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Cultivating Creativity // Reflecting His Image

canstockphoto5408658Notice anything different? Hope so! I’ve made some changes to this place I’ve called home since 2008.

Back then, I began blogging at the prompting of Rich Butler, a friend, and fellow co-staffer at the time. Each week as a church staff we came together to design, if you will, our weekly services. It was my favorite hour of the week. To experience God bringing to life those creative ideas for His glory felt much like Eric Liddell must have felt when he said:

I believe God made me for a purpose, but he also made me fast. And when I run I feel His pleasure.

Bringing creative elements into the telling of the Gospel has always felt natural to me. After all, the Bible is crammed full of examples of how God uses our senses to reveal more of Himself to us.

  • Psalm 34:8 – Taste and see that the LORD is good!
  • Proverbs 20:12 – The hearing ear, and the seeing eye, God has made them both.
  • Matthew 8:3 – And Jesus stretched out his hand and touched him, saying, “I will; be clean.” And immediately his leprosy was cleansed.
  • Genesis 8:21 – And when the Lord smelled the pleasing aroma, the Lord said in his heart, “I will never again curse the ground because of man, for the intention of man’s heart is evil from his youth. Neither will I ever again strike down every living creature as I have done.

There are numerous accounts in the Gospel of Jesus using tangible “takeaways” when He taught. He was the Master of metaphors and multi-sensory teaching. The Tabernacle, Passover, The Lord’s Supper…the list goes on. Jesus knew the power of our senses {as our Creator} and He harnessed them all for the Father’s glory. And this is my desire as well.

You see, earlier this year, I sensed God nudging me to become more intentional with this little corner of mine. I prayed, I watched, and I expected. I soon realized that since becoming a student of the Word years ago, I’ve gravitated towards adding a creative element to the studies I lead, to the gifts I give, and often to the gatherings I create. That was it!

I could learn and share how to cultivate creativity in every day life, reflecting more and more of His image in the process.

From there, Fistbump Media {Dan King and Susan Stilwell} hopped on board, using their own creative gifts and talents to make this site feel more like home — a place where we can come together as a community of believers, bloggers, and whomever else God decides to bring.

My hope is that you will find this to be a place of encouragement and inspiration as we seek to cultivate creativity through our home and families, writing, meaningful gatherings, and our stories of faith…all to the glory of our Creator and King.

For a more detailed look at the “why” behind this intentional move towards creativity, visit my About Page here, or click the tab at the top of the page.

Beginning next week, I’ll post once a week and believe me when I say…you don’t want to miss next week. God revealed Himself in a subtle but meaningful way a few weeks ago. I can’t wait to share. Until then, thank you for stopping by today. I don’t take you or your time for granted. You are a blessing!

If you like what you’re reading, you can subscribe today in the right-hand margin. My weekly posts will be delivered to your inbox. Also, feel free to share with a friend! Thank you. 🙂

Suggested Reading:
Desiring God {John Piper’s site}, Make God Look Great. Create.
Stephen Altrogge’s e-book, Create. Stop Making Excuses and Start Making Stuff

Jon Bloom’s “Not By Sight” Delivers

I’ve become a bit jaded when it comes to buying devotion books. There, I said it. 

I’m weary of girly-fluff and feel good remedies. Give me Truth and if you must add a human perspective, bring it fresh and creatively, like Jon Bloom’s Not By Sight…A Fresh Look At Old Stories Of Walking By Faith. Jon is co-founder and president of Desiring God, and apparently, a very gifted storyteller:

“These meditations are not your ordinary exposition. These are stories. Really good stories.” -John Piper

“Creatively and winsomely invites us into the realities of the Gospel accounts—to hear, feel, see, smell, and taste.” -Nancy Guthrie

“Vivid, nourishing sketches of Bible characters learning to live with their sometimes startling Lord.” -J.I. Packer

This book does not disappoint. Prepare to catch story-driven glimpses of what it means to walk by faith.   

“When the storms of life hit, they almost always appear
stronger to us than God’s Word. It is crucial for us to remember that
our perceptions can be deceptive. When circumstances strike fear into
our hearts, the question we must ask ourselves is, where is your faith?”
(p. 25).

 

When God Shows Up in a Hot Air Balloon

“We have to chase them, Grammy! We have to chase them!” 

Despite trying to convince Piper that she could enjoy the hot air balloons without having to chase them, she never wavered. Although she delighted in the sight of crayola-like bubbles floating overhead, pursuing them remained at the forefront of her mind.

As the words We don’t have to chase them, we can simply enjoy them! spilled from my lips I somehow sensed they were not meant for Piper alone.

Like on those days when I get caught up in the chase “doing” part of my life and ignore the “being.” Jesus beckons me to slow down, to rest in His accomplishments, and delight in His presence. He doesn’t call me to chase after Him, but instead, to stay in step with Him.
 Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit. 
Galatians 5:25

Or, for instance, when I felt pressure from within during last week’s conference to chase “make things happen.” Lynn Blackburn’s words to Edie Melson awhile back echo in my spirit today, Jesus is your agent and He’s doing a pretty good job of it! 

I know that you can do all things; no purpose of yours can be thwarted. 
Job 42:2

  
Now, am I saying we shouldn’t seek God? Absolutely not! No one explains this quest better than John Piper via his post What Does It Mean to Seek the Lord? I am saying, however, motivation played a key role in the above pursuits. I’m learning that when I sense a bit of frenzy churning within, chances are I’m chasing the wind instead of resting in what Jesus has already accomplished on my behalf. 

Needless to say, I will never look at those crayola-like bubbles floating overhead quite the same as I did before. Thank you, Piper.

Father, thank you for using the innocent desire of a child to draw me closer to You, revealing misguided desires on my part. Help me to rest in You as I seek Your face in all I say and do. Amen.

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