If you’re facing trouble, relationship conflicts, struggles and pain that could deepen your character, let me ask you a simple question: Are you backing down from trouble? Are you afraid to show trouble who you really are? Have you, somehow, bought into the lie that creating a beautiful life would be easy? That you would never be opposed? That conflict would never involve hard work to reach for creative solutions?
A friend of mine recently shared Hello Trouble, a great Gerber knife video with me and as you go into this weekend… (more…)
One of my lifelong goals is to stay curious, ask more questions and to learn how to ask more beautiful questions.
Whether you are an artist, parent, pastor, creative team leader, or simply a good friend to someone else, learning how to ask more beautiful questions can lead to breakthrough ideas in your own life and the lives of those around you. What can asking a more beautiful question lead to?
Every year in California and across the nation, we see more and more cuts in art education in elementary schools. This is a deep and pervasive problem. As Calvin College art professor, Jo-Ann VanReeuwyk, states in her list of highly insightful reasons to save art education in elementary schools, “The arts teach problem-solving, risk-taking, creative thinking, collaborative thinking, innovative thinking. Indeed all of the higher level thinking skills.”
If you’re a parent, artist, or art educator interested in cultivating creativity in kids, I’d like to encourage you to read Jo-Ann’s 18 Reasons to Save Art Education in Elementary Schools, which she generously allowed me to share with you today. Even if you’re not an artist, you will find Jo-Ann’s points will expand your knowledge and appreciation for the arts. Why is arts education in school so important? Here’s why…
Oh, how I long to live in an uncluttered world! If you look at my desk in the photo above, you’ll see that I’m living in anything, but an uncluttered world. If you look closer at my desk, you’ll see that it’s “medium-cluttered”. There are actually a few items that I don’t consider clutter. A few books I’m reading. My journal. Much-needed caffeine cup. Favorite family photos. Good stuff, but not clutter. But, as you may have noticed my recent blog absence, my life has been unusually busy with film, writing and ministry activities. Yes, many good things, but still busy and cluttered.
And then there’s that pile of receipts that need filing. That large stack of papers I need to go through. Sticky notes of urgent items to followup on. People to call. Tasks to complete. If I’m not careful, that pile will grow and grow, creating a mind-numbing stack of mail, bills to pay, and papers screaming for order. And that’s just my desk… you don’t even want to look inside my mind.
I recently read some very helpful thoughts from Sarah Young’s Jesus Calling: Enjoying Peace in His Presence. If you’re drawn to the fantasy of an uncluttered world, I think you’ll find Christ offers us something deeper than a clutter-free desk. Sarah offers her reflections of Jesus’ words of hope, peace and guidance to her…
One of my goals is to be a life-long learner, which is why I really enjoyed this TEDx video on creativity, kids and hackschooling. As the parents of four children, Krista and I have tried hard to figure out the “secret sauce” for what makes each one of our kids tick. And without naming names, our four kids love school, hate school, like school and tolerate school.
But school does not always equal learning, creativity or education, which is why I hope you’ll be inspired by 13 year old Logan LaPlante and his creative approach to learning in this TEDx talk. If you have children, especially teenagers, this is a great video to watch as a family and discuss. If you have a creative team, build into their lives by having a conversation about the importance of lifelong learning. Click here to leave a comment now.
When you look back at the end of your life some day, will you be able to say that you were an audacious, brave and creative artist? If you want to cultivate a beautiful life, don’t be lulled by the anti-artistic Siren songs of safety and a risk-free life. When I look back at the end of my life, I want to see audacious, brave and creative risks taken so when I breath my last breath, I know I’ll be waking up in beautiful kingdom knowing I lived well in this one. Throw in courage, kindness, loving, humble and generous… those are a few more adjectives I want to describe my life.
My family and I recently went to see The Secret Life of Walter Mitty. Not only did we laugh and love the movie, I was inspired by Ben Stiller’s character breaking out of safety, security, and mediocrity by becoming the man he dreamed of being: Audacious, Brave and Creative!
I read in a recent issue of Outside magazine that their mission statement of “Live the Active Life” was a failure. Seems nobody really knew what the Active Life meant. The Outside editors and staff found that no one they interviewed could definitely answer whether they were living the Active Life or not. It was all a bit too vague. Heck, if you can walk to the bathroom, that’s an active life.
Living bravely was another matter. Everyone they spoke to could determine if they were living bravely or not. I suspect the same is true for you and I. We instinctively know if we’re living bravely or not. So my challenge to you (and myself) is to live bravely today. To live a beautiful life, we must live bravely. I have a few ideas what that might look like…
Reading is one of the ways I draw close to God. It’s been said that writers are readers, so one of the questions I always ask people who tell me they want to write a book is this, “Do you like to read?” Today, I want to share a book worth reading in the hope that it will help you draw close to God. I hope it will inspire you to both read and write a bit more…
One of the books I’ve been reading the past few weeks, which has greatly enhanced my understanding of how I relate to God, is With: Reimagining the Way You Relate to God by Skye Jethani. In it, Skye outlines four postures many people assume in how they relate to God to better manage fear and control in their lives. Instead of simply seeking deeper communion living with God, I found parts of myself living from each of these 4 postures. Maybe you can relate to these…
If artists are going to help others create a beautiful life (should they accept that role, among many, as part of their life’s work), then a key element of that role is engaging others in a thoughtful conversations about the role of art in our society and its institutions, including the Church.
In case you missed it, I recently shared on The Grove Center for the Arts & Media blog some important thoughts from Jon Foreman about why Switchfoot won’t be singing any Christian songs. I want to share it with you in the hope that it stimulates your thinking by pointing out many of the myths and ill-conceived notions about art produced by Christians. Amazingly, this piece was originally posted on Tim Challies blog 10 years ago in 2004.
Jon Foreman points out “the schism between the sacred and the secular in all of our modern minds. ” His words are as relevant today as they were 10 years ago. Responding to the idea that a book, a song, or a t-shirt simply can’t be Christian, Jon said,
To get 2014 started off right, I’d like to offer you and your friends two free gifts from The Grove Center for the Arts & Media. The first gift is a free copy of Create: Transforming Stories of Art, Life & Faith ($9.99 value). It’s the first book I produced specifically from and for artists. Create is filled with thought-provoking essays, dynamic videos, and digital artwork from 21 artists who share their spiritual and artistic journeys. The second gift is a free 50% off coupon for Grove Online Classes…