Adventures AWAKE

A pithy little blog encouraging creative adventures of the Christian spirit

Inside outside upside down October 29, 2009

Children_IndiaWhen I was a copywriter I was taught basic creative problem solving, early on. One such primary lesson was that in order to capture your target audience, juxtapose two opposites.

“It’s the inside-outside, upside-down Kingdom where you lose to gain and you die to live…”

~ Misty Edwards, Servant of All

The greatest are least, the least are greatest. In the depths of experience and spirit, we serve the greatest who are the least. We serve the Greatest who is the least. I am captured…

 

Want an adventure? Find a way to live today in the inside-outside upside-down Kingdom. (Hint: It will be the opposite of your norm — it will change you).

 

Creative Resistance August 26, 2009

One night I was layin’ down,palate

I heard Papa talkin’ to Mama.

I heard Papa say, to let that boy boogie-woogie.

Cause it’s in him and it’s got to come out.

~ John Lee Hooker, “Boogie Chillen”

Resistance is the most toxic force on the planet. It is the root of more unhappiness than poverty, disease, and erectile dysfunction. To yield to Resistance deforms our spirit. It stunts us and makes us less than we are and were born to be. If you believe in God (and I do) you must declare Resistance evil, for it prevents us from achieving the life God intended when He endowed each of us with our own unique genius. Genius is a Latin word; the Romans used it to denote an inner spirit, holy and inviolable, which watches over us, guiding us to our calling. A writer writes with his genius; an artist paints with hers; everyone who creates operates from this sacramental center. It is our soul’s seat, the vessel that holds our being-in-potential, our star’s beacon and Polaris.

~ Steven Pressfield, The War of Art

 

Want an adventure?  The Holy Spirit is genius!!! Think about it: How has your spirit been deformed by resistance to God’s endowed gifts in your life and the Spirit’s guidance of that calling? The opposite of resistance is acceptance. Enjoy the freedom and fun of operating from the center of who you were made to be! Take some time to acknowledge your gratitude for the opportunities that this opens up to you.

P.S. To embrace your genius, read Pressfield’s book. A kick in the creative butt for those of us who need it.

 

A servantless American blogger August 20, 2009

Filed under: Art,Journey — Amy Pierson @ 7:29 am
Tags: , , , ,

I used to blog often. Fairly regularly. It was fun. It was fresh. The ideas seemed to flow. But lately it seems the pressure is a tad overwhelming. To be clever enough to earn someone’s reading time…whew! And, without interaction with readers, it’s tough to tell whether or not I’m hitting the mark. Sending words out into space not really being sure if they’re ever read is like the feeling you get when talking to someone who is terribly distracted. Occasionally, you’ll get a grunt of acknowledgement through a comment or two but generally it’s a one way, unspectacular conversation. It’s a lonely blog world.

If you’ve seen the movie Julie & Julia, the scene where Julie has a meltdown and lies snivelling on the floor with her stuffed chicken wondering if she’s making a difference…that would be me. (OK…I’m not snivelling but I am earnestlywondering). I began this blog on the premise that we are all creative and God speaks to each of us in a uniquely creative voice. I am committed to the message! I want to encourage both of us to pay attention to Him — to hear, see, taste, touch and smell the God who regularly prompts us to engage in the conversation.

In my art and in my writing — any creative endeavor, really — I depend on His voice to breathe life into the process. As I blog, I realize that quite likely I am the “someone who is terribly distracted” when God is speaking. If the ideas are drying up and the motivation appearing to wane, it seems logical that it is precisely because of my inattentiveness and underestimation of my value in the conversation.Julie blogging

 

Want an adventure? Spend some time engaged with the voice of God. Tell me how God has been speaking to you lately. In art? — show me the work. In nature? — send me a snapshot. In literature? — share the title. In film? — give me your review.

 

A New Song? July 20, 2009

Ok, I’m too cheap to bump up to the WordPress level which allows video embedding but take a minute to check out these  two videos and then come back to my blog:

Axis of AwesomeAxis of Awesome 4 chords http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QpB_40hYjXU

Pachabel Rant

Rob Paravonian’s Pachebel Rant http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JdxkVQy7QLM#watch-main-area

 

What could my point possibly be? Should we be discouraged by this? — maddened? — how about Inspired.

If you saw my first, ever blog post you know that 1) I love all things creative, and 2) I whole-heartedly (as opposed to in a patronizing way) believe everyone is their own version of creative. I still do. From the marketplace, I learned that I am only as good as my last big idea…so what does that make God? I’d say really, really, REALLY Good at every idea ever conceived or yet to be conceived! Good on an eternal scale. The Good-est. As it should be…

Having attended two art schools and worked with the creative geniuses pent up in several advertising agencies, I have learned one of the basic creedos of creativity: “There is nothing new under the sun”. Funny that should come from the Bible. Every creative idea is a variation on a theme, a twist on a cosmic truth, a juxtaposition of judgements. Not just in art, not just in music, not just in writing, or business or public speaking — EVERY creative idea. However clever the concept, in a very real way, creativity is the ultimate greening of our culture — it is recycled! This means there is unlimited fodder for us to work with everyday.

In an almost manic way, Ecclesiastes 1 says “What has been will be again, what has been done will be done again; there is nothing new under the sun. Is there anything of which one can say,  “Look! This is something new”? It was here already, long ago; it was here before our time” (verses 9-10).

So, should I give up and open a creative vein? No!

Specifically relevant to musical creativity, the Psalms repeatedly speak of “singing a new song” to God. Interesting that each time these songs come up they give credit where it is due — recounting His victory and glory in the earth. God is the Great Creator — the commanding Strategist, Conservator of earth’s collection, the ultimate Original. On our best days, we just copy His work. He is the One who answers prayers with ideas. And — no — they aren’t new to Him but when we drill down to acknowledge their source, our unique expressions are a “new song” we can humbly lift to highlight His ongoing presence through the creative ages.

That kind of thinking lifts burdens, brings joyful expectation, and calls out the fun of why we are here!

 

Want an adventure? Think back to your last creative idea. What was it? What did it accomplish? Did you think about the Source of your idea? However big or small it was, sing Him a new song of praise for loaning you the creativity. Next time you are looking for a “big idea,” brainstorm with God…and keep singing.

 

Rap challenge June 15, 2009

Missions exist because worship doesn’t.
People don’t worship the God who made them.
We’re ambassadors.
Let’s go!

~ Lecrae, from his song “Send Me!” (If you want to hear the whole challenge, visit this link)

 

start-listening-to-rap-1

(Author’s note: Actually, I think I already look like that…and I’m ok with it).

 

Want an adventure? Listen — really listen — to some Christian rap music. Allow yourself to be challenged by the raw and real of what you discover.

Rejoice in the Lord, O you righteous! For praise from the upright is beautiful. Praise the Lord with the harp; make melody to Him with an instrument of ten strings. Sing to Him a new song; play skillfully with a shout of joy. For the word of the Lord is right, and all His work is done in truth. ~ Psalm 33:1-4

 

Meditations of Super Cow June 11, 2009

O.K. today I’m letting you in. You are going to see the inner-workings of my creative thought process. (Don’t judge me…and try not to worry).

 supercow in a pasture

It all started on this peaceful morning in Colossians 1. There I sat meditating on the passage, minding my own business when something in verse 11 jumped out at me. “Strengthened,” it said. Hmmm. I thought, “Strengthened?” Strong’s Concordance #1412- “dunamoo. To make strong, confirm, enable.” That’s when my right brain flashed with the image of “Super Cow.”

A cow in a field is easy to overlook. But take one ordinary, heifer– nothing special — throw a cape on her, whisper in her ear about her untapped powers to sustain others and stand back! Then, it hit me: I AM SUPER COW!

Faster than a sleeping bull. More powerful than the fence that binds her. Able to leap tall hay bales in a single bound. Look! Out in the pasture! It’s a dog? It’s a horse? It’s Super Cow!

Yes, it’s Super Cow – strange visitor from another planet who came to Earth with powers and abilities far beyond those of mortal men. Super Cow – who can change the course of mighty rivers, bend steel with her unopposable digits, and who, disguised as Amy Pierson, mild mannered writer of a personal blog, fights the never ending battle for Truth, Justice and the Jesus Way.

All that from “dunamoo.” Really.

But read on, gentle reader…read on.

From this insipid place in my bovine-fixated brain, I proceeded to learn something substantive: The root — duna— is “power.” Words like dynamo, dynamic, dynamite and dynasty come from the same base. And again in the Greek, power words like dunamai (to be able), dunamis (supernatural power), dunastes (ruling power), dunatos (powerful) and dunateo (to be mighty) are out there.

Today dunamoo is my war cry! As God leads, I will “make strong, confirm, enable” all those who cross my cow path. True Super Cows don’t get the glory as they do whatever cows do…God does. Next time you feel like you are not outstanding in your field (wherever that may be) remember Super Cow! And, know that you are mighty through God.

 

Want an adventure? Read and reflect on Colossians 1. Recognize the power of the ordinary. God’s power is perfected in the weakness of it. Listen to His whisper in your ear. What is it that He’s calling you toward? (It’s more than just a life leading up to some good steak on the table). What bulls are sleeping nearby? What fences are hemming you in? What hay bales need leaping? Believe in your “super powers” and wear the cape proudly (on the inside, please) as you go through your days.