The Fantasy of an Uncluttered World

Thefantasyofanunclutteredworld The Fantasy of an Uncluttered World

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.

Live Bravely

livebravely Live Bravely

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…

Will You Invest in Artists with Me?

 

Willyouinvestinartistswithme1 Will You Invest in Artists with Me?

For the past ten years, I’ve had the privilege of walking alongside and investing in the lives of artists with The Grove Center for the Arts & Media. Like what you read here on Art, Life & Faith, the mission of The Grove is to cultivate the spiritual life and creative work of artists. Many of you also receive regular updates from The Grove, so I hope you’ve been encouraged.

Today, if the Art, Life & Faith blog has helped cultivate your spiritual life and creative work in a positive way, I’d like to ask you to consider investing in the lives of artists by making a year-end donation to The Grove. Your donation will fund the grants and scholarships The Grove provides for artists. In the following year-end letter, I ask the question, “Are You A Generous Artist?” because I believe generosity reflects the heart of God. Walter Mitty also has something important to teach us about generosity. Read on or click here to donate now…

Thanksgiving is Good for Your Health

Thanksgiving Grace is an inspiring video produced by Mark Perez & Grove Films.
Click here to watch now.

No matter how much you eat this Thanksgiving, Thanksgiving is good for your health. I’m not talking about massive amounts of turkey, dressing, mashed potatoes or a second helping of pumpkin pie.

I want to invite you to a much more satisfying meal that’s good for your health: a Thanksgiving of the heart. Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good. His love endures forever. (Psalm 118:1) A steady diet and exercise of Thanksgiving does wonders for your heart, mind and body. And thanksgiving is essential for cultivating a beautiful life. Here’s why… Read on.

Becoming A Thriving Artist

Becomingathrivingartist Becoming A Thriving Artist

As you think about your creative work and walk with God, have you ever asked yourself, “What does it take to become a THRIVING artist?” How does an artist thrive personally, professionally and spiritually? It’s been a question that’s been muddling around in my mind a lot the past month. The Lord keeps impressing on my heart the word… thrive.

It’s one thing to be alive. It’s a whole other thing to thrive. In the 12 acre organic lemon and avocado grove I work and oversee, there are parts of the grove that are healthy and thriving. Lots of fruit everywhere. There are also definitely parts that are not thriving. The lower portion of the grove is susceptible to freezes in the winter, killing off our avocado trees. In other parts of the grove, we have squatty, bare, anemic-looking lemon trees that resemble Charlie Brown Christmas trees. If you want to thrive, read on…

Stay Focused on Your Finish Line

Stayfocusedonyourfinishline2 Stay Focused on Your Finish Line

Two weeks ago, I had to keep telling myself to stay focused on my finish line. I was slugging it out in the half-marathon portion of the 70.3 Ironman triathlon event in Augusta, Georgia. Earlier that morning, I swam 1.2 miles and rode 56 miles through the South Carolina and Georgia countryside, but now my legs were saying, “Enough!” At least I had two legs to run on. (Don’t mock the tights…I get enough from my eighth grader!)

Whether you are in a race or not, when you’re struggling, perspective is everything, which is why you need to stay focused on your finish line. There are people in your life who are looking to you for inspiration and who need you to persevere. Read on…

Are You Cultivating Sweetness?

Areyoucultivatingsweetness Are You Cultivating Sweetness?

This past Saturday, I was picking oranges at The Grove. I was in a bit of a rush and eager to get home, so when I plucked a juicy one off the tree, an unexpected thing happened. The sweet, tangy smell wafted to my nose and immediately woke my senses. Wow, I thought. Sweet… as in sah-weet! Read on…

I Love Being the Father of the Bride

fatherofthebride I Love Being the Father of the Bride
Last Saturday, I had the incredible honor of becoming “The Father of the Bride.” What is there not to love about being the Father of the Bride? My oldest daughter, Janae, married the love of her life, a fine young gentleman (the whole O’Connor family loves) named Jonathan Kirchner. For all of you, my Art, Life & Faith friends, you know one of my deepest desires is to help you cultivate a beautiful life. Today is my privilege to share one of the most beautiful days of my life. Read on…