Worship, Create, Dream

Be free to Worship God. Create with abandonement because He is the Creator. Let's discover our Dreams together.


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You will never understand but come celebrate and dance.

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Ecclesiastes 11:5

The Message (MSG)

5 Just as you’ll never understand the mystery of life forming in a pregnant woman
 So you’ll never understand the mystery at work in all that God does.
Today, there are many scientific breakthroughs making this mystery a bit less mysterious. Cell discovery and genetics give information that were beyond an unheard concept to the writer of Ecclesiastes. Even so, with the knowledge we presently have, the depth, the reality of a living child growing inside of her mother carries a living mystery.
Does it seem frustrating or daunting to think you will
never understand the mystery at work that God does?
 —Why even try ?
I have better things to think about. (BE CONCERNED WITH!)
  •  My Job
  • My Children
  • My Spouse
  • My Health
If you are a creative person, your mind is filled with tantalizing dreams inside just waiting to be released. You are excited. Or are you hounded with deadlines? Either way, realistically,  how can you give yourself time and space, to engage in an activity that may not further your DOING?
The Creator of the Universe is God so it is impossible to understand all that He is.
                                                           RIGHT!
The truth is, The Creator, God  reaches out His hand to you to join Him in the dance of life. Do you as a creative artist take time to be fed?  Even when your posts do not have a Christian based theme Dallas Willard expresses you have a need. Your soul requires nourishment.
Dallas willard photo.
Your soul is the very center of your being. To thrive, you need to engage in the center of life which is God. How can you do this among all your other activities?
You can engage in the wonderful mystery, as you;
  • Choose to slow down,
  • Trust
  • Walk the path God has chosen,
  • Become present in the person God calls you to be.
7-8a Oh, how sweet the light of day, And how wonderful to live in the sunshine! Even if you live a long time, don’t take a single day for granted. Take delight in each light-filled hour. Ecclesiastes 11 MSG
so you will never understand

But He says come join in the dance!

Celebration, Meditation, Solitude.

These are just a few of the many disciplines  to join in the dance.  I am presently on a journey to discover how the Discipline of  Celebration is expanding my intimacy with God.  Discovering how God is breaking the chains and setting me free will be at the heart of the posts because that is my heart for you.

 

 

Join me in the dance. How are you being set free? I have a Facebook Page  you are welcome to join for questions and comments as well. You can  leave a comment or question here if you want.

Remember, we are all on this creative journey together.

BE

FREE

TO

WORSHIP

AS

YOU

WERE

CREATED!

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I am celebrating the snow is gone. Don’t I look happy? 🙂

 

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CELEBRATION!!!

Celebration!!!

Today, I welcome you into an incredible portion of my life story. I hope in reading it, you allow God into past areas of your life  where somehow you got “stuck”.  Our God loves to redeem past pain. He loves to set His children free.

I recently attended a conference sponsored at our church.~  The Vineyard Regional Women’s Conference – Engaging In the Kingdom 2018.  As usual, our  co-pastor Brenda Gatlin breaks the ice with wonderful contests and really fun prizes.

The announcement  came for one of the most loved contests –The DANCE OFF!  My whole being said, “YES I am doing this.”  Since, only four people would be able to participate,  I dashed past the ladies in my row,  ran toward the stage and bound up the stairs..  Thankfully no one was in my way and I did not trip.  My friends were thoroughly surprised by my wild gallop.  This was a bit beyond even my fun character. “What is Sandi doing?”

I made the number four count, but I also felt there might be more to this for me than just the Dance Off contest.

When it was my turn for introductions, I said in a bold and cocky manner, “My name is Sandi, and I am from here”, as I pointed my forefinger proudly to the stage indicating I was from the Duluth Vineyard.

Brenda started giving instructions as to where we were to dance on the stage and for how long. At this point, I began to warm up looking as though I meant business.  Doing stretches, twists, bends, toe touching, etc.    I was totally into the part.

The very active modern music began. The first women were fantastic.  Everyone was clapping and moving in time to the beat. My turn came.  DANCING QUEEN!  I moved and grooved   It was very unlike what was expected from me.  (my pore abs hurt the next day) . It was wonderful though.  The freedom I experienced was a gift of joy and celebration.

No inhibitions. No fear of what other people thought.

 This was just the beginning.

Remember when I said God might take you to a past hurt and release a place where you got stuck. That is exactly what my happened with this dance contest.

When we began the next part of worship (  the vocal worship) after the contests were over,  I became overwhelmed by something inside my soul. I started to weep. God brought to my mind the little girl who was reprimanded for dancing.. This little girl was dancing, bouncing around while family movies were being  taken.   The words that were said left a bitter, lasting effect, “You are just trying to draw attention to yourself, Quit showing off”. My small heart  took on a meaning:

 “Is it bad to express what is inside? Is spontaneous creative expression wrong? Showing off is bad?’

My vocal worship, creative writing, and photographic expression were eventually placed under a microscope glass in fear I would be judged of wrong motives.

During the evening of the conference, different words were spoken over me by my loving Father God -“You no longer wear that label, Sandi. That is not how I see you. You are free.”

WHAT DELIVERANCE!

 The little girl covered with a blanket of shame for freely dancing was set free when I said “Yes” to freely dance with joy.  My Loving Father celebrated with me.

Are there areas in your creative life that are stuck because a word spoken over you damaged your Joy? Did an unintended word placed on a soft heart plant a weed? Has that weed been trying to choke the truly beautiful expression of life God put inside of you?

It’s never too late to dance in the freedom God has waiting for you.  I am 60+ years old. God choose to use this conference at this time to allow me to dance enthusiastically to receive a deep healing I so desperately needed.  You cannot have a hidden pain or shame so deep that God cannot not touch it. I walked in this lie since I was 6 years old or so. It affected how I lived worshiped and created.

 Jeremiah 29: 10-11 The Message (MSG)

10-11 This is God’s Word on the subject: “As soon as Babylon’s seventy years are up and not a day before, I’ll show up and take care of you as I promised and bring you back home. I know what I’m doing. I have it all planned out—plans to take care of you, not abandon you, plans to give you the future you hope for.

Many times we read Jeremiah 29 verse 11 because we need to know God has our back. The truth is, we need to read 10 as well to know  God sees our deepest need and will never leave a child unloved  or incomplete.

 

 

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Celebrate

Take some quiet time for just God and you.

Be brave and ask yourself some hard questions such as :

  • What keeps me from creating from the truest fashion.?
  • Do I feel really free when I am expressing and creating or is there a slight barrier?
  • Do I blame someone else for my lack of  true freedom?
  • Am I willing to trust God to go deeper to express His real Love and Joy?

As part of the Freedom To Create series, I would like you to  journal and see what determines your  lens on  how you see God and your freedom to create.

 

11 Now you’ve got my feet on the life path,
all radiant from the shining of your face.
Ever since you took my hand,
I’m on the right way. Psalm 16 MSG

 

 

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BE

  FREE

TO

  WORSHIP

AS

  YOU

WERE

  CREATED!

 

During your  discoveries if there is something God gave to you,  it might be a nugget we would all benefit from. Consider sharing in the comment space.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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FREEDOM TO CREATE

 

FREEDOM TO CREATE!

In recent posts I have  challenged your creativity.

I even asked you the question : WHY CREATE?

in three separate posts.

 

As you read these blogs, I hope more than one issue came to mind.

Ponder these  two  definitions of “ to create” as per the dictionary:

1 .to cause to come into being, as something unique that would not naturally evolve or that is not made by ordinary processes.

2 .to evolve from one’s own thought or imagination, as a work of art or an invention.

Create

 

Now comes another step in your creative process.

Soul-searching!

I put these next queries to  free your inner being so you can create from a deeper level. They are not to be taken lightly. Do not answer them quickly.  Allow yourself  time for each question and write your answers  down.

 

  • Who are you creating for? (Maybe the proper grammar should be: for whom are you creating?)
  • What are you creating for?
  • Did God put a cause on your heart at one time but you did not know how creativity and art could connect? Do you go to an article concerning that cause if it comes in the paper? i.e trafficking, ecology,  pain,.
  • Is justice for a certain group of people crying out to be heard, but you wonder if  you can express what you feel through art? You want to be challenging but not do you need to sound  angry? i.e.senior citizens, abused children, racism.
  • You know God calls us to serve, but creating is your passion. Are they opposites?
  • Do you spend time in God’s presence? Do you seek His heart for the inspiration to create? Do you listen as He calls you to create? Is there obedience to His voice in life and art?IMG_2677

 

As artists, we draw out truth, we live truth. That is where we have the freedom to create. As artists with a relationship with Jesus,  we are able to not only have an honest, intimate connection with Jesus; we can express that relationship through our art in truth. We are also called to serve. We are able to take this reality to a world defined by another signature. The world needs to know a deeper truth. Art that touches the soul, and is lived out by the artist speaks volumes.  Jpeg

 

This will not come automatically.

  • Knowing who you are IN HIM will bring you a freedom to create.
  • Developing the creativity He has called you into will bring you a freedom to create.
  • Living in a community that loves supports and pursues the Heart of God can bring you freedom to create.
  • Don’t be afraid of rejection or what is happening in the world. This may open a door to your freedom to create.

 

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April is National Poetry Month. Here are a couple of links to challenge your FREEDOM.  Until recently, I would not have tried my hand at poetry. I realized even if the work is not published, this type of word construction in its various forms is a fantastic way to free your mind. You are able to express anything concerning everything. —–

                  Love

                               Pain

                                             Joy

                                                        Death

 

Check out these links:

April is National Poetry Month  This link is for grade students k-12.

National Poetry Month  This link goes to the official poetry website to find out how to get involved.

Some of my poetry and photos are combined on Instagram: sandicreate

Try out your own poetry.

 

We are given the FREEDOM TO CREATE.Be free to worship as you were created

You are welcome to share your challenges if you wish or your thoughts on how creativity/art can positively affect bringing the reality of Jesus to a world in turmoil.If is is happening in your town, your suggestions may help another reader. Thanks.


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Dare to Create

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I was in the middle of creating a wonderful post. Great references to a new podcast artist I discovered. There was information containing deep mighty meat to help free you to worship as you were created.

The writing for the post was smooth. The content was inviting.  Tragedy to a computer creator occurred:  Not only did the writing for the post become a ghost in cyber space, so did the notes from the writer’s group concerning this artist, the poem and his podcast. :(.

Stepping up to the plate, I shook off the frustration and continued.  I determined  not to allow the pain of the  circumstances to write my story.  Instead,  I am rewriting the story with the tools I have been  given. March ON

 

The challenge of each podcast I have listen to dares you to create with the gifts God has  has you. Are you willing to take your creativity and yourself to a deeper level?

The artist, the creative  has a dual  calling upon her  life. One is to live a life with a view  through God’s lens, so she can be willing to see  the world through His heart.

The other calling is to create through God’s lens.  This may not always mean the picture is pretty but  to look through the eyes of Jesus, is to see Victory.  This is not a wimpy, limpy, no contact Jesus who has never experienced hardships.

This is the Beaten Unmercifully,

Arm Outstretched, Hands Nailed to  the Cross,

In Love for You and Me

but

Three days later Victoriously RISES FROM THE DEAD

JESUS!

With this thought in mind I challenge you to DARE TO CREATE!

 

Dream past the experience of pain.

   Appreciate that God calls you to feel what He feels.

      Rare Gift.  Humbly take this rare gift and

         Express!! Once you walk in the very Heart of God, You cannot keep it inside.

 

D

A

    R

E

To CREATE!

 

The person who hears this call will allow God to wash away everything keeping her from hearing His voice. The artist who has this calling deep inside will not allow the cares of this world to blind side her from seeing who she is in God’s love. No better and no worse than any other person.

The writer, painter, photographer, creative, will work on her skills to enhance her craft. She does not become sloppy in her field. Her craft is always calling out to the next improvement. She needs to keep from being sucked  into the  newest craze and  media prompt, but also  keeps her muscles from becoming limp and out of touch with the world.

Why keep in touch?

The world needs to receive what God has to offer.  He has given wonderful Gifts to His children. He is the Gift to Share!

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After you read  Matthew 25 :14-28, think about your craft. Do you, can you put your creative gift in this scripture? How are you tending what God has given to you?

Dare to create and

BE

FREE

TO

WORSHIP

AS

YOU

WERE

CREATED!

 

 

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Engage in the discussion with comments how you feel God is calling you to a deeper level of co-creating with Him as He calls you to live and share the gifts He has given you.

Remember, we are all on this journey together.


The podcasts I am referring to are  Makers and Mystics

 

 


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Creating is a Challenge

Enjoy-a-beautiful-day-at-go

Reading books by noted authors depicting their challenges (emotional and physical ) may cause you to second guess if being creative is actually what  you want to sink your teeth into.  The encouragement you were looking for, the kudos, the high fives to satisfy an unmet need might be smacked with their own angst describing  their own stress while trying to complete a project.

A short book  “THE WRITING LIFE” by Annie Dillard is a great read describing the normal non glorious life in the actual procedure of being a writer.  To accomplish your literary art you need to do two things.-

  1. Sit Down.
  2. Put words on the screen or the paper.

Does that sound very exciting? What if the words do not come? What if the line of words you put down one minute look horrible the next and you wasted half of an hour of your  time? (the dishes are calling to be washed).

You have been called to express. It is part of your inner being. If the life you live has also said “Yes” to Jesus, you have  said yes to  bringing His Kingdom to earth as it is in Heaven.  Your calling is to Create for the Kingdom.

You NEED   to create ( I am not limiting this to writing. Put whatever God is calling to you to do)

These quotes  from Annie’s book can apply to all creatives.

 “’One of the few things I know about writing is this: spend it all, shoot it, play it lose it all, right away, every time.’ 1

‘The impulse to save something good for a better place later is the signal to spend it now.’ 2

‘Anything you do not give freely and abundantly becomes lost to you.’” 3

What is creativity to you?

Little snow person

Is it putting words on paper? Any student in a sophomore English class can do that to pass a class. Taking pictures with a point and shoot camera?  All the aunts coming to the summer reunion can do the same thing.    A creative has a deep desire to take a rough path expressing life through words, will embark on an artistic adventure with the canvas,  will  see through a lens and  express what they see with their souls.

   Creativity is worship.IMG_4602

The two book, I mentioned in my last post,  The Creative Call  by Janice Elsheimer and a million little ways by Emily p. Freeman  have been great helps in freeing my creative thinking process.  I am going to propose to you a statement simultaneously approached in both books.   This statement does not deal with a certain technique or style. It does not give you tips on building your platform. This connects you and your creativity.

In the comment line below, feel free to finish this statement:

The words that reflect how I feel  in/when creating are:

Be as candid as you wish. If you are honest, the response may surprise you.

I will share a few of my own to get you going.

Humble, (I get to play in God’s  Kingdom  )

Awestruck (This is fantastic)

WOW ( Did I write that? Did that come from my camera? COOL)

Excited( Ideas, Feelings, Emotions, flows around  my head. With typing and writing , a tangible essence appears)

Worshipful (Taking the beauty I receive both  easy or harsh.  I make a tangible sacrifice of praise.)

Full of wonder!

Fearful (Am I really supposed to be doing this?)

Guilty (This is not really serving.)

Not good enough.  Not bringing in money –( Comparing my work to others so the time and money I spend is really  a waste.)

With thoughts such as these, no wonder the full creative flow of many people is being hindered.

In the artists, when the the burning fire of creativity is hindered by frostiness of negative emotions, nothing can flow.

Where are you in your creative process?  As you have allowed the reality of creativity to be come alive within you, do you see God taking you on a path of deeper freedom?  Not “only to make, but also to create”

To be an artist is a challenge.Another-view-of-frozen-Goos

Life and creativity is a challenge

Allow God to gently pull back the carpet in areas He wants to bring healing.  The feelings of guilt, comparison, not good enough, and even “this is a waste of time and money” may be a result of how you feel about yourself. Does God want to set you free concerning deeper issues?

Take time ,#goslow. What is God doing to make you become more the creative He intended for you in the first place? Annie Dillard states that sadly we can limit the freedom God wants to express through us.

Engage in what God is doing in you!

The artist, writer, creative He has called you to be has a purpose in His Kingdom. The more we are free of the junk clogging our pipes, we are able to receive and flow with joy in the gifts God gave to us.

10 “All who are skilled among you are to come and make everything the Lord has commanded.

                                                                                            Exodus 35: 10 NIV

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Be

Free

To

Worship

As

You

Were

Created!

Two extra  thoughts to ponder

  • Are you limiting yourself in creating with total abandonment because of inner fears i.e.  rejection, comparison, or past family comments?
  • Do you keep from completing projects for the same reasons or have you just lost your dream?

Feel free to leave your thoughts on this subject. We are all this road to discover and release our creativity together.

——————————————————————————————————————————-

1Annie Dillard, THE WRITING LIFE, ( New York :Harper Perennial )  ©1990  p.78

2Dillard, THE WRITING LIFE,p78

3Dillard, THE WRITING LIFE, p79


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Comes at a Cost

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To be a creative will come at a cost.  

  • The monetary price in buying equipment to showcase more clearly what you see in your mind.
  • Classes online or at the local community college to further educate yourself to better express the freedom poured inside.
  • Workshops offered by local artisans in your field.
  • Small groups in your special field of creativity that gather in person or online to challenge and encourage you to go further your art.
  • Taking what is in your mind and transforming to a physical form.

 This will cost money and time.  As these items pass before your eyes does an emotional challenge pass in front of your heart?

 

  • “ I am not a professional.
  • Who reads or even cares what I post?
  • Does anyone even care that I create in the first place?
  •  Is this just a waste of my time?
  • Do I have the RIGHT to spend family money on this foolishness? 
  • Is all of this just pride filled actions pointing to me anyway?” 

 

Investigate my heart Oh God!

Do any of the previous statements tap dance on your heart, making it difficult to freely express what God has poured inside for you to share?  These statements are from Satan (the enemy of creatives). These statements are not the truth God says about you or about me.

 How can we go beyond the barriers we put around ourselves? Where did these lies start?  Do you see your creativity through this lens? Do you see yourself through this lens?

 Investigate my heart Oh God!

If you truly allow God to investigate your heart, concerning creativity, this process may go beyond the top layer of putting out a weekly blog, writing a newsletter, shooting a photo or putting paint to canvas.

Who is in control of your creativity?  Are you free to slow down and listen to God for:

  • Who you create?
  • What you create?
  • How you create?

 

As I write this post, I hear God share these words to all who are reading this:

You are precious to me.

 

Unless you slow down and allow God to investigate your heart to reveal your deep needs, you will function and produce, but will you really create?  Will you be limited in your expression of creation and possibly life because you have not allowed God to release you from lies?

King David was willing to place his heart before God. His desire was to serve God with with no boundaries.  If there was anything blocking  that path, David said, “show me, guide me, release me, so we can walk together”.

 

23-24 Investigate my life, O God,

find out everything about me;

Cross-examine and test me,

get a clear picture of what I’m about;

See for yourself whether I’ve done anything wrong—

then guide me on the road to eternal life.

                                                                                                   Psalm 139 The Message

 

Questions you can ask are :

  • Do I listen to God’s guidance in pursuing His calling for me?
  • Have I listened to lies said about my work? Have I taken those lies as labels for ME? ( Therefore, not listening to God’s Truth and Love for me).
  • Have I listened to lies said about me? Have I taken them as labels for ME? (Also not listening to God’s Truth and Love for me).
  • Does Fear or Comparison control my freedom to worship God through my Creativity? What will it cost to confront those beasts?

We are given a great opportunity to share the heart of the One who loves us so much.  In seeking freedom, are you willing to allow God to point to areas you are trying to keep hidden?

If you say “yes” to an honest investigation to God, the opening of your heart may lead you to creating in exciting wonderful ways you did not expect.

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God is a LIGHTHOUSE as we travel in the dark, new places. The Creator of the Universe is walking among us.  On that path, we are able to not only confess our fear, but take His hand to finish the creation in us He began. Then, we in turn can share that love in a variety of creative stories.

21. Whoever pursues righteousness and unfailing love will find life, righteousness, and honor.

                                                                                       Proverbs  21. New Living Translation

We will continue to confront specific barriers and their strongholds in future posts. Share in the comments what counting the cost means to you, and how you have allowed God to investigate you heart to open doors for your creativity.

Is “counting the cost” a strange concept to you? Feel free to share your ideas concerning that as well. We are on this creative road together.

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                         Be

                                      Free

                      To

                                            Worship

                      As

                                       You

                            Were

                                                Created!


 

I am going through two books right now. Tidbits from each one will be helping us walk the path in becoming Free-er as a creative artist and as a person. The titles are : The CREATIVE CALL  by Janice Elsheimer and A MILLION LITTLE WAYS by Emily P. Freeman.


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BE FREE TO WORSHIP AS YOU WERE CREATED!

The Heavens Declare (2) with water swirls

IMG_4456Be free to worship as you were created!

That is the by- line that ends all these posts. When you come to my writer’s Facebook page, you are greeted with this encouraging phrase.  I need to ask you an important question.  Can you  truly walk in this freedom when you don’t recognize the barriers, lies, or labels you   knowingly or unknowingly take on keeping you inside an invisible cage?

 33 Exalted to the right hand of God, he has received from the Father the promised Holy Spirit and has poured out what you now see and hear.  Acts 2:33 NIV

The Holy Spirit has poured out to all who have ears to hear and eyes to see and a desire to express the heart of God.

If we are willing to recognize this as truth,  what keeps us from freely flowing  creatively  from His Heart?

This year (2018) I want to  delve  into some  areas:  the chains, labels lies keeping you from being all your heart cries out to be. Please don’t expect complete answers, but the questions I have asked myself were ones I did not even know existed. These questions have opened doors to freedom in my life which have affected my creativity and worship.

Your response to this may be, ” I don’t have a problem with my creativity.  I flow very easily, very freely.”  That’s great. We are all cut from different molds.  A chain surrounding me might be nothing more than a simple thread around someone else’s finger.

Proverbs 14 b

My approach my seem emotional as I am a Type 4 from the Enneagram Study

The Sensitive, Introspective Type:
Expressive, Dramatic, Self-Absorbed, and Temperamental1

Worship is living. A creative cannot have a separate life from their creative worship. Our lives are a sweet incense offered in love and joy to the One who loves us beyond the galaxies. What limits this exuberant joyful type of living and relating  between you and the Father? That free, deep, intimate relationship  will be revealed through your creative expression.IMG_0701img_1518

Come and join the discussion. What labels have you taken on?  Has life grabbed you in a chaotic fashion so you do not take the time to hear God’s voice. God put wonderful gifts in each of us.  He blessed us with creative delights to enjoy and  to pour through us. Slow down and take time to see what He is saying.

This process is painful at times.  There are labels we have become very comfortable wearing. Were there choices we made or ones made for us that were not in our  best interest.? Challenges and growth may be necessary if we are serious about expressing God’s heart in the manner a little voice has always been telling us, (but we have denied).

I am looking forward to discovering where God is leading us. I believe He will take our hand down a path where junk can be discarded so when January 2019 comes around we will:

BE FREE (er) TO WORSHIP AS WE WERE CREATED!

The heart of a creative is willing to listen and allow God to move within that person however God desires. How does your life reflect this truth? What you are wanting to say through your art cannot help but reflect the truth of what you are wanting to say through your life. Enjoy a new year of discovery where you allow God to touch and release you in both areas. 🙂

 

Free to worship


1https://www.enneagraminstitute.com/type-4/