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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The Joy of The Lord is Your Strength.

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 Chaos bounces from place to place , with no respecter of persons as it destroys and  takes it’s victims. How can one celebrate? Does creativity truly and  honestly  reflect hope when surrounded in a shroud of hopelessness?

If you create with paint or  in clay, how would you express the scene from this book in Nehemiah from the Old Testament?

The Law of Moses had just been read by Ezra the High Priest to the Israelite people.  The Temple wall was was rebuilt. It was a joyful time of celebration. New Beginnings. The Jewish people were in exile for 70 years. No physical or spiritual connection to God.  Their temple was destroyed. They felt abandoned. They painfully  knew previous choices from their ancestors caused there own abandonment.

 Finally, a long awaited physical connection of the reconstructed wall was completed. A spiritual connection was attempted in reading the Sacred Texts. The initial response was not filled with joy.

 “ He read it aloud from daybreak till noon as he faced the square”…Ezra read the Law of Moses.

How could they rejoice? So many laws to keep and they felt so weak.   Depression, despair and dejection covered them like a blanket, questioning how to respond.

Nehemiah (the governor)  and Ezra would have none of this. They heard the same words  but their hearts received  something far different. God was not giving His people simply a set of mere rules to follow.  These were tools to create a connection for building intimacy. This intimacy would go from people to people and from His people and Himself.

Nehemiah said, “Go and enjoy choice food and sweet drinks, and send some to those who have nothing prepared. This day is holy to our Lord. Do not grieve, for the joy of the Lord is your strength.”  Nehemiah 8:10

12 Then all the people went away to eat and drink, to send portions of food and to celebrate with great joy, because they now understood the words that had been made known to them. (NIV)

Nehemiah and Ezra knew, this people would never be able to accomplish the requirements  on their own. That did not stop Nehemiah from going forward. He commanded this day to be one of celebration. Was the governor being heartless, uncaring? No!  Nehemiah stated truth:

“Do not grieve for

THE JOY OF THE LORD IS YOUR STRENGTH”.

 

As the Jews embraced the reality of their freedom from the burden of carrying the law on their shoulders, they received joy.  They understood it was not in themselves where their strength was found  but in the strength of the Creator of the Universe and His Joy over them.

Read verse 12 again to understand why they were able to have joy and to celebrate after hearing the Law.

12 Then all the people went away to eat and drink, to send portions of food and to celebrate with great joy, because they now understood the words that had been made known to them.

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Celebration does not always come easily. The discipline of celebration is not always going out participating in a big party.  Celebration is hard work at times. Celebration may be  an inner discovery instead of an outer activity.  Life does not always hand you a bowlful of cherries to enjoy. What happens if while eating the cherries, you come across a pit? How do you respond? Celebrate and Dance

How can a person be joyful in a pain-filled world..”

This became an honest question for a fellow creative. She suffered a hairline fracture in her wrist which caused not only extreme physical pain, but also emotional chaos. It was a time when  she was stepping into a season of creative classes and personal growth. Suddenly the tiny super ball of chaos started zinging back and forth in her life.  Celebration and Worship! HOW?  Just as the Jews questioned Nehemiah when the LAW was  read to them, my friend had the same questions when this happened to her wrist?

How did my friend cope?

THE JOY OF THE LORD IS MY STRENGTH!

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As my friend went to God with her pain, she said “Yes” to worship. The  “Yes” to worship allowed her to receive the Joy of the Lord to be her strength.

The result was worship and celebration in  this beautiful painting.Normas artwork.

“Worshiping with art seriously is therapy for pain-physically or pain of the soul”¹

Come Celebrate and dance. To celebrate causes you to take a step beyond where you might be and engage deeper into where you can be. The strength of Creator of the Universe and His Joy over you is your strength.

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Are you experiencing a physical or emotional burden?

                       Are you willing to take a chance to celebrate and dance?

Did you see artwork from the story in Nehemiah as a people finding it easy or difficult to worship?

        Can you take the time to create their fear or express their joy?

Where do you go for strength in your time of pain?

Who is your strength?

Feel free to share your thoughts in the comment line concerning  your journey.  We are all on this path together.

BE

FREE

TO

WORSHIP

AS

YOU

WERE

CREATED!

 

 

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¹Quote from my friend concerning what God is doing in her through worship and creativity.

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1 Comment

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? 🙂