Pick My Brain – A Brush With Life

     by Marlene Bogard, Minister of Christian Formation

All of us carry within us the essence of an artist.  Agreed?  So what is holding you back?  Art is not your thing?  Hold on there, partners, we are all created in the image of God, who is a creator, so the creative seeds are planted in all of us, although perhaps they have been squelched.

Lately I have an increased hunger to participate in hands-on creative activities.  Yes, I will claim that my head and heart are daily filled with ideas and adaptations.  Thanks be to God!  But these days I am drawn to color, to patterns, to brushes and paint.  I am free to doodle as prayer, paint as thanksgiving and trim shrubs with an eye for design.  I acknowledge that the inspiration and the drive for the daily grind is from God.  But so too are the moments of imagination, and the snippets of play that I find as necessary companions on my journey.

I have just “created” a new display in the library that features books on engaging the creative process.  It’s colorful and a bit wacky.  Some resources are actually about art and others are about being creative in other areas of life, such as creative prayer. (Search creative prayer on our on-line catalog and be amazed:  mennowdc.org).

“We all need to create, to be a part of a process that brings to the world something beautiful, good, and true, in order to allow our souls to come to life. It’s not only the quality of the ingredients we use to build our lives that matter, but the care we bring to the process itself. Just like baking artisan bread, it’s a process that’s crafted over time. And God has something to say about how we craft our lives, because, all of us carry within us the essence of an artist. ”  from The Artisan Soul by Erwin McManus.

Join in the journey and have a brush with life by spending time with one of these inspiring books:

The artisan soul : crafting your life into a work of art

by McManus, Erwin Raphael. 2014.

Founder of MOSAIC in Los Angeles, McManus pens a manifesto for human creativity and the beginning of a new renaissance. He not only calls us to reclaim our creative essence, but reveals how we can craft our lives into a work of art. With poignant, inspirational stories and insights from art, life, history, and scripture interspersed throughout, he walks readers through the process of crafting a life of beauty and wonder. Put this on your list today! 

The artist’s rule : nurturing your creative soul with monastic wisdom

by Paintner, Christine Valters. 2011.

A twelve-week journey that connects spirituality, creativity, art and personal expression. This one will take a bit of commitment and would work well in a group.

Redesigning worship : creating powerful God experiences

by Miller, Kim. 2009.

Provides practical and imaginative help for building and leading worship teams, empowering creative ideas and handling the inevitable conflict.

Saying yes : accepting God’s amazing invitation to artists and the church

by West, Cindy. 2008.

West draws on her experience as an innovator in connecting artistry with ministry to offer insights on discovering and nurturing your own unique talents; finding your role in creative ministry; developing a worship-arts program in your church.

Drawn in : a creative process for artists, activists, and Jesus followers

by Bronsink, Troy. 2012.

Shows how we can connect the creative life and the life of faith through design thinking and creative processes. Exercises invite participation in God’s life and redemptive rhythms.

A million little ways : uncover the art you were made to live.

by Freeman, Emily P. 2013.

Uncovers the personal creative imprint God has placed upon every individual, and encourages readers to reexamine their lives by approaching it the way an artist approaches a canvas–with wonder, bravery, and hope.

Life after art : what you forgot about life and faith since you left the art room.

by Appling, Matt. 2013.

Art teacher Matt Appling reminds us of lessons we’ve forgotten, the joy of creating and the freedom we have to succeed or fail.

The artist’s way : a spiritual path to higher creativity

by Cameron, Julia. 2003.

A guidebook for adults to use in discovering and recovering your creative self.