Monday, October 23, 2006


Wow! This has been a busy and intense ministry season.

The leadership at UCCC has been teaching a series titled, "Broken", about our sexual and relational wounding and brokenness.

Again I say...Intense.

They had asked the Creative Arts team -- which I serve as Director -- to provide several dramatic and visual elements for the series. In conjunction, we are holding our first-ever art show which happens to be ...NEXT WEEKEND!! (Yikes!) Today, I'm posting the prospectus about the theme.

I have just been immersed in this theme for several weeks (in reality -- the whole year) because I have also been co-leading a small group in CrossCurrent -- the program that the Broken series is adapted from. I have never in my life been exposed to so many stories of brokenness and yet been so full of hope for people. If you know me at all, you know that this is an absolute transformation in my life. I am thankful.

At the same time, God has exposed more of my own brokenness than ever before in my journey with Him...and still I am full of hope ( exhausted, maybe, but full of hope).

Here are my thoughts about living in the tension of brokenness and hope.

Art Show 2006 PROSPECTUS: "Broken"

"Broken things are worthless in the world, but broken things God can not resist." -- McDonald

It is not an accident that the theme chosen for the Art Show can be viewed from several
different angles. Hold this concept up to the light and, like a kaleidoscope, turn it round and
round. The colors and shapes of the fragments will fascinate you.

Broken, the word, can be used from a place of grief, as in 'my heart is broken.' Or it can be
used to express gospel humility, as in 'The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and a contrite heart, O God, You will not despise.' (NASB, Psalm 51:16-18)

It can describe failure in our lives: 'my marriage is broken,' or freedom from prison or slavery:
'This is the kind of fast day I'm after: to break the chains of injustice, get rid of exploitation in the workplace, free the oppressed, cancel debts.' (The Message, Isaiah 58:6)
Broken can also describe the physical damage of an object -- your son's favorite toy or your
checking account. Turn the lens again and we see broken used in one of the Bible's most
compelling narratives of surrender and worship, 'While He was in Bethany at the home of Simon the leper, and reclining at the table, there came a woman with an alabaster vial of very costly perfume of pure nard; and she broke the vial and poured it over His head.' (NASB, Mark 14:2-4)
In the context of the CrossCurrent sermon series, the word broken defines the relational
and sexual sins and wounds that have made up the patterns of our lives. We have been
damaged physically, emotionally and spiritually by the sin in us and around us. As the imago
, the image of God, we are not what God intended us to be. We are broken.

But there is hope. Great hope.

'With the cross before us, we are reminded that life has broken through all the deadly loves
of the old self. We live out of the new and true self. The cross reminds us that we are
greater than the sum total of our brokenness.' -- Andrew Comiskey, author of CrossCurrent

Broken does not lose its meaning for us once we receive Christ's gift of healing and

Turn the lens again, adjust the light, and you see, 'The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a
broken and a contrite heart, O God, You will not despise.' (NASB, Psalm 51:17)

'One of our central core-values at Union Center is 'brokenness.' This is not referencing the
damage of our lives, which may be plentiful, but rather an attitude of teachability, humility
and obedience to the Spirit.' -- Dr. John Hawco, senior pastor at Union Center
In this light, broken describes the beauty of a life that is characterized by compassion,
forgiveness, humility and surrender.

'The Lord Jesus cannot live in us fully and reveal Himself through us until the proud self
within us is broken. This simply means that the hard unyielding self which justifies itself,
wants its own way, stands up for its rights, and seeks its own glory at last bows its head to
God's will, admits its wrong, gives up its own way to Jesus, surrenders its rights and discards
its own glory -- that the Lord Jesus might have all and be all.' -- Roy Hession, The Calvary Road
And, in this light, all the fragments and all the colors of the kaleidoscope draw our eyes to
our Savior -- the God-man who was broken for us. 'The Master, Jesus, on the night of his
betrayal, took bread. Having given thanks, he broke it and said, 'This is my body, broken for you. Do this to remember me.'
After supper, he did the same thing with the cup: 'This cup is my blood, my new covenant with you. Each time you drink this cup, remember me.' -- (The Message, 1 Corinthians 11:23)
Practically, we want to invite you to pray over this theme. Study the word from different
angles, holding it up to the light of your personal experience. Get on and do a word search -- see how God treats this concept in the Scriptures. Talk to a friend, explore a new medium, look through your portfolio in a fresh way. There is no specific requirement for the artists except that one of the pieces be submitted under the theme Broken, and that you provide a statement of how that artwork reflects the theme.

Above all, I encourage you to speak truth through your art. Avoid the temptation to draw
and paint and sculpt something 'Christian' or 'churchy.' Jesus became man and walked
through the stuff of earth without ever losing His deity. In the same way, He is able to take
the stuff of your artwork and reveal Himself through it.

I am praying for you. I am asking God to encourage us and guide us and protect us as we
take this risk of revealing the imago dei in each one of us. Most of all, I am asking Him to
bring great fame to His name through our obedience and vulnerability.

Ever your biggest fan,
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