Sunday, March 22, 2015

Create in Us

Every story has a beginning and, to be honest, Create in Us is still very much at our beginning. I had no idea when I started the blog in December how the idea of Create in Us would move and take shape so quickly and so powerfully.

Today's blog will be a little different. It will be a bit of testimony mixed in with what Create in Us actually does as a ministry and how you can help that ministry grow.

As the blog description over there on the side says I've been a Bible teacher for about six years. This was not a role that I actively sought: I was asked to help teach a class, I said well...okay, and basically - my entire life was changed.

For the next few years I studied God's Word like never before:  reading books in the Bible that sounded like a sneeze (Habakkuk. God bless you.). Reading Biblical commentaries by old dudes much smarter than myself and understanding about half. Seeing the seamless way that every inch of His Word is woven together. For the first time I saw how the Bible is living and breathing, and applicable to NOW.

Over the years, people told me I should write a blog. My answer: Awww....thanks...No.

No for several reasons. The top two being: I don't want to and I'm not a writer.

When we categorize ourselves into "Cannots," "I'm Nots," and "Will Nots" God looks down on us, pats us on the head, and says "You can," "You Are," and "You Will."

Yes, Sir.

So in December I made a commitment to blog a devotional I had written. Once a week. No more. No less.

I had already been teaching a class once a month at the art studio A Place to Land. I make no claim of creating great art.  But my brilliant, ethereal, Holy Spirit-filled friend, Andrea Noles, does. She owns the studio and teaches several art classes per month.  I would pop in once a month to lead a class in a devotion before they began work on their art project.

One of our first classes at A Place to Land

The class and the blog merged to become Create in Us.  The past couple of months have been a whirlwind. We host small groups, Sunday school classes of all ages, bachelorette parties, and the like. We tailor the class to a specific Biblical topic you'd like for your group to focus on and modify the art piece based on learner ability level. We hold one class open to the public per month. I lead the class in a lesson and Andrea leads the class in creating a piece of art linked to that lesson. I blog and will continue to blog as an extension of that ministry.

 That's me on the right with Andrea (center) and our dear friend, 
   Vicki, who also teaches at the studio

We started slowly.  Sometimes our classes were full, other times no one came. But now our classes are selling out in less than 24 hours of the class' posting. Praise God!

A recent class at the studio on watercolor and lettering

Our name is taken from Psalm 51:10. Here David pleads with God after he had sinned. In this passage (verses 10-15) is our mission:

Create in me a clean heart, O God,
and renew a right spirit within me.
Do not cast me away from your presence
or take your Holy Spirit from me.
Restore to me the joy of your salvation
and grant me a willing spirit to sustain me.
Then I will teach transgressors your ways,
and sinners will turn back to you.
Save me from bloodguilt, O God,
the God who saves me,
and my tongue will sing of your
O Lord, open my lips,
and my mouth will declare your praise.

We long that God will create in us a heart that has been cleansed by the blood of Jesus.  We long to live lives filled with the Holy Spirit.  And in celebration of our forgiveness, redemption, and fullness of joy in Him we in turn will praise His name and celebrate Him with our lives.

We want to bring that joy to each and every class we teach.  We want to acknowledge the beauty God has created in us and, in return, create something beautiful as an act of worship. You leave a Create in Us class with your piece of art that signifies that worship and stands as a reminder of what you have experienced with God.

Our table at Merry Market in Mount Holly

So, how can you help our ministry?

A few ways:
1. Sharing and liking the blog and all of its posts on Facebook and Instagram. This is a pretty big social media favor to ask, I realize.  We ask for a purpose, though. Andrea and I have the amazing privilege of meeting with a publisher this summer.  To be taken seriously we need at least 500 likes on Facebook. As of now we are approaching 300. We need your support as you like or share each post, each blog entry, and spread the word of Create in Us.  As you share the blog will you specifically ask your friends to Like our Facebook page?

2. Subscribe to the blog. You can do this in two ways. You can subscribe by scrolling all the way down to the bottom of the home page and clicking Subscribe.  Or you can add your email to the Follow Us By Email button to your right. 

3. Like the Facebook page A Place to Land. Here you'll see our class listings and be linked to the website where you can sign up for our monthly class.

4. Schedule an event with us! Our spring dates are filling up quickly, so email us soon!

   We tailor each class to be suitable for any age and ability level.

My dearest friends, I appreciate so deeply the love you have shown Create in Us over the past few months. Honestly, it has been one of the biggest blessings of my life. 

My prayer will continue to be that He will create in us a clean heart and from that clean heart will sprout the desire to declare His precious Name to our community.

Lord, may it be so.

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