One of the highlights of the Creative Church Conference for me was meeting potter Dave Blakeslee. Dave uses his art of Pottery to share the Gospel. I got into Boise a day early, so I helped with set up. One of the things I got to do was help Dave unload his equipment. In that moment, it was clear, I had met a kindred spirit. You see I have often noticed when most speakers show up to speak they don’t have to first unload about a ton of equipment, but guys like Dave Blakeslee and I do. This led into some pretty nice discussions, as I got pointers on the finer points of traveling ministry from a fellow artist who is a little further down the road than I am. It was a wonderful time and oddly enough it perfectly demonstrated Dave’s keynote.

He started off by having us breathe in. Not so unusual, a lot of speakers will calm their audiences by having them take a deep breath. The difference is Dave had us hold that breath for a pretty long time. Then he did the reverse, he had us empty our lungs and hold that for what seemed like an equally long time. The breathing is the most literal expression of what so many of we artists seek, inspiration. His point was, well, breathtaking. When we breathe in, when we’re inspired, we can’t just hold it in. We have to expire, to breathe out. Likewise when we expire, breathe out, sooner or later we have to inspire, breathe in, or we will, well, expire. Blakeslee’s point was we receive our inspiration from God, not so we can hold it in and keep it to ourselves but so we can let it out to the world around us.

Likewise we cannot keep breathing out, putting our work out without receiving God’s inspiration. We need to receive from God and release into the world, like inhalation and exhalation, breathing in, breathing out, inspiration, expiration. Dave then began to talk about the three people we need. People who are further down the road than us, who we can help, people who are our peers who can walk by our sides and people who are behind us in the journey that we can help along. In the same way, we must also be those people to others—Inspiring and being inspired—giving and receiving. It was a wonderful message, something I really needed and I believe something we all need if we are going to create God-inspired and God-empowered art.

Who inspires you? Who are you inspiring? Who walks beside you?

What are you expiring?

Here’s a clip of Dave sharing a message and making his art. I think you’ll find it inspiring!

  1. Those who serve God through their ministry diligently inspire me


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