Why the title?

"Pioneers take the arrows"

Oh, wait. I should be upbeat and taking arrows doesn't sound like an upbeat thing to say.

So, let me amend that statement.

It was courage and vision that led the pioneers to leave behind a comfortable, settled life and trek West to begin a new life in a new place. Many of those from the East that went West found a strength within themselves that they didn't see while they were in their old life. Instead of being one of those that just kind of went along with the others in the old life, they became leaders and visionaries in their new lives.

The sentiments of that last paragraph come from a favorite author, Louis L'Amour, in many of his books. So, I can't really say that it is an original thought from me. However, what he said is truthful.

Welcome to being a pioneer. Look ahead and ignore the "barking dogs" that give you negative opinions and comments. Louis L'Amour also spoke of the barking dogs.

In some of his stories, it was usually a father or older man telling a young boy how it was that when the Westward bound Conestoga wagons rolled through towns, the dogs came out to bark at them. His character then told the young listener that the barking didn't stop the wagons from going on to their destinations.

Following the advice of the Louis L'Amour characters, may we all forge ahead with our plans, after carefully considering all consequences and leave the "barkers" behind.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Akiane Kramarik Revisited

Akiane Kramarik Revisited

It is a pleasure to get back to more pleasing and beautiful subjects than politics. Last night, after posting the two posts for April 8, I received an e-mail from Lori Henshey, the author whose articles on Colton Burpo and mentions of Akiane Kramarik really piqued my interest. While she has still not had an opportunity to interview Akiane, she did go ahead and write her own story, basing its information off of four different sources.

There is a link at the bottom of this posting to her actual online article. At the bottom of her online story are the sources for her story, and each of those source’s names are active links which you can use to get to those source stories. Sadly, one source requires signing up for a “free trial,” which I opted to not do. But, each of those stories gives just a little different perspective.

I have chosen to not post images of any of Akiane’s paintings in my posts, but you can see her paintings at this link. Just go into “Gallery” and enjoy.


Now, Lori Henshey’s story from Examiner.com:

Akiane Kramarik: Visits to Heaven and Visions of Jesus

By Lori Henshey, Religious & Spiritual Mysteries Examiner

April 7th, 2011

Children are so fresh from God it’s no wonder some of them are given visions and signs from heaven. Their innocent and trusting natures allow them to believe what we adults would never accept. This must be part of what Jesus meant when he said: I tell you the truth, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven - Matthew 18:3.

So perhaps it would do us well as spiritual beings to listen to a little girl who – she claims – has had visions and visits with Jesus. And whether you believe she has truly walked and talked with Jesus, one cannot deny her artistic and poetic talent.

Her name is Akiane Kramarik and she was born at home underwater, on July 9, 1994, in Mount Morris, Illinois, to a stay-at-home Lithuanian homemaker mother and an American father, chef and dietary manager.

Akiane – whose name means ocean in Lithuanian – and her siblings were homeschooled for the most part and they had no television and few books, so when she began telling her family about seeing visions at age four, they were fairly certain what she was experiencing was not a result of outside influences. Her parents chose to support their daughter, which probably played a part in her prolific works.

Akiane began to sketch and write poetry at age four, advanced to painting at six and writing poetry at seven. Her first completed self-portrait sold for $10,000. A large portion of the money generated from art sales is donated by Kramarik to charities. According to Akiane, her art is inspired by her visions of heaven and her personal connection with God. “I am a self-taught painter,” she told Children’s Digest. "God is my teacher."

Akiane explained to her family that God gave her the visions and abilities to create her artwork and poetry, which must have come as quite a shock since both her parents were atheists at the time. They later converted to Christianity on account of Kramarik's paintings and visions. More than art was happening in their home. “Simultaneous with art was a spiritual awakening," Akiane's mother, Forelli Kramarik, told Christianity Today. "It all began to happen when she started to share her dreams and visions.”

Once, according to an article in New Connexion magazine, Akiane was staring off into space, with a smile on her face and a twinkle in her eyes. Asked what she was doing, she simply answered, "I was with God again, and He told me to pray continually. He showed me where He lived. I was climbing transparent stairs; underneath I saw gushing waterfalls, and as I was approaching Him, His body was pure and intense light.

“What impressed me the most was His hands – they were gigantic! I saw no bones, or veins, no skin or blood, but maps and events. Then He told me to memorize thousands upon thousands of wisdom words on a scroll that did not look like paper, but more like intense light. And, in a few seconds, I got somehow filled up. From now on I will get up early to paint. I hope one day I'd be able to paint what I was shown."

Although she was three at the time, she'll always remember God's first message to her. "He said, 'You have to do this, and I'll help you.' He said, 'Now you can help people.' I said, 'Yes, I will.' But I said it in different words in my mind. I speak through my mind to Him," she told Christianity Today.

When asked how she knows that it's God who is speaking to her she said, "Because I can hear His voice....quiet and beautiful."

Akiane was always consumed with the faces of subjects she painted, and she found that when she prayed the right vision always appeared. When she wanted to paint Jesus, however, she spent a year mulling over her model. Finally, she asked her entire family to pray with her. The next day, a giant of a man came to her door looking for work. He was a carpenter.

Akiane immediately knew this man would be her model for her painting of Jesus. Initially the carpenter agreed, but he changed his mind. "He said that he wasn't worthy to represent his Master," Akiane told Christianity Today. "He's a Christian, and he's a humble person. But I prayed that God would change his mind and that he would call back."

The carpenter – who wishes to remain anonymous – did call Akiane back, saying that God wanted him to pose for the painting, resulting in the Jesus paintings Prince of Peace and Father Forgive Them.

The painting is startling. The eyes are loving and patient, but also piercing and fierce. He is beautiful. In fact, when Colton Burpo, the little boy who says he went to heaven at age three (see articles Part One and Part Two), saw the painting, he declared it to be the only one that ever captured what Jesus looks like. There have been many paintings since that one, though Prince of Peace is probably her most famous.

People may wonder, “Why did Jesus choose to contact Akiane?"

“I have been blessed by God,” she said simply. “And if I'm blessed, there is one reason and one reason only, and that is to help others. I am donating a big portion of money to charity and to combat poverty," she said. "I want to help people. I want people to find hope in my paintings and draw people's attention to God."

Sources: New Connexion, Children's Digest, Christianity Today and Wendy Mag



In addition to Lori Henshey’s story, here are a few more.

The Ventura County Star has an online display of several pictures and paintings. Some can be made larger.  The last two links are also from the Ventura County Star, but give some other perspectives.




1 comment:

  1. Thank you for your blog on both Akiane and Colton Burpo, it has opened up my eyes. I myself have gone through a trying time with my own daughter of 6 who was in the hospital for 6 days and who has come home safe and sound!! Thank you Jesus!!

    I think it would be really interesting to see if both Colton and Akiane have met at all and spoken to each other of their experiences of Heaven and Jesus..that would be an interesting conversation!!


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