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.

Create-A-Day: your daily dose of creativity #238 — Gift Ideas for Art Journalers

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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!

Screen Shot 2015-11-03 at 9.07.09 PMFirst, 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!!)

Screen Shot 2015-12-01 at 10.02.02 PMSecond, 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

Create-A-Day: your daily dose of creativity #214 — God’s Creative Gift

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National Book MonthAs we wrap up end our tribute to National Book Month, I would be remiss if I didn’t introduce my own book. “Last but not least” as the saying goes!

I wrote God’s Creative Gift—Unleashing the Artist in You in obedience to God’s calling in my life. Frankly, many of the topics I wrote about were thoughts and ideas that wouldn’t leave me alone until I had gently guided them onto paper. It is designed as a Bible study and devotional, great for individual or group study. It is not just for artists but creative folks of all forms, mediums and venues.

The Word of God is vital to our lives. It has much to say to all of us, and more than that, it has much to say to artists and creatives! Discover what God’s Word has to say to you as his masterpiece, his poem, his BEaUtiful creation! If you click here, it will lead you to my store where you can purchase a copy of my book signed with a personal blessing just for you! You can read more about my book here.

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Create-A-Day: your daily dose of creativity #213 — The Seventy

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National Book MonthAs we wind down our focus on books for artists, creatives and worshipers, I want to direct you to a new book that came out just this month!

The Seventy: A Movement of Creativity in the Earth by Pastor Bernard Boulton is based on a prophetic prayer he spoke over his congregation in 2009.

SeventyThis book announces a movement of creativity rising in the earth during the second decade of the twenty first century. The God of creativity who created the heavens and the earth and created mankind in His image is raising up and sending out a remnant of creative artists who have seen God with a pure heart and have a call on their lives to release the love of God through creative expression.

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Create-A-Day: your daily dose of creativity #212 — The Creative Epiphany

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National Book MonthThe month of October and National Book Month are coming to a close, dear friends. I hope you’ve found some books to add to your creative library!

The Creative EpiphanyI’ve shared The Creative Epiphany blog of artist Jo Ann Brown-Scott previously. You can see that here. I want to direct you to a specific post about her book, entitled The Creative Epiphany: Gifted Minds, Grand Realizations, which delves into the creative minds of 19 artists with stories of their personal encounter with “Epiphany.” In her post celebrating January 6th, the Day of Epiphany, she talks about her book and ends with this wonderful thought-provoking quote:

. . . an epiphany brings information  –  an enlightening message of some variety  –  that you did not have before. A missing piece in your plans. And you needed it to move forward. It is of great help to you and utmost importance that you pay attention to it. There are some keys to accommodating the arrival of the coveted epiphany – the best one is to remain open and present, living in the now, aware and alert to all possibilities. Keep a receptive mind, engaged and involved in life. Be hopeful. Have faith.

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Create-A-Day: your daily dose of creativity #211 — Arts Ministry & More!

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National Book MonthNational Book Month is winding down! And we have THREE books—all for artists and creatives in church ministry! I know many creatives feel like the church has let them down, but these books help artists AND pastors walk through the process of starting a worship arts ministry together. All three make a strong case for the use of arts in our churches. Here they are and what others are saying about them!

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Create-A-Day: your daily dose of creativity #210 — Books of Theologian Jeremy Begbie

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National Book MonthJeremy 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 PraiseVoicing 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