© 2011 . All rights reserved. John Adams 2nd President

The Painting’s Inspiration

Over the past five years my wife and I have a new urgency for what many Christians call “generational faithfulness” not just for my family, but for fathers and mothers who wish to serve God’s providential purposes now and for future generations, therefore this project is a work is not only out of love for my children, but also their children’s children – “posterity”. Therefore, I understand John Adam’s frustrations and concern when he penned:

“Posterity! you will never know how much it cost the present generation to preserve your freedom! I hope you will make a good use of it. If you do not, I shall repent in Heaven that I ever took half the pains to preserve it.”

President John Adams (1735-1826), 2nd president of the United States, by Asher B. Durand (1767-1845)

As Providence would have it, the inspiration for the painting Have You Forgotten Providence began when my mother recommended I watch the HBO series on John Adams. I am suspicious of any movie or series on our founding father’s; therefore, I wanted to balance what I saw. I had heard about David McCullough’s book John Adams which my wife providentially bought years earlier.  The book collected dust until the election of 2008 when I began to read the book in earnest. I had not completed the book when I watched the HBO mini series. I don’t know why I watch those things and I was disappointed on many levels as the series was inaccurate aspolitical correctness won out over fidelity to history (one example stands out in the discussion between Washington and Abigail Adams about slavery. Also the depiction of Adams relationship to his young son’s was grossly mischaracterized). While reading I noticed the use of the word “Providence” which sparked my interest. “Providence” seemed to be used often by Adams and many of the other founding fathers.  Then I was searching the internet (the source of all truth) to find the origins of this word , along the way I found David Barton’s book The Bulletproof President George Washington which recounts the battle of Monongahela during the French and Indian War and George Washington’s letter about the miraculous events of that day. I was about to purchase the book, but providentially my dear wife had already bought it years ago as a part of our home school curriculum! This was also about the time when Sharron Angle came to our home during the Nevada Republican primary. Once I got to know Sharron, I knew that the campaign was not about her, she really drove home what I believe in when she said, “We already have a contract with America that’s the Constitution”. I also saw that Glen Beck had painted a portrait of Washington and later I told Krissy, my wife, I was thinking about doing a painting saying to her, “If Glenn Beck can do a painting of George Washington I can do it better!”. Even before reading “John Adams” and a possible painting of Washington, we had determined that I should have our girls learn the Westminster Shorter Catechism.  At the time of that decision, we did not know that “Providence” was an essential part the of the catechism (Thanks to Dough Phillips of Vision Form and his DVD series 200 Year Plan for Generation Faithfulness (now called at set of DVDs How to Disciple Your Family: A Plan for Generational Victory). Out of these events came the vision for the painting.

The painting was originally for Sharron Angle and my family, but today it’s my hope that many people will use this painting to first remind them and their families of God’s “Providence” in the founding of our nation and a foundation for their own life, furthermore,  when visitors come to your home or place of work and ask, “what is this painting?”  You may recount Washington’s history of “Providence” at the battle of Monongahela, but  do not end there, tell of God’s “Providence” in your own life, then maybe “Providence” will inspires freedoms Light once again.

Thank You – Thanks to my mom and dad who passed down to me the love of reading although my mom would not approve of my conclusions. Providence has blessed me with a wife that is persistent, wise and loyal. My hope is that one day my seven children will know this really was all about seeing God’s “Providence” in their lives and the generations to come.

Final Thoughts – Praise God that “Providence” has allowed me to cross the pass of men like David Barton of Wallbuilders, Peter Lillback of Providence Forum, Doug Phillips of Vision Forum.  Generations to come will be indebted to your faithful pursuit of truth, reminding us:

Liberties true light is born and illuminated by the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

Brett H Runion

Read more about the work of Providence in George Washington’s life (select the next post below):



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