My brain is bursting with creative ideas today! We're 2.5 weeks away from the Launch Your Vision conference and book release, and while my team and I are brainstorming and planning the final pieces, and I just had to throw in a short film into the mix! Our cast and crew are a tribe of beautiful people who are rallying to create an epic short film about raising up warriors who run with their purpose. Lots of beauty!
The title of this week's photo is “much fruit,” and speaks of using different ways to honor Christ. To start, I'd like to dispel myth that is often spoken to creative people: “You can only do one thing.” I remember interviewing Church Girard, a pioneer of Jesus Music during the 1970's, who challenged artist in this idea.
“You need to do all God has called you to do. Maybe you're called to music, but perhaps God has also called you to pastor a church or do some other type of ministry. You're responsible for everything He has placed inside of you!”
We see this played out in the creative industry right now: no longer are published authors only expected to write books. They also write blogs, create photos for social media, record podcasts, and use various forms of media to communicate their message. The stereotypical view of a “singer” or “author” who only does one thing doesn't work any more in our culture, and unless you have a huge team to do it for you, it's your job to do multiple types of media.
For me, this viewpoint has been liberating. I have a lot of creativity, and I love to use it in different ways! Now the challenge is to partner creativity with intentional focus so that I'm meeting some goals. With that in mind, I challenge myself: Do everything that is in your heart, as long as you can do it with excellence. This is one step closer to seeing fruit for God's Kingdom come from our creative work, as we do everything to the best of our ability as an offering to Him.
Maybe you're like me, and you love to create. Maybe instead of waiting for a huge budget, you can figure out ways to create a plan and invite people into it. It can be so much fun! This month I'll have my hands on cameras, linen fabric, herbal tea bags, microphones, and marshmallows... all in an effort to create something beautiful that tells a story of God's love. We get to partner with Him in many ways!
Jesus told His disciples that He loves us to bear MUCH fruit: maybe that happens as we ask Him for creative ways to communicate! What would happen if we asked God to help us do ALL He created us to be?
I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing. John 15:5
Prayer: Lord, help me not to confine You to one thing in my life, when You have given me more than one gift or talent. Show me how to abide in You, and bring forth much fruit for Your Kingdom.
IN THE NEWS
My new book, “Launch Your Vision” is now available for pre-purchase! It's my most raw, honest, vulnerable book to date, as I share about times of deep frustration as an artist and feeling "stuck," and also points of liberation where I was able to shift my mindset and embrace freedom to follow God in my creative gifts. It's divided into three parts:
Ready: Prepare your Heart
Aim: Build your strategy
Fire: Release your Vision
Each chapter has 10 questions and spaces to journal as you craft your personal creative strategy! Check out the link to see what others are saying about the book, and how those who have previewed it have stepped into a new place of freedom. Pre-order your copy today!
Well, this week I'm a little late getting out the devotional email. Whoops! I'm just back from a week in Texas spending time with my dad and speaking at a lovely women's ministry event. Time for laundry, running errands, office work, and working on a new project that included a quick hike to a mountain top at sunset to shoot some press photos. After the shoot, I ate some pasta with a friend next door, edited photos... and it's finally time to write to you! :-)
Instead of a picture today, I'd like to send you another piece of art that has a fun story behind it.. hope it will be a blessing! I filmed this music video on the Irish coast over the summer, and several of the locations are pretty special to me and those who love Celtic history. As always, I don't create art with a big budget or huge crew. Instead, I love adventures and the journey that comes with them, and this video is no exception! You could even say it "went off with a bang..."
The song "In Awe" was written over 10 years ago, but it's been on my heart again recently, so I decided to add some Irish whistles to the track and re-release it. My Scottish friend Linette Penney-Gainham agreed to play her whistles, so I caught the train from Glasgow to visit her.
As the train neared the stop just before her town, there was a loud BOOM sound and a very odd smell. The conductor soon moved all the passengers into another car, saying that there had been some kind of explosion and possibly a fire in the bottom of the train car, and they might have to cancel the train line. I started praying that the whole train wouldn't explode. Thankfully, I was able to exit the train and call my friend at the next stop, who drove through the rainy streets to "collect me" as I stood with my yellow umbrella and a few (rather soggy) roses at the station.
After a glad reunion and lunch, we tromped out to a castle ruin (the rain had stopped by then) to record for the song. I had brought my audio recorder and earbuds, so the whistles you hear in the song come directly from the Scottish ruins.
The video was filmed along the east coast of Ireland, starting at a beach with a lighthouse. (A friend dropped me off one day when we had some spare time, and for about two hours I filmed and put some creative juice to work!)
The film also features a lovely overlook I happened to visit with friends. They are also pretty artistic and know my love for a good view, so they humored me to film a few takes, and Linsey shot this photo overlooking the Irish Sea. I set up the camera on a tripod, then played the song from my phone and ran in front of the camera to sing the song! Lol, one of those things you feel so crazy doing and hope it will pay off and look awesome.
Also filmed at an ancient Celtic site that dates back to the 6th century, founded by disciples of St. Patrick. This particular site is really special... it's hidden away down a winding road away from cities and larger tourist attractions. The community of Christians thrived here, and there is a sun dial clock that they used to mark the hours of prayer... six times a day. For me, it's a "thin place," and I fall in love with this sweet spot a little harder each time I visit.
So here is the finished video! Listen to the whistles and imagine yourself with us in the ancient ruins... and stroll down the coast as we worship our beautiful Lord who paid such a price to be close to us. Enjoy!
Prayer: Lord, awaken my heart to fall in love with your beauty and stand in awe of You in fresh ways!
Confession: recently, my mind has been dwelling on certain things I can never change, have no influence over, and probably are none of my business! It's easy to get frustrated, especially when we care a lot for people and see them going a different way than we wish... but worrying won't change a thing. After sharing my heart with good friends and praying together, I've had to take a step back and reserve my attention for the things that I really am responsible for. This is where today's picture comes into play..
"Rest in the Lord, and wait patiently for Him..." Psalm 37:7a
The Hebrew word "rest" in this verse means: "to be dumb, to stop, quiet self, rest, be silent, tarry."
This verse provides a powerful to key to overcoming worry or frustration around situations that are bigger than our reach. This specific directive couldn't be clearer: STOP TALKING- and that includes the chatter of the inner mind. Still your soul, Rebecca. Pause. Embrace silence. Entrust the things you care about to God.
"Wait patiently" is a single Hebrew word with a radical meaning: "to twist or whirl in a circular or spiral manner, specifically to dance..." This word is translated into various words in English. For instance, is could mean "dance," or it could mean to birth, like Psalm 29:9 which says that God's voice makes the "hinds to calve," and "calve" is this dancing Hebrew word. Other times it's interpreted as "fear," or even "formed." I'm not a scholar, but this Hebrew word seems to denote a verb of passion, motion, and even creativity.
In our waiting, dancing before the Lord, and trusting Him, God is able to bring forth the things we cannot. It's amazing to see how He reveals His work when we let go... (let's face it, sometimes we're clinging too tightly to see His hands at work.) From this place of wonder, movement, and rest, He aligns His perfect will and invites us along for the ride.
Prayer: Lord, help me to trust You with things that I cannot change. Resting, dancing, and waiting as You align and unfold Your perfect will.
Sometimes I create a photo and I'm not quite sure if I'm happy with it... like the one in this email. I started the concept about a year ago, but it looked a little weird... I worked on it again today and went for a different editing approach: more of an old oil painting feel. To be honest, I'm still not sure I love it! But I thought it would be a good photo to send because the message is on my heart right now. So here's the photo entitled, The Watch.
It was created with photos I shot in Texas, Scotland, and Alaska!
There's so much to do in our busy lives... our culture offers SO MANY OPTIONS and our time is precious. When Jesus calls us to watch and pray, this isn't always an easy thing to make happen. It means setting time aside to be still, listening to the Holy Spirit, and praying over the things in our lives. Yet, prayer is one of the most valuable things we can invest our time into! As we take our position in prayer, we begin to have a clearer perspective concerning what's going on, and we partner with the One who can change things for the best.
But you, when you pray, go into your room, and when you have shut your door, pray to your Father who is in the secret place; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you openly.
Prayer: Lord, I want to make time to pray! Remind me how important this is, and help me to trust that my prayers make a difference when I seek You and put You first.