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

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So I guess people are actually reading my posts, 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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6 Responses to “It’s Your Right. (It should be your joy, too).”

  1. Awesome shots big bro! I love that you’re smiling in most of them…I really really love that. Beautiful scenery!

  2. What are the shots for? CGQ??

    And I too have been hearing a lot about Christians in the arts. And I say BRING ON THE CHRISTIAN RENAISSANCE!!! I’ve got my board–surf’s up! Oh, and I have my axe! (feedback…and extra crunch!)

  3. i like the picture without your shirt on : )

  4. Nate C. Says:

    Morning has come! Creativity has been birthed once again in our lives and we rejoice for it. The fading embers of our dreams have been breathed upon, and burn bright once again. Yet, there is a hesitation in some. There are a few who though they delight in the dawning of the new day, the emergence of your new post and the life it contains, have a reservation within them. They fear the fog will return and with it the loss of vision. They fear the darkness it brings and the silence that lies within.

    They remember too well the darkness. Not the normal darkness that comes with every night. No, this is something much worse. This is the kind of darkness that makes you feel as though your sight has been snatched from you without warning. The kind of darkness that makes your skin crawl with terror at the evil that lies ahead. This is a darkness that clouds the minds of men. It grips them with the fear that the light may not return and robs them of their vision, of their hope of tomorrow. That they may never again see what is before them, that they may never again dream.

    It is a darkness that you brought upon them with your silence and the fear that it will once again return. So I ask you, would you return them such a state of despair? Would you again plunge them into the darkness and quench the fire that has been stirred within them? Or will you continue to breathe inspiration upon the fading embers of their dreams that they might live? Is this to great a request? I should think not…

    By the way the pictures are great. Well the one was a little sketchy but other than that they were great!

  5. I plead guilty of creativity as inspired by the King! (On an aside: Christopher Hopper, the man astride a bucking bronco called Life In The Spirit was a “sketch” to work with and that made it easy) By the way, if you have not met his little Mrs. make it a point. she’s a gem and certainly God’s gift to a lively fellow.

    What Christopher is talking about: Renissance in the Church is an adventure I highly recommend you take on for yourself. All too often, I see the church copying the world. This is not right! The church should not be peripheral to the world; the world should be peripheral to the church. Afterall we are obedient to THE CREATOR of all things. Our God is not a copy cat! Think about it. Why do a downbeat to the world’s tempo when you can scribe heavenly melodies that are truly fresh and new.

    A few years ago when I first read Melody Green’s piece on Renaissance I got so excited that my writing, my photography, my newspaper – everything changed and people remarked: Wow!

    I just touched the fringe of His garment of Praise and my work took on a fresh electricity that also translated into good money. I don’t want to brag on what I did – I want to brag on Him!

    It’s a joy to know Christopher Hopper. I predict He will rise up as on angel’s wings. You’ll be hearing a lot of great things about Mr and Mrs Hopper. Keep them much in prayer!

  6. Galactic Overlord Says:

    If there’s no happiness in making art, than what’s the point, I ask?

    – Jason

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