Handling Rejection

April 1, 2010

In my experience using art as an expression of faith, I have learned that rejection is a natural part of the journey; it is inevitable.  As a result, I have had to develop a thick skin.  I have also had to find ways to cope with rejection and do so without sabotaging works in progress and the needed inspiration to press on.  Thankfully, I discovered five steps to help me accept and respond to rejection.  It is through these five steps that I am able to rise above, hold tight to my creativity and inspiration, and move forward with grace.  

  1. Expect some rejection: Rejection is part of the journey and not unique to me.  Also, the fact that I am a witness for Jesus means that the rejection may be more about Him than about my artistic ability. 
  2. Learn from feedback:  Constructive feedback provides me with other perspectives and helps me make my next set of artistic choices.  It opens my mind to new opinions and thoughts, and can stimulate the creative process. 
  3. Consider timing: Rejection may be indicative of inopportune timing.  My work may simply not fit the need at the moment.   
  4. Pray for humility. Rejection is sometimes God’s way of putting an end to my arrogance; it is His way of humbling my pride.  My ability to press on is a result of my willingness to set aside my ego in exchange for service to God and surrender to His plan.   
  5. Recognize an Attack of the Enemy:  The enemy prowls around like a lion waiting to destroy anything good and I need to discern between constructive criticism and an attack from the enemy.  I also need to remember that it is sometimes appropriate to respond to constructive criticism, but I don’t need to respond to an attack of the enemy because that battle is already won.

These may sound like simple steps, and yet they are by no means easy.  But, scripture reminds me that I have tasted that the Lord is good and that as I come to Him, the living Stone, I may be rejected by men but I am chosen by God and precious to Him.  By practicing these five steps, I keep my focus on this truth and move forward in humility and grace.

These steps are what works for me?  What works for you?

Excerpt from “Art as an Expression of faith”, audio book coming soon.

Rebuking the Enemy

February 28, 2010

I called my husband in a panic, “I’ve been stung! Twice! By a scorpion! Do you think I should go to the hospital?”

He paused, then answered me in a firm and quiet voice. “Kristen, this is a physical attack of the enemy.  You need to rebuke him in the name of Jesus.  You still have work to do there tonight”.

He was right and it was then I remembered where I was and why.  I was at a women’s retreat and scheduled to host a concert that afternoon to share my testimony and sing my songs.   Later that night, I was scheduled to give my testimony again at the campfire and explain how my life has been transformed as a result of knowing Jesus.  Yes, I had work to do.   This was my task and heart’s desire – to testify about Jesus Christ and to use my gifts and talents in the arts to do so.  And the enemy had attacked me!  Thankfully, my husband reminded me that scripture says I have been given authority to overcome the power of the enemy and trample on snakes and scorpions and that nothing will harm me in the process

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe once said “A man should hear a little music, read a little poetry, and see a fine picture every day of his life, in order that worldly cares may not obliterate the sense of the beautiful which God has implanted in the human soul.”  As a writer, speaker, and performer using art as an expression of my faith, I am an instrument God can use to free the human soul from worldly cares and daily sin and I must be mindful of the spiritual battle.  The spiritual battle is real and the more effective my ministry, the bigger the attacks.  This is something I need to be conscious of in my effort and scripture instructs me to remain prepared and cloaked in the armor of God so that I can stand against the devil’s schemes. I must be ready to face and overcome the enemy and remember that I am empowered to do just that.  There by the grace of God go I, and with His Strength, I am victorious!

This was my experience.  What has been yours?

Excerpt from “Art as an Expression of Faith”, audio book coming soon!

Does My Image Match My Message?

January 29, 2010

As an artist competing in today’s world, I understand the need to differentiate myself by developing my own personal style.  Style contributes to my image and image is, after all, part of my brand.  However, in my effort to use my God-given talents to share my faith, I need to balance my image with my message.  Do I want to be hip and cool and compete in today’s artistic scene?  Or do I want to effectively share my message of faith and be a vessel for transforming lives?  Can I do both?  If God’s plan for me is to be a witness to His Mercy and Grace, then I need to decide how much attention I pay to my first impression.  So, I ask myself: Is my first impression in good condition and what does it say about my relationship with God? 

In 1999, 20th Century Fashion Icon Gerda Buxbaum said, “Grunge is synonymous with the condition of youth and stands for fear of the future as well as ecological awareness, a feeling of helplessness, and the desperate search for new values.”  Buxbuam’s comment poses a good question.  Does my first impression convey a message of fear, helplessness, and a need for new values?  Or does my first impression show my confidence in Christ and my hope for an eternal future with Him? 

Now, I understand that different audiences respond to different images and that there is a place for “grunge” across all art forms.  I am simply suggesting the need to balance image with the ability to deliver the right message. 

Excerpt from “Art as an Expression of Faith”, audio book coming soon!

That’s what I think.  What do you think?

Hello world!

January 13, 2010

We’re in the process of setting up our blog and we invite you to join us the first week of February, when we’ll have some real content posted and available for you to comment on.  We’d love to hear your thoughts and ideas about our thoughts and ideas and especially as they relate to using art as an expression of faith and form of witness.  Our definition of art includes visual art, music and writing, so stay tuned…..