Tag Archives: creative arts

the graceful dead.


i’m kind of geeking out with excitement about something I’m working on right now.

i’m so obsessed, overwhelmed, grateful, awash … and swimming in the truths of grace.

what it means. how it translates to every day life. ahhhh… just so grateful.

lately, i’ve read so many amazing things about grace.

i know why the song “amazing grace” was written. in fact, i just finished a worship song with this lyric “your graced changed everything”.

anyway… emmy, beau and i have been working on ways to share with the kids in our world and along came the idea for the Graceful Dead bear band. the verse: to live is Christ and to die is gain, is the verse that supports the name. 

once i drew them, and the art was in place i got even more excited. 

the stories are going to be amazing. and the grace will be flowing. ah. cant wait.



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what’s an #inspiration tour and why did you go on one?


inadvertantly i started on an inspiration tour on sunday. i was headed to dallas and remembered that i really wanted to check out this really cool creative work space i had been reading about for the past year. i tweeted them, and they quickly replied “c’mon!”

then i realized, i wanted to make the most of my day and half in dallas… so i planned a few more stops.Image


@aubreymc : got his kids’ music album years ago from my friends jennifer and mark wiggins. loved it then. started reading a blog a year ago… aubrey writes for this blog. i loved it and started following everything he does. my mom knows his stepdad from high school. we were meant to be friends. by the time our meeting was over, we had agreed to write a christmas musical together. #inspiredImage

Beth Dicker, my friend lived near me in texas, and we used to chat on the porch. Our kids are the same age. This woman is a great friend. We met for lunch in the new Klyde park in Dallas… she had to buy my lunch because my card didn’t work. so embarassing. (it was user error). #inspiredbythissinglemomImageweld, weld, weld… we finally  meet. this amazing work space has been all over twitter for the past year and i had been dying to check it out. rentable office space for creatives, specifically. the atmosphere is magic… just like i figured it would be. @weldImage

this guy… @austinmann, he is the chief welder! so glad to meet him. thanks @causeascenenash for the quasi-intro.Image

@jonathanmalm… Director of Echo Conference. Editor and creator of Sunday| Magazine and ChurchStageDesignIdeas.  http://www.sundaymag.tv  http://www.churchstagedesignideas.com. nicer in person than i even hoped he would be… two weeks out from a big event, but he spent an unrushed 45 minutes catching up and sharing his excitement about his dream job.Imagemy best friend in the world, since my junior year of high school.

Image@estherhavens – she always tweets about @weld, so it should’ve been no surprise to see her there! i had written about her and to her several times over the past two years… lovely to hug her neck. she inspires me 

btw… if we wanna have our very own @weld vote here: http://nashville.weld.co/

what have you done this week to get inspired? you just have to look for it.


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twitter works…

i found a new artist and was enchanted by his art.

jameshance.com ... art worth knowing about. enjoy.

so… i tweeted about it. told him it was enchanting.

he thanked me on twitter…

so, it made me an even bigger fan (which is saying alot because i had already pinned some of his work, so i was already a believer).

i love the mashup between pooh and star wars. two things i love and have great memories from my childhood… and now great memories from my kids childhoods (is childhoods a word).

his website says it all…James Hance … relentlessly cheerful art.

are you kidding me?! talk about your dear heartist!

i hope you enjoy this find as much as i have.

i gave him a sneak peek of the as yet unrevealed Up In My Treehouse song. Mutual appreciation is another beautiful thing.

artists… go find other artists to appreciate. inspire each other. be digitally generous (ala Tami Heim).

it’s so much fun. and lets your mind think about all kinds of new things.

what are some things you have found recently that you adore? did you tell the person that made them?

will you share them with us here? i’d love to know what inspires you.

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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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do you see what i see?

dolan geiman mixed media.... he definitely sees things differently. love it.

dolan geiman mixed media.... he definitely sees things differently. love it.

do you know what is awesome about you? you see things differently than me.

if someone told you to draw a flower… and they told me to draw a flower – they would be different.

if someone asked you to make up a poem about love… yours would be different from mine.

if someone wanted to know your favorite movie… it would most likely be different from mine (unless of course you love the movie Grease and can sing every lyric… except for the inappropriate ones, of course).

the point is… we are all uniquely designed and created. because of that, i’m so grateful for you. i’m so grateful for our differences. i love that you will write something i may never write, or draw or sing (none of us are in danger of me singing in public), do you get that?

we hear alot about how our fingerprints are unique and our DNA, as proof of a creator… to me,  the way that we create something original to us every time we create is a BIG GIANT BRAZEN PROOF of a creator.

singers – every time you sing a song, it comes out differently and is the first time you’ve sung it exactly like that…you take breaths in different lengths.

painters – every time you stroke a  brush, your paint glides differently across the surface

writers – every new piece you write is the first of its kind

actors – every show is  a little different.

you see what i’m getting at… every minute of your day and your life is  a testament to our uber-creative creator and the things he has built us to do. we are so blessed.

Philippians 1:6 (The Message)

3-6Every time you cross my mind, I break out in exclamations of thanks to God. Each exclamation is a trigger to prayer. I find myself praying for you with a glad heart. I am so pleased that you have continued on in this with us, believing and proclaiming God’s Message, from the day you heard it right up to the present. There has never been the slightest doubt in my mind that the God who started this great work in you would keep at it and bring it to a flourishing finish on the very day Christ Jesus appears.

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write on!

placed together by God.

so, you know i’m a writer. and you’ve heard me talk about my writing team. but let me tell you a few more things about this team.

we have discovered that everyone has different specialties. shocking, i know. but the good thing is that we write (for the most part) without ego, owning our different strengths and weaknesses.

for example: if we need something to have great action, jason vaile is our man. if we need to make sure the story flows in the right direction with the proper arcs and circles, alan tregoning is superb at this. where do we get wild ideas and non-linear concepts… doug goodrich. for witty and poignant dialogue, paula corbello reigns supreme. what about me? well… i specialize in getting the message across, ensuring biblical accuracy (i say with great trepidation) and appropriate content. now, each of us can do these other things as well… its just that someone else we know really excels at it…. so, this is how this might play out. i would write a script that really hits the message, but send it to jason and ask him to add the funny and more action. you get the idea. it takes the team.

God has shown us favor… we have written two sitcoms for prestonwood, various other video pieces and this past spring we wrote a show for ishine Knect… and we keep writing. we have worked on shorts together. the list continues to grow.

but you know what, it takes more than the team. it takes the supernatural power of God to bring it all together… as artists it can be tempting to get boastful and proud. but i think we are hearing a consistent theme, aren’t we?

Luke 14:11 (The Message)

11 What I’m saying is, If you walk around with your nose in the air, you’re going to end up flat on your face. But if you’re content to be simply yourself, you will become more than yourself.”

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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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i don’t believe in air

i write sitcoms and shows for kids. one of the writers on my team, paula corbello, wrote one of my favorite scripts i have ever read or seen performed.

in the script the main character meets someone that doesn’t believe in god… because she can’t see him, touch him, feel him or hear his voice. so he must not exist right? after some madcap hijinx and other silliness… they come around to a bend in the conversation. the believer says to the doubter “well, i don’t believe in air”… the doubter says, how can you not believe in air? of course the believer says ” i can’t see it, can’t touch it, feel it or hear it, so i don’t believe in air”…. shazam.

who doesn't believe in air?

sometimes it’s hard to believe that God really cares about us and really knows what’s going on. it’s hard to believe that a loving god would let things happen that he allows to happen. but we have proof. your story, the way you know god, the evidence you see of him… that’s your story. no one can contradict your personal experience. they cannot call you a liar when you are telling of your personal experience… we know that god is real and he is there. i know because i have hope in hopeless seeming situations. i know because i have peace when i should not. i know because i have joy in the promise of eternity, when the here and now isn’t what i was expecting or wanting it to be.

how do you know that god is there?

next time someone tells you they don’t believe in god… tell them why you do… and then tell them you don’t believe in air. see what happens then! (in the script, the goth character “thorn” gets reconciled to a god that exists even though she can’t see, touch, hear or feel him… if only we could script the lives of others)

btw – paula is a writer, who is currently writing a show for prestonwood,  an orginal  children’s musical, has written for ishine knect, and currently  uses her art as a cake designer

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creative arts camp

this year we're doing music man junior. don't miss it!

at our church, each summer we have a spectacular amount of camps… inordinate amount of camps… 99.9% of them (not an exactly percentage, but you know what i mean) are sports camps, and a few day camps. we have ONE creative arts camp. we have ONE camp specifically designed for kids that really get the arts. that really love to design, paint, sing, dance, act, set design, the creative arts… each year the campers learn an entire show, build a set, learn parts and put on a big production… in one week. it is unbelievable.

this church focuses on arts more than most. we have a huge worship ministry. we have many opportunities for kids to participate in choir shows. i often joke that when kids that have performed or participated on our stage go to college, they will not be intimidated by the surroundings they will find. we have a big place to do big things.

but seriously. ONE camp? what that tells us is that possibly there are some people getting left out. if they dont know about this one camp, they might be missing something big. a way to use their gifts, not on a field, but on a stage.

don’t get me wrong. i love sports. i love sports camps. i love watching my kids play sports…. i just also love that they have an opportunity to do both. i love that there is a place to use the creative talents with a holy foundation. i love that they get to learn how to hone their craft to honor the one that gave it to them. creative arts camp is a beautiful thing.

i would encourage you to find outlets for your gifts. what types of things have you done lately to seek out opportunities to use your god-given talents? what are some camps and opportunities that we may not know about? what places have you found to express yourself? where are you making a joyful noise?

Psalm 100:4 (The Message)

4 Enter with the password: “Thank you!”
Make yourselves at home, talking praise.
Thank him. Worship him.

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dance like somebody’s watching.

dawn chrisostom loves dance. she loves it so much that she started a dance school so that she could share her love of dance and love of the savior all in one fell swoop.

next weekend my five year old will have her first dance recital. she goes to a school where they use praise songs to complement the study. i have to imagine that this rocks God’s world (ha… yeah, i know, an odd phrase, but still… you know what i mean)

dance like everyone's watching when you dance to bring attention to the creator of all good things.

i came home to find her in her recital costume, before recital day… i wasn’t pleased at first. actually, at first, i thought she looked really yummy… then i stressed about the new aqua tutu being strut across the front yard… and worried that it wouldn’t make it to recital time. i made her take it off. bummer. on mother’s day i’m wondering why i  haven’t learned more…

she loves dance. she loves thinking about dance.

you know who else danced? aside from wren in footloose (and all of his converts)… yeah, that’s right, king david. the same king david inthe bloodline of our savior. david danced.

2 samuel 6:14 David, ceremonially dressed in priest’s linen, danced with great abandon before God.

i imagine that if it had been appropriate and he had had access to an aqua tutu… he might have worn it…

what will dance about today? what will you celebrate and show off your joy in a grand way to the God who made you and loves you so much?

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