This is another one of my attempts at fantasy drawing entitled, “Girls On the Mountain.” I love fantasy art because it allows you to create other worlds and creatures and beings which come from the imagination. In life we don’t live in a fantasy world we live in a world created by God. A world filled with beautiful mountaintops and luscious valleys.
Job 12:7-10, has this to say about taking a look at the world around us, “But ask the beasts, and they will teach you;the birds of the heavens, and they will tell you; or the bushes of the earth, and they will teach you; and the fish of the sea will declare to you. Who among all these does not knowthat the hand of the Lord has done this? In his hand is the life of every living thingand the breath of all mankind.” Take the time to get out and see the sights see before and praise and thank God as you do.
We live in a world which is linked electronically like never before. Young people interact today through tweets, texts, Instagram posts, Face Time chats a few among many choices. Still my favorite way to talk to someone is person to person. Ask my wife she’ll tell you I don’t even like to make phone calls. I have always loved to talk face to face. There is nothing more thrilling than to share a few words or laugh with someone else. To gaze across and sense the other person’s emotions through facial expressions as we talk. This is true conversation. Not a tweet or a text or whatever. God created us to be social beings who rely on fellowship with each in order to live a balanced life. It is time to put down the phones and start talking – face to face.
Since my drawing a couple of days ago was the beach I returned today with my little girl and cat at the boardwalk. Growing up I lived forty five minutes from Seaside Park, NJ so I spent some time on the boardwalk. My favorite time to be there was in September when the crowds were gone but the shops and arcades were still open. These were the days before we became recluses playing our games in the phone or a gaming system. I loved the sounds of the arcade, bells clanging, coins going in the slots and much more.I miss those days. Today when I go to the boardwalk in just doesn’t have the same appeal. It is overcrowded and overpriced. In life I guess we must always hold onto our memories because just like everything else they may fade with the passing of time.
The challenge for today was to draw something that had to do with sand. The first thing which came to mind was the beach. The second was Moses and the Israelites wandering in the wilderness. I can’t fathom wandering in the desert for forty years. An hour on the beach and I am done. While my wife is basking in the sun I prefer to wander in and out of thrift stores or see the local sites.
The gist of today’s message is this, we are all different. We have different likes, tastes, and things we like. Instead of complaining and whining when we are asked to do something we don’t like, embrace the differences and realize there will be times when you want to do something another person won’t like. There will also be times when they are going to be called on to embrace and do something they don’t like, something which you want. I am not talking about immoral activities. I am talking about daily life. For instance I go to the beach, because my wife loves the beach. The Bible says a true friend, “loves at all times.”
The prompt for today was the word, “together.” I came up with all sorts of ideas for things which go together like PB&J, ham on rye or the Lone Ranger and Tonto. Over the years there have been many great pairings many of which would have made great drawings. I chose the drawing of the girl and boy entitled, “Together,” because a couple must be together in all things. There is an old adage, “Divided we fall, Together We Stand.”
This is true in a relationship, in marriage, at work and at church. There are times in the life of a church when we forget God put us together to do His work. These are the times when the church loses its togetherness and becomes a group of people all with their own agendas. This leads to broken relationships and hurting hearts. The key to being in a healthy relationship is a paraphrased version of an old JFK quote, “Ask not what the relationship can do for you, ask what you can do for the relationship.” No matter what the relationship is, husband/wife, employee/employer, church member/church leader. As God says seek to out others higher than yourself and life will feel so much more fulfilling.
The title of today’s offering is based on the prompt, “streetlight” hence the title, “Dancin’ In the Streetlight.” The simple reminder for us all with this prompt and my brief message for today is this, light illumines, darkness hides all. We live in an age which many say is growing darker. Lawlessness seems to be growing. While that may be true I have been reading some old Life magazines and it seems like what we are going through now was true of earlier times. Some of the magazines from the 1950’s talk of gang violence and more. Back then they even dealt with the same diseases we’re dealing with now like cancer, diabetes among others, .
While each generation seems to think the good ole days were much better than the world now things are not always as they appear. The only truth is this, no matter how the times appear, good or bad, as followers of Jesus we always need to be dancing in the light of God’s word, our streetlight to navigate through what is up ahead.
When I first started to draw and paint I wanted to be one of those artists who replicated what they saw. You know what I mean. One of those artists whose paintings looks exactly like a photograph. So over the next few years I struggled and put a lot of pressure on myself trying to grasp the secret or making an exact copy of the image before my eyes. Art became more of a chore and less fun. One day I decided replication art was not my cup of tea.
I felt art should be more about re-creation than replication. As an artist I felt the need to recreate what I saw. Right then an there I decided to create paintings and drawing using my frame of reference with a little whimsy thrown in here and there. I leave replication to those artists whose talent rests in creating exact pieces. There is nothing wrong with being exact it just never settled into my temperament. These days I find myself creating a lot more abstract paintings consisting of a little exactness woven into a tapestry of whimsy.
In the end the question for all artists is going to be whether to replicate or recreate? The choice for you is going to be found in your heart