Calvin S. Metcalf     Do we worship a god, sometimes, who is the figment of our imagination?  Do we create a god in our image rather than conform to the image of God created within us?  Do we set our own agenda or do we seriously search for the will of God?  False gods do not have to be made out of gold or silver.  They can be the products of our speculation.  Idols are formed in our minds long before they are created by our hands.  Our most common human heresy is to make up our own set of rules.  We pray to a god who permits.  We serve a god who satisfies our carnal desires.  Our religion is egocentric rather than theocentric.  We invent ways to satisfy our thirst for heaven which fall short of heaven’s expectations.  We are never at peace with God because the gods we create instigate chaos. 
     Sooner or later our house of religious cards will tumble.  The bubble of synthetic spirituality will burst.  The charade of pretentious Christianity will end.  We cannot go on serving a god who does not exist.  There comes a time when the issues of life demand a quality commitment to reality.  Whenever sickness and death sting us with the tentacles of despair, we need an eternal hope.  Whenever temptation lurks at the door and sin creates an uneasy conscience, we need more than a silly system of self approval.  Whenever friends turn against us and we feel alone, we need the deeper friendship of divine devotion.  Whenever crises come, as surely they will, we need more than human resources. 
Simply stated, there comes a time when we cannot make it with a faith based only on convenience. 
     What, then, shall we do to cultivate an authentic attachment to our Lord and all that adds substance to the living of our days?  We need to take God at His word and follow His guidelines for godly living.  We must evaluate our tendencies to be less than honest with ourselves about God.  We cannot serve a god who exists only in our imaginations.  The altar of our own ego is a poor place to find the peace that passes all understanding.  We need to confront our risen Savior and in the fellowship of His suffering find meaning in whatever penalties and blessings life presents us.  We are never nearer to God than when we denounce our idols and make Him the primary focus of our lives.

The Mechanics of Creativity

Recently there has been a good deal of discussion going on about creativity: what it is, where it comes from, how it works, and how to get it to work better for you.  Many articles have been written on how to encourage your imagination, how to feed your muse.  As writers we depend on our imagination to craft our stories.  Novelists most of all, but even non-fiction is enlivened by creative writing.

In this article I’m not going to try to tell you how to build up your creative muscle, I’m going to do an analytical breakdown of the creative process I went through to write my last blog post.  I’ll preface it by saying that this is not the process I use all the time: sometimes an article just springs into my mind, fully written, my only task is to record it before the words fade from my mind.  Often these Inspired Writings occur at the most inopportune times: like 3:00 am.  If I am able to ignore the call and go back to sleep I’ll remember that I had a wonderful idea, but won’t remember anything more about it.  Opportunity lost!  Continue reading “The Mechanics of Creativity”