Lee Munsell 949-525-2516  
California Dreaming  
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Lee Munsell 949-525-2516   Why the Creation message?

Some might ask, "Why do you entitle your pictures with a theme related to God and his creation?" For the answer I must take you back to 1968.

I was a strong willed, rebellious young man in the early sixties when I broke away from home. I tried yoga, meditation, drugs, Eastern music, and other popular trends of that time. But more than anything else, I surfed. It was my greatest love. This was all about to change.

One August night in 1968, I went to visit Lyn, a friend I used to work and surf with. That night, Lyn brought up the subject of Jesus and God. He told me that Jesus was more than just a great teacher.

"I thought he was one of the great masters that comes along every century or so," I said. "No," Lyn replied. "Jesus was not a great teacher. He is the Son of God." Then, trying to describe God, he added, "God is so awesome, it would be like holding a little pill bug in your hand. That bug has no way of understanding what is holding it or even that it's being held. God is even further above us than that. Lee, if you really want to know if God is real, just ask." In this manner, we talked late into the night.

Afterwards, driving my old VW over the hill to my apartment in Santa Monica, I looked up through the windshield into the night sky. "I really want to know," I said. I was honestly seeking, crying out from deep within my heart. I had a feeling God would answer. In fact, His answer was coming sooner than I could have dreamed.

Arriving home, I went to the door of my apartment with growing anticipation. There, at eye level next to the doorbell, was a little gray pill bug - just sitting there. As if waiting just for me. At that moment, I sensed something. God's presence? Deep inside, I knew someone was there and that someone knew all about me and about my earlier conversation with Lyn. It overwhelmed me. Someone cared enough to arrange for a bug to greet me. It gave me just a glimpse of how small I really was.

Being stubborn and pretentious, I said, "Well that doesn't prove Jesus is your Son." Cautiously, lest I had offended God, I stepped into my apartment. A little later I picked up a book I had been reading, all the while wondering what was going to happen next. The book was entitled Big Sur and the Oranges of Hieronymus Bosch by Henry Miller. As I began reading, the pages seemed to come alive. I saw Jesus' name in the middle of a sentence and it seemed to jump out at me. As I read on, the author's contentions began to obliterate any argument I had had about Jesus and who He was. It was as if God was speaking directly to me through Miller's writing. He was saying that whatever flimsy arguments I could possibly come up with had been used before by countless others. For me to repeat them was a waste of time. What argument, I asked myself, is left for me to make?

That following Friday, I went with Lyn to a small church group meeting in the San Fernando Valley. Imagine me being into Ravi Shankar and Buffalo Springfield and these folks were singing old gospel songs. For me, it was like stepping back a hundred years in time. I sat there on the edge of my seat waiting to see what God was going to do next. Sometime during the meeting the leader asked if I would like to pray. I bowed my head and called out to God and said I wanted whatever He had for me. I was ready to do anything He wanted. In my mind, I saw a picture or a vision of the sky filled with clouds. In an instant, something that looked like a fourth of July sparkler came out of the sky and hit me. I physically felt it go into my body, almost like a mild shock. At that moment I was filled with an overwhelming joy, a deep sense of well being and peace.

After more songs and cookies, we stepped outdoors into the cool night air. For the first time in my life, I felt connected to God's creation. I was home. I had stepped through the door that Jesus had spoken of when he said, "I am the door, if anyone enters through me, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture." I found that place of rest for my spirit. Nothing else could have satisfied that inner hunger I had, nothing but Him in my life. After all, He is the designer. Wouldn't He know best what I needed ­ what we all need - and be able to provide it?

Since that experience in 1968, I have come to learn that God has created messages all around us. Everything in His creation speaks volumes of His wisdom. This is what I try to express in my work…To put on canvas what I sense He is saying to all of us.

In Him,