What are you creating with your life?thumb

Music?

Images?

Stories?

Many of you probably consider yourselves creative in some way.  But there are many many people who do not.  I cannot tell you how many adults I talk to who do not have some creative outlet in their lives.  They are on the outside looking in.  Some people are so far outside the creative world, they don’t even know it.  Most of them think they do not have the right to be creative because they don’t have enough talent, however they define it.

Behind everything I do – every word I write, every image I make, every lesson I teach, is one motivation.

To create a generation of creative people.

Last week, I was really honored to speak at STORY conference in Chicago about this very topic.  For all of you who were not there, I want to tell you three things you can do to help do what I do, create a generation of people who are empowered to be creative.

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…And lead us not into temptation…

What is the biggest temptation in your life?

Money?  Food?  Sex?  Laziness?

I don’t think those are our biggest problems.  I think they are symptoms of a bigger temptation.  This universal temptation takes many forms in each of us, but ultimately, they are all the same.

Some of us exchange images for intimacy.  Others give up passion for a paycheck.  Maybe you medicate yourself with food or alcohol.  Maybe your relationships are not fulfilling, but you pretend nothing is wrong.  Perhaps your whole spiritual life is a mess and your heart is broken, but you still go to church and smile.  Maybe you’ve given up on creating the life you want because you don’t think you have the talents or resources you think you need.

I think Thomas Merton was right.  They are all the same temptation, deep down.

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It breaks my heart to see children decide so early that they will settle for too little, for less.  Less than their best, less than what God desires for them, less than what is possible.  They confine themselves so much, and that’s how they learn to engage with the world as adults.

Today, Lord, lead us not into temptation.  When you are tempted to settle, don’t give in.

Mark Twain said there are two days in your life that are the most important.

The first one is easy.  You are born.  None of us had any control over that one.  It just happened.

But people spend years, decades even hunting for the ever-elusive second important day of your life.  It’s not the day you got married or the day your child was born, though those are important.  The other most important day of your life underlies everything else you may or may not accomplish in your days on Earth.

I hope you have experienced the other most important day of your life.  It can happen with great struggle and searching, or perhaps it will come in a moment of inspiration, like an epiphany.  Either way, I hope you don’t stop searching for it.  Everyone deserves to have the other most important day of their lives.

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For the rest of the week, I’ll be at STORY conference, learning from incredible people, meeting bloggers, even giving a short talk at one of the breakout sessions.  I’ll be taking a break from the blog, but will see you in a week.

Be inspired today, my friends.

Hey hey, everyone.

It’s the end of the week, and somehow, I feel like I have more work to do than when the week started.  I’ve been hustling all week to prepare for taking most of next week in Chicago for the STORY conference.  I am super pumped to be there, but it means I’m basically working two weeks in advance at school.

Nevertheless, there were two great books that fueled me this week.

Awake

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Awake, by Noel Yeats is not exactly a new book.  It came out a year ago, but I’ve been so pleased to see it get “relaunched” this week.

Why do I care about Awake?

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What if the Bible was not actually inerrant?BIBLE

What if there were verses that were really true, historical, God-breathed, and others that snuck in there under the radar, but don’t really belong?

Of course, plenty of people already think that is the reality, that pieces or chunks of the Bible aren’t really reliable.  I don’t see an end in sight to the inerrancy debate.  I have been clung to inerrancy and written about my definition of what it means to be inerrant here before.

But today, I am not so sure of myself.

You see, I think I found a mistake in my Bible.

I think I found a mistake.  It didn’t take much investigation, or a magnifying glass, or parsing words in their original language.  It was pretty easy actually.  The offending verse comes from Jesus’ own mouth.  I am convinced that Jesus had to have been wrong,

What mistake could I have possibly found that would send my whole view of scripture into a tailspin?

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I tell my students all the time…

…Our art class is not about how much talent God gave you.  It’s about how you use what God gave you.

And yet, without anyone teaching them, eventually every child learns to give up, to throw in the towel.  I can’t stand to see kids who don’t even try to live up to their potential, all because they don’t think their potential is good enough.

It’s so easy to set a low bar for ourselves, to assume that we are incapable.  What if we just decided that we would keep going, no matter what the result may be?

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It’s not about what God gave us, or did not give us.  It’s about how we use what we have.