So it's been a minute since i updated this blog i have been incredibly busy over this past year between the NLDNUK annual 2017 conference, various craft shows and Paint n Sip classes in the Nottingham market square beach which we launched on a trial over the summer soon to return for winter wonderland 2017! I wanted to connect with you again after the conference to share our story thus far so you know a little bit more about us.
It all began 2011 with a prophetic word spoken by the leader of the National liturgical dance network Rev Eyesha which was in response to some very humble chalk drawings I decided to carve into paper back in 2011. At that time i had a LONG break of creative expression, stuck in a boring admin job and drawing little pictures on post it notes a far cry since first studying Art formally at college and throughout school. It was so hard back then to understand why i was not already walking in my creative journey right after finishing uni.
...And then it HAPPENED!
The 2011 NLDNUK was the first time i saw beautifully adorned dancers praising God. And as i stood there watching these incredible dancers i decided i wanted to capture it through art. After a life changing visit to New York in 2012
i was filled with a fresh new enthusiasm to walk boldly in creative arts. The following year God opened doors for a multi purpose art studio which myself my Family, Rachel Williams, Rachael Miller and many other creatives came together at different seasons in collaboration of community events and workshops click here for our online gallery..
We worked with creative business organisations such as NBV and their creative enterprise program and launched several creative community projects including the creative Christmas card project with thanks to artist Zoee reid who led the workshop we even helped launched a Fashion show fundraiser working with a charity called “we are here” who specialises in providing therapeutic counselling within mental health. Things where on the rise, but as I transitioned for a year in Birmingham for work we lost the ability to keep things on the same momentum. Sadly we closed the door to our beautiful studio in 2016 a decision beyond our control but like in the story of Abraham when he was blessed on his journey we inherited so many art materials and equipment received by the studio owners.
The turning point
I can genuinely say at this point of 3 years keeping a incredible studio and doing all the projects we did that i believed the prophetic word had been fulfilled and that door had closed for creative art ministry, it was then that i received another prophetic word in 2016 about beginning just paint n sip with a focus of bringing fun creative art classes to the community inside and outside the church for everyone. I received donations of art supplies to get us started and a further two random donations of canvases and paints. Thinking back when I first decided that I wanted to draw and paint I never knew God would want to use this desire as a tool for ministry, connectivity and healing. Sometimes you can journey through so many internal battles that God constantly wants you to push through and believe beyond what your eyes are seeing. So as i'm now writing this the story still continues, I still wonder at all the things 6 years has brought so far, knowing that there is still so much to do with creative ministry in the UK and beyond and so excited to meet new artists along the way.
My continued hope is to be a platform of creative expression in Arts, music, Design, dance you name it! for there to be no boundaries to what creatives can do for the Kingdom and to see artists realise their potential and walk boldly in their gifting. To connect and collaborate, empower and to be financially able to do so. Has it been easy? NOPE! not only has it been a process of personal growth and healing it had been a learning curve technically with the gifting but i'm learning everyday to be faithful to the call despite the trials and challenges God is looking for willing hearts, that will trust in him throughout all those seasons.
If this is something you feel led to do i would love to stay in touch with you and support you on your journey.
A few things..
God bless & REMEMBER its never too late to begin your creative journey today
Day after day we are faced with so many options. On occasion our days are mostly planned out in advance,the usual routine,
but how do we come to a balanced place to make the right decisions at the right time??
Lets explore this together!
So, here is my story: After craving a midday snack at my local joint I trolled through the savoury delights of the glistening Wosits crisps and BBQ flavoured Pringle's. Knowing that I've set a goal for healthy weight loss and after a excruciating 2 days of crazy gym work out
I was left with 2 options. Either go for something tasty and quick OR choose something healthy & nutritious? It suddenly dawned on me that life can be a combination of the two different scenarios. Starting from a heart desire birthed in us we often seek God regarding the strong impulses on our heart and in some cases when a opportunity presents itself some of us rush to take the first opportunity.
Lately I have been heavily engrossed in a new book entitled "The wait" by Authors Meagan good & Devon Franklin the book is mainly centred about their journeys together in the world of Hollywood and fame and how they overcame a lot of the fleshly urges as they waited to hear from God in celibacy towards each other before getting married. Not only does the book touch on the act of celibacy in a relationship it also delves into the process of waiting in every other area in your life.
Throughout this book Devon touches on weight loss and the process of exercising towards a planned goal but also making the right decisions that will lead you closer to that goal, the process of losing weight is not instant results it is delayed results over a period of time and it comes through a concious effort day by day by making the right choices born out of your own free will.
A captivating observation was the line on page 11
practising strategic patience means understanding the difference between the two types of waiting:
1. The type of Waiting that you actively choose
2. Waiting when you have no other choice but to wait (paraphrase)
Now this Blog entry was not meant to be a book review but reading the book stirred this question regarding the decisions making process.
Observing the classic Garden of Eden Adam and Eve scenario where there was no lack in sight what so ever! Beautiful garden,
trees & fruit you name it but God gave Adam & Eve a clear instruction, he told them not to eat of THIS particular tree or you will
How often does God trust us to make the right decision based on his will for our lives when we are not left by default to select the obvious choice? Adam & Eve had options! the tree was not heavily guarded by angels with swords it was open access.
They made a choice out of their own free will and unfortunately for us this was not part of Gods plan for humanity.
What I realised is that God wants to be in a position in your heart that you desire his will above all else because ultimately whatever decisions you need to make today will be left in his hands & the outcome will not only be beneficial to you but also to the others God wants to bless through your obedience.
There is a difference when God trusts us and wants us to come into agreement with him regarding a particular decision to when out of a hardened heart we make decisions out of the flesh and either through circumstance or a wake up call, God has to put us through stuff to get us back on track classic example is the story of the Israelites journey's in the wilderness.
A person who is forced to do something out of obligation or circumstance will have a different heart towards the task to the person who really has been lead and is in agreement with God.
Our flesh will always fight us on what is holy and acceptable to God,Jesus even said "Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak. Matt 26:41
Now sometimes we do get it wrong and make the wrong decisions and Praise be to God by his grace he rescues us and protects us even when sometimes when we don't even realise it. But ultimately the tests in life is there to grow us and refine us as imitators of Christ to strengthen the word in us, to test our hearts and our confession as to whether they are coming from a place of honesty and humility which ultimately will birth a deeper revelation and understanding of what the bible teachings actually mean so we can better communicate and be witnesses in the world.
If you are in the middle of making a life altering decision God is trusting that you will seek him on the matter. If you haven't received a clear instruction keep praying trusting that when the decision is finally made it will be born out of his will and timing and not your own panic state. When presented with many options know that God again has put you in a position to exercise your free will but his desire is for you to come in agreement with his word and make a decision by being lead by his spirit.
Whatever you are going through today I pray God will lead you and guide on the right path and at the appointed time. Keep trusting and waiting to hear from God concerning the plans he has for you. Isaiah 40:31 (KJV) But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run , and not be weary ; and they shall walk , and not faint .
Art from the Heart
As I reflect on what would be the first Blog post of many on our new and improved website I was led to consider the condition of the heart., which is important to know because it affects what we do and why we do them.
The heart represents the primary life source of our physical bodies but also a gateway into our core belief systems.
We process through our heart and minds and make a lot of life changing decisions through the centre of what we accept as truth. Our heart sets the beat on how we even react to any given situation the heart plans, makes commitments, and decides and the bible has a good definition of secrets of our hearts in Luke 6:45 ...out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks.(NJKV)
Where the heart may be inaccessible to man God clearly sees our hearts and tests, examines it to verify the treasures we have and where we keep them. (proverbs 21:2)
Matthew 6:21 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also (NKJV)
As the mouth reveals what is the heart, the ear determines what goes into it. The father tells his son to "store up my commands within you"; he then adds: by "turning your ear to wisdom, and you will incline your heart to understanding" ( Prov 2:2 )-excerpt from biblestudytools.com
Our heart can be a very dangerous weapon if it is not renewed in line with the Fathers heart
(Jer 17:19/Mark 7:21) but equally we are urged to desire the things that will purify our hearts. When we adhere to wisdom and choose to want wisdom so will our hearts fully grasp the understanding we need to live out Gods commands with our hearts in agreement with God. Our hearts can become hardened when we lack understanding or when we store up the wrong treasures that lead us to wrong thinking Mark 6:52
Psm 51:10 Create in me a pure heart, and renew a right spirit within me.
Its important to recognise through a broken heart what instruments or "glue" we choose to heal that damage. You see when we manually try and fix things we get it wrong.We suppress our feelings and sometimes harbour wrong thinking and thoughts that can manifest in un-forgiveness, bitterness and so much other seeds.
When these seeds are planted into our hearts our character gets adjusted we react and make decisions from a place of pain rather than from a healed restored place of a renewed and clean heart.
Psalms is filled with praise choruses but shows how the Lord is there for us when our heart has been broken.
Psalm 34:18 The LORD is close to the broken hearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.
Just as our physical hearts was designed to pump live giving blood around our bodies so can a damage heart circulate every part of you. As you reflect on where your heart is today we can choose to give our hearts daily to God by trusting in him.
Proverbs 3: 5 states Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.
And ultimately when we choose to Love the Lord our God with all your heart he will guide us in the wisdom in all matters that govern our hearts and ALL its desires.
Art from the heart