“Practicing the Presence” was created for a Healing Care Ministries seminar called The Essentials. The essence of this seminar to help those in caregiving ministries understand how to position people for lasting, healing change, particularly through engaging the right hemisphere of the brain through creative spiritual practices. “Practicing the Presence” was done each morning in lieu of traditional worship. Each day is spent focusing on one member of the Trinity with the following themes: Creator God, Christ our Royal Redeemer, and Holy Spirit, Flame of Love.
Each day we started in silence, which was broken with Lectio Divina. Then participants were released to explore creative prayer stations. Every day, one station included a cross with artwork to create a space where folks could kneel and pray, and another included the coloring pages at two large tables with coloring supplies:
In the Old Testament, agreements were sometimes ratified through the building of altars.
Throughout scripture we find the people of God creating sacred spaces, from piles of rocks to a Tabernacle and a Temple. And they all have one thing in common—they are places where people encounter God. The altars were built to serve as a remembrance of their encounter with God and his faithfulness in their lives. Altars were built by Noah (Gen 8:20); Abraham at Shechem, Hebron, Moriah and Bethel (which means: house of God) (Gen 12:7-8, 13:18, 22:9); Isaac (Gen 26:25); Jacob at Shechem and Bethel (Gen 33:20, 35:7); Moses (Ex 17:15, 24:4); Joshua (Josh 8:30, 24:25-27); Samuel (I Sam 7:12) and many others. As you study these scriptures, note the encounter with God that each person had.
Two noteworthy stories:
1) When the Israelites crossed the River Jordan, each tribe was instructed to take one stone from the river bed and they used those stones to create an altar to the Lord. Joshua also created an altar in the river bed itself:
So Joshua called together the twelve men he had chosen—one from each of the tribes of Israel. He told them, “Go into the middle of the Jordan, in front of the Ark of the Lord your God. Each of you must pick up one stone and carry it out on your shoulder—twelve stones in all, one for each of the twelve tribes of Israel. We will use these stones to build a memorial. In the future your children will ask you, ‘What do these stones mean?’ Then you can tell them, ‘They remind us that the Jordan River stopped flowing when the Ark of the Lord’s Covenant went across.’ These stones will stand as a memorial among the people of Israel forever.”Continue reading
In December 2014, God pressed on my heart an idea that would take a year-long commitment and some serious sleuthing. And now, 253 posts and over a year later, the project is done! That project was Create-A-Day: your daily dose of creativity! A play on One-A-Day® Vitamins, the idea was to refill, replenish and renew your creative soul. My goal was to provide you, the creative Christian, with resources to help develop ARTistry, CREATivity & your capacity for BEaUty.
Over the course of the year, I connected with some amazing folks doing creative ministry in many different ways and places around the world. In connection and conversation, I learned that there is a movement of artists and creatives on the leading edge of what many believe will be the next Great Awakening, as artists rise up to take their place to reveal God’s glory on this earth. Will you join those artists and creatives in making his praise glorious? Follow the Spirit’s leading in your life and reveal Christ through the BEaUty you create!!
If you’ve enjoyed Create-A-Day, be sure to like me on Facebook as I will be using that as my main platform for sharing resources of ARTistry, CREATivity, and BEaUty in the future.
In case you missed the excitement, here’s the Create-A-Day 2015 year in review:
Or you can simply click here and work your way down through wonderful plethora of creative resources! I hope you’ve enjoyed our year of creativity. If you find any dead links, comment and let me know so I can keep these resources as current as possible. Don’t forget to visit again and please use these resources for your church or ministry.
And don’t forget: Make His praise GLORIOUS!!
Blessings of ARTistry, CREATivity & BEaUty, Jody
Jody Thomae is the author of God’s Creative Gift—Unleashing the Artist in You, a devotional book with Bible studies to nurture the creative spirit within and to serve as a resource for creative Christians, artists, musicians and worshippers. She has been involved in worship arts ministry since 1997, coordinating artistic involvement in church services and regional worship events through dance, drama, poetry and fine arts. She performs, teaches, choreographs, preaches, coordinates and leads workshops in the area of creativity, spirituality and embodied prayer. She has also recently released a devotional CD, Song of the Beloved. Her passion is for the revelation of God to be made more real through the prophetic use of the arts in church and formational 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. Life scriptures include Psalm 27; Isaiah 50:4-7; and Zephaniah 3:14-17.
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
As 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
We are nearing the end of our Create-A-Day 2015 posts. As we wind down, I want to leave you with a shadow dance to “O Magnum Mysterium” sung live for CHRISTmas Eve 2013 at Northland Church in Longwood, Florida. Such BEaUty!!
“O Magnum Mysterium” written & arranged by Morten Lauridsen
Original Text: O magnum mysterium, et admirabile sacramentum, ut animalia viderent Dominum natum, jacentem in praesepio! Beata Virgo, cujus viscera meruerunt portare Dominum Christum. Alleluia.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