Discovering Joy in Your Creativity: You Are Made in the Image of a Creative God [NOOK Book]

Overview

Rediscover the joy God intended us to have by being creative.

Do-it-yourself arts, crafts, and home projects are more popular than ever. Websites and TV shows are drawing people in as many of us, especially women, seek to express their creative sides and be more economical.

Too often the demands of life donÆt encourage an expression of creativity. But thatÆs not how God intended us to live. He gave us each a ...

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Discovering Joy in Your Creativity: You Are Made in the Image of a Creative God

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Overview

Rediscover the joy God intended us to have by being creative.

Do-it-yourself arts, crafts, and home projects are more popular than ever. Websites and TV shows are drawing people in as many of us, especially women, seek to express their creative sides and be more economical.

Too often the demands of life donÆt encourage an expression of creativity. But thatÆs not how God intended us to live. He gave us each a unique, fulfilling, creative streak that He wants us to tap into.

Whether trying to save money by mastering DIY projects, seeking to start a small arts-and-crafts business on such sites as etsy.com, or simply looking for a way to express God-given creativity,  Discovering Your Creativity encourages women to rediscover the joy God intended us to have by being creative.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781418560515
  • Publisher: Nelson, Thomas, Inc.
  • Publication date: 2/8/2010
  • Series: Women of Faith Study Guide Series
  • Sold by: THOMAS NELSON
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 128
  • Sales rank: 883,726
  • File size: 245 KB

Meet the Author

Founded in 1996, WOMEN OF FAITH® has ministered to more than4 million women with the transforming message of God's grace. Throughevents and resources, they fulfill their mission to nurture women spiritually, emotionally, and relationally.
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DISCOVERING JOY IN YOUR CREATIVITY

You Are Made in the Image of a Creative God
By Margaret Feinberg

Thomas Nelson

Copyright © 2010 Margaret Feinberg
All right reserved.

ISBN: 978-1-4185-4187-3


Chapter One

Our Wildly Artistic God

There is about us, if only we have eyes to see, a creation of such spectacular profusion, spendthrift richness, and absurd detail, as to make us catch our breath in astonished wonder. Michael Mayne

Fluttering through the air, glimpses of vibrant orange can be seen bouncing from limb to petal. The monarch butterfly is best known for its distinctive coloration of wings: bright orange with black veins running throughout. If you've ever seen a picture or one in person, then you know these creatures are mini works of art.

The wonder of their intricate design is found not just in their appearance, but in their life spans. They live up to a year, but they don't stay in the same place for long. Distinctively, monarchs migrate up to three thousand miles every winter. They are the only species of butterfly to do so. Strangely enough, due to their limited life spans, the butterflies that journey back each spring are the great-great-grandchildren of those who came the winter before, yet they still manage to find their way back to the exact same tree in which their ancestors lived. These inherent details about the monarch butterfly reflect the vast creativity and innovation of our God.

Now take a look around you. The artistry of God is found not just in butterflies, but in each of us as well. When was the last time you took a minute to notice the intricate design of your own hand? Take a good look at your palm and fingers. Now flip your hand over to see the wonder of your fingernails. Aren't they magnificent works of art? God designed you inside and out!

He did this with every person on the planet. If you're in a room with others or have photos of loved ones in your wallet, take a moment to notice the intrinsic differences in each and every person, the minor details that make them unique. No two people are alike. Blond hair, brown hair, black hair, red hair-they're all so very different.

Now focus on the eyes. Notice the specks of color in the eyes, including the swirls and concentric circles forming the iris. Ponder the faceted nature of the eye itself. Cornea, retina, pupil, and lense all doing separate but distinct jobs for one purpose. This is just one snapshot of God's creativity, but there's so much more because God is concerned with not just the outside, but the inside too.

Let's go a little deeper. Reflect on the unique personalities of the people in your life. The full range of personality types-from the more introverted, quiet types to the extroverted, outgoing ones-are all made by God. This is just one more glimpse of God's creativity. Yet God's creativity isn't demonstrated in just what we see, but also in what we experience. Think about the last few meals you ate. Which tastes did you encounter? Think about the sweetness of freshly baked chocolate cake, the sourness of just-squeezed lemon juice, or the salty flavor of potato chips. These are all expressions of God's creativity.

Now, if you can, take a step outside or peek out the window. Notice the colors of the sky and the spectrum of colors in the foliage around you. Listen to the broad range of sounds you hear-some more pleasant than others. This, again, is God's creativity.

God could have created our world in black and white, satisfied our hunger with bland nourishment, and made us all look alike. Instead, He decided to enrich the earth with vibrant colors, sounds, tastes, shapes, and experiences. The creativity we witness is a reflection of who He is. God is beautiful, as are the animals, nature, water, and the people He creates.

1. Make a list of five of your favorite aspects of creation. What strikes you as beautiful in each one? 2. If we're not careful, we can take God's creativity for granted. Are there any aspects of nature that you tend to take for granted? Explain. 3. What activities help you take the time to stop and admire God's great creation? What prevents you from engaging in these activities more often?

Creation is not the main focus of discussion in the book of Genesis, yet Genesis contains some of the most important comments on creation in the entire Old Testament. The wonder of creation is outlined in Genesis 1 and 2. The author details the creation of the earth from the very beginning-from those first words uttered by our magnificent, creative God.

4. Read through Genesis 1:1-2:3. In the space provided, connect the box of the day to what was created on that day, also adding the Scripture references as necessary.

Day Event Scripture Day 1 Light Genesis 1:3-5 Day 2 Day 3 Day 4 Day 5 Day 6 Day 7

5. Reread Genesis 1:27. Rewrite the phrase "in his own image" in the space below. How does it feel to know God made you in His likeness?

One of the greatest days of creation was the final one when God chose to rest.

6. Reread Genesis 2:2-3. Why do you think God created a day of rest?

Rest invites creativity. Often while resting and unplugging from the busy demands of life, our creative juices begin to flow, and our power to create is reenergized. At the same time, creativity can also be exhausting and requires rest in order to refuel with fresh ideas. Thus, creativity and rest can go hand in hand.

7. Does being creative tend to energize or de-energize you? 8. Do you ever feel closer to God when you're being creative? Explain.

God's creativity is demonstrated in many aspects of our lives-in people, nature, and even food! When we reflect on all He has made, we can't help but give Him thanks.

Digging Deeper

Creation is not limited to just what is seen in Genesis. Read Revelation 4. Memorize verse 11. Does it surprise you that God is recognized as Creator in the book of Revelation? Why or why not? Do you think God will ever stop creating? Why or why not?

Bonus Activity

Capture a snapshot of God's beauty in nature. Choose an artistic expression you naturally enjoy. Draw. Write. Paint. Sculpt. Photograph. Whatever you choose, go ahead and capture a scene of nature-whether it's a single flower or an entire mountain range. Share your work with fellow participants and describe the activity's significance in your life.

Do It Yourself

Try a creativity exercise. Select five everyday items, such as a tote, a lightbulb, a book, a piece of string, and a glass. Now pass an item around the group and challenge each person to think of a creative use for that item. A tote could become a hat or a piece of home decor! Go ahead and be silly. Get those creative juices flowing.

Chapter Two

Discovering Your Creative Side

There is a fountain of youth. It is your mind, your talents, the creativity you bring in your life and the lives of the people you love. Sophia Loren

Every day someone somewhere is dreaming about the possibilities of a new business. These people are utilizing their God-given creativity toward developing something fresh and innovative that meets a specific need.

These creative dreamers are located everywhere. For instance, in Philadelphia, a few men are seeing green. Their goal is to make people and businesses environmentally aware. The founders have already convinced one rather large organization to serve all beverages in eco-friendly, corn-based bio-plastic cups. They have also sponsored numerous garden and forest rebuilding projects. These insightful businessmen are converting their aspirations for the world into an enjoyable and unexpected business.

One woman turned her love of dancing into an inventive program for ages one to one hundred. She believes music and dance can teach people creative ways of cooperation with others, as well as self-expression. Her techniques also provide a fun and exciting cardio workout. By expressing her love for dance, this woman has spread that same love to hundreds of others.

Another entrepreneur came up with her innovative idea while pregnant. This soon-to-be-mom wanted a unique way to share the news that she was expecting. Rather than hand her husband a positive pregnancy stick, she decided to create special greeting cards straight from the baby. The cards are representative of what her child might be thinking in the womb, such as "Can't wait to meet you!" or "Counting down the days until I can be spoiled!"

Sometimes creative opportunities come from the most unlikely encounters. If you've ever driven across the state of Kansas in the fall, you've probably seen a tumbleweed or two. One family decided to harness these dried-out plants to launch a rather unconventional business-they sell tumbleweeds, even Christmas tree tumbleweeds! In fact, NASA is using their tumbleweeds to test the Mars Tumbleweed Rover.

Meanwhile, a couple in Scottsboro, Alabama, developed an idea to start a small business that sells unclaimed baggage left at airports. The store has become a haven for bargain shoppers. From jewelry to clothing, this store sells almost everything you could find in a piece of luggage at a reasonable price. They also donate one-third of everything they receive to charitable organizations.

These are just a handful of examples of people using their God-given creativity to start new businesses and pursue out-of-the-box ideas. While not every creative idea will launch a new business or job, embracing creativity is an amazing outlet to investigate, discover, examine, and grow.

1. Many people who utilize their creativity ultimately start a part-time business or launch a full-time career. Have you ever pursued a creative idea as a part of your work? What was the response? 2. Do you have any creative business or volunteer ideas you've been dreaming about? If so, describe. What's stopping you from pursuing your creative ideas?

Have you ever noticed how some people live as though life were a Baskin-Robbins ice-cream store? They have all thirty-one flavors mixed together-wild adventures and spur-of-the-moment decisions. There's never a bland moment. On the other hand, there are those who live a life of plain vanilla-playing it safe, never daring to mix in rainbow sprinkles or hot fudge. In the same way, without creativity, our lives would be plain. And while vanilla is a great flavor, it's a whole lot of fun to add in some cookie crumbles and fudge chunks from time to time!

3. What flavors of ice cream would you use to describe your life? Are there any creative additions you'd like to mix in?

Our salvation is a gift of God, and He designed us to do good works to bring Him glory! One of the most valuable and concise summaries of Christianity is found in Ephesians 2.

4. Read Ephesians 2:8-10. Write down the words and phrases in these verses that are the most meaningful to you.

5. Do you think creativity is involved in the "good works" God has designed you to do? Why or why not? Do you tend to think creatively when it comes to honoring and serving God? Why or why not?

God can use creative people to do all kinds of amazing things! There are numerous examples of this throughout the Bible. One is found in the building of the tabernacle in Exodus 26-28. The tabernacle was built as a transferable sanctuary or dwelling place for God as the Israelites roamed the desert led by Moses. This tabernacle described in Exodus later served as a pattern for Jerusalem. Each person involved in building the tabernacle had his own unique contribution to make based on the gifts God had given him.

6. Read Exodus 26:1-29. Reflecting on all the specific instructions involved in constructing the tabernacle, make a list in the space below of the various artistic skills needed for its construction.

One of the most beautiful aspects of the tabernacle is that no one person had all the skills needed to create it. God used people with many different gifts and talents to construct a place for Him to dwell.

7. Are there any areas in your life in which you're tempted to bury your creative gifts? Explain. 8. What changes do you need to make in your life to unleash your creative side?

God created in us a desire to be creative. We are called to express our creativity and not bury the talents He has given us.

Digging Deeper

Read 1 Corinthians 12:12-27. Reflect on your part in the body of Christ. What do you think God has called, created, and gifted you to do that is unique? Why do you think each part of the body is significant?

Bonus Activity

Put your creativity into practice. Select one specific way to live out your inner creativity this week. This can be something as physical as gardening or as relaxing as drawing a picture. Write a song. Craft a poem. Scrapbook old photos. Whatever you choose, pray throughout your experience that God can move to reveal His greater creativity within you.

Do It Yourself

Make a wish list of five activities you really want to do. They could be adventurous, like climbing Mount Everest, or relaxing (but still something you wouldn't normally do!), like sleeping for twelve hours straight. Set aside time this week to complete one of the items on your list.

Chapter Three

Creativity Can Make a Big Difference

God creates out of nothing. Therefore, until a man is nothing, God can make nothing out of him. Martin Luther

Learning a craft, whether it's scrapbooking, painting, or even shoemaking, can make an immense difference in the world. Need proof? Just ask Blake Mycoskie.

After finishing third in the 2002 season of the television series Amazing Race, Blake, a young designer from California, decided to travel to Argentina. While returning to one of his favorite stops, discovered while he was on the show, Blake couldn't help but notice the number of children he saw without shoes.

In many third world countries, walking is the primary method of transportation. Blake soon learned a lack of shoes caused children to receive cuts and scrapes on their feet from the roads. These injuries sometimes took weeks or even months to heal. The wounds allowed the entrance of soil-transmitted parasites into their skin, which ultimately led to infections, and in some cases, amputation. Blake eventually learned of a disease called podoconiosis that results in extreme swelling and deformity in the legs. It is caused by walking or working barefoot in silica-rich soil-common in many rural nations.

He also learned that children were required to wear shoes to attend school. Unfortunately, many children's families were too poor to buy shoes, a fact that closed the door to an education that could have broken the cycle of poverty. All too often, something as simple as the lack of shoes destroys lives through the dangerous possibility of disease, and also the more far-reaching repercussion of the loss of education.

Blake knew he had to do something. He decided to create the company TOMS. The TOM in TOMS stands for "tomorrow." This company has a unique business model: whenever someone who can afford TOMS shoes buys a pair-whether online or in a department store-one pair is purchased for a child in a third world country. This one-for-one business model is a creative way to involve altruistic people in the support of children in need.

Through Blake's dream, more than 140,000 impoverished children across the world now have shoes on their feet. Even if the kids don't think of their shoes as more than just a better way to win a soccer match with their neighbors, TOMS is making a difference in human health around the world. Blake and TOMS were recently featured in a series of AT&T ads. The thirty-second ads were so popular that AT&T created sixty-second ads. Blake and his company have a new goal of giving away three hundred thousand pairs of shoes in one year.

One man's passion for helping children has led to a fresh, creative, business model that's making a tangible difference in the world. Passions for crafty jobs and hobbies exist within everyone-some more obvious than others. When we recognize the ability to worship God through our creativity, we can fully begin to understand His wondrous creativity.

(Continues...)



Excerpted from DISCOVERING JOY IN YOUR CREATIVITY by Margaret Feinberg Copyright © 2010 by Margaret Feinberg. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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Table of Contents

Contents

Foreword....................vii
Introduction: Power in Creativity....................ix
1 Our Wildly Artistic God....................3
2 Discovering Your Creative Side....................11
3 Creativity Can Make a Big Difference....................19
4 Your Creative Passions....................27
5 Uncovering Your Resourcefulness....................33
6 Making Time for You....................41
7 Celebrating Your Creativity....................49
8 Celebrating Others' Creativity....................55
9 Celebrating Community Creativity....................61
10 Knowing God as Never Before....................69
11 Growing More Amazing Every Day....................75
12 Sharing the Beauty of Your Life....................81
Leader's Guide....................87
About the Author....................113
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