Psalm 104—Artwork

Learn more about Christ in the Psalms weekly artwork and see previous pieces here.

Person: John Forney

I came out to Colorado 20 years ago and have been here ever since. My wife, Veronica, and I have a blended family and are blessed with five kids. I’m a self-taught black and white photographer shooting with old school 8×10 large format and medium format cameras.

Piece: Black and White Photography

From a young age, my experiences out exploring and camping in northern Minnesota lit a fire in me that has never gone away. Photography has always been a means for me to slow down, be present, and share my love of God’s wonderful creation with my family.

This image was shot over 10 years ago when I was camping with my four oldest kids along the rim of the Black Canyon of the Gunnison. The negative has always been one of my favorites but as time went on, I always printed more recent images. While reading Psalm 104, It seems impossible not to be caught up in euphoria along with the Psalmist as he praises the Lord’s “splendor and majesty.” I still recall being in awe as I looked out at this scene years ago. Experiencing the sheer heights and the depths on the edge of that rim coupled with the approaching rain backlit by the sun moving through the canyon. It was awesome.

The psalmist illustrates God’s providence: He stretched out the heavens, makes the clouds His chariot, set the earth on its immovable foundations, and rebuked the waters so that they will never again cover the earth. He is totally in control.

There is a place and purpose for all creation, and “the earth is satisfied by the fruit of His work (v.13).” He is the Provider. “In wisdom You made them all (v.24)” and all creation looks to Him for food (v.27), satisfaction (v.28) and life (v.29).

The psalmist gives us a recounting of the perfectly-created world, yet does not overlook the sin and wickedness that will be consumed and be no more (v.35). I look back on that camping trip over 10 years ago. Never in my wildest dreams could I have envisioned the brokenness that would ensue in my family’s life since then. This image helps remind me to reflect on His promise that our present sufferings can not compare the future glory that awaits us. He is our hope. Praise God.

Psalm 103—Artwork

Learn more about Christ in the Psalms weekly artwork and see previous pieces here.

Person: Beth Dreyer

I am a Chicago-raised transplant that has been living in Denver for seven years. I graduated from Creighton University in Omaha, Nebraska with a B.F.A. in Studio Art and have been teaching elementary art in the public school system for nine years. I have been married to my husband, Adam Dreyer, for 6 years, and am a mom of a busy (almost) three-year old, Ramona, and a 4-month old, Nolan. I am a lover of the outdoors and feel most myself when I meet with God in the midst of His beautiful creation (with the people I love most, of course!).

Piece: Acrylic & Ink

In Psalm 103, David praises God specifically for His goodness and faithfulness in response to creation. Throughout the psalm, many characteristics and actions of God stick out—“forgives,” “heals,” “redeems,” “satisfies,” “justice,” “merciful,” “slow to anger,” and “compassion.” God is worthy of all praise! Our God loves us tangibly and fully. We can rest in Him, knowing that in love, He forgives sin and heals us from sin’s devastating effects on our lives (v.3), brings good out of evil (v.4-5), and ultimately will bring justice as He fights for us (v.6-7). In verse 13, God is referenced as a father, “As a father shows compassion to his children, so the Lord shows compassion to those who fear Him.” To me, the image of God as “Father”‘ is one of the most beautiful. As someone who did not have the best relationship with their earthly father, Psalm 103 is a reminder that our Father in Heaven knows us to our core (v.13-14) and that He wants us to know Him deeply in return.

This painting first focuses on the brokenness of the world—the reality of man’s sinful desire to grasp and hold onto the things we think are important. These things are but dust and hold no weight in the Kingdom of Heaven (v.15-16). The hands on the shoulders are a symbol of the Lord’s compassion toward us as our Father and the gentle discipline for His children when we sin and attempt to find satisfaction in things of this world. As believers, we can instead rest in our covenant relationship with the Lord through the work of Jesus. Praise God for knowing us! Praise God for not dealing with us according to our sins (v.10)! Praise God for His benefits! Praise God for forgiveness, restoration, and peace!

Psalm 102—Artwork

Learn more about Christ in the Psalms weekly artwork and see previous pieces here.

Person: Margie Keith

I’ve been in Denver since the summer of 2018. I was born and raised in Southern Vermont, but I have a wanderer’s heart, and have lived all over the continental US and traveled extensively overseas. I have the honor and privilege of being the office manager here at Park Church.

Piece: Acrylic

The center of the piece was done with brushes not much thicker than a toothpick, and the outer blackness was done with my fingers. It took around 6 hours to complete the painting itself, not including prepping the wood and sealing the completed piece.

The caption of the Psalm, in the ESV translation, is “A prayer of one afflicted, when he is faint and pours out his complaints before the Lord.”

As I was studying this Psalm, I was struck by the sense of darkness and sorrow surrounding the author. The words smoke, ashes, shadow, waste places, wilderness, and withered are used to describe his state. It conveys a deep sense of sorrow, heaviness of heart, emotional desolation.

I love the Psalms because they do not shy away from grief and trial, nor do they encourage us to search for the silver lining, and though there are 150 of them, you will not find the words “well, at least…” anywhere at all. The Psalms are where you can sit with sorrow as with a friend, a familiar (if unwanted) companion whom you know quite well.

It’s apt for me that this Psalm is being taught on Father’s Day. My dad died suddenly when I was 10, and Father’s Day has always been for me a day of lament, a day of missing him desperately, wondering what my life would have looked like with him in it.

Whether you’ve experienced major grief such as the loss of a loved one, or many micro-griefs, such as losing a job, losing friendships, having to walk away from a dream you’ve always had or a wrestling with a dream that’s unfulfilled, fighting illness or infertility, lingering wounds that have been inflicted on you by others… whatever your shadow is, this Psalm reminds us that we’re not alone there. God is not afraid of our pain, and is not uncomfortable with dark places.

In Matthew Henry’s commentary on Psalm 102, he says this:

When our state is afflicted, and our spirits are overwhelmed, it is our duty and interest to pray, and by prayer to pour out our complaints before the Lord, which intimates the leave God gives us to be free with him and the liberty of speech we have before him, as well as liberty of access to him; it intimates also what an ease it is to an afflicted spirit to unburden itself by a humble representation of its grievances and griefs.

The beauty of our faith is that God is still good, and still loving, and still willing and able to rescue and succor us, no matter what darkness we are surrounded by. He wants us to cry out to Him. Darkness is not an absence of God’s presence with us, but rather an invitation for us to draw closer to Him. “He regards the prayer of the destitute, and does not despise their prayer” (v. 17). He has not left you alone! He is at work even now, sharpening and refining and mending you.

“Let this be recorded for a generation to come, so that a people yet to be created {that’s us} may praise the Lord: that He looked down from His holy height; from heaven the Lord looked at the earth, to hear the groans of the prisoners, to set free those who were doomed to die” (v. 18–20).

This Psalm embraces pain. It does not minimize or negate our suffering. Our American culture tends to shy away from pain and discomfort, and will often take extreme measures to avoid it. We as Christ followers need to learn to lean into that pain, to learn from it, to greet it like a companion we aren’t frightened by because we know it so well.

We have no need to be afraid of sorrow because—and this is the important part—it begins in darkness but it does not remain there forever. We have hope, we have a source of light and goodness that cannot be dimmed. “In Him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it” (John 1:4–5, emphasis mine).

In this painting, you see an idyllic meadow with sheep grazing, flowers blooming, and mountains shining in the distance. It is a place of peace and safety, and even though it’s surrounded by swirling dark clouds, the darkness cannot cover it. We are His sheep, and though we will fade like wildflowers, He is mindful of us. His faithfulness endures like the mighty mountains, and His love reaches to the heavens.

We can mourn freely, knowing He is our help, and that He will never let the darkness take us. He is our safety and shelter, our peace in the midst of the storm.

Psalm 101—Artwork

Learn more about Christ in the Psalms weekly artwork and see previous pieces here.

Person: Bruce Butler

I am a graphic designer and musician from the East Coast. In 2012, I moved to Denver from Buffalo, New York to be closer to family and began designing for WorldVenture, a missions organization. Now I am a barista at Sweet Bloom Coffee Roasters, design brands and digital artwork as a freelancer, and play guitar for Our Violet Room, Ivory Circle, and a few other bands in Denver. I co-lead a Gospel Community in the Sunnyside neighborhood and, in my free time, I enjoy attending shows, cooking with friends, and spending time with my nieces and nephew. You can see more of my work on Instagram at @madebybruce or by visiting madebybruce.com.

Piece: Digital Design

This psalm centers on living a blameless, holy life while turning from evil and slander. The background depicts the evil of the world through images of tumultuous oceans and a blazing fire. The outlines of fire connect them all, but the three colors of the oceans represent pride, slander, and deceitfulness in the way they collide and violently interrupt one another. The centerpiece is a diamond, representing purity and holiness, untouched by color or the evil surrounding it. Some of the evil attempts to mimic righteousness (you can see some parallel angles with the diamond) but ultimately without the foundation of Christ, they diverge in a different, broken path.

Psalm 100—Artwork

Learn more about Christ in the Psalms weekly artwork and see previous pieces here.

Person: Jennie Pitts Tucker

Originally from Austin, Texas, Jennie graduated with a BFA from Baylor University in 2012. She started her own art business in 2014, “Jennie Lou Art,” and now works as a full-time artist in Denver. She specializes in live wedding/event painting and custom pieces. Learn more at jennielouart.com or on Instagram at @jennielouart.

Piece: Acrylic Painting

Make a joyful noise to the Lord, all the earth!
Serve the Lord with gladness!
Come into his presence with singing! (v.1–3)

As I painted this piece, I began to wonder if perhaps the world’s ways have lulled us to sleep. We have become ignorant to the beauty, magnificent signs of hope, and evidence of His character which our Father has so kindly placed all around us. In the wise words of C.S. Lewis, “You understand sleep when you are awake, not when you are sleeping.”

When I first moved to Colorado, I would stop in my tracks, overcome by the sheer majesty of the mountains every time I faced west. Years later, and I still love the mountains, but I seem to have lost the overwhelming sense of wonder. I have become desensitized to the majesty the mountains once imposed on me, and the glory they once awoke in me.

Is it possible we have all fallen asleep the most remarkable signs of hope our Father has placed in front of us? Have we lost the overwhelming praise and thanksgiving that results from the awe and wonder? Have we allowed the extraordinary to become ordinary?

“The original word [joyful noise] signifies a glad shout, such as loyal subjects give when their king appears among them. Our happy God should be worshipped by happy people; a cheerful spirit is in keeping with His nature, His acts, and the gratitude which we should cherish for His mercies.”
(Charles Spurgeon on Psalm 100)

For me, painting is how I sing.

God has gifted me with a voice through art, more than with my actual singing voice. There is so much freedom in the ability to express with a paintbrush. So for me, making “joyful noise” and “serving the Lord with gladness” through my artwork results in a loud burst of colors and powerful shapes; it is expressing God’s design to the world in a way that demands the viewer to admire His Creation and thank Our Father of Good Gifts.

For this piece, I chose to paint the mountains in such vibrancy that it might, again, shock the viewer into the awe of God’s creation all around us in Colorado. I really pushed myself to paint out of my comfort zone by choosing colors and marks I am normally nervous to use, for fear of overpowering the composition. My hope is this painting will mobilize us as Christians to sing and bless His name for the Beauty that surrounds us and beckons us to adore the Creator.

For the Lord is good. (v. 5)

What better reason do we need to praise the Lord? In the midst of a turbulent and fearful season in our world, may we focus on these words. May we praise Him because He promises us He is Good and “His steadfast love endures forever and his faithfulness to all generations” (v.5). There is hope and there is goodness promised to us, let us sing and give thanks to the One who was and is to come.

“​When we recount to him his goodness we are rendering to him the best adoration.”
(Charles Spurgeon)

Psalm 99—Artwork

Learn more about Christ in the Psalms artwork and download artwork guides here.

Person: Danielle Damrell

Danielle Damrell is a local artist and small business owner. She started a custom art, design, and lettering company called Damrell Designs, LLC in November 2017. In the winter of 2018, she was the featured ornament calligrapher for Denver Zoo’s “Zoo Lights” and has designed and created over 500 custom projects for individuals and families throughout the country. When Danielle isn’t painting and designing she enjoys spending time with her husband, daughter, and friends as often as possible. Danielle is passionate about Jesus, loving others well, and sharing about the transformational grace of what Christ has done in her life. Danielle is also a graduate student working on her degree in organizational leadership at Colorado Christian University, pursuing her long-time desire to serve in ministry someday. Danielle is currently working hard to continue to build her business and feels extremely blessed to turn her forever love of art into a career. You can connect with Danielle at [email protected] or on Facebook and Instagram at @DamrellDesignsLLC.

Piece: Mixed Media

This piece was inspired by Psalm 99. The overarching theme of this Psalm is praising the Lord for HE IS HOLY. To explain the relation of this piece to Psalm 99, we will start from the top and work down. The prominent gold crown in the top center is a representation of The Lord our “King” (v.4). Painted on the crown in small lettering is הוהי which is Hebrew for “Yahweh” or “The Lord.” The reason for the crown being a separate raised piece entirely serves as a visual representation of the Lord being exalted which Biblically means “to raise high” or “to elevate” (v.2,5,9). The angel wings on each side of the crown is a display of the description found in this Psalm of His royal throne (v.1).The gold found on the crown as well as raining down from the top is meant to show the “reign” of God from the source (His throne) as well as how that “reign” pours onto the rest of His creation (the world) (v. 1). Found in the middle of this piece are three mountains representing the trinity and the Throne of God sitting upon the highest “Holy Mountain” (v. 9). At the bottom of the mountains are shaky waves of darkness. This is a display of our fallen world shaking and trembling at the power and Holiness of our Lord and King (v. 1). At the very bottom, in the darkest parts of the painting, are small specks of gold representing all of us (believers) who display the glory and holiness of God who lives inside us, in this fallen world. The placement of these flakes of gold is intentionally at the very bottom, underneath the mountains, showing that we are to worship at “His footstool”; at the bottom of “His Holy mountain” (v. 5, 9). This is a hand-painted, mixed-media project in which acrylic paint, hot glue, extra heavy gel, and metal leaf were primarily used.

This piece was definitely my favorite piece I’ve ever created. I loved that, in order to design this, I had to take a deep dive into the Word of God and research what the original written words of this Psalm meant during the time it was written. I was challenged in the most amazing and growing ways by the Lord the entire time and for that I am so thankful.

Psalm 98—Artwork

Learn more about Christ in the Psalms artwork and download artwork guides here.

Person: Tower

I’m from Little Rock, Arkansas, and moved to Denver 2012.

Piece: Digital Artwork

The psalmist paints a picture of a world obsessed with joyfully praising the LORD. The diagonal fields of color suggest an energetic song of praise rising from the four corners of the earth. The righteousness and salvation of God is revealed in the sight of the nations, represented by the circle. The LORD continues to move His creation towards its ultimate destiny, when the world has been judged back into wholeness, the former things have passed away, and God is able to dwell with His people.

Psalm 97—Artwork

Learn more about Christ in the Psalms artwork and download artwork guides here.

Person: Beth Dryer

I am a Chicago-raised transplant that has been living in Denver for six years. I graduated from Creighton University in Omaha, Nebraska with a B.F.A. in Studio Art with an art education endorsement and have been teaching elementary art in the public school system for eight years. I have been married to my husband, Adam Dreyer, for five years, and am the mom of a busy (almost) two-year old, Ramona. These two roles have given me immense joy and changed me for the better. I am a lover of nature and am most myself when I meet God in the midst of His beautiful creation.

Piece: Acrylic

Psalm 97 speaks of God’s rule and reign over the earth as the Creator. As Creator, God has ultimate power and authority over His creation and is ultimately victorious over the enemy. The words from this passage that resonated deeply with me and served as inspiration for this painting, are “proclaim” (v.6), “preserves” (v.10), and “light” (v.11). As a sinner, I am easily impatient with God and distracted by the creation. It is easy to see the creation as ultimate and turn the beautiful things God has created into gods. But, in His infinite goodness and desire to preserve His people, God calls us to remain steadfast and see His power. Over and over again, He demonstrates His might through great works, and even His creation proclaims His righteousness (v.6). This passage has become for me a call to see God’s glory, reject evil, and proclaim His righteousness, because this is where “light is sown”.

This painting is inspired by God’s claim over His people and His creation from Psalm 97. The white and black garden in the background represents the creation by which we are so distracted by—beautiful, but dark and incomplete. The single, colorful rose is representative of God’s power over His creation and the creation’s proclamation of the Lord’s reign. Through His power, we are able to see the light and the true beauty of the Creator.

Psalm 96—Artwork

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Person: Alyssa Beck

Wife to Justin, mom to Calgary and Wilkie, in the graphic arena by trade.

Piece: Oil

Week after week I would walk into my church in Hong Kong where the nations physically joined in praising God. People from all over, of every color, were singing the same worship song in their own languages. I remember this emotional, staggering feeling being there. It was an awakening for me to the broadness of God’s reign and joy in seeing the evidence of His pursuit of creation.

I chose to paint a trumpet weaving in all the skin tones because I wanted to depict that booming sum that Psalm 96 stirs in me: the nations coming together singing one song to their King.

Psalm 95—Artwork

Learn more about Christ in the Psalms artwork and download artwork guides here.

Person: Taylor Powers

Taylor is a photographer. She grew up in the mountains a few hours away from Denver in Woodland Park, CO. She got her start working in the non-profit industry, photographing and storytelling for a few non-profits in the anti-trafficking arena. She’s passionate about telling stories honestly and beautifully through the visual medium of photography. Taylor now works with couples and families sharing adventure photo sessions, and spending time in the mountains with her clients. She also does branding and lifestyle photography for small businesses and entrepreneurs in the Denver area. Taylor lives in Arvada with her husband Alex and their puppy Luna. They are expecting their first baby in September this year!

Piece: Digital Artwork

This piece was something completely different than the work I normally do, which usually includes a person as the subject. Spending time reading Psalm 95, I was always brought back to the description of the way God’s hand is in all of creation in verses 3-7:

For the Lord is the great God,
the great King above all gods.
In His hand are the depths of the earth,
and the mountain peaks belong to Him.
The sea is His, for He made it,
and His hands formed the dry land.
Come, let us bow down in worship,
let us kneel before the Lord our Maker;
for He is our God…
(From Psalm 95:3–7 NIV)

I had a clear vision of a few specific places all blending together to make a collage of color and form, both celebrating His creation and responding to the call to sit in worship, in awe of the beauty of the natural world around us. These included the small details of pines trees in Colorado, the large red rock formations in Utah, and the teal waters of Lake Michigan. Creating this piece felt like such a personal form of worship, as I reflected on the natural and secluded places that have brought me closer to God. I felt called to sit in awe of His creation, and to make the choice to try and not “harden my heart” as this passage says in verse 8.