Urban Interior Landcape - Chicago Art Institute, Photo by J.Deutsch
“Satan, in his temptations, speaks fair, as he did to Eve; but it is madness to give him credence.” (from a Bible commentary)
There are times when I hate what I love. Thinking, I should be able to live life my way, on my own terms, grabing for the gusto. I’m dissatisfied, and after all … don’t I deserve the best in life because I’m worth it? MY unmet expectations, a need for a thrill or escape, wanting approval and attention, all become the objects of my affection - my love - I have my favorites. As a believer, I know better. When tested, I should respond in faithful dependance on God vs. selfish wants and ambition. Jesus died for that.
The above image, I took while on a recent trip to Chicago. My daughter lives there with MY grandbaby, he’s a genuis at four months and adorable … but I digress. This pic I took while we were resting in the balcony Cafe’, visiting the Chicago Art Institute. Great venue for premium art viewing and people watching. The Museum was teeming that day, in fact just outside, the downtown seemed overly crowded and it was — there were swarms of people (I live in a county with only four stop lights!). So, not being used to congested sidewalks, I was instructed many a time to MOVE in order to stay out of the way of others. I did great, until I stepped (hard) on someone’s foot, ouch, embarassing. Such are the dangers on an urban hike, swollen with humankind — a contrasting “wilderness” to the counrtyside where I reside.
Back to my sinful, selfish, pride ridden state, that I hate: it’s nothing new to mankind. “For when we were in the realm of the flesh, the sinful passions aroused by the law were at work in us, so that we bore fruit for death.” (Romans7:5) I know better; not to pursue, in my heart, the wrong “fruits” that lead to death. BUT I have, and I do. Gratefully, I’ve an avenue of escape as I repent.
For what the law was powerless to do because it was weakened by the flesh, God did by sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh to be a sin offering. And so he condemned sin in the flesh,
Jesus was tempted, like ALL people have been, and will be tempted, but did not sin. Luke 4:1-13, tells us about His temptations in the wilderness. Jesus had been fasting for 40 days in the desert - a type of walkabout. The devil challenges Christ to turn the stones into bread to satisfy His hunger. A challenge, to use His powers as diety, and to act apart from faithful dependence on God. His response, “It is written: Man does not live by bread alone.”, proves that His heart is not divided but He IS dependant on God the Father, obiedient to His Word. Man needs not merely bread but the sustaining word of God!
Since the children have flesh and blood, He too shared in their humanity so that by His death He might break the power of him who holds the power of death—that is, the devil—
In my daily walking, whether on an urban hike or stomping in the wilderness — I need to grab onto Christ and His righteousness to follow Him. I can STOP listening to the madness of this world’s enticements, humbled by what God did for me. Jesus died for that too.
“Very truly I tell you, whoever hears my word and believes Him who sent me has eternal life and will not be judged but has crossed over from death to life.
May Christ keep me for that Glorious Day - my hike into eternity (corny I know),
For all my editing conscious friends, the spell check wasn’t working on this—-so sorry if I missed one or two words!
Calistoga Prune Sheds 18x24 Acrylic on canvas
Here is the much awaited final work - my masterpiece - in the Prune Shed Study series. I will be framing this, and deliver to Calistoga Art Center tomorrow for judging and display. Below is what you need to know:
Art Pairings - Ekphrasis Gala
An Extraordinary Party! Saturday, April 13th, 7:00 -10:00 p.m.
1435 North Oak Street, Calistoga, Ca.
Tickets available at ;
or call (707) 942-2278
FREE Exhibit, open to the public on Sunday, April 14th, from 1:00 to 5:00 p.m.
You can find Calistoga Art Center on FB for more details. Maybe I’ll see some of you there, supporting the ARTS (and me)!
Here’s to hoping to see YOU on Saturday,
Prune Shed Study # 4
9 x 12 acrylic on panel
Prune Shed Study # 4 is an upbeat rendition; painted mostly on location (not from a photo as the others), and a different time of day, of the same old prune shed. No more studies, this is the end of the road. My next painting will be the final piece for an upcoming art show - the money maker.
I’m hopeful that my experimentation with pumped up colors, perfecting the composition, tonal nuances, atmospheric changes, and some personal emotional angst, can be incorporated in a fresh, new painting - aka my winning masterpiece! Then again, I’m a dreamer.
It’s natural to elevate oneself. My thinking of how well I’m doing, my huge impact on LIFE around me, ends up not matching present reality.
According to my teenage daughter;
” I’m all up in her face ” and dead wrong, because I didn’t let her wear pajamas or underwear-ish clothes to the grocery store. Gosh, here I thought I had class, learned decorum, good taste. Apparently, I know nothing! The choices are tacky and vapid, with borderline hussy accents, when it comes to teen fashion. Believe me, I have been known to cave. My recent debacle was buying her four inch platform, patent leather, shoes for school chapel (not allowed and a fail)!
I also fail, at times, when it comes to my relationship with my God. I can have an over inflated ideal of how much I value and love God. While in the trenches of a trial, I start to give in to self pity or worse yet - sin, versus contentment in my circumstances. Who do I trust?!? Exposed are my sinful thoughts, always in full view of my heavenly Father.
I think of Peter in the New Testament (Mark 14:26-31) a devout disciple of Jesus, and close friend. Peter claimed he’d die first, before EVER denying he was a follower of Christ. Just as Jesus predicts, when Jesus is arrested and gloom befalls the Savior, Peter’s desertion is complete; denying Him three times! God’s love is not dependent on our performance or loyalty.
… for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.
… but God shows His love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
Later in the scriptures, Peter’s relationship with Jesus is restored. Jesus always knew Peter’s heart, and loved him just the same. I have the aforementioned assurance as a believer. Not only did Christ die for my sinful state, I’ve been restored and saved for God’s purposes NOT by any measure of my own doing.
For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
And when I get tired of my self reliance, selfish desires, me centered woes, that ultimately dish God’s perfect sovereign plan - I come to the end of MY road. I still have hope, that God loves me, already forgiven by the atoning work of Christ!
1 John 3:16,18-20
By this we know love, that he laid down His life for us … let us not love in word or talk but in deed and in truth. By this we shall know that we are of the truth and reassure our hearts before him; for whenever our heart condemns us, God is greater than our heart, and He knows everything.
Not until I enter into Glory will my trials and fleshly battles be over. Meanwhile, God keeps me - as I repent from my own sinful bend - HE loves me just the same!
1 John 5: 18
We know that everyone who has been born of God does not keep on sinning, but He who was born of God protects him, the evil one does not touch him.
God’s masterpiece in the making … needing to be re-worked constantly for His Glory,
“His love no end or measure knows,
No change can turn it’s course,
Eternally the same it flows
From one eternal source.”
(Quote by A.W. Pink)
“Prune Shed Study # 3” by J.Deutsch, 9x12 — acrylic on canvas
I’m still working on the Prune Shed series, for an upcoming art show. This study is a true departure from the original. Purple seems to be the dominant color here, maybe I had prunes on the brain! (Overall this painting feels a bit ominous.) I’m curious what choices I’ll make for my larger, final painting - still to come.
I’ll keep you posted,
(located in Calistoga) image taken by J. Deutsch
“Cottage Ideal” has been framed with a cliche’ diffused border. Does anyone use this classic “special effect” anymore? Me … I like corny, especially in jokes:
What do you call a boomerang that doesn’t work?
What do you call a cow that just had a baby?
My need to be somewhat simple and old fashioned stems from living in a frantic world. I DO work on being fresh, cutting edge, modern, hip, tech savvy, updated, youthful, AND fashion forward - until it’s my nap time, ‘cause that wears me out.
I also value keeping up with mainstream current events. Recently reported; is it constitutional to use killing drones on non-combative citizens in the USA - as if that’s a discussion we would ever need to have?!? Seriously, I thought that type of news was only for the conspiracy theory loving guys (shout out to my husband).
As a romantic I view life with softened edges. Like my photo “Cottage Ideal”: here is a picture perfect place, where something worn by time, has been given loving attention. Late afternoon sun rays, brighten the whitewashed pillars, spotlighting the hanging pots of ruby colored flowers. I’d want to sip coffee on the porch, on a spring morning, looking out upon the scented blossomed trees. I might paint this someday soon!
My reality now - my family is patiently waiting for me to make their dinner. It’s my pleasure to cook for my husband, to his credit he LOVES everything I prepare (I have him well trained). Needing to sum up;
My current fashion statement; you’re never fully dressed without a smile.
Charm is deceitful, and beauty is vain, but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.
Politics? I ask myself what/who do I trust in.
‘Ah, Lord God! It is you who have made the heavens and the earth by your great power and by your outstretched arm! Nothing is too hard for you.
My newest romantic reality, The Bachelor. Well I watch it anyway. What a cheesy dilemma, he’s kissing on a dozen girls, certain he’s in love with more than one ( yep - it’s me, myself and I ) !
2 Timothy 3:2
For people will be lovers of self, lovers of money, proud, arrogant, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy . . .
I’m truly NOT hard around the edges when it comes to romance! I have a love everlasting in my God.
Let me hear in the morning of your steadfast love, for in you I trust. Make me know the way I should go, for to you I lift up my soul.
Getting softer all over,
“Prune Shed - Study#2”
acyrlic on canvas, 9x12
The above study is not the real McCoy. In fact, this work is a decoy.
Yes, it’s a painting complete in itself, but I’m aiming towards something much larger and an even more creative work of art, my masterpiece, a winner! That’s my goal anyway. Details to follow on the upcoming prestigious ART Show/Gala in April that my final painting, in this series, will be entered.
As a believer, I often have to deal with decoys. The treasures and temptations of this world call me, as if they were real … good for me. Beauty, getting my youth back, coveting what I can never have, riches, fame, it’s all about me-ism and escapism are maybe just a few of these deceptive decoys. They sit in wait, for me to drop down and plant myself beside it, hoping I’ll linger. If I wade too long, I can get lovingly attached to the counterfeit, pushing God into my heart’s stagnant backwater.
1 John 2:16,17
For all that is in the world—the desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and pride of life—is not from the Father but is from the world. And the world is passing away along with its desires, but whoever does the will of God abides forever.
Decoys are made to lure, so like a sitting duck; one is a target for death - our enemy. Distracted by these facsimiles and shiny objects, my eyes grow dark and filmy, sometimes blinded by what I THINK I want - all empty idols, mute and unable to comfort.
My sights need to be set on Christ; a mindset that HE is enough to satisfy my soul longings and fulfill all needs. I’ve been redeemed and saved for Heavenly purposes and should not keep clinging to mucky earthly pursuits.
From Matthew 6:
“Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal, but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.
The eye is the lamp of the body. So, if your eye is healthy, your whole body will be full of light, but if your eye is bad, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light in you is darkness, how great is the darkness!
No one can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and money.”
Keeping my vision on the real McCoy - Christ and the bigger picture!
Newest painting by me, J. Deutsch, first one of a series of studies I’m doing. More about my new project and a special Art Show to come!
Snowy Beach - Lake Tahoe, image taken by J. Deutsch
My noggin is waterlogged.
That best describes the part of this head cold that is nasty - mega fluid, causing post nasal drip. Piles of Kleenex tissue surround me. Note to my immune system: “You need to kick-in. Help me out here. Just because it’s cold and flu “season” doesn’t mean I’m supposed to be SICK - the entire season!”
The above photo is of gorgeous Lake Tahoe. ( I recently was there, in between viruses.) It was enthralling, walking on the crunchy snow covered sand. The light quality was ethereal, bouncing off the virgin white covered beach. The air sparkled. I tried to capture a moment of nature’s drama.
I’ve always been attracted to big bodies of water. Growing up in Southern California, our family spent much time at the ocean. I’m thinking about a scuba diving trip with my Dad. I did not dive (yet) and just turned 13 yrs old. I remember keeping a diary of that adventure, similar to a Sea Captains’ log, recording my great journey on the water. Here’s my rendition;
Jenny’s Log : DAY 1
Had to get up in the dark, like 3 a.m. to leave from our house. Didn’t sleep much. Still dark when we got to the dock. Dad found our cabin above deck, some fumes of diesel gas - I love that smell. But later I threw up over the railing on the bow of the boat- hate getting seasick. My breath is gross.
Jenny’s Log: Day 2
The water is clear blue. I feel good today. We’re going to go swimming off the boat. There are big beds of slimy seaweed floating out there. I can see Catalina Island from my cabin window.
Jenny’s Log: Day 3
This young guy that works on the boat, in the galley, showed us some card tricks. So clever, and I learned one of them! He smells good, kinda different. He is super cute. I just think he is so cool - what is that scent? Maybe it’s “Old Spice”? I’ll never forget it!
I was an innocent thirteen. I apparently had a schoolgirl crush on this fragrant sailor (no worries, my Dad was right there). I immediately told my Mom all about “him”, the sailor on the high seas, when we got home. She laughed at me, explaining why he smelled; ” It’s probably because he hasn’t had a bath in a week.” Oh really? Trying to crush my dreams … what do Mom’s know?!?
I later got the chance to inhale the essence of Old Spice cologne (hmm, nothing like “my” sailor). I also later, got a whiff of a street person (that’s the “ambrosia” I recollect?). No offense to the homeless, but this galley cook, by choice, was perfumed like an old “salty dog”. He must have been covered in B.O. scented clothing mixed with sea spray. What I thought was glorious shiny locks, was his greasy unwashed hair. My judgment on what appeared so pleasant had been clouded - blinded by my silly, now short lived, crush!
Trying to tie my thoughts together here, like a tidy nautical knot. Bear with me, as I’ve been under the weather:
Before I was a believer, I perceived my actions and life as a beautiful, pleasant scented picture of existence (I did not know any better). My life wasn’t always perfect, but at least I was a good natured person - I didn’t stink! Wrong. God showed me the truth. My own SELF righteousness was utterly rotten before a Holy God.
But we are all like an unclean thing, And all our righteousness are like filthy rags; We all fade as a leaf, And our iniquities, like the wind, Have taken us away.
Those filthy rags - you can imagine what they were used for - so putrid. The reality was, my iniquities made me stained and soiled, drenched in a foul odor fit for the rubbish heap - NEVER for an audience with the King of Kings. As I confessed my sins, trusted and believed, I was transformed by the Gospel. I had nothing to offer. Christ did it all.
But when the goodness and loving kindness of God our Savior appeared, he saved us, not because of works done by us in righteousness, but according to his own mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit, whom he poured out on us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior …
Covered in Christ; misted by His Grace, washed clean and recovered, I no longer have the stench of death. May I live out this life for HIM, as a pleasing aroma among those who are being saved - a witness to His love and mercy!
2 Corinthians 2:14-16
But thanks be to God, who in Christ always leads us in triumphal procession, and through us spreads the fragrance of the knowledge of him everywhere. For we are the aroma of Christ to God among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing, to one a fragrance from death to death, to the other a fragrance from life to life.
Last Log Entry: Present Day
Christ has woken up my senses. I have been given God’s true love, so I’m better able to discern what to savor and what is good! I can no longer linger in my sins, reeking!
2 Thessalonians 2:16,17
Now may our Lord Jesus Christ himself, and God our Father, who loved us and gave us eternal comfort and good hope through grace,comfort your hearts and establish them in every good work and word.