Join with Ron to save the unborn
A picture may be worth a thousand words, but in order for those words to be effective, people have to first see the picture! That’s where you can help!
If God has blessed you with a ministry, blog, radio/TV or other media outlet, would you please prayerfully consider using what God has blessed you with you make others aware of this powerful painting?
High Resolution Image files and additional content are available at no charge!
"Before I Formed You In The Womb.."
I painted Before I Formed You in the Womb to make a statement. A statement that each life is precious to the One who created it, namely God. No life is an accident, and each has a purpose. As someone who was scheduled myself to be aborted, that has been my own story as well as the promise we have in Scripture.
In Before I Formed You, I wanted to clearly show three things. Notice the hand of Christ reaching out to touch both mother and child. Note as well the hand of the child reaching back. Look at the shadow cast by Christ’s thumb, see how it completes the cross? Christ died for each of us, those long dead and those yet to be conceived. That cross, and the measure of God’s love, is central to any understanding of what it means to be human. Finally, note the star at the place where Christ’s hand touches the mother, that moment of Divine Presence touching real life flesh. I believe that if you could pull back the curtain of what our human eyes are limited to see, we would see that powerful hand of God “knitting” together each child in its mother’s womb.
Over the years, people have asked me “Where do you get these ideas for paintings?”. The answer is Scripture. Not one part of this painting is my imagination, it’s all laid out in the Bible. God said that He has knitted each of us in our mother’s womb, that He has a plan and purpose for us and that chil-dren are a reward from the Lord, not an accident as so many believe. The only part imagination plays in the painting is the creative imagining of thinking how these truths might “look” if our eyes could see them.
More than a painting, Before I Formed You is a statement. Here is where I have a favor to ask. If Before I Formed You has touched you, if you resonate with the truth that each life is ordained by God, I need your help. We need to get this message of life into every place possible where expectant mothers, medi-cal providers and political leaders have a chance to see it. I can’t do that alone.
That’s why I am thrilled to tell you about The Before I Formed You Foundation. A non-profit ministry that is dedicated to helping people Make a Difference for Life by taking this image and sending it, without charge, to every Crisis Pregnancy Center, Doctor, Midwife, Legislator and Abortion Provider in the country. If we can turn just one mother’s heart toward God and save an unborn life, what is that worth? Priceless? Now imagine if we can turn just one abortion provider or abortion advocate into an advocate for Life. Imagine the impact that would have!
Scheduled to be aborted, saved at the last second; this is the story of how America’s most loved Christian Fine Artist went from becoming one more abortion statistic to the creator of one of the most powerful pro-life paintings.
The year was 1951. My mother, pregnant with me, had decided to have an abortion.
She never did tell me what brought her to consider killing me in the womb, but I can imagine that living in a cramped inner city apartment with my dad, grandmother, aunt, my brother and a dog was more than she could already handle. One more was more than she wanted to bear, I guess.
Back then, this procedure we now call a “woman’s right to choose”, was simply known in plain terms, as an abortion. I guess that sounds better then “killing your child”. The nurses told her to sit down and they would be with her in a few minutes.
My mother was not a Christian at the time, but living with them was my Pentecostal Grandmother who I have to believe was praying.
I’m not sure of the “mechanics” of the process back then but my mom told me the procedure was to start with an injection. And as she sat there and waited, God spoke to her. Years later my mom would tell me that the needle came within an inch of her arm when she distinctly heard the voice of God saying, “Don’t do this…I have a plan for this baby!” With a quick reaction she pushed the needle away and got up and walked out, giving me a chance to live.
From my earliest memories I grew up with a sense that God’s hand was upon me, even though there was little of God actually taught in our home. My father was a sincere Catholic and tried to influence my brother and I in that direction. Despite his attempts, the greatest spiritual influence in our family really came from my Pentecostal grandmother who lived with us and constantly showed us what living a dedicated Christian life really looked like. There was little doubt she lived with a peace, joy and future hope we simply couldn’t relate to. Even at her death, as a young boy standing at her hospital bed, I remember her saying in Italian, “Right now there are two angels at my feet and two at my head…” then closed her eyes and went to be with her Savior.
Throughout my years growing up, I was reminded over and over again of what transpired the day my mom chose to let me live. While the inner city of Chicago was an unlikely place to produce an artist, my mother knew God had a plan. She eventually gave her heart to Christ through a Moody Bible broadcast, and she herself was saved by the same grace God extended to me. My Dad followed and became a committed Christian before going to meet Jesus about 7 years later when I was nineteen.
In those in between years, God kept the vision, and promise, alive to me. At a revival meeting in my early teens, I found myself in the middle of an auditorium of about two thousand other teenagers. At one point in the service the evangelist pointed to me and told me to come up to the front. When I did, he looked directly at me and asked me, “Do you know God has a plan for you and that He has picked you? He came very close to exactly quoting what God told my mom. There were many similar moments that God would bring to me at totally unexpected times. He never let me forget His calling on me. That extends to this very moment.
Looking back, there was the assurance of God choosing me, but not of the practical implementation of it. It’s interesting that the word “art” was never mentioned during any of those times.
So how did I know what God’s will was? Simply put, it’s the only gift I have. 1 Peter 4:10 says, “Each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others, faithfully administering God’s grace in its various forms.” This became very clear to me when I was in high school. Doing poorly in most of the academic classes, but excelling in art classes, the school thought a good way for me to get motivated in the academic classes was for them to forbid me to take the art class. I tried to assure them that I was not deliberately doing poorly in the academic classes , but that I simply had no aptitude for it. I just wasn’t “wired” for it. God had “wired” me for the arts. Today, I would guess if those teachers were still around, I think they would admit their error and see that the path I took was the one God had created me for.
Finally, when I enrolled at the American Academy of Art, in Chicago, it was as though I found the place I was meant to be. There I was affirmed and even applauded for taking my gift seriously. Yes, I worked as hard as I ever have, but at each interval, God showed Himself to be behind it all.
I remember distinctly one of those times. My first year there I encountered a challenge that to this day stands a clear reminder of God’s provision. My dad, a construction worker, left for work one morning, only to return five minutes later asking my mom for “ten cents more” for the bus. I can remember him standing in the doorway. It was the last time I would see him, for he had a heart attack and died that day while working in the 103 degree heat. Since my mom was a stay-at-home mom, my dad was the sole bread-winner in the family. I thought it would now fall to me to quit school and go to work to keep us going. Before I had a chance to do that, the school called me in and the President of the school, Mr. Irv Shapiro, a world famous watercolorist, told me that the school had received money from a donor and they wanted to give it to me to return to school the next year. I thanked him, but felt like it was more about my dad than about me deserving it. He looked at me puzzled and said, “What about your dad?” I told him that my dad had passed away the week before. He had no idea. Only God knew and He wasn’t going to let anything spoil His plan for me. Looking back, there were more times that happened than I have the space to relate here.
There are days when I wish my dad could see me and I could once again hear my mom remind me that “God’s picked you”, as she so often did. There won’t be any more of those for me, as mom went to be with the Lord several years ago. But there will always be the knowledge that she loved me enough to turn the wheel of time in my direction so that I could know what I was supposed to be. I am so grateful she chose Life. Every time I paint, I put a little of her into the work. Thanks mom.
The Before I Formed You Foundation is the nation’s first pro-life positive messaging outreach.
Pro-life! We want to see people respect and cherish each child, from conception to birth and beyond. Knowing that God created that child and did so for His purposes.
Positive messaging! Our message is not “abortion is bad” (although it is, and statistic after statistic show what a toll it takes even years later on both the mom and the dad, physically, spiritually and physiologically). But instead our message is that Life is Good! And we know that because God created each life! So, our message is positive, helping women, men, doctors, nurses, lawmakers, etc see that each pregnancy is not a “problem” to be “fixed” but the start of a wonderful journey and blessing.
Our approach is two-fold, the Before I Formed You In the Womb image and the story of the artist who himself was an abortion survivor.
As a Foundation, we have 3 primary thrusts. The first is our outreach directly to expectant moms and dads through our Before I Formed You Image. This image has been reproduced tens of thousands of times in cards, brochures, websites, news media, prints, bookmarks etc, along with the story of the artist, who himself was saved from an abortion attempt. It’s been featured on major news media both Christian and Secular. We have been told that this campaign has borne fruit many many times in women that have chosen life over abortion. Second, we want to influence the people at the “heart” of abortion discussion – OBs, Pediatricians, Nurses, Lawmakers and even the abortionists themselves. So we connect donors with “LifePaks” which allow them to send the Before I Formed You image and a message of hope to the people in their own community who are part of the abortion issue through our sponsorship program. We have had hundreds of sponsorships to date. We need about a hundred thousand more to hit every address in the US (we have already had dozens of requests to take this mission international). Third, the Foundation serves as an advocate for life, both in the media and community events, we host booths, speak on panels, provide guests for radio and TV talking about the need to respect each life, each child, as someone that God in His sovereignty has uniquely created for this time and place.
We have secondary functions of helping pair expectant moms with local Crisis Pregnancy Resources and we have a “someday” goal of opening a transitional housing program for teenage girls who have been kicked out of their homes for refusing an abortion (lots of these).
Overarching all of this is a clear communication of God’s purpose in life and a deep compassion for people who’s lives have been touched by the ravages of abortion.
So the pursuit of those missions is what the $ is used for.
The funds raised from the print push allow the foundation to continue it’s mission, expand it’s reach and take this life saving message of hope into all the world.
This is a paper fine art reproduction, signed numbered limited. It is printed on a very high quality stock with particular attention paid to being a match for the original piece.
The paper measures 24 x 18, the image on the paper is 20 x 16. It is hand signed and hand numbered by the artist and does come with a Certificate of Authenticity.
Originally priced at $265.00
Get it now for the low price of $129.95 and help save a life today!