"You have turned for me my mourning into dancing; you have loosed my sackcloth and clothed me with gladness"
Have you ever found yourself in a place of deep sadness, wondering when the storm will relent and the sun shine through? These seasons are marked by intense waiting, praying, and trusting but also by profound growth as we draw closer to the Lord. In this unpredictable and bleak time, many of you may find yourself in similar contemplative seasons of growth. It is with great joy that we can press into Jesus, the One who gives us reason to dance and promises to walk with us in our sorrow.
In the following video, artist Linda Wells, director of Compass Dance Academy and on staff at Inspiro Arts Alliance, shares her story of how the Lord used the artform of dance to bring healing and deepen her walk with Him. Check out Linda's story by clicking on the link below:
Are you a visual artist or musician looking for a unique opportunity? Our partners in Belgium are hard at work planning and preparing a traveling art exhibition using the early Christian motif of the labyrinth to feature both historic Flemish and contemporary artwork.
“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.
COVID-19 has been difficult for so many for a variety of reasons. One of these is the cancellation of events that many people have looked forward to and feel the loss of keenly. Read below about how one of our ministry partners is bringing joy into peoples’ lives by expressing the hope of the gospel through a traditional artistic practice.
“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.
Earlier this year, the newly combined OM Arts and Heart Sounds International (HSI) team announced that we were now “Inspiro Arts Alliance.” This change has been reflected on our website, in our literature, and anywhere and everywhere the names OM Arts or HSI once existed. However, you might have one simple question: What on earth does “Inspiro” mean? It is an excellent question, and one for which we thought it was high time we provided a broader answer.
Linda Wells has been a long-time member of the Inspiro staff. A professionally trained dancer, she came to know the Lord and was later called to serve Him through the dance. Over the years, she has taken countless dancers on outreach trips, helping them to see their gift as given by God and meant to honor Him. She has served as a deep encouragement to many through her vivacious and unashamed faith and determination to follow the Lord wherever He leads, regardless of how crazy it might seem. This month, Linda is transitioning to be an Ally of Inspiro Arts so she can devote more time to the ministry the Lord has given her at Compass Dance Academy in Tyrone.
We are absolutely thrilled by the recent release of our 20th Anniversary edition of VIVID Magazine. This edition looks back at the twenty years of history since the founding of Heart Sounds International (HSI) and OM Arts (now collectively known as Inspiro Arts Alliance) in celebration of all the Lord has done through arts ministry. It also looks forward in anticipation of all the Lord has in store for Inspiro Arts Alliance. To receive your copy of VIVID, please visit our giving page.
Occasionally, when we tell others we do arts ministry, we get raised eyebrows. Often, the questions boil down to, “Why art?” One of our favorite answers to that within Inspiro is: “Because the Gospel is beautiful.”
In everything give thanks; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.
- 1 Thessalonians 5:18
For many around the world, this is the week of the Thanksgiving holiday, during which there is an increased focus on thankfulness. As I considered what I wanted to say in this article, I found myself hitting a bit of a wall. “Yes, Lord,” I thought, “But what about saying something about how hard things are this year? Is there a way I could creatively talk about thanksgiving that might make people feel better? What about those of us who just aren’t feeling that thankful this year?” I started considering Scripture passages about thankfulness, and I was struck by this commonly known (but no less beautiful) verse in 1 Thessalonians. And then a bit of tough love hit me. The verse does not say, “In everything give thanks….but, when there has been almost a year of COVID, division, anxiety, depression, and other things, then you don’t have to be as thankful. Also, if you don’t feel thankful, you can skip it altogether.” No, it simply says “in everything give thanks” (emphasis mine). It even goes on to say that this is God’s will for us! However you slice it, there is no easy way of getting around this verse – we are meant to give thanks to the Lord regardless of what our circumstances may be.