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God's Brush Stroke: The Story of Painter David Holden

CBN.com "Often times, people ask me, 'When did you start to paint?' When I tell them, 'It was just kind of four or five years ago,' they cannot believe it," David Holden explains.

"He started to produce all these amazing pictures, and I was amazed," says David's wife, Sheila. "He had never painted. He had never sketched. It had never been a hobby or anything like that. And, immediately, he was producing these amazing pictures."

"I never had any training as such," David says. "I didnt go to art school, but God had other ideas. It was through an experience I had that, very quickly, He showed me He wanted me to paint."

an aerial photo of David Holden's studioArtist David Holden lives in this quaint village of Barcum in Sussex, England. But David isnt a normal painter. And his introduction to the art world is extremely unique.

Today, were at his home and studio that is near the English Channel. Its called "Old Thatch."

"I cant believe this is happening," he says. "It's like Im in a dream. It seems like its such a radical change from what I was doing. I can hardly believe its true, but I know its true."

The reason why it is so hard for David to believe hes now a popular artist is because his career as an artist began one day during a church meeting.

"It happened through a guy called Ian McCormick, who was Gods instrument to be used for that occasion," David explains. "He ministered in Brighton in England one evening. He called me by name and said, 'Your name is David.' Id never met him before and he said, 'God wants to gift you for something Hes called you to do.' The next thing I realized, I was on the floor with my hands burning like fire up to my elbows. I was just so incredibly overcome by the presence of God."

David believes God spoke to him about becoming an artist.

"I felt Him really speak to my heart saying, 'I want you to paint. Ive called you to paint. I want you to paint," he recalls. "So convinced was I, that after that particular encounter with God, I went out and just got art materials together and asked the Lord to show me. He began showing me how I was to put things together and I started painting. Within three or four months, I had nearly 40 paintings."

But what about Davids wife, Sheila? Imagine one night your inartistic, middle-aged husband comes home and announces hes going to be an artist. What would you think?

Sheila Holden"He went off to this meeting, and when he came back, he was very late," she remembers. "He said to me, 'The Lord has told me Im to be an artist.' I just thought, Whatever next? Has he completely gone mad? I dont believe this. But, anyway, I said, 'OK,' so he went out and he bought his paints, and he bought the paper, and he started to paint."

David and Sheila were going through a difficult time. Years before, he had sold a successful business in order to go to Bible college. But after years of work and study, things were just not working out.

"We honestly thought that he was going to end up being full time in the ministry, being an assistant pastor somewhere," Sheila says. "Thats what we had been working toward several years. Then, suddenly, everything shut down and every door closed. It was just like we were in a place that we were so discouraged, a lot of pain about everything. Here was David in the prime of life with nowhere to go, not a clue what he was really meant to do for the rest of his life. It was a real crisis for us."

But now with his artwork, David believes he has a clear direction for his life.

"I love painting the creation. I love showing Gods wonderful handiwork. Thats probably the subject of most of my paintings," says David.

"There was a film a few years ago on British television," David continues. "It was about the life of a runner in the Olympic games. He was a Scotsman. He said that when he runs, he feels Gods pleasure. And its as though when I paint and Im finished with a painting and Im pleased with it, I really feel the pleasure of God on that painting, that Hes really pleased. Its kind of an act of worship and an act of giving back to Him."

David HoldenDaves artwork has been well received and a financial success, but the Holdens believe God taught them both some important lessons.

Says Sheila, "You know when God speaks to you. And when you know, and you really know, you just have to go with it. Sometimes you just have to trust Him that things will work out in the end. Its not easy."

"I just feel so honored that He wants to use me in this way. I feel very humbled, and I just want to thank Him," says David.

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