Recently Jedidiah clothing started following us on Twitter, and this wasn’t the first time that I had been in contact with them. At the beginning of this year, whilst I was in Hawaii, I was working with an organisation called Surfing the Nations, and Jedidiah clothing did a LOT to support the ministry of Surfing the Nations, including sponsering the Surf competitions, making tshirts for us, selling tshirts and giving some of the profits to us, and i’m sure, much more.
Jedidiah are doing some great work, and their tshirts are AWESOME, I regularly rock my Jedidiah Surfing the Nations tshirt! So, I challenge you, buy some sweet clothing from Jedidiah, and know that your money is going towards supporting some FANTASTIC ministries all over the world.
Today I found something really exciting that I wanted to share. I found an interview with one of our favorite Christian Graffiti artists, Lovepusher, on The Times’ Website! I think it’s so great how Lovepusher is getting out into the secular world and public places with graffiti, but it all being about God, and there being no compromise about that! You can read the interview on the Times Online Website.
Friends, I’d like to introduce you to a man who has taught me quite a bit in the few years I have been a disciple of Jesus. I first came across Rich Mullins as the writer of the wonderful anthem “Our God is an Awesome God” (great verses as well as the famous chorus!). James then pointed me out to some more of his work, such as the stirring “I am ready for the storm” and “My deliverer is coming”. He was a man who took Jesus into his own heart, and wrote tender songs such as “Surely God is with us”, talking of how Jesus was willing to sit with those who no one else would (“The whores all seem to love him, and the drunks propose his toast!”). I thoroughly recommend getting the latter off iTunes.
The song below, “Hard to get” is one that I only discovered a couple of days ago. Rich writes from the heart, asking God who dwells in the radiance of eternity whether He still remembers the Lose Weight Exercise and struggle of life here on earth. After all of the questions he asks of God he looks to what Jesus experienced, and realises that he is not looking for an explanation for suffering but whether God is truly with him in the midst of it. Both the lyrics and performance are classic Mullins: heartfelt, raw and beautiful. What makes this even more poignant is that the only recording of his singing (others re-did it later) was on a tape recorder in a little church, nine days before he died in a tragic car accident. I’ve put the recording of “Hard to get” below, with the lyrics from the last verse beneath (some of the best in the song).
And after I figured this, somehow all I really need to know
Is if You who live in eternity
Hear the prayers of those of us who live in time
We can’t see what’s ahead
And we can not get free of what we’ve left behind
I’m reeling from these voices that keep screaming in my ears
All the words of shame and doubt, blame and regret I can’t see how
You’re leading me unless
You’ve led me here
Where I’m lost enough to let myself be led
And so You’ve been here all along I guess
It’s just Your ways and You are just plain hard to get
Recently on facebook I met an artist called Cas Smith. Cas is a teacher as well as an artist who uses her gift to worship God and share the gospel. I asked Cas to write a little bit about herself and about her work.
I doodle and paint because I have to, it’s a compulsion, it’s something I do because I can’t not do it. Everything I create is an expression of my relationship with God, it’s ups and downs, frustrations and submissions, the reality of faith. I tend to paint figuratively but not in a realistic sense, the figures can become highly simplistic and distorted, often with a focus on the hands. With hands we can hurt or heal, it’s a choice much like faith. A lot of my images are highly personal and mark my walk with him, but relevant to so many who are on that journey with Christ as well. I’m constantly aware that sometimes we dress Christianity up in sugary sweetness and an “everything will be wonderful if you just believe” attitude rather than being real about the messiness of life. Supporting and walking with each other through that messiness.
The scariest and most liberating way of painting is during worship and ‘live’ art sessions. During a gathering, I’m led by the Holy Spirit to put an image to canvas, or doodle in a book in that space where he’s already at work, leading worshipers/seekers to a place where they meet with him, it’s immediate and of the moment. Generally when I do paint during worship, I tend not to talk to the speaker before the meeting, this would influence the image and would become contrived and forced. Instead it’s about giving the Holy Spirit free reign to move and work. This can make things sound ‘airey fairey’ but I’m constantly amazed by the way this turns out, how God works through an image and meets with people and draws them closer to him.
I doubt that my work would ever be displayed in the RA, but that’s not what it’s about, it’s about ministering to other people and leading them on in their walk with Jesus. The ‘live’ art sessions are also pretty much on the same lines but a lot more low-key, it’s really subtle, quietly ministering to people in the modern day meeting places, entering into the spiritual conversation of life. Taking Jesus out of the 4 walls of church into the streets, or in my case the coffee shops.
To see some more of Cas’s work, check out her Flickr.
Ok, so, I saw this video the other day through one of our friends on Twitter, and for the last couple of days I’ve thought to myself “Should I, Shouldn’t I?”, but, i’ve done it! I think that this video is fantastic, it’s one of those ones that I WISH I had thought of myself! According to the blurb on the youtube page the video was created as an intro to a student retreat to, “set the tone” for the weekend, and to me it is genius! What a fantastic way of getting the students’ attention, seeing their grandparents perform Hip-Hop tunes!
When I first heard about this project a week or so ago, I got excited….and then when I saw this video I got EVEN MORE excited! I think that this is going to be a great album, it’s got some great names on it, and it’s all about serving those in need. So praise God for this project, I for one am definitely going to support it and as well as grabbing a copy for myself, maybe an extra one or two for Christmas presents.
If you would like to know more about CompassionArt and find out where you can get a copy of the album and book in your country please visit the CompassionArt Website.
Note: I’m SO sorry for the technical errors we have had today with the links, everything should be running smoothly now, and to our RSS subscribers sorry if you have received multiple notifications of this.
Finally it’s here! The first Artists for Christ online community project, and as a team we are SO excited!
The idea is that we are going to get together artists from all over the world, and together we are going to illustrate the book of Jonah. This is going to be a very exciting project to be a part of, as when it all comes together Artists for Christ are going to produce and publish it as a book for the world to see! We truly believe that this project is going to be a great opportunity for coming together as a community, getting into the word, worshipping God, networking with other creatives all over the world, and bringing more exposure to Christian artists.
We would love for you to be part of it, and for you to ask your friends and people that you know to do the same.
“Behold, I stand at the door and knock; if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me”. – Revelation 3:20
We have been thinking recently about art that would transcend the spiritual-secular divide to touch the hearts of those outside of the church. Here, my friends, is a fine example. Holman Hunt’s “The Light of the World” had people flocking from all across the country, and the painting even went on a tour across the world. It now stands today both in Keble College Chapel, Oxford (a few minutes away from me) and St Paul’s Cathedral (a second version made later in Hunt’s life). If you ever get the chance to see it for yourself then do not miss the opportunity.
For those of you who may be wondering why it was quite so popular, have a think about all of the imagery that Hunt has packed into this painting about who Jesus is and how he relates to us. Firstly, notice that the door has no outside handle – it can only be opened from within: Christ knocks on each of our hearts, but only we may open up to him. Notice too that it has become overgrown with weeds: this door has not been opened for some length of time.
The lights in the scene are full of meaning too. Whilst the rising lights in the background provide some illumination, the main illumination is through Jesus’ lamp (“Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path” – Psalm 119:105). And look at the rich orchard and beauty of the world that awaits they who open to Jesus! Remember too that the crown of the one who knocks is composed of thorns.
This is excellent artistry: beautifully painted, rich in symbolism and simple enough that everyone who sees it can take something away from it.
Over the last few months we have been talking together as a team and praying, trying to put together a mission statement for Artists for Christ.
Some people that I have been speaking to recently have been really shocked when I have given them the bigger picture on Artists for Christ.
Artists for Christ is here to be much more than a blog, as a team we believe that God has given us BIG vision, and we have got some really fantastic projects being prepared which we hope are going to bless you and bless the people around you.
So, we have updated the About page with our new mission statement and would love for you to check it out and hopefully get more of an idea on what we are about! We are all so excited about Artists for Christ and where it is going, and would really love to hear from you if you have any comments or ideas, or just simply want to chat. You can get in touch with us through our Contact form or follow us on Twitter.
As I have said we have got some really exciting projects coming up, which we want as many people as possible getting involved in, so, if you would like to keep up to date with everything going on at Artists for Christ then please subscribe to our RSS feed.