Tag Archives: mission

Prayer is All

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Dear Friends and Family:

AS usual, it’s been busy down here!

We both had a trip to San Antonio, TX, in October. It was a mixed purpose trip; Michael gave a talk to a Garden Club there and also did some garden photography. Christine has an October birthday and we were grateful to be able to celebrate that at the same time.

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We managed to get some time to visit two of the early Missions there; Los Alamos and Concepcion. Los Alamos was very crowded with visitors but there was definitely a strong sense of national pride in the history of the sacrifices made there. Mission Concepcion, which is still an active parish, had a spiritual presence and simplicity I found reminiscent of a monastery.IMG_9227

An old painting of Our Lady of Guadalupe, one of the Mexican Marian visitations, hangs in the vaulted church sanctuary and particularly caught Christine’s eye as an early example of this very famous Catholic image. Christine wrote an icon of that image in the past, which is unusual, as it is mostly seen as a religious painting.

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Christine taught an icon class at St Peter and Paul Church in Bradenton which has become a regular location for an annual class.  It was a smaller intimate class which created a real closeness to the Lord as the work is undertaken in deep prayer.

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Michael continues as the Chaplain for Freedom Village and sometimes wonders how God placed him in an elderly and mostly financially secure community as a lot of his past has been with marketplace and street ministry.IMG_9010

 

Then he is reminded that we are all souls, whether rich or poor, secure or in physical danger, we all will have to stand before God and answer for our lives. Jesus came to seek and save the lost, no matter what their circumstances are.IMG_9644

Working with the elderly is certainly a good primer for what we can anticipate of our own lives in the future. In America people are living much longer lives than they used to do and 95 years is becoming more the normal life expectancy than the unusual.IMG_9777

So a question Michael hears over and over again is, ‘what is the purpose of life?’

It becomes an even more pressing question for those who are bed bound, totally dependent on others for meals, using the bathroom, staying washed and shaved, etc. The list of their dependence goes until the elderly become reliant on others for everything, like a babe in arms.

 

We are introduced to this world as infants and we are escorted from the world as senior infants. How much purpose our lives carry at the end of our independent and active years will most likely be a reflection on how much we have a relationship with God. After all, I believe that is the real purpose of our lives; to have a relationship with God.IMG_9280

For those who find themselves not believing there is a God, quite often a purpose for life is found through their children or grandchildren’s lives. Fear, confusion and anger often develops along with a pathos of not knowing why they are still here being a burden to others.

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Seeing a future continuing for one’s family within this worldly context is what we can all ponder on. But Christians are given so much more than that, we are given a future continuing on into eternity of Glory and worship, not only with our blood family but also with our spiritual family. Our spiritual family encompasses not only the living believers but also all those past. Today is ‘All Saints Day’ in the traditional streams of Christianity and it reminds us of the enormity and significance of our family. As a family member, our ‘Father God’ or ‘Papa’, always wants to hear what is on our hearts, we can always talk with Him, even if we are too old or sick to speak out loud, He will hear us. So, we will always have a purpose for our lives and the purpose is prayer. Being in relationship with God through our Lord, Jesus Christ.

For the Son of man came to seek and to save the lost. Luke 19:10.

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

Sending You Our Love and Prayers,

Christine and Michael Hales

Michael’s Photography                   Christine’s Icons                 Christine’s Paintings

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