Tag Archives: christianity

rejoice in the joys of others

Romans 12:14-16 (The Message)

14-16Bless your enemies; no cursing under your breath. Laugh with your happy friends when they’re happy; share tears when they’re down. Get along with each other; don’t be stuck-up. Make friends with nobodies; don’t be the great somebody.

celebrating tyler scheef... amazing actor and friend

As artists (as humans, frankly) sometimes it is hard to rejoice in the joys of others. If someone gets a part that you wanted, or lands a record deal while you are still singing in tiny venues to a crowd of your parents and their friends. Or what about when someone gets the job that you were applying for. or your friend wins homecoming queen… gets a spot on a sports team that you do not. sometimes it’s hard to rejoice in that… but the Bible tells us that it is the right way to be. It is important to share the joy that others are experiencing.

Consider the alternative, bitterness, jealousy and covetousess…these things tear at the very heart of a relationship. these things tear down, they do not build up… and when things are being torn down, no one wins. By withholding shared joy, you cheat yourself out of the opportunity to experience that joy. Would you have your friend (or sibling) suffer instead? Would that make your joy more complete? if so… then we have a bigger problem. as mrs. luce would tell you… “that’s a heart issue”.

who can you rejoice with today? who can you celebrate and encourage today by sharing their joy. did someone just get a new car, while you are still sittin’ on tens in a rusted out wrecker? did someone call you this week to tell you about something amazing that god has done for them? if they did… it’s because they want you to share the joy. don’t cheat yourself of the experience…. swim in the joy of others.

comment below with news of someone else that you want to celebrate! let us share the joy with you.

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guest heARTist blog by davy fisher – christianity is no fairy tale

Does anyone else ever get that feeling that what we believe as Christians is just a fairy tale?  A Benevolent Being, up in the clouds somewhere, invisibly running everything, who loves us and occasionally interrupts the flow of Nature in order to help us out of predicaments?  A man who died, came back to life, and somehow translates life to all the rest of us simply by the power of our belief in Him?

Really?  Really?

I have believed this for almost as long as I can remember.  I remember telling my Dad when I was about 7 that I loved God more than I loved him.  Which I’m sure was fun for him to hear.  Where did I learn that?  I have no idea.  But it was in there somewhere.  My whole life has revolved around God, and ultimately Jesus, since I was a child.  So why am I having doubts now about the whole thing?  Where do these doubts come from?  And what does it mean?  Am I a heretic?  Have I renounced my faith?

a young davy rocks the artist look in the 80

Ironically, the person with whom I have the deepest conversations about this stuff is, in fact, God.  And that sort of sets me on edge.  How can I, in one breath, doubt God’s existence and, in the next breath ask Him to help me walk through it to find Him on the other side?  What does that say about me?

The funny thing is, when I think about it, really dive in and reason it out, it actually makes more sense.  The God/Jesus story.  It explains reality in the best, most complete way.  It works.  There is simply no possibility that things just fell into place.  That this is all there is.

I have a mentor.  Let’s call him Uncle Jack.  He used to write a bit before he moved on to better things.

He has a great book on the whole Reason issue.  He tells me that the fact that we can reason is proof that there is more than what we see.  That Nature couldn’t produce Reasonable Beings by itself.  There is no mutation that would produce imagination.  It is not necessary for survival, and in fact makes survival more difficult.  He says that if Reason was not at the center of all things, we would not have the faculty to reason.  To imagine.  To create.  To employ logic.  And logic itself makes no room for an “all natural” Universe with no Someone at it’s center.  It just doesn’t work.  If you want to know more, check out the book “Miracles,” by CS Lewis.  Uncle Jack.

third comic book in a series ... davy is the artist. incidentally, haven is the name of his creative company

The point is, when I employ true logic, true reasoning, things fall back into place.  God sits on His throne, and even Jesus, rising from the dead, showing Himself to people after His resurrection makes sense; which is weird.  He sounds more like a superhero than a human being:  He can walk through walls, He doesn’t want people to touch Him, He seems to move freely through time and space, He can prevent people from recognizing Him, yet He still eats food, still converses with people, still has a physical body.  (Is this a picture of how our new resurrected bodies will behave?)  The proof seems to be in the very weirdness of it–who would or could invent such a thing?  Someone inventing a religion would have chosen something more predictable.  All of it smacks of the strangeness found in Reality.

So why, then, if logic proves out, do I doubt?  Where does my faith go?

I’m glad this blog is for artistic people.  Because I hope to find sympathetic ears here.  Since my doubt doesn’t seem to be intellectual in nature, I have chosen to call it “emotional doubt.”  (I’m not there yet, but I might even come to the conclusion that ALL doubt about God is emotional doubt: “This Jesus stuff just sounds crazy!”)  I think it comes one of those gifts God gives to creative people.  We look at the world through a different lens.  I painted my G.I. Joe figures different colors than they came in their packages.  Why?  I don’t know.  It changed everything.  Made it fresh, and I needed that.  It’s why I loved Legos—new toys every time I sat down to build.  I took apart my Star Wars toys to see what made them light up.  I am fascinated by light passing through the back of a leaf.  I used to walk through my house with a mirror held horizontally below my chin, so that as I looked down into it, I could see the ceiling instead of the floor.  Then I would walk through the house like that, and it felt like I was walking on the ceiling.

We take the world and twist it.  We try to see it from another angle.  We wonder “What would happen if you played that backwards?”  “What if the sky was orange?”  “What would you get if you combined a horse and a man into one creature?”  We constantly ask “What does it mean?”  “What is behind this feeling?”  “What is the author really trying to say?”

floor for student life ministries... and mini davy

I think it is in our nature to doubt.  To work things out.  To dig.  To squeeze the play-doh through the holes and see what comes out the other side.  Why would we expect to do anything different with our beliefs?  Even the beliefs we hold most dear?

Does this doubt that haunts me sometimes…that sneaks into my prayers and whispers “No one is listening”…this doubt that produces horror in thinking about an empty nothingness instead of an afterlife…does this doubt offend God?  Is He surprised?  Of course Our Sunday School answer is “Nothing surprises God.”  Yet I treat them like they do surprise Him.  Like He might abhor my doubts.  Might be offended.  I feel that way. I am ashamed of them.

But now I begin to hope that maybe they are personality quirks.  Maybe they belong to the same rhythms that decide whether today I can draw like Michaelangelo, or that I have only thumbs and crayons.  (I’m asking God about that…why it comes in waves.)  These doubts might even come from the very places that God has tweaked to make me an artist.  Might God even be happy with us for our doubts?  Are they a part of being creative?  He engineered these crazy brains to see unicorns in clouds and hear ghosts in wind chimes.  Can my doubts, rather than affronting Him, actually be valuable to Him?  Actually reflect my artistic side, sinful though I be?

I have a sneaky suspicion that they are; that some of His favorite times with me might be when I come to Him and say “Dad…I need help believing that you are there.”

What Father wouldn’t respond to that?

Incidentally, I have found that He does.

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our gifts are a liability.

… if they are not used to serve the one that gave them to us.

think about that. if you are not using the gifts that the creator instilled in you, yes, you specifically… then they become a liability. i dont know about you, but the thought of being a liability is not something that excites me. what does excite me, however, is using the gifts he has bestowed upon me … for an eternal purpose. that sounds a little churchy, right? but seriously… if you are going to use the gifts and talents afforded you, wouldn’t it be nice to know that your work has value that never ends?!

if one child learns a new thing about christ because of the way i’ve shared it (writing, video, design, brainstorming, event planning, discipleship, one-on-one contact, the list goes on)… then what greater joy can there be? how many people get to do things that they know have no end? well…. we all have the capacity for that. the real question is, will you choose to have eternal impact. will you choose to spread the word of God and the freedom found in his love and mercy… or will you not? and when you do… will you give him the credit? or will you take it on yourself.

this theme has permeated my bible study for the past few days, so i knew i had to share it with you. its way tooooo big to miss. consider this:

1 Corinthians 4:7 (The Message)

7-8For who do you know that really knows you, knows your heart? And even if they did, is there anything they would discover in you that you could take credit for? Isn’t everything you have and everything you are sheer gifts from God? So what’s the point of all this comparing and competing? You already have all you need. You already have more access to God than you can handle. Without bringing either Apollos or me into it, you’re sitting on top of the world—at least God’s world—and we’re right there, sitting alongside you!

you know what i love about creativity? you can’t even pretend it came from your human mind. i suppose you can pretend… but it wont be true. it will never be true that orginal thoughts and ideas did not come from the author of creation. you know? be careful not to boast in the gifts and talents that have been given you. this is a lofty calling and worthy responsibility. what are you going to do today to impact eternity?

the cast of big picture

the cast of the big picture at prestonwood

in this episode of the big picture the kids start to learn about what it means to witness something… then they go into a classroom where a teacher explains further what it means to be a witness. a witness to the things God has done. thank you teachers, for having an eternal impact.

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a bloomin’ revelation

as i was driving to work this morning i marvelled at some of the yards that i saw. color was bursting out of dirt… flowers in all of their magnificent glory (not yet eaten by rabbits). in some yards they were carefully plotted and manicured and it hit me that a gardener is another kind of artist altogether… but you know what’s really awesome about being a gardener? you rely entirely on the creator to be able to pull it off. without his command the flowers just would not grow. without the rain and sun, they would never sprout and bloom.

however…this is also true, flowers droop… but the word of God goes on forever.

revel in the daily expressions of his majesty, but rest in the eternal expression of his love.

flowers and kids and a dog, oh my.

flowers and kids and a dog, oh my

1 Peter 1:22
Now that you’ve cleaned up your lives by following the truth, love one another as if your lives depended on it. Your new life is not like your old life. Your old birth came from mortal sperm; your new birth comes from God’s living Word. Just think: a life conceived by God himself! That’s why the prophet said, The old life is a grass life, its beauty as short-lived as wildflowers; Grass dries up, flowers droop, God’s Word goes on and on forever. This is the Word that conceived the new life in you.

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