Do you consider yourself a creative person? What creative outlets do you have, or rather how many do you give yourself permission to have? For most of my adult life, I did not give myself permission to pursue creativity and I wasn't open to the fact that I may be creative. My self-image was that of an administrator and creativity and administration were at odds with one another -- or so I thought.
Are you creative? If your answer is no, then perhaps you need to expand the way you view creativity and, consequently, view yourself. If you are open to that possibility, then I urge you to read on.
Adam was made by God to be creative and we are Adam’s children. After God created Adam, He invited Adam to enter into the creative process by naming the animals: “Now the Lord God had formed out of the ground all the beasts of the field and all the birds of the air. He brought them to the man to see what he would name them; and whatever the man called each living creature, that was its name. So the man gave names to all the livestock, the birds of the air and all the beasts of the field” (Genesis 2:19-20). Adam decided what the animals were to be called; it was an expression of his creative dominion in the Garden.
Now this is not what happened. God brought an animal and Adam stared at it, dumbfounded. After an awkward silence, God leaned over and whispered in Adam's ear: "Zebra," and Adam said, "Zebra! God said, "Very good." Then God brought another animal and the same scenario repeated itself, with Adam simply giving back to God what he heard God say.
That is the image some believers have of creativity. God "lays it on their hearts" and they respond. What's wrong with this picture of creativity? It makes man simply a receiver, sort of like antenna for heavenly broadcasts. I just don't think when I make someone laugh that God put that humorous comment 'on my heart.' I think God gave me my humor gift and I use it creatively when I observe some situation, see the funny side to it and express it. God determined I would make people laugh, brings me the situations and then I creatively interpret them.
YOU ARE OH SO CREATIVE!
I hope you get the picture. Like Adam, you are creative and God wants and needs you to express your creativity in everyday life. Stop saying you aren’t creative—you are! And stop seeing yourself as simply taking dictation for God's creative thoughts. That is part of your creativity, but it's not all of it. To help you along, I have assembled a sample of creative expressions from past studies on creativity and that list is posted on my website. Take a look at that list and see how many expressions are present in your life and then, settle once and for all your take on your own creativity.
Perhaps then you will see yourself as creative, which is just how the Lord wants you to see yourself. Once you see yourself as creative, you will give yourself permission to pursue and release creativity in ways not possible up to this point in your life. As you do, I know you will have a great week!
KENYA UPDATE: I have no Kenya update again this week, but I still have an urgent need. I am heading over to Kenya on July 31 and I know our ministry friends there are counting on our help when we come. There are needs in the orphanages, at our library and among the widows. Will you help me put together a financial blessing to take with me? You can give through my website or by sending a tax-deductible check to PurposeQuest, PO Box 8882, Pittsburgh, PA 15221-0882.
I have a sense that someone out there reading this is considering a large gift to Kenya. If you are that person, I can only encourage you not to be afraid. Have faith, trust God and be obedient. I promise we will put it to good use.
STILL HAVE AN URGENT LOCAL NEED: We are in need of new warehouse space in which to store our year-round Kenya collections. Space that is climate controlled and forklift accessible is preferred. If you have any leads or space, please let me know.
NEW BOOKS: I released another new book this week, a devotional entitled A String of Pearls: Wisdom for Productive People. A few weeks ago, I released two other devotionals: A Daily Taste of Proverbs and earlier this year What Would Jesus Ask You Today? All three of these books are available in Kindle or paper version and make great gifts for individuals or study guides for small groups.
BASEBALL GAME: The annual fundraising baseball game at PNC Park to benefit Kenya widows and orphans will take place this year on Tuesday, August 19. For the mere price of $1,000, you will be treated to great food, wonderful fellowship and a great baseball game (we hope) between the Pirates and the Braves. Perhaps you can't attend but you can give so that someone can represent you that evening. Perhaps your organization can contribute and buy a ticket for someone. Contact me now to reserve your ticket(s) for the game. So far I have sold six, so make sure you respond soon to be part of the big night.