Tag Archives: Gallery

BVI

What another messy day!  Even on rainy days like this I am always reminded that GOD is ‘reigning’ above and pray HE would continue to ‘pour’ HIS blessing and goodness no matter what!  I went to a book launch/luncheon for my dear friend, mentor, Bible Study teacher and now author of  “After The Storm”.  Jan has a powerful story and I pray that you will pick up her book at your nearest bookstore and soak in God’s goodness even during the messy storms of your life. (p.s. that is an umbrella cookie that was delicious!)

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Over Easter break, my husband and I had the privilege of taking 10 teenagers, nine of them being Seniors, on a sailing trip to the BVIs.  There was another group of boys and parents on a separate boat totaling our group to 23.

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It was a trip of a lifetime especially having all of us unplug from our busy schedules, the pressures of high school and the journey of what lies ahead.  Luckily, there were no storms during our trip. Basking in the warm sunshine, turquoise waters, sailing, kayaking, paddle boarding, snorkeling, it was a trip that ministered to our souls in so many ways.

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Our days could not have been more glorious and one of my favorite memories from the trip was waking up Easter morning before dawn, sitting on the fly bridge of the boat and just waiting.  Waiting in anticipation of a beautiful sunrise and at the same time thanking our GOD who loves us so much that he gave His only son – that whoever believes will have eternal life – watching the sun rise that day, knowing that HIS SON rose that third day…Glory!

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I got to know these teenagers, their tender hearts, their incredible, confident spirits, and was so blessed by their laughter and joy during the entire trip.

DSC_0063 One morning  while anchored in a beautiful cove, I told these amazing kids that they are getting ready for another journey in life…College…and that there will be many rewards and some challenges that will come their way.  We talked about the fact that IF the boat was not anchored, it would drift off and no telling what would happen…hit a reef, drift off to sea, crash?   Much like life…we need an ‘anchor’ to keep us from drifting…crashing…That anchor is a faith in GOD who loves us no matter what…whatever comes our way, we know that we will be able to weather the storm if we anchor our faith in Jesus.

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Our captain, Jerome Joseph, went beyond his normal duties to act as our captain and keep us safe for those nine days on a boat…He would take us on incredible hikes throughout the islands, show us beautiful quiet beaches and even cooked us several meals which were delicious!

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The kids got to have their fun but in a wonderful safe environment…I think this will be a trip that we will never forget!

DSC_0203 Congratulations Seniors 2015…You are all amazing young adults and I know that God has big plans for your lives…Be true to who you are…stay close to GOD always…Know that you are loved by God above…Oh the places you will go in life…

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ENJOY THE SNOW!

Last night before I went to bed, I set out breakfast and a note for my kids. Hearing that snow might be coming, I went back to my elementary days and cut out a snowflake for each one with a message: “There are no two snowflakes that are alike…You are fearfully and wonderfully made. Psalm 139:14”

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With all that our kids face in today’s world, I am trying every which way to encourage them and point them to truth. As a mother of teens, I see how they are faced with so much pressure at school and even at home. I want them to know GOD’S truth and pray that they will stand firm on who HE tells them they are and not what the world is trying to tell them.

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They are unique. They are loved. They are treasured. They are fearfully and wonderfully made.

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Woke up to a beautiful scene of snow falling; school was NOT cancelled and I headed to the studio to work on some Angels. While painting and listening to praise music, I was reminded that there are no two wings alike in all the thousands of angels painted over the past 12 years. Each angel is created out of worship for HIS divine purpose. Our lives start out as a blank canvas. The journey of life adds layers, colors, and texture. You ARE fearfully and wonderfully made!

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Be encouraged…Enjoy this day!

NEW YORK CITY

One of the most frequent questions or comments I get from people is “you are so busy, how do you do all that you do!”  My response is that we are all busy, my busy is just different than your busy.  I also cling to the verse from Proverbs 3:6  “In all your ways submit to HIM and HE will make your paths straight.”

This past week, Clark and I escaped to one of my favorite cities, NYC, for a Valentine’s Day getaway!

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We had an amazing lunch at Neary’s on East 57th a longtime Irish watering hole with old-school ambiance & a meat-centric menu. I definitely recommend you stopping by this spot for lunch and meet owner Jimmy Neary a true Irish-American.  The lamb chops are delicious!

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Spent a little time on the Today Show with my buddies Kathie Lee and Hoda.  I was excited to finally have Clark and our friends Bob and Anne Ferrell Tata on the set for the fourth hour of The Today Show with Kathie Lee and Hoda…always a fun day watching them LIVE!  I am ever so grateful that they allow me to come and hang out on set with them when I come to NYC!

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Clark and I worked our way to the Metropolitan Museum of Art afterwards and spent some time at the Madame Cezanne exhibit.

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I am always amazed at artists sketch books… and loved seeing these drawings by Cezanne!

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Our final destination was Ralph Lauren’s new restaurant on East 55th Street, The Polo Bar.  Call NOW for your reservations.  This is a new favorite hot spot; the ambiance, the people watching, the delicious food, the incredible service, all combines for a wonderful evening. Clark ran into Tyson Beckford, who graciously stopped by our table for a photo.  Thank you Tyson!

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Our two-day trip came to an end as we are now back in the routine of life, family, work and fun!  Proverbs 16:3  “Commit to the LORD whatever you do, and he will establish your plans!” 

One last note, Lent begins on Wednesday.  One of my favorite devotionals is Draw the Circle a 40 Day Prayer Challenge by Mark Batterson.

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As I look back over this art career and what has happened over the past few years, I am encouraged by what Mark writes in Chapter One “Get Ready”… “If you establish a prayer routine, your life will be anything but routine.  You will go places, do things, and meet people you have no business going to, doing, or meeting.  You don’t need to seek opportunity.  All you have to do is seek God.  And if you seek God, opportunity will seek you.”

Be encouraged this Lenten Season!

GIVING BACK THIS HOLIDAY SEASON

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Want to thank some of our special clients and friends who have brought in coats, hats, gloves, blankets, toiletries, etc. to the gallery in exchange for a 10% discount.  All donations will be dropped off at the Harvest Center on Monday morning where volunteers will be stuffing care-packages.  There is still time to drop off donations!  We will be open this Saturday from 10am-5pm for our last minute shoppers and to make your last donations.  Thank you for your support to those in need during this holiday season!

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STROKES OF COMPASSION BOOK LAUNCH

I am so blessed to have such wonderful friends show up and support me last Friday during our book launch for Strokes of Compassion.  Still surprised with how quickly the luncheon filled up with almost 300 people showing up!

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Longtime friends, sisters Anne McPhail and Tricia Parish with my very special friend Kathie Lee Gifford who wrote the forward to Strokes of Compassion.  Kathie Lee came in town for a quick little visit as well as a wine signing right after our luncheon at Costco, if you haven’t tried her wine yet it’s pretty delicious!

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Can’t thank my precious friend Anne Farrell Tata who wrote a chapter in my book for all her support.  As well as Manny Ohonme who started Samaritan’s Feet which a certain percentage of sales from Strokes of Compassion will go towards his non-profit.

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Thank you volunteers!!!

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And of course the day wouldn’t be complete without music by country singer Jimmy Wayne.

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We visited NYC this week for the BEA Book Expo to meet with our printer for the upcoming Strokes of Compassion book and enjoyed two visits with Kathie Lee Gifford at The Today Show while in town.

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Anne was recognized on-air on Thursday’s show for her donation of an angel painting to a fundraiser that Kathie Lee was hosting that night for DART.

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Today Show Clip 5/29/14; Anne Neilson (center) with Marketing Manager Christine Dryden, Gallery Event Coordinator Cindy Grantham and Sales Manager Wendy Wilson.

PAINTING WITH A PURPOSE

One of the major reasons I took a job with Anne is because of her constant charitable spirit.  I loved the idea of partnering with a different nonprofit each month and giving a certain percentage of the gallery sales back to local and national organizations.

For the month of May a portion of our sales will benefit a nonprofit that started a few years ago by James Harrison, With Open Eyes.  With Open Eyes partners with local ministries to identify, train, and equip messengers of the Gospel to reach remote areas that can’t be reached on foot.  Currently there are 218 mobile messengers with a goal of 1,000.  Please check out this video to learn more about With Open Eyes and what you can do to help!

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CALIFORNIA DREAMIN’

A few weeks ago I headed out to sunny California with my daughter Blakely for her Spring Break. That was the second time going out there in the past month and I sure could get used to the warm weather!

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The Ivy on Robertson Avenue in Beverly Hills – famous restaurant yummy food!

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Got to visit with some new friends Roma Downey and Mark Burnett.  If you haven’t had a chance to see the movie Son Of God please go out and see it!  A great movie about the life of Jesus!

My sales director, Wendy Wilson, joined us for some meetings we lined up with various companies about products we will be developing in the next few months.

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Until next time California!

GREAT NIGHT FOR LOVE THY NEIGHBOR

We thank special guest Kathie Lee Gifford, our generous sponsors and volunteers, and our 850 guests for a wonderful “Love Thy Neighbor” fundraiser for The Harvest Center last night!

We look forward to sharing more photos and details!

Co-chair Cindy Grantham, Executive Director Colin Pinkney, Kathie Lee Gifford, and Anne Neilson; Photo: Carl McPhail

SHARE YOUR CHRISTMAS WITH THE HARVEST CENTER

This weekend we are stuffing 75+ stockings and preparing gifts for 10 families served by The Harvest Center. It’s not too late to help! You can donate to our shopping fund, help us shop, bring the family to wrap on Saturday, or donate hats, gloves, socks and stocking stuffers.

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Thanks for your support of our needy neighbors this Christmas!