Pride

Pride

Rainbow stripes with a heart shaped balloon being thrown in the air by a white person - Pride Yours Faithfully Hannah Kirk

Hi there, 

Not very long ago I would have been called a heretic (and that’s probably the politest name I would have been called). Some might still call me that.

There is a risk that comes with being vocal about topics such as these. I’m willing to take that risk. 

We are almost halfway through Pride month. It’s a time of celebration and protest. 

I like to keep my sexuality to myself, so it’s not something that I choose to shout about. For those who are interested, I’m Bi-sexual but not at the exclusion of any gender identity. That means that I am attracted to all genders. I’m also an ally to the rest of the LGBTQAI+ community. 

I’m also a disciple of Jesus. There’s still a thought within faith circles that one can’t be in the LGBTQAI+ community and be a disciple of Jesus. I used to believe that too (I’m ashamed to say!). This was damaging to myself and my faith. it was also damaging to others. For that, I’m sincerely sorry. 

So, how have I reconciled these things? Well, I’ve studied the Bible for myself. I’ve read books on the subject. I’ve been in conversation with other people (both within the community and allies) about this topic. I now wholeheartedly believe that it is not sinful to be part of the LGBTQIA+ community.

To celebrate that fact I have created the artwork to the right of this text. 

I painted several of the Pride Flags and then I ripped Bible passages out of my Bible and stuck them on top with glue. I’m now going to varnish and list it for sale. It also accompanies the chapter on sexuality and gender identity in my upcoming book. The book, as a whole, is about topics of complexity faced by modern-day disciples and how they fit together to form the puzzle of discipleship. 

There are a lot of things that people might not like about this artwork and that they might not like about me. I’m OK with that. However, although I am happy to speak respectfully with people about topics such as these I will not tolerate anything remotely abusive.  

Sexuality, Gender Identity, Faith, and Pride Painting by Yours Faithfully Hannah Kirk

What I want to say very clearly is that I wholeheartedly believe that everyone is loved and accepted by Jesus. That of course includes the LGBTQAI+ community. I do not believe that Jesus excludes anyone! 

In case you are interested, here are the Bible passages I used:

* “And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.” 1 Corinthians 13:13

* “As a prisoner for the Lord, then, I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received. Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace. There is one body and one Spirit – just as you were called to one hope when you were called – one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all. But to each one of us grace has been given as Christ appointed it. This is why it says: ‘When he ascended on high he led captives in his train and gave gifts to men'” –  Ephesians 4:1-6

* “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened. Which of you, if his son asks for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake? If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him! So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets.” – Matthew 7: 7-12

* “For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.” – Psalm 139: 13-14

* “It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.” – Galatians 5:1

* “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because he has not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son.” – John 3:16-18

* “For this reason, ever since I heard about your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love for all the saints, I have not stopped giving thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers. I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know him better. I pray also that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints, and his incomparably great power for us who believe.” – Ephesians 1: 15-19

* I will praise you, O LORD, with all my heart; before the “gods” I will sing your praise. I will bow down towards your holy temple and will praise your name for your love and your faithfulness, for you have exalted above all things your name and your word. When I called, you answered me; you made me bold and stout-hearted.” – Psalm 138: 1-3

All of the Bible verses we taken from the New International Version. Although not an inclusive Bible, I hope you will find comfort and hope if you are struggling with this topic, or things in general. You are loved, you are precious, you are worthy, you are accepted, you are needed, you are wanted, you are unique. 

Yours Faithfully, 

Hannah Kirk

 

Baptism Cards

Baptism Cards

Hi there, 

In this blog post, I spotlight all of my greetings cards suitable for believers baptisms. I’ve also included cards suitable for Christenings and Baby Naming Day’s. 

Baptism Cards 

All of my greetings cards are environmentally friendly – they are made from FSC (Forest Stewardship Council) certified card, and the inks used are all soy or vegetable-based.

All designs are created by me with either my photographs or original art on the front. Each Greetings Card is blank inside for your own message. They come with a white envelope. Size A6.

Acceptance

Acceptance Greetings Card

The painting I used for this design, ‘acceptance’ was originally painted as the first in my collection of faith-based discipleship paintings. The collection is being painted alongside writing a book on the complexities faced within Christians discipleship.

Boundaries

Boundaries Christian Greeting Card

For this Boundaries Christian Greeting Card, I used a print of the painting ‘Boundaries’. It is the second painting in a new collection of faith-based discipleship abstract paintings.

Boundaries play an important part in discipleship. Some are ridged and firm, others are soft and float around hardly noticed – like bubbles. Boundaries, in their best form, aren’t for punishment, rejection or exclusion.

Connection

Connection Greetings Card

The painting printed on the front of this greeting card is the third painting in my collection of faith-based discipleship paintings. I’m painting this collection alongside writing a book on the complexities of Christian discipleship.

Here is a snippet from the chapter on Connection: I find the concept of connection difficult. I feel socially inept and that has had a very negative impact on my ability to relate at any great depth. The About the Author section at the end of the book, explains, at least in part, who I am and the sorts of ways I experience life, and why. I, therefore, won’t repeat myself here. Despite my difficulties in connecting with people at any great depth, it’s something that I ‘enjoy’ – if that is the right adjective! At any rate, it’s something that I, and indeed every human being, need. As Brené Brown says, it is a deep need for all of us to connect with others. I also believe that it is a deep need for us to connect with Abba-Jesus-Spirit, whom we often refer to as, simply, God. A deep connection with God and others is what my heart and mind crave and longs for. But, it’s complicated! That need has got warped in my experience of life in the past – which makes the way in which I sometimes try to get that need met unhealthy and inappropriate. I’m now exploring and working on healthy and appropriate connections with people. (© Hannah Kirk, 2020)

Cross Through Time

Cross Greetings Card - Christian Cards

The painting that is printed on the front of this Christian greeting card, ‘Cross Through Time’ was originally meant to be the Lion of Judah!

I made a mistake and in frustration, I started to scrub the paint. Out of my frustrated scrubbing appeared this, which I’ve named Cross Through Time. It showed me that my gift for painting comes from God and that they are timeless and that what Jesus accomplished on the cross is way better than anything else.

Since then I have let Abba-Jesus-Spirit direct my path and teach me what they want me to paint.

Dialogue

Dialogue Greetings Card

The original dialogue painting is the 4th painting in my collection of faith-based discipleship abstracts.

Dialogue can be messy, bumpy, and beautiful. I used sap green, rose pink, orange and white because those colours communicate with each other on the colour wheel.

I’m creating these paintings in conjunction with a book that I’m writing on the complexities of discipleship. Here is a snippet on Dialogue:

Since 2015 I’ve grown and developed a lot. I used to be dyslexic, I used to struggle with communicating. I was shy and emotionally unstable (that’s explained by a later diagnosis of Trait Specific Personality Disorder). That did not allow much room for good, healthy, or helpful dialogue or relationships. It’s something that I’m getting better at all the time. Spiritually, I’ve always had a good-enough inner dialogue between myself and God. When I was very little, I spoke often to God – good, bad, and ugly. I remember asking Him things and telling Him things. I relied heavily on Him for comfort, particularly at night-time. But, even though my dialogue with Him was ‘good enough’, it wasn’t based on a right relationship with Him. Although I looked to Him for comfort, I feared Him. I feared punishment. I feared getting it wrong. I feared to upset Him. Since 2015, but especially since September 2016 when I gave my life to Jesus – properly, I have begun to have a collaborative dialogue with Abba-Jesus-Spirit. By that I mean dialogue where I have equal respect for myself and Him. Or at least that is what I intend, I don’t always succeed! (© Hannah Kirk, 2020)

Dancing to the Beat

Dancing to the Beat of His Heart - Birthday Card for Her

I painted the original on the front of this dancing to the beat greeting card as part of the course I attended called School Of Acrylic Painting. I loved the background because it enhances the feeling of movement. The dancer is beautiful too.

Does God Have a Blueprint

Does God have a blueprint? Greetings Card

When I was deciding which designs to move forward with I asked my husband for help with choosing the final cut. He suggested I get rid of this one because he wasn’t sure it was saleable. About a month later, I had a stall at Yeldall Manor, for their annual Open Day. It was by far my best seller! 

I painted the original as a response to a service at church with the same title. When asked whether God has a blueprint for our lives I said ‘yes’. This painting flowed out of me as I let my response settle.

For the original painting, I sploshed Cerulean Blue around the canvas without thinking. Immediately I saw a cross in the top left corner. Then I painted my hand with purple paint and made a handprint on the right of the painting.

Finding God at Depth

Finding God at Depth Greetings Card

I love the therapeutic benefit of using a palette knife to cut through acrylic paint to gradually expose a beautiful painting. I named this one Finding God at Depth based on the sermon series at the time. There is hope, I believe, in Jesus. He rescues us from the darkness.

Fisher’s of Men Verse

Fishers of Mankind Greetings Card

I love the therapeutic benefit of using a palette knife to cut through acrylic paint to gradually expose a beautiful painting. I named this one Fishers of Mankind because it reminds me of the Fishers of Men verse: “Come, follow me,” Jesus said, “and I will send you out to fish for people.” (Matthew 4:19 NIV)

Fly High

Fly High - Celebrations Card

A couple of years ago, I had the opportunity to paint prophetically for people at a public community event in the town I live. It was a great opportunity and I painted lots of different images and then offered them to strangers and passers-by – as the Spirit led me.

My pastor saw this one and ‘knew’ who it was for, and so asked me if I minded if he gifted it to someone. I, of course, said yes. One of my gifts is to bless people, and I most often do that by blessing people with gifts of artwork or words of encouragement.

The Bible verse I was meditating on when I painted this was, ‘But those who wait for the LORD will renew their strength. They will mount up with wings like eagles. They will run, and not be weary. They will walk, and not faint.’ (Isaiah 40:31 NHEB)

Garden of Eden

Garden of Eden Greetings Card

I painted this at the weekly art group (term time only), in Yateley (before Covid!). We have an optional theme, but I chose to do my own thing. This is one of my favourite techniques – to just paint as the Spirit leads and letting the painting flow out of me.

I love cutting into the paint with a palette knife and eventually creating a calming and colourful scene. This is an abstract painting, so it’s open for the viewer to interpret what they see, think, and feel, when they look at the painting. What do you see? What do you feel or think when you look at it?

I see the Garden of Eden and a beautiful waterfall. I used bright and calming colours for this painting.

Christening and Baby Naming Day Cards

Candle

Light in the Darkness Greetings Card

I painted this during a dark point in my life.

Jesus has been the light in my darkness and has helped me through the toughest years of my life.

I pray this card brings peace, comfort, and hope to you in your darkness (or to those that you buy this for).

Cygnet in Transition

Cygnet in Transition Greeting Card

Have you heard the story The Ugly Duckling? I have! When I was little I watched the video and it resonated with me so much; I felt like an ugly duckling. By that, I mean that I never fitted in. The reason I believed that was because I was told that I was ugly, stupid and that I didn’t belong. For most of my life, I believed these lies and developed mental health disorders as a result.

A few years ago, my pastor re-framed this mindset into ‘You’re not an ugly duckling, you’re a beautiful cygnet and you are transitioning into a beautiful swan’. I believed him. Therefore, my love for cygnets and swans grew, and I have followed the lives of several swan families near where I live ever since. It has also sparked my recovery!

This painting, which is printed on the front of this cygnet in transition greeting card, was painted using one of my own reference photographs.

Cygnet Siblings

Cygnet Siblings Greetings Card

These cute cygnet siblings lived at a local lake. I followed the lives of these cygnets until they ‘flew the nest’. I visited them most days for a couple of years and have photographed them growing up.

The thing I love best about this photo is that I wonder what they are thinking about and saying to each other. It reminds me of sitting with my best friend, Patricia, and having a good old natter.

Cygnet Sitting

Cygnet Sitting Greetings Card

This super cute baby cygnet lived at a local lake. I followed the life of this cygnet until they ‘flew the nest’. I visited this cygnet most days for a couple of years and have photographed them growing up.

This cygnet is sitting on its parents back. I had never seen that before, so I was over the moon to capture something so precious. Have you ever seen a cygnet sitting (or sleeping) on their parents back?

Cygnet Sleeping

Cygnet Sleeping Greetings Card

This extremely cute cygnet lived at a local lake. I followed the lives of this adorable cygnet until they ‘flew the nest’. I visited them most days for a couple of years and have photographed them growing up.

This cygnet is sleeping on its parents back. I had never seen that before, so I was over the moon to capture something so precious. Have you ever seen a cygnet sleeping on their parents back?

Which one do you like best? Is there one of my other designs that you think should be in my Baptism Card list?

I hope you have enjoyed browsing my Baptism Cards, along with my Christinaing and naming Day Cards.

Yours Faithfully, Hannah Kirk

Choose To Challenge

Choose To Challenge

Hi there,

It would be a bit difficult not to notice that today is International Women’s Day. When the focus is on one group of people it’s very easy to get critical or defensive and say ‘all lives matter’ for example. While it is most certainly true that ‘all lives matter’, that is not the point. The point is that where there is inequality we need to shine the spotlight on it.

Today, the spotlight is on women.

Until very recently women were not allowed to serve as church leaders; they were not allowed to vote; they were not allowed to work in male-dominant roles, such as as pilots or in the army. There is still a rift between genders in the workplace, and indeed other areas of society such as churches.

As hopefully you have already noticed, I’m extremely passionate about inclusion, justice, and equality. That passion, along with my faith in Jesus, forms the foundation of this company.

My mission statement on my website (https://yours-faithfully-hkirk.co.uk) reads, ‘Hannah has a passion for Jesus and a passion for people. The main ways she connects these two passions is through art, photography, and writing. Even though her faith forms a huge part of who she is, and what she does, she is committed to never force her faith on anyone else. Her mission, which shapes this company, is to develop a life of hope, freedom, and recovery through art, photography, and writing. Hannah’s core belief is that every human being should be valued, accepted, and included – that’s why she has tailored her products and services in such a way that everyone should feel welcome here regardless of age, gender identity, sexuality, ethnicity, disability, etc. She has a heart for the marginalised and broken, perhaps because she fits that herself.’

So, for International Women’s Day I #ChooseToChallenge – choose to challenge the stigma that many women face surrounding their bodies and emotions; choose to challenge the inequality that still exists; choose to challenge the ways that women are written about by male authors, etc. These are things that I will continue to challenge going foreword – not just today.

I thought you might also like to know which women most inspire us as a family.
* My youngest daughter says, “I’m inspired by Amy Johnson, because I wouldn’t be able to be a piolet when I grow up if it wasn’t for Amy Johnson”.
* My eldest daughter says, “Emma Watson inspires me because she inspired me to become an actress, she fights for Women’s Rights, and she left books for people to find which is a really kind thing to do.”
* My husband says, “Lari Basilio because she is a very good guitarist. Lori stands out for me because when you often thing of guitarists and rock bands it’s usually men, and she inspires me to play guitar more. She’s also a Christian and recently launched a signature guitar.”
* I am inspired by many women. I think that the modern women that inspire me the most are: Michelle Lloyd, Josephine Owusu, and Menekse Stewart (although I could add more to this list). The women artists that inspire me the most are: Jennifer Mazur, Kristin Rawcliffe, and Lotti Rawle (but there are many more I could mention). I also have so many amazing female friends who inspire me every day. Here are just a few (because the list would run into 100!): Patricia, Karrie, Nikki, Rach, Fi, and Lucy.

Do you also #ChooseToChallenge?

Yours Faithfully,
Hannah Kirk

Christmas Hope?

Christmas Hope?

Hi,

I’m based in Berkshire, England, and we are in Tier 4 which essentially means that all of our plans for Christmas were cancelled on Saturday. I have cried tears, and so have my children. But, this Christmas is not without hope.

“For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the LORD, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.” (Jeremiah 29:11 NKJV)

This is a very familiar verse to many. In other translations, the words alter slightly and it reads, “For I know the plans I have for you,” says the LORD. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.” (NIV)

From my perspective, which I’m sure is shared widely, we have had one disaster after another this year. What then can we make of this verse that claims that the LORD plans good and not disaster. I’ve asked myself that question a lot over the years. I’m not sure I’ve settled on a answer. But, what I do believe wholeheartedly is that we have both a hope and a future found in Jesus. Jesus is the reason that we have Christmas, isn’t it? His birth, life, death, and resurrection give us a hope and a future.

“Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me will live, even though he dies.” John 11:25 (NIV) This is the hope we have in Jesus. This is the future that is available freely to us and that future starts now.

We have the first ‘Christmas star’ in 800 years this evening – when Jupiter and Saturn line up in the sky. I’m hoping that the sky clears sufficiently for us to be able to see it.

However, whether I see the star or not, and during  this Christmastime, along with every other day, I can rejoice and worship Jesus – for the hope and future he has given us – just as the wise people did at the time of His birth:

“When they saw the star, they rejoiced with exceeding great joy. And when they were come into the house, they saw the young child with Mary his mother, and fell down, and worshipped him: and when they had opened their treasures, they presented unto him gifts; gold, and frankincense and myrrh.” (Matthew 2:10-11 NKJV)

I pray you find some level of peace and comfort over the Christmas period, even if your plans have had to be changed. I also pray for you as you reflect on what has likely been a very challenging and painful year.

Yours Faithfully,

Hannah Kirk