Tag Archives: calling

Serving The God of Creativity

Or… why you should never stop coloring

So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them. ~ Genesis 1:27

I find myself asking, at what point do kids stop considering themselves an artist. And then I also find myself asking, “At what point did some adults think they were?”

There was a social media video going around the other day about the child of an artist who at the ages of a two or three had his paintings selling for thousands. I rolled my eyes, curled my lips and determined in my heart I wouldn’t be bitter. It was just ridiculous to me. This kid was literally throwing paint on a canvas and they are in awe of his talent. He may grow into an amazing artist, I won’t begrudge him that. And I wouldn’t tell the little fellow his art was subpar. But I would gladly tell the people paying thousands for it that their brain was subpar.

I’ve never been drawn to too many abstract artist. Although some I have found very talented. I could tell by the way they created it wasn’t about throwing paint on the canvas, but there truly was a method to their madness. By color and design, it was good. At least that’s my opinion. If you like abstract art, glory to God! I just don’t get it.

I’m going from the prospective of the greatest of all imaginations. God. He just didn’t throw paint on the canvas and call it a sky. The colors worked together. When He created man, He sculpted Adam and Eve in magnificence! Look at everything else on earth. It’s beautiful. None of it looks like an afterthought.

So back to my original question. When do children stop considering themselves to be artists? I don’t know for certain, and I’m sure it differs, but I would wager a bet, if I wasn’t Baptist, because we’re not allowed to bet. But if I was, I would wager a bet that it’s after the first negative critical experience.

If you know anything about me, you know I’m an encourager. I don’t criticize. Even if I think it. I may offer a suggestion to help someone, but I know that when someone creates something, they’ve usually done their best. And I can guarantee if they gave it to God, He would put it on His refrigerator. But He may not hang it in a gallery.

It’s taken me 30 years to call myself an artist. Not because anyone has ever criticized me, because that is the furthest from the truth. I have great encouragement in my life. But I have no self-esteem. And of the few negative nellies that have critiqued me, and they’ve just been a few. That’s all it took to squelch me down.  It’s what has kept me from making a living at the gift God gave me.

I stopped taking coloring serious. I still did it, but I didn’t take it serious. Most people just stop doing it all together, although it has made a reprise in recent years with the new adult coloring books.

Going deeper into the realm of creativity causes me to explore why we are less apt to be obedient to the leading of the Holy Spirit telling us to do something, to create something new. Perhaps its because we fear that same critique of the world that we experienced as children that caused us to no longer view ourselves as artist.

You might be an artist of words, works, numbers. There are too many talents to list. What is your gifting and is it something that you should be using for the Kingdom, either for a living, or for a ministry. And why aren’t you using it?

How do we know if it’s Refrigerator or Gallery worthy? All good questions. And worthy of looking into the scripture to see what God says about who we are.

In His Image

He created us in His image. With passions like Him.

Psalm 139:13

For thou hast possessed my reins: thou hast covered me in my mother’s womb.

He controls us and creates specific desires within us. He created us to create. I personally don’t know of a child who doesn’t like to create “stuff.” It’s engrained in us as babies from making a mess to making what we think is the most amazing piece of art ever! All six of my grands love creating, even though they may not all grow up to be artist. Praise God, they don’t know that. They just want to create.

I believe that as we grow that creativity takes shape into different amazing things. But creating is not just an artistic endeavor. Creating is doing a new thing.

Isaiah 43:19 says Behold, I will do a new thing; now it shall spring forth; shall ye not know it? I will even make a way in the wilderness, and rivers in the desert.

God didn’t stop creating, why should we. He went from creating things, to creating paths and then using us to complete His work so that He can get the glory. I think people and churches get stalemated when we lose our desire to create, or we just don’t know the direction we should go. We’re satisfied with just showing up.

The church should be an ongoing project of getting souls saved and that takes many shapes and creative ideas.

I’m a project driven person. I need a project to feel purposeful. And I believe that’s how God created us all. Like Him, we are made to create.

Isaiah 43:7

Even every one that is called by my name: for I have created him for my glory, I have formed him; yea, I have made him.

That verse makes me very happy! I (and you) were created by God for His glory. Meaning that when He created us, He created us to do something. Not just sit in a church pew.

For His Glory

Where ever we are in life, we are there to bring glory to God in that place. In our churches, in our work and in our passions.

Isaiah 45:12

I have made the earth, and created man upon it: I, even my hands, have stretched out the heavens, and all their host have I commanded.

God created all the earth and all of creation to glorify His name.

We have to have doctors, nurses, gas station owners, pharmacists and every other position in life to make the world go round and function. But all of those positions should point others to Christ.

Isaiah 45:8

You heavens above, rain down my righteousness; let the clouds shower it down. Let the earth open wide, let salvation spring up, let righteousness flourish with it; I, the Lord, have created it.

All of Heaven and earth work in harmony.

This morning I picked up my fiddle that I had had to put a new “E” string on because I broke the old one tuning it. I hadn’t played it for a week or two and every string was out of tune. It sounded awful. But when I got the tuner out and put every string in tune, suddenly I felt like a musician again. That’s how life is. With artistry, with jobs and churches. We get out of tune. We lose our passion and purpose. We need tuned up. We need to find that creativity and desire to make something wonderful for the Lord. A new coloring page.

My grandson Logan was creating a Charizard. Which I don’t even know what is, other than it’s a Pokemon character. But it didn’t matter. It only mattered that his hand created it.

God wants to see some of your work, your best creative pieces. And there’s a reason that Christ said that we should come to Him like little children. Because it’s with that mindset that we feel free and welcome to create. Not judged.

Don’t squelch your creative spirit. God may just be getting ready to do something amazing with you.

Not By Accident

This was His word for me when I was ready to back out of His work again because I would be judged.  God told me this. He said “you’re past the age where you can throw stuff on a canvas and call it art. Be intentional. And do it.”

God doesn’t create things by accident.  He had purpose. So should we. Don’t ever stop coloring. There’s something about that child within that helps you to keep in check with Who’s really in control.

Not Listening is Dangerous!

chick feast

So I find the story in the book of Samuel, chapter 13 of the character of Saul. Saul, an ordinary, (though tall) fella, who God has given a job. And not just any job! The job of being the very first King of Israel.

Once Saul took office he had called up 3,000 men; 2000 of which were under his leadership and 1,000 under the leadership of his son Jonathan.  Not long after this, his son Jonathan killed a garrison (a troop) of Philistines and their people were upset. Upset enough to get 30,000 chariots and 6,000 horsemen together to attack Israel.

This was Saul’s first big test of leadership. But he only had 3,000 people. So Israel ran and hid in their tents and caves and bushes, anywhere they could because they were sure they were just about to get slaughtered.

Saul is in Gilgal, where Samuel, the man of God had told him to wait for seven days and he’d be there to offer a sacrifice. They’d have a prayer meeting before the battle, always a good idea!

But Samuel doesn’t come at the hour that Saul expected. So Saul does something really stupid and takes matters in his own hands. (I have worn that shirt too many times to count!)

1 Samuel 13:9-10

And Saul said, Bring hither a burnt offering to me, and peace offerings. And he offered the burnt offering. And it came to pass, that as soon as he had made an end of offering the burnt offering, behold, Samuel came; and Saul went out to meet him, that he might salute him.

Saul was excited to see Samuel… For a minute. Until he realized that Samuel wasn’t any too happy that Saul had done a job that God had appointed him to do.

Saul’s job was King. Samuel’s job was sacrifice.

As I’m reading this, as I often do, my mind is in other places. “God, over and over again I ask Your plan, and over and over again I think I have direction and then, life just doesn’t work. What now?” And in between my reading, talking, writing and Attention Deficit Disorder living I can almost feel God roll His eyes at me again.

And then it happens. I whine. “Seven years, I’ve been here waiting. Seven years!  (as if God didn’t hear me the first time) In 2010, God in no uncertain terms said. “Quit your job, and serve me.”

And I just couldn’t see how it would work. So I’ve been hired, fired, wired and tired for seven years. Not in a good place. I’ve doubted myself. Others have doubted my calling, I’ve worked for nasty people and nice people and although I’m a little further down the road, I don’t feel that I’m very far. Again and again, I’ve tried to go back into the secular world of work, and it won’t happen.

But right at this point of whining I almost feel a Gibbs slap to the back of the head. (NCIS television show terminology there.) And God saying did you even listen to what you read? For seven days Saul waited for Samuel and then decided to take things into his own hands and because of that he lost it all. Seven days, or seven years, it doesn’t matter. I have to be the one controlling your life, else this is not going to work. Those jobs you’re applying for belong to someone else, stop trying to do them.

So that was His message for me today… I have a job. It’s to wait on God.

Saul lost the kingdom and he lost the peace of God. That’s how King David came into the picture as the second King of Israel, because he could play and sing for Saul and speak peace to his soul. There’s power in what I do. Although I don’t write like David, and I’m not the skilled musician he obviously was, it’s the job that God has given me. I need to stop trying to take someone else’s.

So to cap this story off, with something funny to tell, not funny to live… This past Sunday, someone on the music schedule wasn’t able to sing and they ask me to fill in on the fly. So I think, no prob! I’m trying to obey God and do what He’s ask so I take my guitar to church and I’m going to wow them with my singin’ and playin’. I couldn’t hit a chord to save my soul! Praise God, Jesus had already saved it. So I whine again… but God, You said if I did it, I’d be okay. He said, “I didn’t say it would be easy.” To which my response was “Did it have to be so dog gone embarrassing?”

I think God likes His people humble. And He knows my heart, I’m always trying to do it the short cut way. There’s not shortcut to God’s design.

I don’t have time to tell you of the blessings God has put in my path to make these things happen. People, instruments, tools of the trade of writing. God has a plan for each one of us and I believe if we listen it is clear ~ and not listening is dangerous! So listen the first time. It’ll go way easier for you! #ExperiencedFailure #GodLovesMeThisIknow

 

The Boundary Setter

2 Timothy 1:9-11 ~ Who hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began, But is now made manifest by the appearing of our Saviour Jesus Christ, who hath abolished death, and hath brought life and immortality to light through the gospel: Whereunto I am appointed a preacher, and an apostle, and a teacher of the Gentiles.

I love scripture that affirms eternity past and future, purpose and position in life. It makes sense of my nonsensical world. Timothy was a young believer and Pastor privileged to be mentored by none other than the great apostle Paul. Paul’s burden for Timothy was apparent in his letters to him, and their mutual respect for another’s genuine faith. He was touched by Timothy’s tender heart, verse 4 says ~ Greatly desiring to see thee, being mindful of thy tears, that I may be filled with joy;” and as Paul’s time grew short on earth he was grateful to have a comrade on the battlefield in whom he could depend. Paul and Timothy’s faith allowed them to apply the past to the purpose of the present so that their future could be anticipated with promise.

The planning in the past

Before the world began God’s plan was in action and I was in it! I know, it shocks even me that with all of God’s planning and time I wouldn’t have turned out better. But it’s not about me or my abilities (my works) it’s about His own purpose. That’s where it gets foggy for me. I try to impose my disabilities on God’s abilities. God says show up as you are and He will use us where we are, but so often I think there has to be advanced planning. There was….in eternity past God provided the grace we’d need for today. It’s already there before our feet hit the floor in the morning.

The purpose of the present

is now made manifest by the appearing of our Saviour Jesus Christ. Manifest – meaning it’s now made known. I know, I know, if you’re like me you don’t see it often times either. But it’s there in the evidence of Christ at work in your life. I’m amazed at the awesome people that God puts in my life at specific times; those who have just appeared at the right time. Every pivotal experience in my life generally has a new person involved that made it possible. God working through them. But even more amazing than that is when “I’m that person.” I fear that I’m missing the boat of opportunity because I don’t often step up or out when God nudges me for fear of stepping over the bounds. However, who’s bounds am I in fear of stepping over, God’s or mans.

Acts 17:24-27 says “God that made the world and all things therein, seeing that he is Lord of heaven and earth, dwelleth not in temples made with hands; Neither is worshipped with men’s hands, as though he needed any thing, seeing he giveth to all life, and breath, and all things; And hath made of one blood all nations of men for to dwell on all the face of the earth, and hath determined the times before appointed, and the bounds of their habitiation; That they should seek the Lord, if haply they might feel after him, and find him, though he be not far from every one of us:

I love that! The boundaries that God has set were determined from the beginning of time and so long as I continue to search for Him, He’ll continue to direct my paths and place people in my path. I need to stop focusing on the boundaries and spend more time focusing on the boundary setter.

The promise of the future

…who hath abolished death, and hath brought life and immortality to light through the gospel: Whereunto I am appointed a preacher, and an apostle, and a teacher of the Gentiles.

Christ came to provide eternal life through the light of the Gospel, and He chooses to use vessels like you and I to spread that hope.  If we’ve been saved, we’ve received the appointment; it’s on our schedules whether we want it or not. Someone, somewhere needs to see Christ in you today, their future may depend on it.