Monthly Archives: January 2011

Rise Up!

Right before I go to take my Sunday Afternoon Week Recovery Nap, I have this thought, “Wow, God never speaks to me in dreams,” then of course I have this crazy dream and I wake up all stirred up. God showed me how much influence the enemy has in culture, and how the church needs to rise up. Our weapons of warfare need to be stronger. I felt God was specifically talking about the arts to me. We need to get outside of our four walls. We need to stop claiming we are making art to have influence but gear it towards each other.

We need to stop conforming to patterns of culture and instead be creating them.

I am not saying we need to make better music and media to retaliate to the works of the enemy—I’m saying we should be making better music and media because we serve a God that is greater than any creative mind in the world, and we should do our work as unto Him with excellence and boldness. We have made excuses for far too long.

 

For more of this call and URGENCY to rise up, I encourage you all to go to this website:

http://www.comeandlive.com/CLD/MattieMontgomery/index.html

and download Mattie Montgomery’s full album for FREE. I’m not too into the actual music in the background but his spoken word/prayer is edifying and encouraging, and kind of relates.

Mattie’s words about the album:

“The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few.” I have released this album in hopes of encouraging my generation – my brothers andsisters, my family – toward their destiny in laboring for the sake of the Kingdom of Heaven. I believe that we are the generation that will usher in the second coming of Christ, but I also believe that it will take a radical, electrified movement of young people whose words, actions and prayers are energized by the Holy Spirit through true, passionate connection to the Creator God.”

 

Life in 3D: Don’t put yourself or God in a box

Recently I was talking to my Pastor and he said he had this dream about me. In the dream we were in church, praying, and he walked over to me and I looked at him and said something like, “Pastor, I like media and all but I don’t want to be doing this all my life.”

And in response he laughed.

When he told me about it, it didn’t immediately strike a chord with me, but then after talking about it for a minute we started getting into the whole “What is my calling?” discussion. Pastor started telling me how he didn’t know exactly what I’m going to do but he knows a couple of things are part of my DNA (like missions and music) and that God would bring me through different seasons where I’m using my gifts in different ways.

In a society where we seem to be very much defined by what we do, it is hard not to look at the future and say, “What is my calling? What is my THING?” and to expect one answer. This year, I’m finally accepting that I am just an artistic person in general and that by boxing my focus down to one thing, I’m cheating myself out of the growth of other things.

For examples…

Writing more causes revelation, which helps with teaching which helps others.

Music increases my worship to God, which stirs up my Spirit and out of that the prophetic flows and I can have a word that edifies others.

When I went to Film School I put music down because I thought I should just focus on one kind of art. STUPID! Once I got to Senior Year when I was singing and writing songs again, I tapped into this creative part of me that had ten times the ideas for everything, including films!

Don’t ever put yourself  or God in a box. There may be times to focus on one thing over another, but don’t forsake all of your giftings and passions because you have no idea how God will use them! God is smarter than you! He can use all of you.

Lessons I’m learning about mistakes

This year I’ve been learning a lot about God’s will and getting a lot of words about stepping into my destiny soon.

Why this freaks me out:

I’ve made a lot of mistakes (as illustrated by the story below) and am not into making any that will keep me from what I’m supposed to be doing to prepare for whatever this destiny is. The other night (or morning rather) I wrote down a list of everything I am afraid of. Basically what all it came down to was this: making mistakes. But here is what God has to say in response to that:

1)  Constantly submit to Him (James 4:7) and to Godly authority (Romans 13:1-7, Hebrews 13:17, 1 Peter 5:5)

2)  Seek and choose wisdom

If everyday I say “God, show me what’s keeping me from You and what You want from me,” and am willing to actually hear and obey His answers, then I should be okay.

And while listening, I’m learning it comes back to this:

We don’t have to know everything, we just have to trust God.

 

Thank God for Retakes

Yesterday I ended with talking about how the Devil wants to keep us from what God has for us…so today it’s storytime!

This past April, I was feeling really cool because I was stepping into a new place in my walk with God and feeling really grounded. I knew I was a different person than I used to be and felt like the things that once tempted me could never tempt me again. I was now what I like to call Youth Group Testimony Girl. If you’ve grown up in church you know what I’m talking about:

“I used to snort lines off of toilet seats, but now I’m here, PRAISE JESUS!” or some variation of that.

And that was me, I thought. God saved me and I was never going back. My church, House Of Praise, was doing a series called “30 Days To Live,” and there was a challenge put out to the congregation: If you had 30 days to live, what would you want people to know about you? What would you tell people? What would you leave behind?

I thought, “Oh my gosh, I need to write down the last five years. I need to tell my testimony!”

Suddenly I had this huge conviction that I needed to do this. I called a couple of friends and my mom and everyone agreed. So I started writing this book, and I even got a few chapters in.

Then, it happened: Epic Strugglefest 2010.

I faced (almost) everything that used to be a struggle for me and failed every test. And even though I was repentant and knew God didn’t care about my Mickey Mouse mistakes, I still let guilt creep in and stop me. I stopped writing my book because I felt like I couldn’t share my testimony. I felt like I wasn’t a good enough Christian if I could fall off so easily as Strugglefest. And that’s when I stopped working on something I really felt led to do.

After that I was in a really dry place with God. I was leading mission teams and going to conferences and watching people have these intense encounters, but all I felt was exhausted.

I came to my dad one afternoon crying and saying, “I don’t know where God is. I’m so hungry!” Prophet Dad said, “Kristen, just ask God what He wants you to do and you will hear Him.”

So I went into my room and asked God that question. All I heard at first was one word: “Write.” This was months after I stopped writing my book and I hadn’t even thought about it in a while. I kind of thought I heard Him wrong and was frustrated but I wrote down that word, and then God started speaking to me about some other things that didn’t make sense at the time…but I didn’t even care. He was speaking to me and I was stoked!

That night I had the opportunity to share my testimony for the first time to a crowd of people. I had no idea what I was going to say…this was the testimony I did not feel worthy to tell. But when the time came I just got up there and then suddenly I just knew what to say. Words were pouring out of me. Everyone went quiet. People on the street were listening to me. People were crying. I came off the platform and was confused at what just happened, but I knew God totally showed up, and it was through the testimony the enemy had tried to stop me from telling before. God is so gracious and gave me another shot.

And yes, I’m writing again. (Um, clearly.)

So there it is: You are a child of God. Don’t let the lies of the enemy about your worthiness condemn you and keep you from doing what you’re supposed to do. All have fallen short of the glory of God…that’s why Jesus came and died and rose again and made YOU an overcomer. What What!

PS: I know this post is way long, and has nothing to do with art. This won’t happen much I promise.

The art of doing: Why real life training would make a terrible movie

I love movie montages. When I was a tween, I loved the part of Clueless when Brittany Murphy’s character gets the soda cans in her hair and reads all these books and becomes hot enough and “good enough” to hang out with Cher and Dione. I especially liked it because of two things: I had/have hair very close to Brittany’s pre-makeover, and was constantly made fun of for it. The problem is at the time I lived in the Dominican Republic and soda only came in glass bottles, so I really had to get over this. The second reason I especially liked this was something I think I am just getting over now: this transformation was quick. One five-minute montage and the girl is all “rollin with the homies.” This seems to happen in every movie:

Spiderman: “Ahh, I’m bit! Woah, I’m awesome!”

Princess Diaries: “Take a falling star and put it in your pocket, never let it…get it’s hair straightened and meet its grandma and suddenly realize it’s ready to rule a small country.”

Karate Kid: “Hey do you have a couple of weeks to train me? Oh weird, I don’t know why I asked I can already do this!”

It’s really a shame I get all of my life information from movies. These aren’t lifelong epics where time passes along a span of years. What we see here is a short amount of training for big things.

I have this friend who compares how he approaches life to how he eats:

Minute 1: Food is here.

Minute 5: Food is gone.

And I’m exactly the same way. I see what I want and want it now. I don’t want to wait or put in the work all the time…usually none of the time. Usually I have to be tricked into it, like how going to Emerson tricked me into learning.

Here’s why this is bad:

1) Jesus prepared 30 years for 3 years of ministry. We may have to train for a long time to make massive impact…and I won’t even talk about John 14:12 now.

2) Waiting on God’s timing is key. My friend is pregnant right now. She is so excited, but she’s only 14 weeks in. She clearly cannot have that baby now. And a lot of times it’s like that with the vision God plants inside of us. Moving too quickly prevents the fullness of what God has, shows that we don’t trust God and can even hurt people.

There is such a thing as moving too slow as well though. When God says go, we need to GO. God can advance and promote people very quickly, His ways are higher than ours, and the things you are already doing could tie into what God wants you to do.

El Diablo is a liar and loves to give us doubts that we aren’t good enough or skilled enough for what God has for us. E.D. would love to see our fears or self-doubt stifle us from doing what God wants. But what God can do is so much bigger than our faith can contain.

 

Check back tomorrow for more on this.