Posts Tagged ‘art’

Is it just me or are things getting worse at an alarming rate right now. I was away for two weeks. The first week was a disaster recovery mission trip. The physical work combined with the exhaustion afterwards combined with some really terrible wifi kept me pretty much out of touch with the outside world. Then last week I was having a great time working with adults with special needs at Delta Lake Bible Conference in New York and to be honest, I was just too busy ministering and enjoying these wonderful folks to pay much attention. Coming back to reality almost feels depressing, but there is Jesus so there is hope.

Part of me wants to weigh in on the political situation, but no that’s not the issue. An even bigger part of me wants to talk about how the media seems to be bent on dividing and destroying the nation, as if they will be above and immune to the fall. They won’t, but that’s not the issue either. They’re symptoms of a greater disease. We’re a nation that has turned it’s back on God and all this stuff is the fall out. The answer to our situation is actually pretty simple. And this is where you, Christian Creative, come in.

The Gospel is the Answer.

If humanity could fix our world, surely we would have done it by now. What is wrong with us will take the power of God to fix. So what will we do? I suggest we start off in prayer. I suggest we seek God. I suggest we ask Him how we might honor Him and point people to Him and then I suggest we act on what He shows us. What if we all turned our hearts to God? What if we all cast our cares on the One who cares for us? What if we began to create God-Inspired work designed to draw the hearts of the people back to their God? As for me, I am done worrying about the course of this nation. I am done wringing my hands in frustration and railing about the media and politicians. I serve a higher power, the highest power, and if you’re a Christian, so do you. I know the One who can fix the mess we’re in and I am determined to serve Him faithfully, making the most of every opportunity in these evil days (Ephesians 5:16).

First we pray… Then we act… Create faithfully to the Glory of God.

The Gospel is the Answer…

A young friend of mine asked me for prayer for some depression she is struggling with. Of course I did, I’ve been there myself on many occasions. I also wanted to share an observation.

Depression often hits creatives. I believe it is the downside of our creative imaginations. We can see things as they should be and then get depressed when we see how far there is to go. The thing is the depression takes us out of our creativity. We have to be careful not to wallow. The things we see, that better future is possible, but not in our own strength. Our job is faithfulness. Remember Philippians 1:6. He who began a good work in you will carry it through to completion in the day of Christ Jesus. He started, He finishes it, but we get to work in faithfulness along the way. Be of good cheer. In this world you will have trouble but take heart, Jesus has overcome the world.

One final note. Depression can be medical. If you struggle with excessive depression, please seek medical attention. There is nothing wrong with getting help.

This morning at the gym, I heard a song that may be the anthem for poor choices. I don’t know the title of the song or the artist. I just know the chorus repeats ad-nauseum, “I like us better when we’re wasted.” Now I do premarital counseling and if I ever heard a couple say this to me, I would 1.) refuse to marry them, and 2.) advocate that they run screaming from this relationship as quickly as possible. If you need to abuse substances to stand being around someone, I could be wrong but it seems that the relationship might be less than constructive, which is my nice way of saying “doomed!” This is the kind of music I hear every day. It’s almost all auto-tuned, with lots of synthesized instruments. I know I’m supposed to speak the truth in love, so I will say that occasionally there is a beat that I can sync with to get the stationary bike going a little faster, but other than that, I just can’t stand it.

It was after another gym session and having seen the ad for another cinematic masterpiece last night just before bed, that inspired this semi snarky Facebook Post.

‘Okay here’s my creative conundrum. If the music I hear at my gym can get recorded, I can write a hit song. If Sharknado 5 (yes, 5) can get made, I can make a movie. That is all.”

Here’s the thing. I really mean it and I want to do it. Now I have no musical ability, so the hit song might be tough. Of course, I do know musicians who can do some heavy lifting on this. But the movie thing… I’m serious as a funeral about that, metaphorically speaking. I don’t care if it’s a low-budget, direct to video Christian film, I just want to tell a story that will touch hearts and minds and inspire someone to do something good in this world. I want to create something that spurs someone, and ideally a lot of people, on to love and good deeds. After all, God didn’t make me a creative to keep this stuff to myself. He didn’t make you creative for that either.

Let’s create great stuff and get it out there for the world to see. We have to be able to do better than some of the really destructive stuff (not to mention bad) stuff that is out there.

So what about you? What is the project that is banging on the walls of your heart, trying to get out?

In just a few more days, I will be traveling to South Carolina for a week to do some disaster recovery mission work. Truth be known, I am a little apprehensive. See if I was going there to do some art, that’s be okay, I have some skills there. If I was going to preach God’s Word, well God has blessed me in that area as well, and besides I can lean on His Word and depend on His Spirit. This is different. This is construction. Truth be known, I know I am more than a conqueror in Christ but with a hammer in my hand I feel less than incompetent. Compound this with the fact that I am going with my congregation, in the role of their pastor and maybe you understand my trepidation. When I work with them in my normal capacity, I am working in the power of the Spirit and in my gifting. What will they think when they find out I can’t hammer a nail straight or that I’m a walking pile of insecurity with a wrench? What if I smash one of my fingers with a hammer when the old nature is a little too close to the front or my mind? Truth be known, I have tried to prepare them for my incompetence, but what will they think when they see I was not exaggerating for comedic effect?

Then of course there are the intangibles, what if I snore or talk in my sleep or make some other unfortunate sounds in my sleep, if you know what i mean? I know it sounds funny, but I love these people. They have put a lot of trust in me, and I do not want to let them down. And then there’s God. He has entrusted me with these people and I really don’t want to let Him down. Of course I know the answer. I have to trust Him. I have to rely on Him to help me. It’s really no different than any other aspect of my ministry, which bring forth another question. Am I leaning too much on my own strengths and am I too confident in my own abilities? I’m being a little vulnerable here today. What about you? Where do you feel confident and what makes you squirm?

Okay I heard to day that a professor in Iowa was referring to intelligence as a microaggression. All I could think of is this is how the idiocracy begins. Maybe you’ve seen the movie Idiocracy. I can’t endorse it, because it’s not the cleanest thing our there, but the basic premise is that after centuries of the most educated people tending to have less and less children the populace gets dumber and dumber. The premise was interesting, but what I’ve been finding is that you don’t have to be stupid to have stupid ideas. Case in point is this professor. If intelligence is truly a microaggression, and he is a professor who should, I would tend to believe be trying to make people more intelligent, isn’t he adding to the problem, and as a result shouldn’t he resign immediately?

To me it’s this simple. Ideas like Microaggressions are part of the problem. If we have to look for unintentional reasons to be offended, perhaps we need to rethink some things. What would happen if we spent our time looking for ways to love and serve one another instead of looking for problems that were never intended.

I weighed in with a few cartoons this week designed to make us rethink some of this.

The book of Proverbs portrays wisdom as a wonderful female sage to be pursued at almost all costs. Not knowledge, although that is also important, but wisdom. Don’t get me wrong, I love knowledge too and I seek it daily but I also agree with Paul who wrote, “We know that “We all possess knowledge.” But knowledge puffs up while love builds up.” I’d rather build up than be puffed up. Knowledge is important, but love is more important and so is wisdom. Wisdom is knowledge rightly applied. Wisdom is reflected in wise living, good choices, godliness and common sense. Ah common sense… If wisdom is a wise female sage, common sense is her beautiful sister and I am sorry to report, she has been under near constant attack and is currently on life support and fading fast.

Every day social media seems to be blowing up with some new story. Controversy rules the day and it feels like people puffed up on knowledge but short on wisdom, not to mention love, rage at each other and tear everything down and it’s not getting better. My confession is I usually end up wanting to join them. I’m not immune to opinion and controversy and I believe I have a reasonable amount of knowledge, but the thing is, I don’t want to add to the noise. I have opinions and needless to say, I think they’re right, otherwise I wouldn’t hold them. I’ve come to the point of wondering is the best thing I can do to share them or is there something more important. I’ve decided there is so my pledge to you is, I intend to try to stay out of the controversy and pursue something higher. I want to walk in wisdom.

You see I’ve come to a conclusion. Seeking political solutions to these problems is akin to idolatry. We act as though the leaders we select can fix what is broken in this world and they can’t. We act as though ease and comfort are signs that God is pleased with us as a nation. They clearly are not. We act as though our advanced knowledge will triumph over all the brokenness in our world and that’s not true either. Knowledge puffs up but love builds up. There is only one man who can fix what’s broken. His name is Jesus. He is our only hope. Conventional wisdom says mankind can fix all of our problems. Well, conventional wisdom has proven to be neither. We need Jesus and so from this point forward, my efforts in all public contexts will be to advance His cause. I have faith. He can fix what’s broken.

Last night, I spent the evening with my grandson. He’s two and it was fantastic. Every time I look at him I think about the great blessing he is to me. When I think about the world we are leaving him and all the others like him, I grieve. We have got to do better. Our leaders will not fix this nation. If you were to throw them all out and replace with them with the people who opposed them, it wouldn’t get any better. Men and women can’t fix the mess we’re in. We need real wisdom. Supernatural Wisdom. We need God. Let’s work together, submitting our gifts to the One who gave them, to turn this nation to the Truth that will set us free. Truth is a person, Truth has a name. His name is Jesus.