First, some seasonal thoughts, and then I’ve got a wee update (as promised in my last post) below.
A common expression we hear around the end of each year is “Out with the old, in with the new.” However, the “wrong” title of my post is actually in reference to something I was thinking about some time ago.
I usually start listening to Christmas music about the third or fourth week of November. Over the years, I’ve noticed that there is always new Christmas music being written and produced — or old songs being redone in a “fresh” new way. We like new things, especially in our Western society where we have short attention spans and get bored of the same thing quickly.
What a challenge it must be for preachers preparing their Christmas sermons, knowing that their listeners might be thinking, “Yeah, yeah, I’ve heard this a hundred times before.” How many different ways can you present the same story, the same message? How many new twists can you give to something so familiar? Do we really need to?
I enjoy new things as much as anyone else, but I am also a lover of vintage treasures and antiques. I cannot throw anything out without first looking at it and asking myself, “Can I reuse this? Can I salvage and recycle any part of this for some other purpose?” For example, I never toss a magazine without first going through all the pages to pull out any that I can craft into a pretty envelope or use to wrap small gifts.
Of course, even more important than old things are old (or, to be more polite, elderly) people. I hope none of us ever looks for ways to get rid of or “redo” a loved one just because they’ve passed a certain age! No, we cherish them the way they are and sometimes even listen to the same story for the 43rd time. We do this because we recognize the blessing that these people are.
What about the Word of God? What about the two-millennia-old story of Jesus’ birth? Do we really need to try to give it a makeover? I don’t think so!
I do believe, however, that when we hear the old, old story retold, if we listen with an open and seeking heart, God will make it new for us. Christmas becomes fresh and relevant to us when we change, not when we change the music, the props and the message.
This Christmas, I pray you will enjoy the old… and the new!
And now to let you know what I’ve been up to for the past several months: Over the summer, with the encouragement of persuasive friends, I submitted a proposal for a devotional colouring book to a few publishers. After the usual sitting-at-the-edge-of-my-seat wait, I heard back from Tyndale House. They wanted my book! Amazingly, I got word the very next day from WaterBrook Multnomah asking me to contribute five drawings to a multi-artist colouring book called Whatever Is Lovely (released last week on December 15).
My own book, Restore My Soul, will be released on April 1, 2016. It features 40 devotions, each accompanied by a colouring page that urges the reader to meditate on and respond to the reading, whether that’s right away or during a re-visit later. Please check it out and go ahead and pre-order it! Details about Restore My Soul, including purchase options, and all my other books can be found here. Stay tuned to hear about an exciting book launch / colouring party I’m organizing. In the meantime, here’s a peek at the first of my book covers that I designed myself:
A couple of other fun things that have been happening:
- I’m in love with the astoundingly beautiful art magazine Uppercase and am tickled red (I don’t like pink) that (a) one of my tiny doodles will be included in the 2016 Uppercase calendar and (b) my Puffy Christmas Tree tutorial was featured in a recent Uppercase e-newsletter.
- I’ve been invited to teach two workshops next April (which is also book launch month… whew!) First, I’ll be teaching about “Fearless Freelancing” at the 2016 Evangelical Press Association convention and then, a few weeks later, I’ll be at the Canadian Baptist Women of Ontario & Quebec annual conference, leading a class on incorporating colouring into one’s quiet times. At past events I taught workshops on Creative Devotions so this is a great follow-up. I’m excited about both these opportunities!
If you haven’t yet, please “like” my Facebook page (we recently passed 1,000 followers… hooray!) and enjoy daily inspiration.
See you next time!