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Posts Tagged ‘Art/photography’

art

Musement is an art-thrashing experience driven by inspiration and community. It’s a playground for the imagination.

“You are both; a work of art and an artist at work” – ERM

BUILD

CAPTURE

MOVE

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“Cities are the center of culture. Often, they are the intersection of art, politics, and business. New City exists to engage culture where it’s created, weaving the story of God into the story of Phoenix.” 

I love Brain Kruckenburg. He has really helped bring a vision to the local art scene in the heart of downtown Phoenix. Whether that be with New City Studio on First Friday’s or with the aaa program (action, advocacy, arts) at ASU’s College of Public Program, he has used God’s gift of creativity as a witness tool to the community. I was invited to attend New City Church this morning by some friends and I have always been encouraged by Brian’s support of what I got going on in my life. I love this church! Right now, Missio Dei is where God wants me and it’s my home and where I need to be to grow in my walk. But NCC taps right into my heart for the arts and photography. I try to stop in when I get a chance to say hi to good friends and to stay in touch with some of the local community events that they do. I’m looking forward to their next First Friday as they are displaying work from behind the scenes of local films.

Brian talked about us being humble leaders and how we need to keep advancing forward. This is done through both mission and vision. We need to always know our mission and stick to it. Vision is inside the mission and sometimes it can change and that is ok. Vision is both biblical and timely and the strategy is us. I sometimes find myself getting caught up my visions and forget the overall mission. I love to dream and God has blessed me with lots of passion and talents in different areas. Even now, God has opened up the door with the arts, photography, cooking and missions in several different areas of my life. But I want to make sure I follow the Spirit’s guidance and only follow the visions that lie within my own personal mission – which is to live a life that reflects the Kingdom.

I finished reading Erasing Hell by Francis Chan on the light rail today. There was an excerpt in the back of the book from a chapter of Forgotten God on the Holy Spirit that hit me:

I think we can all agree that living “according to our sinful flesh” is not what is intended for us as children of God. Yet even so, we often choose to face life’s issues and circumstances in exactly the same way as someone without the Spirit of God. We worry, strive, and grieve no differently than unbelievers. While it is true that we are humans like anyone else, it is also true that we are humans with the Spirit of God dwelling in us. Yet, whether consciously or not, we essentially say to God, “I know You raised Christ from the dead; but the fact is my problems are just too much for You and I need to deal with them myself.”

This has been the story of my life many times over. I can tell you countless of stories of when I was filled by the Spirit and God used me in amazing ways. But then, there are many times life was ‘too hard’ for me to handle and I ended up dealing with it on my own and the result was failure. You see this in the life of Peter. He denied Christ and made all sorts of irrational decisions during Christ’s crucifixion, yet he was filled by the Spirit and spoke a message that saved the lives of thousands of people not too long after that. This is why we have an amazing God who gives us grace. Our mission can only succeed with the help and guidance of the Holy Spirit. My life has changed so much because of grace and I have so much peace and direction because the Spirit is alive in me.

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I love how God created us to be creative human beings. I love it when Christians use their creativity for the Kingdom. I was down at the First Friday artwalk at New City Studio looking at art and being inspired by some creative artists. Makoto Fujimura is an artist in New York that will be coming to New City church on Good Friday next year (which also happens to be the same night as the First Friday artwalk here in Phoenix). His work on the Four Holy Gospels has really inspired me. Check out this video about his work and how God is using him in the art world.

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Orphans in India

Today I was writing a paper for my final project in my photo class at Chandler-Gilbert community college. I was thinking a lot of what I want to do with this love of mine now that I’m all done for the semester. I do know I want to further pursue taking pictures. I love how God has give the time and opportunity for me to embrace creativity. I blogged my first mission trip when I went to Kenya in 2009. Little did I know that my site address got out and many people followed my blog those two weeks. They not only loved the stories, but the pictures I posted.

Picture I took in Kenya

As I have traveled around the world, I have seen much pain and poverty. God has given me this heart of mercy for people who are in need for him. One of things that I love is capturing on film people’s reaction to their circumstances. Sometimes I see a lot of pain and suffering. But at the same time, I see a lot of joy. I especially see this in the smiling faces of children. I’ve seen people in the worst of circumstances just happy as can be because they have Jesus in their life. I love capturing these moments in photographs and on video. The cool thing is I know God is wanting me to combine these two loves of mine and making it a big part of my life.

I’m looking at upgrading my camera and computer equipment these next few months so I can take better pictures and edit them to look better. It is something that I enjoy and I am just following my heart.

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I had a bittersweet moment the other night at Camber. I have been attending Camber since March of 2006. But now there is a group called Rhythm that is starting in a couple of weeks that is running opposite Camber on Thursday nights. It’s more geered to my age group now that Camber is officially a place for college age people. But I can’t forgot what Camber has been to me these past couple of years. I’ve made many friends and I have so many memories. It’s where I started out my single life. It’s where I’ve grown so much in my faith at.
I attended Camber this past Thursday knowing it was going to be my last night there. Yet.. I couldn’t sit through it. I just felt this sense of knowing that I don’t belong there anymore and that is was time to move on. I didn’t like that feeling because of what Camber had meant to me. But at the same time I anxious to see what James Patterson has in store with Rhythm. I’ve already made some new friends there. He has got such a great vision for that group. I think it’s going to be huge.
So I thought I conjure up a list of my top 10 favorite Camber moments. There are so many, but here it goes..
10. Art night. Camber is so blessed with so much talent. Music, art, photography, dance, poetry, etc. We did two of these nights where members of Camber were able to display and express their art, pictures and music talents. God gave us the freedom to put on display his glory through music and paintings. I was blown away. We also gave those that just showed up a chance to express their feelings with a blank banner and some paint brushes. I really enjoyed this.
9. Acts series. Ron did a series that spanned the whole book of Acts. It may have seemed long and drawn out, but I really enjoyed it. I love reading about the early church and the early days of the disciples. Acts is one of my favorite books of the Bible and I would love to do a study again on it.
8. Camber Christmas concert. Last year was absolutely amazing. Ryan and company did a great job of putting this together. It was very well put together and really got the crowd in the Christmas spirit. I don’t know how they are going to top last year, but I’m already looking forward to it.
7. Baptism night at the Liston’s. Incredible night! Ron invited anyone to head over to the Liston’s house to be baptized in their pool after Camber one night. I believe over 20 people were baptized that night. The cool thing is that 100+ people from Camber showed to support those that were being baptized. We must of been there till 1am.
6. Serving on the Camber staff. Ron assembled about 30 of us one day at Dave Sweet’s business to talk about serving on the Camber staff. We went through all the service opportunities and put together an amazing team to run Camber. I felt very blessed to be a part of this.
5. We will not talk series. The summer series that just blew the roof off of Camber. We discussed various topics that many churches refuse to talk about. Homosexuality, eating disorders, cutting, drugs, porn, etc. On top of that we had members of Camber that have struggled with these issues share their testimonies. It was an amazing summer.
4. College Briefing at Forest Home. A huge group of us traveled to California to to spend Labor Day weekend with several other college groups at Forest Home. Our very own Brayline provided the worship for the weekend. We played volleyball, had milkshakes and hung out. Ron got our group together and we had an incredible time of sharing one night. This particular weekend was when I really started to make amazing friendships at Camber.
3. Worship. What can I say.. Cornerstone is blessed with incredible music talent. Ryan, Jason and the band just bring it every Thursday night. Not a Thursday goes by that I feel God’s presence through the incredible music that is being played.
2. The speaking. Ron Merrill was the heart and soul of Camber. He brought a huge vision to that group. Yet God spoke through him with love and compassion toward the people of Camber. The topics and series were amazing. The guest speakers were incredible. It brought my faith and knowledge of the Bible to a whole new level.
1. Passion Atlanta. Can’t say enough about this trip. It changed my life. About 40 of us from Camber traveled to Atlanta on New Years Eve to this 4 day conference. 20,000+ gathered to hear Louie Giglio, Francis Chan, John Piper and Beth Moore speak about living your life radically for God. Chris Tomlin and David Crowder provided the music. This was the trip that turned me on to missions. Going through the Do Something Now booths and talking to missionaries just opened awareness to me. And then being able to hang out and fellowship with other Christians from around the world was so moving. The week was capped off with all 20,000 of us surrounding the Georgia dome and singing “Amazing Grace” while holding candles. One of the highlights of my Christian walk that I will never forget.
There are several more stories I could write about.. Point South Mountain, Sunday BBQs, Camber beach trip, etc.. but these are my favorites. I won’t forget what being a part of Camber did for me. I could write a long list of people that have touched my life during this time as well. I will miss Ron, Ryan, Chris and the gang. But at the same time I will be next door plugging into Rhythm. I’m excited to see what God has in store for this next phase of my life.

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“From the fullness of his grace we all recieved one blessing after another.” John 1:16.

I have always had an appreciation for music and art. Yet I really don’t have any major talents in the art or music. But you can find me hanging at art gallerys or lost in somebody’s photograph or painting. Especially when I travel. I usually look up the nearest art gallery when I’m in a town that I’ve been in. I love reading into other people’s expression of life.

One of my favorite night’s at Camber (our young adult program) is our “Art of Life” nights. They do such such an amazing job with those nights. Paintings, photograghs, hair stylists, music, etc. We had a huge turn-out last night. The cool thing is all of this is the expressions of people in their 20’s. But the sad thing is I think that most people lose their freedom of expression in art as they get older. This is usually due to jobs or families or just plain business. Our minds are so busy that we don’t take time to enjoy and take in what God has created for us.

I was trying to remember some of the things that I have done growing up that involved art. I took a drawing class in third grade(My mom lost all of my art work though). I took drama and choir in high school. I played guitar briefly in college. And I doodle a lot..

I guess the area I am most creative in is photography. More video than still. I made a lot of home movies back in the day. But now I usually do all my video at my church on their production team using a lot of cool equipment. I shoot a lot at home as well (Mostly of my kids. They will have a library of home videos for when they are older). I then decided to try and learn more about lighting and shading and took a black and white film photography class last semester for fun. I really enjoyed that class. It got me back in touch with my creative side.

I really hope I don’t get so busy that I lose my creative edge. Just watching Ty draw or Jake play in band gets me excited. God gave us the gift of creativity and expression. We are to use these gifts and talents to the fullest just as we are with our spiritual gifts. I love that the verse in John above on how he uses the word all. We are all to use these gifts and blessings. And he gives us all these blessings, whether we think we have talent or not. And He gave us the freedom to express the gifts and abilities so others can see them and He can be glorified through them.

Does Jesus appreciate our creativity? Pretty clear He was an artist…  “through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made.” Colossians 1:3. And all things are created by Him and for Him for His glory.  “appointed heir of all things, and through whom he made the universe. The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by his powerful word” Hebrews 1:2-3.

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