Throw up first

throw up I am teaching a workshop on the creative process in March at The Worship Conference. I am having similar feelings as I do when given opportunities to teach God's Word; who am I to teach this? All is grace!

Same as intimate connection with God, moments and periods of creativity are exactly that; moments! [Tweet That] We all have times when God seems as distant as our creativity. As a follower of Jesus, I believe the two are intimately connected. I am my most creative when I am most connected to the heart of God.

There are practical steps to take for jumpstarting that intimacy, and there are practical steps for jumpstarting your creativity. I will communicate those in my workshop in March, but one I will communicate in a great quote I just came across.

"Throw up into your typewriter every morning. Clean up every noon." - Raymond Chandler

How Faith-based is Your Organization?

What a strange descriptor for organizations! How can I really call my organization 'faith-based'? What would really qualify it as such? Does my organization... - have assurance of things it hopes for - have a conviction for things we cannot actually see - have a relentless trust in God that goes beyond our projected goals and budget - trust more in God's providing than its own talents, gifts, and leadership - say "God's grace and gospel are sufficient for me" before saying "insufficient funds" - trust the Holy Spirit is accomplishing great things with or without us - take risks that can only be described as faithful - step out on nothing to land on something - come to the end of things with an awe that it actually happened the way it did - give more credit to God than the team

How "faith-based" is your organization?

You're Welcome: Young Me, Now Me

I'm gonna start a reoccurring post idea here called: "You're Welcome".

Every once in a while you come across a website that just steals your attention right from under you. You may not even know why, but you find yourself just mindlessly clicking through because you just have to see

These will be things I find to share with you; things before you thank me for showing, I'll just say, "You're welcome!"


Several months ago, I came across Young Me, Now Me by a guy named Ze Frank.

The idea is that people contribute pictures of them when they were much younger along with a picture of them today re-enacting that same picture to the strongest detail they can.

Take a break from thinking for a second and go enjoy.

*I also heard that Young Me, Now Me was recently highlighted on Modern Family. Its Tivo'd. Don't ruin it for me.


Yield [poem]

Love is a relentless preference. for one person over another. any other. over you. There is, in love, the surrender of entangled fingers behind the head. This is not an emotion. it is not a feeling. It is an arrest. You are to cease your insincerity. and prohibit whatever pride you contain and

give up


*one of those poems that started strong and just could not get finished


When your creativity is waning, the most likely change needed is that of your own mindset. This could look any variety of ways. Two are strong possibilities. 1. You are Jealous Unless a speaker or writer really really impresses me or makes me think differently than I had before I heard them, I am generally dismissive of them as a speaker and author. Two things I have not pursued or gone after! But something in me is dismissive and unimpressed.

This thing within is jealousy. Jealousy is basically a part of you that is convinced there can only be one of something, and you are not that one.

The problem lies in that most things can have more than one of them. It is possible for there to be more than one artist within whatever artistry you pursue. But that part of you that gets FRUSTRATED when someone else accomplishes something you know you can do is jealousy.

2. You Don't Dream  This is just simple psychology. I have read of a few different studies that show our minds are their most creative when they are allowed to disengage from the rigidity. Our brains are most creative when they are allowed to wander without force. Set time to make that happen!


What mindset change needs to happen for you to be more creative?


Hector is one of my most important friends. Though I rarely see him, he is still vital to my life. Why? Because he is one of my most inspirational friends. This is not one of those, "he's been through the ringer so he is inspirational" type stories. Hector is a go-getter. He is an image of carpe diem. He is one who follows his inspiration with abandon...always.

Every time I sit down coffee or beer with Hector, I walk away ready to create. At times it is a simple situation of being inspired by someone who follows his dreams. Other times it is an issue of him demanding that I create and not accepting any excuse I prepare for him.

If your creativity is waning, surround yourself with inspirational and creative people. Surround yourself with people who will not only inspire you but demand creativity out of you.

Surround yourself with friends who will not accept any excuse you give, no matter how good the excuse is.


Tell me, on one sentance, about the most inspirational person in your life right NOW.



The saying goes, "Garbage in; garbage out." Creativity can be reapplied to this saying. If your creativity output is lacking, take a look at your intake. Are you listening to the same music over and over? Find a new artist and see if your creativity does not take a new jolt. Try an entirely different genre than your usual and see what new ways your creativity is sparked. Listen to some more creative podcasts (search "spoken word" "TEDTalks" "IndieFeed" or "The Moth" to get started)

Do you only read a certain kind of book? Mix up between fiction and non-fiction, leadership and fun, self-help and trash. Browse more magazines. (you don't HAVE to read every article)

Watch a more artistic movie (I think you're supposed to call them "films").

Change your intake of things and see whether your creative output doesn't begin to change in return.


What are your most inspirational intake?



All the changes we need to make in order to see our creativity return are breaks in the rut of routine so many of us find ourselves in. If you are looking at what you do and see a lack of the creativity you know is within you, one of the first changes you can try to make is ENVIRONMENT.

The environment and atmosphere you exist in have incredible impacts on our creativity. There are certain places you exist in that squash any remaining breath of creative air you might have, and there are others which are like pulling a little tank full of compressed creativity to your nostrils. Find the latter places. 

More often than not, your office is NOT a creative place. Your bedroom is not a creative place. Your home is not always a creative place.

Change your environment for a few minutes on your lunch break and breathe in the possibility of creativity in the midst of your day.

Change your environment for a couple hours and set some fresh creative roots.

Change your environment or a weekend or a week and reboot your creativity all-together.


What are your most creative environments?



Creativity is an ethereal animal it seems. There are times it is strong and heavy on you, while there are other times it seems to avoid you like an newly broken up ex. When we want creativity to flow, we more often than not expect to wake up creative one day. We expect a breath of fresh air to flip the switch in our brain back over to "creative". It rarely works.

You have to make changes in the creative process if you want to see a change in production of creativity. 

This week is dedicated to the things we need to change in order to get back to the creativity we all love and crave. All the changes are part of a process. Creativity may be an inherent gift, but maintaining creativity is a process.

Faith Budget: oxymoron

It was a classic case of, "Oh yeah, I've heard of that book, but who is [author's name]." I had heard plenty about Radical. Several friend have read and raved about it, but I had never heard the name David Platt until my time at Catalyst. Putting the book with its author's name was only the beginning. David is an example of James 3:17. His wisdom is considerate, full of mercy, impartial, and sincere, but it is incredibly bold and blunt (as it should be).

I am king of honing in on statements probably meant to be 'filler' or flippant, because the statement David said that struck me most was:

"Budget season is where we come face to face with how little we trust God's word."

I have always said that if your creativity is based on your budget, then you aren't creative at all. But this statement cuts a bit deeper.

I remember the first time I heard the term "faith budget". It was a term I was never taught in all my ministry classes. Once I learned how a faith works, I got used to determining what I would seek to accomplish in ministry based on how much my budget offered me to do.

This quote was not easy to hear or apply. Truth often has this effect.

When budget season comes around, it inevitably comes with stress. Why is that? It is because we are worried. We are worried whether or not we will have the money to continue the things we are doing in ministry. We are worried whether or not we will have the money to accomplish the dreams we had for ministry this coming year. We are worried whether we will have the money to accomplish all the evangelistic methods we have acquired. (What a shame Jesus didn't have the advanced evangelistic methods we have today.)

But the starker reality is that we are worried that God's grace and the gospel of Jesus is not really sufficient. We are worried that Christ and him crucified might not be enough.

I'd say the Holy Spirit is accomplishing great things without the resources and budgets that we have here in the American Church, but we have come up with so much stuff to get us and others excited about he needed those things to prove how incredible he is.

I need to change some things...


* David Platt's Church and David Platt's Book

*Catalyst Debrief