Painted Presents and the Art of Christmas

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Don’t ever be “too busy” to give your gift of ARTistry, BEaUty and CREATivITy…

The Secret Kingdom

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It’s hard to paint with a cat in your lap.

Many years ago I painted a portrait of my sister

for her Christmas present.

I am a slow painter.

If I remember correctly…

I started that painting

many months before Christmas

giving myself time

to linger over my work.

“Portrait of Sherry” by Michele Bledsoe

This Christmas

my sister asked for another portrait.

Not of herself,

but one of her beloved cat, Munchkin

who passed away this year..

leaving me 6 days to finish the painting.

6 days.

As of today, it is 5.

Did I decline her request?

Did I make excuses?

Did I explain that I simply had too many other things to do before Christmas?

No.

I just grabbed a blank canvas and started painting.

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Connecting the Dots

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Great article from Manuel Luz on our role as artists, creatives and worshipers in the church!

Adventures in Faith & Art

It happens to everyone, at an early age.  At some point in our wonder-filled Kindergarten experience, we were all handed a piece of paper smothered in dots.  And we were all instructed to carefully draw lines from one dot to another, following the numerical sequence, with the promise that an image would appear.  Thick crayons scrunched in our tiny hands, we all learned how to “connect the dots” and find the hidden pirate or giraffe or pumpkin.  It was like magic.

The ancients knew how to connect the dots too.  The Greeks, the Romans, the Babylonians, the Chinese—they all pondered the night sky and grouped the stars into constellations upon which they tried to derive greater purpose and ultimate significance.  There were figures in the stars that pointed to something greater than themselves—ancient mythos, creation stories, immutable fates and foreboding omens—and although this was more related to superstition than truth…

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Create-A-Day: your daily dose of creativity #252 — Visioning the Invisible

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VisionAs we wind down our year of creative posts,  I want to direct you to a blog post from my friend Dave Weiss of AMOK Arts entitled “Vision… Can You See it?” This post is a short but powerful word of encouragement to artists and creatives about moving forward in the dreams, callings, visions and destinies to which God is calling you.

It is my prayer that as this year unwinds you will seek the Lord’s guidance and will for the coming year. What creative destiny has He placed on your heart? What has He called you to for the season ahead? Make yourself “present” to God and seek what he has for you in this present moment! Continue reading

Create-A-Day: your daily dose of creativity #244 — More Advent Resources!

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LEAD Advent Resource Artwork by Vonda Drees

LEAD Advent Resource
Artwork by Vonda Drees

Directing you to LEAD: Living Every day As Disciples to yet another creative Advent resource! Look for Advent & Lenten Resources (under the “Resources” tab) which includes contemplative prayer liturgies and accompanying creative experiences for your use during Advent. Free printables for coloring, downloadable liturgies for bulletins, links to videos — everything is there for you! This is an amazing resource for use in your church, ministry or family!

Another resource added 2018: a free online resource from Brenda Warren of Saintsbridge. 40 Days of Advent devotionals called “Celts to the Creche” is inspired by Celtic and Anglo-Saxon saints. This pilgrimage to the creche in Bethlehem begins November 16.  Continue reading

Create-A-Day: your daily dose of creativity #240 — Christmas Devotional Experience

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Mary and Jesus by Podi Lawrence

Mary and Jesus
by Podi Lawrence

Today I want to direct you to a Christmas Devotional Experience from Soul Shepherding. It can be adapted and used in a variety of contexts, including personal devotions, small groups, family gatherings and worship settings.

According to Soul Shepherding:

In this Christmas devotional we take a journey to welcome Christ to be born anew in our hearts. There are Scripture meditation and prayers to help you identify with eight different characters from the story — including some surprise characters that you wouldn’t have thought of! You can pick one character for the season and keep returning to related Scripture meditations and prayers or you can pick a different one each day. What a blessing it is to companion these characters as they adore the Christ child!

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Create-A-Day: your daily dose of creativity #236 — Worship Groups on Facebook

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FBIt’s our last Facebook Friday for the year!! And we have two groups featured today!

Our first group is At His Feet Ministries and is administered by Kristina Collins, Founder & Director of her ministry of the same name. Here’s the group description:

This group is for the arts! If you are a dance instructor, choreographer, dancer, artist, designer and you would like to network, advertise conferences, exchange advice and ideas, and get to know other artists, stay in fit condition in the journey God has you on… We welcome you to participate, and encourage each other. If you have art share it! A conference coming up… share it! Health tips… share it! We just want to expand the tent pegs!

A little about AHF: At His Feet Ministries is a non-profit 501-C3 organization founded by Kristina Collins. Rooted in the arts, AHF is a unique ministry geared towards creative outreach. Through music, dance, drama, art and teaching, AHF strives to train, equip and release the creative giftings of God into the hearts and lives of many.

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Create-A-Day: your daily dose of creativity #228 — The Advent Door

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S x wreathThe Advent Door is the blog of artist, author and minister Jan Richardson. For several years now Jan has posted weekly Advent meditations with her artwork and poetry. The meditations are based on each year’s lectionary cycle. You can sift down through the posts and be inspired by her BEaUtiful artwork and thoughtful poetry, just make sure you hit ‘older posts’ at the bottom to continue down through the posts she has made over the years. She has much to share to take us through the CHRISTmas season. Resource ideas for corporate or personal worship — a great way to prayerfully and intentionally move through the season. Continue reading