love Him without manipulation or litigation, that He choose to not control everything that happens.

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When a grandparent holds an infant baby close to them, the two hearts come together. Trust, fellowship and love flows between the two; the two hearts come together. Both very different in experience and knowledge of life but they come together with the bond of love. One can feel the love flowing between the two independent lives- God given lives loving each other.

Mick Hales photo
photo by Mick Hales
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Photo by Mick Hales

America has just gone through a very divisive election which has even further polarized an already divided nation. The two hearts of this nation could not be further apart. There is no love flowing between the two sides and there certainly is no fruit of the Spirit evident from the candidates. The Christian community is pitched, one against the other, claiming one candidate or another was God’s person. We are in a divided house and it will not stand. The winner is divisiveness itself, the fruit of which is division.

Despite this God is still love, and we are still called to love our neighbors as ourselves. The extraordinary thing about democracy is, we are called to accept a change of leadership through love, to have it work we need to accept the change with love. We have to work together as a nation and as a Christian Community, otherwise we fall divided. Hug a baby today to remember what love feels like. God’s love for us will never change, as a parent loves their child.

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Community Thanksgiving Dinner with First Presbyterian Church, Hudson
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Community Thanksgiving, photo by Mick Hales

Fortunately, November also is blessed with Thanksgiving. We have so much to be grateful for in this country that it is good to be still and go through all the blessings we enjoy. This year we were part of a community Thanksgiving hosted by the First Presbyterian Church in Hudson but held at Christ Church Episcopal. Through various circumstances the two churches came together along with a lot of volunteers from different congregations to serve over 150 Thanksgiving meals. We do have so much to be grateful for and there is no better way to celebrate that than in a community of neighbors.

Christine has an exciting month coming up and is opening her new studio in Hudson for three Saturdays in December. God is always working in ways we often do not see coming and God is always good.

We love you and rejoice in your prayers for us and ours for you.

Photo by Mick Hales
Photo by Mick Hales

Michael and Christine          www.Mickhales.com      www.newchristianicons.com 

 

 

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

 

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

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

August Travels

Dear Friends and Family:  photo

The Philmont Community Healing Day was beautiful, thank you for your prayers. The Holy Spirit filled the pavillion, lots of little and big children comfortably  enjoyed being there, sat rapt.. listening to the worship music and occasionally making art that got pinned up on the stage for all to see.  One young man made a decision that day to quit drugs and he started at teen challenge the following week. Please keep him in prayer for full recovery and for he and his two local friends who have also gotten off drugs to receive all the support they need to stay clean.

Michael is helping with two more community outreaches in September being organized by an ad hoc group of pastors working under the name of, ‘God Belongs in Our County.’ It is a small beginning but these outreaches are gathering steam and inviting people to work together from different streams.photo
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A sad note: one of our friends from when we held the Revival in Philmont about 6 years ago, a lovely lady in a wheelchair died suddenly when she was hit by a car last week in the village. At the revival she was powerfully touched by God and ever afterwards was active in the local church and ministered to the local kids on a daily basis. She was loved by many. By the grace of God, we just happened to be coming home from out of town that night, dropped in at the Cumberland Farms to pick up milk and heard that she had been hit.  As we drove home, we saw her, still at the street corner, with the police and a small crowd. We ran over and prayed with her.  She said to Michael “Don’t stop praying”.  She looked ok and refused to go to the hospital, but after Michael and her friend Skip helped her get home, she decided to call an ambulance. She kept saying to Michael, ‘Don’t stop praying.’ She died that night. She is missed by many._MG_7597 (1)

This month we will be going to the UK for our niece’s wedding in Leeds. We will be in Bristol for a very quick visit on August 29. Then up to Leeds on August 30. Let us know if you’re in Bristol and would like a quick cup of tea and catch up!ChristineHales_SavetheDate

I’m having an exhibition of my paintings at the McDaris Gallery in Hudson in September and will give a talk there on September 26.

We love you, pray for you and thank you for your prayers. With God’s help we can bring his Kingdom here on earth.  Don’t stop praying!

“Because of Christ and our faith in him, we can now come fearlessly into God’s presence, assured of his glad welcome.”  Ephesians 3:12

Love and Prayers, Christine and Michael

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

 

Healing Prayer Day in Philmont, NY

Dear Friends and Family:  photo

This past week we had a week’s holiday at the beach – God blessed us so much! We have made some good friends there and feel like we are becoming part of the beach family. Yay!  Now we are back at work, and today I’ve been working since 5:30 am (it’s 5:30pm now), just so you know :).  Seriously, working refreshed is a lot better than working stressed out, praise God!

I’m working on developing my oil painting right now, as well as a new Icon of Saint Brigid that I am excited about.  But this coming Saturday is the Healing Prayer Day in Philmont that Michael is organizing and we want to tell you about it and ask for your prayers to cover it from now right up through the event.

Michael has invited Rick Cecil, one of the team of praying in the streets in Baltimore, MD, to come as well as Stephen Stewart to play guitar for worship.  We will be offering free hamburgers, hot dogs and cotton candy, but the emphasis  will be on healing prayer.

John 10:10 “The thief’s purpose is to steal, kill,  and destroy. My purpose is to give life in all its fullness.”IMG_5345

We’ve been asking for your prayers for Philmont for some time. There is an epidemic of heroin use and child abuse in the village.  We can’t silently stand by without raising the call for healing and prayer. Will you help us?  If all of you prayed, it would move mountains.  We ask for your prayers especially this week, that all those who need God’s healing will come, and that God would raise up a mighty army that will give His victory to save His children from destruction, poverty, and abuse.

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We pray that  Philmont will be a drug free zone. That workers will rise up to create educational programs for the youth, that Godly employment will be found for them, and small children will be protected from predators of all kinds.IMG_3113

Lord, God, we thank you for protecting us from every form of evil and bringing  us the gift of your divine health. We thank you for breaking the chains of oppression and delivering us from every form of sin, addiction, sickness, disease, and lie of the enemy, and we ask this in the name of Jesus.

We love you all and are so grateful to know that we can count on your prayer support.  And please keep us aware of how we can pray for you!  The gathering is Saturday, August 1, 2-5PM at the Claverack Town Park. Free and open to the public!

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Healing Prayer Teaching in Cambridge, NY

Dear Friends and Family:grad

Just a quick note to invite all who live in the New York area to come to St. Luke’s Church in Cambridge, New York on Saturday, March 15, 9:30-4PM where we will be hosted by Fr. Jim French and teaching  more about how God desires to move in our midst and how we can co-labor with him to bring more of Heaven to New York!

There is no cost for the conference, however a free will offering will be taken. Please bring a bag lunch. Drinks and refreshments will be provided. The conference will include time for worship, teaching on Words of Knowledge, a Five Step Healing Prayer Model and Deliverance as well as opportunities for ministry.

There will be an opportunity to receive healing prayer in the afternoon after the teaching sessions so bring those you know who would be blessed by this opportunity.

Also a quick mention that Bill Johnson’s Church in Redding, CA is hosting a conference starting tomorrow  on “Developing Prophetic Communities” .  For a small fee you can watch on line – increase your knowledge while still here in the frozen North!

Love to you all,

Michael and Christine

October Pumpkin Time!

“I love the Lord, because He hears and answers my prayers.  Because He bends down and listens, I will pray as long as I have breath!”  Psalm 116:1-2photo copy 3

Hello Friends and Family:

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Just as October draws to a close, our Kingdom School students are preparing to travel to Baltimore for on site street ministry training from the amazing Burning Heart Ministry with Jay Baylor.  Michael will be leading two of our second year students and four first year interns with a very full schedule of ministering to the poor and taking the Gospel to the streets in Baltimore, MD.  We fully expect miracles to take place, so more on that next blog!photo copy 8

Kingdom School is going well, with merging second and first year students for many of the teachings, but each year having a separate curriculum and reading list.  Only God could have orchestrated this combination but we are gratefully enjoying the interactions of our new group.  Great people, all in Love with Jesus!

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My iconography teaching is going well – loving the students and the devotion to prayer and sharing the Presence of God in icons.  We have now formed the St. Luke’s Guild of Iconography with a FB page and lots of great photos of icons in progress.  We are an ecumenical group of artist who share a similar vision for  God’s Kingdom and how icons play a part in experiencing and bringing the Presence of God into our daily  lives.hm-141_t

I’ve been blessed with the honor of having the Catholic Missal publication for 2014 using my Christ in Glory Icon.      Michael has had an article recently in New York Cottage and Garden Magazine and we are having fun getting our images out into the world.  Seed!  Because God is in everything we do and we want more and more people to receive Him through images.  The stealth method of Evangelization!

Second year students have just finished reading Danny Silk’s “Culture of Honor”and it is a must read, having to do with creating a culture amongst ourselves that allows us to make mistakes, repent and stay in relationship to God and each other. photo copy 2 “Remember, the Old Covenant was an external covenant, a system of controls to keep sinners in line.  But the New Covenant is an internal covenant for sons and daughters who, because of their new nature, can be trusted with the responsibility to govern themselves and have access to the power of self control through the Holy Spirit”.  Isn’t that good?  There’s so much more worth sharing – I hope you can get a copy of the book, too.

Our prayer requests for this season are: For more good clients for Michael’s Photography, for good galleries to represent and sell my paintings, and for our Kingdom Community to flourish, grow and multiply. We pray for wisdom to take all the steps God wants us to take to further His Kingdom in the realms He has placed before us.photo copy 4

Please pray especially for our team going to Baltimore, that they experience God’s Holy Spirit healing people today and that they bring that with them wherever they go!photo

We earnestly desire contact with each one of you, so please keep in touch and know that you are in our prayers, also.

Much love,

Christine and Michael