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Give Yourself Deadlines… Procrastination is an enemy that debilitates our creative gifting. I find that I am more apt to carry out my plans if I give myself deadlines. I look ahead toward the goal I wish to reach and then begin to work out a plan backwards toward the start. I give myself small, achievable goals and set those goals on a timetable. I make realistic goals and tell others about them. This helps hold me accountable to keep working towards the goal. Having these parameters or boundaries gives me so much peace of mind that creativity generally begins to flow as soon as I can see the dates placed on the calendar pages. It’s as if I can already see the accomplished goal. This gives me much hope. Proverbs 13:12 (NIV) says, ‘Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a longing fulfilled is a tree of life.’ Why put off hope? I always thrive when I have something to look forward to. Give yourself something to look forward to this week!

Explore Your Past… God’s Word says in Isaiah 4:18-19, “Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the desert and streams in the wasteland.” (NIV) We must learn to live our lives in such a way as to not allow our past failures to dictate future success, or in this case, future creativity. At the same time, one of my favorite passages of Scripture says, ‘I remember my affliction and my wandering, the bitterness and the gall. I well remember them, and my soul is downcast within me. Yet this I call to mind and therefore I have hope: Because of the LORD’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.’ (Lamentations3:19-23 NIV). We focus on our past as a means of remembering all God has done. This produces a grateful heart. Gratitude is a springboard into the deeper places of God’s heart. In the deep places of God’s heart there is a wealth of creative power. Remember the past. Don’t live there. Allow God’s hand in your life to produce gratitude. Be grateful for what you have, not what you don’t have. Be grateful for what lies ahead. Don’t fret over what you didn’t accomplish in the past. Creativity waits for you in the place of gratitude.

Create With Others in Mind… I find that focusing on the needs of others - focusing on meeting the needs of others - inspires great and profound moments of creativity in my heart. Focusing on the needs of others always gives us clearer vision because it takes the focus off of our own needs and helps us focus on the Meeter of Needs – the Lord! Ask the Holy Spirit to increase your sensitivity to the needs of others and to inspire your creativity in ministering to those needs… And my God will supply all your needs according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:19 NASB

Go With What Moves You... When I think about the things that inspire me to be creative in my gifting, I am always drawn toward inspiring stories. When I get down or distracted by the cares of my own life, I find it so useful to get my eyes directed somewhere else. My best creative times are when I focus on the Lord and His perspective...when I focus on meeting the needs of those around me...and when I focus on others who have overcome in some area of life. Reading about how Corrie Ten Boom survived and thrived through life in a Nazi prison camp birthed much power in my life to overcome and to be creative. The song There is No Chain was inspired by Corrie’s story. When faced with the cost of leading others to freedom from homosexuality, I was greatly inspired by the life of William Wallace and the movie Braveheart. The song Love is Worth Living For came from this story. I enjoy talking with other overcomers. Whatever moves your heart, focus there for creative inspiration. Ask your friends to share their stories with you. You might find unexpected inspiration and creativity in the process!... …but just as it is written, "THINGS WHICH EYE HAS NOT SEEN AND EAR HAS NOT HEARD, AND which HAVE NOT ENTERED THE HEART OF MAN, ALL THAT GOD HAS PREPARED FOR THOSE WHO LOVE HIM." 1 Corinthians 2:9 NASB

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