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The Heart of Worship

For some reason these Matt Redman‘s lyrics have been in my mind for many weeks now… “I’ll bring you more than a song for a song in itself is not what you have required… You search much deeper within through the way things appear, you’re looking into my heart…”

In so many areas of life we tend to strive and push on with 110% of our capasity. This might continue for years, even decades. We work 8, 10, 12 hours a day, we run all around about hobbies, parties and stuff, we make it a matter of honor to achieve great things both at work and in private life. The corner office and one family house with two nice cars in front of the garage. This is an exaggeration of course, but you know what I mean.

Being an artist it’s very, very rare not to judge your own work through a loupe. On the other hand it is vital: without critical observation you end up making just this and that. Being the case that you consciously tend to work with the Holy Spirit, you also want to stay alert about what He wants. But. What is God really asking from you and me? Perfection? FAR FROM THAT AS WE KNOW IT! We will never meet the standards of “perfect” in order to fulfill our purpose of being by something we do. As Redman sings, God searches much deeper within, He’s looking into your and my heart. That is the only thing He is asking from us. Nothing more, nothing less. That we align ourselves along His will, that we humble our hearts under His management.

What is even more important is, that it is not about you or me. E-v-e-r-y-t-h-i-n-g in our lives and our being, our environment and living, e-v-e-r-y-t-h-i-n-g is about JESUS! It’s ALL ABOUT HIM in the end, halleluyah! Our part is to love Him, because He first loved us!

I’m coming back to the heart of worship
And it’s all about you,
It’s all about you, Jesus…
I’m sorry, Lord, for the thing I’ve made it
When it’s all about you,
It’s all about you, Jesus…
King of endless worth
No one could express
How much you deserve

(parts from Matt Redman’s song ‘The Heart of Worship’)

Feeling the feeling and healing

He heals the broken in heart, and binds up their wounds. (Psalm 147:3, WEB)

Do you experience great happiness like fireworks in the sky, like your chest would be just about to burst with joy? Or sadness as if the sea would be pulling you to its depths? Well, these might be a little “over narrated” reactions, but I do think that as an artist we experience human feelings a little bit differently, maybe. I think, and this is based on own observations of my artist friends and colleagues, we just observe life more through our senses. It’s like we have a kind of “kaleidoscope” through which we see a lot more levels in everyday life than someone else might see, you agree? 

I guess it’s safe to say that art is made through certain kinds of feelings and emotions. (Would be interesting to see an exhibition with visual art that has been made totally without feelings, it’s impossible, isn’t it?! 😀 ) The artist is bringing something visible, touchable, audible for others to experience. Artist is giving something from within him- or herself, that has been hidden before. Creating is a lifeline to creative person, but there are so many of us who haven’t taken this free and oh-so-wonderful-way-of-healing in to action! I want to dearly encourage you to take the step into something new, something you haven’t done before!

For me, this painting was part of a long healing process that God took me into. As you can see, I’ve painted myself without any recognizable features. This might add a certain kind of… mystery touch to the painting yea, and I’m happy for that, but let me tell you a BIG secret: *I don’t know how to paint human face* so I just choose not to do that! 😀 You see, it’s not about how “well” you can paint or how “talented” you are, it’s about daring to try and find new way to be and learn! Let me add a text I wrote elsewhere in this blog: 

The “You Can’t” is so very sadly true lie with many of us. WHO SAYS you can’t? WHO DEFINES what is when one can and when one can’t? NO ONE. That is absolutely the right of no one. If you want to draw: DRAW!!!

Art and Creativity in God’s use


Event coming in Helsinki, Vuosaari Evangelical Free Church a.k.a. “Vuosaaren Vapis”.
Vuosaarentie 10, 00980 Helsinki

“Not by might, nor by power, but by My Spirit, says Jehovah of hosts.” Zech.4:6

* All the creativity for God to use!
* Teaching and practical training.
* Offering believers an opportunity to learn in practice to flow in the presence of Holy Spirit, each with his/her personal talents.

Happy New Year 2017!

Blessings for 2017 from Mikkeli! May it be the year of fresh anointing and new beginnings, in Jesus’s name! 

Overcoming fear as an artist

fear
Every one of us knows what it’s like to be afraid. That is something that belongs into human nature. Fear is a system that has brought the human kind to the present time as powerful and viral as it seems to be. Fear has had a life-saving feature especially when people were living in a very close connection with the wild nature.

But what happens when you’re a performing artist and panic hits you a minute before it’s your turn? What are your ways to cope? During the years with God I’ve leaned to His promise that He will not leave nor forsake us, no matter what. Jesus has never, ever let me down, and He surely has given His peace into my heart when the enemy has tried to take it! Also He doesn’t delay His help, but it always comes in time! It’s crucial, that we face these situations as it gives us the potential to RISE ABOVE this “false alarm”. Don’t stay mourning and shivering, shake the enemy’s strongholds instead in the name of Jesus and stop breastfeeding fear and it will leave! It is promised in James 4:7 “Be subject therefore to God. But resist the devil, and he will flee from you.”

You know, that Bible has been written as a lawful legacy for you too to use against the powers and principalities of this world. You can declare every promise you find from the Bible concerning your own life! The power is not in our declaration though, but in the name of Jesus Christ. Every time you say Jesus’s name aloud, the enemy has to squat down. Jesus’s name has the power over every single thing we face. Every single one. 

Darling, be brave in your faith, as it is the lifeline for us to exist, to be, to create, to live (a godly life), and to keep the final goal at sight: our place in Heaven. When you boldly confess Jesus as your Lord and use your “new birth right” as His family member, He will be proud to present you to Father God! Stay blessed, and be safe in Jesus. 🙂 

How to hit the bull’s eye with your art

I bet it is more the rule than the exception for us believers, that at some point we get the looong glances. 😉 Like when I say I talk to God they say I’m “rightgeous”, but when I tell them God answers me back they don’t say anything… You can just see the flashing light from their eyes which cable “N-U-T-T-E-R!” 😀 But well, that’s what I was like before I met the Living God in the middle of the street in 2003, so I do understand where these glances come from. 🙂

When painting or other wise working with the Holy Spirit I’ve come to situations where I’ve had to choose whether to act along the first impression or stay asking God the right way. As many times as this has happened, I’ve also witnessed the “Holy Pattern”. You see, the devil is there quick as an ermine trying to convince “you didn’t hear correctly, maybe you should wait, maybe you should think about it before you start acting according to it, it was just a faint impression, nothing more…”

Don’t try to measure God’s ways with your mind, you’ll never make it even close! For me, the “Holy Pattern” most often has been, that the first impression I get, the first thought or ray of light I see when making my art work with the Spirit, is usually the right way to go further.

There was this miniature roombox that I made into an Ariel washing powder box. The name of this work was “Angel’s laundry day”. The Holy Spirit told me to use one specific Bible phrase with it, and it was: ‘A voice came to him again the second time, “What God has cleansed, you must not call unclean.” ‘ (Acts 10:15, WEB). I really didn’t agree with Him and was thinking a totally different verse, though I did use the one He asked. In the end, I had an exhibition in a drug and alcohol rehabilitation day center in Helsinki, and I later heard, that this specific roombox with this specific Bible verse was really touching a lady customer that was also visiting the exhibition. So keeping my own mind I might have hit 7 or 8, but when I did as the Holy Spirit told me to, my work wasn’t just somethingy nicey: it had the true word of God in it, and it hit the bull’s eye when it reached this lady. 

So what ever art you do, be true to the often very small voice of the Holy Spirit. He is gentle and He never forces His way in our life, but if you choose to rely on Him the greatest blessing is to see how He works with and through you! Stay blessed! 🙂

1 2 3 enkuli4 p1000499

False humility

false-humility
‘Humility’ is a word that isn’t necessarily connected with ‘artist’ so often. 🙂 It might be true that the majority of artists are people, who want to be ‘on stage’, so to speak, whether it’s in person or through our art work. If we want to work with the Holy Spirit though, we have to be humble in Him. He’s the One we really should honor, respect and fear above all.

But there is also wrong kind of humility which actually has pride underneath. (I’m not going in to that at this post, though.) A few times I’ve heard someone tell about a divine visitation when something extraordinary happened. When I’ve urged the person to share the story in front of the whole congregation because it is a great way to encourage fellow church members, he or she has refused. The reason has been: “I don’t wanna exalt myself”. What?! We are to proclaim about what He can do, that He is Real, and we’re not worshiping a plastic Elvis but an omnipotent God who does miracles of all kinds every single day! Of course it’s a different story if one really has got the understanding of not sharing, and that’s an amen on that then, but in general we should open our mouths so He doesn’t need to make the stones shout. 🙂

When we practice false humility, we allow the enemy to tie our thinking and possibilities regarding God. We have to realize, that how ever big dreams we’re having about the Kingdom, it’s never about us. It is always only and about God. His Kingdom, His glory, His people. Acting “humble” (note quotes!) in order not to accidentally exalt ourselves does no good to you, to your neighbor and least of all, to the Kingdom of God. And if you really actually would exalt yourself, God has the tendency to lower your nose, so fear not… 😀

Matthew 5:13-16 in WEB: “You are the salt of the earth, but if the salt has lost its flavor, with what will it be salted? It is then good for nothing, but to be cast out and trodden under the feet of men. You are the light of the world. A city located on a hill can’t be hidden. Neither do you light a lamp, and put it under a measuring basket, but on a stand; and it shines to all who are in the house. Even so, let your light shine before men; that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven.”

What’s your song like?

song-to-sing

Artist and (the) Glory

queen-and-servant

Do you have the heart of a servant, or of the one who wants to be served?

Difficult subject… Or is it? Maybe just a little uncomfortable? The society we’re living in has the habit of setting some people up on a pedestal. Often those people are the ones who affect in the cultural area of the society. It’s because they are thought to have abilities that a few have. And maybe it’s true. Some are creatively more talented than others.

As an artist we are used to be “on the spot”. We often also enjoy the attention. I know I do, when the attention is about my art. But it’s like a two-way street. The other way you need the attention to have your art do what it is suppose to do, but the other way it can be a spiritual trap. Sometimes we need to exam our motivation. Where’s our heart in? Is it in the taps on the shoulders? Is it in the admiration and (maybe) false acceptance? Or is it in servanthood? Is it where our Lord Jesus would so much love to see it, in serving others and encouraging them with our gifts?

I once met a Finnish musician when interviewing him for a radio show. He said something that has stayed in my mind ever since. He said as a young Christian he used to have this fear of getting arrogant as he also was one of the top ballroom dancers in Finland. He was so worried, that he went to his youth pastor and told about his concern. The pastor said: “Relax! You can let it go to your head all that you want, God will surely drop you back down on earth!” Haha, that’s comforting to know, but it is worth focusing our motivation radar every now and then in order to avoid the painful (sometimes ackward) landing! 😀

You or Bezalel?

The Arc of the Covenant.

The Arc of the Covenant.

After you read the posting, I’ve got you a question in half-way. 😉 But first; you know who was Bezalel? He was the bloke, who got the honors of building the Arc of the Covenant and the whole Tabernacle according to the vision that God gave to Moses. God told Moses, that He had called by name Bezalel, of the tribe of Judah, and He had filled him with the Spirit of God, in wisdom, and in understanding, and in knowledge, and in all manner of workmanship,to devise skillful works, to work in gold, and in silver, and in brass, and in cutting of stones for setting, and in carving of wood, to work in all manner of workmanship. (Ex.31:2-5) I bet Bezalel was highly valued member of the society too, as he was such a pro.

"...she has been sharing her cast-iron-frying-pan-mini-gaiters with the blessings and Bible verses even in the Parliament of Finland!

“…she has been sharing her cast-iron-frying-pan-mini-gaiters with the blessings and Bible verses even in the Parliament of Finland!

Last summer I attended the summer event of the Evangelical Free Church of Finland. At one occasion I went to sit next to a friend of mine and she told me something really, really touching. She had just got this gift from an old Lady, who she didn’t know at all. The Lady had been sitting next to her before that day, and she had just given my friend this… well, it’s kinda like a woolen mini-gaiter. (You see the pic right here!) My friend said there had been a piece of paper with a Bible verse in it inside of the mini-gaiter, like a “manna tag” as we say in Finland.

Anyway, the Lady had explained, that she knits them herself and then gives them to people as a blessing. The purpose of these “gaiters” is that if you happen to have a cast-iron frying pan, you can easily slip the gaiter to the handler, so it doesn’t burn your hands. The Lady had said: “this is my ministry”, and that she has been sharing her cast-iron-frying-pan-mini-gaiters with the blessings and Bible verses even in the Parliament of Finland! That is absolutely fantastic and brave, don’t you think?!

So my question to you is: which of these two gifts and ministries is more valuable? The one of Bezalel, or the one of this old Lady? (You can ponder this a little before you continue reading. 😉 )

With this I want to encourage us not to underestimate our natural gifts. The old Lady’s ministry might very well be a life line to someone! Maybe she has given her present to someone, who has been planning to end his life, and the old Lady’s present was the thing that made all the difference with the blessing and God’s word in it. Or maybe she has been the key factor, when someone has been right on the edge whether to turn to the enemy or come to Jesus. YOU CAN NEVER TELL HOW GOD WORKS! Please, be very, very careful in judging a fellow-Christian’s ministry (or “ministry”, if you like) to be just a bric-a-brac, as God’s word will NEVER return to Him but it does what God has sent it for. The same concerns you, my dear friend: don’t ever underestimate your own call to minister. It can change someone’s life literally for ever. 🙂

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