Tag Archives: creativity

Justifying Fashion for the Church

Often in Christianity we have to categories. Those things that are sacred, and those items that are secular. Recently I have been seeing more and more how this dichotomy is dangerous and even harmful to the Christian church. There are many perfectly good enterprises that are given up in pursuit of a life that is only sacred.

                God created a world for us to enjoy. We are called to follow Christ wherever we are at. Are plans are to be committed to the Lord whatever they are so long as they are in the character of Christ. When looked at this way, there is a great deal of life that is free to be enjoyed that is normally considered secular.

                Fashion for example. I have had the past had a great deal of difficulty spending money on anything related to clothing. I am more than my clothes and none of it will fit me for very long anyway. I never knew what to do with my friends who invested in a hundred dollar pair of pants, or three hundred dollar shoes. We are very quick to judge this as a waste of money that could be given to the poor.

                But, even a slight comparison to our other judgments will find this lacking. Do we judge the individual who spends three hundred dollars on a ski trip? Or buys a car with leather seats and A/C instead of a minimalist design with no power windows or air conditioning. Do we judge the one that remodels their kitchen? I have never heard of that. These are all things that are ‘expected’ as normal and good. But the judgement is arbitrary.

                Furthermore, I categorize fashion and clothing as one of the arts. How we dress and present ourselves can be as much as a form of art as a canvas. Matching colors, styles, seasonal clothes all with your particular body type in order to convey an image is an art. Especially if that dress conveys an image of your personality in line with who you are. I would be curious to see a fashion guide based on personality.

                Finally, how we present ourselves is important in ministering the gospel of Christ. Just as overtly expensive clothes can make those who are less ‘fortunate’ feel bad, so too cheap of clothing can cut off certain peoples. If you want to minister to the wealthy or LA and Hollywood culture, you had better dress like it. Clothing can also spark conversations.

                Use your money wisely, and follow Christ. In some cultures, it is considered rude not to wear your best. We are the ones that have to look at you all day, not you.


From Pain to Hope

I am going to start doing different topics on different days of the week, much like radio programs. On Mondays, I am going to be telling my story as I am moving from one who focused on growth, to pain, and now hope. I emphasized these three things not only in my own life but in how I interacted with others. 

I had been having a long stretch of no motivation, wondering why anything was worth while, and general existentialism. After much prayer, some time in the sun, conversations with friend, and watching the following Ted talk, I realized something rather important. For the past four years I had been focusing on pain. I would ask others questions about how they were, and find bits and pieces of a story, hone in on the pain and start digging. I got rather good at it. 

Unfortunately, that was in stark contrast to the hope and motivation I had been sharing years previously. When I was in and taught martial arts, my primary goal was to share the hope of a better life. Constant improvement and moving forward. I was the example for others to follow. 

Then after the divorce of a close mentor I began to seek and look for pain in others, as I ran away from my own. When I realized this was causing problems, mostly in emotional connections with women, I was left with nothing, no hope, and no pain even though as said by Three Days Grace said, “I would rather feel pain than nothing at all” 

Then I watched this video, (don’t read the transcript, watch the whole thing)

This changed my whole outlook. While watching, my mind was running and racing through past ways of thinking, how he came to think this way, how it compares to my own thought and interests. What drew me to Benjamin Zander the most was that he was using what he loved, music, to put a light in peoples eyes. Before I had used martial arts. The creativity of how he strung together stories, music, and life lessons of moving forward inspire me. So I have made a commitment, to work to inspire hope and love creatively. Through whatever one is interested in, we can learn to combine our interests with helping people, we can truly be engaged in this life and the people we love.