We are getting ready to celebrate Palm Sunday and start our walk with Christ throughout the Holy week. Luke: 9:22 The First prediction of the Passion. He said, “The Son of Man must suffer greatly… More
It was an exciting wonderful summer day. My thoughts went back to the time when my children were little. Now they are all grown up with children and some grandchildren of their own. For a second, time stood still. In my mind I watched them play and giggle and laugh. They were so happy. Thankful to our Lord for being able to remember it all. I thought, “Today is a good day to paint a special bouquet.” As I started to play-paint, I truly felt this was my playtime.
I put a first layer on and washed it off, this was a perfect background. As I started to paint, I could picture this in my daughter Carmen’s kitchen. With so much love in my heart, my brushes moved over the canvas with such ease creating this beautiful bouquet of flowers. I knew God gave me this special gift for my daughter. I did play with it for over a week, just a touch here and there until I felt it was finished. I waited for the right day to give the painting a few coats of protective spray. The sides of the canvas are part of the painting, so it looks ready to hang without a frame. I could not wait until I could bring the finished painting to my daughter. She loves the new painting and it looks great in her kitchen. Our Lord is wonderful.
As I walk through our house, I am so thankful for this special gift of painting. I cannot explain the closeness I feel with our Lord when I create a painting and when I contemplate-meditate on the paintings I created earlier. This is when I feel being held in His arms.
The following is one of my poems, taken from my book, My Walk with Christ, A Spiritual Journey.
A time to dream
All I needed was a little time
To catch myself
Take time to dream
All those wonderful dreams,
Things to do, to see, places to travel to
What is life still holding for me?
My secret wishes and plans.
Where do I still want to go?
My little girl inside keeps stirring,
Don’t grow up to fast.
You are too young,
Sit down and dream your best dreams yet
While there is still time.
Don’t lose me please
In this fast -paced world,
In those empty faces
Where they are told what to dream,
What to do, how to sing and how to dance,
How to dress and who to be.
Dare to dream your own dreams,
To see through your own eyes.
To think your own thoughts,
To choose to seek,
To be the one you are.
There is still time.
John 15:5 “I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing”
To all of you, enjoy the rest of summer and feel His blessings.
Love, Peace and Joy,
Your friend in Christ, Brunhilde
Summer has finally arrived and with it hopefully time to contemplate, to search for our purpose in life. We are here to live a life of finding our highest self and daily strive to live it. When we do that we know God is. Be still and know.
God is in each one of us. God is in the love we show to others. It is our duty to let His light shine to those around us and let others feel the presence of God within us. We are not in the world to live for our own self; we are part of a whole and without living that part in the right way we are not helping to build a healthy, yes, God-fearing society where we share the love God shows to us.
A poem taken from my book, My Walk with Christ a Spiritual Journey
Oops, I am sorry I stepped so carelessly through the grass.
I hope I did not hurt you, this life beneath my feet.
It is so small, I am afraid to go forward.
It is important,
Just as important as I am.
Are we all part of the same?
And when we shed this body,
Do we all become “One?”
Or do we stay a lonely spark?
Please, earth; let me feel your softness,
And the morning dew on my naked feet.
Let me listen to your stillness,
Let me hear your secret sounds.
Let me feel your arms,
Let me feel one with you,
And this precious stone, and this tree.
Just allow me to put my ear to you,
Let me feel your pulse.
Let me feel the love that connects us all,
That which allows me to be part of the “One,”
The “One” for eternity
So, please help me to step forward, carefully.
Do you not know that you are the temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you? (1 Corinthians 3:16)
Dependence on God
Matthew 7:25-34 “Therefore, I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink, or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food and the body more then clothing? Look at the birds in the sky; they do not sow or reap, they gather nothing into barns, yet your heavenly father feeds them. Are you not more important than they? Can any of you by worrying add a single moment to your life-span? Why are you anxious about clothes? Learn from the way the wild flowers grow. They do not work or spin. But I tell you not even Solomon in all his splendor was clothed like one of them. If God so clothes the grass of the field, which grows today and is thrown into the oven tomorrow, will he not much more provide for you, O you of little faith? So, do not worry and say, ‘What are we to eat? or ‘What are we to drink?’ But seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things will be given to you besides. Do not worry about tomorrow; tomorrow will take care of itself. Sufficient for a day is its own evil.”
I love watching the birds and other wildlife, and how wonderfully God cares for all the different species. With this in my mind I created the above painting I call “Summertime” When I started to become an artist, I asked my God—please teach me to see, I wanted to paint my heart, paintings from within where the Lord dwells. I hope my painting will stir your imagination.
In the words of Edward Munch (1863-1944): “Let us try and see, even though we ourselves may not succeed, if we cannot lay the foundation of an art dedicated to mankind. A style of art that will fire man’s imagination. An art that springs from our very hearts.”
I wish all of you a summer filled with His love and some time to dream.
Your friend in Christ,
Come Holy Spirit come, Come Holy Spirit Come,
Come Holy Spirit Come!
Father, Son and Holy Spirit, all three but one Lord.
What a gift to all of us. What a precious gift for us to know Him and be able to freely worship Him. We live in troubling times when our freedom to worship our one God could be threatened at any time and often is looked upon with negativity. “Be still and know that I am God,” these simple words spoken with reverence have such power, yes: “Be still and know that I am God.” Jesus is the way, the only way. He was born for all of us, so we can have eternal life. He left us with His Word and He send us the Holy Spirit. He deposited His soul into the hands of the Father.
Luke 23: 46, 47 “When Jesus had cried out with a loud voice, “Father unto your Hands I commit my Spirit.’ Having said this, He breathed His last. So, when the centurion saw what had happened, he glorified God, saying ‘Certainly, this was a righteous man.'”
Our soul needs to be guarded carefully. It is our most treasured possession. As Christians we also deposit our soul into the hands of our Lord. Into the Hands of the “I Am who I Am.” By fully surrendering we become part of the “I Am.” With this surrender He will fill us with His love and make us a gift to all the lives we are part of. We are open to receive His blessings. God is permanently involved in our lives. He is in control. He reveals His will for our lives to us. He protects us, He shields us, He empowers us. God acts in righteousness. God intervenes in our lives. He will give you the very best. Our faith is a big mystery. We are serving a real God. Faith is not a religious logic, it is a spiritual force. Faith does not just come by hearing the word: it comes directly from God by hearing. The stronghold of faith is access to the voice of God.
Romans 10:17, “So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God. Therefore, if you can access hearing the voice of God, you are free. God still speaks today.”
We have an awesome God. He gave us the Holy Spirit. We are also left with the Greatest Book ever, the Holy Bible. It is still the best seller. Let’s go and spread the Good News into all the world. Then surely the world will become a better place for all.
This Sunday we celebrate Pentecost, the coming of the Holy Spirit. Let our hearts be open so we also can be part of a big transformation in this world shaping a more loving, peaceful, joyful, and yes, just world for all.
Have a wonderful celebration of Pentecost.
Your friend Brunhilde
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Happy Easter to all of you. He is risen, yes, He is risen indeed. The tomb was empty, He kept His promise. He loved us so much.
Mark 12:29-31 “Which is the first commandment? Jesus replied, the first is this: ’Hear O Israel! The Lord our God is Lord alone! You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all our soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength!’ The second is this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.”
In our Christian experience nothing is more important than who Jesus was and still is. When we understand who Jesus is, we also understand what love is. Love is not just a fussy feeling. Love is what the Lord demonstrated on the cross. He died for all of us.
In Matthew 1:21 “She will bring forth a Son, and you shall call His name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins.”
In Matthew 1:23 “Behold, the virgin shall be with child, and bear a Son, and they shall call His name Immanuel.” which is translated, “God with us.”
God loved us so much that He sent His only Son to show us how to love. My favorite prayer is still Our Lord’s prayer, which I still pray in the German language:
Vater unser, der Du bist im Himmel. Geheiligt werde Dein Name. Zu uns komme Dein Reich. Dein Wille geschehe wie im Himmel also auch auf Erden. Unser taeglisches Brot gib uns heute und vergib uns unsere Schuld, wie auch wir vergeben unseren Schuldigern, und fuehre uns nicht in Versuchung sondern erloese uns von dem Uebel. Amen.
Matthew 6:9-14 “Our Father in heaven, hallowed be Your name. Your kingdom come. Your will be done on earth as it is in Heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors. And lead us not into temptation but deliver us from the evil one. For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen.”
John 13:34-35, “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.”
1 Corinthians 13:4-8 “Love suffers long and is kind, love does not envy, love does not parade itself, is not puffed up, does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil, does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth, bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails.”
1 Corinthians 13:13 “And now abide faith, hope, love, these three, but the greatest of these is love.”
2 Thessalonians 2:16-17, “Now may our Lord Jesus Christ Himself, and our God and Father, who has loved us and given us everlasting consolation and good hope by grace, comfort your hearts and establish you in every good word and work.”
In the Bible the word love is mentioned over and over again. It sounds so easy, but it is often hard.
I often pray: please Lord teach me to love as you love us. This is not easy. When I listen to the evening news there are many times when I quickly say: “Please Lord, teach me to love as you love us.” God is Love. He cannot do anything else but love us all equally. This is hard to comprehend, but He does love us equally. He died on the cross for all of us. He showed us how to love without reservation, to “love one another as I love you.”
Psalm 18:1-2, “I will love you, O Lord, my strength. The Lord is my rock and my fortress.”
The following is a poem I wrote:
Love that never ends
by Brunhilde Luken
As I woke up this morning
I felt so loved by You.
You were still holding me.
With many thanks, I greeted the new day.
You smiled at me.
I knew right then
That nothing could take away this wonderful love.
So freely given,
For me to take.
“Just seek and you will find,
It is already there.
Before you could ever think of Me
I put it there.
I allow you to choose
I hope it is I,
The eyes of your heart
Will tell you why.
True love can only be found within.
Just trust Me
I will take you to this never-ending flow of love,
It’s deep in your heart.
As you seek Me,
It will never part”.
Much love to all of you. Your friend Brunhilde
Matthew 11:29, “Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.”
Can you drink the cup?
I am sure many of us have asked ourselves often “Can I drink this cup” as life presents us with many challenges.
We are vacationing in sunny Tenerife with our son and his family. While away from home we lost a dear friend. It was very hard trying to make sense out of this loss. Knowing that he is with the Lord certainly helped. My youngest sister is also in a dire situation. There are times where I don’t know if I should ask the Lord to help her to let go of life to be with her Lord or to heal her. Only our Lord knows. He knows when we empty our cup. We just put our trust in the Lord and ask Him to please hold our hand and never let go.
Did you ever feel this unbelievable overwhelming love and just knew Jesus was holding you?
He carried the cross to die for all of us. He loves us so much. By staying connected to Jesus we are also able to carry our cross and grow in His love. What a wonderful love this is. Every time we receive Holy Communion we receive His Body and Blood and renew our commitment to our one and only God, the One we allow to lead us through life. Thank You Lord for all Your Love.
The following is a quotation by Ron Hansen in the foreword to Henry Nouwen’s book Can You Drink the Cup?:
“Holding the cup of life is, for Nouwen, a way of looking critically at who we really are, accepting our various skills, inadequacies, and differences from others, rejoicing in our radical singularity. Lifting the cup ‘is an invitation to affirm and celebrate life together’.”
Starting the first Sunday in Tenerife we enjoyed celebrating mass with people from different countries where the word was spoken by a Spanish Priest translating the word into the German language. It felt wonderful to know we are all connected through our faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. We also found English speaking services.
Let us also lift the cup to one another and celebrate our differences.
Have a Christ affirming Lenten experience where we also carry our cross with His love.
Your friend in Christ, Brunhilde
He was born for us and died for us.
With His Sacred Heart He is calling us to spend eternity with Him.
He loves us so much.
This is what we celebrate on Christmas: The perfect love and Gift of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Isn’t this what we celebrate and are thankful for each day? My first thought in the morning is a thankful prayer for a peaceful night and a request for our Lord to stay present each moment of the new day. To guide me in all I do. I also ask the Lord to keep all the people I encounter that day close to His heart.
Did you ever envision what life would be without our Lord? I tried and found nothing but emptiness. He is our essence. He is the one that fills the core of our being with Himself. He renews our whole being. He puts a spark in our hearts to share His love in a world that needs it so much.
When I created the above painting, so many things were happening in the world that was not good. I said to our Lord, “We are all made in your image; we are all alike, we are all loved equally by You.” I was troubled by all the discontent in the world. That night in a dream I was shown a table set with many different colored cups, saucers and dinnerware; various colored pillows were strung across the room. It was a beautiful picture. It all fit perfectly. I then woke up. The whole day I was contemplating about this. I had an empty canvas on my easel ready to fill. The next day with the vision still on my mind, this time not in a dream, the Holy Spirit showed me the bleeding heart of the Lord on fire. I was awestruck. Immediately I was shown the white cross behind it. I thanked the Lord and I knew I had to try to bring this to the canvas.
I did. I find the above painting a wonderful meditation on the love our Lord gives to us each day.
Our Lord died on the cross for all of us in the world. He rose from death and is one with the Father and the Holy Spirit. His heart is bleeding and on fire with love for each one of us. Let’s bind together and spread His love.
A note from the book Artist to Artist:
“The Artist has only to remain true to his dream and it will possess his work in such a manner that it will resemble the work of no other man.” (By Albert Pinkham Ryder, 1847-1917)
I wish all of you a happy Thanksgiving with family and friends, and I also wish you a very merry Christmas.
Your friend in Christ, Brunhilde
Psalm 42:2-3, “As the deer longs for streams of water,
so my soul longs for you, O God.
My soul thirsts for God, the living God.
When can I enter and see the face of God.”
When I created this painting I truly cried out to the Lord, not in sadness but in love to connect my Lord to my sister who is ill. I reached to heaven in prayer and experienced this total peace that can only come from our Lord. I found myself deep into contemplative prayers: what will happen after we leave this body?
In the above painting, I can see a mysterious peek into paradise. I also see Jesus holding several little children in His arms. I can see the deer bending their head to drink water. As an artist, I have a great imagination. I am very thankful for that gift. Our Lord also had to imagine first all that He created. I paint from my soul, where my Lord dwells.
I just finished reading a book by Erwin Raphael McManus The Artisan Soul, crafting your life into a work of art. I fell in love with his book. He also spoke about how as you create become one with the Lord and so your creation becomes a oneness with God.
It is important to find your own voice. Be the one you were created to be. To do good art you must have courage. It is your ow n soul you paint. Anybody studying my paintings will know me well. It is the Lord within me. I am a passionate artist. Sit back, relax and find your peace, the peace that can only come from our Lord. Become very still and allow God to touch your soul through my painting.
The following is one of my poems:
I like to paint heaven with purest delight,
Where people walk happily side by side,
No color or gender will keep them apart,
We will all walk together in His great big heart.
May God bless you much,
love, your friend Brunhilde
“The Lord is my light and my salvation, whom should I fear?
The Lord is my Life’s refuge; of whom should I be afraid?”
Revelation 22: 1-5
“Then the angel showed me the river of life-giving water, sparkling like crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb down the middle of the street. On either side of the river grew the tree of life that produces fruit twelve times a year, once each month; the leaves of the trees serve as medicine for the nations. Nothing accursed will be found there anymore. The throne of God and of the Lamb will be in it, and his servants will worship him. They will look upon his face, and his name will be on their foreheads. Night will be no more, nor will they need light from lamp or sun, for the Lord God shall give them light, and they shall reign forever and ever.”
When I created this painting, I felt so close to the Lord. It felt like a prayer when you feel His calling: come closer!
This time I started the painting with the center, the light. Soon the painting emerged. Time went by quickly and as I studied the painting I knew it was time to put the brush down. Just a few little touches the next day and I knew it was finished.
To create a work of art one has to be truly alive and very still at the same time to capture a moment of thought. This moment you cannot repeat, what you see is what your spirit adds to line and color. Please take time to study the painting, so you see what your spirit sees.
In the words of Philip Guston (1930-1980)
“The painting is not on a surface, but on a plane which is imagined. It moves in a mind. It is not there physically at all. It is an illusion, a piece of magic, so what you see is not what you see.”
In the words of Eugene Delacroix (1798-1863)
“The merit of a painting is undefinable…..in a word, it is what the spirit adds to color and line that appeals to the soul.”
John 12: 46, 47
“I came into the world as light, so that everyone who believes in me might not remain in darkness. And if anyone hears my words and does not observe them, I do not condemn him, for I did not come to condemn the world but to save the world.”
I hope you enjoy my newest creation,
May God bless you and keep you,
Your friend Brunhilde
When I created the above painting, I felt so carried by our Lord, our king of kings. Touched by His majesty, I truly felt one with our Lord. I was overcome with this total peace. Thankful for the Gift our lord bestowed on me.
The canvas was still empty. My table was filled with paints, brushes and sculpture tools, and plenty of water to clean my brushes. Bubbling over with this amazing energy I started to create as time passed unnoticed by me. When I finished this painting, I knew it was a Gift I gave to the Lord.
I hope you take the time to allow the painting to speak to you.
Psalm 31:3, “Lord, since you are my rock and my fortress, for the sake of your name lead and guide me”.
Galatians 2:20, “I have been crucified with Christ: it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me”.
Lord Jesus you are my life spring. You are my strength.
Lord, you are the bread of life,
You are the air we breathe and the light that shines day and night.
Lord you are the love of life, you are my strength and my salvation.
You are my everything. Without you I can do nothing, with you I can do everything.
May you feel His love and closeness as you allow my painting to speak to you.
A few words from the book “Artist to Artist speaking” by Eugene Delacroix (1798 – 1863),
“Fine works of Art never age, because they are marked by genuine feelings. The language of the passions, the impulses of the heart, are always the same.
May our Lord and Creator of all bless you,
your friend Brunhilde
Springtime, a time to plant new seeds. The seeds will grow and produce beautiful fruits and vegetables. Then there will come a time when we reap what we planted. The season is ripe to harvest. Beautiful flowers, turnips, tomatoes, onions and much more. If I did not plant onions and tomatoes, I cannot reap them. What a surprise to find I did not reap all that I thought I planted. Too many distractions took my time. Now it is late, those seeds would not have time to grow and bear fruit in this season
This is like it is with our soul. We prepare our soul for a great harvest. We do not know the hour or the time when we will be called home to our final resting place, a place more beautiful than any of us can imagine. It will be the time when we reap what we planted.
Luke 12: 34
“For where your treasure is, there also will be your heart.”
“Truly the Lord is waiting to be gracious to you, truly He shall rise to show you mercy; For the Lord is a God of justice; happy are all who wait for Him! He will be most gracious to you when you cry out; as soon as He hears He will answer you. The Lord will give you bread in adversity and water in affliction. No longer will your teacher hide himself, but with your own eyes you shall see your teacher, and your ears shall hear a word behind you saying: “This is the way; walk in it.”
Proverbs 3:5-6, 11-12
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart, on your own intelligence do not rely; In all your ways be mindful of Him, and He will make straight your paths.
The discipline of the Lord, my son, do not spurn; do not distain His reproves; For whom the Lord loves he reproves, as a father, the son he favors.”
“I will instruct you and show you the way you should walk, give you counsel with my eye upon you.”
People rebelled against the Lord. They worshipped other gods. They did not keep the commandments
God gave to Moses. But our Lord loved us so much that He sent His only begotten son to restore humanity to Himself, and show us the way. Jesus loved us so much that he gave his life for us. We all have that chance by our free will to spend eternity in heaven. All He asks of us is to surrender our life to Him. It sounds so easy when we grow up in a society that does not like to relinquish control. Once we surrender our life to the Lord, give all control to Him, He will awaken us to His plan for our life. Our eyes will open. We can then proclaim, I was blind, but now I see.
“Peters confession about Jesus. When Jesus went into the region of Caesarea Philippi, He asked His disciples, “Who do people say that the son of man is?” They replied, “some say John the Baptist, others Elijah, still others Jeremiah or one of the prophets.” He said to them, “But who do you say that I am?” Simon Peter said in reply, “You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God.” Jesus said to him in reply. Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah. For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my heavenly Father. And so, I say to you, you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church, and the gates of the netherworld shall not prevail against it. I will give you the keys to the kingdom of heaven.”
With this Jesus established His church.
“The transfiguration of Jesus. While he was still speaking, behold, a bright cloud cast a shadow over them, then from the cloud came a voice that said, “This is my beloved son, with whom I am well pleased; listen to him.”
After this Jesus continued his mission to teach and perform miracles. The disciples and those surrounding them could not fully understand or they would not have left Jesus when He had to die on the cross. They also would have truly believed him when He told them that He will rise on the third day. Jesus tried to make his disciples understand that he is the son of the “Most High.”
“He called a child over, placed it in their midst, and said, “Amen, I say to you, “unless you turn and become like children, you will not enter the kingdom of heaven.”
Jesus continued His journey, foretelling what would happen. He proved to his disciples His godliness and His humanity, when He called out in Matthew 26: 39 “My Father if it is possible, let this cup pass from me; yet, not as I will, but as you will.”
As I journeyed with our Lord through the gospel of Matthew I came again to the realization how important it is to say: Not my will, but your will be done. Each time we pray “our Father who art in heaven hallowed be your name, your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven,” we surrender our will to the will of our Father.
Lord give me the grace to journey in my prayers and heart with you through the Passion Week. What a joy our own Easter will be.
Have a blessed Easter
Your friend in Christ, Brunhilde
A comment to my attached painting, “Springtime” In the words of Vincent Van Gogh—I should reproach myself if I did not try to make pictures which will arouse serious thoughts.