Lifehouse’s Everything Skit

This drama is best known as “Lifehouse’s Everything Skit” and was originally performed at the 2006 Smokey Mountain Winterfest in Thompson-Boling Arena in Knoxville TN, by Mission Baltimore.

When I first saw this video, a minute or so in I was bored and thinking, “I thought people said this was powerful?! It looks to me like another ‘namby-pamby’ Christian dance…” But as it continued I started to feel moved, and by the end my eyes had filled with tears.

I think the dance really depicts the struggle we face in life, to battle our way through sin and suffering and stay close to God. Though it may seem corny, we can’t escape the awesome truth that God is all powerful and can free us from anything getting in the way of our relationship with Him. Praise the Lord!

– Serena

It’s Personal #3 – My story about being a son starts with being a dad

Here is the third video testimony in the series produced by North Point Community Church in Atlanta, Georgia. Recently we have also shared It’s Personal #1 and It’s Personal #2.

The reason that I am showing these videos seperately is that I think they are amazing. What a great use of media to share peoples testimonies in this way! I pray that God will really use these videos to reach people and speak truth into their lives. I praise God for his awesomeness, and the way that he beautifully transforms lives.

– James

Cloning Jesus

I am a huge fan of fantasy, so when I saw Frank Wu’s art work I was immediatly interested in what he produced and had to say about christians working in the fantasy media. The following text is part of an interview that Frank gave to Artist Interviews magazine and really highlights his passion for Jesus and the work that he produces:

“I am a Christian. Sometimes this is a problem in a field where a lot of the writers and editors – and fans – are atheists. Sometimes. Not always. I don’t preach, I don’t harp on people’s lifestyle choices. I don’t pick fights or judge people. They are my friends, and I try to work with them and be their friends. Are we not put on this planet to love each other?

One of the weird things about doing commissioned art is that you accept the commission before you read the story. An editor asks if I have time to do an illo for an upcoming issue. I say yes. Then he sends me the story. I hate turning down commissions, because book and magazine illustration is sometime I’ve dreamt of my whole life. But sometimes I get stories that make me tingle, and not in a good way.

“Cloning Jesus” was weird, because it was about the attempt to clone Jesus from chips of blood in the Shroud of Turin (we assume for the story’s sake that the Shroud is authentic). It would have been an interested conceit, if a similar idea hadn’t been done in a Star Trek episode years ago. Anyway… This is the only piece of art I’ve ever gotten hate mail for. I think the letter-writer was offended by the whole idea. It was sacrilege. Part of the problem I think is that people don’t really go deep enough into the theology. Who was Jesus? He was God, who put on human form and came to earth. So He was fully God and fully human. Human in that He had blood and ate food and it must have really hurt when they put the nails in His hands. Why did He come to earth? Well, partially to tell us that we should love God and love our neighbor. But also, and most importantly, He came to earth specifically to die on the cross, a sacrifice for our sins, a payment for our transgressions. For we have all sinned and fallen short of the glory of God. His sacrifice meant that we did not need to be sacrificed ourselves. Our sin no longer separated us from God, and we were forgiven. Jesus took our place on the cross. But Jesus only had to pay that price once.

So what would be the point of forcing a second coming of Jesus by cloning Him? So He could die on the cross a second time? That doesn’t seem necessary. So He could announce the end of the world and bring down the new heaven and the new earth, because the old ones were used up? Seems premature, not quite God’s timing yet. I think the writer’s point is that the world is a less than perfect and peaceful place. But rather than having God see the wickedness and destroy the world, as He did with a flood so long ago, perhaps there might be a more pleasant alternative. Maybe if Jesus could return, we would hear the message “Love God and Love Your Neighbor As Yourself”. And maybe we would do this, and the world would be a better place. For me and you. If we put a little love in our hearts.

And I think that’s what the story is about. And that’s not a bad message.”

If you would like to find out more about Frank Wu please click here

– Russell

Christian Graffiti Art from Dolar

I was SO excited when I saw an email sitting in the Artists for Christ inbox which had the subject “Ex-Ilegal graffiti writer now Jesus change his life!!”, I just wanted to let rip with a loud pentacostal “AMEN!!!!”.

So let me introduce Dolar, a graffiti artist from Spain, he has a website full of awesome images (I especially love the sketches section) which can be found at www.dolar-one.es.

I especially like how he has taken the classic “Hello, my name is” sticker, which street artists all over the world use, and made it all about Jesus!

– James

Yisehak

 

Just found Yisehak while surfing the internets, and he’s making the sort of stuff I love to see. Check him out here. It’s also worth having a read of his biography, which will only take a moment, but is inspiring as he’s focused on art and faith since he was 7! He describes his work saying, 

“The way I paint is not realist in the conventional sense. Although it has realistic elements, it conveys matters beyond the reality we see in nature into the spiritual, in the realm of faith. “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. It comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God”. The Source of my inspiration is the word of God (the Holy Bible,) and the guiding principle, the creative force is the Spirit of God, Which lives in me by faith. His glorious gift…to God (in Jesus Christ) be all the Glory!” 

 

– Miriam

It’s Personal – A Former Atheist Speaks


It’s Personal – A Former Atheist Speaks
from dewde on Vimeo.

This is probably one of the BEST video testimonies I have ever seen in my life…great story and put together in such a beautiful way. It was put together by a team at North Point Community Church, Atlanta, Georgia and is the story of a guy called Chris Ames, who I recently met online through the Artists for Christ twitter profile.

– James

Artists for Christ on Twitter!

So, I have setup an Artists for Christ Twitter profile, please do follow us for all the latest Artists for Christ news and info at www.twitter.com/Artists4Christ. I’m pretty new to Twitter (in fact, I only started using it yesterday) but already I can see how this can be a powerful tool in networking with Christian Creatives all over the world.

– James

What are we aiming for, anyway?

This is not so much a follow up to my own last post, but a continuation on the themes that James brought up on his “Cutting edge creativity” post ( http://www.artistsforchrist.net/2008/11/cutting-edge-creativity/).

I’d like to pose this suggestion – perhaps people exist who are managing to bridge the secular-spiritual divide. I’m going to throw two names out there to get us thinking about this: Bob Dylan and Lauryn Hill. Having briefly looked at where their music fits into this discussion, I will then turn to asking what form of witness we are looking for from musicians in particular (although this could easily be applied to artists too).

Bob Dylan

A youthful Bob Dylan

A youthful Bob Dylan

I didn’t know a great deal about Bob Dylan until the last couple of years when friends at university started singing his praises, in particular one of my housemates who loved to sing “Blowing in the wind”, a Dylan classic. Dylan is an interesting man to consider in terms of his relationship with Christianity: he was raised up in a Jewish family, and underwent a high-profile conversion to Christianity in the late 70’s. For a few years following his conversion, he performed only Christian material, and was vocal in speaking about his new found faith. The Christian community loved it.

However, it was not to last long: Dylan’s music became more subtle in its material, he became far more cryptic in expressing his beliefs, and many suggested he may have turned away from Christianity. But it is interesting to note that a huge amount of Jesus-inspired imagery and sentiment still comes through Dylan’s music, take for example “”You saw my picture in the Corpus Christi Tribune/ Underneath it, it said, ‘A man with no alibi’/ You went out on a limb to testify for me, you said I was with you/ Then when I saw you break down in front of the judge and cry real tears/ It was the best acting I saw anybody do.”, and think on its significance in terms of justification from sin.

For a more in depth look at Bob Dylan’s faith, check out this article at crossrhythms –http://www.crossrhythms.co.uk/articles/music/Bob_Dylan/7795/p1/

Lauryn Hill

I’ve loved Lauryn’s music from the Fugees, through The Miseducation, and have been very excited from the small amount that has been heard from her more recently. The main reason I refer to her here is because of her “MTV Unplugged 2” appearance, in which she clearly spoke of her love for Jesus, although again much of it was wrapped up in picture langauge. Check out an example below:

This is not a lady who “has it together”. You’re not going to find her leading worship at Soul Survivor any time soon. In fact, if most recent reports from her gigs are anything to go by, then she seems to be going through something of a breakdown. But we must ask ourselves whether or not this writes her off from being used by God in the public sphere to make powerful music that takes people “out of themselves”, and gets them thinking about spiritual things.

Thoughts

So what is it about these three that we would change to fit into our expectations of what a follower of Jesus should say or sing? Would we prefer that Dylan only sang the material of his outright preaching days? Do we want Lauryn Hill to be all “together” before she starts singing songs about God?

I think a core issue here is that often we are looking for a “creedal” affirmation of faith – for musicians to sign a doctrinal basis, or spell out clearly what they do and don’t believe. This may be because it then makes us more confident in our own beliefs – the idea of “if that famous person believes what I believe, I feel more confident in it too”. I don’t propose that this is entirely wrong (although is not a very good foundation for belief), but it is more selfish – the real purpose we have to address is what will help those who are not yet in a relationship with God to come closer to Him. Remember that there are many people who really would like to believe in many ways, but often have misconceptions about God that are holding them back. Are Tim Hughes/Delirious/Kirk Franklin/Da Truth/Shai Linne-esque vessels the only ones that God can use?

These are important questions as we consider what cutting edge Christian creativity should look like. If you want more food for thought, think on people like Johnny Cash or Bono (from U2). Now I throw it open to your reading this: what is it that God wants to do through us? Is He glorified simply through us mentioning His name? If not, how do we distinguish what is to His glory?

Peace

-Stephen