For a signed copy, check out my Square Store!
“A necessary book for every creative spirit.” —Sarah M. Wells, Writer, Author & Poet
God’s Creative Gift—Unleashing the Artist in You is a devotional resource for the creative Christian and those in worship arts ministry. It is intended for both professional and lay artists, for the casual crafter and creative hobbyist, for those in both sacred and secular settings. It is for those who see things where others do not, for those whose imaginations cannot be confined by religious dogma and tradition. It is for musicians and singers, painters and sculptors, dancers and dramatists, writers and poets, craftsmen and women, carvers and weavers, graphic designers and film editors, photographers and filmmakers, architects and designers. Whatever your craft or artistic bent—whatever the level of expertise—if you are a Christian artist or creative, this book is for you.
Originally I had planned to write a book specific to the area of sacred/liturgical dance, but as I began to write I found that much of what I wanted to say applied to all area of the arts. I began to see that movement was as much a part of the visual arts as painting and that painting was as much a part of dance as movement. I began to see the creative and the Creator in the architect and the weaver, the singer and the songwriter, the sculptor and the welder. I began to see inspiration for craftsmen and women of all types of mediums and materials—silversmiths, woodworkers and jewelry makers. I realized that video editors, filmmakers, graphic designers and photographers all captured beautiful, sacred moments in a way that was divinely artistic. God opened my eyes to see that the “artist” was so much more than just those who work in the area of fine arts. I also knew that God wanted to inspire all of these people, not simply because they were creative, but because they were made in His beautiful image.
The book is designed as a seven-week devotional Bible-study that focuses on the artist within each of us. It is designed to help the you draw your creativity and inspiration from a Deeper Source. Each chapter is comprised of two sections: the beginning of each chapter is intended as foundation for the subject area, and the end of each chapter has a series of five devotionals related to that subject area. The first chapter looks at Genesis 1 and the role of Creation and creativity in the life of the artist. The second chapter looks at John 1 and the role of Incarnation in the ministry of the artist. Chapter three begins to explore the idea of a Theology of Beauty. Chapters four and five cover, respectively, the Priestly and Prophetic Roles of the artist. Chapters six and seven focus on the creative process as a way of Prayer and Seasons in Your Spiritual Life.
It is my prayer that these subjects, their related devotional studies, and the transparency with which I write will help the creative Christian know the Master of All Creators more intimately. My hope is that you will “embody” these ideals in order to understand why every action, movement and step; every vocal inflection, mime or character portrayed; every note, harmony and song; every brushstroke, color and hue; every pinch of clay and turn of the wheel; every word, metaphor or literary device; every graphic, photo, angle and frame; every choice you make as a creator of art, has meaning—for the audience, the artist and, most importantly, the Divine Artist who is glorified through our humble creative offerings.
As Christian creatives and artists, we must enter into the Word of God on a regular basis in order to first hear God’s voice for ourselves. We must study, know and memorize His word so that we can recognize His voice among all the other voices in this world. We must know the choreographer of our steps… the designer of all our designs… the Creator of our creative heart, soul, mind and body… the author and perfecter of our faith.
And we must know Him intimately.
Where to find God’s Creative Gift . . .
A signed copy of my book can by purchased at My Square Shop. It’s also available through: Wipf & Stock Publishers, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and in Kindle Format. If you would like to purchase discounted, signed copies of the book for your creative / worship arts group study, contact Jody directly at jodythomae @ zoominternet.net for bulk rates.
Want to know more about the book . . .
I’ve posted an excerpt from my book so you can get a feel for it. It’s a meditation on Psalm 19 about the “Nature” of God. You can find that here.
What others are saying . . .
“This incredibly insightful and inspiring book by Jody Thomae is a must for all Believer-artists. I have been enriched by reading through each page and hearing deep truth from the heart of a fellow laborer in the arts.”—Randall Flinn, Artistic Director, Dance Ad Deum
“God’s Creative Gift is, simply stated, a beautiful gift for the people of God. Integrating Scripture, experience, and insights from a broad spectrum of scholars and practitioners, Jody Thomae provides a pathway to freedom and well-being available through creative expression. She reveals that we, the creative gift of the Father, hold within the potential to unleash beauty and healing creative gifts as acts of worship to God and healing to one another. An amazing thought!” —Dr. Terry Wardle, Institute of Formational Counseling, Ashland Theological Seminary
“In God’s Creative Gift, Jody Thomae emboldens every artist—amateur and professional, aspiring and accomplished, bold and hesitant—to embrace the power and potential of creativity in all its forms as a mode of worshipping the Creator. Through enriching chapters and devotional studies, artists will grow in deeper understanding of themselves and God’s relationship to their creativity. A necessary book for every creative spirit!” —Sarah M. Wells, author of Pruning Burning Bushes
“This is a wonderfully insightful book [of] excellent theological and biblical reflection that invites its readers to know themselves as created in the image and likeness of God, the Divine Artist. The ‘Digging Deeper’ sections, which enable readers to embody the various themes of the book, add style and grace to her work.” —Robert VerEecke, SJ, Jesuit artist-in-residence, Boston College
“I own a Christian Dance & Fitness facility and used this book as my Faculty Bible Study book. What a break-through! Some faculty members are gifted in dance, fitness, music, promotion and this book ministered to each of us and our specific fields/giftings. By the time we got to the end of the book dealing with seasons we were in tears. Week after week the Holy Spirit spoke directly to our need, as if we had each individually wrote a special request to Jody on the topics that were covered. Validation! Just to know we aren’t alone in the struggle and definitely not crazy in what we are experiencing in ministry – that alone set us free! If you are in ANY form of Arts Ministry I HIGHLY recommend this book. Blessings to you Jody and everything you endured to come out with this gold nugget. For the passion, endurance and obedience it took to publish this book – the faculty of Faith in Motion in Marion, IN are forever grateful. To God be the glory!” —RaChelle Fears-Neal, owner, Faith in Motion Christian School of Dance
“Jody Thomae is a wonderful creative worshipper that I connected with after ordering her book: God’s Creative Gift—Unleashing the Artist in You which is by far the best Bible Study for creatives AND encouragement I have read in years!” —Cindy Fort of 12 Tribes Ministries
In Review, “The Bookshelf”
Worship Leader Magazine (May/June 2014, p. 106):
Jody Thomae “God’s Creative Gift” from Wipf and Stock
“With God’s Creative Gift: Unleashing the Artist in You, Thomae offers encouragement and helps artists of all descriptions mine suppressed creative impulses, embrace hope that may have been diminished by inner self-doubt or outer criticism and to release the beauty hiding or hibernating within. She weaves together Scripture, personal stories, prayers, and references the art and writing of authors, worship leaders, and dancers, delivering a detailed script for devotion and discovery with both suggested “readings” and “listenings.” Writing as an empathetic pastor—and a poet—she explores creativity, incarnational ministry, a theology of beauty, and both the priestly and prophetic roles of the artist. Thomae provides disciplines for deepening your life of prayer and creates a deep and rich experience. Both for individual and group study.”—Andrea Hunter
You can find out how other artists and creatives are interacting with my book by checking out my media page here.