"The Travail of the Flag"
Painting & Book by Shelli Jones Baker
Foreword by Rev. Barbara Di Gilio
Before you read the following excerpt from the book "The Travail of the Flag" by Shelli Jones Baker, I wanted to tell our readers how Shelli's painting and testimony has affected my life. It would take me over an hour or more to tell you all that God has spoken into my spirit since I first saw this awesome painting and heard Shelli's testimony. But I'll give you the short version now.
Shelli's testimony and awesome painting has stirred in me a new fire for this "God given Land - America." This new fire has been lit by God in my heart to pray for "Revival Fires" to breakout in all places. I'm praying for our houses of Worship to proclaim the Biblical truth that the Founding Fathers preached. I'm praying that in our homes the presence of God would be manifested so that your unsaved friends and neighbors would get saved. And in our Schools I'm praying that God would invade them with His presence, so the children and teachers might be saved. I am also now praying that men and women who are in government offices throughout this great country would fall on their knees at their lunch time, and prayer for all those in their offices who do not know God. I am now praying that "Revival Fires" would floods the whole Nation with the spirit of our Founders Faith.
The Church of the Living God has been asleep far to long, its time for it to "Wake up, Wake up!" We Believers who live in this great Nation are far to meek and mild about proclaiming the truths of our Founders. "We have grown accustomed to hearing that we are a great democracy; such was never the intent of the Founding Fathers. The form of government entrusted to us by our Founders was a republic, not a democracy. Our Founders had an opportunity to establish a democracy in America and chose not to. In fact, our Founders made it perfectly clear that we were not, and were never to become a democracy." (A loose quote from David Barton of Wallbuilders). These Founders were willing to die to set in motion this godly Nation as a republic. They pledged not only their lives, and their honor, but their fortunes as well. Patriotism for this Nation is godly when it is founded on the Rock, Jesus Christ, and the Founders Faith was indeed founded in the "Lord Jesus Christ," just read their writings. Our Founders understood that God was the Head of all things, including this new born Nation. We have got to stand up and put in places of power, godly men and woman that can bring some sanity back into this great Nation.
We best stop voting for our "pocketbooks" folks, and start voting for "the things of God." Things like righteousness and laws that are good because they are based on the Word of God. We need to pray for morality in leadership, and good godly judges be put placed on the Supreme Court. We need to vote for godly folks when they do run for office, and support them with our funds no matter how much or little we give, it all counts in the big picture. We need to praise the virtues of people who are honest and hardworking, not those who all they want is a handout and think the government owes it to them. What these people are doing is stealing from all of us who do work hard to make a living.
And lastly, truthfulness in leadership should be a MUST, but most of all we should appoint leaders who we know have high Biblical values for human life. This earth was not made in God's image, but Man was. We need to stop killing baby's in the name of "convenience" because its the law of the land! We need to change ungodly laws like the abortion law because if our Founding Fathers were alive today, they would. All Human life is sacred to God and if it is sacred to Him, it should be to all who claim to be His followers. If we do not put leaders with integrity and high godly ethics into office, we will be accountable before God one day for our bad choices. The blood of the innocent will be on our hands.
I for one find it an affront to find Believers (Christians) who do not vote. You non-voters who are reading this, it is time for you to search your souls about this issue of voting. Please my brothers and sisters, go out and vote for the godly who are running in this election, you can make a difference in this Nation. Remember the "Power of One" my friend, and remember you are that "One!" Truly God wants everyone of age who is a Believer to vote, so do it for Lord!!! And if your not registered for this election, but you can still pray. Then make sure you register for the next election, for really every vote counts.
Well I guess you can see how Shelli's painting and testimony has affected my life. The fire that God has lit in me, I'm now praying may be lit in you. And as you read what Shelli has written may God bless you.
Rev. Barbara Di Gilio
"The Travail of the Flag"
by Shelli Jones Baker
Though many soldiers shed their blood for the cause of liberty, there has never been a drop more precious than that of God's own Son Jesus who shed His blood once and for all at Calvary that all men through its crimson flow might find eternal freedom.
America, you are too young to die!,words of encouragement, words of warning lingered in my ears as Colonel Bird finished his Fourth of July address. Let us bow our heads and pray for America," he concluded. His stirring speech had not been delivered through the lips of America's firecracker-happy citizens that day but from the heart of one who had watched her from afar with concern, through an international scope. Colonel Bird had served the United States military as the warden of Nuremberg's prison in Berlin, West Germany for over twenty years.
Not only had his words pled for America to awaken from a spiritually diseased hour of her history, but the voices of foreigners also had preambled his speech earlier in the day. One distinguished guest from India whose address had diminished to humbling tears as he determined that America's light might soon burn out leaving the rest of the world in utter darkness.
Colonel Bird began to pray I obligingly dropped my head to join in spirit but my own thoughts obliterated his prayer. "Die? America? Surely not our great and mighty nation! Could America ever die? Oh, God, no!" I prayed. Thoughts of her tangled domestic and foreign policy problems, the outbreak of AIDS plagues, confused moral standards and economic upheavals flashed before me. "Surely there is some salve for her, some answer," I prayed.
God suddenly returned a startling reply; before I could catch another breath I found myself sovereignly consumed by His presence, dramatically involved in a vision that unfolded in 3-D all about me. It seemed as if the convention hall had vanished. Then there was a flash of something metallic.
"Blood!" I gasped. Spurting from smoky vapors that engulfed me was a fountain of blood. Splashing across my face and hands, a forceful flood erupted from someone's arteries. I squinted to discern whose blood. Flashing in the wet mixture of blood and water was the outline of a gleaming metal spear. I watched its razor-sharp edge emerge from a slash of raw flesh that covered the length of a man's exposed rib:-cage. Then I understood that I beheld a rare view of my precious Savior's riven side. Animated in every detail, the vision unfolded before me as a living mural, a history of the ages painted in Jesus blood.
Angelic voices then narrated the first scene by singing William Cowper's hymn: "There is a fountain filled with blood, drawn from Emmanuel's veins, And sinners plunged beneath that flood, lose all their guilty stains."
My eyes followed the fountain of blood from Jesus' wound as it spread across his middle, broadened into a river, a waterfall, and pooled into the breadth of a tumultuous ocean. The images of men baptizing converts appeared to be standing on the shores of this ocean. The shoreline became part of a continent that spread into a world map behind the crucified figure of Christ. Contrary to my theological knowledge of his death, I realized that he was not hanging on the old wooden cross but upon the nations themselves. Calvary was no longer contained; within the borders of Jerusalem but occupied all the Earth. For what had the weight of the cross symbolized anyway but the burden of all men's sins and the travail of all their wars spiritual and physical.
Swarming above Christ's head were stormy skies terrifyingly full of the elements of war preading the length and breadth of all five continents. But in the midst of it all, hung his corpse seemingly as much alive as dead. Never had I thought to see a face so full of compassion; and peace, yet masked with such tears of agony. His lips seemed still able to expel the last breath of a sweet blessing upon the earth. Even in death, the contentment upon his face, that his work was finished, made him appear to be a reigning king over death and the events of time and eternity.
The body was dead, but the blood continued to flow as if from an endless supply source. Its motion portrayed much life. As it lapped across the shores of the ocean it created, I saw how it washed over the turmoil of men upon those continents, and healed them, silencing the voice of their sin.
Revelation jumped into my heart! Jesus' blood was shed for the healing of the nations, for their peace, restoration, and total liberty! Surely America, the greatest booster of liberty for all could salvage a measure of that, was this her healing salve to prevent an early death? YES!
Even as I dared ask the question, I saw the ocean of blood take on the Atlantic's shape. Embarking upon its waters were three ships to the south, and a larger one to the north. Somehow I knew them to be those of Columbus, and the Mayflower. Sailing on the water and blood from Emmanuel's side, they seemed to be carriers of the message of liberty. I watched them dock in the harbors and white sand bars of the American shoreline. The blood that carried them there flowed on past the white shores, up into the mouths of its rivers, lakes, and streams, from east to west, from sea to shining sea, until the continent of North America was striped with blood.
Scenes of the French and Indian War, American Revolutionary War, Civil War, Spanish American War and countless other pieces of history appeared on the map. The Blood that flowed from these scenes mingled with the blood of Jesus until it formed the bold red and white stripes of courage and purity of Old Glory, our flag. Above the United States map, bombs burst in air and heavenlies raged until they too, faded into the peace of a western starry sky and became the everlasting stars of the Union as Betsy Ross had once sewn them there. I scanned the entire vision again from Christ's bleeding side, across nations in travail to the far western shore of America where there at last was peace, an eye of calm in the storm.
"Oh, God, what have you shown me?" I hoped to know. Again there was an answer: "The birth of a nation, Adam birthed a bride from his side, and Christ as well - not for the sake of one nation, but for all the Earth. Unfolded before you is the "Travail of the Flag." In its fabric is not the symbolism of history alone, but waymakers for future generations to retain their strength. By God's divine providence, this flag came to be a symbol of redemption, peace, and liberty for all nations. Ever since that plan was unfurled, jealous man and satanic forces have contested America's right to fly it as guardians over its purpose - freedom. Again and again the flag and its people have been brought to travail by the testings of spiritual and physical war! I determined to obey the Holy Spirit's prompting, "Paint the vision quickly and a herald before the eyes of the nation. It will remain in their hearts longer than a thousand sermons in their ears!" Five days later in the heat of an Oklahoma summer, I began to paint on four fresh canvas panels totaling a dimension of four by eight feet.
Though the world at large was still not aware of the flag burning committed by Gregory Lee Johnson and the communist youth brigade in 1984, as the case steadily was climbing the higher court ladders to a full blown supreme court national issue by 1989, God knew and was urging me on to prepare a defense of Old Glory in 1987 on schedule with His plans for revival. God has a time clock, an appointment for every century, decade, year, week, day and fleeting moment of our lives. On His divine time clock it's time for Revival Fires of a different kind to sweep America. The presence of the Lord was the source of energy behind every stroke. It seemed that my studio was consumed with His presence night and day and in my weariest hours, it seemed as if angels guided my hands for support. I did not paint what I desired, but was faithful only to what the Spirit had shown me.
Habakuk 2:2 "Write the vision, Make it plain upon tables that he may run that reads it. The vision is for an appointed time. But at the end it shall speak and not lie. Though it tarry, wait for it as it will surely come."
Article used from Shelli's book by permission from New Leaf Press - Copyright 1989
To order this most awesome posters or book Email: ShelliBake@aol.com
Or write to: P.O. Box 177, Branson, MO. 65615-0177
The Travail Of The Flag - the Book is $7.00
The Travail Of The Flag - sizes and price:
21" at $7.00 each posters
40" at $40.00 each limited edition prints
8 feet vinyl at $175 each medium dpi.
9 feet photo print deep dpi $500.
plus shipping and insurance if requested.
ART Originals currently on display in the Biblical Arts Center Museum/summer 2002
Also displayed at the Sacred Arts Museum in Eureka Springs Arkansas at the Great Passion Play - See Shelli's On-line Art Page
Shelli will be happy to come and deliver this message with concert music, drama
and life size copies
of her murals at your next civic or Church event. Just send your email inquiry to her. Shelli is also planning to come to Phoenix, AZ in 2003, will kept you posted on that event. She also has an article you may want to read on her website entitled: "Why We Gather To Pray" - Beloved grow not weary in well doing or your prayer life. Faint not, for in due season you will reap, and that is His promise to you and I.
Also click here to visit Shelli's website.
A Free Gift Offer From Shelli Jones Baker: If you would like a copy of this painting for your PC, in the subject line of a outgoing email type "FREE" and then in the body of the text, please give Shelli your name, email address and web site address if you have one. Shelli will then email you a file attachment of a .bmp graphic file of her poster. You can download it and use it for the wallpaper design on your computer station. All you have to do is put the file into your Windows directory, and then use it for your background. God Bless.
I have been so blessed by Shelli's work. Her painting has sparked in me this short but heartfelt prayer:
"The LORD lives; and blessed be my Rock; and let the God of my salvation be exalted. My Father, heal my Nation for Your glory and for Your joy. Lord God, let it start with me praying for the godly to rule. Help me cry-out both night and day for the healing of this Nation, and give me no rest till it springs forth Father. I have offend You far to long by my ungodly act of taking this freedom You gave me for granted. Forgive me Father, and teach me to fight the good fight of faith for this Nation like the Founders did. Let me do all this, and more for Your name sake, Messiah Yeshua (Christ Jesus), my Saviour and Lord. It is in His most holy name that I pray and ask for all things, and I'll pray even now Lord, You will say amen to my prayers. Amen!"
PS--Beloved, there is a wonderful brother by the name of David Barton who is the Founder and President of WallBuilders and he has many good things on-line to help you and I understand the historical Biblical roots of this country, please visit his website. WallBuilders is a national pro-family organization like we are. They distribute historical, legal, and statistical information; and helps citizens become active in their local schools and communities. WallBuilders is a name taken from the Bible book of Nehemiah. And just as Nehemiah led a grassroots movement in Jerusalem to rebuild the walls of that city and restore its strength and honor, so, too, WallBuilders seeks to energize the grassroots today to rebuild that which makes America strong-its constitutional, moral, and religious foundations. We at Mayim Hayim Ministries join with organizations like WallBuilders, and are now calling for all of you to help in lifting the Gates of this great Nation, and putting them back into place. Stand with use and do three things we are calling PVG:
First, Pray for our Nation everyday.
Second, Vote for the godly and not for your pocketbook.
Thirdly, Give to organizations like WallBuilders, for truly someone must lift their hands so the work of Restoration can go on in this country.
Other godly Links that can help you make informed choices are listed below. Voter Guide Links are marked with* - All are pro-family organizations providing godly resources to you on-line. -- Shalom
American Family Association
Christian Heritage Week
* Christian Coalition (free registration required)
Concerned Women for America
* Eagle Forum
* Focus on the Family's Citizen Link
* Family Research Council's Congressional Scorecard
And for all us Arizonians
* The Center for Arizona Policy