In the early years of my singing (coinciding with the early years of my marriage), I closely followed the ministry of Christian recording artist Steve Green. Not only did his voice appeal to my ear and tenor-range aspirations, but his message of God’s all-sufficient grace (beyond “salvation”) was something new to my heart. And that’s saying something, given I was raised in church and Christian education.

With each concert I attended, every recording bought, and each of his songs I sang, my admiration for Steve grew. As you might imagine, I was so excited when the occasion to personally meet my hero came about through a mutual friend—December, 2005.

As the encounter turned out, a commission opportunity to illustrate one of Steve’s songs fell right into my lap. The excitement and hope was intense, and even added motivation to an out of state move where I enrolled (at age 33) into the graduate art program at my alma mater, Pensacola Christian College.

The first two years of graduate work paid off resulting in artistic growth, a fulfilled commission, a fruition of vision, and extended opportunity with my hero—but only to be contested by my alma mater. The following two-and-a-half years were filled with conflict, confusion, and eventual excommunication from my alma mater. And though it was all deeply painful, the experience led me into some necessary questioning of my faith and humanity.

With my website up and running now, I’ll be working to render my story and another illustration surrounding the commission for Steve. Also, my personal understanding of the refining fire concept, God’s grace, and His glory is something I look forward to sharing. If you would like to signup for direct email notifications of this forthcoming work, please use the form below.

Steve Green and Paul De Luna at the unveiling of Refiner’s Fire (oil on linen • 20 x24 in.) in Peachtree City, GA, 2010.

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