This Christmas please accept our gift of a free picture of Christ and then share His love with others by giving away pictures of Christ to your family, friends, and neighbors.
One need only turn on the television to see that we live in difficult times. Growing unemployment, debt, divorce, addiction, and abuse have become widespread leaving in their wake unhappiness and heartache that touches every one of us. Too many look to politicians, corporations, or governments to fix what is broken, but history has shown these organizations are not the cure for unhappiness. Only Jesus Christ can fix what is broken, only He can bring real and lasting peace.
In recent surveys, 78% of Americans identified themselves as "Christians"[i] and 65% said that religion was, "...an important part of their daily lives"[ii]. Yet, less than 20% attend church regularly[iii] and only 40% can name more than 4 of the 10 commandments[iv]. Sadly, the youngest Americans (18-24 yrs. old) have a dramatically lower rate of religious affiliation, and pray less often, than their parents or grandparents.[v] Statistics in other countries give an even bleaker outlook.
The challenge is not convincing others that Jesus Christ is real, but that He is relevant
It would seem the challenge is not convincing others that Jesus is real, but that He is relevant. How can we develop in our own lives a faith in the Lord that brings us enduring happiness and then share that faith with those we love?
Many years ago, a dear friend was going through a difficult challenge. He called me to ask if I had any art that might help him get through this tough time. I thought it odd that he would turn to art as a comfort, but I was happy to help. We found a picture of the Savior that he loved. I had forgotten about that until he called me this summer. He told me that he was going through a divorce after 15 years of marriage. He then said, “I come home each night to an empty apartment and I look at that picture of the Savior you gave me. It reminds me that tomorrow will be better than today and that the Lord knows and loves me. That picture has saved my life.”
As I shared this story with others at work they told me of similar experiences in the lives of their friends and family. Each one’s life changed for good by a picture of Christ. As I listened an idea was born: Everyone should have a picture of Christ… for free.
I felt like a man on a mission. But as the difficulty and reality set in of putting a picture of Christ in every home, I became discouraged. How could a little business without any resources accomplish such a feat? Several weeks went by until one day the impression came to me powerfully, “Why haven’t you printed the pictures of Christ yet?”
I explained to the Lord that I had no way to print the pictures. At last, I relented and called the printer. I explained that I wanted to print pictures of Christ, give them away for free, and that I had no way of paying for them. To my surprise he agreed to print them.
With newfound hope I began calling friends in the retail business and explaining what I wanted to do. I learned quickly that having a vision and communicating that vision are two very different things. I was surprised when one by one they dismissed the idea and refused to carry the pictures in their stores. One even said I was crazy. I would have argued, but I wasn’t all that sure they were wrong.
A week went by and the printer delivered the pictures to the warehouse. I opened one of the boxes and carried a small stack of prints into my office. I set them on my desk and asked the Lord, “Now what? I have 50,000 pictures sitting in the warehouse and no one wants them. Even for free.”
Finally, one store agreed to carry the free prints and then another. I remember coming into the office the next day and seeing a small stack of packages. It was the first pictures of Christ we shipped.
That was almost six weeks ago. The response since then has been nothing short of miraculous. To date our partners have distributed more than 20,000 pictures of Christ. That stack of boxes in the warehouse doesn’t look so daunting, and I now see that the Lord can do His work even if we don’t see how it is possible. For “with God all things are possible.”
Does it Really Work?
Faith is born from a relationship with Christ. Like any relationship, it begins by spending time together. We spend time with the Lord as we pray and study His word. But in a world filled with distractions it can become easy to forget Him unless we surround ourselves with meaningful reminders. By putting a picture of Christ in our homes we are creating a reminder to ourselves, and those we love, to spend time with Him each day.
The prophets have reminded us that, “Wherever Church members live, they should establish a home where the Spirit is present. Church members can invite the Spirit into their homes through simple means such as wholesome entertainment, good music, and inspiring artwork (for example, a painting of the Savior or a temple).”[vi]
I am happy to report that it really does work. We continue to receive emails and letters from those who have received a picture of Christ and felt the transforming power of art in their lives. I include just two:
"I have always loved art, but this image was different. When I put it in my office I was touched by the change. I found myself thinking of the Lord more often and enjoying the peace only He can give."
- Reverend David M. O'Connell, former President of Catholic University, Washington D.C.
"I have sold religious art for years, yet I am still amazed by the power it has to change our world. By surrounding ourselves with heavenly things we become better and heaven becomes a little closer.
- Anne Hocking, owner of On This Rock Bookstore, Wisconsin
With your help we are confident that we can accomplish our mission of putting a picture of Christ in every home.
How can I help?
We recognize that one size doesn’t fit all. We have three ways you can help:
1. Begin at Home
The Lord taught us that we should be doers of the word and not just hearers only.
If we are going to realize the power that art has in transforming other’s lives we must begin with our own.
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