7 :: “Today you will be with me…”

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“7” Last Statements of Jesus
Spoken from the Cross: Week 2

“I assure you, today you will be with me in paradise.”  Luke 23:43

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Matt Durbin (c) 2010

Breath

Jesus, why are you

up here

with me,             why

is our blood

mixing                with dirt,

why do our lungs

heave out                as if

we have

the same spirit

in us

begging          to be            set free?

Why do we          keep

breathing,

                                            each inhalation,

                                                                                 a gasp.

All           I want             to do

is breathe out

a final                time. Continue reading

“7” :: “Father, forgive them…”

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“7” Last Statements of Jesus
Spoken from the Cross: Week 1

“Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.” Luke 23:34

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Matt Durbin (c) 2014

 

The People Stood Watching

Come, see a man who told me everything

I ever did. A man who healed my eyes,

fed me bread he multiplied, poured my cup

of wine, washed my feet, called me out

onto the sea, cursed the unfruitful tree,

received my kiss on his way out of Gethsemane.

Come see a man who raised me from death,

beckoned for me from my tomb, knew me

in my mother’s womb. See him, how he saved me?

Let him save himself, if he is the chosen

one, the Son of God, of Man, a Nazarene.

Come draw lots with me—which piece

of clothing do you need?

~ Sarah M. Wells (C) 2010 Continue reading

Moving Creatively Through Lent

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Yesterday I posted information on a new series called EMBODIED that starts this Friday, February 16th and goes through Good Friday. Embodied is a 7 week-long exploration of postures of praise & prayer to help us move mindfully through the Lenten season. I will be posting one posture each week (on Friday) to take us through the season of Lent.

In addition, to further help us move through Lent creatively, I will also be posting from the previously featured  “7” Virtual Art-Walk series each week on Wednesdays throughout Lent, as well as reflections from our church’s Lenten sermon series on Monday of each week. The 7 Virtual Art-Walk includes the artwork of Matt Durbin, the poetry of Sarah Wells, and music that all focus on the last 7 words of Christ spoken from the cross. And our church (5 Stones Community Church) will be working with passages throughout Ephesians to help us prayerfully remember and reflect on Jesus during this season.

So…
Sermon reflections on Mondays 
7 Virtual Art-Walk on Wednesdays
EMBODIED exploration of postures of prayer & praise on Fridays
…starting this Wednesday (Ash Wednesday) and working our way through Good Friday, March 30th.

J from tombWhether you grew up in a high church tradition (one that celebrated Lent) or not (like mine), I pray that you will find a way to mindfully, creatively and prayerfully prepare your heart for the celebration of the resurrection of our Lord and Savior on Resurrection Sunday, April 1st.

You can follow along by visiting http://www.jodythomae.com every Monday, Wednesday and Friday (and searching under the “Creative Spiritual Practices” tab), signing up to receive my emails (<– Look left or for + sign upper left), or following along on Instagram or Facebook. Stay connected by using the #GodsCreativeGift hashtag.

Continue reading

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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Painting and Listening

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Colleen Briggs has dusted off her brushes and is back to canvas with this sweet reminder. I had the privilege of catching up with Colleen one day over lunch — that was almost two years ago. What a BEaUtiful time… kindred hearts…
Thanks Colleen for listening to that Inner Voice

Colleen Briggs

hesedIn the last few months I traveled halfway around the world. The trip was like a rock dropped in a lake, and I’m flowing out in the ripples. Opportunities to share the story of Sanctuary of Hope and Pamba Toto abound. I’m swimming hard to keep up.

Amidst it all, my children, home on summer break from school, moved in and out of my coming and going. Summer bustled with joy. Now, as they return to school, quiet settles over the house and over my soul.

I feel expectant and afraid.

Brushes and paint, gathering dust during my longest break from painting in the last four years, quietly whisper, “It’s time.”

I try to ignore it.

The same old taunts leak into my mind. Art is such a lonely journey with no clear markers, like wandering in a forest without a trail. Every tree looks the same and there are few guides…

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Create-A-Day: your daily dose of creativity #250 — Infinite Windows

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Infinite Windows

I trust you had a blessed CHRISTmas holiday as you celebrated the birth of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Did you know in traditional Christian church tradition, CHRISTmas lasts through Epiphany on January 6th? As we wind down from the CHRISTmas holiday weekend, let us remember that Jesus came both to LIVE as God among us (Incarnation) and to DIE as the final atoning sacrifice (Salvation). He is both Lion and Lamb, Alpha and Omega, Healer and Savior, Infant Babe and Victorious King!

Today let me refer you to an October post on Infinite Windows, a blog with meditations on faith and art. This post describes a powerful encounter the writer recently had with a piece of artwork at the High Museum of Art in Atlanta. The painting was Caravaggio’s Christ Crowned with Thorns, and it depicts Roman soldiers forcing the crown of thorns upon Jesus’ head. I am often astonished by the power of art to bring us into life-changing encounters and memories of God’s redemptive power, grace and love. Continue reading

Create-A-Day: your daily dose of creativity #225 — 52 Weeks of Prophetic Art with Grace Bailey

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G BaileyGrace Bailey is a prophetic artist on a mission! Ministering out of her home church in Ballarat, Victoria (Australia) and at a variety of conferences, she has set herself a goal of 52 Weeks of Prophetic Art. Yes! 52 weeks of live painting during worship! What an amazing goal and ministry. I have been following her since I first found her last Spring on her Facebook page and have been deeply blessed by the artwork she is painting. You can also follow her journey here on her website.

"Valley of Dry Bones" by Grace Bailey (C) 2015

“Valley of Dry Bones? Ha! piece of Cake!”
by Grace Bailey (C) 2015

The painting on your right is “Valley of Dry Bones? Ha! piece of Cake!”

Won’t you take a moment to consider? What are the dry bones in your life? Are they dreams and visions that seem to have died? Are they broken, wounded places in your spirit? Are they mistakes from your past that still fill you with shame? While you examine this painting, won’t you slowly and prayerfully read this prophetic prayer adapted from Ezekiel 37 with me and other fellow artists praying this prayer with us today? Continue reading