A digital commonplace for a Regular Guy called Charlie Pharis

Month: April 2016 (page 1 of 1)

Random Thoughts, April 28…

DAY 21/365: Hmmmm...

David Cosand via Compfight

Sometimes I think on purpose about things, and sometimes the thoughts just find their way into my mind in random order. This has been that kind of morning so far. And since all two of you loyal and attentive readers are waiting with bated breath and hanging on my every word, let me share some of that random goodness with you.

  • I discovered the Turtle Creek Chorale a couple of Christmases ago, and their album, Psalms, is one of my favorites. It was the soundtrack for this morning’s pre-dawn jaunt, and once again, I was inspired by the powerful ancient words coupled with the harmony of organ, brass, and men’s voices.
  • The Turtle Creek treatment of the Psalms reminded me that I could enjoy that style of music as a regular diet in worship. I know it further confirms my uncool/unhip status, but that music jacks me up more than the light show/rock concert/skinny jeans/unsingable show that passes for worship in most modern churches. I have the same emotional response to this great music as some modern worshippers have to the rock-driven performances.
  • One other thing about Turtle Creek’s Psalms. Apart from the faulty theology of the third-person pronoun in the middle section, their version of Psalm 91, “In the Secret Place,” is one of the most beautiful and powerful songs I’ve heard.
  • I also thought this morning that two of the most powerful words for harmonious human relations should be “None taken.” As in, “No offense.” “None taken.” See, in this culture of easy and frequent “offenses,” it would be refreshing and well, human to understand that not everything is intended to offend. I know the Bible reminds Jesus-apprentices to not give offense. But often, there would be no offense if people weren’t always looking to be offended by things that are out of their comfort zone. The Bible also reminds us it is a good thing to overlook offenses, to give them the attention they deserve, and to expect the best out of others, even those with whom we might disagree.

The Most Creative People on the Planet…

Avec ma compagne... dans son atelier... l'amour de l'art en partage...!!!

Denis Collette via Compfight

From my morning pages today. I may have gotten into a little whimsical groove toward the end. Be gentle.

Someone once opined (sang, maybe?) that the devil has all the good music. Actually, a little web search tells me it was first suggested by the Right Reverend Rowland Hill, a Surrey pastor in 1844: “The devil should not have all the best tunes.”

When I read articles about creativity and artistic endeavor these days, it seems only Buddhists and other “nontheistic” practitioners have an exclusive path to creativity. One has to be mindful (whatever that means). One has to find his path (whatever THAT means). And so on and so on.

I think Jesus people ought to be the most creative people on the planet. (Did I say “on the planet?” I think I meant “in the world.” Buddha, you know…).

If we are created in the image of  a Creator God, if we have been redeemed for a purpose by the Maker of all things, if we are part of the Greatest Story Ever, and if we are designed as His masterpieces, then our lives and work – all our lives and work – should be testimonies of the creative spirit.

Our creative work – our art, our words, our lives – should bear witness to the Spirit of Creativity who lives in and empowers us. Rather than searching for some mystical, mythical Muse who shows up (according to Stephen King, in his boxer shorts with a bag of magical dust, every morning, as soon as the writer sits down at the keyboard), and guides our efforts, we should be living fonts of creativity. Jesus Himself said that the life He gives us will in turn spring up and overflow into the world around us. Our creative efforts should be redemptive. Our art should be in a sense, sacramental, as it should convey God’s grace and glorify Him to the ends of the earth.

We follow in a long procession of a great cloud of witnesses who have been creative people. People who have written and sung songs. People who have created art, functional and beautiful. Artisans. Craftsmen (and -women). Makers with skill and talent and most importantly, a spirit of wonder and worship, grateful that God blessed them with His gifts. Crafters of poems, tooters of horns, pluckers of strings, singers of tunes, speakers of words, tellers of tales, sew-ers of clothes, and sharers of things made, all in the gifted tradition of people created to create.