Posts Tagged ‘creative’

Okay, I know what you’re thinking, so let me state it. First and foremost believe in God. Place your faith in Jesus, trust Him for salvation, and everything else. Nowhere in here am I calling for idolatry or anything like that. Instead I am asking you to overcome the naysayers and act on the ideas that come to you, when others don’t quite get it. If you don’t believe in your idea no one else will. You have to believe.

What reminded me of this was today when I was at the bank. My bank has this closes circuit TV thing that plays little news flashes in sort of a slide show format. I was closing up my transaction when I saw it. They had a little blurb about one of my favorite things—Star Wars, specifically the new movie that comes out soon. I know there is a huge buzz around this movie and I am really looking forward to seeing it. When I think of all the billions of dollars that property had made, it boggles the imagination, but you know what’s even more mind boggling? Several studios passed on it. It was a weird idea, Sci Fi was seen as a dead genre and seen as a huge risk, George Lucas had to believe in it, run past the nay sayers, and get it done. When I think about it, there is a realization. I am 56 years old. The first film came out when I was in seventh grade and they’re still relevant. Creative ideas have a way of taking on a life of their own.

Then a few days ago I was watching a cool show called The Toys That Made Us. The first episode of this season was on another of my all time favorites. Two guys who wanted to be comic book artists, got together one night and started to sketch. They were goofing around and started off trying to crack each other up, when one of them drew a turtle with a pair of nunchucks. This was the birth of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Needless to say, at first a lot of people didn’t get it and Eastman and Laird decided to self publish. Before anyone else would believe in it, Eastman and Laird had to.

These are just two of many ideas that people didn’t get that ended up really making a mark, not to mention making their creators very wealthy. I’m not saying money should be a primary motivation, rather I’m saying create something that means something to you and then believe in it enough to do the work. Now you might wonder what this has to do with the spiritual component of this blog. Well I’ll tell you, and it might be a bit of a stretch, but I don’t think so. Consider our heavenly Father, the ultimate creator. His love and care for us an all He has done for us, culminating in the gift of Christ. Consider the parable of the talents where the master invests talents in his servants and one thing becomes clear: God believes in His creation. Maybe it’s time we believe in ours.

Now again our faith in Christ has to supersede everything else, but we need to believe in what we do enough to do the work and put it out there, because you never know what will happen if you do it, but you know nothing will happen if you do nothing.

Now look, some ideas truly have no merit, but don’t be too quick to write your idea off as crazy. Pray and do the work if the Lord leads. After all you never know. I’m not saying Star Wars or TMNT are godly creations, but, again, creative ideas have a way of taking on a life of their own. After all someone green-lighted a movie about sharks in tornados… Six times!

I have a guilty pleasure. I really like to watch some of these holiday cooking shows on the Food Network. No, not the ones where the people make sumptuous recipes. That stuff is beyond me. What I love are the shows where the people compete to make cakes and other things that are decorative. Last night, for example I was watching a show where the contestants made gingerbread creations. They had a relatively short period of time to complete their creations, they had to be at least three feet tall, etc. These pieces were huge and amazing, they were true works of art, but I noticed something.

There was one guy who actually included robotics to create an animated show in the midst of his creation. It was brilliant but he didn’t win and there is a lesson we can learn from this. The person who won did an immaculate presentation. There were fewer bells and whistles, at least of the “animated” kind, instead every part of her piece was flawless, the attention to detail was phenomenal, her piece was a thing of beauty. By way of contrast, the guy with the bells and whistles spent so much time on the bells and whistles that there wasn’t time for him to make his creation beautiful.

The lesson to be learned is this. When you have a time limit, you have to focus on what is most important. Bells and whistles are great when you have time for them, but the first step is to get the basics right. The guy with the technology had a really cool and creative idea, and I have no doubt given more time to execute his idea, could have created something pretty amazing but the person who did flawless work and managed her time properly won the day. There were several boundaries in place here, chief of which were a time limit and a theme. Boundaries are our friends. It doesn’t matter what you could do with unlimited time, if there is a time limit, you have to work within the time limit.

Boundaries let us know our limitations. Working within the boundaries requires us to be even more creative and show us the path to success. We need to learn to create within given parameters, deliver what is asked of us, over deliver as much as we can, and deliver on time.

For the first week of Advent we will be looking at some hf the great songs of the season and what we can learn from them. First up: Joy to the World.

This is our Thanksgiving message. I hope it blesses you.

I’ve been working on a project. It started off as a blog post and ended up taking on a life of it’s own. What ended up happening was a post on failure turned into another post on failure, which led to fear of failure which led to fear. From there I started to think about faith as the way to overcome fear, and the reason we can have faith is because God is faithful and because God is faithful we must be faithful. All of these F words, and before long, I had an unusual idea that really speaks to my mission for helping and encouraging creatives in the church and before long, I was off on a whole other piece, with an intriguing title. Lots of words are in place (50,000 plus, lots of editing be done and it’s a slow process, but I’ve generated a cover. What do you think?

This week we’re looking at Ezekiel 18, relating to how God deals with sin, grace and forgiveness and how the church treats new believers. For an illustration, I am looking at the way some in the media and social media, Christian and non-Christian are reacting to the conversion of Kanye West.

One of the things that has been great about having an itinerant (traveling) ministry is meeting all the different churches and especially (for the sake of this discussion) the church leaders. As we would sit down, there seemed to be a recurring theme, the church is aging and the next generation is disappearing from our ranks. Person after person stated the same thing, “It’s happening everywhere.” I doubt that’s true, but it is, nonetheless, a growing trend, but what we can’t afford, at least in my estimation is accepting this as “just the way things are.” Losing a generation is not something we can just accept. It’s something we need to pray about and it’s something we need to fight to change.

I think Reinhold Niebuhr said it best,

“God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, Courage to change the things I can, And wisdom to know the difference.

Brothers and sisters, if Jesus is the only way to the Father, and He is, losing a generation is something that should burden our hearts like virtually nothing else. These are our children and grandchildren. These are the people to whom we are supposed to pass the baton. They are the church of today and they are the future of the church. Losing them is not one of those things Niebuhr (or for that matter Christ) says we should accept, it’s one of the things we need the courage to change. If we can’t see the difference, we need more wisdom. Eternity is at stake.

The answer is what it has always been, prayer and spreading the Gospel. The answer is going to where the people are. The answer is bringing them in. The answer is taking the unchanging message of the Gospel to an ever changing world. We have to jettison the fear we have of a judging world because the world is not our judge, Christ is. We have to be unashamedly about church growth. You might say it’s not all about numbers. Yes it is, because numbers are people! We need to be unashamedly evangelistic. Our Lord is the best “thing” going and He is the only way—our world’s only hope. You might think “But Dave, that’s not how the world works anymore.” I know and have you seen the results? Like our Master, we are not in this world to judge it, we’re in the world to save it, in the sense that we point our world to it’s Savior. Jesus came into this world on a rescue mission and when He ascended, He put that mission in our hands. That mission doesn’t change with the times. To think it does is to imagine a lifeguard who sees a drowning person and thinks, “Who am I to intervene? Maybe he likes drowning.”

The world needs the Gospel like never before. I’ve heard so often that the old methods don’t work anymore. I’m not always convinced that’s true, but if it is, then we better get creative church. We better fall to our knees and seek the Lord for what’s next, because the Gospel is still “…the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes…” Losing a generation is not one of those things to be accepted. It is something that can be changed. It’s time we knew the difference.