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Remembering Bob Ross

By Dennis Love

McDowell CountyDennis Love McDowell County


Do you remember Bob Ross?  He had a TV show on PBS called “The Joy of Painting.”  Bob Ross passed away in 1995, at the age of 52, due to lymphoma.  He was very passionate about painting and created a lot of artwork during his career.  I used to love hearing his voice and watching him paint.  His voice was very relaxing.  He would talk just a notch above a whisper.  He would start with a blank canvas and end up with a masterpiece.  Plus, he had a very positive attitude as he would describe his paintings as if they were human.  He would often talk about the ‘happy little trees’ while painting them.  I never took the time to hear and see God in him and his artwork until recently.

I now realize that the Lord is the artist painting the picture of my life.  Just like Bob Ross, God started with a blank canvas.  A canvas that I had messed up, but He wiped it clean with the blood of Jesus.  Then He chose from globs of paint that by themselves were nothing more than an oily mess on a painting board that He Himself held in His hand.

And even when God first started painting, to me and I’m sure to others watching, all anyone could see in my life were smudges of color that made no sense.  They looked like blotches that could never turn out to be anything good.  But the Lord saw something.  In fact, He saw it all.

Just like Bob Ross, before He ever lifted a finger toward my canvas, He already saw in His mind what the finished picture would look like.  So now God is creating in me what He had always purposed before I ever existed.  I still can’t see it, but He can.

I don’t always understand what is being done in my life, but I do better understand that it is God who is doing it.  That helps me to trust the process more, especially when the strokes of His brush start to hurt.

So, I will wait while the Master painter works.  I will try to do better about questioning and complaining.  There is nothing else He has created that is less than a work of art, so I know that if He started on me, He has plans to create something great.  Matter-of-fact, the Bible says in Philippians 1:6, “And I am certain that God, who began the good work within me, will continue His work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns.”

You see….God is my master, and I want to be His masterpiece.  I hope He is yours so that you will be His!



Dr. Dennis Love is the Associational Missions Strategist for the Blue Ridge Baptist Association in McDowell County.  Dr. Love has been in full-time ministry work for 31 years.  He and his wife Vicki have been married for almost 42 years, and they have lived in Marion for almost 8 years.  They have two sons, four grandchildren and two step-grandchildren.  He can be reached via email at:

Read more of his Christian news articles here