Latest Posts

Bri Lassiter: Creative in Action

Bri Lassiter is part of the ICFTS Team. She is a Faithful friend, Believer in Christ, wife and mother. Here is her view of creativity as she takes her action steps to pursue the purpose Christ has placed upon her heart.

I used to define creativity as “arts and crafts” and I completely excluded myself from all connection to the arts because I didn’t fit in my own narrow definition of it.

Recently I began asking God what His dreams are for me, and he reminded me of a childhood love I’ve had for lettering and calligraphy. I had planned on going to an art school many years ago so I could pursue that love but I had been deeply discouraged by others in my life at the time who believed I could not and should not pursue that dream.

I was completely brokenhearted about it and that’s when I started putting up walls by saying that I’m not creative and began defining creativity as “arts and crafts ” and believing it’s “not my thing.”

So when God began reminding me of my dreams and digging them up, it also dug up when those dreams became broken and I got mad at Him and told Him to dream something else for me because I couldn’t do lettering or calligraphy, I’m not creative and I didn’t think I could do it. I told Him I’d never been successful with anything creative anyway.

I love that whatever Jesus digs up, He’s ready to heal. So He began to heal me by showing me how this lie I believed about myself couldn’t possibly be true and pointing out all the things in my life that have required constant creativity, whether I realized it or not.

He pointed out how when I began having health issues I learned how to use food as a healing tool and started creating nourishing things in the kitchen that greatly reduced a lot of my symptoms and blessed others going through the same thing.

He showed me how I’ve needed to be creative in my love of herbal medicine and reminded me of the success I’ve had making tinctures, extracts, salves, and medicinal tea blends to benefit my family. He reminded me of how difficult it was to reconcile my rigid teaching style with my five-year-old’s free-spirited learning style when teaching her to read, but now at six, she reads everything she can get her hands on. And how I was able to connect her obsession with drawing, to math to teach her the concepts of basic addition and subtraction, and how that required creativity in teaching.

He went on and on, exposing every place of creativity where I’ve found success in the past few years. Bit by bit He gently rearranged my perspective by pointing out all the lies I’ve believed that were either spoken about me or I’ve spoken about myself and breathing the truth back into me, that I’ve been creative all along, and that I have been successful in that creativity.

That creativity can be found anywhere that something is being created and you don’t need any special talent or an impressive project, you can find the joy of creating everywhere you look in your life be it in a friendship, a lesson plan, an herbal tea, a letter to someone you love, a workout plan that suits you or a meal full of love.

Seeing my creativity and my dreams from his perspective has healed my fear of trying new creative pursuits and I’m so grateful that as insignificant as a broken love of calligraphy may seem, it wasn’t to Him, and he wanted to fix it so that I could apply my new perspective on creativity as a building block to honor him in all of it, new and old creations.

Worship is both an inward and an outward action. You are expressing physically the inward posture of your heart when you worship, and anything that you create can become an act of worship, an act of agreeing with God about who He is and who you are, a physical expression of your inward reverence and obedience.

So whenever I sit down to create anything now, because I’m acknowledging that He knows best and He is Creator God and He saw fit to create in me this love, it then becomes a physical manifestation of what my heart and soul and mind is singing in worship.

There will always be lies about you and your abilities and who and what you are. But they can’t hinder you if you choose not to believe and accept them as your own. So stop believing them and allowing fear to creep in and build walls around you that weren’t supposed to be there in the first place.

Get your truth about who you are and what your abilities are, from God and Him alone.
Ask Him to show you where you’ve believed lies that have hindered your creativity and watch Him reveal and heal. It’s His thing.

He is after your true identity and every place where he unearths a lie in you, He’ll fill it with the truth of who and what you really are so you can keep walking on in your kingdom calling.

I’ve been learning calligraphy for over a month now (I highly recommend the courses from thehappyevercrafter.com ) and since hearing from God through special verses has kept me sane through the most painful parts of my life to the extent that I write them out and tack them everywhere in my house whenever I need extra help, my vision for learning calligraphy is to be able to share those sanity-saving verses in the form of art so others can have that tangible reminder of Gods promises in their homes too.

So whether you are a seasoned artist or someone that believes creativity has nothing to do with them, Jesus is full of surprises for His children, and if we just ask He is always ready to heal and reveal His dreams of creativity in us. So ask! And see what He does in you too.

Seasons of Grace by Bri Lassiter

By Bri Lassiter

November and December is always a special time for me personally. It really has nothing to do with the holiday seasons or what people typically associate these months with, it’s just a special time for me where God has always shown up for me in special ways.

Looking back, this season was always a source of sadness for me for many reasons, the stress of my own poor health that sometimes excludes me or makes events silently difficult, grief over a family members absence or conflict, stress or isolation due to constant moving out of state, I could go on, but the point is that I have always needed an enormous amount of grace to get through these months and He has always been there for me with promises that it wouldn’t always be that way, and the promises have been enough to carry me through.

If you follow the Jewish calendar you’ll know that Rosh Hashanah or the head of the year just occurred last month. Every year I ask Him what my word of the year is and this year it is was ‘Redemption’.

I am gathering everything that was lost to you and bringing you to a place of full redemption.” He says to me. That’s nice Jesus I say. I’m used to Him giving me hope and promises and then sitting in a long dark waiting season while they have yet to break forth. That’s apparently our thing. So I put these words in my pocket and move on with life.

One day I’m sitting on the toilet griping at Jesus. I mean just really whining. Anyone else sit on the toilet and gripe at Jesus? No? Just me? Ok moving on. Anyway, I’m sitting here in this bathroom staring at this pretty floor and this nice shower that isn’t mine and I just snap.

I’ve been renting almost my entire married life and it’s a super sore spot okay, probably exacerbated by seasonal across state moves spanning the past four years. I’ve carried around this sorrow over not having a true sense of home for a while and although I’ve created the habit of actively handing these feelings to Jesus so I can keep going, I’m not here for it today and something as simple as staring at the floor that wasn’t mine, made me lose it.

So here I am, going off on my angry-toilet-tirade and I’m interrupted by a vision. I see a beautiful room full of light and while I’m looking in this room I feel an overwhelming sense of love and true peace and an unfamiliar happy feeling of establishment, and as I’m looking in this lovely place He says to me, “This is your home, I am bringing you to this place and it will be a place of peace and rest for you where you can finally take your shoes off and stop wandering.”

Grace. Such grace.

Okay, Jesus. I put that one in my pocket for later and assume it’s one of those long-term promises that I’ll see fulfilled someday in the distant future.

Fast forward a little over a month later and its the first day of the new year and what am I doing? Driving to sign papers for the closing of my home. “I told you so, I told you so!” Is all I can hear Him say.
Grace. So much grace.

A year ago a friend prophesied and prayed over our family that we would receive grace upon grace, and it was such a nice thought but I didn’t really understand what that meant and just being real, I didn’t really think my life looked like a picture of grace upon grace. But as I’m writing this, I am sitting in the very room I saw in my vision and it is full of light and love and I’m feeling that true peace and a strange sense of establishment that is beginning to feel familiar.

Grace.

I’m about to spend a week experiencing the fulfillment of restoration to a relationship with someone I never thought would be completely possible, and yet here’s Jesus, showing up with those long-held promises, erasing past griefs and replacing them with His joy.

Grace.

I’m going into this new year and a new season in the best health I’ve had in years, and with the crazy stories of what He’s done for my healing. And in the places where that story is still in progress, I have a new understanding of what it means to be at peace and rest in His promises until they are walked out in my life, even if all I’m seeing with my eyes at the moment is a hot mess.

There it is, grace upon grace. There’s been enough for every season I’ve walked through and there is still enough for every season I have yet to walk through.

So whether this time looks like grace to you too, or whether you’re spending it feeling like a hot mess in some other painful season of purging, building, growing, healing, isolation etc, (fill in your own blank) rest assured that the Father’s grace is with you, and it’s enough, and if you let Him, He’ll teach you how to associate every experience you go through with grace, and He’ll just keep adding to it.

~Dream. Imagine. Believe. Do. CONQUER!

*Photo by Sofya Sokolova on Unsplash

This article is written by Bri Lassiter

Bri Small headshotI’m married to my dearest friend of 8 years and mom to an energetic 6-year-old. My greatest joys come from traveling with my little family, cooking for appreciative recipients, learning herbalism and natural medicine, and every experience I get to have in prayer ministry. I’m an avid tea and book lover and can’t get enough of either. I love Jesus and the daily adventure that comes from walking in friendship with him as he arranges and rearranges my story.

Breathe: Patiently Pursue the Promise

Breathe: Breathe in the Rhema word of truth daily and let your soul be at peace.

“The definition for Rhema refers to a spoken word that is active or activated for your personal situation, a word that comes to life for you by the Spirit.”

See Numbers 13-14:38

When we meet Caleb of the Tribe of Judah, he is a man in his forties, recently delivered from the yokes of slavery in Egypt, on fire with faith in the God of Israel, and ready to take hold of what God has promised-the Promised land of Canaan that will be renamed Israel.

Caleb along with eleven other men, is commissioned to go and spy out the Promised Land, to bring back a report to the people what it is that they are preparing to walk into.

If you are familiar with the story, you know that out of the twelve, Caleb along with Joshua are the only two that returned from the spying mission with even greater faith than before they had seen the land.

BREATHE: ACKNOWLEDGE YOUR GOD & YOUR MOUNTAIN

Caleb, unlike his ten unbelieving cohorts, takes sight of a mountain in the land of Promise and instantly his soul is quickened. This shall be his. By faith, it already is his, and no amount of time can shake that truth even though he burned with a desire to take claim of it the very day he sees it (JOSHUA 14:6-15).

He had a Rhema Word from the Lord and nothing, not time, not age, not giants where going to keep him from his inheritance.

We are all going to encounter mountains in our walks with Christ and in our creative quest. But we have to take a moment and consider each mountain we face.

Why?

Because not every mountain you face is a mountain that you need to tell to be moved and cast into the sea (MATTHEW 21:21). Some mountains you face, like Caleb, are mountains of inheritance that you need to take!

BREATHE: SUBMIT TO THE PROCESS

But there is a process to everything, especially inheriting.

Sometimes the Lord will let us see and sample our promise almost like a teaser of the good that is to come–a reminder of the glory ahead of us to help us remember in the midst of struggles from the point of promise to the place of inheriting–to keep moving forward in faithful pursuit.

The time this often takes can be difficult…frustrating, simply challenging. But it is at this point of taking our mountains that we truly need to breathe.

BREATHE BY PRAYING

We breathe to be centered in His truth. We breathe to renew our minds and stay rooted in the promise. We do this by grounding ourselves in prayer, meditating over the Rhema Word of Promise.

“And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.” ~ROMANS 12:2

Our minds become renewed as they are trained in the Truth. They become trained in truth as we meditate and focus on the truth.

After the death of Moses the servant of the Lord, it came to pass that the Lord spoke to Joshua the son of Nun, Moses’ assistant, saying:  “Moses My servant is dead. Now therefore, arise, go over this Jordan, you and all this people, to the land which I am giving to them—the children of Israel.  Every place that the sole of your foot will tread upon I have given you, as I said to Moses.  From the wilderness and this Lebanon as far as the great river, the River Euphrates, all the land of the Hittites, and to the Great Sea toward the going down of the sun, shall be your territory.  No man shall be able to stand before you all the days of your life; as I was with Moses, so I will be with you. I will not leave you nor forsake you. Be strong and of good courage, for to this people you shall divide as an inheritance the land which I swore to their fathers to give them. Only be strong and very courageous, that you may observe to do according to all the law which Moses My servant commanded you; do not turn from it to the right hand or to the left, that you may prosper wherever you go. This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate in it day and night, that you may observe to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success.  Have I not commanded you? Be strong and of good courage; do not be afraid, nor be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”~JOSHUA 1:1-9 NKJV

The Lord was guiding Joshua to take the Promised Land, land that held Caleb’s mountain, but He knew it was going to take more than just giving Joshua a Word for this to come to pass. Joshua was going to have to embody that Word in order for it to happen and he was made able to do that by focusing on that Word, breathing it in and out day and night.

What mountain has God promised you? Are you breathing in the Rhema Word of Faith in order to take hold of it?

BREATHE IN PATIENCE

“But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing. ~JAMES 1:4

We breathe to allow patience to have her perfect way and to not become anxious for anything (PHILIPPIANS 4:4-9) but thank Him in advance for everything. Time can seemingly be the enemy of our very desires and souls, but in the waiting are we made able to carry more weight.

We are strengthened in patience. Our character improves and dependence on God increases. We cease to believe the lie that we can take the land on our own, but are reminded that He is the One Who by grace brings the promise to pass (NUMBERS 14:26-45) because apart from Him we can do nothing (JOHN 15:5).

Finally, we breathe because in doing so we allow Him to show us the way to walk in order to take hold of what He has promised.

In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He shall direct your paths.” ~PROVERBS 3:6

WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO BREATHE

Breathe- To patiently pursue the promise through the process of prayer.

See your mountain. Acknowledge the presence of your God and Father, and breathe…

*See intro to Be Squared

~Dream. Imagine. Believe. Do. CONQUER!

To Walk on the Wind: Faith for Creatives

Uitwaaien (out-vwy-ehn) “To take a break to clear one’s head; lit. “To walk on the wind.” ~The Dictionary

Uitwaaien is such an amazing word, not just for the beautiful meaning, but also for its incredibly difficult but fun pronunciation!

To take a break in order to clear one’s mind is a foreign concept for many of us. It actually seems counterintuitive to being successful in our creative pursuits. But when we look at scripture, we see the God of Creation not only taking a break from His work during the dawn of time but also during His three years of ministry here on earth as God with Us-Emmanuel.

“And when He (Jesus) had sent them away, He departed to the mountain to pray.” ~ MARK 6:46 NKJV

With each moment of creation, the Lord paused to call His work good. With each moment of ministry that He completed in the form of man, He took the time to draw away and to breathe in the refreshing breath of God the Father.

In Matthew 14:22-33, Christ Jesus sends away the crowd and the disciples, goes away alone to pray Himself, and then comes back down the mountain only to walk on water!

With each step that we take in the direction that Christ Jesus is leading us, we too must take moments to embrace Uitwaaien, to clear our heads, hear from the Lord and to walk in the Wind which is the Spirit/Ruach/Breath of God!

Fatigue is no one’s friend. Seek His face in prayer often and allow Him to renew your mind. Your success if found in the guidance of His Spirit (Proverbs 16:3).

~Poeima, Poetry in Motion

*Photo by Saksham Gangwar on Unsplash

 

Chasing the White Rabbit: Our Struggle with Time

Right here and right now! That is the attitude of most people that live in the modern world today. We have been blessed with many great inventions that have made the idea of waiting passé and almost more appropriately stated, fictional. We do not have to wait on our meals due to the greatness of fast food chains not to mention the beauty of the microwave.

Although our modern conveniences have made life in effect ‘more convenient’ they have also robbed us of our patience and our ability to wait.

Alice in Wonderland. The attitude of the White Rabbit. We all know the story. Alice sees a little white rabbit running nervously, rushing to get somewhere. “I’m late!” He cries out over and over again as he rushes to get to the tea party of the Mad Hatter.

How many of us have rushed to do or get something or get somewhere that was steeped in madness? Our Heavenly Father makes a prophecy over our lives and even though we need to walk in faith and do what He instructs us to do in order to go where He has promised i.e our promised land, we certainly do not need to rush.

Sometimes the time that seems to lag on is necessary. Sometimes He wants us to develop certain qualities of character that will help us stay rooted in the promises that He has given us. Proverbs speaks to this truth. If we go into battle without ammunition we will ultimately lose, we have missed our goal.

“To act without knowing how you function is not good and if you rush ahead you will miss your goal.” ~PROVERBS 19:2 CJB

Sometimes our Lord Jesus has us wait so that He can deal with things that are going on in our lives where we stand, remove certain obstacles out of our way to where we are going, and bless us with what we need to survive once we get where He has destined for us to go.

“Now when the sun was going down, a deep sleep fell upon Abram; and behold, horror and great darkness fell upon him.  Then He said to Abram: “Know certainly that your descendants will be strangers in a land that is not theirs and will serve them, and they will afflict them four hundred years. And also the nation whom they serve I will judge; afterward, they shall come out with great possessions.  Now as for you, you shall go to your fathers in peace; you shall be buried at a good old age.  But in the fourth generation, they shall return here, for the iniquity of the Amorites is not yet complete.” ~GENESIS 15:12-16 NKJV

In these verses we see our Lord do all of those things; He deals with the cruelty of the Egyptians toward Israel, He blesses Israel with great wealth once they leave Egypt, and He gives time for the Emori people to get to a place of such distance from Him in paganism and sinful living that He has cause to destroy them from the Holy Land, and give it to a people devoted to Him.

I recognize that we all still struggle with walking in His time and not running and rushing but what does Isaiah 5:18-19 say in regard to this—our rushing of the Lord?

“Woe to those who begin by pulling at transgression with a thread. But end by dragging sin along as if with a cart rope. They say, “We want God to speed up His work, to hurry it along, so we can see it! We want the Holy One of Israel’s plan to come true right now, so we can be sure of it!” ~ISAIAH 5:18-19 CJB

He is saying it is a bad thing to be so anxious and in so doing, fall into sin by trying to rush His hand. At first, you start off with doing it only a little, kind of like when your underpants have a hanging string, and then you keep pulling and pulling at the thing until your underpants have completely fallen off of you leaving you bear!

Our unbelief strips us and leaves us uncovered. A small transgression anxious desire converts into a heavy dangerous sin of unbelief and lack of faith. We will only believe if we can see.

This is not at all what the Lord wants for us! The Lord wants us to trust Him. He wants us to not be anxious about anything but give Him thanks for everything. (PHILIPPIANS 4:4-9) He wants us to rest in His faithfulness as He reveals to us the fullness of the story He has written for our lives. (MATTHEW 6:25-34)

Ecclesiastes 7:8 assures us that everything has its appointed time and that it is better to be patient and wait on Christ Jesus because the end of something is better than the beginning.

Even the coming of our Lord Jesus was for an appointed time, a right time, and you better believe it took time, but it was oh so worth it! (GALATIANS 4:4, ROMANS 5:6)

I mean, let’s be honest, when in the bible do we ever see Him rush/run anywhere? We never see Christ Jesus rush or run anywhere but He was always on time. The only mention of the Father rushing and running was in the story of the Prodigal Son when the Father is running to welcome us into His blessing and redemption! (LUKE 15:11-32)

This holds true today in our lives. Christ Jesus is the Architect of our destinies. He knows what time it is and He knows what He is doing. He can be trusted so as He walks and takes His time we need to be patient and trust His timing no matter what the world says.

So with all of that said what is the current situation of most of the situations that He comes to in the gospels?  (Usually dead or near death—hopeless) But if we look ahead we see that He always showed up and when He did He brought life and hope with Him to show the world and those who believe in Him and those that would that HE IS!

TRUTHS TO REMEMBER WHILE YOU WALK AND WAIT

(Isaiah 40:29-31) Those who wait will soar and be invigorated!

(Romans 12:12) Rejoice in your hope be patient in your troubles and continue steadfastly in prayer.

(James 5:7) Be patient even as the farmer is patient. He plants and in due time he reaps a great harvest.

(Lamentations 3:25 (21-24)) We must remember that He is faithful and compassionate and that it is good to put our hope in Him no matter how long things may be taking. He is good to those who are waiting on Him and seeking Him out.

(Galatians 5:19-23) While we wait we are made able to produce the fruit of the Spirit, showing forth love and patients goodness self-control etc.

(James 1:2-4) As you produce these fruits the good work that Christ Jesu has started in us is being completed and we will be perfected in our perseverance LACKING NOTHING!

WHATEVER HE HAS YOU WAITING ON, REMEMBER:

(Hebrews 6:11-12) You can be encouraged by looking at those who went ahead of you and remember that because of their diligent perseverance they have received the promise.

(Galatians 4:4) He is fully aware of the time.

(Philippians 1:6) He will not abandon His work

(John 15:15) You are His friend so be encouraged

(Isaiah 52:12) When it is time to happen it will.

(Isaiah 49:15,16,23)(Isa.30:18(19-26)) Those that wait on Him will not be disappointed

(2 Chronicles 20:15) ( 2 Kings 18:17-25, 28-30) 19: 1, 8-19, 32-37)) The battle is not yours, it is His.

Just simply be encouraged and let Him take His time. (James 1:4)

“Now, therefore, stand and see this great thing which the Lord will do before your eyes…” ~I SAMUEL 12:16

White Rabbits are lovely to watch as they bounce along on their way to wherever they are going. But you and I have the assurance that our footsteps are ordered. So take your time. Be patient, and walk with Him. He knows your way because He is the Way!

~Dream. Imagine. Believe. Do. CONQUER!

*This article is Revised from September 19, 2009

*Photo by Victor Larracuente on Unsplash

Victory Before the Battle: Being Undevourable

Colossians 2:13-15, “And you, being dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, He has made alive together with Him, having forgiven you all trespasses, having wiped out the handwriting of requirements that was against us, which was contrary to us. And He has taken it out of the way, having nailed it to the cross. Having disarmed principalities and powers, He made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them in it.”

Yours is the victory! Christ Jesus has set you free from every enemy and every issue that could and would rise against you (ISAIAH 53). Your job is to believe it!

Satan, the enemy of our souls–our souls i.e our minds, because if he can get us to believe lies then he can shift the trajectory of our lives to live lies, far outside of the redemptive promises of God and Christ even though we are saved–is fighting a battle he has already lost. But if you don’t realize he is defeated, you become devourable (I PETER 5:8.)

Our enemy is fighting with broken limbs. He is the Wizard of Oz, all smoke, mirrors, and lies…nothing but a talking head (See the Wiz.)

Expose him by shining the light of the truth of the Word and Spirit and send him to flight as you walk in your Christ-won victory, identity, and inheritance.

It, whatever your it is, is already finished. Let God be True and every symptom, changeable fact, circumstance, and man a liar! (ROMANS 3:4) His Word stands so let’s keep standing on His Word!

You’ve already won before your battle even begun. Praise Christ Jesus!

But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your labor is not in vain in the Lord.” ~ I COR. 15:57-58

~Poiema, Poetry in Motion

*Photo by Zoltan Tasi on Unsplash

Be Squared: Developing a Solid Foundation for Faith Moves

Squared. In terms of algebra, every pre-teen’s favorite subject, to be squared is to be raised to a higher power. A numeral goes from its singular numeric ability and is suddenly given a boost that takes it from one level of value to another.

In terms of our faith to be squared is to be foundationally grounded as you go from one level of glory to another.

This month on ICFTS, we are going to prepare our hearts and minds as the Lord ‘squares’ us. Are you ready?

THE PRINCIPLES OF BEING SQUARED: BREATH. BELIEVE. BEGIN

The principles of being squared are not a one-time, step-program that you apply once today and for the rest of your life reap the results. Rather it is a constant reminder for how we should always renew our minds (ROMANS 12:2) as we prepare to step into not only a new season of greater glory but every day.

To ‘renew’ is to re-establish or to repeat. Some synonyms would be to reaffirm or reassert. To renew in its simplest definition is to meditate upon, to consistently come in agreement with something.

In the first chapter of the book of Joshua, the Lord tells Joshua to mediated upon His Word day and night and He will be a success (JOSHUA 1:1-9 NIV). The word used for ‘meditate’ in the original Hebrew text is Hagah which means to mutter, muse, to utter or to speak. It also means to growl or to roar.*

In EPHESIANS 6:10-18, we are instructed to take up the full Armor of God and the sword of the Spirit and the Word. Interestingly enough, the word in this text used from ‘word’ is ‘Rhema’* and not Logos. The definition for Rhema refers to a spoken word that is active or activated for your personal situation, a word that comes to life for you by the Spirit.

What does this mean? This means when the enemy comes to seek your seed and to devour your promise you are to roar out the Rhema word the Lord has given you for your situation and cut the enemy down with the sword the Spirit has given you! You can only do this if you have been meditating on the Word.

  • Breathe: Breathe in the Rhema word of truth daily and let your soul be at peace
  • Believe: Believe what has been said to you by His Spirit
  • Begin: Take your steps in faith toward your promise and promised land

Over the next three weeks, we will unpack these three principles and build our foundation of faith as we go from glory to glory in Him (II CORINTHIANS 3:18.)

Get prepared to BE SQUARED.

~Dream. Imagine. Believe. Do. CONQUER!

*Definitions taken from Bibletools.org  Definition found at BibleHub.com

Meet the Team: Introduction to the ICFTS Crew of Creatives

“I came for the soup…,”  a platform designed to encourage creatives to dream or dream again, in Christ-centered faith, helping them to discover their creativity, vision, and the courage it takes to make them thrive.

ICFTS’s mission is to encourage and guide others to rediscover and take hold of their dreams and unique creative voice, in order to step out in faith and give life to their vision. That can be faith in how to raise a more Godly and united family, how to be more financially free, how to gain the courage to start your own business.

Whatever it is you have a dream to achieve, ICFTS is here to come alongside you and walk you from imaginative moment to manifestation.

With any vision, there is a team, a community, a family, that plant the seeds and bring in the harvest together. It is our pleasure to meet you!

THE TEAM & COMMUNITY

I’m Candice Coates

Candice small headshotI am the Founder of “I came for the soup…” I am a Fiction and Non-Fiction Author, who loves to share my faith through my art and writing. I am blessed to teach others the Word and speak life into their vision. I am in love with Ireland, languages, tea, and just about anything with pistachios. When not writing I am pursuing my creative voice through visual art, or new designs for my handmade polymer clay jewelry line, Shizen Brook.

 

I’m Bri Lassiter

Bri Small headshotI‘m married to my dearest friend of 8 years and mom to an energetic 6-year-old. My greatest joys come from traveling with my little family, cooking for appreciative recipients, learning herbalism and natural medicine, and every experience I get to have in prayer ministry. I’m an avid tea and book lover and can’t get enough of either. I love Jesus and the daily adventure that comes from walking in friendship with him as he arranges and rearranges my story.

 

I’m Regina Hernandez 

Reginas small headshotI am a woman on an adventurous journey of fully stepping into the identity Christ has spoken over me. I am wife to a most amazing man, and we have two children: a joyous two-year-old little boy and a sweet six-year-old daughter on the autism spectrum. Together, we are destined for greatness, and once our testimony is fulfilled, the power of Christ will be undeniable to anyone who hears it. The Holy Spirit has blessed me with the most amazing gifts of creativity, communication, and prophecy. My desire in life is to combine these gifts in hopes of encouraging others to embrace their God-given identity, find true freedom, and fully experience the love of Christ in their life.

THIS IS JUST THE BEGINNING!

There is such a great power to be shared when two or more stand in agreement before the Lord, and we three are standing with you as you step out in faith to be all that Christ Jesus has called and created you to be and to take hold of all that He has for you! (MATTHEW 18:18-20)

As we stand together and through the power of Christ’s Spirit, build this ministry and platform stay connected with us by following us!

It is such a pleasure to meet you and to see you flourish in your faith and creativity!

In Him Always!

~Dream. Imagine. Believe. Do. CONQUER! 

 

 

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

photo4Bio: 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 a deep-rooted and unshakable faith in the faithfulness of Christ, her Center, and Source. This is her Creativity in Action.

RR: Okay! Why don’t we start out with your projects, how are you are Creative in Action?

CC: Although, I like all Creatives, have many interests, I have prayerfully taken the initiative to narrow my focus down to my big three; growing ICFTS, pursuing my career as a fiction author, and my visual art.

First, let me say that it wasn’t easy…still isn’t at times, but I am living out the worth of doing so.

First of all, we have “I came for the soup…” or ICFTS. This project or ministry began as a personal blog that was set up more as a creative diary of sorts. For nearly five years prior to the birth of ICFTS, I found that I had been creatively stifled. I struggled to make art or even write. Then, in 2013, I was blessed to go to Europe for ten days and whatever had been holding me back from creating was broken off of me.

When I returned to the States, the Lord instructed me to start ICFTS and chronicle my journey into creating again and fine-tuning my creative voice, clarifying my vision. Up until about nearly two years ago, that was all I did with this space, shared my creative writing, art, and inspirations the Lord gave me.

Then, around a year ago, He instructed me to change my focus from inward to outward, to not so much focus on drawing out my own creativity but to guide others in the Body of Christ in doing the same thing.

Now I am on a mission to remind anyone who will listen, that being created in the image of God means you are created to create, and to find out what that means for you.

RRIs there something in your faith that has inspired you to be creative, and how do you use your creativity every day? 

CC: I believe that just like we need to breathe in order to survive, so too, do we have to create in order to fully understand our identity in Christ.

Creativity is more than writing, painting, drawing, singing, etcetera. It is expressed in how a person raises their children. How we present the Word of God to a lost world. Creativity is in how we manage our finances.

Doing any of these things, and doing them well, requires in my opinion, faithfully seeking the Lord and His wisdom.

So in answer to your question, the entirety of my faith inspires me to be creative.

RR: You mentioned fiction writing as well as art. Talk about those things. How do you keep your creative actions worshipful?

CC: This is exciting! So, on September the 28th of this year, I had the pleasure of self-publishing my first novel, NEXUS GATE 4037: THE ANIMAL. This is a complete work of fiction, speculative sci-fi, time-travel, and suspense, to be exact. How I keep my writing worshipful is by keeping Christ and His guidance at the forefront of every word I type and even every storyline I weave together. New NG Back Cover the Animal

We are called to do all things unto Him. To me, that means including Him and His opinion in the stories and even the art I set out to create.

RR: What are some things you do before starting a new creative project?

CC: Truly, the first thing I do is pray. I honestly consult Him in all I do, from the colors and patterns that may appear in the jewelry I create, to what stories to write and which ones to scrape. I especially seek Him for what to share here on ICFTS.

Exodus 33:15 says, “Then he said to Him, “If Your Presence does not go with us, do not bring us up from here.” 

I don’t want to do anything that doesn’t have His backing and blessing. As Proverbs also tells us, unless He, Jesus, builds the house, those who labor, labor in vain. Life is too short to be wasted on vain pursuits and too long to live with the regret of doing so. (PSALM 127:1)

RR: What do you do when you lose sight of the bigger picture behind your creativity or vision?

CC: I always go back to the beginning. I’m able to do that because I write my vision down. I also take note and realize that with every season the vision may evolve, or in other words, more of the vision is revealed for the road ahead and thus the presentation of the vision changes.

This is what happened with ICFTS. The season changed in my life, more light was shed on this path and more depth was revealed for what this creative space could be and do.

I still haven’t even scratched the surface of all that God wants to do through ICFTS, but I know that it is great and beneficial to the Body of Christ.

The people of God, living out their creative identities to the glory of God can and will change the world and the reach of the Gospel. Being reminded to keep Christ central in their pursuit of their vision and creative dreams is paramount.

RR: What advice would you share with other Creatives pursuing their vision and dream?

CC: Keep Christ at the center and the Head of it all and do it according to His design. Your call, vision, and dream is unique to you and the purpose He has for it. It may resemble that of others but it certainly isn’t a carbon copy. Your life up until the point of pursuing your vision is different from all others so too will the process of giving your vision life be.

Learn from others but remain authentic. That is done by allowing Christ to define you and your way.

CANDICE’S PROJECTS:

  • ICFTS: “I came for the soup…,” is a platform designed to encourage & guide Creatives to (re)discover & take hold of their dreams & unique creative voice, in order to step out in Christ-centered faith and give life to their vision. Our aim is to grow through our VisionVoice, & Doing, following the path of DIBDC (Dream.
  • Warden CoverImagine. Believe. Do. CONQUER!) all while nourishing the soul.
  • CANDICE COATES WRITES: Visit the novel world of the genre jumper to stay connected and in the know about new fictional projects coming out. NEXUS GATE 4037: THE ANIMAL is available now on AMAZON and BARNES & NOBLE. WARDEN will be released WINTER/SPRING 2019.

THANK YOU FOR READING. IF YOU HAVE ANY QUESTIONS, PLEASE FEEL FREE TO ASK IN THE COMMENTS BELOW.

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 left with the haunting feeling that they have missed out on something. When their options are limited, they can look objectively at what choices they have and make a more informed choice.

I believe the same holds true for our everyday lives. When we take on projects, when we have a lower number of them before us to complete, we are able to make more informed choices within each task.

“Commit your works to the Lord, and your thoughts will be established.” ~PROVERBS 16:3 NKJV

Taking on less allows us to create at peak because we aren’t spread too thin. It allows us to really focus on our craftsmanship with care but without the sense of overwhelm. We are better able to form a production system that works without wearing us out.

Are you taking on multiple projects in an attempt to achieve a desired goal? Are you striving to accomplish a vision that you have? Why not take a breath, take a step back, and if you haven’t already, ask the Lord what you need to put down for now and what you need to take up.

Remember, some visions are given to us at a specific moment in time, overlapping those we are already reaching for, as a promise for more in the future. They are not necessarily intended to be executed today. Sometimes they are seeded in us in the midst of one phase of creativity in order to prepare us for transition.

The wisdom comes in knowing where you are and what you need to do. That wisdom comes from a clear mind at rest that isn’t overwhelmed.

So, pray, seek the Lord’s face and instruction, and trust His guidance. This season may be one that requires less Juggling and business than you think.

~Dream. Imagine. Believe. Do. CONQUER!

*Photo by Daniel Hjalmarsson on Unsplash