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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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/


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This Little Gift

The Magi slowly lumbered toward the stable. A shining star led them to the quiet Jpeg

little stable.

The animals swayed back and forth as if to an inner rhythm. The men themselves looked grander than anything ever seen in this area before.  The caravan was filled with unique sounds and smells.

 

  • Bells jingling from ornate blankets strewn  across three huge camels, each carrying one of the royal visitors.
  • Pack animals of various sizes loaded  with food supplies unrecognizable to this land.
  • One  designated beast carried  special cargo. The Gifts! A box of precious gold. The oil of frankincense is in an exotic container. The aroma of myrrh can be detected from a third beautifully crafted pot.

 

The Magi traveled a  great distance for one purpose!

TO WORSHIP AND ADORE THE BABY!

. ‘

 

Another visitor to the stable that night is  referred to in a certain Christmas carol, although his story maybe fictional.   For the purpose of this post, I am taking poetic license.  😃

 

Picture a small boy about ten years of age.  In contrast to the Magi’s  royal finery,  this boy’s garb is ragged.   Jacob (my name for the boy),  is attending the sheep with other shepherds on a still quiet evening.  Suddenly the sky opens.  Hosts of angels unable to contain themselves,  explode in joy.  ” Come Adore The Newborn King! Join us in the celebration.” (Angels We Have Heard On High.)

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In obedience to the angels’ words, Jacob and the other shepherds go to the manger..

 

Upon arriving, Jacob could not believe his eyes. The huge beasts, their odd noises, the numbers in the caravan caused Jacob to stare. He saw three men in royal robes, with  exquisite gifts humbly ask if they may enter the stable to see the Baby. The Mother and Father nod.   In reverence, the men  slowly entered, knelt and worshiped.

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We Three Kings of Orient Are.

Jacob’s shoulders sagged. What did he have to offer the this Special  Baby?  Jacob only had his small  drum. He was very poor.  At night, when the sheep were restless, he played and sang.  Jacob’s quiet voice  and soft drumming had a peaceful,  soothing effect  against the anxieties of the day for both sheep and shepherd.  This little gift was God’s gift in him.

 

“I have nothing to share as these  royal gifts. The men are dressed so elegantly.  They are dressed fit for a King. Their gifts are fit for a King. I am small, poorly dressed boy. I would dearly love to worship this wonderful Baby, but I don’t feel worthy. I will peek in and then leave”. Jacob sadly resolved.  His heart was heavy..

 

The animals began to cause a commotion outside the stable. The journey took its toll.   Beasts and the attendees were tired and hungry.  The chaos outside made it  difficult for the baby to fall asleep. The smells were different than the ones in the stable. Too much noise.  The young mother was still uncertain how to  handle a baby. Nothing prepared her for this.

 

Jacob  walked closer to the stable as he dared to peek inside. Tentatively,  he asked the wearied  young mother,” Shall I play for Him on my drum?”

 

The Baby’s mother looked up and nodded. Jacob entered past the sheep and cows to the where the baby lay.  He swung the drum to the front of his small body and drew out two wooden sticks. As  Jacob looked at the Baby, his heart filled. The simple tune he offered were a perfect lullaby so filled with love.  Jacob received a warm smile from The Baby just before the  tiny eyelids finally closed into restful slumber.

The Little Gift Jacob gave to the baby  was God’s Gift  in  Jacob.
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http://www.songlyrics.com/christmas-carols/little-drummer-boy-lyrics/

Comparing  my writing, the number of likes, how big, or creative other blogs are, causes me to to see through a skewed lens possibly even  a dirty one. If I compare, I do not look at another gift through the lens of “what a glorious beautiful offering” or “what can I learn to improve my blessing”.?

 

Destruction to myself and a loss to the world comes when I weigh my gifts  the same way Jacob weighed his gift to the gifts of the Magi.  Jacob saw the beautiful, colorful, expensive  items and smelled the wonderful aromatic gifts beside the baby.   He looked at his drum. The pain in his heart at the smallness of his offering  caused him to reject his gift. “ It is not good enough!” Jacob’s heart moaned.  Jacob  compared through a worldly lens instead of  looking through God’s lens.

 

God created wonderful gifts in each of us. How do you see your gift? Do you see other  writers,  painters,  creators bringing a gift to the manger  that look far more developed and advanced than yours?  Has the enemy lied to you saying your gift really has no value to anyone so why continue?  As you compare to others, have you chosen not even bring your gift to the altar? Are you negating  opportunities  to express His heart and bless others.?

 

Allow yourself to go past the limitations  keeping your gift from flowing.

 

Take time to go slow. Reflect in the joy and simplicity of Our Savior.

 

Follow the star to the manger.JpegIMG_2677  Reflect on the words of the angels to come and adore Him  with the gifts in your heart.

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Be

Free

To

Worship

As

You

Were

Created!

 

Merry Christmas!!


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Joy To The World

HE rules the world with truth and grace and makes the nations prove the glories of His Righteousness and the Wonders of His Love.
___

The time comes to us every Christmas where we are free to proclaim the reality of Jesus’ authority, even though He came to earth as a soft,  unobtrusive baby. The Son of God,  who set the prisoner free and restored righteousness to the world was born in a stable and wrapped in swaddling clothes.
____

It is so easy to become trapped, caught up in the whirlwind of  the season? Do you forget  to BREATHE?  Does the  season end up  becoming  another “to do item” on a long list of comparing or wanting to please?

The angels burst out that night in a GLORIA IN EXCELSIS DEO  (Latin for “Glory to God in the highest”) across the sky for those who had ears to hear. They could not keep quiet for the sheer excitement of what was taking place for mankind. We can enjoy the same experience, if we take the gift offered to us with open hearts and receive.

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Go slow.

Grab a cup of something warm, light a candle and blissfully enjoy your favorite worship-filled Christmas hymns. Open your mind and heart as if they were physical hands to receive the message being shared.

OH HOLY NIGHT, WHEN CHRIST WAS BORN!


Enjoy God’s Gift!
Joy to the World

BE

FREE

TO

WORSHIP

AS

YOU

WERE

CREATED!

 


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WHY CREATE? III

“ Let the simplest relation toward a fellow human being even if is only embodied in the act of buying from the market, passing on the street, or during some transactions be recognized as a true heart meeting of the  that human soul. Let our eyes perceive deeper than the surface. …. Whatever the simple or seemingly insignificant degree of such interaction, let it’s outcome be  in truth and friendliness “

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George MacDonald  The Gentlewoman’s Choice.₁

The Christian writer has a fantastic opportunity to go with her reader  far beyond dialogue and activities. Interwoven throughout the story, the writer can take words she receives from her own personal quiet time with God and share them in a unique fashion. For example, in the retelling of George MacDonalds’s  novel THE GENTLEWOMAN’S CHOICE,  one stays in the context of the story, but also comes to terms with a teaching of how Jesus wants us to relate with each other  in daily living. Expressing God’s heart is not limited to the genre of non-fiction.  A poet and fiction writer with  her ear close to the heart of God can be a conduit if she so chooses.  .

To create in  this style of writing is no  simple matter. One needs to write with quality without preaching. . To have depth, it must reflect the author’s own intimate time spent with Jesus. .

                                 

DOES GOD NEED THE  CREATIVES TO ACCOMPLISH HIS GOALS?

 

The answer is a resounding NO!  God has the capabilities to  express whatever He wishes in whatever manner He wishes. Does God  want the created seed within us to bloom and join in the dance with Him because He loves us?

 

Absolutely YES!

 

As artists, why do we create? Why do we give physical form to a voice, a message, a picture inside our being?  Our pastor shared  in a message,  we all have a need to be seen, to be noticed.  A question to ask as we create might be: where does the approval  we seek NEED to come from?

NEED IS NOT THE CALL!

 Are we willing to release our minds and souls to the One who created us thereby only walking  on His path.. There are many  topics calling for words, but listening to God’s heart for His direction frees our creativity.  Madeline Lengle  from Walking on Water. puts it this way “ to be an artist means to approach  the light, and that means to let go our control and allow our whole selves to be placed with absolute faith in that which is greater than we are”.₂
What I am asking?  : Are we willing to take the time to sit and listen to God’s heart? Are we writers and artists who long to create for the reason to WORSHIP God in Spirit and Truth? Is there a passion put there by God, where we are willing to use our gifts as the SWORD OF THE SPIRIT to express in a way that will touch the soul?

It may take time to wait and LISTEN! It may take developing the craft to deeper levels. We may need to slow down to notice, to BREATH !   Waiting is hard. Deadlines are out there.

The world needs the response of creatives who are listening to God’s heart and  obey.

 

Will you know when He speaks ?  Pay attention to the ladybug on your lap, the gentle breeze as you walk your kids to the bus stop, or  the siren screaming  past your house. God is speaking  in these voices?

WHY CREATE?

ARTIST  WHO HAVE AN INTIMATE RELATIONSHIP WITH JESUS HAVE THE FOUNDATION  FOR THE GREATEST LOVE STORY.

 

The creative with Jesus as their Savior has a deep true reality to draw from  and share .

 

Psalm. 89:15-17 MSG

Blessed are the people who know the passwords of praise,

who shout on parade in the bright presence of God.

Delighted, they dance all day long; they know

who you are, what you do—they can’t keep it quiet!

Your vibrant beauty has gotten inside us—

you’ve been so good to us! We’re walking on air!

All we are and have we owe to God,

Holy God of Israel, our King!

 

Cropped macro w Luci shaw Quote

Why do you create?

Be

Free

To

WORSHIP

 As

You

Were

CREATED!

——————————————————————————————————

₁George Macdonald THE GENTLEWOMAN’S CHOICE. (Michal R. Phillips, Editor) ©1987 , P. 46

₂Luci Shaw BREATH FOR THE BONES © 2007 P 109


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WHY CREATE ? II

Come to me weary number 2

Could there be  reasons to bring out beauty other than benefiting others? God may see a need deep within the soul of the creator for His gentle touch.

Luci Shaw wrote in  BREATH FOR THE BONES,  about a Canadian woman on the prairie in the 1870’s who journal-ed in her diary  the benefits of her quilt-making. “I make them warm to keep my family from freezing; I make them beautiful to keep my heart from breaking.”1 This woman knew the movement of her fingers going through the fabric squares, stitching each cotton scrap together, was the way she loved her family gave them  warmth to survive the frigid winters.

For the quilt maker,  the up and down movement of the needle brought life to her soul. As the different quilting patches bloomed into various quilting patterns before her eyes,  (log cabin, wedding ring, flower basket),  she was able to survive the harsh cold winter. Creativity brought warmth to her soul so she could survive the frigid winters.

” It  (Beauty) fills an emptiness in you that nothing else under the sun can”. 2

Why do we need beauty

Creating beauty reaches to the pain and  even does battle against it. We may not set out with head held high waving a banner saying, “ I am going to beat this”, as we write or paint, but we engage in a subtle battle  all the same.  Is it because we did not ask for the fight in the first place?

Do we ask for the pain that strikes with heavy blows without warning?

Depression, Cancer, Chronic Pain?  

As Christians,  if we are honest, the word WHY makes its way into our vocabulary. We live in a world that is not totally redeemed. We are attacked by the same physical and emotional  encounters as people who do not know the Love of Jesus.

The creative Christian  has a unique opportunity to explore and work with God if the artist is opened to hear His Voice.  God gives these artists an opportunity to actually fight through word and other crafts by  bringing a beautiful aromatic rose into view even though it is surrounded in thorns.IMG_0289

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A friend of mine was struck with cancer. Depression set in as much of the normal life style she knew seemed to elude her. Even though the cancer itself did not conquer her life and her basic trust in Jesus was still strong, life was so different.

God had big  plans for His daughter.  Beauty was used not only to help relieve her pain  but to pour refreshing waters  into dry areas of her soul. How?

Photography

This creative form was introduced to her by her husband. My friend not only discovered the beauty of nature through the camera,  but she slowed down to take in a deeper part of God’s creation through the Macro lens.

Becky's Photo 1 with nameBecky photo 4 with nameBecky's photo 2 with nameBecky's photo 3 with name

Why Create?

For the woman on the prairie it was a matter of survival. The bloom of the creative patterns gave her the ability to “hang on”.  In the words of my friend, “ it was about refocusing and seeing through fresh eyes. The cancer was exhausting and consumed an entire year. one I pretty much lost. Photography helped me. look at the world through fresh eyes. Perspective”

WHY CREATE?

If you read the paper, listen to the news or look at the ticker tape on the TV, pain is an everyday occurrence.  A Christian knows  and lives the truth that God’s Kingdom is present at but we do not always experience  the physical reality of that Kingdom through out every day.

Slowing down and creating  allows the coming together of hearing God’s heart and expressing what is heard.   See His beauty in the flower and capture it in a photo or painting. Through story,  express in words the pain God feels  and the depth of release one can experience in total forgiveness.  As an individual, ask for a new lens to be released from your own previous pain. The result may be in prose  or paintings  setting you  free  to go into  deeper worship.

Sit with Jesus. Spend time in His love for you. During those sweet seasons, express what takes place. It may never be laid out for anyone other than the two of you, but what is created may just be the deepest expression you ever know.

.

Be

Free

To

Worship

As

You

Were

Created!

Creating is God’s gift to you and God’s gift through you to others. In these last two posts, review  how is God calling you to go deeper in your creating?   We are on this journey together.

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Thank you so much to Luci Shaw and her book BREATH FOR THE BONES. It is very helpful for one wanting to go deeper in creating beauty and engaging with Our Creator.

1 Luci Shaw BREATH FOR THE BONES, Art, Imagination and Spirit. ©2007 p27

2 Ibid p,28


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Why Create?

Beauty is necessary

Look at the morning paper. What are the main headlines? Possibly hurricanes demanding families to evacuate their home. Painful memorials of how people have been unjustly treated in one way or another.  Stories depicting  the horrible outcome of what started out as a peaceful rally exposing wrongful actions toward a group of people.

Pain upon

Anger upon

Death upon

          ……………………………AGONY.

Is that all there is in our

                                                              Real  Life?

Suddenly the reality of those pain-filled words started jumping all around me crying out to make themselves heard. “I am real”!!!

Pain exists.

  • Cancer with all of it’s excruciating effects.
  • Raising children with no help.
  • Losing a loved one.
  • Addictive choices becoming a lifestyle and those choices affecting the web and flow of a families very breath.
  • The list of the world’s chaos goes on even further.

Should I continue? What would be the point? If you are not fighting a medical battle, you are probably in the middle of an emotional one. If you are not in an emotional upheaval, then a spiritual  turmoil might be clamoring inside.

THE RESPONSE?

A creator has to create. A writer HAS to write. Walking through a bookstore, will bring many attempts to answer the question to life.  The form will vary.  Either by straight-forward nonfiction or a slightly more subtle way as in poetry and fiction. It is in the DNA of a writer to express an answer to the world’s chaotic pandemonium.

I believe as Christian creatives, poets, writers, we are called to tackle those same real themes. Our participation in this battle with the creative arts we have been given will write through a different lens.  It is necessary to join in the dance of God’s heart and co-labor with Him to bring out truth and beauty.

HOW?

All true artisans are willing to cry and rejoice in the reality of the world.

A writer who has taken up the pen as a sword has implements at her disposal  in the spiritual world. As she constructs a well developed story, she can take her  reader to the depths of reality and freedom beyond what mere details can achieve. The creative  sees the data of pain. The story no matter how it is composed( fiction/ poetry/essay) will walk with the reader in and through the pain. The reader will not feel alone.  Well chosen words will cause the reader to identify with truth and know she is identified with.

As a Christian, I know the world will have tribulation. John 14:33

I also know Who the Victor is. We need creative writers who are bold  with their gifts of creativity to feel The heart of God  and show the victory through ways that will touch a soul.

Why do you create?

.

As you read this post, seriously look into your calling.  As creators we have a high calling. Slow down to sit at God’s feet. Put your ear to HIS HEART. Will you at times be brave enough to  weep as Jeremiah of the Old Testament?  Before it comes time to put pen to paper,  pause and wait for His Word.Selah

In the depth and fullness of what you receive, be bold and obedient to flow the beauty God has shared with you.

I will finish with a quote from Luci Shaw

It is my wild hope that perhaps creative Christians, by means of their “baptized imaginations” may be able to help integrate the universe by widening and sharpening their focus, by seeing the whole picture as if through God’s eyes, by observing humankind and the environment and saying, “Yes, I see. This like that . There is meaning in it”.1

Where is God taking you on your adventure in creating? Feel free to share your thoughts. We are on this journey to worship together.

BE

To

Worship

As

Were

Created!

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1Luci Shaw BREATH FOR THE BONES Art, Imagination , and Spirit: Reflection on Creativity and Faith ©2007 P.68.