Last week, our Inspiro staff was busy with the Incarnate Leadership Workshop (ILW) - a training for those preparing to lead Incarnate 2022. Part of the week was spent learning about the theology behind arts in missions.
But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved.
Ephesians 2:4-5 (ESV)
This week, I made an unusual discovery. My husband was busy weed-eating our front yard, and I was surveying the area, watching the weed-eater do its thing and thinking about the work we would still need to do to landscape our front walkway. Then, something caught my eye.
Within Inspiro, we talk a lot about artists. On the ‘Who We Are’ page of our website, we state, ‘We cultivate and empower artists globally to spark beautiful worship and witness among the least reached.’ We are a ministry comprised of artists that ministers to and through artists who seek to fulfill the Great Commission as artists. However, we realize that the term ‘artist’ can mean different things depending on your cultural context. We never want anyone interested in serving with us to be hindered by a misunderstanding of this term. In an effort to all be on the same page, here are some reflections on what it means to be an artist.
Is what you're living for worth dying for?
...and then the angry man punched the Bus Driver in the face...
You know, there is only one thing in life that we can control - only one. And when things don't go the way we like, we still have control of that one thing. And this became so apparent last Saturday as we prepared to take Incarnate 2016 into Rome for the day.
One of my favorite exercises that we do here at Incarnate is the worship session that happens right before we unpack the concepts of Unity and Diversity. The Students sit around tables in groups of three, and have to work together to paint, pastel, pencil, marker, whatever (!) on pre-drawn ancient symbols of the Trinity. The artwork that gets produced in this just over 30 minute collaboration is inspiring, even if is is Dancers and Musicians doing the work as well as Visual Artists!
In keeping with the theme of VIVID magazine’s issue number seven—doing more with less—we asked musician Pete Hicks to reflect on this topic, sharing from his experiences in the band Aradhna:
Since all the band members lived in different locations, we toured in a very interesting style: we would basically fly into a big city, get in a van and tour around for two weeks to areas within 500 miles or whatever. So we travelled really light. We had the sitar, an acoustic guitar, bass, a small bass amp and tablas, and the four of us would travel around that way.
Transcribed and edited by Katie D
Jesus takes us to a place of discomfort because He goes into the darkness. He's going after people who are lost. He's on the hunt and we need to follow Him - Bruce Herman
In 2017 we chatted with noted painter, speaker and author Bruce Herman. He has been a professor and curator of exhibitions at Gordon College in Wenham, Massachusetts since 1984. Here he speaks of artists, scandal, hospitality and the crossing of borders…
Dance and theology… they don't sound like they go together, do they? After all, dance is mysterious, open to interpretation and engages our emotions; theology is analytical, focused on having the right interpretation of scripture and engages our mind. But what, at first glance, seem to be two very different subjects are actually deeply entwined: developing and deepening each other and giving us a perfect way to love our Lord.
“The imperfections show that a person made this.” Someone recently said this to me in a conversation about arts and perfectionism, and my breath caught in my throat for a moment. She was right – the little imperfections in our art make it more accessible, reminding others that we are just like them. Yet, so often, I find myself hesitant to engage in creative expression because of a deep fear of imperfection. Thoughts such as “Will it be good enough?” “What if it’s awful?” and “Maybe no one will like it,” stomp all over my creative spark, putting it out before I can even begin.
Did you grow up as I did, looking towards 2020 as the “year of the future”? I remember reading science magazines and watching TV shows that imagined video calls, pocket computers, robot household assistants, automated self-driving cars, immersive VR headsets… I was stoked to see what the future had in store for us and watched earnestly as one by one these technological fantasies entered the realm of reality. I just didn’t really anticipate… well, this.
For all our bold innovations improving and enhancing our everyday lives, it turns out humanity remains brutally fragile.
“Does God really love me?” I think it is a question we have all asked at one time or another, and one that is particularly relevant in the midst of the current times. I have recently found myself frustrated and anxious, as I cognitively understand that God loves me but have struggled to believe it in my heart.
While recently discussing my frustration with my husband, he asked a question. “How do you know God loves you?” Slightly tongue-tied, I rattled off something about Scripture, the Gospel, and salvation. There was a moment of silence. He said, “Right, that’s good…how do you know God loves you today?” This time, I was speechless. “What do you mean?” He explained, “Well, today, what has God done to show you He loves you?” I started listing off all the possible things I could think of, and, wouldn’t you know it, they were all the “ordinary” things about the day that I had taken for granted. Tears sprang to my eyes as I thought about the Lord’s love in this new light.
Recently, our world has been reeling as we have been brought face to face with the stark reality of racism. The truth that many of our brothers and sisters around the world have had to deal with this reality their entire lives is sobering and hopefully prompts us to engage in meaningful conversations, take time to listen and seek to understand, and consider how the Lord might desire us to respond. We caught up with Whitney Peck, a musician serving the Lord in Albania, to ask her some questions about her story and experiences.