Tag Archives: philmont

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

 

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September and the Pope’s visit!

Greetings Friends and Family:popefrancisweb

Yes, the leaves are starting to turn – not too happy about that :). Such a glorious summer, it’s been particularly beautiful here in the Hudson Valley with warm dry air and gentle sunny days. We’ve been getting boxes of fruit from the local farm stands to freeze for winter- then all winter we can have fruit tarts and stewed plums! Yes, you can come over for some!

Mick and I have been watching the broadcasts of the Pope’s speeches and went in to NYC on Friday to see if we cold catch a glimpse of him.  The security was very tight – 6,000+ police in front of barricades two blocks in front of where the Pope would be traveling. But we did get to experience the incredible Spirit that pervaded the City, as we made our way from location to location – meeting people and all of us praying for the Pope and his safety. It was very exciting when the Pope drove by us on his way to ground zero.. _MG_2460 He was waving out the window but when he saw me and a woman I was standing with, he leaned forward with a huge smile and waved especially at us!  He looked so energized and happy! There was a beautiful feeling of joy all day, even though it was strenuous waiting in crowds. So many times people in the crowds were nice, kind and caring. Not your usual NYC experience!_MG_2524

A few weeks ago, I felt a strong urge to check out a church that is for sale in our neighborhood. I felt an inner excitement building with the idea of having it for an Icon writing studio and having daily prayer offered for whoever at all wanted to come.  It’s a dream of both of ours, to have an artist/photography studio that doubles as a church on evenings and weekends. When we graduated from ministry school that was our dream and plan – it still is!  But as we looked it over carefully, we realized the building would need work, and the expense of buying, heating, and repairs would put us in a financial position we don’t want to be in.  IMG_0536We are both tentmakers, me with Icon writing and painting, and Michael with photography, and that is how we want to be. While we are very grateful to all of you who support our ministry financially, we are glad we don’t have to make extra requests for financial support and we want to keep it that way!  But, if you would just keep our dream in your prayers, that God will fulfill it in His way in His time, we would be grateful._MG_2618

The annual Christian Parade in Hudson was this past Saturday. Michael was part of it and was able to provide healing prayer for all those who wanted it down by the riverside._MG_2610
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The Pope’s visit was a reminder for me to “Always be joyful.  Keep on praying.  No matter what happens, always be thankful, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus.: 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18.  How he can be joyful with all the problems he faces, is truly the grace of God! And I claim the same for all of us!

The popular Artists & Friends Community Potluck Dinner is back with a Sept 18 dinner that hosted NYC artist and author Brainard Carey who gave an uplifting and informative talk about alternative ways to engage with the art world.

Just a few notes:  I am teaching an Introduction to Icon Writing Retreat at Saint James Episcopal Church on Madison Ave. in NYC, Oct 16-18.  There’s still time to register: contact Grace Beecham,email: gbeecham@st.james.org

I’ll be teaching that again in May at Holy Cross Monastery in West Park, NY. Email me if you’d like to register for that. Also at the Arts Center of the Capital Region in March, 2016.

Michael and I thank you so much for your support and prayers. We are grateful for each one of you and keep you constantly in our prayers, too.

Blessings and love,       IMG_0480
Christine and Michael

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

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Advent Waiting

Dear Friends and Family:    _MG_9195

One of my friends has made his Christmas puddings and is now waiting… and we are all in the season of lighting candles and waiting.  It is a Holy time, and we look forward to celebrating Christmas in a special way each year.

Looking back over 2014, we realize the direction that God is giving us and want to share that with you, our trusted partners:

Living in the Capital region which has the lowest churched population in America, we are  recognizing the need for changing our strategy about how to bring the Kingdom to our region.

archgabrielWe realized that operating as a ministry we are competing with other churches and ministries for the same small group of people. Meanwhile, the unchurched remain disinterested or sporadically participating in ministry activities.  Power evangelism needs to be adapted to reach a hardened and skeptical population.

Over the past year, Kingdom Arts Ministry has been involved in building Pastoral relationships through Michael’s involvement with the Capital District Ministers Association. He has also been the guest speaker at several area local churches, regularly brought meals to the elderly through the meals on wheels program, and been a strong supporter of the local “Community Spirit Day” that attracted over 250 low income local families to hear the Gospel message preached through Teen Challenge and local churches. The message was mingled with free food and entertainment for the children and held in our Town Park.

photo copy 10Christine has been reaching out to artists  in the capital region and has a strong desire to create more community events for artists. Last Spring, she partnered with the Columbia County Arts Council and the Hudson Chamber of Commerce to produce an exhibition and performance of local artists meeting the business community. She has also started an Artist Way group –a spiritual program of development for artists, in our home. She is working on a large commission of eight Icons of modern saints for Saint Vincents Church in Albany, as well as leading Icon retreats in Saratoga and an ongoing Icon writing class and fellowship at Our Savior’s Lutheran Church in Albany.photo copy 9

Waiting for 2015, we realize that we are laying foundations of relationships that we can partner with over the next year to find ways to collaborate and bring a culture of God and honor to our region. We are so grateful to all of you who partner with us financially and in prayer. Without your help we really would not be able to do what we do. Our world is certainly in a difficult time and challenging in so many ways. We draw strength and joy from your prayers and support. You are instruments of God’s help and a source of His provision for us. Thank you! LadySign

Next month we will outline our direction as a ministry for 2015. We have already been laying the groundwork and it promises to be both exciting and challenging!

Thank you and we love you, Please pray for us that we stay close to God’s plan and hear His voice clearly. You are in our prayers daily too.

Love, Christine and Michael

Giving Thanks in November

Hello Friends and family:  photo 2

The fall has been so beautiful – I can’t resist sending you some photos of what it’s been looking like around here.  A great place to live if you’re a painter or photographer :).

We attended the ANGA Retreat this fall and met some great people- Betsy and Sam Stalcup have a ministry called Godhealstoday and we are looking into partnering with them for teaching and prayer ministry events in the new year.

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We are focusing on local prayer partnering opportunities and are happy with the relationships God is bringing to us.  Last night we had a prayer meeting in our home and prayed for Philmont, Claverack and all the families within our area.  We plan to meet regularly to pray and share about the ways God is answering our prayers.

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THe Albany Icon class I teach is growing into a prayerful community of artists that are growing in their understanding and technical skill in Icon writing. _MG_6745__ The Healing Icon Retreats in Saratoga have been really wonderful. Action packed for two days, but such a joy to see people concentrating in prayer and fellowship for two days.

 

 

At Our Savior’s Lutheran Church in Albany, we will be giving workshops for their Holy Spirit Weekend, November 21 & 22 ,.My workshop will be “The Joy of Prophetic Painting”.  This will be a hands-on workshop and all are welcome. Michael will be teaching on deliverance.

Often we have no feed back for how our prayers have helped others. At the ANGA retreat sitting at our small group table was someone we did not know and he surprised us by saying Michael had prayed for him in Brooklyn nearly nine months before and he had received healing from a very painful nerve condition. Sometimes we get to hear what God did when we reached out to others but often that is not the case._MG_6624__ Michael loves to pray for healing for people and yesterday he had a visit to NYC and got to pray for three different people for healing, one in an elevator and two on the streets. The reactions initially are surprise that someone would offer to pray, then always real gratitude and then the comments like ‘I feel peace, or warmth or soothing just happened’. The last person he prayed for last night said ” Wow, thank you so much for your prayer. I really felt something and I’m Jewish!’ What Joy God is!

“Give thanks to the Lord, for He is Good! His faithful love endures forever.” Psalm 136:1

We give thanks to the Lord for you all and keep you in our prayers.
Blessings and love,

Michael and Christine

 

February’s Almost Over and there’s No Snow!

Hello Friends and Family:

Oops! February 29 and it is snowing!

Wow! What a mild winter!  No complaints here, and the fact that daylight savings is right around the corner is a light unto my feet!

We have been really blessed this last month with having some good friends come to our prayer gatherings.  God has been moving, people have been healed, and we are excited as we continue to seek God’s Presence here in our home in Philmont.We are regrouping, growing stronger in our faith and love while the winter passes. We see so many similarities to the Spiritual problems in Bristol and Philmont.

 We believe that more of God’s presence in both places would work absolute wonders! But how, Lord? Be believe in God’s promises of blessing over the UK and the USA.  We pray for the faith of Abraham, “No distrust made him waver concerning the promise of God, but he grew strong in his faith as he gave glory to God, being fully convinced that God was able to do what He had promised.” Romans 4:20-21

Recently there have been two house fires in Philmont which totally devastated the buildings, leaving a black charred mess of previously wonderful homes. How fast and  completely devastating fire can be! Historically, in another fire in 1977, High Rock Millsone, the last of 6 textile mills still in operation in Philmont, burned to the ground taking with it from the heart of the village all the buildings across the road, in fact if there had not been about four inches of snow laying on the roofs of surrounding buildings that January night a lot more of the village would have burned in that traumatic blaze. Many people lost their jobs and the mills were never rebuilt. Along with the economic loss and social changes there was a  spiritual trauma that still endures in a poverty spirit set deep in the heart of the village.  There are a lot of people doing good things here but there is a spiritual brokenness which only God can heal and that is what we as Christians in the community are called to. The call to build an ‘ark’ in Philmont is what we are praying for God’s guidance to answer. A place of prayer and furnace of God’s presence,

We also recognize that the picture I described for Philmont is appropriate for many small towns in our area and indeed in England. There is such a need for spiritual revival in so many communities and this not something which social programs can fix. It has to be a work of God. Unfortunately in our brokenness the tendency is to look everywhere, except towards God.  So the call is even more important that as Christians we do represent a living and powerful God in our walk in the community. That we do pray for healing whenever we see some one who is not well. That we do talk about Jesus Christ and who He is in our lives.

There can be no doubt the church is in a period of shaking. Thank goodness, it has to change to do God’s work.  So we are calling out to God daily, what are you doing today and what am I to do with you, Lord?

Right now we are praying for God’s direction about our next mission trip to the UK, particularly in terms of the timing, what God is doing there and what he has for us to do there. Please keep us in prayer that we may hear clearly God’s plan for us in the UK.

Looking forward to the autumn and as part of our call to build up active Christians in this area we are committed to running a Global Awakening Satellite School of Supernatural Ministry. We are in the process of exploration with different churches for interest and  where God wants it to be located. Along with the satellite GSSM school we are encouraging people from our area to join one of the Randy Clark mission trips to Brazil, a life changing and equipping experience. The GSSM school, which we are both graduates from,  takes all the students to Brazil early in the first semester so they can see how God works in a nation in revival. To see God healing as you pray for people changes not only the life of the people getting healed but also your own understanding of how powerful God is.

In the mean time we are praying for God to bless this ministry with financial partners who want to share in the spiritual blessings of those who send God’s ministers to do His work.  We recognize that the missions will be more fruitful when they represent a large body of committed Christians who are praying for and sending us to bring the Gospel to spiritually troubled areas. We truly thank those of you who have already partnered with this ministry and for all your prayers.