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Colorado Rockies

Dear friends,

For many months I've thought and prayed about how to effectively use the knowledge God has placed in my life about art and worship. My family and close friends have been encouraging me to write and so here I am. Every quarter you'll get a beautifully designed web page letter talking about healing, arts, and worship. Why healing you may ask? Because God has so graciously touched my life in worship through art and restored me over and over again. And, I know from His word and from my study of art, that there is great truth in connecting art to worship and healing. For those who lead in churches - pastors, musicians, and all manner of artists - my prayer is that you will find these pages refreshing. Worship is serious business, so our high calling must include personal growth, devotion, and the flexibility of a truly Spirit led journey.



God's Perfect Design

bulletKnowing God and who He is can be powerful enough. Embracing Christ, the message of transformation He brings, and deciding to let Him be Lord unleashes yet another wonderful power in a person's life. Eventually, and hopefully, believers learn that God's plan and purpose is and always has been for them to be in relationship with Him - to worship Him. I love Rick Warren's statement in "The Purpose Driven Life" that it's not about us! The it in Rick's equation is life and the exhortation of his whole book is it's about God -simple, to the point theology, sometimes hard to live out but never impossible.

Worshipping God, alone or with His people, should be yet another tremendous place of power. Even a glance at scripture will reveal all the miracles, movements, and life changes adoring God can bring. A closer look reveals God actually birthed us to do just that - love Him, adore Him, worship Him, and bow in humility before Him. I think it's even more than that, if we dare to believe there's more!

God allowed from the beginning, a special empty place in our hearts that He wants to live in. Then He allows us to choose what to put there - because His love will not let Him force us. He wants us to come, on our own, with all our longings and hopes - and especially our fears. He really gets charged up about those because He specializes in kicking fear in the teeth. So, as we come - broken, arrogant, self reliant wanna' be followers, He accepts our worship. It's often vain, poor, weak, self-centered, and filled with fist shaking.

Then, sometimes by miracle itself, we actually get past ourselves to Him.... and His greatest purpose comes clear - we are healed. That is the something more I want us to recognize, experience, and long for - on our own in worship - but, especially when we're together!

Now, I believe this healing comes from being transported - away from difficulty - or even through it. It comes from really embracing emotions and thoughts - instead of running - and letting the purifying fire of the light of Christ shine on them. These acts of embracing and transporting have for all time been fueled by art - music, dance, literature, painting, sculpting.

I believe this is because art is, by its very definition, a powerful expression /communication/combustion of movement created by God through His artists to transform. So at the beginning of my sharing with you in these pages I encourage you to first become aware of all the every day moments you are being moved by art. It could be as profound as listening to your favorite music as a means of settling your day - or as simple as wearing your favorite color because it sends a message to yourself (not to mention people around you) that you're self esteem is doing okay.When we thank God for these bits of art, we leave humanism behind and acknowledge the master artist - that's worship! bullet

How does all this apply to church? To corporate worship? Next time............

 

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The Journey
God and Ron Connecting





bulletThis picture is from our family vacation last month. Seeing the Grand Canyon is a life changing moment – it beckons a stillness from the heart and soul that is rich beyond the bustle of everyday living.

 

Our son Nikolas grabbed me and we walked literally to the edge of the canyon. Besides the love and admiration I felt for him in that gesture, I was flooded with fear of falling off the edge! But Nikolas had me in his grip.

 

The quest for healing, expressing art in God’s house, and intimacy with other believers puts us in the best position to be in God’s grip. And, with no apology, He calls us to the edge. It is there we can best feel the strong embrace of our brother Jesus – where we need Him most and where our hidden fears are soon lost in His perfect love.bullet

 

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From the Other Side

We want to know how this email letter is affecting you – our friends, colleagues, and fellow ministers! Please write back, even if it’s just a short response, and I promise to answer any questions you might want to pursue.bullet

Ron and Cynthia Arden
My deepest thanks for your time spent here. I would be blessed even more if you’d pass this on to friends and church folk. Also, visit the website for tasty news about cds, workshops, and concerts available: acrossbetween.net

bulletRon & Cynthia Arden
A Cross Between Concert Ministries
2729 Enoch
Zion, Ill 60099