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Hey you! Yes you on the other side of this screen. You with the coffee mug, taking a break from “the real world” by scrolling through social media.

I was just wondering…

Would you consider yourself creative? Maybe an artist of some sort? A dreamer, teacher, planner, organizer, designer?

No, this isn’t a job application. But if you’re a maker of any kind—food, songs, events, babies, words, gardens, ideas, conversation—it’s because there’s something planted inside of you; something in your soul that’s dying to bust out.

Well guess what? He started it.

God was the first creative—our Creator. “In the beginning God created…” (Genesis 1:1) and He never stopped. Not only did He sling planets into the galaxies and purposefully design each unique fingerprint, but He also created us to keep creating.

I’m not talking about mere paintings or the hundreds of DYI projects you’ve pinned but probably won’t ever get to. I’m talking about how our individually-constructed minds were created SO THAT we might bring glory to God and draw others to Him—in our own unique ways.

Can I tell you about my friend, Kristin?

Kristin is solid and steady with a bit of sass—which I appreciate. She embodies what it means to be a sold-out follower of Christ and continually lives a life worth following. She and her husband serve like crazy, are willing to do whatever it takes to bring people to Him, and have helped start multiple churches. All of these things are great, but there’s something else I want to highlight:

Kristin goes to a strip club every Monday night.

That’s right… A strip joint, a nudie bar, a gentleman’s club (although I’ve never understood that phrase).

Kristin and a handful of other gals take dinner to some women working at this particular place of employment every Monday night. They hang notes and Bible verses next to the dancing schedules on the bulletin board in the break room. They also bring gifts around the holidays and have even thrown multiple baby showers for some of the women who were expecting.

And no, they don’t stick around for the show (in case you were wondering).

Many of these “dancers” have found themselves in desperate places—just trying to make ends meet. It might not seem like much, what Kristin and her friends are doing, but it is. Every single week, they have the opportunity to show up. To show up once again and shower these ladies with food and consistency and love and the hope of Jesus.

“We live in separate worlds,” Kristin told me, “but still fight the same battles and are loved and forgiven by the same God.”

And that is the bottom line, y’all. God doesn’t discriminate. “We” are not better than them and “they” are not worse off than us. In fact, there is no us and them. We are all lost and broken without a Savior to pave the way home.

And while the futures of these women are uncertain, we know God is working. There’s a lot of planting going on. A lot of watering and praying and continuing to show God’s relentless pursuit of them in the meantime—because God often works miracles right in the messy middle. And I truly believe that one day there will be fruit and a harvest and souls who have a safe eternity because someone wasn’t afraid to show them the love of Jesus in an out-of-the box way.

So here is my question…

What are you doing? What am I doing? What are we doing—collectively, together—to get creative, think bigger, get our hands dirty, and love on those who need Him most? God gave us brains, after all. How can we leverage our passions and convictions and wild-card ideas for Kingdom gain?

Some of us are visionaries, some developers, some make-it-happeners, some evaluators, and some encouragers. But we ALL have something to give.

“For God is working in you, giving you the desire and the power to do what pleases him.” (Philippians 2:13)

I just love that verse. He gives us the desire AND the power. It’s all Him! And by His design, He uses His people to reach even more of His people.

So what do you have to give away? And I don’t just mean stuff. What part of you do you have to offer? A hug, a smile, a compliment? A second chance, an invitation, the gift of forgiveness? What talents are you sitting on? What passions are hiding dormant, collecting dust on a shelf of excuses somewhere? What can be used for the sole purpose of bringing glory to His name?

One of my friends is fostering the sweetest baby boy, on top of raising her other three.

Another is in the medical field, shining light into the darkness every single day.

Another is using her coffee-maker to unite and encourage tired momma’s in her area.

Another is using her past brokenness and present redemption to inspire married couples who have found themselves in a tough place.

Another is using her stilettos and #girlboss status to make a Kingdom dent in the corporate world.

Another is using her passion for fitness and worship to teach Holy Yoga classes.

Another is donating ice-chests of her frozen breastmilk to a family adopting a newborn.

Another is using her kitchen table and love for food to make Biblical community happen.

Another pays for the person behind her every time she goes to Starbucks, and includes an invite card to her church.

Another teaches her kids about serving by handing out water bottles to the homeless.

Another sends a handwritten note of encouragement to one friend, family member, or stranger every day.

 

The possibilities are literally endless.

 

So what do you have? Give it away. What are your gifts? Stop hoarding them. What’s your passion? Do something—anything.

Take the step. Make the move. Create, cultivate, and give it away.

Entirely for the glory of the One who started it.

 

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I’ve always had a thing for words.

As a scrawny, white-headed third grader I published my very own book. Sure, “Jennifer’s Magic Mystery” was certainly mysterious (for lack of a better word) and only made possible because of a make-your-own-stuff-and-send-it-off company.

But it was mine, and I was proud of it.

I remember the typewriter in my Nunnie and Grandpa’s sunroom at the back of their house, where my elementary fingers spent hours dancing over the keys. The best part of that dusty ol’ thing was its innovative delete button, which stamped a painfully sheer coating of milky-white smudge over a mistake—something “outdated” typewriters couldn’t do.

It was around the awkward middle school years when I became a professional note-writer. The ancient form of texting. There were notes upon notes upon notes—about friends, about boys, about anything and nothing at all. Actually, can we just take a moment of silence to give honor to the fact that social media wasn’t yet in existence? ALL THE PRAISE HANDS IN EVERY COLOR. Amen.

My 9th grade Sunday school teacher, Jaime, gave me a flowery citrus-colored journal and encouraged me to start scribbling down prayers, verses, and random thoughts about God. So I did. I wrote about what He was showing me and would regurgitate it to unsuspecting peers at a hole-in-the-wall cafe around sunrise every Wednesday.

I still have it—that journal—sitting on a shelf at the back of my closet. That doesn’t make me a hoarder, does it?

I edited yearbooks in high school, studied journalism in college, and continue to be involved with way too many books at one time. Besides the Bible, my favorite is Little Women. Partly because it’s timeless and partly because of the joy I feel when Jo finally breaks through her own wall of silly compositions and mystic fantasies, and instead writes about real life. Her life.

I used to blog off and on, but then life happened. I got busy having babies and nursing babies and chasing babies and launching a few new campuses through our church with my pastor hubby. Somewhere along the way it rightfully lost its spot on the Top Priority List, falling victim to the abandoned blogosphere on the sketchy outer webs.

But here I am again—feeling the pull to make subtle whispers evident through these ordinary buttons.

There’s something about scratching out messy words onto the blank canvas of an empty notebook, a barren screen, or even an unwarranted Starbucks napkin. And I know I’m not alone. Hashing out thoughts on something tangible helps a bunch of us to think, focus, process, and grow. Even worship. When I can’t get the words to leave my mouth, my fingertips might still be persuaded.

Clearly, God started this thing for written communication. He gave us His Word that has been preserved and protected and passed down for thousands of years and buckets of generations.

Philippians 1:10 says, “For I want you to understand WHAT REALLY MATTERS, so that you may live pure and blameless lives until the day of Christ’s return.”

That’s it; that’s my goal.

Not only do I want to understand what really matters, but I also want to remember it. 18th century writer Dr. Samuel Johnson said, “Men more frequently require to be reminded than informed.” And I couldn’t agree more. (Those dead theologians really knew what they were talking about.)

We forget, don’t we? We forget to remember. 

And we could all use some backup every now and then. Reminders that point us back to our Creator, back to the foot of the cross, and back to what matters most.

So remind us, Lord, of you. From here, from there, and everywhere in between.

 

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