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How Can Joy Fuel Your Creativity?

How Can Joy Fuel Your Creativity?

As creatives, what we create originates from the depths of our hearts. Even God’s Word reminds us that our mouths speak from the overflow of our hearts.

When we examine the best works of our hands, we often find that the most beautiful creations flow not from a place of stress or anxiety, but from a heart brimming with joy and hope. This joy, particularly when grounded in an abiding relationship with God, provides a sense of fulfillment and purpose that truly fuels the creative passions we are called to pursue. While art should undoubtedly express the full range of our emotions, art that consistently lacks joy and hope can suffer creatively, becoming darker and less inspiring.

Nehemiah 8:10 reminds us that in our challenges and battles, the joy of the Lord is our strength.

For the Christ-centered creative, the joy we find in Jesus not only uplifts our spirits but also fortifies us, providing the strength and resilience needed to pursue our God-given creative passions. When our hearts are truly aligned with God and His joy, we find ourselves more open, free, generous, and willing to take creative risks as we build and create.

The Christian understands that joy is not merely an emotional state but an abiding truth born from the fruit oof the Spirit within us. As Leonardo da Vinci said, “Where the Spirit does not work with the hand, there is no art.” Our joy and inspiration in the creative process rely on the Spirit of God living within us. Without the joy that comes from God’s Spirit, our creativity will ultimately lack vitality and depth, diminishing its desired impact.

When we create from a place of joy, our work not only uplifts and inspires others but becomes contagious, spreading positivity like a viral infection that transforms ordinary work into something extraordinary, as the Spirit of God inhabits it. However, when our hope diminishes and our joy wanes, our creative output mirrors that reality.

Albert Einstein recognized the playful nature that results from joy, stating, “Creativity is intelligence having fun.” It’s in that playful spirit that we not only create smiles but also experience genuine joy in our hearts. Conversely, when that playful Spirit is absent, our creative endeavors can feel more like a burdensome process than a delight.

Therefore, let us stay connected and devoted to the Father, recognizing Him as the source of our joy. Let us remain in community with others who will encourage and support us. Such community is what the Orderd Chaos Club, when launched, will hopefully be. I would even recommend practicing gratitude, for training our hearts to be grateful helps us maintain a hopeful and joyful outlook on the life and the work we’ve been entrusted with.

The joy of the Lord is your strength today, Christ-centered creative. So go forth, be joyful, and create with joy.

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Is Failure a Reflection of Who You Are?

Is Failure a Reflection of Who You Are?

This week, the blog lost its first subscriber.

If I’m going to be honest, that’s disappointing, especially since it hasn’t been in existence that very long.
When I checked in on the subscriber list and I saw that lonely number one next to the amount of unsubscribers, it made me feel a certain kind of way.

It was tapping into the people pleaser in me, the insecure me, and the version of me that wants to create something that every person that engages with it will passionately love.
The reality is, with every single creation, there’s essentially a handful of different responses. There’s variations of yes, variations of no. And then variations of wow. And of course, we’re going for the wows. But what happens when you get the no’s?
It definitely goes in my box that seems to continually be growing called failures. And here’s the truth that I think we all need to hold on to today.
Failures that remain in your box can be lessons that you learn from. You can choose to pick up the box and open it and educate yourself with its contents in the same way that people would use a textbook.
However, if failure becomes a coat or a badge of sorts, it becomes something that you walk around with, that you carry as a part of who you are. And that is an unhealthy place.
Failure should never be received as a scarlet letter or a personal identifier, but simply an event. And the beauty is we can learn from events. We can grow from events. We can’t learn and grow from parts of who we are.

 

So it’s important that we keep failure in an educational box and not in that wonderful little transparent part of our wallet that holds the ID. Failure is not who we are.

Don’t do the work of the enemy and receive failure as an internal reality. It is through internalizing failure that we end up doing the worst service of all to ourselves: Extinguishing hope.
Christ-centered creatives, we must recognize our hope is in Christ. That any failures are not personal, are not permanent, and are not pervasive. And if each of those are not true, failure is something that we can learn and recover from.

But the moment it becomes personal, we believe the failure to be who we are. The moment it becomes permanent, we believe this failure to be something that we can never change. And the moment it becomes pervasive. We believe that every aspect of our reality is a failure.

So no matter if the failure you’ve experienced is losing a subscriber, finding someone giving you a “no” to your creation, losing a huge client in your business, or finding that your business needs to close…

Remember this, it’s not personal. It doesn’t reflect on who you are at your core.
It’s not permanent. This is something that there is hope for change. Things that have ended can be reborn. You can grow beyond this.
And it’s not pervasive. This is verifiably a singular event.

As you continue to learn and grow, you can be sure that there will be other places where you fail. But don’t ever receive the lie that you are a failure.
And hey, an appropriate response to this could be to subscribe to the blog LOL. Sorry, I couldn’t help it with the shameless plug.

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Do You Have the Courage to Create or Just the Vision?

Do You Have the Courage to Create or Just the Vision?

Have you ever had a day that hit you so fast and so hard that you never really had time to slow down and feel the blow? Well today was one of those days for me. And as I write this, it is 10:30 in the evening, and I’m just arriving home after three hours of serving a sister in Christ who needed help moving into her new apartment.

It was challenging, but it was beautiful to see our gathering of Christ-centered creatives, known as Beats, Bars, and Bible, take a pause on our normal weekly Bible study and instead engage in Bible practice.

I’m not quite sure what the impetus is for today’s blog, but I know this. It’s easy for us creatives to be the idea guy or the creative gal who dreams it up, puts it on paper, and imagines the new world. In a lot of respects, those visionaries are what this world absolutely needs to be better than it is. But at the same time, we as creatives must also decide to actually create.

Tonight, we didn’t just think about and dream about serving and loving one another in the body of Christ. We created that act of service. We put the word of God into practice. Now, I wish I could say that I do that on a daily basis and consistently. But I know that I don’t. However, it is my aim to increasingly make that a reality as the Lord gives me recognition of the opportunities that I need to step into.

As Christians and as Christ-centered creatives, we have not only the vision of the divine moments that we often are called into, but we have the Spirit of God who, if we seek Him and ask Him for it, He will also give us the ingredients that truly help change the world. Not just vision, but courage and the commitment to create.

 

I’ll see you guys tomorrow.

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Are You Devaluing Your Creative Calling?

Are You Devaluing Your Creative Calling?

As a Christian creative, I’ve struggled at times (let me be honest, A LOT) with undervaluing the very talents and artistic expression that God has graced me with. Perhaps you can relate to that sense of insecurity or feeling that your work lacks importance compared to others. We may create solely for the joy of it, without giving much thought to the value our art brings to the world. Or we might subconsciously downplay our gifts to avoid coming across as boastful or arrogant, which seems to go against the core value of humility.

However, I’ve come to realize that devaluing our creative callings is actually an affront to the One who bestowed those treasured abilities upon us. God has entrusted each of us with unique talents to steward for His glory and the enrichment of others. Whether our creative impact reaches millions or just a handful, it still carries profound worth. This doesn’t mean we can’t intentionally choose generosity and charity, but the question remains is that fueled by a generous spirit or a spirit that does not accept our own value and the value of what we create. It’s easy to be generous with something we think is trash.

The Scriptures remind us in 1 Peter 4:10, “Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms.” Our creativity is a form of this grace, bestowed not to be diminished or hidden, but to be fully expressed and shared.

Throughout history, artistic giants have spoken to the importance of valuing one’s work with integrity.

“No matter what your work is, let it be good work, and not poor and indifferent. No matter how humble, let that humble thing be ennobled by your care for it.” – Harriet Hosmer’s essay “The Process of Sculpture”

Even the business world validates not underselling your abilities, as leadership expert John C. Maxwell stated, “If you can’t get motivated by your purpose, you likely won’t value it or take pride in it.”

For us as purpose-driven, Christ-centered creatives, our purpose is to use the gifts we’ve been blessed with to glorify God, strengthen fellow believers, and reach untold others with the truth and beauty of His Kingdom. When we downplay those creative talents, we risk minimizing the eternal impact and influence we were entrusted to have.

So let us operate from a posture of humble confidence as Christian artists, musicians, writers, and creatives, honoring the immense value of our callings without arrogance or selfishness. Let us celebrate how the Creator continues to work through our artistic expressions to leave an eternal legacy, whether our influence touches millions or just one soul in need of His hope and truth. Our value is measured not by worldly definitions of success, but by the God who purposefully shaped us to enrich many lives through our art for such a pivotal time as this.

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Are You Resting to Create?

Are You Resting to Create?

Resting is not an option; it is a necessity.

However, when we step back and take a glance at all the terrain we need to cross or all the mountains we need to climb, we can feel like rest is just something that we can’t afford to take advantage of. But the truth is that is a lie that will end up robbing us of so much that God is looking to build in and through our lives. But that’s the secret: while we are creatives, we must remember that we are creatives in Christ, and that GOD IS THE CHIEF CREATIVE who is looking for the right canvas to paint His latest miracles. He’s looking for the right vessel to manifest His next works of art.

The rested ones are the trusted ones. Not because we are stronger because we rested, which we are. Not because we think more clearly because we rested, which we do. Instead, it is simply because we are the surrendered and submitted ones who trusted God enough to lay down the work of our hands as He promised to finish building. We are simply like the little boy in John 6 who was with his family as Jesus preached. He had less than a full meal for his family, but when called upon, gave that meal up, trusting God had something greater.

Here’s the thing… the people gathered, while growing in hunger, were not at all aware that a miracle was happening. They just knew that this mountainside conference suddenly was catered. But the little boy knew. He knew that he was asked to give up his meal to the conference leadership, and then suddenly, not only was he getting it back, but everyone would be fed, and there would be leftovers.

As we decide to lay down the work of our hands, even if for only one day a week, we are leaning into God’s ways of multiplying and creating. If we aren’t okay with God’s math in our creative work, then we aren’t yet Christ-centered as a creative, which is the hope and aim of my efforts now. God has confirmed for me my calling to create for His glory and to lead others to do the same. Creating for His glory also means resting for His glory.

Check out the Bible devotion and hip-hop music production session I did live Sunday afternoon for more on this. Pastor Fury Youtube

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