More About Journey on Canvas

Alisa's New Journey Towards Peace and Hope

 

 

Join Alisa on a Studio Journey

A series of 10 short videos that will help you get started on your journey as an artist. Start by organizing your space in a way that inspires you and gets you creating!


Spiritual Autobiography Contact, Articles and More!  

At Journey on Canvas you will find contact information for spiritual autobiography as well as help to share your story. Journey on Canvas can help you find hope, encouragement, and unique ways to share. Journey on Canvas encourages you to being sharing here. Discover the power of sharing your journey at Journey on Canvas.

Self Portrait Painting

Background and Mission: 

Alisa E. Clark believes in the power of spiritual autobiography: to reveal God’s constant presence in our daily lives. While receiving her B.F.A. from Pratt Institute, and her M.S. in education, Alisa began encouraging spiritual exploration in the field of art, as well as the fields of secular and Christian education. Since writing her own spiritual autobiography, Alisa has begun to seek for ways to share her story and encourage others to do the same. Alisa trusts that by sharing the challenges of her own journey she will be able to help others share, find hope, and encourage others in return.

Suggestions for beginning and sharing one’s own spiritual autobiography, excerpts from Alisa’s journey, as well as an opportunity to purchase Alisa's spiritual autobiography (Dancing in the Doghouse) has been made available on her website: www.journeyoncanvas.com

At Journey on Canvas, you can learn about Alisa's own spiritual autobiography, Dancing in the Doghouse. Alisa has also authored and illustrated Guardian Angels: A Book About Angels for Children and Guardian Angels: A Coloring Book About Angels for Children. These delightfully illustrated children’s books show young people the ways God is with them during the ordinary moments of their lives. Alisa also illustrated Jesus for Kids: a friend of children who just want more answers about who Jesus really is. Alisa's most recent book releases are Mindfulness Paintings and Art and Liminal Space. This book is loaded with Alisa's paintings laid beside encouragements for others to join her in her creative process and find hope.

Consistent with Alisa’s desire to encourage others to share their journey, Journey on Canvas allows viewers to contact Alisa for support and assistance. While Alisa is happy to help in the capacity that she can, she encourages others to get professional assistance when necessary. The exercises and suggestions on this site are in no way a substitution for a qualified professional. With that said, contact Alisa and she will offer you the hope and help that she does have to give!

Spiritual Autobiography Resources!

Spiritual journaling resources can help you share your memoir. Journey on Canvas provides spiritual autobiography and spiritual memoir resources that will help you share your story. This site will help you decide whether sharing your story is a passion for you.

Share Your Journey Painting

Are you still deciding? Are you still making a decision about if, or how, you should share your journey? Are you a little nervous at the prospect of sharing your spiritual memoir with others? I have to say I wrestled with all of these issues and I faced a lot of discouragement as I did. Some people felt I shouldn't share at all. Others felt that some things were better left unsaid. I had to move through the discouragement and into the place where God wanted me to be. He had a plan for my life and my journey. I had to decide to enter into that plan and trust where it would take me. I had to trust my reasons to share.

I have shared my story, Dancing in the Doghouse, in the manner that I believe God has asked me to. God is asking you to do something with your life too. Your choices won't look like mine because God has a different plan for you. What is God asking you to do with your life? Perhaps the answer to this question is your reason to share?

I want to help you learn even more about spiritual autobiography, so you can make an informed decision about whether sharing is right for you. That's why I'm offering you several resources to choose from: articles, links, press releases, an event calendar, a search inside the book feature and a blog for spiritual autobiography. Under Resources you will find articles about the peaks and pitfalls of sharing your journey. You'll also find some links to great information about keeping journals, writing and starting a spiritual autobiography. Perhaps these types of resources will help you make a decision about how, if and when to share your story? I recommend reading some articles, exploring the links, checking out the spiritual autobiography blog, considering attending a spiritual memoir event, reading some Dancing in the Doghouse book excerpts and prayerfully considering all these resources as you examine the directions you can take with your own spiritual autobiography. Remember that this information is based on my own experience (or someone else's): what worked for us. Perhaps our experiences will enrich yours? Perhaps some of the suggestions here will work for you? That would be awesome!

Remember that the resources you find here are thoughts, suggestions and possibilities NOT directions. Ultimately, God must be your guide. My best advice is, "Stay grounded." Stay grounded in God's plan for you. Make a decision to follow His plan. His plan is the best choice you can make. Follow Him. If you do decide to share, do it His way and let Him guide you. He will help you find hope inside your story.

Journey On Canvas Articles!

Scroll down to view more articles:

Nuts and Bolts for Starting a Spiritual Journal

Article written by Alisa E. Clark

Keeping a spiritual journal is different from keeping a traditional journal. Spiritual journaling keeps account of how a person experiences spirituality in common everyday experiences and in life changing events. The spiritual journaler may keep accounts of seemingly mundane events while excluding the more monumental moments of life. The spiritual journal keeps account of what has made a spiritual impact; the beauty of freshly fallen snow, the sound of a baby laughing or the warmth of the sun shining on one’s face. Seemingly insignificant moments can be the trail markers for spiritual journaling.

Gaining an understanding of the ways your spiritual journal will differ from a traditional journal is a first step you may take as a spiritual journaler. This understanding helps free the journal keeper from preconceived notions regarding this spiritual practice. You don’t need to have done something remarkable, or have achieved some level of fame or notoriety, to embark on this journaling journey. This is a journey anyone can take. All you need is a notebook, a pen and a willing heart.

Once you have decided that you would like to start a spiritual journal it’s time to gather some materials. Firstly, you want to find a journal that fits your spiritual style. Do you want a sketchbook, a leather bound journal, or a binder with tabbed sections and loose-leaf? Remember that you will likely want to keep your spiritual journal for a long time to come, so make a choice that allows for permanence. Also, make sure you are excited about the journal you have chosen. This is not the place to cut corners or make a split decision. Allow yourself the time and resources to choose well.

Additional materials require consideration as you prepare to begin spiritual journaling. Will you use pencil or erasable pen? Will a good set of colored pencils get you excited about keeping some sketches and special notes inside your journal? Perhaps highlighters, a set of colored pens or some crayons fit with your journaling plans? Give thought to what materials you choose for this special journal journey. Spiritual journals are worth the time and investment.

Now that you are prepared to write your first entry, remember these few helpful hints. Keep the date! You may desire to re-read your journal and knowing the time frame for each entry becomes a great asset. Also, make mistakes! Erase, cross out and rewrite! Remember that your goal is spiritual exploration not perfection! Finally, don’t worry about grammar, punctuation or writing quality. Your journal is for your eyes, and God’s eyes, only. God doesn’t grade your entries. He just wants to hear what your heart has to say each day.

After you have made the necessary preparations, it is time to write and share. You can write down your feelings, note your thoughts on a Bible passage, sketch a childhood memory or simply keep an account of your daily experiences through spiritual journal writing. You can also search the internet for spiritual journaling prompts or buy a workbook on spiritual journaling that includes leads for writing. Some use two different colored pens. One color is used to express your thoughts and feelings, and the second color is used to write down what God is speaking back to you. The beauty of keeping a spiritual journal is freedom. There are no rules here. Whatever you choose to do or say is right!

As you embark on this journaling journey, remember to keep your eye on the spiritual. Look for God’s presence as you go through your day. Become sensitive to His presence in the big and small moments of your life, and use your spiritual journal as a place to explore all of these experiences. Enjoy the increasing awareness of beauty, love, meaning and life all around you. Learn something new about yourself and your relationship with God with each entry. Let your spiritual journal become a place where your experiences are explored, understood and celebrated. Expect to grow, change and find new peace.

Finding God through Spiritual Journaling

Article written by Alisa E. Clark

On the road to Emmaus the disciples didn’t recognize Jesus. Jesus spoke with them, asking them questions about everything that had happened to Him. Jesus then opened their eyes to the scriptures and later to His identity. After Jesus left their sight, the disciples reflected on their Emmaus experience saying, "Were not our hearts burning within us while he talked with us on the road and opened the Scriptures to us?"

How often are we on our own road to Emmaus, missing God when He is right there with us? How frequently do we forget to really listen to what our heart is telling us? When our heart is burning we don’t often stop long enough to feel what it’s telling us.  Most of us sense that we could definitely do better in this department. The good news is that Jesus didn’t leave the disciples sight never to return. Instead, He returned for ALWAYS. The Holy Spirit became God in them and then God in us: right now and for all tomorrows. Today our heart burns within us without ceasing whether we attend to it or not. God couldn’t bring Himself any closer to us than He already has.

Does your heart burn within you? Are you missing God’s presence while He’s right there with you? Consider igniting your experience of God’s presence through spiritual journaling. Many have experienced God’s presence in a new and deeper way by making journal keeping part of their spiritual life. Spiritual journals are an opportunity to travel a new road of encouragement on your journey.

Take another step on your road to knowing God by exploring the practice of spiritual journal writing. There are many resources you can use that are full of spiritual journaling suggestions and encouragements for those who are interested in deepening their relationship with God: people who want to get a little closer to the force that causes our hearts to burn within us. If you’ve never kept a spiritual journal before, the internet is a great place for you to consider keeping one. Spiritual journaling prompts and suggestions for the novice, as well as the more advanced spiritual journal keeper, are available with a click of the mouse. Search the internet using the words “spiritual journaling,” “spiritual journal,” “keeping a spiritual journal” and “spiritual journal writing.” Be prepared to spend some time considering the possibilities, because you will find that they are endless.

For those of you who prefer a more traditional approach to learning about journal keeping, there are many good books on the topic. “Writing the Sacred Journey: The Art and Practice of Spiritual Memoir” by Elizabeth Andrew is a wonderful resource for those who want to reflect on the spirituality of their lives. Within this resource book, you will find chapters for getting started on writing, developing the habit of journal writing and organizing your memories to tell your story. This resource is designed to support spiritual autobiographers and spiritual memoirists: those who want to document, and possibly share, their spiritual story.

You may also want to explore the book titled “How to Keep a Spiritual Journal” by Ron Klug. This book is designed to help journal writers who want to keep a spiritual journal as a way of exploring the spirituality of their past, present and future.  Learn the basics of journaling including suggestions for getting started, keeping a daily record, going deeper, and writing for healing through this resource. This author chooses to title his last chapter “For Further Reading” so you don’t have to worry about where to go next to learn more once you finish reading “How to Keep a Spiritual Journal.”

If you’ve been keeping a spiritual journal for decades, or have just begun keeping one, you have the opportunity to deepen your relationship with God through spiritual journaling. Your desire for God can be ignited by using this spiritual practice. Discover the truth that your heart burns more deeply for the things of God and find out what God is saying just to you. Find God through spiritual journaling.

Your Personal Journal!

Article by Alisa E. Clark

Summary: 

This article gives journal writing suggestions for keeping a personal journal or prayer journal as a means for sharing your spiritual story.

Article: 

There are many benefits to keeping a personal journal. Writing in a personal journal, or prayer journal, is an opportunity for spiritual reflection and a chance to gain spiritual insight. Journal writing can be a simple tool that opens your mind and heart to new knowledge and new hope. Writing in a journal need not be complicated or challenging. A few basic suggestions can help the novice journaler launch their first personal journal.

Journal writing inside a personal journal is an opportunity to record life experiences. This can be done by documenting God's answers to your prayers, sharing lessons you have learned or listing observations for the day. You can write down quotations that inspire you, passages from books that resonate with you, or prayers that center you. Make a bulleted list of the day’s events, draw a map of your travels or write down a few meaningful words someone shared with you. Draw a picture, write a confession or share your anger through a few choice words. Do whatever you want. A personal journal is personal. It's nobody's business but yours: no rules, no regulations and no expectations. Finally, you have a place where you can do whatever you want and nobody can stop you!

Some people like to have a journal for a specific purpose. For example, a journal could solely be a book of lists, a series of letters or a record of daily events. You can have several journals you are keeping at once: each for a different purpose. Keep track of what you hear God saying to you inside a journal: a simple paragraph each day that seeks to hear His voice. Keep track of valuable insights found through daily reading, vent your frustrations or write down your worries. Keep a Worry Journal, a book of quotations and an Anger Log. Use index tabs to divide a binder into sections: one section for each journaling purpose. Now you have one place to keep all your journals!

Artist Guillermo Kuitca takes discarded canvases and stretches them over a round table. These tables become daily diaries upon which he captures his daily musings and travels. Phone numbers, lists, schedules, appointments, quotes, traces of objects that sat on the canvas and email addresses cover the canvas top to create a personal diary. Guillermo teachers us that journal writing can take a multitude of forms and serve a multitude of purposes. He encourages us to think outside the box and find a journal format that works for us.

If you are a novice journaler, remember that a journal is a place for you to decide how you will keep record of your own story. Find a way to keep a personal journal or prayer journal for spiritual reflection and insight. Consider finding a spiritual journaling tool that works for you. From diaries, to notebooks to canvas covered kitchen tables, the formats are endless. Pick a venue for documentation and expression that fits your personality and your lifestyle. Think outside the box, keep an open mind and pray about the possibilities. Discover how God has wired you keep a journal. Then, pick up a pen and share your story.

Art Journaling

Memories, Age 44

Spiritual Autobiography for Joy!

Article Written by Alisa E. Clark

Your spiritual autobiography, or spiritual story, can be a joy. It can help you bring greater joy into your life. Your spiritual autobiography, or spiritual memoir, can be a tool to prioritize and reorganize your life, bringing you the peace and happiness you keep reaching for but never quite find.

Consider a jar: an empty jar just waiting to be filled. First you add some golf balls to that jar: golf balls right up to the rim. Is the jar full now? Consider adding some pebbles. As you drop the pebbles in the jar, they fill the spaces between all those golf balls all the way up to the rim of the jar. Is the jar full now? Try adding some sand. Watch the sand fill the spaces the pebbles couldn't fill. The sand fills all these spaces all the way up to the rim of the jar. Is the jar full now? Reach for a tall glass of water and pour it slowly into that jar. See the water fill the tiny spaces between all those grains of sand. Watch the liquid as it makes its way up the sides of the glass as it reaches towards the rim. Now the jar is full. Often our lives are a lot like this jar: we keep filling it up with stuff. But, unlike this jar, we don't walk away full. Instead, we walk away empty, and we wonder why we don't have joy.

Imagine those golf balls are like the most important things in our lives. Everything else that filled that jar took up space but, like in our lives, these other space takers are not always important or necessary. Maybe peace and joy is found when we figure out how to toss out all those space takers in our lives?  Maybe some of our plans, and even some of our old hopes and dreams, need to go. Maybe they are just taking up space that doesn't need to be filled? Maybe those space takers are robbing our joy?

Are you having trouble letting things go? Is there just not enough time to do everything you want to do? Are you having trouble deciding what to let go and what to hold on to? The road to joy involves figuring out your priorities, letting go of some of your plans, and embracing what's important. You can't have it all and have joy.

Keeping a spiritual journal can help you draw the line at the place where the space takers start robbing your joy. Using a spiritual journal can help you keep track of your spiritual autobiography, and it can become a tool that helps you discover the misguided priorities in your life. Your spiritual memoir can simply be your life shared inside a spiritual journal. As you use this tool to reflect on your life, you will discover its incredible power to bring more joy into your story.  You don’t have to publish your story or share it with anyone if you don’t want to. What you share about your spiritual life can stay right inside your journal just for you.

Grab a pen and a simple journal and take a reach for something really satisfying. Writing in a spiritual journal is a choice that will allow you to experience greater joy. Some things need to be let go of in all our lives. Writing in your journal will help you make choices about what pebbles, sand and water you will allow in your jar each day. Create a space to be happy and use it. The laundry can wait, and maybe today just isn't the day to clean the toilet. Maybe today is the day you put your pen to the paper and make more space for joy?

Click here for the Dancing for Joy Blog!

Woman Dancing for Joy

Spiritual Journaling:

Finding Comfort as You Explore Your Spiritual Autobiography


Article Written by Alisa E. Clark

We all want the Easy Button to be part of our spiritual story. We want what we want from God, and we all want it to come easy: like pressing that Easy Button you see in those Staples Ads. It is an encouraging idea. We all like the idea that we can get what we want from God and get it easily. Believing it is easy makes us feel safe and in control. We want to believe we are the problem: the cause of God not answering our prayers. Then we can believe we just need to ask God for things the right way or with the right level of faith. We just need to believe that there is some easy way to get what we want: a way through which all our hopes and wishes will be granted. When we find the secret everything will fall right into place! NOT!

We should know better than to fall into the trap of believing that we can control the outcomes of life with the right prayer, mantra or attitude. But the truth is that God does not usually give us easy answers when we ask for things from Him. Most of the time, it is the times when we are struggling most that we find God to be present. But more often than not, He does not fix everything. He just stays present. He makes it all bearable. He puts our trials in the context of His plan for our lives. But, "easy" would not be the adjective most of us would use to describe it all.

Brutal. Life can be brutal. When we pray, sometimes things get even more brutal. This is not an easy world or an easy life. Our spiritual journal can become a place where we can explore the challenges of our spiritual lives. We can ponder our struggles alongside God inside our spiritual journal: explore how He interacts with us, responds to us, saves us and comforts us. What we discover, and what we have to share, through spiritual journaling can be hard to swallow. Spiritual journaling can reveal the ways prayer offers no easy answers. We want to believe our story can be one of hope delivered to our doorstep, but our spiritual autobiography can reveal how that kind of story would be a lie. For most of us our spiritual memoir, or our spiritual story, is gritty and messy: void of quick and easy answers. Spiritual journaling will not offer you all the answers and it will not tidy up all of the messes of your life. But, it will give you a place to see the ways that God can make this life a little easier in spite of its difficulties.

Some may say our struggles occur because we do not have enough faith, we do not ask with authority or we must have some hidden sin in our lives. Some may suggest we are in the middle of a spiritual attack and we are losing. All these things may be true, but these are not the reasons why God does not make it easy for us. When we keep a spiritual journal, we quickly see that we are not perfect and that we have not arrived. We quickly see our flaws, but we also discover the ways God still answers our prayers even though we are not saints. Using a spiritual journal can show us that we do not have less spiritual power because we make, and have made, mistakes. When we write down the truth of our spiritual story, we find that we are not at the end of God's prayer list. Our spiritual autobiography, or spiritual memoir, shows us that sinners are not the only ones without the Easy Button. We discover the universal truth that life is hard but there are ways to lighten the load. One way we can ease the burdens of life is with a pen, a quiet place and our spiritual journal.

Sorry if you were hoping I would tell you that a spiritual journal will bring you all the happy, hopeful answers. Perhaps you were looking for a warm fuzzy and some promises of everlasting, incredible joy and peace? Then you have come to the wrong article. Although, if you are seeking truth and would like to explore how God is part of your story, you have found a place to search. The truth will not come from an article, though. But it can come from God as he speaks to you through spiritual journaling. Find answers through your own spiritual story as God reveals himself within your journal. Find that some things can fall into place with God at your side. Pick up a pen, ask God a question, and write down what He shares. Expect your journey to become just a little easier. Expect to be less alone.

Some days we could all use an Easy Button, and sometimes God is happy to provide us with one. But, while we are all waiting for God to grant us an instant miracle, we have the everyday experience of the presence of God to fall back on. Our spiritual journal can give us the perfect place to experience it all. Make a place for God each day through spiritual journaling.

Visit the Easy Button Blog Entry:  http://www.journeyoncanvas.com/dnn/Resources/Blog/tabid/166/EntryId/56/Spiritual-Autobiography-and-the-Easy-Button.aspx

Keeping a Spiritual Journal to Share Your Spiritual Autobiography!

Article written by Alisa E. Clark

We all have a spiritual story. When we write down our story we can call it our spiritual autobiography or our spiritual memoir. We can share our story in different ways. The ambitious story tellers might write a book about their spiritual journey. But for many, the spiritual story can be captured on the pages of a spiritual journal.

Spiritual Pride

A spiritual journal lets us capture the truth about our journey. Some think that they should only write down their successes, high points and victories on paper. Some question the value of writing down their struggles, their low points and their personal failures. The truth is that our spiritual journey has highs and lows and there is value in sharing both the ups and downs. Your spiritual autobiography is incomplete if you skip the difficult parts. A spiritual memoir is a story about a real person with real problems and real challenges.

The challenge of a spiritual journal is sharing your whole story. Having the guts to explore all the aspects of one's spiritual life can be daunting. The beauty of a spiritual journal is its audience. You control who sees what you write. Perhaps your spiritual autobiography is simply between you and God? Realizing that no one ever needs to see what you write can be liberating. If you choose to keep you spiritual memoir a private matter you have nothing to fear! Your spelling can be terrible, you can write something that seems terrifically silly, and all your pent up rage can spill out on the page. God already knows if you can not spell, He knows if you think your feelings are silly, and what you are angry about is no surprise to Him.

A common challenge of spiritual journaling is figuring our what to write about. A great way to get over this hurdle is to think of journaling as a conversation between you and God. Write down a concern, a problem or something you are praying about. Then, ask God about what you have written and pause to hear His answer. Write down what you hear. You will soon discover that you are not alone.

Some spiritual journalers use two different colored pens when they journal. One color is for their own thoughts and the other color is for keeping track of what God is speaking to them. This type of exchange makes the journaling experience richer. Now the journal is more than a log of events. It is a place where God gets invited to become a part of your story.

You have a spiritual story and you can share it different ways. Consider capturing your spiritual story on the pages of a journal. Share the truth of your journey with God and hear what He has to say to you. Expect to discover that God has been with you every step of the way. Expect to know that He plans to stick right by your side. Make God part of your spiritual story through spiritual journaling.

Spiritual Autobiography Reflections Through Spiritual Journaling!

Article by Alisa E. Clark

Summary: 

This article gives spiritual journaling suggestions for spiritual autobiography, spiritual memoir and sharing your journey. 

Article: 

A spiritual journal is a place where you can reflect on your spiritual autobiography. It’s a place where your spiritual memoir, or your spiritual story, can be pondered and understood in a new way. Spiritual journaling is often about reflections: reflections on our spirituality, life changing events and our hopes and dreams.

There are different ways you can use a spiritual journal to reflect on your spiritual autobiography. The most common way people journal is through daily entries that describe the spiritually meaningful moments of the day. Sometimes these moments are ordinary. Other times they are extraordinary. Regardless, spiritual journaling allows the journaler to keep an account of how God was present throughout their day.

While some journalers tell their spiritual autobiography through the keeping of these daily accounts, there are other approaches. Some spiritual journals keep an account of what God is speaking through ones experiences. The journaler actually writes down what they hear God saying inside their journal. A common practice is to use a special pen for keeping account of God’s voice that day. This allows the journaler to reflect and separate their own thoughts from the quiet whispers God has offered them that day.

Another rich way to reflect on our spiritual memoir is to look back on our journals. If past entries are dated, the journaler can make comments and mark them with the present date. This allows a spiritual journal to become a place where the past can be connected to the present. It also highlights the way God has moved in one’s life over time. The journal reveals how God has answered prayer, changed lives and healed through its entries. One discovers that their spiritual autobiography is a reflection of God’s strength, love and power in their lives.

A common time for reflection is the New Year. People look back at what they have done and make decisions about what they would like to change. A powerful way to reflect at this time is to look back on the journal entries of past years. This gives the spiritual journaler a chance to see their spiritual autobiography from a new vantage point. The journal allows the spiritual journey to be seen with a fresh perspective and provides a summary of God’s activity in one’s life over time.

There is more than one way to reflect on our spiritual memoir. A spiritual journal is just one tool for this reflection. Many find, although, that journaling is a tried and true practice for reflection. If you want a place to look back and see where God has been at work in your life, consider keeping a journal. It might give you the voice for your story that you’ve been looking for. You might discover that God has been right with you every step of the way.

Spiritual Autobiography Reflections at the Journey on Canvas Blog: http://journeyoncanvas.com/dnn/Resources/Blog/tabid/166/EntryId/58/Spiritual-Autobiography-Reflections.aspx

Spiritual Autobiography Reflections

Reflections, 2013



Art About Christianity

I Get to Choose
Age 41

I get to choose. I get to open the doors and I can close them too. God is bigger than my mistakes, so he’ll help me if I choose the wrong door. There’s nothing for me to fear. My Father has everything under control.

Contact Us

Alisa is available for speaking engagements, retreats and workshops tailored to meet the needs of your individual group. Contact Alisa With Questions, Comments and Suggestions at alisa@clarkistan.com 

Spiritual Autobiography Author

Interview: Alisa with the Michigan Literary Network


Alisa's Story: 


Breaking Work!

People on Mountains

People Standing on Mountains

Break the Limits,
Age 42

I want to break the limits. I want to have it all. I don’t want to be stuck. I want to rise to the mountaintops, experience the wonder of all I can be and touch the sky. I want to believe that limitations are a lie and that I can reach the pinnacle of all God has for me. That’s why I’m gonna break the limits.

 


Emmaus Work!

Man with Burning Heart

Our Hearts Burned,
Age 42

On the road to Emmaus the disciples didn’t recognize Jesus. Jesus spoke with them, asking them questions about everything that had happened to Him. Jesus then opened their eyes to the scriptures and later to His identity. After Jesus left their sight, the disciples reflected on their Emmaus experience saying, "Were not our hearts burning within us while he talked with us on the road and opened the Scriptures to us?"

How often are we on our own road to Emmaus, missing God when He is right there with us? How frequently do we forget to really listen to what our heart is telling us? When our heart is burning we don’t often stop long enough to feel what it’s telling us.  Most of us sense that we could definitely do better in this department. The good news is that Jesus didn’t leave the disciples sight never to return. Instead, He returned for ALWAYS. The Holy Spirit became God in them and then God in us: right now and for all tomorrows. Today our heart burns within us without ceasing whether we attend to it or not. God couldn’t bring Himself any closer to us than He already has?


Uncomfortable Work!

Flower Petals
Flower Petals,
Age 44

The beauty of these flower petals is simple. We get uncomfortable about really looking at the shape and form of a flower: too suggestive and too sexual. You could say I'm the one wanting to see something that's not there. I challenge you to to take a hard look at a flower and say you can't see it too. Why are we so uncomfortable about something so natural? God made this flower and it's beautiful. If we have a problem with how God created flowers then whose problem is that?

 

Messy Work!

Easy Button Prayer
Easy Button,
Age 44

I'd love it if I could say that prayer has easy answers, but I don't believe that. Believing in the Easy Button is like believing in Santa Claus: it’s just not real. I'd like to share a story of hope delivered to your doorstep and mine, but I believe that story would be a lie. My spiritual story, is gritty and messy and that's the truth. I hate to say it, but it’s likely the truth for you too.


Pride Work!

Spiritual Memoir Pride 
Pride Burns,
Age 44

I'm angry and I have a right to be. People have made some pretty bad choices and they don't take responsibility for them. Instead, they flip it around and blame it all on me. I'm the quintessential scapegoat and I don't like it one bit. I dream of making them sorry. I don't mean I dream of hurting them or watching them suffer. My dreams are more prideful than that. I want them to see me successful, happy and surrounded by loving friends and family. I want them to see me thin, pretty and at the top of my game. I want them to see me with it all together. My pride burns and it wants them to see me having a million reasons to be prideful. Right now, inside me, pride burns.


Reflection Work!

Spiritual Reflections

Abstract Spiritual Art 
Reflections,
Age 44

My "Reflections" creation is a painting made of different squares: each square is like one of the patches from my Joseph Coat. I make decisions about how to fill each square. I select colors, textures, objects and torn papers to make each patch of my painting tell some truth about my story. I want my painting to come together like my Joseph Coat: with all the parts working together in ways that make sense. I want my painting to help tell my story.


Failed Work!


Hawaiian Flowers,
Age 47

When my dad died, I received these flowers. They were shipped from Hawaii and were flowers I had no idea even existed. They were so beautiful that they looked fake. I tried to capture the beauty. I failed. Oh, well. When something beautiful dies, you can't get it back. It's much like with my dad being gone. He was here and he was wonderful. I can make some attempts to get pieces of him back but, like my painting, it will all pale in comparison.


Right Work!

Art about Fear

Fear Triptych,
Age 32 

I'm afraid of plenty of things. I'm not letting my fear stop me though. I don't want to be one of "those people" who dies with regrets. I don't want to regret not having done something I should have, or could have, because of fear. Some days fear rules my life. Other days I get it closer to "right" and fear is silenced. God's plan for me becomes my inspiration for the coming hours. That's when I forge ahead with a little extra courage and life is, for a moment, very sweet.

Click on These Spiritual Autobiography Links: 

Spiritual Autobiography Blog 

Spiritual Autobiography Articles


Together Work!


Take Apart 4, 
Age 45

I have no regrets about dismantling a number of my creations to make new ones. It was freeing. I also learned something important, but the lesson came several years after I made this piece. Over the recent years, I have vacillated back and forth between some more representational works and more abstract ones. Each time I shifted my style,  I struggled with some disappointment and a feeling like I had no direction. I had jokingly said my work was schizophrenic: it seemed like I was making the art of several different people. Then one day, about a year ago, I created a painting within which I "accidentally" mixed together all my vacillations. I had painted a representational vase upon which I "absentmindedly" added some collage elements. In the background, some of my more loosely drawn "styles" filled the space. I used very vibrant and unlikely color combinations: something more recently done by me. All my different "artistic personalities" began to fuse together. I had to create the piece of art you see here to get to the place I am now. In retrospect, it makes perfect sense. Sometimes things just have to be taken apart before they can be put back together.


Changing Work!


People Holding Hands in a Circle

Change the World,
Age 42

Our silent thoughts, prayers and petitions can be heard. God knows the passion inside our hearts. This doesn’t make any sense in the natural world, but I believe God can hear our hearts. I even think the sound of our hearts is a song in God’s ears. I wonder what would happen if we made that song really loud.  We could join hands and pray with a whole bunch of people at the same time, and God just might hear our concert of prayer. Barriers between people could be broken down if they let themselves be united by the simple act of prayer. Race, religion and social status could melt away with the knowledge that we have a song to sing together.  With what divides us gone, the song of our prayer might rattle the Heavens and we could “Change the World.


Guardian Angels!


Find me on Amazon!



Spiritual Book for Kids!


Available on Amazon!



Open the Door Work!


Tall, Skinny, 2019