Let me leave you with this message of courage as you walk the path God has placed before you for the year ahead.
“Sovereign Lord, as you have promised, you may now dismiss your servant in peace. For my eyes have seen your salvation, which you have prepared in the sight of all nations: a light for revelation to the Gentiles, and the glory of your people Israel.”
The child’s father and mother marveled at what Simeon said about him.Then Simeon blessed them and said to Mary, his mother: “This child is destined to cause the falling and rising of many in Israel, and to be a sign that will be spoken against,so that the thoughts of many hearts will be revealed. And a sword will pierce your own soul too.” ~ Lk 2:29-35
Imagine hearing this blessing over your child and then those very last words. Just as Simeon is pouring out this wonderful worship of the infant Christ, he ends with this warning to Mary. Women of Ancient Israel longed to give birth to the promised Messiah, the One who would bring hope, healing and restoration to their nation. Yet few would understand the cost of this “gift.”
What gift has God entrusted to you? How will you work with God to bring it to fulfillment in your life? Will you press forward even when the road ahead gets tough? Even when your soul is pierced? Will you still say yes?Continue reading
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
Today’s post is for Bible art journalers and other crafty folks, with a Christmas gift idea, a free resource and a blog with great ideas for art journaling! Wow! This one is loaded!
First, the gift idea! I have heard folks say the only thing they don’t like about art journaling in their Bibles is that the 2-3″ margins aren’t big enough, and they don’t like to cover the words of scripture! The soon-to-be-available Interleaved ESV Journaling Bible might be just the Bible for you then! There is a blank canvas to compliment every page! It will be available March 11, 2016 but you can pre-order now at a reduced rate. You can check out all the details on move-the-mountains.com. (I recommend exploring that blog too — great resources and ideas!!)
Second, here’s a resource for art journalers and anyone else wanting to get creative with Advent: free downloadable Advent scripture cards from Displaying Grace blog. They support a wonderfully creative Advent study, also found on the blog. Tons of great family activity ideas and free printables to help make this a memorable and thoughtful CHRISTmas season.Continue reading
A group available for us Artistic Christians to share what God is doing through Artists in the church! Previously Prophetic Art Canada, this group has grown far beyond the borders of just Canada, so the name of this group has been altered to reflect that!
Jeremy Begbie, professor of theology at Duke Divinity School, has spent much of his life focusing on the intersections of the arts, faith and theology. Now I know, often artists write off theologians and academicians because we think they don’t “get” us artists, but I can assure you Dr. Begbie gets us!! He is indeed one of us!! A musician in his own right, he has been spear-heading arts initiatives at seminaries and universities across the world, making sure professors, pastors and religious thinkers know that the arts have a vital role to play in the Church!
His books (with short reviews/descriptions from Amazon reviewers) include:
Voicing Creation’s Praise: Towards a Theology of the Arts is “for those interested in serious theological reflection on art. Begbie’s unique background as a classically-trained musician and Cambridge theologian gives him wonderful insight and Spirit-led authority in dealing with this critical cultural topic. Moreover, Begbie breaks free of the Modernist stranglehold on aesthetic philosophy, and presents a refreshing and deeply Christocentric analysis of the relationship between the character and action of God and human creativity.” I’ll warn you, this book is expensive, so look into borrowing it from the library.Continue reading
“I don’t write as an expert – I’m not sure there is such a thing in deep matters of the soul. I write as a fellow image bearer, an intuitive observer and participant in the art of God.
I see artistic potential in not only those pursuits the world would label artistic like painting and singing and dance, but also in small gestures done with great faith, like listening, waiting, and showing up.
There is an art alive within you and you don’t have to go anywhere to find it. Because the art alive within you was woven into the fabric of your soul when you were made in the secret place. Doubt, discouragement and distraction may be covering it up, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t there. When believers embrace the unique shape of their soul and move into the world as the person we most fully are, art comes out.”
Drawing from his experiences performing Mozart, playing “dive bars”, and leading worship and the arts in the church, author Manuel Luz seeks to answer the questions that artists often ask. Laced with humorous and sometimes poignant anecdotes, Imagine That is a thought-provoking journey through the convergence of art and faith. Luz has been a working musician, writer, pastor, and even amateur cartoonist for more than 40 years, and in Imagine That he lays out his case for a uniquely Christian approach to the vocation of artist, using theologically rich and artist-friendly language.