Psalm 6
Apr11

Psalm 6

High King, I know you’re pissed, but PLEASE don’t yell… Don’t punish me wrathfully, they already did! HAVE MERCY!  I’m fainting, I’m fading my Lord; My bones are broken!  Heal, or I’ll die! My soul groans in agony, “How long, O Lord?” Turn back for me, King, to deliver me clean Rescue my life by your conquering Love I can’t remember you, if I should die How will anyone bring...

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Psalm 5
Apr04

Psalm 5

A painter once gave his ear to his love give Yours to my words O Lord. Grant me the chance to sigh Listen for my helpless calling, crying “My King! My God!” To You I speak this eve pre-noon, I wake, I see the sun Lord, You overhear me, my first sound I stir. My voice unveils my needs To You. And there I linger, eager, serene expecting… You really don’t enjoy evil, do you? Wicked live nowhere near you,...

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Listening
Mar30

Listening

One of the most valuable (yet most difficult to practice) skills I have developed as a writer is to listen. The act of listening is hard. It takes a lot of self-control. It means squelching the arguments and justifications that jump readily to mind when someone is dissecting or critiquing my work. This is because listening requires  the most strenuous of all virtues: humility. Humility says, “This thing I have created is very dear to...

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Psalm 4

Respond… Respond to me when I send for you,    You, my right god Release the pressure, ease the stress   Grant mercy to this, my prayer.   When, men, will you cease forming honor into shame?    How long to love lies and know other lovers?   Know the Lord saves the godly for him   His ears tune into my voice.   In your anger, don’t you sin;    While on your bed, when lights are dimmed    See you heart’s...

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Effective Evangelism Needs Artistic Expression

Evangelism that works is more than just spewing ‘correct’ biblical information; correct?  (Things like John 3:16, Romans 10:9 & 10, 1 Corinthians 15: 3-8.)  Certainly, the objective realities of these revealed truths must be present.  But their presence does not guarantee that the one(s) being evangelized will come to faith. Effective evangelism needs artistic expression:  the imaginative rearrangement of human metaphors, symbols...

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A Theology for the Depressed Creative
Mar02

A Theology for the Depressed Creative

  One of the great things about a blog is that sometimes you can share your own personal deep, dark secrets with your readers.  I don’t have any deep and dark secrets to share today, but I do have a struggle.  Those who know me know that when I was 17 years old, I was filled with suicidal thoughts and experienced long drawn-out seasons of deep, dark depression and loneliness.  At that point in my life, I wanted nothing to with...

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Feb22

Enjoy this Comic from WMC and GCP’s illustrator Chris Jones Garden City and Worship Ministry Catalyst’s vision is to see innovators and creatives engaging the world in worship and mission through their art. Here’s a sample from Chris Jones. We don’t often see the dangers that lie in front of us, and this humorous graphic reminds us to Dive in Prayer, lest we Dive into Danger. Give this comic away to someone...

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Comics for Faith and Culture
Feb15

Comics for Faith and Culture

Enjoy this Comic from WMC and GCP’s illustrator Chris Jones Garden City and Worship Ministry Catalyst’s vision is to see innovators and creatives engaging the world in worship and mission through their art. Here’s a sample from Chris Jones. God’s creation reminds us not only of his goodness and love but also of his sound judgments. Whether people acknowledge God or not, God still “reigns.” This...

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Radical Hospitality and Worship
Feb07

Radical Hospitality and Worship

  I had the privilege recently to read Radical Hospitality, and its implications toward artful living and worship are so very helpful.   I’ve read hundreds of books on hospitality over the course of my track in ministry, and it is a pleasure to see the authors place the accent mark where they do.  They state that real hospitality is not in what we do, but in who we are.  They say that hospitality begins with a person’s identity,...

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The Creative Spirit in All of Us
Jan31

The Creative Spirit in All of Us

Henderik Roelof “Hans” Rookmaaker (February 27, 1922–March 13, 1977) was a Dutch Christian scholar, professor, and author who wrote and lectured on art theory, art history, music, philosophy, and religion. In 1948 he met Christian theologian Francis Schaeffer and became a member of L’Abri in Switzerland. Hans wrote a book about the creative spirit called Art Needs No Justification. In reading it, I’ve found that many...

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The Art of Giving a Testimony
Jan26

The Art of Giving a Testimony

  If telling stories is an art, then telling our life story is a trade worthy of being mastered.  The only trouble when it comes to our life story, our “testimony,” is what should we tell?  Should we focus in our passions, our expertise, our experiences, or even our most secret failures and unwanted mistakes?  What is it that receives the accent mark? The Bible’s word for accent mark is glory!  God tends to highlight and place...

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The Art of Parenting with Beauty
Jan24

The Art of Parenting with Beauty

Proverbs 22:6 implores the believing parent to “Train up a child in the way he should go, even when he is old he will not depart from it.” Lying within the crags of this command is an imperative for those who love beauty and the finer things of life.  The Hebrew word for “train” is chanak. One of the cultural and Hebraic inferences of this word is to make serenely clear to the parent that their role in their child’s life is to...

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Storied Lives
Jan17

Storied Lives

We are captured by great stories.  They are aesthetic in the sense that they call us into participation with the storyline, the characters, the plot, and the ultimate resolution and beauty of the tale.  Stories are art! Leo Tolstoy’s words come to mind in helping us think through the impact of story: “Art is a human activity consisting in this, that one man consciously, by means of certain external signs, hands on to others feelings...

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Shepherding Creatives
Jan05

Shepherding Creatives

There is a desire many young artists have to write worship music, create graphic art, dance, paint, etc. And it’s a wonderful thing that must be encouraged. In fact, research shows that the younger we encourage imagination and creativity, the more creative people will become. Of course, along with this desire, there comes the desire for people to see and laud the work. This desire is coupled with the temptation of an accessible...

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Rejection
Dec22

Rejection

  Every artist faces rejection. For writers it’s usually at the hands of an agent, editor, critique group, beta reader, or terrible Amazon review. To be clear, rejection is not the same as helpful suggestions or critiques (like ways to strengthen underdeveloped characters, plot holes, the dreaded sagging middle, etc). Rejection is a flat out dismissal of a writer’s ideas, work or abilities. Although some writers are able to...

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The Creative Process
Dec06

The Creative Process

  Every one of us is filled with imagination, creativity, and ingenious ability. We need to recognize this about ourselves because it is foundational to who we are as humans, and, the fact is, everything we do and think is connected to what we believe.  Our theological belief about God and our ontological (big word meaning “being”) belief about who we are comes out in everything we do. Whatever comes out of or goes into our five...

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