Yoga as a Creative Christian Practice

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Shoulder to shoulder with my Jesus tribe I know that I am accepted and loved, that I belong and that I have found a group of people who have experienced the great love of Jesus Christ…. on a mat… a yoga mat.

Raise PraiseYou ask me how? How can a Christian practice yoga? I mean, isn’t it Hindu? Aren’t you worshiping the sun or Shiva or a weird looking elephant dude… or something? I could tell you that the movements we call yoga in America are actually more closely derived from the exercise regimens of Indian palaces than from the ashrams who adopted them (Science of Yoga, W.J. Broad), but I’m not sure you’d believe me. So I’ll tell you what God told me.

First, let me clearly state that I recognize that not everyone can or should practice yoga. There are people who have had negative experiences with yoga, and I agree 100% that yoga is not the best creative practice for them to adopt. However, that doesn’t mean that it effects everyone in the same negative way (proceeding with wisdom, discernment and caution). For I have experienced the love of God in such strong, powerful and healing way on the mat, that I cannot go along with the notion that a Christian cannot practice yoga. Let me tell you what Jesus has taught me along my journey into yoga…

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Creative Spiritual Practice: Creating a Sacred Space/Preparing an Altar of Remembrance

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Hebrew: Mizbeach מִזְבֵּ֫חַ

An altar or place of sacrifice

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.

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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

Create-A-Day: your daily dose of creativity — Year in Review

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Create-A-Day
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:

Top series:

Top 20 individual posts:

If you’d like to explore resources from the past year, I’ve grouped them so you can explore by category:

Or you can simply click here and work your way down through! 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

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God's Creative Gift by Jody ThomaeJody 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. JodyThomaeCDcoverart_FA_printShe 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.

Create-A-Day: your daily dose of creativity #249 — What is Christmas?

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What is the true meaning of CHRISTmas? I know this can be a difficult season for many. There is only one way to be truly fulfilled in this season:

Clayton Jennings is on a mission to #TellTheWorld about the saving love of Jesus Christ. One way in which he does this is through powerful videos like the one above. Another way is through spoken word:

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Create-A-Day: your daily dose of creativity #248 — Jesus as a Work of Art

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S x baby jesusHave you ever thought about the “creation” of Christ? Not as God but as a human, a baby, born in a manger, as the scripture says? Who decided what he would look like, his smile, the color of his eyes, the shape of his tiny nose? Did he and God the Father put their heads together and say, “This is what God Incarnate should look like.” Or did God simply say, “Let me surprise you, Son”?

Just some thoughts to ponder as I direct you to a short CHRISTmas devotional called Christ Jesus — a Work of Art. May you be blessed as you consider this most precious gift the world has ever received!

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Create-A-Day #247: ADVENTure Prayer Walk 5 — the CHRIST Candle

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Advent BabyJesus strawADVENTure is a self-directed prayer walk pondering the true meaning of Christmas. You can read all about it here, as well as learn how you can do this as interactive prayer walk for your church or ministry.

This week is CHRISTmas! Our Savior has come!! Hallelujah! As we consider the true meaning of CHRISTmas we light the CHRIST Candle at the center of the Advent Wreath. The One we have waited for has come!

The Christ Candle

Read: Luke 2:1-7

Meditation:

We typically reflect on Christ in his years of ministry – as a grown man. The man who walked among his people, healing them, teaching them, forgiving them and loving them.

Have you ever stopped to consider Christ as a baby?

an infant?

tiny and helpless?

dependant on others to care for him?

to love him and nurture him? 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! Advent Resources for Your Home & Congregation includes four contemplative prayer liturgies and accompanying coloring pages 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! Enjoy! Continue reading