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About the Gratitude Card

Help me to see

 “The breath you are taking now is God’s personal gift to you.”

—Dr. Rod Whitacre

In July of 2012 I took a three-day crash course on the Gospel

of John and his letters at the CCO’s Summer Institute. It was

amazing. The teacher was Dr. Rod Whitacre, a New Testament

scholar and professor at Trinity School for Ministry. Ever since

then, I’ve been reading his commentary and praying that I

would gain a deeper love for Jesus and understanding of God’s

presence in all things. I want eyes to see  that everything comes

from the Father through Christ. The people I know who have

the deepest awareness of this are also the people who live with

the most joy. I want more of that.


This card is about seeing  that God is the provider of all things.

Each year I make a Thanksgiving card for CCO staff to

celebrate God’s provision for our ministry and to thank our

supporters for their generosity. Support-raising means trusting

God to provide as we make our need for funds known. It can

be scary or wonderful depending on how you look  at it. If I see

 God as the provider, it’s not scary at all. It’s up to Him to move

people to give. If I think it is all up to me, it’s terrifying.

The fruits and vegetables on the front of the card are symbols

of God’s provision. There are other symbols I could have

used—like technology, housing, or roads—but those things

would not have made a very attractive card.


My original plan was to only paint what came out of our

garden this year. I spent a whole day trying to arrange eggplants,

peppers, leeks, potatoes, zucchini, and tomatoes—but

the compostion just didn’t work. Once I let go of the idea that

the card had to reflect what we grew, other options opened up.

I chose fruit and butterflies and a leaf to give more variety

and color. Painting takes such a long time that I have to be

committed enough to what I paint to want to stick with it.

Because I’ve been studying botanical illustration in my spare

time, I decided to use that approach. Everything was painted

in watercolor in layers; yellow first, then reds, greens, and blues.

Painting in this way really forces me to look  at the glorious

things God has made.

We live in such a wonderful creation—I hope this card gives

you a glimpse of the joy it gave me to make it.