Eternal Poet

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Artists and Their Declarations (or Let, Get, Set)

In artists, inspirational on February 12, 2013 at 1:00 am

Art knows your thoughts. The foundation of art is a revelation from the imagination.  In other words, a work of art didn’t exist until you brought it forth. Your artwork is original to all humanity. You gave art your voice. Your creative expression was a declaration from your imagination. Your heart drove you to create it. If you didn’t create it then perhaps you would’ve died. You birth art.

Art is alive and has the chance to affect your legacy. Your creative expressions will surpass your life. Your artistic endeavors are a tangible legacy. Your art is like a word spoken into reality. God created by using a word. He spoke the word “let”.

Art has authority over reality. It gathers earthly elements and forms an admirable object of expression. With your intention, art can transform aspects of reality into a self-exposed statement. Art is similar to the creation story.

Let – “Let” means giving reality permission to do what i tell it to do. 

When God spoke, “Let there be light,” He was giving reality permission to do what He told it to do. Let me say it again: He gave reality permission to do what He told it to do. Even so, what motivated the “let” to be spoken in the first place? The “let” was motivated by love. Scripture tells us God is love. Love motivated the declaration of “let”. Jesus commanded us to love our neighbors as ourself. First we have to love ourself. Jesus makes it easy for us to love ourself. There’s no guilt, shame, sin, sorrow with Jesus. He makes it easy for us to say “i love me”. He makes it easy for us to forgive our regrets and selfish ways. When you love yourself you allow “let” to flourish. You create authority over your life with love. Your declarations then alter reality. This leads to us getting what we declare.

Why do we get what we declare?

Get – “Get” receives from reality what it became after reality obeyed.

After God released the word “let” from His interior into the exterior… after He spoke it, He expected  what would follow. God knew He would receive what He declared. God declared, “Let there be light, and there was light.” It’s that simple. God got, because He expected to get. You get the benefits of declaring love into reality. We’re made in the image of God. We’re not God. But He fashioned us to reflect His personality. Seek His love. Part of His personality is to disperse love. Declaring an act with expectation to receive the act is just wanting to get what you hope for. Therefore i say, “get” receives from reality what it became after reality obeyed. A declaration means reality is penetrated by a new sound. Airwaves of love shock reality, and realign purpose. What you declare gets catapulted into the unseen. In the unseen, a shift takes place and reality begins to crack open like a seed. The love poured through a declaration bursts through the shell of the seed. Since reality can’t resist the growth, or the birth, of new fruit, then one can conclude that reality obeys. So we receive from reality what it became, which is a new reality. Our future changes. Don’t let the evil one take away your reality by keeping you quiet. Don’t allow the enemy to stifle your creative expressions – which are declarations!

How can we set something into motion?

Set – “Set” is permanently placing reality on course.

We all know that declaring something in your life will have an everlasting impact. You declare a word. Reality then conforms to the word you declared. This is why you become what you declare. It’s your authority over reality through the power of Jesus – the living Word – that makes this possible. It’s not so much you change yourself. That’s Jesus’ job. Jesus changes us. We conform to the image of Christ – seeking God with all our heart, soul, mind and strength. It’s that reality changes. This is the power we’ve been given by being created in God’s image. After we get from reality what’s been declared then we have set a new future. Therefore i say, “set” is permanently placing reality on course. We set into motion what was meant to be. We set into motion prosperity, righteousness. We set into motion a deeper intimacy with Father God. We become transfixed on Jesus. We crave Holy Spirit – God’s presence. Set is the completion of our full authority. It’s sort of like healing the unseen future. A declaration is like resetting a broken bone into the distant reality. It’s a healing. This means better health. This means achieving one’s full potential as an artist – as a creative being. The more you permanently place reality on course the closer you’ll come to a literal “pure imagination.” Yes your love will achieve new heights. But as artists, so will how we think about art, what we’ll create, what we’ll dare to create, what we’ll risk to express our love both to God and humanity. Now go and be the artist you were created to be!

i thought of this revelation on Sunday, Feb. 10th, 2013, while at In-&-Out Burgers and Fries with friends. Thanks Holy Spirit.


Artistic Identity

In artists, identity, inspirational on February 10, 2013 at 7:00 am

You don’t have to know everything about art to be an artist. You just have to use what you like about it to create more of it.

It’s not humanely possible to admire every work of art since the beginning of time. You’re never going to watch every movie ever produced. Nor will you view every single painting ever made. You’re cannot read the complete works of every poet from every country. The same with the novel. You can’t physically do it in one lifetime.

Each year you come face to face with particular works of art and not every art piece. Have you ever wondered why?

Let’s begin with the observation aspect. You’ll observe a certain amount of the world’s art within your lifetime.  Yes, you are limited to enjoying artistic expressions. But i believe it is not an accident for you to encounter the art you encounter. i believe God has a hand in leading you to particular artistic expressions and not “all” art.

God wants you to reach the fullness of who you are. So He introduces you to art that will enhance your identity. God knows what’s best to inspire your expression and increase obsession for Him.

Let’s say a person dies having only watched one movie in their lifetime. That one movie was the only movie they were destined to watch. It was destined to shape their identity. Life cannot be life without engaging art. This process may be called Predestined Art. But it is not the same as predestination.

Artistic expressions surround every aspect of life. The amount of artistic expressions you encounter in a lifetime is called Predestined Art. Predestined Art is art that is destined to shape you. What if this person who watched only one movie in their life so happened to watch the worst movie ever made(i.e. Plan 9 from Outer Space)? How would it shape their identity? Answer: The way art shapes you is up to you. You can repel its message or go into agreement with it. You can’t take back a song after hearing it. You can only adjust your Artistic Identity to it. You can’t take back a movie after watching it. You can only be wise about how it influences your personal artistic expression.

Predestined Art is an umbrella term used to define artistic expressions you encounter in your lifetime. Predestined Art is not art waiting for you in the future. It’s not art waiting for you to engage it. It’s neither in the past or the future. It is a lifetime of collected expression. You have the right to be shaped by it in a positive or negative way.

Observe yourself. Are you drawn to a particular genre of music, painting, film, dance, architecture? Perhaps you admire a particular generation’s artistic influence. It could be from the 1800s or ancient Egyptian art. The fact is you’re attracted to artistic expression other than your own. You’re compelled to admonish other works of art. Why?

i am convinced it’s because of an inherent spirit-craving. i believe this artistic craving begins at birth. Your spirit hungers for art. Your Artistic Identity is shaped by the art you consume. You were designed to crave a particular type of art. Whether you crave poetry, film, dance, painting, sculpting, acting, architecture, etc., the fact is you must satisfy this hunger. Daily choices feed your Artistic Identity. It’s kind of like always wanting to be around a particular person because they make you feel more like you. You may telephone that person. You may desire to hang around that person more and more. You intentionally seek the presence of that person. The more you hang around a particular art, the more you become you!

You may be attracted to a particular art form. Whether painting, music, poetry, dance, filmmaking, photography, singing, sculpting, praying, acting –  you prefer one of these over the other. You crave one of these categories of art over the others. Since you take pride in what you do and what you love as an artist, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that you choose to add to your favorite artistic expression. It’s random or rare that you taste other art forms. And if you expand your taste, your art-buds aren’t the type to continuously crave the new flavor. Great artists master their craft. Few artists, such as Michaelangelo, master many.

Art is contagious. Artistic expressions expand from one sphere of influence into another. The more you learn one area of art, the more interesting become other forms of art. Let me explain this differently. When i was 20 years old, i heard “Strawberry Fields Forever” by the Beatles. After that song, i wanted to hear every Beatles’ song. This soon led me to learning the guitar. In a matter of months, i went from being a listener to being a musician, songwriter, singer, etc. Combining art forms into your Artistic Identity may result in creativity influencing creativity.

Year after year, you may be attracted to the same arena of art. Is it for comfort reasons you re-attach yourself to the same art form? i don’t think so. You’re designed to crave a particular art form. Diligently pursue what your spirit craves. Or else you will have avoided your Artistic Identity. You’re specifically designed by God to crave an artistic art form. Your craving is not yours but His through you.

You’re intentionally placed at this section of the Timeline. You’re intentionally designed to favor a particular art form. And since you were placed inside this generation, long after certain art movements and within a modern art of the era, it’s only obvious that you’re privileged enough to appreciate art from early mankind up until the present. But this privilege is for one reason only. It’s to usher-in Christ’s return.

Merge the historical Timeline with the world of art. You end up with a museum stretching as far back as Adam and Eve. The Timeline is the historical art museum. And you get to share in the gallery of Timeline Art. The world’s most coveted art can be viewed in a book costing less than $20. You can buy the history of art. Realize the privilege of being born on the latter part of the Timeline. It’s an honor to be placed here and now!

Another honor is being born on this side of Calvary. Psalm 139 speaks about how God placed you at this particular section in history. We were born after Jesus died at Calvary. We live in the age when the Holy Spirit is more active in humanity than ever in history. When compared to others who came before us, we were placed one step closer to Jesus’ return.

You have an obligation to your generation. You’re obligated to use inspiration gathered from Predestined Art to widen the pathway for Christ’s return to earth. Jesus wants us to participate in His return. As Jesus entered Jerusalem, people placed palm branches before His path. Some people even shouted “Hosanna”. This is the way i see art’s purpose. Let’s prepare the earth for Jesus by decorating it with art that He’ll adore. Let’s decorate the earth with art that will honor a King. Let’s give our best to the one who sacrificed Himself to save us. As we lavish the earth with Kingdom Art, we’ll cause Jesus to draw closer. We can do this by fulfilling our Artistic Identity.

We must pave the way for Christ’s triumphal entry into the new Jerusalem. In doing so, you won’t feel the pressure to know who’ll be the latest culture craze in the art world. You don’t have to hear every rock n’roll song, or see every play, or watch every film. No! The art you’ve encountered is enough inspiration to fuel your Imagination, stir your Spirit and activate your Mind. Your love for Jesus should be transfixed on wanting to glorify Him so much that you associate His love with your Artistic Identity. And when you merge both love for Jesus and Predestined Art together then you use art to pave the way for His return! And in the process you become the creative being you were meant to be in eternity! It’s heavenly. It’s Kingdom-now mentality. Aspire to achieve your Artistic Identity.

Timeish Stuff

In artists, Imagination on September 25, 2012 at 8:28 am

All things imagined are under the subjection to Time. Our imaginations can only imagine as far as Time has existed. It’s impossible to imagine what God was doing before Time. So, into what did Time come? Into what was Time added?

The answer is God created infinite space and added Time to it. He says so in Job 38:5, calling Time a “measuring line” around earth. Thanks to Einstein we know that space and Time are intertwined. Thus the fabric of the universe, called “space-time” (4th dimension) was created “In the beginning.”

This is the reason i’m including Time as a topic in this section of verse 1. Still, Time’s role was not the Time we know. The Time we are familiar with began on the official first day of earth. Later in Genesis vv. 4-5, we read about the first “day” drawing to a close.

Before these verses scripture doesn’t mention the value of Time. And it wasn’t until Day 1 when God gave value to Time. The first day was basically a strong declaration by God that set 24 hours as a day. God called a section of Time “day” and another section of Time “night”. He pretty much said “I have officially divided Time, and declare Time to segment into 24 hours in order to form a day.”

God didn’t only want to make days out of Time. He created Time so His creations would be able to have experiences and retain memories of prior experiences. In the words of a great 20th Century poet T.S. Eliot:

Do I dare
Disturb the universe?
In a minute there is time
For decisions and revisions which a minute will reverse.
(The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock)

T.S. Eliot is saying that memories give the illusion to reverse the clock. The imagination takes us back in time by recalling past events, but we must press forward if we want to exist.

In a Timeless realm, could you or i have the capacity to organize eternal (a.k.a. unending) thoughts? Without Time, would we have access to every thought since no Past nor Future would exist? Would there be a sequence to our thoughts without Time?

Would we be able to experience one event without experiencing infinite events at once? Would infinite thoughts crush us if it were not for Time’s capacity to segment our thoughts? i don’t know the answer, this is why i’m asking these questions!

Staying Faithful to the Fatih

In artists on July 16, 2012 at 1:21 am

In the Old Testament, there are several stories of how Creatives used their craftsmanship to conquer the spiritual world and their enemies on earth. One of my favorite stories is when David plays the harp for Saul. God had departed from Saul and gave an evil spirit authority to torment him. Saul forgot God during his reign and began to follow other gods. He, like Adam and Eve, turned against God first, before God departed from him.

One of Saul’s attendants comes up with this idea to find someone who can play the harp for the king to feel better. David’s reputation as a harpist was known by one of the court servants. We can conclude that David had not been shy about playing. This servant knew about David’s musical skills. And because David shared his musical talent and because David was a man after God’s own heart, he was given an opportunity to glorify God. Scripture says:

Whenever the spirit from God came upon Saul, David would take his harp and play. Then relief would come to Saul; he would feel better, and the evil spirit would leave him. 1 Samuel 16:23

There’s more than meets the eye here. i really want to point out Saul’s attendant who came up with this idea to find a harpist to play. It was the attendant who told Saul “He will play when the evil spirit from God comes upon you, and you will feel better.” This attendant must’ve had great faith. It sort of reminds me of the story of the Centurion who astonished Jesus with his faith. He told Jesus, “just say the word, and my servant will be healed” (Matthew 8:8).

So which was it? Was it the attendant’s faith, or David’s anointing which resulted in the healing? In a few verses earlier (v13), David was anointed by Samuel with a horn of oil and “the Spirit of the Lord came upon David in power.”

Could it be both? David was a practiced musician. Prior to being anointed he practiced his music. He had never healed anyone before this or driven away spirits with his music. He killed a bear and lion, but didn’t heal anyone. After David was anointed the Spirit of the Lord stayed upon him and with “power” scripture says. David was described to Saul by a servant as “a brave man and a warrior. He speaks well and is a fine-looking man. And the Lord is with him.” (1 Samuel 16:19-20).

The Lord was with David, and this fact was known. David must have played in an area where this servant frequented. So David played for the king’s servants before playing for the king. On top of this, if David hadn’t practiced, sweated and toiled on the harp, then we wouldn’t have been summoned to play for Saul. But his dedication to his craft of songwriting and harp playing paid off once he was under the Lord’s anointing. David was able to play with an anointing and the result was a healed king of Israel.

After David and Solomon’s rule over Israel, Israel divides due to abandoning the law of the Lord and foolish advice. Amid the successors to the throne of Judah rose Jehoshaphat. Jehoshaphat was “devoted to the ways of the Lord” (2 Chronicles 17:6).

One day he hears news that the Moabites, Ammonites and Meunites are heading towards Judah to make war. Before the battle, Jehoshaphat calls out to his people:

Listen to me, Judah and people of Jerusalem! Have faith in the Lord your God and you will be upheld; have faith in his prophets and you will be successful. After consulting the people, Jehoshaphat appointed men to sing to the Lord and to praise him for the splendor of his holiness as they went out at the head of the army, saying: “Give thanks to the Lord, for his love endures forever.” 2 Chronicles 20:20-21

This was the moment God showed up! As the attacking armies drew near, “Jehoshaphat and his people began to sing and praise” and “the Lord set ambushes against” the invaders (2 Chronicles 20:22-23). The invading armies began to attack each other and when Jehoshaphat and his men looked down at the battle “they saw only dead bodies lying on the ground; no one had escaped” (2 Chronicles 20:22:24).

This all sounds fine and dandy, but it wasn’t their singing alone that allowed Jehoshaphat and his army victory. Recall the desperate reminder of Jehoshaphat: “have faith in the Lord your God and you will be upheld; have faith in his prophets and you will be successful.”

Again, there’s more than meets the eye. The first action Jehoshaphat took after hearing about the oncoming invaders was he “proclaimed a fast for all Judah” (v3). Not only this, but “The people of Judah came together to seek help from the Lord, Indeed, they came from every town in Judah to seek him” (v4).

The faith had already started before the battle began. Before the singing began, “the people of Judah and Jerusalem fell down in worship before the Lord”.

One of the popular battles discussed in every Sunday school class is the battle of Jericho. As you know, Joshua and his men are told by God to march around the walls of Jericho one time each day for six days. Then on the seventh day they are to march around the city seven times and on the seventh time they are to blare their instruments (Joshua 6).

The walls of Jericho fell, not because the music. It’s because the fighting men obeyed God to march in circles. The act of marching, was preceded by faith. They believed that if they marched around Jericho, that God would deliver the city unto their hands as promised. What can faith teach us about being artists?

Being Understood as an “artist”

In artists, inspirational on May 19, 2012 at 4:21 pm

Make yourself understood. You must explain your message if you want your message to reach the everyman.  It’s okay if you have to explain your art to others. You shouldn’t be offended to the point when you just walk out of the room because someone questions your work of art.

Jesus, although frustrated with those who didn’t understand a parable, still took the moment to explain it. Nowadays, you hear about several artists who don’t want to explain their work. Many artists have their post-modern artistic reason to oppose explaining themselves to the so called public. Post Modern artists say, “my work should speak for itself.” Andy Warhol even said something similar about himself, “If you want to know all about Andy Warhol, just look at the surface of my paintings and films and me, and there I am. There’s nothing behind it.”

True, art speaks on behalf of its artist. As Heidegger says, “The artist is the origin of the work. The work is the origin of the artist. Neither is without the other” (Poetry, Language, Thought, p17). But to fully get the motive or “point” of your work an intimate understanding must be explained directly from you.

British rock band Radiohead explained in an interview with National Public Radio the process in making their album King of Limbs. Although, a short interview, it gave me much more appreciation for the album and for their approach to the creative process of songwriting. Whenever you hear a commentary on a dvd/blue ray, do you tend to have a better understanding of the film? Insight into art, creates a better appreciation for the artist.

“I don’t believe in optimism.”

In artists, inspirational on May 16, 2012 at 4:24 pm

If you’re seeking inspiration, then look no further than The Paris Review. You must read the interview with Ray Bradbury. Here’s one quote from the the interview that blew me away:

I don’t believe in optimism. I believe in optimal behavior. That’s a different thing. If you behave every day of your life to the top of your genetics, what can you do? Test it. Find out. You don’t know—you haven’t done it yet. You must live life at the top of your voice! At the top of your lungs shout and listen to the echoes. I learned a lesson years ago. I had some wonderful Swedish meatballs at my mother’s table with my dad and my brother and when I finished I pushed back from the table and said, God! That was beautiful. And my brother said, No, it was good. See the difference?

So what can you do and are you doing it? Read more from the interview with Ray Bradbury as well as other interviews from great writers at the following:

Citizen in the Nation of Artists

In artists on May 16, 2012 at 4:10 pm

After the Israelites left Egypt, Moses led them into the wilderness. For 40 years they didn’t have a homeland, but they were still considered a nation. So a nation doesn’t have to have borders. A nation can be people with the same beliefs.

i live in a nation of artists. We all live under the same artistic laws. We all live within the same mindset which could be considered borders. We all have the same patriotic spirit known as passion for artistic endeavors. Artists around the world connect through familiarity with expression. Listen to the Great Commission:

All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me (Jesus). Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always to the very end of the age. – Matthew 28: 18-20

How do you incorporate your artistry with the Great Commission? Instinctively, as a follower of Jesus, you are commissioned to influence culture! You are commissioned to GO! There is art in every culture. From the birth of art with Adam and Eve to the Chauvet cave, to Stonehenge, to the temples of Egypt, sculptures of Greece and Rome to the next project in your imagination, this nation of artists is forever expanding.

Your influence from the past and your impact on future artists holds purpose. You’re a citizen in the nation of artists. Don’t forget that you’re also a citizen of heaven too (Philippians 3:20).