the story on #story2012

here’s the story on story.

wow. learned so much. loved it so much. so grateful for the chance to be inspired and among fellow “creatives”

the major takeway, not surprisingly, coincided directly with the lesson we were teaching in treehouse this weekend. God is funny like that.

first off was Bob Goff… if you follow me on twitter you know i was totally stoked to meet this author whose words had inspired me beforehand, then came to life when i saw him share his heart. i got to have my marked up, dog-eared copy of his book, Love Does, signed by him, and get a Bob Goff hug. In his gracious way, he replied to the photo i tweeted. i love when you meet someone and they exceed your expectations.

then erwin mcmanus had a moment with his son onstage as we watched… his son thanked him for the years he knew his dad took to minister to his son. powerful.

we heard from others… but i was waiting for someone to say “hey artists, it’s not about you, it’s about the creator that gives you the art” … enter Kyle Idleman. to be honest, i hadn’t read his book or known anything about the man… but he brought it. he reminded us that the creator of all things is our source when we “create”. he gave the example of the prophets of Baal. I dont think i realized that Baal was the god of weather… and to humble the people, God gave them a drought. Kyle went on to say that when we make our art an idol, or start to think of our creations as our own, instead of pointing directly to the one that empowered us to create… we are worshipping other gods. the one true God does not go for this. He suggested that if we make art our god, then the God of the universe, will meet us there, and take away our ability to create. Ultimately God wants us to worship Him and Him alone. This week in treehouse, this was our bible lesson and our main point… God is the only one to be worshiped. i love when worlds collide and God teaches me like this… instead of forcing me to experience a drought.

Phil Vischer was the next up and he told the tale of letting the “big idea” get in the way of what God wanted. He talked about the bankruptcy that his company went through… another reminder to keep the main thing in mind. and shared that his new venture is called Jellyfish Labs because jellyfish cannot locomote (my friends and i wondered if this is an actual word, but clearly it is) .. they can go up and down but it requires a current to move them from place to place. Phil is putting himself in God’s current, trying to go with God’s flow, not do his own thing.

this was incredibly timely for me because i think we are on the cusp of a “big idea”. i believe that the super ninja gummy bear is a big idea… and there are so many ways that we can use this character, but God has very clearly given us proof that he wants us to use the SNGB to point people to Christ. he revealed to me how we could teach kids to share the gospel with other kids… with the SNGB. instead of riding the fence and vacilating about the many ways that this fun little character can be utilized, the focus has to stay on the gospel. God gave this to us, and it is our job, my job, to make sure that we use Him like he intended when He gave him to us.

chicago is a beautiful place and i got to visit with some childhood friends, which just sweetens the experience. once again, STORY, made a huge impact that will affect everything I create (with Gods inspiration) going forward.

on the drive home i pulled up a file that i had written a few weeks ago. its a song. a christmas song. and i asked god to give me a tune. he was so kind to fill my head and i sang the song into my phone. man. God is just so kind to us. He wants us to remember that He is the one that gives and takes away. I’m grateful for the things He allows me to participate in every day.

what are you grateful for that God allows you to do?

Ben Arment… the best introducer and host. it was an honor to be at your event. your heart is glorious and i believe that you, like bob goff, love extravagantly.

also amazing experiences : Mason Jar Music, All Sons & Daughters, Sleeping at Last

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