What J. Saw In the Introduction Of It’s Never Too Late

So this morning was my second day of writing my morning pages. Once again my hand was asleep by the end of page one, but stream of thought was so rich I pressed through to discover what was really in my brain.

Brenda sent me some thoughts on the introduction which I will share shortly. I wanted to share the things that jumped out at me as I read the introduction to my artistic reboot.

“I myself believe creativity is a spiritual path.” Julia cameron

“Most working artists never retire.” Julia Cameron

“No matter how old you get, if you can keep the desire to be creative, your keeping the man-child alive.” John Cassavetes

Basic Principles for creative recovery:

  1. Creativity is the natural order of life. Life is energy- pure creative energy.
  2. There is an underlying, indwelling creative force infusing all of life- including ourselves.
  3. When we open ourselves to our creativity, we open ourselves to the Creator’s creativity within us and our lives.
  4. We are ourselves creations. And we, in turn, are meant to continue creativity by being creative ourselves
  5. Creativity is God’s gift to us. Using our creativity is our gift back to God
  6. The refusal to be creative is self-will and is counter to our true nature.
  7. When we open ourselves to exploring our creativity, we open ourselves to God: Good Orderly Direction.
  8. As we open our creative channel to the Creator, many gentle but powerful changes are to be expected.
  9. It is safe to open ourselves up to greater and greater creativity.
  10. Our creative dreams and yearnings come from a Divine source.- Julia Cameron

Which of these stands out to you?


J. On Getting An Artistic Reboot

Many years ago God gave me a phrase I felt I was to live by: My life is to be built Slow, Constant and Intentional. I have never really struggled with the “Constant” part of that command. I am a pretty good plodder. I can keep going and going and going. I don’t have problems showing up early or staying late.

I feel like I have learned to be “Intentional”. That hasn’t come naturally. It has been a process learning to plan and live my life by a God rhythm. Even all these years into practicing the lifestyle I find there are moments where my intentionality misses a beat or six. In those moments, I have to replan and resubmit myself to the process of being intentioned or thought-out. Mostly I feel my failures in complying with God’s three-step plan have been founded in the trouble I have with slowing down.

Nothing in my life feels slow enough. I feel rushed everyday. Even when I am intentionally taking it slow I feel like the world around me is screaming “HURRY UP!” That external shout makes my insides fight against my attempts towards easing up on life’s gas pedal.

Image result for pedal to the metal

I can be intentionally moving along at a proper God-set pace, then the world comes along with its myriad requirements and my intentions which are geared to a slower lifestyle fly out the window. I am left scrambling to try and figure out which intentions to keep and which ones to throw away so I can go once again live as fast and furious as the rest of the world.

I’ve noticed over the last year how much this kills my creativity. I run from one thing to the next and frankly sometimes I feel like I am just “phoning it in”. In those moments I sense most powerfully there is something inside of me that screaming for a return to excellence.

Image result for phoning it in

I know this all just sounds like so much complaining about first world problems. Maybe that is part of it, but somewhere in the middle of that is a conviction from the Holy Spirit that things are supposed to be different.

When Brenda and I were discussing her return home I think we both knew that adding more complexity to our already complex lives was going to cause us to rush even more than we already were. I think we both also knew how much this would threaten our creative well-being. That is why even before she came home we had decided to do a study on rebooting creativity. The study by The Artist’s Way author Julia Cameron is entitled It’s Never Too Late To Begin Again. It is a study created to help people facing life transitions to recapture their creative selves (It deals specifically with retirement as a transition but I am finding much in it for our particular transition at the Vicarage). I want to give thanks here to my blogging friends Cee Neuner and Chris Donner who put the book in my pathway.

Yesterday I spoke about the messy mental and spiritual threads I was encountering in the midst of this transition….

Image result for Messy threads

To this pile we are now adding an artist’s study thread, but as I open the pages of this book I am seeing that perhaps this particular thread will bring together several others. Perhaps, this will begin to help us make sense of the mess.

If you want to join us on this study the Book is available on Amazon.com.We have just finished the introduction and I took my first stab at writing the “Morning Pages”. My arm fell asleep…imagine that a writer who can’t write three pages without his fingers cramping up….


Well this afternoon at the art show was pretty quiet, but no worries folks! The art will still be up for church tomorrow and people will still be able to work on the coloring wall before and after church (as well as make art show purchases).

We are just a few minutes away from the Chinese Auction and Best of Show awards. TheN it will be clean up and get ready for church time! Yay!

During these last few quiet hours we had time to talk as artists about direction for the ministry community. I think the day has come when the art show will not be our main attraction any longer. So we have laid plans to promote and sell at a couple of local fairs and also to do a small-venue music, art and spoken word show somewhere in the area. I would like to see us host at least two events before the end of summer. Info will be forthcoming. In the meantime Brenda sold a few of her pieces at this show and has made arrangements to take her photos on the road for sale. she is road tripping through the month of May to Rhode Island, West Virginia, New York and New Hampshire. She is setting up to promote her ministry at four separate Network Councils for our denomination.

If you would like to help Brenda out with her fundraising tour to form an artist’s church in The Netherlands you can click HERE.

Image may contain: 1 person, flower and closeup
Image may contain: 1 person, flower and closeup

The Show Goes On

It is day two of the art show and all is still going well.

Artists at work on the elevator

Seeing what some lights add to the painting

People are visiting, snacking, buying art and even doing art. I’ve even gotten a poem half written for next year’s show. Next year’s theme is “You Will Be Found”.

It’s Art Show Weekend!

Artist, Betty Knowlton begins setting up the show drapes.

One of the ministries the ministers of the Vicarage are involved in is an artistic community called C.cada. The busyness this year didn’t end on Easter Sunday afternoon. A group of artists met early Monday morning to tear down Easter and to begin setting up C.cada’s annual art show, which goes up this weekend, April 26th and 27th.

Artist, Ken Knowlton, leading set up.

Setting up took the better part of three days.

The music arena


The prayer shawl and wood burning area.

Alcohol art by artist, Sandy Freeman

Alcohol art by artists Paula and Julianna Clapp

The Prophet’s Board

All is in readiness now. The judges come in tonight. Tomorrow the food will roll in for snack bar and then it will be go time!