• Art,  Christianity,  Faith,  Paul Backholer

    Post-Impressionism: Christian Belief and Art Explored

    “Come aside by yourselves to a deserted place and rest a while” (Mark 6:31) We live in an unrelenting world of pressure; our calendars are full, schedules are overloaded and stress levels reach new highs. In our busy lives, we can forget to chart something important to God – come aside and rest. Be at peace, be still! We must not allow ourselves to become indefinitely busy, that we cannot hear the still small voice of the Holy Spirit.

  • Book Review,  Faith,  God,  Holy Spirit,  Paul Backholer

    The Practice of the Presence of God by Brother Lawrence

    “There is not in the world a kind of life more sweet and delightful, than that of a continual conversation with God; those only can comprehend it who practice and experience it” – Brother Lawrence You can feel God in the kitchen. You can sense the Lord at work. You can know the presence of Jesus in menial chores. This was the message of Brother Lawrence, a peasant soldier who became a monk in seventeenth century France. Through patience, Lawrence learnt to still his mind and focus on God’s presence in all his dealings. He struggled at first with tedious chores in the monastery; travelling into the village for goods,…

  • Architecture,  Art,  Christianity,  Faith,  Paul Backholer

    Christianity & Architecture: Big Ben, the Bible & the Elizabeth Tower

    Big Ben is the most recognised timepiece in the world. The Clock Tower known throughout the nations by its crowd-pleasing name Big Ben derides from the Great Bell. It resides at the north end of the Palace of Westminster and at its heart are some intriguing Christian themes. My journey to Big Ben begins at Portcullis House. Once through the security checks, I walk into the majestic light-filled atrium of Portcullis House, looking for a glimpse of the prime minister. I head down to the tunnel which connects the new building with the Victorian Houses of Parliament. Walking underneath Bridge Street, I turn left and enter a small doorway to…

  • Art,  Christianity,  Faith,  Paul Backholer

    Christianity and Art: The Royal Collection & the Faith of Queen Elizabeth II

    Before the printing press and education made the Bible available to all, believers used their eyes and imagination to attempt to understand God. There was a danger of idolatry, which the Reformation sought to address, yet some paintings read like the pages of a book. On the 13 September 1940, a German bombing raid hit the Private Chapel at Buckingham Palace, London. From the charred remains, the Duke of Edinburgh decided to convert the Chapel into an art gallery and display elements of the Royal Collection. I have been privileged to view the Queen’s masterpieces in several exhibitions in the Queen’s Gallery, and at Buckingham Palace, Windsor Castle and at…

  • Art,  Christianity,  Faith,  Paul Backholer

    Christianity and Art: The Pre-Raphaelites

    ‘He has filled them with skill to do all manner of work…in blue, purple, and scarlet… and those who design artistic works’ (Exodus 35:35). You’ve been told The Mona Lisa is the greatest artwork in the world. That’s clever marketing after its theft and return. For most of its life, those with access to The Mona Lisa walked past, ‘just another portrait.’ If you visit The Mona Lisa in the Louvre, Paris, expect a two-hour queue, followed by a brief glimpse of a painting at a distance, shrouded behind thick bullet-proof glass. No time to linger, examine and ponder. If you want art to take your breath away, discover the…

  • Faith,  Paul Backholer

    Set Me on Fire for you Jesus! Has Your Faith in God Stagnated? God’s Word Promises Restoration

    Don’t be discouraged if your faith has stagnated, God can send the fire of the Holy Spirit upon you again. He did it before, He can do it again. Many Christians who were once on fire for God feel their faith has stagnated. Some once had faith to believe they would go into the world and change it. Sadly, many years on, it was the world which changed them. Take courage, God’s word promises restoration. In the time of the Prophet Joel people lived through an economic crisis. Locusts destroyed the harvest. God’s response was this: “So I will restore to you the years that the swarming locust has eaten,…