As counterintuitive as it may seem, sometimes there is nothing more crippling or stifling to creativity as a blank page or a blank canvas with absolutely no parameters at all. I remember being a child and someone handing me a blank page and some crayons and being told to just draw and color whatever I wanted. I stared at that blank page for what seemed, to my child’s mind, like hours. Recently, a friend of mine who had been asked to preach as a guest at another church, expressed that while he appreciated the hosting pastor and church’s charity in saying he could preach on anything or from any text at all, the prospect of having all 66 books and every verse in the Bible suddenly opened up as fair game and free territory was at least a little bit daunting…
Even the most unstructured creatives, at the very top in their particular field, may experience times of indecision, when it comes to their next creative piece, be it a song, a painting, a sculpture, an essay, a sermon, or any number of creative expressions. They will pine for inspiration or seek out their next muse. Really what they are looking for is some direction. Something to give them a push towards at least some kind of intentioned end, and… even if everything ends up going in a totally different direction by the time it is all said and done… As the old adage goes, it is much easier to steer a ship at sea than it is to steer one anchored in harbor.
All that to say, sometimes, in order to allow creativity to really express itself, at least a little bit of structure is to be preferred and can actually be incredibly helpful.
That is the plan with the blog here on Redemption Hill’s website. To provide at least a little bit of structure to allow creativity to then run free within the provided parameters or borders. A little push, in a particular direction, to at least get the ship moving out of the harbor and into the open seas, and then? Well, the world is our oyster and we shall see where the wind takes us.
I do not mean to pretend, or provide the pretense that, the articles written and left here will be in any sense truly creative, or works of art, but just merely that as some kind of creative expression, we may need some direction, or at the very least, I need some direction and structure myself.
Here is the structure we will begin with:
Blog posts will be posted by me, Pastor Mike, with some kind of intentioned regularity beginning with 2 different themes on Mondays and Fridays, and soon a third theme on Wednesdays. While Pastor Joel, and our elder candidate, Jon Herrera, will also be able to submit articles or posts of some kind with regularity and in the themes that work for them.
Mike’s Monday, (Mid-Morning), Musings
Each Monday, I will endeavor to post in a series called, “Mike’s Monday, (Mid-Morning), Musings,” (in other words, don’t expect to see this at 6:30 am). In this series, I will be reflecting on the Lord’s Day gathering at Redemption Hill. So, (while my mother might find this interesting), this will be a post that is very intentionally written for the people of Redemption Hill.
I will provide reflections of things that I observed from the Sunday before and wish to celebrate or use the opportunity to provide correction if needed, or perhaps elaboration to a specific point or reference in the sermon. All in all, it will be to celebrate the ongoing work of the Lord on Redemption Hill each week. It will be my desire for these posts to be short and sweet and to the point.
(Five of Mike’s Favorite Things on the Internet this Week.)
Each Friday, I will post in another series called, “The Five.” This will be a simple list of five things that caught my attention, during the week, and have some sort of connection to, impact on, or influence over, “living this life in the flesh by faith in the son of God who loved me and gave himself for me.” (Gal. 2:20). This could touch, faith, family, theology, church life, politics, current cultural trends or any number of topics. The Five, could be made up of articles, videos, songs, memes, books, or any number of things.
I will share five links and give a brief explanation as to why they caught my attention and why I included them this week.
This is meant to be a little fun and whimsical, perhaps even a little inspiring or convicting at times, but inevitably there will be a mixture of posts that plumb the heights and depths of the human emotional experience.
It will be fun to see where there is crossover between the things that I saw and what caught my attention, this week, and what caught yours, as we all inevitably have spent some time on the internet this week. The internet is, after all, where you are reading this now, (if you made it this far).
Lastly, I will be posting in a yet nameless series, on Wednesdays, that will be much more theological in nature. I will use this series to post articles, that I will write, on theological topics and probably have series within the series where I can either spend time in particular books or sections of scriptures or write on any number of particular theological topics, like Christian joy, or freedom in Christ, or the importance of the creeds, or historical theological movements within our collective family history as the church. I hope and pray that these posts will be an encouragement to our own church and whoever else may have the chance to read them.
Of course, at any time and on any day, we may use this blog space to address any number of topics or occasions, but by then, we will already be, “at sea.”
All that is written and recorded here will be especially for the people of Redemption Hill, but as it is with all that we do, we pray that it will be a blessing for anyone else who may have the opportunity to come across what we are doing here. We pray that it may all be done for the glory of God, and the sake of the Gospel of Jesus Christ!
~ Pastor Mike Hooper