Category: Uncategorized

God Speaks So He Can Help Us

The yoke shall be destroyed because of the anointing.
—Isaiah 10:27 KJV

When God speaks to you about an issue that needs to be dealt with in your life, you should not put it off. You can trust that the anointing, which is the power and ability of the Holy Spirit, is present to break its grip on you. If you put off confronting the problem until you want to deal with it, you may have to face trying to change without God’s power or anointing.

We often want to do things in our own timing, and we struggle and struggle because it is not anointed by God at the time we are trying to deal with it. For example, there are times when I feel like I want to confront an issue with an employee, but I know that it would be wiser for me to pray about it for a while and let God prepare that person’s heart. When I follow God’s timetable, I always have His anointing to get it done. I have learned to deal with issues when God wants to deal with them and leave them alone when He wants me to wait. I have also had the frustrating experience of trying over and over to change myself without waiting on God’s help and timing. God’s anointing must be present for anything to work right in our lives.

When God convicts us of something that needs to change in our lives that means He has prepared us to face it. We may not feel that we are ready, but we can trust that His timing is perfect and His anointing is present to break the yoke that is hindering our full freedom. I have learned to say, “Lord, I may not feel ready, but if You say the time is now then I trust that Your power is with me and I am willing to be obedient to You.” As you step out in faith to deal with issues you will find that the wisdom, grace, power, and ability that you need are present.

God’s word for you today: Don’t put off until another day what He wants you to deal with today.

#SaturdayStamps: Aaron Douglas

In both his style and his subjects, Aaron Douglas revolutionized African-American art. A leader within the Harlem Renaissance, Douglas created a broad range of work that helped to shape this movement and bring it to national prominence. Through his collaborations, illustrations, and public murals, he established a method of combining elements of modern art and African culture to celebrate the African-American experience and call attention to racism and segregation.

Key Ideas

Douglas depicted African subjects in an innovative and bold graphic style that was inspired by modern art, particularly Cubism. His approach elevated both everyday experiences and non-Western history to be part of an international avant-garde. He also integrated the rhythms of jazz into his compositions, adding an additional element of African-American culture to his imagery.
Flattening his figures to two-dimensional silhouettes and generalizing their forms to be generic men and women, Douglas created imagery that celebrated African and African-American themes in terms that were universal and integrative. He employed this style across a range of different media, including painting, illustration, murals, and prints.
Douglas often worked with a narrow range of colors, instead using compositional elements and shapes like concentric circles and radiating beams, to create dramatic focal points and dynamic movement. These abstract elements enhanced the narratives of his paintings to make them more emotionally impactful.
Through his work with the Harlem Artists Guild and as the chair of the art department at Fisk University (a historically black college), Douglas worked to increase educational access and career opportunities for young African-American artists. He was an important mentor for second-generation Harlem Renaissance artists and an inspiration to contemporary artists who deal with race and identity in their work.

#SaturdayStamps: Romare Bearden

Romare Howard Bearden was born on September 2, 1911, to (Richard) Howard and Bessye Bearden in Charlotte, North Carolina, and died in New York City on March 12, 1988, at the age of 76. His life and art are marked by exceptional talent, encompassing a broad range of intellectual and scholarly interests, including music, performing arts, history, literature and world art. Bearden was also a celebrated humanist, as demonstrated by his lifelong support of young, emerging artists.

Romare Bearden began college at Lincoln University, transferred to Boston University and completed his studies at New York University (NYU), graduating with a degree in education. While at NYU, Bearden took extensive courses in art and was a lead cartoonist and then art editor for the monthly journal The Medley. He had also been art director of Beanpot, the student humor magazine of Boston University. Bearden published many journal covers during his university years and the first of numerous texts he would write on social and artistic issues. He also attended the Art Students League in New York and later, the Sorbonne in Paris. In 1935, Bearden became a weekly editorial cartoonist for the Baltimore Afro-American, which he continued doing until 1937.

From the mid-1930s through 1960s, Bearden was a social worker with the New York City Department of Social Services, working on his art at night and on weekends. His success as an artist was recognized with his first solo exhibition in Harlem in 1940 and his first solo show in Washington, DC, in 1944. Bearden was a prolific artist whose works were exhibited during his lifetime throughout the United States and Europe. His collages, watercolors, oils, photomontages and prints are imbued with visual metaphors from his past in Mecklenburg County, North Carolina, Pittsburgh and Harlem and from a variety of historical, literary and musical sources.

Bearden was also a respected writer and an eloquent spokesman on artistic and social issues of the day. Active in many arts organizations, in 1964 Bearden was appointed the first art director of the newly established Harlem Cultural Council, a prominent African-American advocacy group. He was involved in founding several important art venues, such as The Studio Museum in Harlem and the Cinque Gallery. Initially funded by the Ford Foundation, Bearden and the artists Norman Lewis and Ernest Crichlow established Cinque to support younger minority artists. Bearden was also one of the founding members of the Black Academy of Arts and Letters in 1970 and was elected to the National Institute of Arts and Letters in 1972.

Recognized as one of the most creative and original visual artists of the twentieth century, Romare Bearden had a prolific and distinguished career. He experimented with many different mediums and artistic styles, but is best known for his richly textured collages, two of which appeared on the covers of Fortune and Time magazines, in 1968. An innovative artist with diverse interests, Bearden also designed costumes and sets for the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, and programs, sets and designs for Nanette Bearden’s Contemporary Dance Theatre.

Bearden’s work is included in many important public collections including the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Whitney Museum of American Art, the Philadelphia Museum of Art, the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston and The Studio Museum in Harlem, among others. He has had retrospectives at the Mint Museum of Art (1980), the Detroit Institute of the Arts (1986), as well as numerous posthumous retrospectives, including The Studio Museum in Harlem (1991) and the National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC (2003).

Bearden was the recipient of many awards and honors throughout his lifetime. Honorary doctorates were given by Pratt Institute, Carnegie Mellon University, Davidson College and Atlanta University, to name but a few. He received the Mayor’s Award of Honor for Art and Culture in New York City in 1984 and the National Medal of Arts, presented by President Ronald Reagan, in 1987.

Trust

‘Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight.’ — Proverbs 3:5-6

What do you use for your life’s compass? No matter how insightful, wise, experienced, or knowledgeable we may be, only God can guide our steps properly. God asks us to trust him and his wisdom even when we can’t immediately see the rationale behind it.

He wants us to recognize his presence, guidance, and grace in all we do. As we trust and as we acknowledge his presence, we suddenly realize that our paths are a lot straighter and our destinations are a lot a closer.

Prayer
Dear Father, please give me courage to not lean on my own understanding. I know my thinking can be flawed and what I intend for good can blow up in my face. Please bless me with wisdom and insight as I seek to live for you in today’s confusing and immoral world. In Jesus’ name. Amen.