Free Speech in the New Socialist Republic of North America

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Did you know that there is a new “constitution” for America, for once America becomes past tense that it… This new “constitution” comes courtesy of  the Revolutionary Communist Party. Click HERE to read my article which was published today @ The New Americana. How much speech will you have under that new document???

Project 1, Post 8: A Little Pizzazz! And a Prayer

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Reflection:

The background of my painting definitely possesses a “coolness factor.” As I described in Post 1 of this project, I reused my canvas and created this painting over the top of one that I had already made, but wasn’t fond of. In addition, I glued squares of aluminum foil to my canvas and then painted over them. Thus, the background of my painting is lumpy and bumpy, full of texture! I love it! Looking at my flowers, however, I decided my work needed one last touch…

I set out to add texture to my flowers. What did I have to lose? After all, from its inception, this project was all about experimentation. The key, though, would be adding pizzazz without taking away from the integrity of the flowers; to enhance, not detract.

The nature of my challenge defined: to help, not harm

How could I act in the best interest of my blue flowers (helping, not harming) and also act in the best interest of my entire painting? What would be the best way to enhance the flowers while also benefiting my painting as a  whole  (again – help, not harm)?

In philosophy, it is called “Consequentialism,” a viewpoint that is focused on producing the best overall results (consequences).  Love is a key element of consequentialism. Loving all people is central: We try to create the best outcomes and benefits for others impartially, as long as helping one person does not harm others.

“Everything you do should be done in love.”

1 Corinthians 16:14

As I rummaged through my art supplies in search of that perfect “ingredient” to enhance my blue flowers, I began to philosophically ponder the state of our country through the lens of consequentialism. This contemplation then led me to realize I have not been doing my part, I had not been regularly praying for our country’s leaders.  Perhaps you too have forgotten this duty lately.

Leaders have pretty tough jobs and often need our prayers.If America’s leadership is to help its citizens without adversely harming them as well – consequentialism – then we must support them through the power of prayer.

When Harry S. Truman took up the office of the Presidency after Franklin Roosevelt’s death, he wrote down a prayer for himself. His prayer was…

“…At this moment, I have in my heart a prayer. As I have assumed my heavy duties, I humbly pray Almighty God, in the words of King Solomon: ‘Give therefore thy servant an understanding heart to judge thy people, that I may discern between good and bad; for who is able to judge this thy so great a people?’ I ask only to be a good and faithful servant of my Lord and my people.”

God has instructed us on the power of prayer and he has instructed us to pray for our lands and our leaders, assuring us that he has the power to direct the hearts of our kings (Proverbs 21:1). And so, that we must do…

We must pray for the city in which we live and the country in which we live, for “…if it prospers, so too will you prosper” (Jeremiah 29:7).

We must ask that those who lead be given the gift of wisdom and that they “serve the Lord with fear and celebrate his rule with trembling” (Psalm 2:10-11).

These things we must do; through humbleness, benevolent prayer, and giving thanks we shall be able to live out a “quiet and peaceful” life (Timothy 2:1-2).

And so  my  work begins, so too  your  work begins… I will keep reminding myself of my duty to pray for my country, my duty to pray for those who serve and for those who lead my country. And, I will also pray that you will take up this cross with me as we continue ahead, day by day.

Amen.

Artistic Process:

I came across two bottles of fabric paint (that’s right, fabric paint); one yellow, one gold. This medium provided an excellent 3-D quality without overpowering the piece itself. First I used the yellow to loosely outline each flower petal, choosing squiggly lines to avoid unwanted rigidity of appearance. Next I used the gold paint to follow the petals again, this time placing the gold paint just to the inside of the yellow paint.

Next, I dripped a couple of tiny droplets of water on a couple of petals on each flower. I used my finger to smear the water into the fabric paint to blur the yellow and gold paints together in just a few select places. This was done simply to give another element of light and depth to the flowers.

Finally, I added dots of gold to accent the center of my flowers.

Viola!

*This was the final step of my painting. Next, I will create a post to display the final product.

Project 1, Post 3: From Division to Unity

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“From Division to Unity”

Reflection:

Inspired by the idea of color-blocking I applied a few squares of color to my painting. The result? Eeesh…

My painting looked chopped up, discombobulated. Staring at the damage I had done, I recalled King Nebuchadnezzar’s dream interpreted by Daniel and recorded in the Book of Daniel, chapter 2.

King Nebuchadnezzar was the greatest ruler of Babylon and responsible for the creation of the famous Hanging Gardens of Babylon. This great nation, once encompassing south Mesopotamia, ultimately fell. Nebuchadnezzar’s dream, as interpreted by Daniel, described the great nations that would come to rise after Babylon.

The king dreamed of “statue” with a head made of gold. Below the head of gold was a breast and arms were made of silver. The stomach/abdomen were made of brass. The legs were made of iron. Finally, the feet were made of part iron and part clay. A rock was thrown, hitting the statue’s feet. The feet were crushed and the entire structure crumble into pieces on the ground becoming dust. Wind carried away the dust. All that was left was the stone that had destroyed the “statue.” The rock then became a mountain, seemingly filling the whole Earth.

The golden head represented the King Nebuchadnezzar’s great Babylon.

The silver breast and arms represented a kingdom which would follow, but without Babylon’s strength.

The kingdom of brass would then follow which would rule all of the Earth.

A fourth nation made of iron would follow. With the strength of iron, this nation would crush all the others.

Lastly, the feet made of iron and clay represent the fifth nation. Being part iron, this nation will have some of the strength of the fourth (all iron) nation. However, this fifth nation is divided. The two parts of this divided nation would try to join together, “But they will not stay together any more than iron mixes with clay” (Daniel, 2:43).

In Matthew, chapter 12, Jesus tells us that a divided nation cannot last, saying “Every nation divided into groups that fight each other is going to be destroyed. Every city or family divided into groups that fight each other will not stand” (Matthew, 12:25).  He goes on to say, “If the Devil puts out the Devil, he is divided against himself….. But if I put out Demons by the Spirit of God, then the holy nation of God is come to you” (Matthew, 12:26, 28).

….. Thus, for my painting, I faithfully decided to go the route of unity, not division, and I quickly worked to remedy my artistic blunder.

America today is a divided nation. In some ways we are divided into many groups who are fighting one another as Jesus described in Matthew. America is also divided in two, like the iron and clay feet depicted in King Nebuchadnezzar’s dream. Once you slice a pizza, it is never whole again.

The Devil is walking amongst us, causing Christians to question the tenants of their faith and causing fellow Americans to turn against each other. Groups who seek to cast out the Devil by the Devil’s own means simply further divide us. Sadly, these groups are no more holy than a fox with mange.

It is important for Americans to remember that our nation became great because of two things:

  • Our Christian faith in God and the Holy Trinity.
  • Unity

Only God can caste the demons out of our country, of our society and heal a divided nation. If we continue to turn our back on Christ and his teaching, we are allowing the Devil to divide us.

Keep your faith.

Renew your dedication.

Ensure your body does not become a divided nation itself.

Pray.

Believe.

Give thanks.

Art Process:

Using acrylic paint, I tried color-blocking a few small squares before I stopped. To reunify my piece, I chose to follow the same whitewashing technique described in my last post (Project 1, Post 2: Whitewashing). Now what? Looking at my painting I feel I have a suitable background. Now what? What will I paint? I’m not sure… My mind is filled with many ideas and, for this painting, I will simply be proceeding in the spirit of experimentation!