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SOME IDEAS FOR USING CREATIVITY TO CONNECT WITH JESUS:

·      Illustrate a verse or a passage of scripture that speaks to your heart in some way.  Slowly write out the passage in fun/fancy letters and then use colored pencils to add simple drawings over the words.

·      When reading a story from the Bible, try using Google Images (or something similar on the internet) to see paintings that illustrate a scene or idea from that story.  For example, type in “prodigal son” or “prodigal son, Rembrandt” to see the images. 

·      Write/draw/doodle good quotes from books, articles, or poetry.

·      Make a gratitude page, using fancy letters and simple pictures and add to it every day.  Draw little pictures from your everyday life of what you are thankful for…someone you love, logo of a favorite coffee shop, or a cool spider web you noticed, or a quote or comment that blesses you.

·      Spend time in nature. Draw something small you see… a beautiful flower, a colorful bird, or even a teeny bug.  Pay attention to how God speaks to you through the intricacy of His creation.  

·      Write or draw something about an issue that is an ongoing struggle for you.  For example, read through 2 Corinthians 12:7-10 to read about Paul’s “thorn”.  Consider your own thorns as you draw a few thorn-covered stems.

·      Buy an old hymnal at a used bookstore or online.  In fancy letters, write a line or verse from an old hymn or your own words of praise. Or cut out parts of a hymn that you really like and glue it into your journal.   

·      Write/draw/doodle a prayer of your own or one written by someone else.  Have a journal page with a specific prayer theme you add to each day.

·      Use your 5 senses whenever possible, as you spend time with Jesus.  Try these simple ideas: burn a candle, smell a flower, listen to music that stirs your heart, hold onto a smooth stone, drink a cup of coffee or tea, go outside and pay attention to the various sounds around you.  Our senses help us engage with our imagination.  And engaging our imagination provides a way to pay attention to what is happening in our souls. 

·      Solitude – I try to get away for one longer solitude time each month, either ½ or full day.  Part of that time I try to do one or more of the ideas mentioned here.  I use my journal along with colored pencils, markers, or watercolor pencils to document and process what I am thinking and feeling, and what I am sensing from the Lord may have for me that day.

SOME RESOURCES TO ENCOURAGE YOUR BRILLIANT IDEAS…

GUIDES TO ART:

·      Contemplative Vision, by Juliet Benner

·      Truth and the Christian Imagination series (5 books in the series), by Alister McGrath

·      Seeing Salvation, by Neil MacGregor with Erika Langmuir

·      120 Great Paintings of the Life of Jesus, published by Dover Platinum (DVD included)

·      The Christian Story: Five Asian Artists Today, by Pongracz, Kuster, and Cook

·      The Art of Faith: A Guide to Understanding Christian Images, by Judith Couchman

Paintings on Biblical stories & themes from these artists (there are SO many others as well!):

·      Paintings from the catacombs in Italy

·      Peter Paul Rubens

·      Caravaggio

·      Rembrandt

·      James Tissot

·      Rubens

·      El Greco

·      Georges Rouault

·      William Blake

·      Van Gogh

·      He Qi

·      Daniel Bonnell

 

Creativity and faith:

·      The Creative Call, by Janice Elsheimer

·      Space for God, by Don Postema

·      Praying in Color, by Sybil MacBeth

·      Awaken Your Senses, by Beth Booram

·      Dwelling with Philippians, edited by Halstead, Detterman, Borger, and Witvliet

Getting your creative juices flowing:

·      Art Before Breakfast, by Danny Gregory

·      Drawing Lab, by Carla Sonheim

·      The Artist’s Way, by Julia Cameron

·      1000 Artist Journal Pages, by Dawn DeVries Sokol