Less Is More

Focusing on what enriches my life also means deleting what is nonessential for me or wastes my time. All the possible clicks, links, images, likes, and favorites leave me stressed and distracted, thinking I am missing something by letting them just scroll away. Without an internal censor, I get lost in information oblivion. This pulls me down into the mundane and I lose my creative edge.

Creativity is Subtraction

  (Image via Flickr Creative Commons)

According to Austin Kleon, the author of Steal Like An Artist, “Creativity is Subtraction.”

His quote: “In this age of information abundance and overload, those who get ahead will be the folks who figure out what to leave out, so they can concentrate on what’s really important to them. Nothing is more paralyzing that the idea of limitless possibilities. The idea that you can do anything is absolutely terrifying.”

A great verse comes to mind:

Summing it all up, friends, I’d say you’ll do best by filling your minds and meditating on things true, noble, reputable, authentic, compelling, gracious––the best, not the worst; the beautiful, not the ugly; things to praise, not things to curse. Put into practice what you learned from me, what you heard and saw and realized. Do that, and God, who makes everything work together, will work you into his most excellent harmonies (Philippians 4:8-9 Message)

The source of my creativity is Jesus Christ who made all things. All things hold together in Him. There is an endless flow of revelation available to me as I am seated with Christ in heavenly places. Revelation downloaded into my life is the creative spark that activates my faith to do, go, write, sing, paint, move, and live in Christ. It’s a matter of flowing in sync with Him for MY life, not anyone else’s. For me, creativity is about subtraction so that my focus on Christ is simple and clear. Get rid of what appears good to find what is excellent for my life. It differs for all of us.

In the creativity of Christ flowing through me, I engage in life wherever I go for He is in me. I open myself up to see Him, hear Him, and watch Him move in unique ways. Christian books, movies, and music – I love some of it but I often find much of it lacks true creative innovation. In a creative world, staying focused just on what is labeled ‘Christian’ is not enough. It never has been but religion tried to get me to think it was. The sacred can be found right in the midst of the secular when my eyes are open to see God move in the way that He wants to move. Don’t misunderstand me. I love the word of God, worship, prayer but those entire things can and do become very mundane unless energized in Holy Spirit.

Austin Kleon also says, “Keep all your passions in your life.” I failed at this one. When salvation in Christ became my life, I was studying fashion design. Colors, fabrics, designing, sketching – I was right in the midst of it all on a daily basis. I finished the program but when I finished I started to believe this passion for design and creativity was not holy enough, not sacred enough. So I walked away. I sold everything and set up my design room as an office. I then told everyone that God told me to do this so that I could now follow His path for my life. This sounded so spiritual. After all, at that time in the church, design was fleshy and worldly. I left my passion for religion. I didn’t have to separate myself. I only had to allow Him to flow through me in whatever He called me to do for Him. Jesus did not tell me to stop this creative flow. Religion put pressure on me with laws of constraint instead of freedom in grace. The creative spark in me died that day but God is restoring all those lost years and redeeming the time, NOW.

Creativity is ContatgiousMay we spiritually wake up to the revelation that Christ in us is the spark of creative genius that should flow through His body worldwide. Creativity is not something to be ignored as if it takes a second place to more worthy theological pursuits. Creativity flowing through Christ in His children and all then, the world sees the beauty of Jesus in and through our lives.

Be brave. Be courageous in Christ. Be creative.

DebraIn Christ,

Rivers of Eden Ministry would love to speak at your next conference, home group of gathering. Contact me on our Contact Page. Get to know me on Twitter, and by going to Our Timeline of Life.

Excellence, Creativity, Innovation – This IS Christianity

Christianity is about journey and adventure. It is not static but dynamic. Corporately, we are to be overflowing with excellence and innovation as we tap into Christ in us – revelation abounds in the eternal realm AND we are seated in that heavenly realm.

When I walk into Starbucks, which I do quite often, I always feel good. I love the ambiance of the store itself along with the unity and positive attitude of the employees. I often meet people there and have wonderful times of fellowship. Even more than Starbucks, I love Apple stores. The other day when I took my Mac in, I kept gazing at the images of the new iPhone 6 on the wall. Its beauty and simplicity grabbed my attention. I turned to Marvin and said, “Do you see how they captured the shading on that picture? They had to tweak the picture of the phone in different ways to get that just right shading to make it look sleek and sophisticated.” I notice things…being visual many things catch my eye and I just gaze and get lost in the color, design and form. I now own an iPhone 6, trading up from my 4 – somehow I missed the whole 5-generation.

What about Christianity? Is it too much to believe that in Christ, we are on the cutting edge of innovation? Then, why aren’t we? Where are the innovators who have attuned their ear to heaven? Quite possibly, most have left the church because there is no room for innovation and creativity there.

I won’t go into a rant here but I believe that if some churches at large were compared to businesses, most would be bankrupt for lack of vision, finances and creativity. Or, they would eventually go out of business because they are knock offs of some other ministry or church and can’t sustain in this type of changing environment.

What to do? Open up to new things – movies that challenge, books that exude the life of Christ even when the author doesn’t know Him, friends that don’t want to have anything to do with Jesus yet you know they just don’t want what the church has shown Him to be………there are so many opportunities to stretch and live again. Jesus moved, traveled, flowed…that is why we are told to live, move and have our being in Christ.

Right now, I am reading one little book that is challenging my creative life in a big way. It is simple, but filled with life. Steal Like An Artist by Austin Kleon – 10 Things Nobody Told You About Being Creative. He gave an idea to ‘blurb about a book’ on a blog…I will be doing that tomorrow.

My Creative Flow:

Rise of the Machines – Human Authors In A Digital World by Kristen Lamb

God’s Astounding Opinion of You by Ralph Harris

The Well-Played Life by Leonard Sweet

Twitter – I deactivated FB for a few months. Loving the change of pace on Twitter. Went to You Tube to learn all about Tweet Deck, how to effectively use Twitter.

Movies: The Mockingjay – Part 1 – Loved it but it was different from the first two for sure. A bit slower perhaps in preparation for Part 2. I actually had a great afternoon watching the first two in order to catch up and remember.

Be bold. Be creative. Move out and live in Christ!

DebraIn Christ,

Rivers of Eden Ministry would love to speak at your next conference, home group of gathering. Contact me on our Contact Page. Get to know me on Twitter, and by going to Our Timeline of Life.

Innovation From Revelation

Christ in You, the Hope of GloryThe source of creativity is in Christ Jesus and Christ is in me.

Colossians 1:27 To them God willed to make known what are the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles: which is Christ in you, the hope of glory. NKJV

My life is in union with the life of Christ.

1 Corinthians 6:17 But he who is joined to the Lord is one spirit with Him NKJV

Therefore, as a Christian, I am creative, innovative, fresh, filled with ideas – this is my reality. He is – living in me, flowing through me, walking with me – Jesus Christ is not cliché, nor is He static or stationary. He is alive and moving in my life.

What creativity is: Flowing in the Holy Spirit to BE the light of Christ in my life – in any sphere of influence I find myself in – bringing forth innovation and life in business, education, ministry, the arts, film, all media, music, education – in Christ. He is the light of the world. My life is hidden in Him. In that reality I live. I walk in light in Christ.

Creativity is defined in Christ. His name is Jesus.

So in defining creativity and walking in the reality of this revelation in Christ, I will be following Him as the way, the truth and the life, knowing Him and knowing the Father through Him.

As I step out in this season of revelation and innovation, I enter a creative process of manifesting heaven here on earth in Christ, bringing eternal reality into the now. This is a great place to begin on this journey.

My desire – to break down any walls in me that settle for the mundane or the robotic due to fear or ignorance. Jesus is my source of creativity and He is not a cliché. He is life.  Creativity is not self-indulgent or flamboyant but flows in grace and glory in Christ, in my actions in life each day. I live my life in Christ. The lens through which I view life and live life is Christocentric. Christ is the center, in all, through all, as all in the universe and in me. He desires relationship with me in intimacy and empowers me in grace to live as a Christian.

Here is a question for all of you. How do you manifest/show forth/bring forth the reality of Christ in you through you life, right where you are today?

My example: Sitting at lunch with a young friend in Finland yesterday. Talking about creative process in our lives. The conversation was in and of itself a journey when suddenly the Holy Spirit floods into the moment and gives revelation to us. He shows us that to be creative, the journey of discovery in Christ is more exciting that the product produced or the outcome most of the times. Do you see this? Life flowed into our time in the Lord and will impact my writing by the Holy Spirit. Jenna’s videos will also be impacted as she realizes that the Holy Spirit will give her glorious ideas along the journey. The journey will birth passion and love for Jesus Christ and the outflow will produce the books, the writing, the film, etc. Start at the source and creativity is sure to follow.

So let’s get started on creativity. You are creative. How about you? Let’s talk. Give me some ideas below.