Tag Archives: painting

Meat cleaver attack did not deter Rene Celinder from evangelizing Denmark

Rene Celinder was leading an all-night prayer vigil in support of the Jews at the Israel Plads in Copenhagen 2002, when a Palestinian immigrant struck him over the head with a cleaver at 3:00 a.m.

“Luckily, I have a hard head,” Rene quips. The doctor explained that had the attack not been a glancing blow, he could have died or wound up in a wheelchair.

From the hospital, he called his wife: “Don’t worry I’m alive,” he told her. “I just took a cleaver blow to my head. No problem. I’m ok.”

Such is the life of a Christian evangelist is Denmark. Today, he travels internationally to preach the gospel to people lost in darkness. He, too, was once lost in darkness.

Raised by an abusive father, Rene became a painter and a handyman. When he contracted stomach cancer at age 30, he made a promise to God: “If you heal me, I will serve you for the rest of my life.”

He didn’t know God but remembered his childhood prayers from the ritualistic church he visited in his youth. The surgery removing the egg-sized mass was a success. Rene didn’t immediately fulfill his promise to serve God.

Three years later, he received a $50,000 insurance payout for the damage done by chemicals he worked with as a painter and fiberglass worker. He traveled and drank extensively until he spent all the money in under two years. Later he would resonate with the Prodigal Son when he read the Bible.

After the “living it up” was over, he had no money and nothing to do. An aunt told him to go to church and get saved. So that’s what he did.

Almost immediately, he enrolled in Bible school and was fascinated with the truth of Scripture. As he grew in the Lord he stopped swearing.

Unfortunately, he didn’t stop all sin. He fell into fornication with another student at the school. Caught by administrators, he got kicked out.

He returned home and avoided Christians and church because of his guilty conscience for some time. The brethren sought him out. Why aren’t you coming to church? they asked. “ I was afraid because I had been sinning so bad,” he said sincerely.

They encouraged him to return. When he did, he was embraced. He vowed to sin no more.

Eventually, he met and married his second wife, Dora, to whom he has been married for 25 years. He is now 66.

At a Christian camp years later, he spotted the old fling from Bible School. He asked his wife what he should do.

“You need to go ask for forgiveness?” Dora responded.

He did so. Then he asked her “spiritual parents” for forgiveness and then her kids. On the final day of the camp, both went up to the altar and asked the Lord for forgiveness.

“I learned forgiveness,” he comments. “Then I was free.”

Rene and Dora had a child, Emma, who was born with three holes in her heart. Doctors operated for 12 hours but were unable to save her. Baby Emma died six days after birth.

“I was really really angry at God,” he remembers. “I’ve never been angry like this before.”

Rene wanted to run away. But the doctor encouraged him to cradle his baby and to say goodbye. The grieving process was very healing. On the day of Emma’s funeral and burial, snow was falling, and the wind was blowing inhospitably. But after the sermon inside the church when they all came out, the storm had passed, and the sun was shining. It was beautiful moment to bury Emma. The birds were singing. He felt God’s presence.

Rene prayed a very unusual request: “Lord, show us our little girl one more time. I know that we cannot ask anything like this. But if you can, can you do something about it?”

Typically, a request to communicate with the dead is strictly a no-no because it derives from witchcraft. King Saul, in an attempt to contact the dead prophet Samuel, went to a medium. It was his last act of life; the next day he was killed on the field of battle.

But God took Dora to Heaven, Rene says.

One night she had a dream and in the dream she went to heaven. The first person to greet her was God.

“Father, have you seen our daughter?” Dora asked.

Yes, yes, she’s over there crawling around having a joyful time, He responded.

Then she talked to her baby, who, not limited to earthly constrains, could talk, Rene says.

“It’s really beautiful up here,” she told Mom. “I’m going be more blessing here in Heaven.”

Dora woke up happy. “We knew that we are going to see her again,” Rene explains. “She now would be 25 in human years.”

Moved on by the Lord, Rene opened his first cafe in a cellar. He invited people, gave them coffee and food, prayed for them for healing. It was a continual outreach center.

How he got the cafe is a miracle. When he first saw it available, it cost $5,000 a month. He felt God’s urging towards this place but couldn’t afford the rent. So he waited a year. The next time he saw it, the rent was now $2,000. He made his move.

Saying he had no money, he offered to paint for the owner to be able to use the cellar. After thinking it over for three days, the owner told him that he had no need of painting but if he would clean up and repair three flights of stairs, he could use the cellar for free. The job took four days.

“That’s how I got the key for free,” he says.

For three years… Read the rest: René Celinder evangelist in Denmark.

Repaint your life

repaint-your-life

During his retirement, my dad took up repainting. He’s no Michelangelo, but he has fun.

One cool thing about painting is if you get it wrong, it’s no problem; you just paint over. You can literally cover your prior mistakes with a fresh coat. You can start anew as many times as you want. Keep correcting until you get it right.

God is painter. And he covers over our mistakes (sins) with a fresh layer. He cleans up our blotches and smirches. He’s making our ugly flailings into beautiful art.

Recovery

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My 88-year-old dad finally got back to painting. He fell and broke his hip in April and hasn’t felt like he could concentrate on his creative efforts. He has a fantastic rehab coach and a 24-hour caregiver. He has good doctors and a couple of good sons. His taste buds finally reactivated, so he’s getting back to his ideal weight.

Last but not least, he’s started painting — and with it hope is reborn in his heart.

Except for the smallest of children, we’re all in some sort of recovery. Sin — life — tends to damage. Recovery is not just for the alcoholic. It’s for marriage that you want to last. It’s for forgiveness you’re struggling to work out. It’s for the person at the gym. It’s for slip-ups and backslidings.

Recovery is for humans.

Pride would have you believe you don’t need any recovery, that you’re completely successful with every area of your life under control. You know why I’m a Christian? Because I’m more honest and real than that. I fully acknowledge my need for a Savior and my need for his ongoing recovery process ministered continually by His Word and His Spirit. Recovery is a good thing, so I embrace it whole-heartedly.

Artists reflect God

artists reflect GodWhen the Bible says humans are made in the image of God, it does NOT mean God has a body (with armpits, boogers, ingrown toenails, etc.) It means we have the potential to imitate His superior attributes.

Today I want to praise artists and challenge everybody to create. Among His qualities, God is Creator. Whether it be music, photography, painting, sculpting, dancing or (my favorite) writing, be like God and use your imagination. Delight, tantalize, surprise.

At the same time, I want to say there is no artist as good as God. Whether it be a sunset or a canyon, human beauty or animals, God is the artistic winner.

Image: something that inspired me from pinterest.