The Heart of An Artist

Hands of Businesswoman Using LaptopWe think, we feel, we bleed on the page. We’re sewers of words, stitch by stitch until our heads unravel fuzzy.  Hey, are you talking to me?

People don’t always “get” us, and we’re okay with that because we already know we’re a bit strange, no shocker. Our dearest people love us anyway.

We writers draw boundaries and let our voice mail field calls. We plop our rears on chairs and pop up prayers and Advils and away we go, ready to transport our readers.

A thousand distractions call, but we have a dream-scream and God put it there. And if God put it there, nobody can take it away. And who needs to clean her house anyway? We have books to write.

We’re emotional creatures, God bless us. We’re well endowed with feelings. We love and hate our emotions with a passion. We get a high when we make readers laugh, cry, and get angry, boom-boom-boom, sometimes all at the same time.

My husband wipes his eyes as he reads the fruit of my year-long labor. He’s lost in the part where Ema McKinley swallows her grandsons into a hug. It’s her first hug since the miracle. And as Ema absorbs the feel of those boys, my husband sniffles and I swell. Swell with the joy of the craft and the miracles and the emotion-packed words.

Jesus had emotions. Remember how he wept? To love is to feel, and when Lazarus died, Jesus felt what we’d feel. In love, He felt for us.

We feel for our audience when we write, and this is our love gift.  We want to love them closer to something. Just like Jesus, the Living Word, wants to love us closer to Himself.

Hey, big-hearted artist, what do you love most about writing? What drives you to do what you do?

Beautiful words stir my heart. I will recite a lovely poem about the king, for my tongue is like the pen of a skillful poet. Psalm 45:1

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Eat, Think, Praise!

Eat, Think, Praise!

The busyness of the season tends to breathe a cold chill on us until we remember who’s in charge of our hearts’ thermostats.

We are!

“Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life.” Proverbs 4:23

Eat Jesus & Turn up the Heat!

“You are what you eat.”

Sometimes this saying echoes in my mind when I devour God’s Word, but mostly, I think of it when I’m reading one of a hundred Kindle books, and the Spirit calls for my attention.

Why is it so easy, so tempting, to fill up on Twinkie books at the expense of reading the Bible?

Satan reaches into his arsenal of distractions ~ even good ones ~ to keep us away from the gold mine.

The busier we are, the more we need a sweet retreat with Jesus. He warms our souls with the washing of His Word. He renews our minds and teaches us how to think, how to conform to His image ~ so we can reflect His love and maximize our impact on the world.

Think Jesus & Turn Down the Cold!

No thanks to television news, my imagination, and my neighbor’s yappy chihuahua, it takes effort to focus on the character of Jesus. But bless my heart when I do!  Because there’s no better thought in the world…

“Whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.” Philippians 4:8

When I trudged into church with a bad mood one day, my pastor played a video by S. M. Lockridge, and my blahs didn’t stand a chance! Because when you feast on God’s goodness, He fans the flames of your passion. Your problems, worries, and fears shrink in the light of His flaming love. See for yourself how your perspective changes.

“He’s enduringly strong. He’s entirely sincere. He’s eternally steadfast. He’s immortally graceful. He’s imperially powerful. He’s impartially merciful. He’s the sinner’s savior. He’s the centerpiece of civilization. His promise is sure. His light is matchless. His goodness is limitless. His mercy is everlasting. His love never changes…”

Praise Jesus & Keep it on Auto!

King David pulled off all stops on praise when he sang, danced, and worshipped with all his might. People thought he was out of his mind, but he was too focused on God to care!  Maybe it isn’t such a bad thing to be out of our minds ~ especially if they’re dragging us down.

David knew praise begins with an attitude of thankfulness.

“Enter his gates with thanksgiving, and his courts with praise.” Psalm 100:4

During the rocky early years of my marriage, I didn’t feel like thanking God for my husband, but decided to thank Him anyway. I thanked God in my heart and I thanked him aloud to my husband. “Dwight, I’m thankful God gave you to me.” Sometimes I found it difficult to see something I was thankful for; but when I honestly started to look and I opened the eyes of my heart, I could always find something positive.

Inch by inch, my husband and I breathed God-praises into our marriage and watched God honor the fruit of our lips with restoration.

Perhaps we can start this praise habit by thanking God that we don’t need to settle for cold wintery hearts?

Thank you, God, that we can adjust our hearts’ thermostats by putting You first, and meditating on Your greatness! Thank you that we can place our highest expectations where they belong ~ on You, not on fallible people and circumstances.  And thank you that in Your presence, there is fullness of joy. When we break into praise, You allow us to gift ourselves (and the world) with happier, hot-for-Jesus hearts!

“Let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.” Matthew 5:16

Merry Christmas!

Have you ever praised Jesus when you didn’t feel like it? What happened?

When it comes to eating, thinking, and praising Jesus, which of these will you do more of this Christmas season?