Pictures With A Messsage


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Story of an Artist

  Peter at the Royal Academy - 1984       Charge of the Light Brigade     

The artist Peter N MIllward has had interest in art from an early age and studied and learned many different techniques and styles - Exhibiting at the Summer Exhibition at London's Royal Academy 1984. Peter went on to have a very interesting journey with art since those days. Mostly self taught in his 20s and 30s studying the artwork of John Constable, Albrecht Durer, Vincent Van Gogh, Rien Poortvliet.  Also he had the opportunity of studying at the School of Illustration at YWAM's University of the Nations, Kona, Hawaii in 1997 for three months.  Many of the pictures on this site mark his journey and represent the best known of his artwork.  Alongside this is an interest in antique artwork and prints, which commenced when a relative many years ago gave him an old faded copy of the Broad and the Narrow Way picture and booklet which is a history and explanation of the picture.   Below is Peter's testimony:
Contemporary Broad and Narrow Way Picture

Video published June 23, 2022

 As I grew up there were times when I had definite experiences of God and His mercy, but it wasn't until I was 23 years of age that I was Born again of the Spirit as described in (John 3:3-8) Up till that time I basically carried on living my own life to please myself, never understanding what it really means to be a christian, I was doing my own thing living for myself and making a mess of it.  Then one night I watched a program about the Shroud of Turin, which some think is the burial Shroud of Jesus, but I was curious about this and was just sitting back watching the program about the Shroud, when the thought suddenly hit me..........."What if Jesus really is true and He's coming back?!!!" It was quite a shock to my system - the fact was I was living life as if God didn't exist, and I started to catch a glimpse of what Judgement day means for those who do not belong to Jesus - it was too horrifying! - I knew I wasn't ready to meet Him. I could dimly remember the scripture that says about the wicked who run to the rocks of the mountains and cry "Fall on us and hide us from the face of him who sits on the throne and from the wrath of the Lamb! For the great day of their wrath has come, and who can stand?" Revelation 6:15-17

I could not rationalise or wriggle my way out of it. That night I went upstairs to find a Gideon New Testament which had been given to me by the Gideons years before at school. I just had to check out what the Bible say's about Judgement Day and what happens to the wicked, I was like this for weeks reading it off and on, but I had no peace, I knew I was a sinner. I realise now it was the Holy Spirit convicting me, who Jesus promised would come. John 16:8-11.

Finally one night I knelt beside my bed, and weeping I started making my peace with God. That night I yielded my life to the Lord Jesus Christ, I knew my prayers had been heard, I had passed from death to life. A few days later while reading the New Testament I saw the awesome majesty of the Lord I had never seen before, I bowed my head and rested it on the Testament and was filled with the Holy Spirit - a power came into my life I had not known before.
This was in November 1982 I became a Christian, and it was the best thing that ever happened and I still wonder and marvel at what God did, I used to be afraid of death but now I look forward to spending eternity with the Lord Jesus Christ, its fantastic! Jesus promised that whoever drinks the water He gives will never thirst, indeed, the water He gives will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life. Those of us who have drunk the water Jesus gives will know the truth, the spring of water within is witnessing to us about the truth of His promise, its something the world simply does not know or understand many people demand evidence before they will believe and yet the evidence is here all along if we would but drink the water Jesus gives we would find evidence enough............Whoever is thirsty, let him come; and whoever wishes, let him take the free gift of the water of life. Revelation 22:17.

Throughout my life I had periods of drawing and painting but I never really knew how to make a living from it and what to do with it, when I became a Christian even though I looked at the gift in a new way - the gift was still an enigma and didn't understand God's will, some might say "Well how blind can you be" but I believe the Lord is the one who opens minds and hearts to understand wisdom - I also believe He is more interested in our character than what we actually do - and He was working on mine...and still is!

Contemporary Broad and Narrow Way Picture

The Battle which God Won

The picture above my visual interpretation of what happened the night I took a break from painting the Charge of the Light brigade pPicture and watch a TV program about the Shroud of Turin 1982. To understand one has to see through spiritual eyes! - Two pictures in one....The Charge of the Light Brigade painted 1981 - 83, in the background and in the centre when God broke into my life in 1982. depicting the Sword of the Spirit - The Word of God. For along time I have the battle picture (pictured below) in storage, not knowing what to do with it, but for me it marks a tremendous turning point in my life...and so I decided to make the battle picture divided in two halves and include my testimony.

A number of years later one hot summers day I came inside after painting and was very frustrated, I complained to God that he had only given me half a gift as I couldn't make a living from painting - I was so uncertain about things, I had read about individuals who had allowed their gifting to take over their life and their relationship to God suffered - the Bible teaches the importance of building with silver and Gold, (1 Corinthians 3:11-15) I didn't want to make the mistake of placing the gift before the giver, as there is a problem for anybody who is gifted to allow their gifting to become an all consuming passion - one day we must give an account to the one who is both the Judge of the living and the dead.
So that day I decided to lay the gift down before God and stop painting, basically I prayed "Lord if you want me to paint, please show me and if you want me to paint - let me paint for your Glory" it was an awesome defining moment - I knew God had heard my prayer, I could sense His awesomeness and thought - "What have I done!" but I had peace, the responsibility for the gift was no longer mine, I had laid the gift down and was trusting not myself but the giver of the gift the Lord himself to show me.
During the years that followed I hardly painted except occasionally for a childrens club at church. I was fixed on trusting God to show me, so much so that when friends tried to convince me to take up painting regularly again, I would not - it became awkward at times if people wanted to talk to me about painting, and especially if they knew I could paint, many times I would have to tell people why I stopped and why I was so fixed on trusting God to show me, it was later at Youth With A Mission, God started to answer the prayers I prayed years before

In 1991, I applied to do a Discipleship training school with Youth With A Mission, (YWAM) at the Kings lodge near Nuneaton in England. I remember while I was driving my car to the Kings lodge, God speaking to me......The words came gently into my mind at first and I didn't notice as I was driving but then I became aware of these words "I have longed to do this in your life!" As I listened they began to sink deeper into me as I pondered what this could mean.  As I drove closer and closer to the YWAM Kings lodge the words came over like the waves of the sea, over and over.....until I was so overcome I began to weep, and weep as I realized it was God Himself speaking. I had no idea what the Lord was meaning to do, but looking back I can see His gracious hand on my life, leading me into a deeper understanding of Himself and the gifts He had given. 

During the Discipleship Training School a friend recommended a remarkable book called "Power in Praise" by Merlin Carruthers, while reading it I began recognising areas in my life I had been ungrateful to the Lord, and one thing that I realised was regarding the gift of painting - being so close to it I had never actually thanked God for the gift but now I also began realising the error of calling it only "half a gift" and was sorry. I changed my thinking and started thanking the Lord for the good gift.
This was the key which unlocked further blessing and revelation, even though to me it was still an enigma, now with an attitude of praise and thanksgiving I was asking God to show me if in fact he wanted me to paint, remembering the prayer I prayed years before and the awesome way the Lord made it known He had heard.

The Lord showed me how faithful he is by doing just that. During the YWAM DTS I went with a team to do an outreach to a local prison at Rugby, little did I know what the Lord had planned!
The Christian Union from Warwickshire University had organised the meeting with the prisoners and during it everyone was asked to draw on a piece of paper the following:

1 - Your first impression of God as a child.
2 - A turning point in your life.
3 - Your present relationship with the Lord

Contemporary Broad and Narrow Way Picture

The picture I produced later, can be seen at the outreach in Shrewsbury below. - 1, My first impression of God. 2, A Turning Point in my Life. 3, My present relationship with the Lord

After we had drawn our pictures, each person in the groups were to share with the others about what the pictures mean, for me sketching and explaining the pictures about my testimony wasn't a big challenge, but the response from the prisoners made me realize just how much value the gift has - it was then it dawned on me, I realized God was using this experience to show me how I could use the gift for His Glory -  The first picture I painted was based on the old Broad and the Narrow Way picture which can be seen below. Some years before my Auntie Florence kindly gave me an old copy of the picture with a booklet of the "History and Explanation of the picture"   The version I made can be seen below right and painted it during the Discipleship Training School. We eventually took on outreach to Wales for 6 weeks.

                                                                                          The Broad and the Narrow Way       Contemporary Broad and Narrow Way Picture

  Peter - Outreach Shrewsbury 1991/92

 Outreach Shrewsbury, Shropshire 1991/92

The Lord had indeed answered the prayers I prayed years before, and now I paint for Jesus sake and the Gospel! That was back in 1991, since then I have pursued this call in different ways up until the present time, and there is much more I could tell - but for now I just write this, I hope you have enjoyed reading and found this helpful. 

Further to writing the above. I have been thinking again about some significant things the Lord has shown me since I was converted and may help others. 

This is something I wrote earlier this year in March 2021 after reading a post by Rev David Carr sharing one morning on FB, the  Rev David Carr shared  - "The anointing is the warrant card you show the enemy when he challenges your authority !    Isaiah 61"     "Somehow I think as Christians we need to understand the implications of this......

As a way of testimony years ago about 1992...I remember the words..."The anointing is real" kept coming to my mind out of the blue, many times I was doing work or something, and I couldn't figure out what it meant even though I was a Christian for a fair number of years and Bible reader. Then I went to a small group at the church I was with at the time. And the meeting started and the small group leader read the words from the Bible - "As for you, the anointing you received from him remains in you, and you do not need anyone to teach you. But as his anointing teaches you about all things and as that ANOINTING IS REAL, not counterfeit--just as it has taught you, remain in him."1 John 2:27 I wrote in capitols because when I heard it I was so amazed! The Lord had been speaking to me...and now I heard it from the Bible! Ever since I treated this scripture verse as extremely important. It doesn't depend on us, it depends on Him in us - His anointing is real! - as Christians, we need to embrace the fullness of the implication. The Lord wants us to live in the authority of this in and through our lives.

I give thanks to God for the wonderful way He knows us and His infinite patience with me, He knows what we need each step of the way - His faithfulness and love endures forever and ever. Amen!

25/03/2023 Update

Further to my testimony above, there is a few other things I may like to add from time to time, things I consider significant.  I havent always written them down...but can remember them quite easily because they were so significant to my life and continue to be so and occasionally I also get to share about them while in conversation on Facebook.  As a Christian it hasnt always been easy as an artist, and I have shared something of the struggles and answers to prayers related above, but what about afterwards?   Well, all I can say it hasnt always been plain sailing....but the scriptures do say work out your salvation with fear and trembling - Philippians 2:12.  The story below is just one incident which was crucial for me to understand scripture, thankfully the Lord helped me and gave answers to my questions......

The question of Idolatry and Images - Just a few thoughts which I have come to understand on this subject and answers to prayer - It is often forgotten the inner walls of the temple in Jerusalem were made from cedar wood overlaid with gold. They were carved with images of cherubim, palm trees, flowers and gourds. (1 Kings 6:14-18, 29-30) This was the Temple of the Lord, Solomon built and was blessed of the Lord. The 2nd commandment needs to be understood from the context of what the Bible teaches. There is a lot of idolatry concerning image etc - that is wrong. But creating images in the temple of God in Jerusalem shows us how images should be used. My interpretation .....All that was in the Temple in Jerusalem were beautiful echoes of the relationship mankind once knew in the Garden of Eden - Sin broke that relationship. The Temple was where the Jewish people could draw near to God in the manner He instituted. Art used correctly in the service of God - should always direct us to worship God who is not made of wood, or stone or a graven image.

If a signpost tells us the way to London......its to help direct us to our destination, but if travellers insist the signpost is actually London itself....and decide to build a campsite there, imagining they are in London - How sad and bizarre is that? Today we see many doing just that....and its not with just images and stone.... can be anything that takes our attention and worship away from God Himself. 

What I share above in this update 25/03/2023, isnt what I always understood, I had to go deeper into the Bible, and get more revelation and understanding from the Lord to help me put my mind to rest.....So I will share how I came to this understanding.   Years ago, possibly around 1992 - I was still learning about using art with street evangelism, and in one city - Liverpool. I was accosted by two men, what you could describe as reformed gentlemen in Williamson square, (Its a quite well known place for evangelism)  I was painting a Christian picture and I had a few other pictures on display One man came up and asked me, referring to the picture I was painting , "Who is that wee man on that piece of wood?" So I told him that it was a depiction of the Lord Jesus, dying on the cross. He turned to me and said " That it is an abomination to a Holy God!" Anyway, that was his introduction to a long conversation we had, his friend who was not so verbally aggressive........took over the conersation as the first gentleman realised he was making no headway with me. So it was a long conversation about theological matters as to what is idolatry etc and other things too. Painting pictures of Jesus on the cross has traditionally been a catholic thing, and we know Catholism too has a lot of idolatry with statues, and Mary etc; So anyway. after what seemed like an age - these gentlemen drifted away. Apparently they are known as heclers to anyone who doesnt agee with them theologically, Williamson Square is a favourite for street preachers and anyone doing evangelism or whatever publicly. I felt as though I crawled back to the place I was was a very intense encounter......from those who one might think be on the same side as myself in the Kingdom of God. Eventuially after staying a liitle while longer - I went back home where I lived. I was filled with doubts about what I was doing my depiction like this, is cursed to them....I think maybe they even cursed my picture too at one point! I can laugh now.;........but it wasnt so funny at the time. There are huge swathes of evangelicals who maybe not as extreme as these two gentleman - who are deeply swayed by teachings which would not see what I was doing as any value at all, and perhaps see it as theologically unsound and going against scripture. Anyway, this situation drove me to seeking God and crying out to Him for answers about what is idolatry as in the sense of the Ten commandments. It may appear to indicate God is opposed to all carvings or depictions or graven images etc. But we must be like the Bereans and examine the scriptures. Anyway, as I was processing all the theological questions to do with this...I started look through art books I have which are full of Biblical imagery. I was wanting to weigh all these my background as an evangelical has been influenced by so much reformed theology which isnt particularly open to art etc, in fact the evangelical reformed wing of the church. is not really open to art as far as images go...its a big reaction to what is catholism......Anyway, one Victorian book of Biblical art I have, had a curious picture.....I didnt see it well, I saw it critically as an artist. The picture was well executed...but the depiction of a lamb held in the arms of Jesus, didnt look well drawn at all. Then I believe the Lord opened my eyes - He said " You are that lamb!" or "You are like that lamb!" How do I know it was the Lord speaking? can I prove it? Anyway, when I had this thought - That I was like this lamb - weak and frail? I then understood why the artist had drawn the lamb in such a way, it looked deformed and out of all proportion to all the healthy lambs and sheep that were surrounding Jesus, the Good Shepherd. The artist wanted to depict the lamb as poorly, weak In such away to show why Jesus was carrying it in His arms! Jesus, did not need to carry the strong sheep and lambs!...only the weak! And so that was a very significant moment for me........I had an epiphany about that picture I had despised its execution, the ugly way the artist had treated the weak and frail lamb. I also had an epiphany about how the Lord was seeing me in the midst of my struggles of faith and theology! My life as an artist evangelist, was at a crucial point...challenged by these two evangelicals. Do we follow the letter of the Law or are we led by the Spirit of God? I cam tell you I had a very strong pull - to the letter of the Law! but I also had a very strong pull by the Spirit too! Which would I choose? As I wrote earlier I had been seeking the Lord about these theological questions about graven images and idolatry. And I was scouring through scripture to try and get some understanding other than just what is in the ten commandments. And thank God I found it! (1 Kings 6:14-18, 29-30)  What legalism does and what the letter of the Law does is take scripture out of context....when really what we should be doing is balancing scripture with all the revealed will of God according to His Word. We cannot take one scripture and turn it into something if the rest of scripture does not say the same...........such as Solomons Temple in Jerusalem! If those two evangelicals took a trip back in time to when Solomon completed his Temple, and when the Lord filled His temple with His glory and blessed it! What would they see? and what would they say?


Another significant story perhaps was when I was at Torquay doing evangelism, in 1993. How can we place God in a box of our own theology? Often God is coming from Left field so many times.....and this is one of those stories.

This story is when I was at Torquay, which is called the English Riveira....but its also very English too!.....I stayed at a Christan Camp site not far from Torquay. How I arrived there is a story in and all of itself!   But I went there to do outreach - in fact I spent quite a few weeks there during the summer of 93 and met a portuguese YWAM team who I was able to help.with some of their outreaches.  I had a great time with the Portuguese YWAM team, and some members invited me to visit Portugal later that same year! 

But back to the story......I mostly work doing street evangelism alone, painting a picture...and it was one of those occasions when I was down at the harbour in Torquay - which you can see in the photos below.   I was right next to the harbour with my pictures....and one of the pictures I was working on,  had a Germen Messerschmitt fighter plane - it was the testimony of a German fighter pilot, Werner Moelders, how he called out to God in his dire need and danger of being killed. The picture itself, was a montage about the testimonies of different people calling out to God to save them.   Anyway, one day while I was at Torquay Harbour with the pictures, a man came over and looked at the picture with amazement. Then he looked at me and wanted to tell me a story.   He said as a boy during the war he had seen a German Messerschmitt coming in on a bombing run - dropped its bombs in the harbour .......The man told me, he and his mother were directly in line of the bombing run as the fighter plane was flying over  - They cowered in the shelter of the doorway of a shop close by, which he pointed too....while the Messerschmitt fighter plane went over and dropped another bomb on the other side of the shops.  I am not kidding....if I remember all the details correctly thats what he told me....and then he said....the picture I was painting with the Messerscmitt was directly in line of the bombing run all those years before! 

Amazing but thats what I remember meeting a man who had lived there. Can you imagine? So I told him....this time the German fighter plane brings the message of God's love! 

The picture I was painting at Torquay Harbour.

Looking at my current artwork, compared to the painting 30 years ago.....  is quite different. but painting this picture all those years ago wasnt without effect or opportunities to share the Gospel. As in the case of the gentleman who saw real Messerschmits in Torquay Harbour as a boy, what an intrigueing encounter, one could say a divine appointment for the Messerschmit of Werner Moelders!  

From the book Evidence that demands a verdict, by Josh McDowell, and the story of Werner Moelders which inspired me to paint this in 1993.

"Moelders was a colonel in the Luftwaffe, ace of all Germany's aces, holder of the highest decoration his country awards her fighters—the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross, with Oak Leaves and Diamonds. "He climbed from his riddled plane; his eyes were glassy; his frozen hands trembled; his body still shook with emotion. Werner Moelders had looked on the face of Death, and he was changed. In those terrible moments, almost unknown to himself, he had whispered: 'God, God Almighty in heaven—help me out of this. YOU alone can save me!' His words had echoes in the cockpit of the plane—'Only God can help . . "Back in his quarters, Moelders shut himself up alone. He had to have time to think. Clearly, faith in Hitler and Naziism could not sustain him. His mind flew back to his home in Stettin, to his godly parents, to the kindly pastor. He remembered the story of the Cross and the redeeming love of God in Christ Jesus, who died for sinners like him. And he knew he could never have survived that dreadful danger out there if he had not called on the everlasting God. Fear had taught him faith. "Now, freed forever from the nightmare of Naziism, he felt relieved, happy; a sense of the reality of God filled his heart with peace. He sat down and wrote out his thoughts in a letter to the Stettin pastor . . . . "Day after day Moelders spoke with his comrades about his faith and about the love of God in Christ Jesus. But that did not suit his masters. In a mysterious accident Germany's famous Number 1 ace was killed—silenced forever, the Nazi leaders thought "The Gestapo went into action against the faithful friends of Moelders who copied and distributed his letter. A reward of $40,000 was offered to anyone who would denounce a friend who believed what Moelders believed and passed on his letter."

Photo below of Torquay Harbour via Google Maps - Near the lampost is usually where I painted

Contemporary Broad and Narrow Way Picture It was a good spot to paint pictures and a steady flow of people passing through during the summer of 1993. Interestingly when people walking past, saw the picture I have on display, my version of the Broad and Narrow Way painted in 1991 during my YWAM DTS. I sometimes would overhear passers by mention a program which was currently aired on the BBC TV at the time called Thora on the Straight and Narrow -  based on the old Victorian version of Broad and Narrow Way picture. Evidently my modern version jogged their memories and would sometimes comment. I remember one elderly lady passing by with her friends, and I am paraphrasing from memory 30 years ago! She said something like - Oh look! its that picture on television where all the rich people are going to Hell! I didnt say anything....I just carried on painting!  At the time I wasnt able to see the series, but it did make me wonder what the series was like...A kind friend years later gave me the complete series of this wonderful program on Video cassette. Which I eventually uploaded to Youtube.

An aerial view of Torquay Harbour

Thats one significant story from my past, and there are others I hopefully will share too.

Peter N Millward


Page Updated March 2023
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