How the Story Ends…

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SnowdropsI suppose you should never give away the ending to your book, but here I am, doing it anyway. I’ve never been one to stay contained by the world’s boxes.

The excerpt below includes In the Cave, a story of Mama Bear and her Cub that both opens and closes my newly released book, The Creator’s Healing Power—Restoring the Broken to Beautiful. Based on the Legend of the Snowdrops, it is a story of redemption and new life based on the battle won on the cross of Jesus and the “battle to end all battles” found in Revelation 19-21:

I saw heaven standing open and there before me was a white horse, whose rider is called Faithful and True. With justice he judges and wages war. His eyes are like blazing fire, and on his head are many crowns. He has a name written on him that no one knows but he himself. He is dressed in a robe dipped in blood, and his name is the Word of God. The armies of heaven were following him, riding on white horses and dressed in fine linen, white and clean. Coming out of his mouth is a sharp sword with which to strike down the nations. “He will rule them with an iron scepter.” He treads the winepress of the fury of the wrath of God Almighty. On his robe and on his thigh he has this name written:

King of Kings and Lord of Lords


Then I saw the beast and the kings of the earth and their armies gathered together to wage war against the rider on the horse and his army.
 But the beast was captured, and with it the false prophet who had performed the signs on its behalf. The two of them were thrown alive into the fiery lake of burning sulfur. The rest were killed with the sword coming out of the mouth of the rider on the horse.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 

“Look! God’s dwelling place is now among the people, and he will dwell with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. ‘He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death’ or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.”

He who was seated on the throne said, “I am making everything new!” 

So here is how the story ends… an excerpt from The Creator’s Healing Power—Restoring the Broken to Beautiful, the 2nd book in the Bible Studies to Nurture the Creative Spirit Within:

Beloved of God,

Do you remember our opening story of the inquisitive cub and his sleepy mama bear? She told him a legend: the Legend of the Snowdrops. In that story there was a battle between the Winter Witch and Lady Spring, and the snowdrops emerged from the frozen ground through a single drop of blood that fell from the precious finger of Lady Spring.

Surely you realize the legend echoes another story? A story of legendary proportions to be sure! Yet, it is no legend. From the serpent’s menacing hiss heard in the garden many thousands of years ago, there arose a battle between good and evil. That battle raged on until Christ was pierced and his blood fell to the ground, declaring Jesus victorious over the enemy. Just as the elegant, white flowers emerged from a single drop of Lady Spring’s blood, there in that place of Christ’s suffering, a new beauty sprang forth.

In many ways, that battle still rages on—in the depths of our souls, in the broken places where the enemy seeks to take ground that’s not his. Like Snowdrops that break through the cold and wintry ground, Jesus Our Breaker shatters the cold and wintry places within our spirits, rising before us, the King at our head. May he lead us into a life of creative adventure as we read our final benediction.

Thank you for joining me on this healing journey. It has been an honor to walk alongside you. May Jesus Our Breaker lead us ever onward!

Godspeed from your fellow wounded healer, Jody

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 

In the Cave

“Mama?” Cub whispers into the den’s deep darkness. “Mama? Are you awake?” he whispers more loudly.

       “I am now, little one,” mumbles Mama Bear, sleep heavy in her voice. “What are you doing awake?”

“I can’t sleep,” answers Cub, yearning touches the fringes of his words. “Tell me about Spring again,” he says as he snuggles deeply into her coarse fur, letting it wrap around him like blades of grass he can just barely remember.

“Spring starts when the Snowdrops come up and push back the snow,” she begins.

“How do snow drops push back snow?” he asks puzzled, remembering the early snow that came in flakes, not drops. “That doesn’t make any sense, Mama.” He is certain her empty stomach is causing her confusion.

Mama Bear smiles as she pictures her every word, “Snowdrops are flowers, silly bear—the very first flowers to bloom each year. They bloom so early that they must push themselves up through piles of snow that stubbornly refuse to melt. Their beautiful, white blossoms hang delicately from emerald stems and silently shout of the coming Spring.”

Cub turned his head to gaze up at her—eyes filled with curiosity and wonder.

She continued, “Legend tells us that Snowdrops were birthed from a battle between the Winter Witch and Lady Spring. One year, when Lady Spring arrived to take her rightful place, the Winter Witch refused to give up her reign over the frozen earth. In the midst of the brutal battle, the Witch pierced Lady Spring’s finger and a tiny drop of blood fell to the earth. The blood drop melted the bitter snow and a Snowdrop sprang up in its place, declaring Lady Spring victorious over the Winter Witch.”

“I think I’m gonna like Snowdrops, Mama” said Cub, wishfully wanting winter’s end. His body begins to settle into the stillness.

“After the Snowdrops come the Crocus—lavender and purple and white. Then the red tulips and yellow daffodils. And then, finally then, the trees begin to bud: new leaves forming on every branch.”

“The trees grow new leaves?” questions the curious Cub.

“Yes, the Creator Spirit makes all things new,” her voice echoes with knowing wisdom.

“What color are the leaves, Mama? Are they red and orange and yellow?” his voice begins to drift off as he fights back sleep.

            “No, baby. They are green—the color of new life.”

Jody Thomae © 2018 All Rights Reserved

_________________________

Signed copies of The Creator’s Healing Power—Restoring the Broken to Beautiful are available through Square.

Book FrontJody Thomae is the author of God’s Creative Gift—Unleashing the Artist in You and The Creator’s Healing Power—Restoring the Broken to Beautifulboth in-depth, interactive devotional books that are part of the Bible Studies to Nurture the Creative Spirit Within series and serve as resources for creative Christians, artists, and lovers of beauty and worship.God's Creative Gift by Jody Thomae Jody has been involved in worship arts ministry since 1997, serving as worship arts ministry pastor, worship leader and creative arts director. She leads worship at local seminars, retreats and women’s events and is a guest lecturer on creativity, embodiment, and spirituality with Healing Care Ministries and HCM International. Her passion is for the revelation of God to be made more real through the prophetic use of the arts in church and the use of creativity in formational and healing ministry. It is her desire to portray the message of Christ’s desperate and unfailing love for His people to help sustain the hearts of the broken and weary. She is particularly interested in the reclamation of the body in the healing of trauma and works in the area of embodiment with survivors of abuse, addiction, and trauma.

JodyThomaeCDcoverart_FA_printGod’s Creative Gift—Unleashing the Artist in You and her new release, The Creator’s Healing Power—Restoring the Broken to Beautiful are both available on Amazon. Signed print copies are available for purchase through Square where her resources are available most affordably (and in bulk amounts for your creative ministry team or group study). Jody’s devotional CD, Song of the Beloved, is also available through Square, iTunes, YouTube, Spotify, and other music outlets.

“God’s Creative Gift” Book Review from Artist & Author Sara Joseph

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Release Polymer Clay Relief Sculpture (C) Sara Joseph 11x14

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Polymer Clay Relief Sculpture
(C) Sara Joseph
11×14″

Another wonderful review of my book! This one by Sara Joseph, artist/co-owner at Artists Showplace Gallery in Dallas, Texas and author of Gently Awakened: the Influence of Faith on Your Artistic Journey. Find out more about Sara and take advantage of her wonderful resources at www.christian-artist-resource.com.

This is what Sara had to say: Continue reading

“God’s Creative Gift” Inspiring Prophetic Art

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I am deeply humbled by Colleen Brigg’s words in this blogpost about prophetic art. God is calling his artists to rise up, to speak, to make His glory known in this earth. Thank you Colleen for demonstrating courage—the courage to explore, experience and encounter God through your artistic work (which is amazing BEaUtiful)!!

Colleen Briggs

Whatever It Takes; 2014; 28" x 20"; watercolor. Whatever It Takes; 2014; 28″ x 20″; watercolor.

“Art is the language of the soul.” With these words, one of my lifelong friends exhorted me as I wrestled for years with an insatiable need to express myself visually. For decades I tried to suppress this language, feeling it could not urgently or adequately address the evils I witnessed in the world. It felt too slow and clumsy to reverse urgent emergencies such as poverty or abandonment. But it was a language that swelled within my being and refused to be silenced. Aristotle said, “A soul never thinks without a picture.” My own soul craved color, texture, pattern and images; and no matter how fast I trotted around the world or how passionately I tried to speak in other ways, it was a soul-whisper that would not be denied.

At times when I surrendered to my native “tongue,” images hounded me…

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“God’s Creative Gift” Book Review by Artist & Speaker David Weiss

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Book review of my book from Dave Weiss of AMOKArts

AMOKArts


For the last month and a half I have been using God’s Creative Gift-Unleashing the Artist in You: Bible Studies to Nurture the Creative Spirit Within as my devotional and it has been a real blessing. I got the opportunity to meet Jody Thomae in May when I did Pictures of Jesus at her church Five Stones Community Church, but we actually met online when I saw a Facebook post about this book and decided to look into it. It’s a really wonderful book.

Jody Thomae manages to walk the thin line of having a book that is both scholarly and accessible. This is a very intelligent look at God’s work in His artists today by looking at our very creative God and biblical accounts of creativity. The book’s chapters each begin with an in depth look at their topic and then five devotional studies digging deeper into the…

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“Bible Studies to Nurture the Creative Spirit Within” Series

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For signed copies of my books,
check out my Square Store!

As Christian creatives, artists, worshipers, and those who appreciate beauty, we must enter into the Word of God on a regular basis in order to hear God’s voice firsthand, 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.

The Bible Studies to Nurture the Creative Spirit series was written as an end towards this goal… to encourage those who are moved by artistry, beauty, creativity and worship to dig more deeply and mine the treasures contained in the Written Word of God so they can understand more fully the Living Word of God, Jesus Christ. While these books are filled with wonderful information about the Bible, they were designed to transformational, not informational in nature.

There are two books in the series: The Creator’s Healing Power—Restoring the Broken to Beautiful and God’s Creative Gift—Unleashing the Artist in You.


The Creator’s Healing Power—Restoring the Broken to Beautiful

The Creator’s Healing Power—Restoring the Broken to Beautiful is my second book in the Bible Studies to Nurture the Create Spirit Within series.

What if you could gather up all the shattered and scattered pieces of your broken heart and surrender them to a Master Artist who would then piece it back together into a BEaUtiful work of heART? A powerful kind of…
Kintsugi of the Soul

Kintsugi is the Japanese art of repairing broken pottery with a lacquer mixed with powdered gold. When an object is broken, rather than discarding the damaged and broken, the pieces are mended, and cracks are filled with precious metal and, in many ways, make the object more beautiful than it was at the start. As a philosophy, it is rooted in the inherent beauty of all objects, no matter what they’ve endured.

The philosophy behind kintsugi is the same one that inspires this book.

Kintsugi is a powerful metaphor of Jesus Christ, the Master Artisan, filling and healing the shattered places within. As the broken places are tenderly pieced back together and repaired with his golden healing balm, they become a beautiful place where God’s glory is revealed in our weakness.

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Cover designed by Donna Godwin

In The Creator’s Healing Power—Restoring the Broken to Beautiful you will discover a path to healing with a focus on artistry, beauty, creativity and worship. Based on the Formational Prayer Model developed by Dr. Terry WardleThe Creator’s Healing Power is an in-depth and interactive Bible study exploring the connection between healing and creativity, prayer and redemption, surrender and beauty, worship and wholeness.

Designed in an 8.5 x 11″ workbook format, The Creator’s Healing Power is designed as a devotional Bible-study that focuses on a creative process towards healing. 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 chapters are as follows: Awakening, Resting, Confronting, Lamenting, Encountering, Journeying, and Adventuring. Each chapter includes poetry, coloring pages, and testimonies from fellow artisans on the healing journey.

Are you ready for Jesus to restore the broken places within?

You can find a Bible study excerpt from the book here and another excerpt here.


God’s Creative GiftUnleashing the Artist in You

“A necessary book for every creative spirit.”  —Sarah M. Wells, Writer, Author & Poet

God's Creative Gift by Jody ThomaeGod’s Creative Gift—Unleashing the Artist in You was written as the first book in the Bible Studies to Nurture the Creative Spirit Within series. It is a devotional resource for the creative Christian, those in worship arts ministry, and those moved by artistry and beauty. 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 unleashing the artist within each of us. It is designed to help 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.

You can read an excerpt of one of the Bible studies here.


 Where to find my books . . .

For a more personal option, signed copies of both books can by purchased at my Square Store, where my resources are available most affordably. Additionally, God’s Creative Gift is available through: Wipf & Stock Publishers,  Amazon and in Kindle Format and The Creator’s Healing Power is available through Amazon and Kindle and is offered FREE through KindleUnlimited/KOLL.  If you would like to purchase discounted, signed copies of the books for your creative / worship arts group study, contact Jody directly at jodythomae @ zoominternet.net for bulk rates.


Want to know more about the books?

Banff emerald lake

I’ve posted excerpts from my books so you can get a feel for them. One is a meditation on Psalm 19 about the “Nature” of God from God’s Creative Gift. You can find that here. The second is a reflection on a very difficult passage of scripture, the rape of Tamar found in II Samuel 13, which is from The Creator’s Healing Power. You can find that here. An additional excerpt is available here.


What others are saying . . .

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God’s Creative Gift is an “incredibly insightful and inspiring book by Jody Thomae [that] 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.” And The Creator’s Healing Power is “highly recommended!! So much beauty for ashes and diamonds in the rough are offered through these well written devotional pages. A must for those broken creatives who need to find hope to be restored!”—Randall Flinn, Founder and Artistic Director, Ad Deum Dance Company, Houston, Texas

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

The Creator’s Healing Power “is a much-needed resource for Christ followers. Many of our church traditions have a strong focus on left-brained theology and teaching, and have left us bankrupt in the area of using the creative process for healing. This resource reads less like a textbook and more like a field manual for those of us in the wilderness of this healing journey. Jody provides clear landmarks for this journey. Prayer, Scripture, poetry, music, art, and sound teaching provide the structure for an intentional pathway of healing. I recommend this resource highly and pray that many will find themselves drawn to the healing light of Jesus through its pages.” — Amazon Reader “Cherished One”

“There are so many books to read and so little time to take it all in. So I skip through different genres, topics, and themes, as my moods change. Many books are quickly forgotten, others offer something, and still others become memorable. If I can glean one good idea that matters from any book I read, then I consider it having been worth my while. The Creator’s Healing Power has more than delivered, falling into the category of a book I will cherish.
It is a Bible study workbook and a slow read, not because it is dense and difficult to understand, but because it is rich. To truly benefit from this book you must work your way through it slowly and thoughtfully. I found it to be more insightful than the usual Bible study, which often tends to be unidimensional.
Intended for creative Christians, this book tackles transforming the brokenness of the human spirit into a work of beauty by yielding to the Holy Spirit. The author has applied the truths in the Bible to her own life and this book is the fruit of her insight gained from experience. This is a well written book that will encourage, uplift and deepen your walk with Jesus.
Following her prompts and references to outside resources like YouTube videos will truly enhance the slow, mediative pace of the journey that she takes the reader on. The theme of restoring the broken to beautiful is gently and delicately dealt within its pages. This book is truly anointed and well worth the read. I would highly recommend it if you are a Christian and would like to, as she puts it, ‘nurture the creative spirit within’.” — Sara Joseph, Artist/Author, Gently Awakened.  Developer / Administrator, http://www.christian-artist-resource.com.


Book Reviews

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.