Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Joy of Being an Artist

It has been a while since I labeled a post with Joy in the title. Not that I haven't had joy, but you can only come up with so many ways to incorporate it into a title!!! LOL

Today, while waiting for my SI class to start, I was reading from Rory Noland's book, Heart of the Artist. I started this book with Chris McCorkle almost 2 years ago. We were going to read a chapter or two and then discuss them and what they mean to our ministries as Music Minister of our churches. Life got in the way and we didn't get too far. So, today, I picked it up and started it all over again! As I read, I came across a passage that spoke VOLUMNS to me!

Mr. Noland was writing about the proven character of an artist in a church setting. He wrote, "Authenticity is a powerful witness to the presence of God in our lives. It doesn't mean that we're perfect. It means that we're real." He goes on to say that when we, the Christian, put on a happy face to cover up our pain, we aren't being honest about our imperfections and struggles. Being authentic means we're real with our struggles and shortcomings. Then he talks about how God wants our character growth to be as high a priority as our talent. We shouldn't hide behind the talent and conceal our real selves, being hypocrits while ministering on the platform.

Now, I will be "authentic" and confess that I haven't always practiced this principle. People have even been aware of things I was struggling with, but I would put on a smile and go ahead and "minister" when I really shouldn't have been allowed on the platform! To those who may read this post and have been privy to my past foibles and failures, I sincerely apologize for my lack of authenticity before you and God. The one thing that consoles me today is that I honestly prayed for forgiveness of my faults, told God to do with me what He felt should be done, and TURNED from my past and determined to do what was right and true.

Am I perfect today? NO...not by a long shot but I AM FORGIVEN and God has blessed my repentance with anointing!! His Grace is greater than I can ever comprehend!!!
I want to follow God's plan for becoming spiritually mature! Ephesians 4:15 says we are to "in all things grow up" into Christ. Grow in areas such as moral excellence, intimacy with Christ, self-control and discipline, perseverance, godliness, kindness, and love. 2 Peter 1:5-9 says if we possess these qualities and keep growing in them, they will keep us from being ineffective and unproductive in our knowledge of Jesus!!! I also want to walk in my home, job, and where ever I go with integrity!!!

I want that authenticity to shine as I minister in song or on the piano during services. My art is a huge part of who I am but without God leading the way, I AND my art are nothing! I pray that my future songwriting endeavors, CD projects, and my ministry of music will reflect the heart of the artist who is writing my song, my story, my life.

Above all else, I want to honor and please God and have my life
reflect my desire to do God's will.