A Question of Focus

aquestionoffocus A Question of Focus

Crickets. That’s all you’ve been hearing lately from me. The crickets started cricketing last summer and they’ve been buzzing for quite a few months now. (My last post, Great Power and Beauty Await You, was way, way back in July…cricket season!) For me, it’s been a question of focus. A question of focus with my art, life, faith and creativity. I’ve simply been focused on larger projects requiring greater time, energy, faith and focus than ever before. I know many of you will benefit from them, but since many of you have been long and loyal friends to this Art, Life & Faith blog, I am sorry for my silence. It really has been a question of focus… of where I believe God has uniquely made me to make my best contribution. I’m also learning a lot about my limitations. What I can and can’t do. And the reality that I can’t do it all.

Jeff Walker, a favorite author and market strategist I follow, recently wrote about focus in his book Launch. “Your most scarce resource is focus, ” Walker writes… and here’s why!

Are You Leaving All Outcomes to God?

20130422 110203 Are You Leaving All Outcomes to God?

In my desire, struggle and journey to cultivate a beautiful life, one of the most helpful things I’ve learned to bring me peace is this simple truth: Leave all outcomes to God. In our work, life and relationships, if we want peace, we need to let go of our illusions of control and leave all outcomes to God.

Thomas Merton, one of my favorite spiritual writers, drives home this point when he writes about work and play. Read on…

3 Ways Artists Can Cultivate Faith over Fear

As an artist, is fear kicking your butt? Maybe you’re not an artist, BUT you struggle with worry, fear, and anxiety? As an artist, I’ve found that fear is the number one obstacle to creativity, innovation, growth, focus, and artistic success. This past Monday night at our monthly Grove Gathering, Roy Cochran, my friend and co-worker, shared with forty-five artists the importance of cultivating faith over fear. I know this struggle of faith over fear well. If you’ve read my free book, The Longing: Embracing the Deepest Truth of Who You Are, you know that I had a ten-year wrestling match with chronic pain, fear and anxiety. I’ve learned a few lessons over the years that just might help you cultivate faith over fear. Read on…

 3waysartistscancultivatefaithoverfear1 3 Ways Artists Can Cultivate Faith over Fear

Dare to Fail Greatly

With your art, are you willing to fail greatly? In your life, do you have a deep inner conviction that you really are on the right track? Even though it all may blow up in your face? Are you willing to appear wrong because what you’re doing is right?  Even if you’re doing the unthinkable, will you forge ahead even though you may fail? Our willingness to risk great things and fail in the process says a lot about our faith and who we are. Read on…

daretofailgreatly Dare to Fail Greatly

 

I Love Artists Who Go For It!

I love artists who go for it. Artists who go for it are people like Brian Swerdfeger, who overwhelmed me with inspiration today. Brian’s got guts and I want more of what he’s got. You see, Brian just doesn’t say he is an artist. He is practicing his artistry in a radical and bold way. He’s an inspiration for other artists to get out of their comfort zones and reach for challenging goals. Brian’s going for it in a big way. A professional musician, he was also the head of marketing at Taylor Guitar for many years. I ran into him at the NAMM show today in Anaheim and was so inspired by his story, I had to share it with you. Read on…

Brianswerfeger toneloungeguitar 225x300 I Love Artists Who Go For It!

Top 10 Art, Life & Faith Posts for 2012

Thank you for your support and encouragement on Art, Life & Faith in 2012. I want to share with you the Top 10 posts for 2012 read by you and the rest of my friends. This past year, I saw more visitors and new subscribers to Art, Life & Faith than ever before. In writing about God, creativity, faith, the arts and the daily challenges of life, I hope you were inspired and encouraged to live a life of deeper meaning, creativity and purpose. Here’s a peek at the 2012 Art, Life & Faith posts that you and others enjoyed the most. Read on…Top10Artlifefaithpostsfor2012 Top 10 Art, Life & Faith Posts for 2012

 

Saying Yes to Art: Artist Interview with Sculptor Karen Schmidt

[I]n this Art, Life & Faith video interview with sculptor Karen Schmidt, she offered these profound words of wisdom: When you say “yes” to your art, you will face a thousand “no’s”. She is so right. Karen Schmidt is an amazing sculptor, wife, mother and grandmother. She is also one of the most prayerful, disciplined and seasoned artists I know. Karen was a guest blogger earlier this year on Art, Life & Faith with her insightful thoughts on When Creativity Runs Dry. In this Art, LIfe & Faith interview, we talked about how she became a sculptor, her early influences, how she spends her day creating, how she cultivates her spiritual life, the current state of art in the Church and how struggling artists can find help in their work and life. Read on…

Do It Anyway: Thoughts from Mother Teresa

[O]ne of the most popular posts here on Art, Life & Faith is this poem written by Mother Teresa. When facing difficult people and an often-harsh world, Mother Teresa’s challenge to Do It Anyway offers a refreshing perspective of what it means to walk intimately with God. Mother Teresa’s simple and profound thoughts on the love of God, service to others, and living a simple life of faithfulness to God continues to inspire millions worldwide.

 

doitanywaythoughtsfrommotherteresa Do It Anyway: Thoughts from Mother Teresa

Her inspirational thoughts of what it means to love others in the name of Jesus strike an authentic, beautiful chord for everyone who desires a deeper walk with God. We all need gentle reminders to continue in the way of Jesus…

Introducing Create: Transforming Stories of Art, Life & Faith for the iPad, Kindle & Nook

[A]fter two and a half years of working with 21 artists, I’m very happy to announce the official launch of our dynamic new video ebook optimized for the iPad, Kindle & Nook. It’s called Create: Transforming Stories of Art, Life & Faith. Create offers essays, artwork and video from 21 artists. Yes, 21 artistic points of view. My design team and I think it’s a compelling product worth your attention. If you have a love for story, art and a desire to see the arts flourish in the Church for this world, I think you’re really going to enjoy Create. For many years, I had this idea stuck in the back of my head, “How could we help and inspire artists who were struggling in their creative lives by offering hope and perspective through the stories of other artists? As artists, how could all of us better learn to integrate our art, life and faith? What if there was a good book or tool just to nudge us all a bit further down the path?”  So after six REJECTIONS from publishers, I could have easily thrown in the towel and said to myself…

CreateTransformingstoriesofartlifefaith Introducing Create: Transforming Stories of Art, Life & Faith for the iPad, Kindle & Nook