Photo: Dead Wood
48X36, oil on linen, 2014

Branches that fall into streams tend to collect other sticks into logjams. This debris can alter the flow of the river itself. There is great force holding such river jams in place; in fact, breaking a logjam is something best left to experts, as it can be very dangerous.

Sin drops into the current of our life, and gets caught up on other sins. By the time we are adults, we have a logjam of sins pushing one against another, altering the very flow of our lives, defining what we understand to be our character or personality. “She’s temperamental.”  “He is afraid of his own shadow.” These are not true marks of character, but the distortion caused by this logjam of sin.

How do we identify the key log to break the logjam? We don’t; we need help from the Holy Spirit. (My thanks to Tony Martorana, senior pastor at Joy Community Church, who used this metaphor in a sermon.)
Photo: Waves of Mercy and Grace,
48X36, oil on canvas
Photo: The Harvest is Plenty 
36X48, oil on linen, 2014

Jesus sent out disciples two by two, telling them, “The harvest truly is great, but the laborers are few; therefore pray the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into His harvest.” Those of us who spend time in the agricultural world understand this metaphor: we sow seeds, we tend plants, and when the harvest comes in, it’s a lot of work and we’re generally short-handed. 

But what if the order of things is interrupted? What if a line squall off Lake Ontario flattens the entire field right before the combine arrives?

When wheat ripens, it has heavy, nodding heads on delicate stems. As summer deepens the wheat assumes a color that has no equal in the artificial world—it has a shimmering beauty that’s impossible to capture in paint or photographs—much, in fact, like human souls. Looking at the field from the angle of the threatening storm, we should stand convicted of our need to get busy.
Photo: Beauty Instead of Ashes
48X36, oil on linen, 2014

Midcoast Maine is full of limestone deposits. When limestone is burned, the carbon dioxide burns off and quicklime is left. This is used to make plaster, paper, mortar, concrete, fertilizer, leather, glue, paint, and glass. By the Civil War, midcoast Maine was producing more than a million casks of lime a year. 

Rockport, ME, is one of America’s beauty spots, but it was once a center of quicklime manufacture. Step away from its photogenic harbor and hike up the Goose River a few thousand feet, and you will see great piles of lime tailings. Nature slowly attempts to cover this wound, but it is a slow process.

Eventually God will cover our sins, but it takes a long, long time. Sin can endure through generations, but ultimately, the spirit of the Lord will be with us, “to appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness, that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, that He might be glorified.” (Isaiah 61:3-4)
Photo: The Armor of God
9X12, oil on canvas

This was my prayer canvas for a long time; I wrote the names of people for whom I was praying on it in layers. When I got tired of praying like that, I put a little Christian soldier in charge of them. He/she is wearing the whole armor of God, as per Ephesians 6:10-18. 

Initially, I thought this little soldier was much too cheerful for a Christian warrior, but as time has gone by I've realized it's a good thing to be a cheerful soldier.
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Carol Douglas
Public
The Harvest is Plenty 
36X48, oil on linen, 2014

Jesus sent out disciples two by two, telling them, “The harvest truly is great, but the laborers are few; therefore pray the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into His harvest.” Those of us who spend time in the agricultural world understand this metaphor: we sow seeds, we tend plants, and when the harvest comes in, it’s a lot of work and we’re generally short-handed. 

But what if the order of things is interrupted? What if a line squall off Lake Ontario flattens the entire field right before the combine arrives?

When wheat ripens, it has heavy, nodding heads on delicate stems. As summer deepens the wheat assumes a color that has no equal in the artificial world—it has a shimmering beauty that’s impossible to capture in paint or photographs—much, in fact, like human souls. Looking at the field from the angle of the threatening storm, we should stand convicted of our need to get busy.

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