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Wednesday, December 18, 2019

#WednesdayWordswithFriends More on Every Knee Shall Bow!

Good Morning Friends,

Christmas is one week away! Are you ready? I'm still waiting on a few gifts to be delivered and need to pick up a few gift cards, but other than that, I am.

If you didn't get a chance to really read this past week's Saturday Spotlight, it's still there and an amazing story about a beautiful painting.

Today, I'm featuring a few Q&A from Gaye Frances Willard about this painting and the book it inspired....

Q: Some Christians might think Santa Claus and Jesus shouldn't be in the same painting. How do you respond?
A: I get that a lot! Some Christian retailers have refused to carry these images for that very reason. I understand, insofar as Santa Claus is not the reason for Christmas. Jesus is. And they are right, in a very religious sort of way. Because of His righteousness and our lack of it, Jesus really shouldn’t be in the company of sinners. Yet that is why He came. I am very aware of my own humanness, my own sin, brokenness, and need of a Savior. If He had not been willing to be in the presence of the likes of me, how could I ever be made worthy to stand in His? If I insist on separating the human from the Divine, the flesh from the Spirit, then I will never know the fullness of Christ. The two images are the artistic expression of what is true for me. I need Him in my life…in my brokenness…in my heart…with me. I desire the relationship His coming granted me and relationship requires close proximity. Jesus with Santa Claus is just my way of showing the Savior with the sinner. And the sinner doing what he is called to do—worship his Savior.

Q: What do you hope readers will gain from this book?
A: Throughout my lifetime, I have watched the attempts of a humanistic worldview try to obscure the message of the Gospel. During the Christmas season, I see a profound opportunity for followers of Christ to tell the story of Jesus. It is my desire to encourage believers to do just that. Seize the opportunity that the season grants us! Every day we face increasing pressure to keep our Christian beliefs and values to ourselves. Those who know Jesus are the only ones who can tell anyone who He is. I, for one, refuse to confine the Good News of His birth and life inside the four walls of a church. He came to offer peace to the entire world, and we are called to testify to that fact. I hope this book challenges every reader to take advantage of the designated time on our calendar called “Christmas.” We don’t need to spend our energy trying to make a secular society hold Jesus up as “the reason for the season.” They cannot share what they do not know. That is the job of the believer. If every disciple of Jesus makes it their personal mission to tell His story within this space of time so openly granted to us, it just might change the rest of the year. And that is my hope.

Q: Talk about some of the other paintings in the book and what inspired them.

A: In two words—loving Jesus! Each one of the paintings comes from an overwhelming desire to express that love. Some were inspired by actual events. “The Reason” is the result of my time in Africa as a missionary. I was accustomed to the “over-celebrating” of Christmas in my own culture and was forever impacted by the lack of it in another. Others, like “Behold the Lamb,” simply give imagery to scripture. Jesus came in human form so that we might see, hear and touch the unfathomable love of God. That is such a profound and life-changing truth! How can I help but share it in every way that I can?

Gaye Frances Willard is an award-winning artist with commissioned portraits in both private and public collections worldwide. Her painting, “Every Knee Shall Bow, ” was represented in an exclusive line bearing her name, and carried nationwide by Hobby Lobby and other retail outlets. In addition to her latest release, she is the author/illustrator of four children’s books as well as the book, “Common Sense Christianity for an Uncommon People.” She is a member of the Portrait Society of America and makes her home in Trinity, North Carolina. She and her husband, Eddie, have five children and fourteen grandchildren. For more information, visit www.portraitartistnc.com

Find out more about this fascinating book and listen to Gaye's perspective with a couple of videos HERE.

Hope you enjoyed today's post and that you'll check back weekly for Wednesday Words with Friends and Saturday Spotlight!

Until next time, take care and God bless.


Diane Burton said...

I see no reason why Santa and Jesus shouldn't be in the same picture. Your cover is delightful. Merry Christmas to you and your family.

Jacqueline Seewald said...

I agree with Diane. I see nothing offensive. Happy holidays!

Alina K. Field said...

I think the "magic" of Santa Claus is perfectly in line with Christ's message, as long as we emphasize the giving, sharing, and loving part of the holiday.