The Fantasy of an Uncluttered World

Thefantasyofanunclutteredworld

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.

Artists, Are You Audacious, Brave and Creative?

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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!

Live Bravely

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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…

How Do You Relate to God? The 4 Postures

howdoyourelatetoGod?

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…

Jon Foreman-Why Switchfoot Won’t Sing Christian Songs

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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,

Two Free Gifts from The Grove

Create-AdTo 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…

Will You Invest in Artists with Me?

 

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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…

Merry Christmas from Art, Life & Faith!

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As you celebrate the joy of Christ at Christmas with family and friends, I hope you experience the fullness of God’s grace, peace and lavish love for you! My prayer for you is that God cultivates in you a deeper love for him and every person you encounter in the coming year.

“Let your prayer be that He, the living Vine, shall link you so close to himself that your heart will sing: He is my Vine and I am His branch–I want nothing more–now I have the everlasting Vine. You are my Vine and I am Your branch. It is enough, my soul is satisfied.” Andrew Murray

Merry Christmas,

Joey

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.