Saturday, November 07, 2009
We have different gifts. according to the grace given us."--Romans 12:6 NIV
Creativity is your birthright. You are made in the image of God and when you create your honor what is most holy and sacred in you. Creativity is God's gift to us. Using your creativity is your gift back to God. You are meant to live creatively. Preparing a new, tasty dish, planting a garden, writing a poem, restructuring a company, singing a song., decorating an office or your home, sewing a doll's dress, building a tree house--you are born to express yourself through creative choices.
You don't have to be a fine artist or a professional musician to be creative. You can approach the whole of life creatively. You can learn to practice the art of creativity by applying lessons you learn form the ways artists approach their work. Here are a few suggestions for nurturing your creativity.
1. Step into the unknown with courage. Each act of creation begins with questions, chaos and emptiness. You may have a mental picture of the finished work of art at the beginning, or just a small spark of an idea that catches your heart and connects you emotionally to the act of creation. Like any journey, whether meticulously mapped- out or launched on a whim, the creative journey starts with that first step into the unknown. Begin- and see where the work leads you.
2. Pay attention. Art is born in observation, awareness, and appreciation. God's creation is wondrous and complex. Your life is rich in beauty, wonder, mystery, and the commonplace miracles of life. Appreciate the details. for you will find God in them.
3. Trust the process. There are no wrong answers in the creative process. Don't let perfectionism keep you from creating. Process, not product, is the point of any creative activity. Often so-called mistakes lead to a new way of seeing, a new way of approaching your work. Every experience has something to offer and is something you can apply to your creative work--and your life. "Do not fear mistakes-there are none," musician Miles Davis advised.
4. Practice, practice, practice. Rome wasn't built in a day; and most creative work needs time to mature. It is not by spectacular leaps that you move more deeply into your art, but by slow incremental steps. Set aside regular time for practice and nurturing your creativity. Build skills with simple daily repetition. "Practice makes perfect," may be a cliche, but it is still true, whether you want to grow a garden, paint a picture, play an instrument, or make a more creative and satisfying life.
5. Become a student of life. If you want to approach life more creatively, you need to expand your horizons and be open to new influences. Practice lifelong learning in the school of life. "Let a student enter art school with this advice," cautioned Robert Henri. "No matter how good the school is, his education is in his own hands. All education must be self-education."
There are three companions of creativity : loving, knowing, doing. You can propel yourself into a creative outburst by choosing any one of these three as a starting point. You can rejuvenate yourself by time spent appreciating great are, falling in love wit the creation of others--loving.. You can rekindle your creative spirit by learning a new skill or technique--knowing. Or you can leap right into a project, allowing the work itself to carry you along--doing.
These creative disciplines apply not only to the artistic life, but also to the spiritual life. Paul said that you are God's poem-- a work of creation in progress.. God was pleased with His creation of the world as chronicled in Genesis. Allowing yourself to be creative reflects a similar joy in God's creativity.
Composer Aron Copeland said that inspiration is the antithesis of self-consciousness. Like children at play, you bring an unself-conscious joy to acts of creation, making even the simplest task an act of worship. When you lose yourself in the joy of creativity you will find God, allowing yourself to become one with what ancient hymns of the church have called the Magnum Mysterium, the Great Mystery. God created you in His image--and you reflect that image back through your creativity.
1. Believe that using my creativity is a gift I can offer to God.
2. Understand that there are lessons to be learned in both successes and failures.
3. Be open to new ideas.
4. Have the courage to start something new: learn something new: enjoy something new.
5. Approach my life with creative passion and freedom.
6. Let go of my expectations and enjoy the journey as it unfolds.
Things To Do
1. Read Genesis 1.
2. Go to a crafts store and buy supplies.
3. Buy a creativity workbook and do some of the exercises.
4. Visit a museum, art gallery, or theater.
5. Do one small creative activity today.
6. List twenty things you enjoy doing. Do one of them.
7. Make a creativity journal and use it on a regular basis.
Some closing thoughts to ponder:
"Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once he grows up."
"To live a creative life, we must lose our fear of being wrong."--Joseph Chilton Pearce
Friday, November 06, 2009
Hi everyone. Thor here. My number went up these past 2 weeks from 81 to 151. We don't know why, but Dr. Gail said it was still good for me. So we'll stay on 8 units of insulin twice a day and re-check it on Nov. 20. All in all it wasn't a bad visit. I just hate riding in the car and getting a needle put into my back leg. But I know we have to do it.
That's all from me 'til Nov. 20.
Friday, November 06, 2009
Week of November 6
Do for Others What God Does For You
by Max Lucado
You and I have the privilege to do for others what God does for us. How do we show people that we believe in them?
Show up. Nothing takes the place of your presence. Letters are nice. Phone calls are special, but being there in the flesh sends a message.
Do you believe in your kids? Then show up. Show up at their games. Show up at their plays. Show up at their recitals. It may not be possible to make each one, but it's sure worth the effort. Do you believe in your friends? Then show up. Show up at their graduations and weddings. Spend time with them. You want to bring out the best in someone? Then show up.
Listen up. You don't have to speak to encourage. The Bible says, "It is best to listen much, speak little" (James 1:19 TLB). We tend to speak much and listen little. There is a time to speak. But there is also a time to be quiet. That's what my father did. Dropping a fly ball may not be a big deal to most people, but if you are thirteen years old and have aspirations of the big leagues, it is a big deal. Not only was it my second error of the game, it allowed the winning run to score.
I didn't even go back to the dugout. I turned around in the middle of left field and climbed over the fence. I was halfway home when my dad found me. He didn't say a word. Just pulled over to the side of the road, leaned across the seat, and opened the passenger door. We didn't speak. We didn't need to. We both knew the world had come to an end. When we got home, I went straight to my room, and he went straight to the kitchen. Presently he appeared in front of me with cookies and milk. He took a seat on the bed, and we broke bread together. Somewhere in the dunking of the cookies I began to realize that life and my father's love would go on. In the economy of male adolescence, if you love the guy who drops the ball, then you really love him. My skill as a baseball player didn't improve, but my confidence in Dad's love did. Dad never said a word. But he did show up. He did listen up. To bring out the best in others, do the same, and then, when appropriate:
You have the power to change someone's life simply by the words that you speak. "Death and life are in the power of the tongue" (Prov. 18:21 NKJV). That's why Paul urges you and me to be careful. "When you talk, do not say harmful things, but say what people need—words that will help others become stronger" (Eph. 4:29).
A Love Worth GivingEarlier I gave you a test for love. There's also a test for the tongue. Before you speak, ask: Will what I'm about to say help others become stronger? You have the ability, with your words, to make a person stronger. Your words are to their soul what a vitamin is to their body. If you had food and saw someone starving, would you not share it? If you had water and saw someone dying of thirst, would you not give it? Of course you would. Then won't you do the same for their hearts? Your words are food and water! Do not withhold encouragement from the discouraged. Do not keep affirmation from the beaten down! Speak words that make people stronger. Believe in them as God has believed in you.
Elayne's Note: I love Max Lucado. He, like Joyce Meyer, talks in simple language. Everyone can understand what they mean.
Wednesday, November 04, 2009
Change Your Thinking...Change Your Life
by Joyce Meyer
The longer I live the more I realize how strong a connection exists between our thoughts and our words. I honestly believe that this connection is one of the most important things we can learn in our lives.
So many people’s problems are rooted in their way of thinking, which can actually produce a lot of the problems they experience.
How does that happen?
Well, a negative mind produces negative words and, consequently, a negative life. Our words can actually become traps that cause us to continue our cycle of negative thoughts and actions.
Yes, we’re all tempted to speak negatively, but we don’t have to give in to that temptation.
To turn our words around, we need to start thinking about what we’re thinking about, and then make some real changes.
Let me show you how.
The Trap of Negative Thinking
Because I allowed many years of negative thinking and speaking in my life, I became an extremely negative, sour person. My philosophy became “if you don’t expect anything good to happen, then you won’t be disappointed when it doesn’t.”
Have you ever felt that way?
Because I had encountered so many disappointments, I was afraid to believe that anything good could happen to me. I had developed a terribly negative outlook on everything.
If I had continued to believe those lies about never getting over my past, I never would’ve gotten over my past.
New Thoughts, New Possibilities
With God’s help I am continually reminded that my past doesn’t have to control my future. external link I don’t need God’s help in my life to give up; I need His help to keep going!
I now know how important it is for me to understand the fact that my life would not have gotten straightened out until my mouth did…
And since the two are linked, my mouth wasn’t going to get straightened out until my mind did.
Changing your words and thoughts is definitely not an easy thing to do, but with God’s help all things are possible. external link
Be Patient with Yourself
We have to choose to think and speak positively. It doesn’t come naturally—and it doesn’t happen overnight. In fact, it takes a lot of practice.
There will be days when you have setbacks, but just get back up, dust yourself off, and start again.
When a baby is learning to walk, he falls many, many times before he gains the confidence to walk. Failing from time to time—which you will do—doesn’t mean you’re a failure. It simply means that you don’t do everything right all the time.
Well, neither does anyone else.
If you’ve been consumed with negative thinking and speaking, the pathway to your freedom begins when you face the problem without making excuses for it.
Be patient with yourself. As you change your thinking, your words will change and so will your life!
Tuesday, November 03, 2009
" Call to me, and I will answer you, and show you great and mighty things, which you do not know."--Jeremiah 33:3 NKV
When I was asked to teach Bible Study a few weeks ago, I chose a reading from a book entitled
" Checklist For Life for Women." The topic I chose was on Prayer. Here's what some of it said.
Prayer is communion with God. You can cultivate many forms of prayer: praise worship. thanksgiving, confession, adoration, petition, supplication, intercession, and meditative prayer. When you pray come into God's presence and discover that God has been present with you all along.
You can bring your daily cares and needs to God in prayer any time, any place. He is intimately interested in the details of your life. Nothing is too small, too big or unimportant to God. You can ask Him for guidance in your relationships, for help in whatever your need, for provision for financial and physical needs. Prayer doesn't have to be elaborate or long. A quick prayer as you bandage skinned knees or cook dinner connects you with your heavenly Father in an instant. He loves your heartfelt prayers whether you need to pray in church or sing worship songs as you go about your daily life.
Volumes have been written about prayer, from humble collections of devotional thoughts to great theologies of prayer. But prayer is not head or book knowledge that can be accessed in the pages of a book. Prayer is connecting to the god who created you, redeemed you, and loves you. Prayer is simply talking to the God who is intimately interested in your lives. Martin Luther once said, "Pray. and let God worry." The God who holds all things together is holding you together, and prayers allows Him greater access to heal your hurts, comfort your sorrows, and bring your life into alignment with His great good will.
Jesus said for us to be as simple as children with your Father in heaven. He told you to go to a private place for an intimate encounter with God. Jesus told you that a real relationship with God does NOT have to be complicated, but can grow into a loving relationship of child-like faith and trust.
There are many ways to pray. There is always, first, and foremost, the simple, honest and heartfelt cry to God. This is the ground out of which a prayer life can flower. You confess your sins and admit your need. You ask for help for yourselves, for loved ones, for your community, for the church, and for the world. You turn to God trusting that He will provide for your daily needs, protect you from danger, and guide you into wholeness and abundance.
A daily devotional can help you begin or end your day with simple prayer and reading. Create a simple home altar or light some candles or have a special corner with a special chair to create a space for prayer. Buy a blank notebook and begin to keep a prayer journal. Set aside a regular time for prayer and meditation on God's Word. Join a prayer group. Worship on a regular basis.
Praying is more than bowing your head and saying prayers. Your whole life can be a prayer. There was a monk named Brother Lawrence whose whole life was devoted to practicing the presence of God in every moment of every day, even as he washed dishes and pots and pans. Bernard of Clairvaux said, " Wherever you are, pray secretly within yourself. If you are far from a house of prayer, give not your self trouble to seek for one, for you yourself are a sanctuary designed for prayer. If you are in bed or in any other place, pray there: your temple is there."
Paul wrote: I bow in prayer before the Father.--Ephesians 3:14 NCV
Here are some "I Wills" for you to think about and answer to yourself yes or no.
Open my heart to God in prayer .---------
Remember that God loves me.............
Have a child-like attitude of trust in my relationship with God.........
Be aware that God is with me in my daily round...........
Worship GHod with my whole heart...........
Resolve to make prayer a priority in my life..................
Know that my whole life can be a prayer........................
Here are some suggestions of things to do
1 Set aside a regular time and a special place for prayer.
2. Worship this Sunday with other believers.
3. Join a prayer group.
4. Start a prayer journal.
5. Buy a daily devotional for morning and evening quiet times and prayer.
6. Memorize a psalm and pray it back to God.
7. Go to a quiet chapel and keel at the alter for a moment of prayer.
Here are two quotations that are wonderful to read and perhaps remember.
"In the morning prayer is the key that opens us to the treasures of God's mercies and blessings; in the evenings, it is the key that shuts us up under his protection and safeguard."--Henry Ward Beecher
" It is possible to offer fervent prayer even while walking in public or strolling alone or seated in your shop----while buying or selling---or even while cooking." ----John Chrysostom
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