By Moira Gardener
Usually when we think of creativity we think of fine arts,
works of literature, or perhaps a ballet. But take a look at the first
chapter of Genesis. If we think about how we are created in God’s image,
and God as a creator, we gain a different understanding of creativity.
Creativity means more than artistic endeavour, it means to use our
imagination to make something unique. It can be physical like art, or
abstract like problem solving. If we take a closer look at Genesis 1 we
learn a lot from God himself.
The first two things
to notice are God begins with problem solving, and Spirit is present.
Before He starts he takes a formless void and makes heaven and earth.
This solves the problem of what to put his creations on. The second
thing we read is “the Spirit of God hovered over the waters” (Genesis
1:2). Spirit is present from the beginning. Creativity is a spiritual
act, its anything imagined and unique coming out of us into the world.
He didn’t stop there, God continued to act. After this preparation of
dispelling a void and introducing Spirit, He began the six days of
creation starting with something abstract, light. Every individual has
something creative in them which needs to come out; nurture it,
encourage it. If God did not share creation there would still be a
formless void. If Newton didn’t share his thoughts we would not
understand gravity. If the entire artistic community kept their work to
themselves the world would be a drab place.
come to the days of creation where God continues with: the sky, land,
and sea. He added vegetation; complete with seeds and fruit bearing
trees. The sun, moon, and stars appeared followed by birds to fill the
air and sea creatures to populate the water. It isn’t until day six,
after the animals come to move along the land, that He creates mankind.
are unique, created in God’s own image with not only a body and mind,
but a spirit. We have the ability to solve problems and are designed to
be creative and as we exercise our creativity it draws us closer to Him.
We’re also given the job of caring for the rest of
creation. Now each of these works in the six days built upon the last;
until He put everything of himself into the final creation, mankind.
Each day He did something unique and at the end of it all God relaxed.
is a role model for our own creativity. We begin with something
formless and external, adding something within ourselves making
creativity a spiritual act. And as we proceed with the act of creating
things concrete or abstract, with time and perseverance, we have a body
of work. And what is imaged becomes something enjoyed by others.
key element in creativity often ignored is the seventh day. We must
come away from imaging and creating to rest. Rest comes in the form of
not simply stopping but in finding recreation or re – creation; anything
that fills us up. Creativity is both a filling up and a pouring out.
Both must be addressed.
How does this apply to teaching children about creativity?
1. Find their unique imagination (concrete or abstract).
2. Encourage them to act on their creative gift by nurturing and withholding criticism.
3. Encourage them in an area they enjoy.
4. Encourage them to persevere.
once the individual’s unique imagination is found nurture it, then;
encourage, encourage, encourage. When there is some mastery and the
learner is open some structure might be beneficial, with the right
What: Creativity is anything imaged and unique coming from inside to be shared in community.
When: We create by doing. It is not
always something that needs inspiration. We simply act and often it
comes out in our action. If we only wait for inspiration, we may never
We create everywhere in our communities. Look around, creativity is in
our galleries, our libraries, our buildings, our leaders, our children;
especially our children who still have an in tack imagination.
Who: Everyone who has ever imagined anything.
How: By finding, nurturing, and encouraging imagination; then acting on it.
CHECK IT OUT
Genesis 1:1 to 2:1 – This is the original acts of God as creator.
Exodus 1:22 – 2:10 - This is about using imagination to find a solution to a problem.
2 Samuel 23 1-2 - Using imagination to do what it is God created you to do. You are unique.
Matthew 5:14-16 – Using imagination to create more good in the world. You are God’s light.
Thursday, 2 October 2014
Monday, 8 September 2014
By Moira Gardener, Edited by Sarah Davidson
Where do our thoughts and actions come from? They come from the heart. Whatever we plant in our heart will come out our mouth and be reflected in our behaviour. So what we say to our children and how we act around them is what they will absorb and eventually reflect back to us. Therefore it’s important to consider what we wish to plant in those young hearts. What will serve them well?
A good place to start is reflecting on God’s love, and how He has their best interest at heart. It’s also important they know God doesn’t make junk, and as God breathed beings we are His masterpiece. Each of us is special and has been given talents and gifts to enjoy and share with others. To be created by a loving heavenly father is enough, we are enough right now. God will take us as we are and do great things if we let him. But we have to choose it.
This brings us to choice. Being responsible is a choice. Choice is the brakes to our thoughts and actions. We may think something unkind for example, but even when we have an unkind thought we choose what we do with it. Teaching the concept of taking every thought captive (2 Cor. 10:5) is a tool for life and a way to be responsible with our thoughts. To apply the brakes of choice when the unkind thought pops into our head prevents hurtful actions. This is not an easy one. It means paying attention and often praying to God to take our hurtful thoughts and replace them with His own.
Teaching our children to pray is another tool, continuing with our example- when the tongue gets away on us, pray for its taming. The ultimate goal is to make choices for good and choices for God. Look at it this way. Our life is like building a tree house. We can make plans using the materials given to us, find a suitable tree and build a solid house. Or we chose to slap it together any old way using the first tree we see and then play the blame game when it doesn’t work out. (It’s too easy to blame God or others for giving us junky material to build with.) Another choice would be to walk away never building the house at all, claiming it’s not our responsibility.
Each one of us is made for a purpose, and we will not have peace until it’s fulfilled. So we can do life the hard way by blaming or giving up; going our own way mistakenly believing we’re junk. Or we can trust God has a master plan for us and chose His way.
One way to be responsible is to believe God wants the best for us, taking the materials of our life and building a solid tree house filled with good thoughts and actions. The result is forward motion. Trust God for He gives us the right materials at the right time for building solid lives.
But how do we plant the seed of responsibility in our lives and the lives around us? By acting responsible ourselves, using words to build up, and having clear boundaries about what is acceptable behaviour. Refuse to believe the lies we’re not good enough, have no talent or gift. Decide not to blame God or others.
Instead step back and try to see what God sees. Then pick up some nails and a hammer and start building. God has the end in mind so leave it to him and choose words that build up, and actions that demonstrate love. The reward for being responsible is trust and freedom. When we do what we say we will do, we earn trust. Trusted individuals are given greater responsibility. In the end you earn the freedom to act independently making your own decisions which hopefully move you forward and bring you closer to God and those around you.
* Responsibility means owning our words and actions and choosing to do the right thing for a positive outcome.
* We become responsible when we do the small things correctly and then earn the trust that we can be responsible for bigger things. In the end responsibility leads to freedom, maturity, and hopefully healthy relationships with God and human kind.
* Responsibility begins in the heart and becomes thoughts and actions. This is why it’s important to hide God’s word in the heart which becomes love in action poured out for building up ourselves and each other.
* We are responsible for ourselves: So own your thoughts, actions, and choices.
Monday, 1 September 2014
Romans says, "As it is written, “How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the good news!” " So this month I pray for your feet! Well, I pray for where your feet take you, and the light that you shine, and the hope that you share along the way.
I pray for the picketing lines you walk; the line ups you stand in at the stores, and the tip toes you stand on to reach the top shelf.
I pray for the house you walk around, the office you stand in and the pedals your feet touch to drive.
I pray for safety; for God-honouring responses (Philippians 1:7); and for strength, peace and boldness for you.
I pray that your feet will be fitted with the readiness of the gospel of peace (Eph 6), and that God uses you wherever you walk, to make a Kingdom difference. I pray that as you walk, you will be His ambassadors, confidently claiming that ground for His Kingdom.