Adventures AWAKE

A pithy little blog encouraging creative adventures of the Christian spirit

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.

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Heavenly ATM July 16, 2009

Depend on it. God’s work done in God’s way will never lack God’s supply. He is too wise a God to frustrate His purposes for lack of funds, and He can just as easily supply them ahead of time as afterwards, and He much prefers doing so ~ J. Hudson Taylor

MONEY

I remember my dad saying something very similar growing up. If there is a good idea, money is never an issue. And, God is full of good ideas. So if I’m working in the way I am called, why do I worry about cashflow?

Hudson Taylor’s “good idea” / God idea — his calling —  was to evangelize China. In the course of his 54 years of missionary work, this prayerfully directed man donned traditional Chinese garb (a novel idea in those days) and ultimately became what some historians have called an evangelist with wider vision and geographical impact than anyone other than the Apostle Paul. Taylor’s work was innovative, non-denominational, embraced the involvement of women, and fully dependent on God’s provision. And, God always provided. His founding of the China Inland Mission organization (now Overseas Missionary Fellowship) became the largest protestant mission agency in the world. Clearly, God was behind Taylor Hudson’s big idea for China (since China holds a pretty big note on the U.S. these days, maybe I should be, too).

My questions: Assuming God is the financier of every successful, God-led endeavor ever birthed, do I care about what God cares about? Am I rich enough in heart to undertake what God has for me to do? Do I care about the world at large? God is no “heavenly ATM” that we run to when we need quick cash.  He is the chairman of the heavenly Fed. He keeps good books, sets the interest rate in His favor. Heck, He can make more money if He wants!

 

Want an adventure? What have you felt drawn to throughout your life? — What good idea? — What calling to make a difference in the world? Money is just one of many tools to get the job done. If money were not an issue, what would your plan of action include? What is “God’s work done God’s way” in it? In some way, act on the plan and enjoy His smile upon your success.