The Vision - To Saturate the World with Communion with God
To provide simple, effective tools which train people to easily and daily hear God’s voice, see His visions and feel His compassion. This restores friendship and daily walks in the Garden.
To offer the opportunity to live as Jesus did, out of Divine Initiative.
To align with others spreading revival, using all mediums of communication.
What we do - Lead you into encounters with God not simply studies about God
Why we do what we do - So you experience your destiny, friendship with God (Jn. 15:15)
How we do it - By teaching you 4 keys to hearing God’s voice: Stillness, Vision, Spontaneity, Journaling
End Goal - You do everything as an outcome of daily conversations with God, and train others to do the same.
LEARN, LIVE, SHARE!
Review the information below and ask God how He wants you to be involved. Check off the items God witnesses to your heart and become a partner in “saturating the world with Communion with God.” Call 800-466-6961 or 716-681-4896 or email [email protected] to discuss which approaches are best for you. If you have specialized gifts or talents you would like to offer, we would LOVE to hear from you!
1. LEARN How to Experience Communion With God
Make this experience of spiritual intimacy your own by purchasing and absorbing the training module so you are prepared to share it with others. Ask the Lord who you can join with as you master this skill of hearing His voice.
Hire one of our Personal Spiritual Trainers for only $1 a day to serve as your coach in mastering this wonderful art of spiritual intimacy.
2. LIVE the Experience of Communion With God
Journal daily & submit journaling to your spiritual advisors
Release divine creativity out through your life! Create a business, a book, a song, a painting, a movie, or some other creative expression by following the guidance you receive through the voice and vision of God.
3. SHARE the Experience of Communion with God
Tell your friends about the amazing resources at www.CWGministries.org!
Host small groups or seminars (home groups, Sunday school classes, etc.) using our DVD Training Modules with books and workbooks. You can even post your small group location on our interactive online map!
Put a link on your website to the CWG website (www.CWGministries.org)
Do one-on-one sharing of these principles.
Post your personal story of intimacy with God on your Facebook account, blog or website and link back to www.CWGministries.org so others can access our training materials. Linking back can also help boost CWG website rankings with Google which allows more people to discover CWG. Add your testimony of divine encounters on the CWG website, underneath the product that prompted you to take a step deeper into the river of God (click on the “Write a testimonial” icon/tab). Your personal story is powerful and will inspire others to take their step forward! See Tips for Posting Your Testimony.
Check out "How To" Strategies Which Help You Lead Others Into Communion with God. Coming soon - download a page titled "GET INVOLVED in Sharing the Message"
4. ENCOURAGE Others to Live the Experience of Communion With God
Encourage others to do daily two-way journaling
- Click here to download free training tools <---- New!
Be a spiritual advisor to people doing two-way journaling
5. SUPPORT the Growth of Communion With God Ministries
Become a Prayer Partner – Prayers release God’s provision for CWG Ministries!
Become a Financial Partner – Make a monthly pledge to support Communion with God Ministries ($25 or more), and receive a discount on all purchases you make!
6. RESOURCES – Complete DVD Training Modules
Earn a Diploma in Applied Spirituality yourself by working through several training modules
Take a group through the training modules which make up a CLU Diploma
Set up a discipleship training school in your church which utilizes the CLU Diploma Program
7. DEGREES from Christian Leadership University from your home!
Sign up as a life-long learner and grow continuously
Earn an Associate’s, Bachelor’s, Master’s or Doctorate in one of our 14 Major Concentrations
Tell others about CLU’s unique revelation-based learning approach!
- GET INVOLVED in Sharing the Message - a one page download
- How To Strategies To Help You Lead Others Into Communion with God
Christian Leadership University graduate, Cheryl McKay (Ph.D. in Christian Counseling, 2004), is the screenwriter for the award-winning film The Ultimate Gift and co-author and screenwriter for Never the Bride.
“The Ultimate Gift” (based on the novel by Jim Stovall) stars James Garner, Brian Dennehy and Abigail Breslin (the Oscar-nominated actress from Little Miss Sunshine). The film is rated PG and contains a positive message for families. Fox Faith, the division of 20th Century Fox dedicated to providing entertainment for faith-based audiences, is distributing the film.
Never the Bride is a romantic comedy with God as a main character, and those of us who journal will recognize His voice and personality throughout the story. While this is an incredibly fun story about a single woman who longs to be married, the deeper message is clearly about surrendering your own desires and dreams to God, whatever they may be. By spending time with Him and getting to know Him intimately trust is built, and when we trust Him fully, we are willing to fully obey His leading.
Cheryl has graciously taken time out of her busy schedule to answer a few questions for our readers.
CWG: Cheryl, thank you for including CWG and CLU in the launching of this exciting new project. You said that you based this story loosely on your own conversations and relationship with God. How much of yourself can we see in the main character, Jessie?
CM: A lot. Jessie is a fictionalized, humorous version of myself. God likes to ask me to turn my life and its angst into comedy. Sometimes, I cooperate. So through Jessie, I make fun of myself, my pain and my impatience with being in my thirties, still single and waiting and trusting God to show up and write my love story. (God and I have very different ideas about writing deadlines.) The conversations that Jessie has with God are based on conversations I’ve had with God. Well, especially our fights. But I should clarify: God doesn’t show up cute in my living room like He does in the story.
CWG: You say that you took your dialoguing relationship with God and turned it into a film/book. What influence did what you learned at CLU have on your story?
CM: The first time I ever really understood that God speaks and wants to spend time with us in a real relationship was when reading Virklers’ Dialogue With God. The day my mom gave me that book changed my life. This script is the result of my prayer journaling. The first journal entry I have about God wanting to write my love story is from 1994, just after I started reading Dialogue With God. He asked me if I would trust Him with that part of my life. He acknowledged it as a very natural desire. But He made it clear that it needed to happen in His timing and not mine. Yeah, that was 1994. I had no clue the wait I had ahead of me! But my answer to Him back then was, “There must be a reason, Lord, that You want me alone. You must be shaping me for something. Me and my fleshly self are sick of it. I’ll be honest. But as I always say, You know best.” I’m still saying that, even though I have my weak moments. And He hasn’t stopped talking about the subject since then.
CWG: There is a great surprise that people are saying is “the biggest twist you didn’t see coming” since “The Sixth Sense” came out. How did you come up with such a creative idea?
CM: Well, obviously, we can’t talk any specifics here because we don’t want to give anything away about the story. But I will say, that one night at midnight when I first started brainstorming the story, I asked God a question about why I felt inspired to write this script in a particular way. (He should know that answer. After all, He is my co-writer.) His answer to my question (which must remain a secret for now) astounded me. I looked up at the ceiling and shouted, “No way! That’s awesome!” It was far too good of an idea for me to come up with on my own. God definitely gave it to me—He makes me look good.
CWG: You’re writing another book, Finally the Bride, which is a non-fiction companion to Never the Bride. Please tell us a little about that.
CM: I kind of feel like the last year of my life, God “arrested me.” As much as I wanted to be out there making more movies, instead, God specifically told me I had to write the non-fiction version of Finally the Bride while Rene Gutteridge novelized my screenplay for Never the Bride. This was the year it had to get done. I had to write it during a season when I’ve been in various degrees of pain over this single-life journey. It’s almost finished. Then I will begin submitting to publishers. Those who’ve seen it feel like it’s a fresh message for this culture that could revolutionize how we see dating and how we must wait on God (and the detrimental effects of not waiting). So while Never the Bride has a strong purpose of using fiction and entertainment to get this message out (which will reach a lot of people who won’t pick up a non-fiction work), Finally the Bride allows me to get a little more honest and raw about what I’ve been through on this journey with God and where to go from here. And I share a lot of dialoging in it. (Yes, even my arguments with God.) So many people these days have to wait so long to find love and are losing hope. I want people to read these books and find hope again.
CWG: What else are you hoping your readers get out of Never the Bride?
CM: I want people to know that God can be trusted with the pen of their love stories—that it’s worth waiting for God’s best. I want people to have hope in their present circumstances even if life hasn’t exactly gone according to their plan or on their timetable. I hope people will hunger to have a close relationship with God when they see how Jessie and God interact. I hope people will see that God really is enough and is all we need. A husband will never fulfill us the way God does. I also hope people will get a clear picture of what true surrender to God looks like. And also, to see how just when we think God isn’t doing anything for us, He’s working behind-the-scenes. He is trustworthy and the best Husband we could ever hope for.
CWG: Is there anything else you want to share with our readers?
CM: Obviously, I’d love it if you’d read the book. If you love it, please spread the word (but don’t post any spoilers!). We want to do more projects like this. I’m pondering its sequel, where God goes to work on the sister next (which the end of the book and script already set up). Also, when positive value films come out, go support them so studios will be encouraged to make more like them. (We hope to shoot "Never the Bride" later this year in Savannah, Georgia.) Lastly, the two benchmark messages of my life are that God still speaks today (and He loves to be pursued and sought) and that God can take any bad situation and turn it around for His glory. Let Him.
Feel free to visit my website: www.cherylmckay.net
CWG: We highly recommend this entertaining and encouraging book! Please visit your local bookstore and ask for it by name, or get it online at the above links.
(Update: Cheryl waited for God to write her love story and she was "finally a bride" in 2011!)
The King’s Dancers Christian School of Performing Arts and Worship – Birthed out of hearing God's voice and dreaming His dreams - Susanne Cerniglia
My name is Suzanne Cerniglia and I am the founder and co-owner of the King’s Dancers Christian School of Performing Arts located in Schenectady, New York. I would like to tell you a little about my testimony of how the school came about.
In 2002 had recently gotten married to my husband Salvatore Cerniglia at a young age of 19 years. I had completed a 2-year degree in early childhood education in a community college just before getting married. I really felt in my heart that there was something special for me to do as a career so I began to pray for God’s perfect will for my life. Around this time my husband Salvatore introduced me to Mark Virkler’s courses at Christian Leadership University, specifically Communion with God, and Wisdom Through Dream Interpretation. It was while I was taking these classes that God revealed to me His special calling for my life.
While I was taking the classes I decided to enroll in nursing school. I felt like I would be a good pediatric nurse, so I completed the first year and was starting my second year when just then I had my first dream in the night regarding my calling. In my dream I was on a hospital floor and all my other classmates where in their nursing uniforms. However I was the only one not in my uniform, but was actually in a classical ballet leotard and tutu. I felt so out of place in my dream. I did not think much about that dream but I did write it down in my dream journal as instructed in the course.
I continued with my nursing school at that point and about one month later received another significant dream. Dream # 2: Down from heaven was sent a very colorful dancing streamer. I jumped up and grabbed it and started climbing up the streamer into heaven. There I found that I was standing in front of the Living God! He spoke to me in a low and beautiful voice. He said “Now you are ready.” Just then He proceeded to pour what looked like gold paint from the top of my head all the way down my body until I was covered with gold paint. Then I awoke. I immediately wrote down all I could remember in that dream in my dream journal. It was so powerful, but I still did not know what I was ready for.
Then came Dream #3. It was very clear and out right for me to know what God wanted in my life. The Lord said in my ear in an audible voice “Go look in your Journal.” At this same time I was keeping a journal as part of the Communion with God course which teaches you how to hear God’s voice. I began to walk to my journal in the dream and opened it up and the words were large and black and they said “Christian Dance Studio 2002.”
God could not have been any clearer to me than in this dream. I do feel that through this special Christian Dream Interpretation course, and the Communion with God course, God revealed the plan he had for my life. I feel fulfilled and I know without a doubt that God has made me to bring Him glory by teaching others to dance for His glory.
As I reflect back, here I am in 2009. The King’s Dancers had grown considerably since starting with 4 students in the basement of my sister-in-law’s house. The King’s Dancers now has about 165 students ages 4 to adult, a staff of 9 teachers, and are in 4 locations within a 60-mile radius. We offer a variety of types of dance and worship including ballet, tap, Irish-step, hip-hop, flag and banner technique, and incorporate into prophetic drama.
What is amazing is that we do very little marketing for the dance school. It is so clear that God is behind what we are doing, because He just sends the students and teachers effortlessly. Praise be to our God! Since 2002 the King’s Dancers have been able to perform at Christian events, secular high schools, special church services, and other events in our local community. Last week, we were featured by our local newspaper, the Albany Times Union, which did an extensive article and video on the King’s Dancers. We did not seek them out – the Albany Times Union sought us out for unknown reasons. They were so intrigued with and interested in our Christian Dance School.
I just want to give God all the glory for all that He has done in my life the past 7 years. I also want to thank Communion with God Ministries and Christian Leadership University for making the tools available for me to connect with God in a more intimate way that allowed His vision and call for my life to develop. It was these tools and teaching of these courses and materials that allowed me to connect with and receive divine direction for the vocation and calling God had planned for my life.
What is truly amazing, and scriptural, is how one or two dreams, and one or two journals can change your whole life’s direction and destiny. I love God more than ever, and love my vocation and ministry. There is no other way all this could have happened if it was not for Him! If you connect to Him…you will connect with your destiny!
To see the video:
Go to www.kingsdancers.com website.
Enter the site by clicking “About Us” button.
When you are the main page, go to bottom left had corner
and click on “Video Clips” Icon.
You will see “King’s Dancers Promo” as one of the selections.
Double Click on “King’s Dancers Promo” to watch the video.
To read the article:
Going to www.kingsdancers.com website.
Enter the site by clicking on “About Us”.
From the “About Us” page look for tab called “Newspaper Article”.
Click on the tab and then scroll down to read this.
Bill Dupley, Business Solution Manager, Hewlett-Packard, Canada
I have been journaling since 1992 using your material. I have often journaled about business issues and problems and God has given me wisdom to solve business problems as well as give direction in relationships, sales campaigns, and solution approaches.
There were two examples I felt that you might be interested in. The first occurred in a marketing meeting where we were trying to develop a new marketing tag line that captured the value of a new solution we were bringing to market. The team was stumped, so I journaled and the Lord gave me a marketing tag line. I told the team, they were amazed and said that was great, and it opened an entirely new approach for the team to work on.
On another occasion I was really stumped trying to write a marketing brochure for a seminar my wife and I are doing, I tried to write it but I was really stuck. I journaled and the Lord gave me the entire copy. I simply wrote it down.
Bill has also authored the book The Secret Place, which is a description of the place where he meets the Lord daily during devotional times. It is an amazing story of walks with God in heavenly places. You will love it! You may explore it and order it here.
In addition to my day job, Sue and I are also itinerant ministers. I used to take five hours to write sermons; now using journaling they are done in about 30 minutes.
The approach to hearing God that I learned from you has completely transformed my Christian life and business. Thanks for teaching me this very practical method for hearing God's voice. I have taught it to others all over the world in my Christian seminars, and Sue and I have written a children's Sunday School program called 'Kids in Renewal' that teaches kids to hear God's voice using your method. This program has been taught in over 800 churches worldwide to date.
Walt Pilcher Applies Biblical Leadership Principles to Business
Walt Pilcher, a retired successful CEO of several major companies, has taken the truths from the books Gifted to Succeed and How to Build a Winning Team, and written a complete book on bringing the organizational structure of Eph. 4:11-16 to the business world.
When people use their apostolic, prophetic, evangelistic, teaching, and pastoral gifts while working together under the Holy Spirit's guidance, any organization they are involved in - whether a business, a church, or even a small committee - can tap into supernatural resources more powerful than they can imagine, leading to success that is potentially unlimited.
Patty Klingensmith, a CLU student, has produced a wonderful new book, The Courageous Cubs!
Here is Patty to tell you about it in her own words.
The Courageous Cubs was birthed as a result of several things. As Mark Virkler says often. “Life is a teacher.” My life experiences combined with the courses: Communion with God, Counseled by God, Wisdom Through Dream Interpretation and Mark’s CDs on Spirit Born Creativity have all played an integral part (these are CLU courses)!
The Courageous Cubs is a story about two lion cubs that are in foster care. Andy and Omar have mixed emotions and feel they have no choice about their life. At times they are frightened and feel hopeless. The great lion guides them, showing the choices they do have! The book is intense, but ends giving Andy and Omar hope of a bright future!
Excerpt from book:
“When you call me, I will come, Life will have a great outcome! A better day is on the way, So call on me, you’ll be okay!”
– King Adonai
At first glance this book appears to be a children’s book, however, adults will love reading it too! It may take them back to their own childhood experiences and make the way for inner healing and peace. Children, family members, educators and caseworkers may read it and become more aware of the challenges children in troubled homes face. Hopefully it will create a soft spot in your heart for these children.
When I was younger, I always wanted to take in foster children, but due to my marriage situation that wasn’t possible. My desire went unspoken for years! Then one day, my daughter Melanie and her husband Bob announced they felt the Lord wanted them to take in foster children even though they had not started their own family yet! I thought how faithful the Lord had been to the desire in my heart! Together we have fostered ten children! As a result, I became aware of the plight of these dear ones. It has resulted in a therapeutic children’s book complete with companion coloring pages. I want to get the message to judges, legislators, social workers, parents and children alike. The book has received a professional endorsement by Jim Mills, MA, NCSP, School Psychologist. I hope it will call you to action!
“Pure and undefiled religion in the sight of our God and Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their distress, and to keep oneself unstained by the world.” James 1:27
Leaving Home—Finding Home: My Journey from Shame to Sonship through Journaling by Jessie Mejias
Jessie is a Christian prayer counselor who shares her story of how she took the “7 Prayers that Heal the Heart” teaching and applied it to her own life, resulting in extensive healing and life transformation. Come and read Jessie’s story, and let it touch your heart.
This is the perfect companion book to both Prayers That Heal the Heart and How to Hear God’s Voice. Jessie provides a detailed model of how to pray through a heart issue. It also takes the reader through a series of dialogues with God that He initiated to extend Jessie’s healing beyond what she even knew was possible.
As Mark Virkler wrote in his preface to her book: “God is the one who gives us new hearts, peeling away the destruction in our former hearts and making all things new. As Jessie shares how God replaced ungodly beliefs and inner vows with godly beliefs and Spirit-anointed purposes, we see God healing her heart step by step.
“This book describes a healing that has come through direct, ongoing divine interaction with Almighty God, the Creator and Sustainer of our lives. This is a PATTERN for us to use as we work with others in helping them receive healing for their wounded hearts.”
The promises and truths that God revealed to Jessie as He spoke to her heart through journaling were not just for her—they are for every believer! You will be inspired to persevere in seeking God’s heart—and your own heart’s healing—through journaling, as you realize the depth of the love that He has for all of His children.
Find out more about this book and purchase it here.
Clare Thomson teaches CWG in Uganda and South Africa
I had the opportunity to share the 4 Keys to Hearing God at a conference of about 500 Ugandans in Kampala, Uganda in January this year. I was very excited to be able to do this. I have also just finished teaching on Hearing from God at the Ministry School in Cape Town, South Africa for the last three days. Each time I go through the notes and also listen to your CDs on this teaching, God has given me even greater understanding and He has certainly opened up vision and dreams to me in a new way.
I was listening to your CD on vision the other night, then dreamt and saw a picture of you, Mark, beckoning me. I realized that God wanted to take me deeper into vision and that I really had to take note! My husband also began to actively seek God for pictures of his business and the pictures have caused the business to really take off as he declared what he saw.
Thank you for your commitment to this ministry and for all the hours of effort you and your wife have invested to facilitate for others to get close to God
CLU Doctoral Degrees Presented to John and Carol Arnott
Mark Virkler was extremely proud to present an earned Doctorate in Christian Leadership to John Arnott, and an earned Doctorate in the Prophetic to Carol Arnott on October 5, 2010 at their annual “Partners in Harvest” Conference in Toronto.
John and Carol have touched millions worldwide with the principles of spiritual intimacy and the Father’s Love, and we are absolutely thrilled to have them as graduates of Christian Leadership University. Our friendship spans 20 years, and in the last 12 years alone, the church in Toronto, has had me in to do a How to Hear God's Voice seminar approximately 50 times! This is more than any other church in the world!
"The whole teaching on Communion With God has been a wonderful help as well as the Counseled by God teaching, which has been of great personal benefit both to myself and to my wife, Carol. Our church, our leadership team and our ministry team have greatly benefited from your courses and your ministry.
Dialogue with God is worth a million dollars to any Christian who is serious about the issue of hearing the voice of God. Mark’s teaching on this issue profoundly impacted my life."
– Rev. John Arnott
John and Carol have taught How to Hear God’s Voice and Counseled by God on numerous occasions. In addition, the Partners in Harvest churches and speakers have taken the message of Communion with God with them around the world in hundreds of conferences they have run. We greatly appreciate our friendship with John and Carol and their commitment to restoring spiritual intimacy to the Church at large, and pray God’s blessing upon them as they continue their worldwide ministry.
Peter Lord ran three of our courses in his church for years
"I have been an active Baptist pastor for thirty-seven years. As far as I am personally concerned, seminars like 'Counseled by God' and 'Communion With God' and 'Naturally Supernatural' are absolutely fundamental to the building up of the inner life.
I highly recommend him and his ministry to you."
– Rev. Peter Lord
Senior Pastor of Park Avenue Baptist Church
Get the 4 Keys book into key people's hands
"Your manual on Communion With God is very, very rich and wonderful. I am going to study personally with it. I praise God for your ministry and wonderful contribution to the body of Christ."
– Dr. David (Paul) Yonggi Cho
Senior Pastor of Yoido Full Gospel Church, the world’s largest church (with 750,000 members) in Seoul, South Korea
Dr. Mark Virkler teaches in schools training tomorrow's leaders
Mark Virkler is now teaching the CWG message in many residential Schools of Ministry from Hawaii to England! God is raising up many Spirit-filled residential school of ministry programs which range in length from three weeks to five months to two years. If you are looking for an intense, live-in ministry training experience, here are some of the excellent schools for releasing an impartation in which Mark has had the privilege to teach during the last 12 months: Catch The Fire Leadership School and School of Ministry, Global School of Supernatural Ministry, Youth With A Mission, Revival Fires School of Ministry, Singing Waters and more.
We thank God for all of you, and especially our 50+ certified CWG facilitators who are teaching Communion With God seminars in nations all over the world! Let the fire grow!
Ben Lunis creates a free ebook which includes two-way journaling
Thy Kingdom Come on Earth as It Is in Heaven – Dialogues with God by Ben C. Lunis, a Certified CWG Facilitator. In this book, Ben journals about key Scriptures which discuss the Kingdom of God, so it is Scripture interwoven with journaling. You will find this inspiring!
A “How to Hear God’s Voice” Small Group Reaches Out on Facebook
“Our daughter and son-in-law wanted to go through the [How to Hear God’s Voice] course. My wife had taken the course with the women’s group at our church. We decided to open it up to others who were interested. We posted on Facebook that we were going to start the course the first week of January and put a link to your website on our status updates.
“We had four people respond that they were interested and some had already checked the website and were excited. Our daughter and son-in-law brought two friends and each of the four people brought others and before we knew it we had seventeen people, seven of whom we didn’t know!
“After each class we put a brief post on Facebook. This gives people in the class a chance to share their enthusiasm and it generates more interest. We have had to turn some people away and say that we will be starting the course again in April if people are interested. We will go through the same process again before we start the next session. Thank you for your ministry!!”
Benjamin & Pam Waldrum – Fresno, CA
Dale Cresap's Daily blog of two-way journaling is posted on Koinonia Network!
We encourage everyone to share their life story of how they encounter the Holy Spirit in their own blogs on Koinonia Network. This becomes a billboard of your testimony to the world of your supernatural encounters with the God who is alive and "Immanuel" God with us. Let the world know that God is still walking in the garden in the cool of the day with all who desire to walk with Him.
“Journaling With Jesus” – A book of two-way conversations with God
Written and illustrated by Eva Wilkinson, age 92! Eva states, “I attended a Communion With God seminar in January of 2005 where I learned about journaling. This book contains a selection of messages I received from Jesus during the entire following year. They have enormously enriched my life, and I pray that they will be a blessing to you, who read them. I hope you will also enjoy the original artwork throughout the book; for the first time in my life I have been able to combine the two gifts God gave me.” Eva
Two examples of journaling from Eva’s book:
Yes, Eva… the joy of the Lord on your face, in your heart, on your tongue! This has nothing to do with your age – except it is rarer, and therefore more noticeable, in older people. This is what I call you to – nothing as dramatic as you would like – simply the joy of the Lord that makes me visible.
This joy is the product of closeness to me, the result of having been in my presence. It expresses fervor and gratitude, and a contagious spirit of caring.
Here is good advice: stay in your room until you have dealt with negative feelings, bad moods, unwillingness to obey – pour them out to me, your savior and liberator. And when you are ready – go out and conquer the world for me with the radiance of joy, with the smile of delight, with the word or gesture of compassion.
Sounds easy? It isn’t. Will it guarantee success? It won’t. But in the midst of it all I promise you my peace. I embrace you with my love, and I equip you with my power. Thank you so much!
–– And another entry ––
When your heart and your will are open towards me – nothing else is needed for us to be friends. Don’t worry about what you do or don’t do; keep declaring what you know about my attitude and feelings towards you, rather than expecting rebuke from me.
By programming yourself for guilt, you give satan an open door. You are a much harder taskmaster than I am. True, I want to bring you to a greater willingness to die to yourself, your demands and your fears – but, as you know, my way is not your way.
My way is one of tender love, founded on my having died for you. I love you so much that I want to bring you ever closer to me, to make you desire to become like me so much that all your demands and fears dwindle into nothingness.
Live in me, abide in me, share yourself with me – that will become knowing and wanting what pleases me. It does not require some strenuous program, or a list of do’s and don’ts. I came to free you from such legalism. I came to fulfill the law. Fulfilling means enriching, revitalizing, clarifying. It brings life – resurrected life.
God restores divine artistry to Eric Rosé
I was saved in 1991 but was not able to hear the voice of God until I first attended Mark Virkler’s seminar in the spring of 2001. Over the course of that weekend I had six protracted two-way discussions with the Lord which helped clear out a lot of the emotional and theological baggage which kept me from hearing God clearly and established me in the practice of journaling and looking for vision from the Holy Spirit.
A couple of months later while I was driving to church I felt the Lord tell me that He wanted me to start producing the visions that He was giving me while I was soaking and journaling. [I had originally thought that he said to paint them, but I realized later that it was too limiting a word for what He wanted to accomplish.] This declaration wasn’t a complete surprise, as I used to draw quite often up to and through my college years. But it was a major stretch for me, because I had artistically ‘shut down’ after I graduated from college because of performance orientation. I have an undergraduate degree in engineering and I make a living as a software engineer. At the time I received this word I hadn’t drawn anything in 9 years, and pretty much reckoned that avenue of artistic expression to be closed to me for good.
Though I agreed with the Lord that this was something I should do – and in fact wanted to do, I couldn’t see any way around all of the obstacles in the way (most of which were internal). During the following weeks as I journaled about the obstacles, the Holy Spirit cleanly and painlessly identified and removed all of the emotional and mental blocks and reactivated an excitement in me for art that I hadn’t felt in 10-12 years. Since most of the visions that I was having at that time involved people I signed up for a figure drawing class (another major stretch, as all of my previous drawings had been landscapes and architectural studies). During this class I noticed that a number of things about my practice of drawing had changed as a result of my practice with journaling. Firstly, the time I’d spent listening to the affirmation of the Lord eliminated most of the self-critical voices which I used to commonly hear in my head ten years before. Secondly, I felt empowered to experiment in artistic areas that I had never tried before. Thirdly, I was much more attuned to the sense of flow as I worked, and the Lord was showing me how to properly integrate left-brain function (logic, analysis, problem-solving) into the practice of making art.
I also noticed that while I am not by nature a very detail-oriented person, during these times of working in flow I was able to concentrate for long periods of time on minute details that I would have ordinarily found tedious and boring. I was made aware of this when someone else in my class commented that I must have the patience of Job to be able to spend so much time working on the portrait I was drawing. I thought to myself, “Well, I know that’s not true; I’m typically pretty impatient” so when I got home that evening I journaled about it and this is what came out:
“Lord, how is it that I can have this much patience while I am doing this?”
I see a picture of myself working on the drawing, completely focused on what I am doing. I see another picture next to it of the Lord putting me together in my mother’s womb. The Father says:
“The care and attention you take over the work you are doing now is a measure of the care and attention which I had when I formed you in your mother’s womb. I am a creative God and I have made you in my image, to create beauty where none existed before. When you are drawing and feeling the flow of my spirit through you, you are participating in the same creative act by which I made you. This is how you should always work – in participation with my spirit, feeling my life flowing through you to do what you could not do without me”
With this one vision and the explanation that accompanied it, the Lord effectively changed my perception of art from being something that I am doing or creating in my own strength, to something that I am receiving from the Lord and participating with the Holy Spirit in ‘bringing to life’.
The kinds of artwork which I most appreciate personally and to which I have always aspired have been those pieces which take movement and energy and express them in a way that you can feel it in a deep and personal way when you look at it. A number of the visions which the Lord was giving me were accompanied by a strong impression of energy and power, so while I was taking drawing classes I struggled to find a way to bring that feeling to life in my work. In the December of the following year a friend of mine suggested that I try sculpture as a way of exploring movement in three dimensions. My immediate response was “I don’t work in 3 dimensions”. I realized that this was an inner vow and took it to the Lord that evening, asking what the root of it was. As I journaled, He showed me a number of incidents in my childhood where I had started working with three-dimensional artistic mediums and each time the work I had been doing had been destroyed. The Lord healed the pain of these memories and broke the vows that I’d made in response to them in much the same way as He had healed the emotional and mental blocks that had shut down my artistic expression. Immediately I felt an excitement about working with sculpture, as if something inside of me which had gone to sleep had been woken up through the healing process the Lord took me through as I journaled.
The moment I started sculpting, I realized that I had found a medium in which I could ‘bring to life’ the energy that I had been feeling in the visions the Lord was giving me. I also found, much to my surprise, that the process of sculpting, which had always seemed kind of intimidating to me, was almost effortless by comparison with the struggles I experience while drawing. This seemed odd, given that I’d been drawing pretty much my whole life, but had only been sculpting for a few months. I asked the Lord about this, and this is what He told me:
“Lord, how is it that this comes so easily to me?”
“You were supposed to have been doing this your whole life. It is something I have always had in mind for you to do, but you walked away from it when you were younger because of the pain of seeing your work destroyed. It was something you lost, but I did not lose it. I kept it and preserved it for you until you could come back and pick it up again. Now that you are back, I am going to accelerate your progress by my grace. I am going to “catch you up” to where you would have been if you had not lost all those years of practice.”
The first five sculptures which I built were drawn directly from visions which the Lord gave me during worship services at my church. The first, entitled “The Keeper” was based on a vision of an angel who the Lord assigned to watch over me and to protect His vision of who I am against all of the forces coming against it. The next four were based on visions/experiences in which I sensed – rather than saw – the power of the Holy Spirit flowing around and through me. In the first (and most powerful) of them I felt a writhing, spiraling flow of power like flames rising from a bonfire, and I saw a figure suspended in the midst of it, twisting and flowing as one with the fire of God. From this vision I eventually built a sculpture called “Fire”. The picture below shows a larger version of the original sculpture which I rebuilt and cast in bronze in the spring of 2005:
To this day I can still feel the power of the initial vision, and the feeling of it continues to mark and influence the sculpture I’m building today. The companion pieces to this sculpture, “Water”, “Oil”, and “Wind” are all named after the physical substances which are used in the Bible to represent the Holy Spirit. They are part of a series which I called “Essentia”, because the figures embody and release the feeling or energy of the four substances for which they are named.
Several years before I started sculpting, the Lord gave me a vision in which I saw Jesus at the Decapolis , and crowds of sick people flocking to Him to receive healing and the message of the Kingdom of God . The Lord explained to me that Jesus didn’t have to promote Himself, or send his disciples ahead of Him to get people excited about His visit. They heard of Him long beforehand and realized that He had “the real thing” – the real anointing, the real message of life and hope, and so they came out of the woodwork wherever He was. He told me that I would see a day when churches and ministers would no longer have to promote themselves; that I would see a day when the unbelieving would raise up a platform for the church because the world would see that the church had the real message of life and hope that it needed to receive.
In the fall of the year that I built the first versions of the “Essentia” sculptures the Lord reminded me of that vision and gave me the following instructions:
“…Remember that I told you that when you had the authentic message and anointing, the world would raise up a platform for you? Focus on the visions, focus on intimacy with me; build what comes to your soul through this relationship and I will imbue it with my anointing, and the world will see it and respond to it. The vision you saw [of the Decapolis ] was not just pertaining to healing. Jesus did not just heal - He proclaimed the message of the kingdom of God - one manifestation of which is healing. Some understood it and some did not…to those with eyes to see and ears to hear, He opened up the mysteries of the kingdom of God, speaking in parables, or bringing teaching which invited them to move from the physical manifestation to the spiritual truth.”
“What I want is to let the power of my presence and my anointing flow through your talent and energize it with divine strength and power so that it can heal, release, deliver, and reveal the kingdom of God…the unbelieving will see the truth through the anointing which I will place on your work… I draw them in many ways, but underlying and surrounding all of them is the anointing of the manifest presence of the Kingdom of God which gives weight and authority to the vehicle. Pray for My favor to be on your work, and pray for my anointing to fill it and surround it, and as I lift it up, I will draw all men unto myself.”
Not long after that I was contacted by the head of a dance organization who had seen photos of my work online and wanted to showcase them at a small dance festival which he was holding the next summer. While a small beginning, I believe that it is the first fulfillment of the vision which the Lord gave me of how He wants to use the work (and more to the point, the anointing in the work) to reach out and draw in people who are sensitive to the Spirit but are turned off by religion. In 2006 the Lord has used the original four bronze sculptures which I built to open doors for me in the artistic community in Pittsburgh (where I live) and to give me opportunities to share the life that I’ve received from God with other artists who are viewing my work, or with whom I am working with to get the sculptures built.
It would take too much time to go into all of the challenges that I’ve run across while pursuing this dream. I don’t have any formal artistic training, and I have to learn everything as I go along, letting the visions which the Lord shows me direct me to the materials and skills which I need to master to produce them. The process of producing sculpture is very expensive, so concern about financial is an ongoing battle. Additionally, there have been instances where people (well meaning or otherwise) and spirits of intimidation have tried to defuse my passion, blur my vision, or drive me back. Every time I go back to the Lord and journal about the obstacles and the original ‘commission’ He gave me, He gives me visions or messages which strengthen my faith and allow me to push the obstacles aside and move forward. I am also encouraged by the work of a number of other gifted artists in my home church who have a similar desire to see the lost touched by the power of God flowing out through non-religious artistic expression. My hope is that eventually Mysterion Studios (the corporation which I founded to help me finance and promote the work that I’m doing) can become an umbrella organization for artists of all kinds who share that desire.