Month: October 2018

Candice Coates: Creative in Action

It is the pleasure of ICFTS, to the glory of God our Savior, Jesus Christ, that we get to embark on this new journey, Creatives in Action, or CNA, where we get to share the stories of Creatives in Christ who are pursuing their vision and dream to the glory of God! We are starting this journey off with Candice Coates, the Founder and Creative Voice behind ICFTS, with the help of Rachael Ritchey, who has graciously blessed us by conducting this interview. Anywhere you see RR, know that is Rachael speaking as CC is Candice. INTRODUCING CANDICE COATES: A CREATIVE IN ACTION Bio: Candice Coates, is the Founding Creative Voice of “I came for the soup…”. Born and raised in central Ohio, Candice has always had a love for telling a story, and learning the stories of others, not only those of fiction but of truth. She is a fiction and non-fiction author, as well as a visual artist, and jewelry designer. She began her walk with the Lord as a small child and has developed …

Discovering that Less truly is More: Part 2

Planting seeds would be a mess if we dug one hole, threw in every seed we had and hoped for the best. Sometimes we think that the more we have the better off we will be., or the more we do the more successful we are. Fortunately, and I mean, fortunately, that isn’t the case. In most things in life, less truly is more. I am a person who does believe in the art of multi-tasking. If you provide childcare like I do at times, then this is a necessary art form. But in cases of being creative in general and pursuing your vision, doing one thing or very few things at a time will often reap better results and a heartier harvest. Some studies have shown in the case of online shops that ten is the magic number. When people are given too many items, they feel overwhelmed and will drift off to something else without actually buying anything even if they liked many things. ‘Less’ affords people the chance to be decisive without being …

Waiting Like Bamboo: Learning to Progress One Step at a Time

Over the years, I’ve been asked by several people I know, like I know you have been too, ‘what is your plan?’ They ask because they know my dreams. They ask because they have seen my struggle, and from their vantage point and sometimes even my own, it seems like nothing fruitful is happening. That seeming reality couldn’t be further from the truth. I once heard Joyce Meyer talking about growth and waiting on God. She talked about how she’d learned bamboo shoots, once planted, will spend up to five years growing deep roots before actually breaking through the surface. But once they break through they can grow a foot in a matter of hours. “Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.” ~PSALM 119:105 That teaching was so encouraging but the reality is, nobody really wants to wait like bamboo. We want the deep roots TODAY and the foot-by-the-hour growth TODAY. All of this makes me think about the deceiving phrase of ‘overnight success.’ Again, one sees bamboo stretching …

The One We Serve: Faith for Our Labors

I’ma tell you like Daddy told me, in everything you do give God the glory. Every opportunity you’re given, sing your song for TWO as you would for a THOUSAND…” ~JOANN ROSARIO The above quote is the opening verse from the song titled “Serve You Only,” by JoAnn Rosario. There is such wisdom in this quote, such encouragement that, to me, really puts life and actions in proper perspective. Sometimes, most of the time, we weigh the value of our efforts by the size of the audience or the applause we may or may not receive as a result of it. We allow the absence of accolades to force our minds into the abysmal depths of disbelief, thinking our work is for not. “No one will buy this painting. No one cares about this poem. Who is going to read this book? I shared the Gospel and no one accepted Christ as their Savior. Is my work in vain?” All of these thoughts, and we all have had them, lead me to the old saying, “If …

Stumbling Through the Process: The Art of Fearless Creativity

“I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.” -Thomas A. Edison Scrolling through Instagram, I happened upon a quote that said something like, “Even when I stumble I am one step closer.” I’m not certain if those are the exact words, but that was the essence of the quote. What moved me most was the audacity of the words, the blatant courage to stand up with mud on your face, blood on your knees, and raw palms, and still say with absolute grit, that I am closer than I was before, even if I had to fall to get here. Creativity is much like that. It is ‘that’! It is taking the risks and continuing on, even when our confidence wavers. It is pressing on and being your own cheerleader when those who once celebrated you on the sidelines have grown quiet. It is believing, even when you are the only one left to believe. You may be the only one that sees the value in the dream within you, but if …

Handful of Hope: A Short Story & Encouragement

She wanted to see if they could float so with faith she tossed them across the sackcloth that would be the sky and watched as her handful of hope like diamonds suspended themselves and twinkled as stars. She wasn’t the King Creator, nor His Glorious Son, but she was born of His Spirit, and thusly imbued with the authority and call to create. She was learning how to do so with a voice and song uniquely her own, a song she longed to sing to please only His ears. So she tossed up another handful of hope and watched it twinkle and grow in light until the inky darkness bled away yielding to the brilliance of life. The cold uncertainty that had once made her limbs stiff with immobility began to retreat as her being grew warm with the fire of expectation and joy. Handful after handful of hope and dreams and faith jettisoned from her vibrant fingertips and ate away at the dreadful nothing that sought to blanket her with fear. Laughter erupted from her …

Learning the Beauty in Less being More: Part 1

I am truly learning and embracing the joy of ‘less is more.’ As I intentionally take the time to build the life that I imagine for myself by His prompting, I am living the truth that I can create without hustle. I can be a success without embracing the lie that I need to be stressed to do it. I don’t have to do ‘it’ the way everyone has shouted that ‘it’ needs to be done. The wisdom is to perform for an audience of ONE, Christ Jesus, and to learn how to be better than the person you were the day before. I have no need to keep up with the Jones…Neither do you! We don’t even know who the Jones are, which makes it all the better. Our lives are unique and designed by Christ. It is our honor and privilege to discover the path He has designed for us and to walk them by faith in His hands. Our hands and knees may get messy along the way since the path is …

His Mercies New, His Grace Abundant: Basking In the Faithfulness of God

Have you seen the sky today? I don’t know where in the world you might call home, but here, in my neck of the woods, the sky is breathtaking. Just typing these words, peering out the window at the glorious display that the Lord Jesus has put on outside puts such joy in my heart and a smile on my face. The Word says that “The heavens declare the glory of God,” and I have to agree. Seeing this evidence enables me to say it is truly well within my soul. “God is so mighty, and so big and so awesome, that HE sustains His creation with the DUST that falls from His feet.” Clouds. They are such marvelous things. The sky is a gorgeous aquamarine blue and is perfectly dotted with fluffy white clouds, framed with even whiter halos of light! Some of you may be thinking, “So what. They are clouds.” But do you know what the Word of God says about clouds? “The LORD is slow to anger but great in power; …

I Promise: A Short Story…A Testimony

“They’ll be safe here, I promise.” His smile bloomed like the radiant sun coming from behind a cloud, and with the same tenderness, it warmed her face and bathed her heart with gladness. She exhaled and hoped that the worry lines would ease from between her brow even if she couldn’t stop the fluttering that tickled beneath her chest. It was hard to leave them there. She had done this before so many years ago, but then… Reading her thoughts, His gaze turned tender, His scarred hand kissed the crown of her head before sliding down to cup her cheek. The feel of it washed through her like a gentle summer wind. He whispered again, “I promise.” And the storm within her ceased. She dared to gaze back upon them, the tiny, fragile seedlings that she had planted with hope within this heavenly soil. It was excellent soil, He had told her, and the words bubbled within her belly as if they were a child come to life in her womb. It made her giggle …

Words…Use Them Wisely

Life is more than words, but words do make up our lives. Have you ever considered how the simplest of words can change a person’s attitude either for the good or bad? Even the words spoken without verbalization have such great power. Consider a person who feels utterly alone, ignored and unseen. Let a stranger smile at them, genuinely smile at them, and that non-verbal interaction, those ‘words’ spelled out without sound, can push away the dark clouds in the recipient’s day. “Life is more than words, but words do make up our lives.”   God created the whole of creation with just His Words (Genesis 1). He spoke and it came to be. Our Lord Jesus is the Word made flesh (John 1). He, too spoke and things happened. He spoke to the fig tree and it died (Mark 11:12-25). He spoke to Lazarus and he was resurrected from the dead, (John 11: 38-44). Being a person of faith I am compelled not to take language and words lightly even though I often stumble, …