Category Archives: General

Why we do what we do

In Teresa’s last post she posed a wonderful question, though she rightly states that it wasn’t hers to ask, but one put forth by some of her readers: “How have you changed with the writing of this book?”

When I read that I was a bit taken aback and thought about it for a moment as if it was being asked of me. How have I been changed? And if I would be allowed to expand the scope of the context to include my CDs and paintings, well then I really have a lot to ponder.

I think one of the main issues derived from the process of distilling all the art that I’ve been a part of creating, whether in part or in whole, would be a single word: motive. And my own analysis of the word rather shocks me.

A Christian’s first response, whether realized in full or in part, is always, “To glorify God.” And I don’t state that for any other reason than that’s what scripture requires of us (1 Corinthians 10:31). I have struggled with my motives all of my Christian walk. And I probably always will because I walk around in a continually deteriorating sack of skin that is constantly at enmity with God (Romans 8:7). This topic (and its history throughout my life) is a post within itself.

But it’s my second thought that I want to briefly discuss today.

Found deep within the womb of my spirit, divided between the essence of my created soul and the God-breathed elements of my eternal self, lies a divine quality imbued innately from my Creator: to myself create.

In every artist there comes a pregnant pause, a profound yet fleeting moment that captures our imagination and deposits seeds. Many are lost or forgotten, but there is always at least one that takes root, and given the proper encouragement, will manifest and bare the intended fruit.

There is not a moment in my life where I was not constantly investing, creating, imagining, and wondering. Now an adult, my parents confess to me their own wonder at how prolific I was in “doing things.” Whether a new Lego creation, a cardboard-box-and-duct-tape space craft, a non-code tree fort, or a stapled together comic book series to end all others, I was always making something.

Some may say I was over active. Some may have tried to slap a medical label on me (an error we make too often as a society). Others may have even called me a “dreamer.” They never knew how right they were.

When you become intimately connected to the divine nature of creativity, you can’t help but create something; its very DNA is designed to prolifically propagating life, a characteristic shared only by God and mankind.

The fact is that I am changed each and every time I write a book, write a song, or paint a picture. Something in me grows a little closer to Christ, and becomes a little more like my Father. I feel His glory when I breathe life into something–I feel I’m being just like my Daddy.

In the creation of art, we have a divine opportunity to become more like our Maker. I believe fashioning something from nothing is one of the most innate and intrinsic privileges we have as human beings. I create as He creates.

Such a privilege is it, in fact, and once again pointing to God’s limitless mercy, that He even allows the unbeliever to participate in it.

Thanks for spending some time with me today.

CH

http://www.christopherhopper.com

Christopher Hopper boat_1

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It’s Your Right. (It should be your joy, too).

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So I guess people are actually reading my posts on my blog, at least the most recent comments would suggest at least two people are. Wonder of wonders! That’s encouraging! Though I must say, one of the comments was written far better than anything I could write; I was even becoming mad with the person they were talking about! Then I realized…

…oh, it’s me!

It seems everywhere I turn these days I hear a Christian talking about the arts. I was just on the phone yesterday with a dear friend who is thinking about starting a school for the arts, but unlike anything ever done before. And considering this guy has the means and experience to do so, I don’t doubt he will. Not wishing to disclose his ideas at present, that subject will have to wait.

But not an hour later, I’m with my dear friend Dudley Danielson, an amazing writer/photographer in his own right, who hands me a “jewel”: an out of print issue of Melody Green’s “The Last Days Magazine,” and in it an amazing article by Andrew Sievright entitled, “What’s The Church Doing With The Powerful Gift of Art?” If you can find it, read it. It will change your life.

But one of Sievright’s points identifies the next “Christian Renaissance.” Next to Jesus coming back, I dare say nothing could inspire me more.

If there was ever a need for the Church to stand up tall and strong, it is now. The world needs to notice Her beauty, and not because she’s blending in with them, but because she is so unqiuly stunning that she makes all else pale in comparison. Minstrel Michael Tyrrell makes this point so clear in his song “Beautiful Mountain,” when he says, “Stand tall, beautiful mountain, your foundation is sure. Stand tall, beautiful mountain, till your waters run pure.”

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I had the privilege of doing a photo shoot with Dudley yesterday. With my wife toting the wardrobe duties, as well as make-up, and even holding up sun screens against the glaring direct sunlight, the three of us wandered about the gorgeous Boldt Castle BoatHouse located on Wellesley Island in the beautiful 1,000 Islands. Privileged to have this spectacular scenery not 20 minutes from our home, it was a delight to be with my wife and my brother in the Lord, making art for the King. Between Dudley’s prolific skill, a vast photographic repertoire spanning over half a century, and the fact that these photos were taken for my second novel, I couldn’t help but feel giddy, immersed in the world of creating marvelous art for the Kingdom.

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Everywhere we turned, Dudley found a new angle, a new potential masterpiece. It wasn’t until we made our way into one of the old turrets of the BoatHouse, currently closed to the public (we call that “favor”), and found a 100 year old stair case, that the juices really started flowing.

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I guess what I’m realizing is that it’s not only our right as the Bride of Christ to make art that surpasses the world’s, but it should be our joy as well. We should be excited to be setting the standard.

Which raises another point: if you’re not excited, are you making the right art? In the right way? For the right cause? With the right people?

I think we all could drum up any number of excuses to justify, and even defend, our “turmoil,” but are they true? And is that really the heart of the Father for us in our art-making? Or does He intend for us, as I believe He has all along, to be so full of joy, and find so much fulfillment, that the world would not only marvel at our fruit, but also at our labor? I couldn’t help but think that even the winter staff at the BoatHouse noticed our fun, and smiled at they watched.
Though that BoatHouse was all of 10 degrees Fahrenheit inside, I found great joy, even while changing shirts, laughing at the privilege afforded me. Who in the world gets to do this? Then I realized again…

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…oh, me, again. I do. A son of the Most High, rightful heir to the Kingdom of Heaven.

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And my hope is that you would see yourself the same way.

Thanks for spending time with me today,

CH
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Autor News – From Molly

Molly’s Amazing Log blog:

As a Tsaba House Author, I have been trying to reach this blog for days. Now I have, but I’m not sure what I clicked to get here. This is not good. Before I disappear from this blog site forever, I would like to give y’all a few web addresses.

Molly’s Amazing Log blog address is http://mollynoblebull.wordpress.com Don’t have anything written there yet, but I will as soon as I learn more about the art of blogging. My website is http://www.mollynoblebull.com Please visit my website, scroll down and click Molly’s Books. When you do, you will see the cover of my upcoming Tsaba House long historical novel, Sanctuary, about the Huguenots. I’ll give you a hint. My cover is beautiful.

If you click Molly’s Family, you can see what I look like. If you click Molly, you can read my testimony, and click Molly’s Notes to learn even more. Until next time.

Blessings,

Molly Noble Bull

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