Tag Archives: Faith

Congregation

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My response to the Daily Post promptcongregate.

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Congregation

To congregate in the narthex.
Pick up a bulletin.

To enter the sanctuary.
Sit in the last pew, next to the center aisle.

To praise God
With psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs.

To hear the Good News:
Christ has died, Christ is risen, Christ will come again.

To commune with the believers—
Bread and wine, body and blood.

To go in peace
To love and serve the Lord.

Amen.

Creative Juice #69

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Creative Juice #69

A dozen after-turkey articles to motivate you to create during this holiday weekend. (By the way, I’m thankful for all the people who read Creative Juice.)

  1. The Other Art Fair.
  2. What if life really is just the dress rehearsal? I never thought of eternity in quite this way before.
  3. Can you determine whether a poem was written by a human or a computer? (I missed two out of three.)
  4. Rituals and memories.
  5. Why a painting by Manet shocked his contemporary audience.
  6. Need some inexpensive gift ideas? Be sure to watch the video of the grown-up fidget spinner.
  7. Here’s an alternative advent calendar you create yourself.
  8. Christmas decorations you can make yourself with paper.
  9. Beautiful quilting. Be sure to click on each image for the enlargement.
  10. Why it’s good to try your hand at different arts.
  11. Marvelous photographs by Cig Harvey.
  12. Psychologist Dean Simonton writes: “On average, creative geniuses aren’t qualitatively better in their fields than their peers, they simply produce a greater volume of work which gives them more variation and a higher chance of originality.” Author Thomas Oppong says, “If you want to be prolific, stop judging yourself.” (I don’t totally believe that—you have to judge yourself somewhat if you want to put out excellent work. But this article gives creatives much to think about.)

 

From the Creator’s Heart #103

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Adam-hand“Do not be afraid, for I have ransomed you. I have called you by name; you are mine. When you go through deep waters, I will be with you. When you go through rivers of difficulty, you will not drown. When you walk through the fire of oppression, you will not be burned up; the flames will not consume you. For I am the Lord, your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior.” Isaiah 43:1-3 (NLT)

Review: The Story of With by Allen Arnold

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Review: The Story of With by Allen Arnold

In January, I attended a writers’ mini-conference given by Christian Writers of the West. The guest speaker was Allen Arnold, former fiction editor for Thomas Nelson. He spoke at length about inspiration and creativity and how the desire to create comes to us from God as an invitation to closer intimacy with Him.

Arnold’s presentation was so refreshing and invigorating and so full of ideas I wanted to explore further, that I bought two copies of his book, The Story of With: A Better Way to Live, Love, and Create. One was for myself, and the other for my friend Tom, who is struggling to finish writing a very important book. I gave it to him a few days later.the story of WITH

In the meantime, I began reading it.

A large part of The Story of With is an allegory, the story of Mia, a girl whose father disappeared long ago. I found the allegory kind of hokey.  Each chapter ended with an explanation of that part of the allegory, which was necessary—I wouldn’t have understood the allegory without the author’s commentary. Which made me wonder—why would Arnold devote so much time and energy to the allegory if it didn’t clarify his premise (and instead required him to interpret it for the reader)? I regretted giving Tom the book before reading it myself.

But before I finished the book, I saw Tom again, and he shared that he had read the book straight through, moved to tears because it affected him so deeply. When I mentioned my disappointment with the allegory, he said for him, it didn’t detract from the message.

These passages from The Story of With especially resonated with me:

  • [God’s] motive in giving you specific talents isn’t primarily so you’ll be productive…It is so your desires can find their fulfillment in Him…God doesn’t need your help as much as He wants your heart (page 120).

  • The door will find you when you are ready (page 205).

  • True success means you create with the Creator, in fellowship with others, as you engage with the community your creation serves. With. With. With (page 213).

  • Living like this ushers in an atmosphere of abundance and freedom. There’s no longer a need to try and control your Story. You know God has even bigger plans than you for what’s ahead. So you are content to ride with Him wherever the path may lead (page 243).

I recommend this book for creative people, but with two caveats. First, if you have no use for God, The Story of With will make no sense to you; it will just be jibberish. (But if you are searching for God, you can find Him here.) Second, if you are looking for the way to make lots of money or fame from your creations, that goal is not addressed here. But if you desire freedom, high quality of creative life, and intimacy with God, you must read this.

Have you already read The Story of With? What is your opinion of it? Share in the comments below. And if you read the book later, come back and let us know what you think.

 

From the Creator’s Heart #91

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From the Creator’s Heart #91

May he grant your heart’s desires and make all your plans succeed (Psalm 20: 4 NLT).

Video of the Day: Best Christmas Pageant Ever

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Video of the Day: Best Christmas Pageant Ever

Skip This if you Don’t Want to Know my Thoughts on the Election

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Skip This if you Don’t Want to Know my Thoughts on the Election

ARHtistic License is about the arts and the creative process. But other things happen in the world that impact creative people.

Politics really doesn’t belong on this blog. However, there is something I need to say, or I’ll burst. You don’t have to read it, though.

I’ve posted it on my Religion and Politics page.