2016 "I Am" for HKC

Thanks so much to Shonna and the HKC team for this invitation! I'm grateful to be able to talk about the God I love and the new life He's given me to utilize for His glory and the good of the world's peoples whom He so loves. 

After filming two other paintings for this creative prompt (yep, you read that correctly), I was finally creatively inspired by one of my favorite artist-theologians, Lecrae Moore, and his song "Messengers". I've included the lyrics video and the music video for you.

Here's a snapshot of some of the supplies I used: a collaged substrate, acrylic paint (heavy and fluid and craft), Portfolio water-soluble oil pastels, Prismacolor pencil, General Pencil Co. 9xxb graphite pencil

I am so thankful that my sons are growing up with hip-hop ambassadors like Lecrae as part of the soundtrack of their lives. The artistry is grammy winning, and on top of that, there is so much sound theology packed into the lyrics along with challenges to flesh out that theology. Lecrae is a "gate smashing" kind of messenger, and that's what I'm praying my boys will grow to be as well. I want them to be people who engage culture, who long to see people come to Life. I don't want them to be lulled to sleep by status quo religiosity or embittered by fear mongering politicians or disheartened by national and global current events or self absorbed by pursuits of Americanized "happiness" and no-pain living.

In fact, I want them to be UNcomfortable so that they are forced time and again to look at God and remember to Whom they belong. There is no god like Jehovah! And, I want them to really see people, like Jesus sees us, not as evangelistic projects or social justice causes but as divine image bearers who long for His shalom, whether they know it/believe it or not. I want my boys- I want all of us- to be "four chapter gospel" messengers, letting their light shine authentically and creatively and always ready to give a reason for the Hope they have.


"We’ve limited Christianity to salvation and sanctification," [Lecrae] said. "Christianity is the truth about everything. If you say you have a Christian worldview, that means you see the world through that lens—not just how people get saved and what to stay away from."

This means writing about things other than heaven and the glory of God. While that kind of music is necessary, he said, "Christians need to embrace that there need to be believers talking about love and social issues and all other aspects of life."

excerpt taken from this article, emphasis mine

How are you putting your everyday life where your theology is? How are you engaging the culture and peoples in your sphere of influence with His (way-bigger-than-the-English-word-peace) shalom? Maybe you'll find this article helpful and encouraging as you think about the creative freedom you have to impact the people in your life with why and how God is making all things new.

“You are worthy, O Lord our God,to receive glory and honor and power.For you created all things,and they exist because you created what you pleased.”
Revelation 4:11, NLT

Wonder full,

Mystele


[ Come and join the faithart journey at His Kingdom Come! FREE weekly devotions, faithart inspirations, technique videos, faithart classes- combining techniques and bible study! Lots of faithart products– stencils, stamps, thermofax screens, canvas, and coloring books!  If you were part of Take me deeper in 2015, please sign up for the 2016 Take me Deeper, so that you have access to the devotions, techniques and discussions! Free planner/journal pages are found here. Take Me Deeper will be continuing in 2016 with the “I am statements” of Jesus and our Spiritual DNA. Looking for your “word” for 2016?  His Kingdom Come has prepared an EBook for free containing the idea of living one word, worksheets and all the prompts for 2016! Get it for free here Logos365 www.his-kingdom-come.com ]


PS...These are my first two attempts at figuring out what God was laying on my heart about belonging to Him/being a change agent in the world. This was a great process for me. 

Stop the noise and beat back the fear

I've been trying to figure out what to say on social media...Here it goes- My heart breaks for all the people who've lost those they love in this strife. The cycle is maddening, and the silence over it by too many people who should know better is the biggest clue that this will not end anytime soon. When people don't reach across these stupid dividing lines to talk to each other about things that matter, the cycle continues. When we go on with our lives as if this is "their" problem, the cycle continues. Politics will never change this. Opinions will never change this. It's a heart thing, and it's a me thing and it's a you thing. We can point fingers all day long, but the truth is that we must stop talking ABOUT the losses (there will be more) and start talking TO each other to get to know one another and make a change one relationship at a time. If you aren't willing to do that- to seek out cross cultural discussion, then, please, stop talking. It's just noise. This country can't handle anymore noise.

How am I doing in all of this? I am sad-mad over the necessity of yet another "are you aware of what's happened this time" conversation with my boys that leads to "just in case you forgot, this (I explain what "this" is) is how you must carry yourselves because your skin looks more like mine than your dad's". It brings me to tears that even though they are both super smart and talented and funny and loving, they still have to be aware of their "Blackness" because they have the social misfortune of having a Black mom. (By misfortune, I only mean that having darker brown skin is still a hindrance at times. If I was White, this conversation may not have even been a reality in my home. You know?) If they ever find themselves in a hashtag situation, it won't matter that they love Jesus or that their maternal great grandmother was smart as a whip or that their uncles are some of the coolest people I know or that my dad was a hard working man and a cowboy on the side or that my mom is an award winning educator. And, it definitely won't matter that their dad is White. Rich, poor, educated, uneducated, well behaved, trouble maker, North, South, East, West. It won't matter.

The one solace I find in all of this is that I know the One who is putting things to right, and I know that part of how Jesus is putting things to right is through people like you and me NOW, reaching out to each other and caring for each other because we are HUMAN.

Stop the noise and start beating back the fear with real discussions over coffee or a meal or a walk or a gift or whatever you can think of. Anything less than that is noise.

 

Wonder full, even now,

Mystele

 

Sunday

Hope driven sermon this morning. Psalm 23- set free to trust the Good Shepherd. Soul food.  

Man and man-boy are on a trip, so I made little man-boy and myself a smoothie after morning worship.  He lounged on the deck chaise lounge under an umbrella as if he were at some exotic resort rather than our deck which, just so you know, is quite definitely the opposite of an exotic resort. But he made it special.

the yum of collage-- delectable.  

the yum of collage-- delectable.  

Then, I enjoyed a few minutes of collage planning in the studio. Relaxing. Such an easy way to keep learning about my creative voice and to simply keep my sense of composition growing.  

And now, I'm preparing for a nice afternoon nap. Yes. Hopefully I don't fall asleep before. I.    post.       th    i     sss

Etsy...Again

Thanks so much to those of you who stuck with me as I tried out hosting my art shop through my website for a few weeks. I've decided to move everything back to Etsy for the ease of it all, and Etsy is mobile which will be perfect when I start participating in art festivals again (hopefully this Fall!). It's the perfect inventory tracker and payment processor for me at this time. 

That's all for today!

Wonder full,

Mystele