Tag Archives: Art

Weekend Picks ~ 6-30-2017

This is some stuff I found helpful, challenging, interesting, or amusing today that I think may enrich your day as well...

The Case for ‘Christian’ ArtSteve Turner
https://storage.googleapis.com/relevant-magazine/2017/06/Hero-64.jpgNo one ever told me that it would be wrong for a Christian to become an actor or a songwriter, a novelist or a dancer. It was implied…

But because art is also a record and reflects the questions and anxieties of the time, I would like to see contributions that reflect a Christian understanding of that time. I also would like to see them in the mainstream arts rather than in the religious subculture.

I am not saying this for evangelistic reasons. I don’t expect art to convert people, although I realize that art plays an important part in shaping our understanding of the world. I am saying it because debates are taking place in cinema, painting, dance, fiction, poetry and theater on issues where Christians have something to say, and yet they are not even being heard.

I think we should be in those debates as part of our mandate to look after and care for the world rather than because of the command to make disciples. We are not entering the debates to tell people what to believe. Art tends to show rather than to tell. It allows people the opportunity to experience another way of seeing the world. But if we are not there, people are denied the opportunity of encountering our perspective.

Finally, Jackie Robinson’s Faith Is Getting the Attention It DeservesPaul Putz
Finally, Jackie Robinson’s Faith Is Getting the Attention It DeservesTwo books shine a long-overdue spotlight on the Christian convictions of the man who broke baseball’s color barrier…

…There is a God-shaped hole in the heart of 42, the 2013 film that depicts the inspiring story of Jackie Robinson. Observers noticed it at the time, pointing out that the film mostly ignored the role that faith played in Robinson’s life and in Branch Rickey’s decision to sign him to the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1947…

From Long and Lamb’s book, Robinson emerges as a committed and thoughtful mainline Protestant comfortable within black and white Christian communities. Well versed in the Bible and connected to Protestant institutions throughout his life, Robinson saw faith as a source of inspiration, hope, and American identity. He grew up with a personal moral code taught by most white and black Protestants in the early 20th century—no smoking, no drinking, no premarital sex. But he was also shaped by the social witness distinct to the black church, believing that Christians had a responsibility to combat racism in American society, that anti-racism was a mark of true Christianity, and that many white Christians were failing to practice what they preached. As for June Fifield’s concern that Robinson recognize the help of Branch Rickey, she need not have worried. “When I came to believe that God was working with and guiding Mr. Rickey,” Robinson wrote, “I began to also believe that he was guiding me.”

Creating DiscomfortSeth Godin
http://www.sethgodin.com/sg/images/og.jpgIf you’re seeking to create positive change in your community, it’s almost certain you’ll be creating discomfort as well.

Want to upgrade the local playground? It sounds like it will be universally embraced by parents and everyone who cares about kids. Except that you now bring up issues of money, of how much is enough, of safety. Change is uncomfortable.

It’s way easier to talk about today’s weather, or what you had for lunch.

Usually, when we’re ready to launch something, we say, “this is going to help people, this is well crafted, I’m proud of it.”

What’s a lot more difficult (but useful) is to say all of that plus, “and this is going to make (some) people uncomfortable.”

I Hope I Die Before I Get OldJared C. Wilson
cristian-newman-67308What makes Richard different from these old coots who go out shaking their fist at the things of grace? Well, God. But also: Richard decided to die before he got old. He decided to die before he died. May we all do the same.

I think I’m more like Hobbes, how about you?
Calvin and Hobbes – Click image for a larger view.

Thursday Picks ~ 7-28-2016

Picks Thursday

This is some stuff I found helpful, challenging, interesting, or amusing today that I think may enrich your day as well...

The Dangers Of Career-Driven WorshipDavid Santistevan
THE DANGERS OFWorship Leaders…this isn’t about a career. This is a calling. It’s not enough to “land” at a church and collect a paycheck.

Because here’s the bottom line: Worship Leaders are worship leaders based on how they lead with their lives…

…If you’re merely looking for a career…there’s other things you should do.


Leading worship isn’t glamorous – you’re not entertaining fans like Coldplay is at the arena down the road. If you are, you’re abusing your role as a pastor and servant of God’s people. It’s not about the glam of the spotlight.

The best worship leaders don’t overthink worship. They think about Jesus.

This article, ironically, is somewhat lengthy, but I found it interesting…

The Oppressive Gospel of ‘Minimalism’  –Kyle Chayka
It has become an ostentatious ritual of consumerist self-sacrifice; people who have it all now seem to prefer having nothing at all…

But it takes a lot to be minimalist: social capital, a safety net and access to the internet. The technology we call minimalist might fit in our pockets, but it depends on a vast infrastructure of grim, air-conditioned server farms and even grimmer Chinese factories. As Lerner’s protagonist observes in “10:04,” even a dull convenience like a can of instant coffee grounds reaches him thanks to a fragile and tremendously wasteful network of global connections, a logistics chain that defies all logic, one undergirded by exploited laborers and vast environmental degradation.

There’s an arrogance to today’s minimalism that presumes it provides an answer rather than, as originally intended, a question…

An encouraging word for creatives in any area…
Refrigerator ArtManuel Luz
Justin ElephantThink about this. How many of you, at one time in your life, took one of your children’s crayon drawings and hung it on your refrigerator door? Why did you do that? Because the art was really good? Maybe, but probably you hung it because you loved your child. And that artwork represents a part of who your child is. That creation was an expression of someone you love…

Well, this is how God feels about us. About the things we create. Especially about the things we create for Him. Every song, every word, every dance, every painting, done for the King delights the King. He takes who we are, and the expressions of who we are, and He delights in it. Expressions of our life in the Kingdom not only bear witness to God, they directly put a smile on God’s face. He delights in the creations of His children. We all are, in a real sense, God’s creations, God’s art. And He takes what we offer Him, and He hangs it on the door of His heart.

Awesome! These young guys are pretty good, but wait for the ending…

Click image for a larger view. Pearls Before Swine

My Picks for Monday 2-1-2016

This is the stuff I found helpful, challenging, interesting, or amusing today that I think may enrich your day as well…

This one is written to worship pastors but applicable to anyone in spiritual leadership…

Playing Hurt: Leading Worship Through Pain
Barry Westman
http://www.theworshipcommunity.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/01/injury-1432459-1920x1280-1078x516.jpg“To save face, favor and financial security, worship pastors often sense a profound pressure to perform even when they might not feel like it. To secure their position, they often play hurt.

Most church members don’t realize the physical, emotional, mental and spiritual demands required to serve as a worship pastor. They may be aware of the investment their worship pastor has made in their own lives. What they don’t often calculate, however, is the cumulative time and energy those investments require when multiplied by the entire population of their congregation.”

Some encouragement for parents…

Patient ParentingDavid Murray
“If there’s one lesson I’ve learned in parenting five kids (now aged 2, 12, 14, 18, 19), it’s the need for patience. That has not come easily to the second most impatient man in the world, but parenting has certainly exercised and strengthened this spiritual muscle over the years. So much so, I now believe that patience is Christian parents’ greatest need. Here are six areas of parenting where I’ve learned (and am learning) to exercise patience…”

I’ve been a Francis Schaeffer fan as long as I’ve been aware of him. January 30 was his birthday so this seemed appropriate. His thoughts and insights on how Christians engage culture are still relevant and challenging today…

12 Francis Schaeffer Quotes That Will Challenge the Way You Engage CultureJesse Carey
“We are not being true to the artist as a man if we consider his art work junk simply because we differ with his outlook on life. Christian schools, Christian parents, and Christian pastors often have turned off young people at just this point. Because the schools, the pastors, and the parents did not make a distinction between technical excellence and content, the whole of much great art has been rejected with scorn and ridicule. Instead, if the artist’s technical excellence is high, he is to be praised for this, even if we differ with his world view. Man must be treated fairly as man.”

Spectacle vs. TranscendenceManuel Luz
photo-1442975433132-cb9580b88538“As worship leaders, we feel the obligation to meet that corporate need for transcendent experiences. In fact, we delight in these very experiences. And that too is a good thing. Because as worship leaders, our “job” is to help people come to the Throne in worship. More so, it is our God-breathed privilege to lead people in worship.

But transcendence can’t be manufactured. No matter how we try, we can’t program it, design it, or will it to happen.”

Source: Wrong Hands


My Picks for Thursday 12-10-2015

Just some stuff I found helpful, challenging, interesting, or amusing…

Certainty, Openness and Theological Wisdom -Ray Ortlund
2012-MAY-Source-Liaohe-River-Delta-Marshland-300x214“Some Christians seem “all certainty.”  Maybe it makes them feel heroic.  But they see too few gray areas.  Everything is a federal case.  They have a fundamentalist mindset.

Other Christians seem “all openness.”  Maybe it makes them feel humble.  But they see too few black-and-white areas.  They have a liberal mindset — though they may demonstrate a surprising certainty against certainty…

…May we become more certain where we’ve been too open, and more open where we’ve been too certain, according to Scripture.”

The famous sixth-century Sinai Pantocrator (Christ Almighty) icon depicts one-half of Christ’s face as suffering servant and the other half as serene risen Lord.

Art in the Worship of the Church
-Paul Blowers
“Contrary to the old adage, beauty is not just in the eye of the beholder. True beauty lies in the richness and breadth of God’s revelation, which lays claim to all our senses—even some that we may not know we have! “Taste and See” is more than a lovely worship tune composed by James E. Moore in 1983. It should be a summons to all our senses to experience the boundless glory of God and to respond in kind, creatively and resourcefully.

Churches should be encouraged to use their imaginations and a wide array of arts (not just music but drama, ritual dance, photography, and iconography, etc.) to enhance their praise and worship.”

7 Situations Where Your Church Should Not Have Greeters
-Thom Rainer
“…there are a few occasions where I think it’s best for the church to have no greeters at all. Indeed, if one or a few of these situations exist, greeters in the worship services can do more harm than good... Here are seven such occasions…”

If Donald Trump Becomes President, It’s on You
-Melissa Schwartz
DONALD TRUMP“It’s not just his hate speech that should alarm you. We have had candidates for decades that have based their campaigns on arousing hate and fear. But they have not been frontrunners.

If elected President, Donald Trump has the power to enact policies by executive action to round up people of a specific race and take unilateral action against them. If elected President, Donald Trump really can spend your taxpayer dollars to build walls, tear families apart, and deny federal benefits and protections to people of a specific race.

For those who believe President Obama has overreached during his presidency, imagine those same powers in the hands of Donald Trump.”

You’d better watch out…




My Picks for Thursday 11-12-2015

Just some stuff I found helpful, challenging, interesting, or amusing…

There is indeed a war on Christmas,
but it may not be what you think…

The War on Christmas-Steve Cuss
enhanced-31786-1446915453-14“But Jesus is not at war with a retail establishment and nor should his followers be. The job of a retail establishment is not to proclaim the peace of Christ, the good news that brings great joy.

That’s our job, Christians. We really shouldn’t be outsourcing the bidding of peace to retail. If history is our guide, anytime the church outsources the gospel, the message gets confused. Do we really want our retail establishments proclaiming the message?

Please. Please. Christians. Stop outsourcing the gospel and stop expecting your retail neighbors to proclaim the good news of Jesus.”

You Are An Artist -David Santistevan
“The call to create better art is a call to care more. It’s a call to solve problems, influence, create change, and show us beauty. Whether you are into “the arts” or not, you are an artist and it’s time you saw your daily life through that lens.”

https://wronghands1.files.wordpress.com/2015/11/a-brief-history-of-time.jpgSource: Wrong Hands