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The Kingdom Art Life
8 minutes | 2 years ago
Ep 31 – Build It By Faith
Episode 31: Build It By Faith Episode 31 looks at how we build, live in, and navigate a Spirit-led art career. Listen to the audio Read the transcript Hello, hello, and welcome to Episode 31 of the Kingdom Art Life podcast. I am Marlita Hill, here to help you flourish in faith, art, and career. Today, we delve into our final mindset to help us build without compromising. When we got saved, we didn’t just go through a spiritual transformation. We also went through a transformation in method. When we received Christ, we went through a process of justification. And the as those who have gone through justification, we are now members of the community of the just. And the Bible says that the just, whom we are now a part of, shall live by faith. Part of our experience as artists in Christ, as artists on the other side of a yes, is learning how we work our creative experience in this life of faith. It’s understanding how we build our creative life by faith. I was thinking about Narnia in The lion, the witch, and the wardrobe. If you’ve never heard or read the story, it’s basically about a group of siblings who find this secret door in their closet. And when they go through that secret door, they enter this magical land called Narnia. The interesting thing about Narnia is that all of the elements are still the same. The sky is still the sky. The ground is still the ground. A tree is still a tree. The snow is still the snow. Beavers are still beavers. Things are the same, except for some magical beings like Mr. Tumnus. Basically, though the elements are still the same in Narnia as they are on the other side of the closet door. But even though those elements look the same, in Narnia, they operate by different principles, different mechanics. There are different possibilities there that don’t exist on the other side of the closet door. Beavers talk in Narnia. They don’t talk on the other side of the door. And this is a picture of our life as artists working our faith in our creative life. As Christians, the elements of our art life are still the same. A G major scale is still A G major scale. A cello is still a cello. The audition is still the audition. Head shots are still head shots. All of those elements are still the same, but the way we manage and handle those elements as artists who’ve said yes is different than those who haven’t said yes. The procedures, the steps, the path, the possibilities, the mindsets are different for us here in faith land. You’re going to build your art career using the same elements as everyone else. You’re still going to build your career by auditioning for artists or companies, submitting to festivals, by composing using chords and scales, by going to ballet class, by meeting with gallerists. All that’s the same. But when you engage and manage those elements by faith, the sequence of how you do things is different. The timing is different, the order is reversed, steps are skipped, limits don’t apply to your life like they do to those on the other side, access to things and people is gained differently, connections are made differently, progress is made differently. For example let’s say you’re a visual artist and it has entered your heart to exhibit your work at the Denk gallery in downtown LA. So you pray Lord, I ask you for divine connections. I ask you for favor to help me get into the Denk gallery. I ask you for instruction on what I need to do to connect with the people who organize the exhibits. You pray that, receive it in Jesus name, and go on about your business. Then about 3 days later, you’re flipping through the LA weekly and you see this book reading that’s happening at a bookstore in Santa Monica. Now if you don’t live in LA, downtown and Santa Monica are quite a distance apart. So, you’re flipping through the LA weekly and you see this event in Santa Monica and you feel in your heart that you need to go. But, this is not an author that you’ve heard of. You’re not even really interested in their work, but you still feel led to go, so you go. You show up to the book reading, still not really sure why you’re there. And you’ve kind of forgotten what you prayed a few days ago. But you’re there. The event goes on. The author speaks and it actually ends being really interesting. Ok, but you still don’t understand why you felt the press to go. The event ends and you go over to the refreshment table. As you’re pouring your tea, someone walks up next to you and the Holy Spirit says, “ask them how they’re doing.” So you look over and ask them and a conversation rolls from there. You guys are having small talk getting to know each other and then they ask you what you do. You tell them you’re a visual artist and you share the kind of art you make. You tell them you’re in the process of trying to get your work into galleries, etc. As they’re listening to you, they ask to see your work. And because you have your stuff prepared for such an occasion, you whip out your phone where your portfolio is digitally loaded and you show them your work. As they look through it,, they’re telling you they like your work, they’re asking you questions about it. It’s a hoot. As they continue looking, they say, “You know, it’s funny…I’m the curator at the Denk gallery in downtown LA. Have you ever heard of it?” You casually say yeah as you giddily shuffle your internal feet. And you say yes yes I have. Are you really? They go on to say, “We are about to transition our exhibit and your work would really fit in the direction we’re about to go. I’ll tell you what, can you come see me at the gallery next Wednesday?” Yes you surely, most certainly can!! This is building your art career by faith, versus having to call the gallery, hoping that the administrative assistant will remember to give your message to the Curator. If they do give your message to them, you hope that they have time to call you. And even if they do call you, you have to wait several days, weeks, sometimes even months to get an appointment with them because they don’t know you. They have no investment in you. Artists are calling all the time. And let’s hope that something doesn’t come up where they have to reschedule. Again Vs You pray and three days later God tells you to go to a random book reading where you happen to be pouring your tea next to the curator who’s pouring their coffee and you guys strike up a conversation where they invite you to come meet with them. This is how you build your career by faith by seeking and following the leading of the Holy Spirit in how to go after the things He showing you to pursue in your art career. And if you trust the fact that God responds when He sees faith, you won’t feel the need to compromise to get where you’re going. Follow us on Social Instagram @iammarlitahill Facebook @iammarlitahill Join our mailing list TALK TO ME Have you ever has this kind of divine connection experience? What was it like when you experienced God moving you directly where you needed to be, past a lot of steps?
6 minutes | 2 years ago
Ep 30 – Who’s the Boss?
Episode 30: Who’s the Boss? Episode 30 explores the decision each artist of faith has to make concerning who has the final say over our art careers; as well as the implications of our decision. Listen to the audio Read the transcript Hello, hello, and welcome to Episode 30 of the Kingdom Art Life podcast. I am Marlita Hill, here to help you flourish in faith, art, and career. We are getting into our last two mindsets to help us build our art career without compromising our faith. In each of our individual career walks, we need to decide who has the final say about our art career. Each of us have to decide that. In an interview I was basically asked what advice I had to help people be in secular culture without compromising. In order to answer that question, I responded, there’s another question that needs to be answered first. And the answer to this first question will determine what the answer to the original question will be. And here’s the first question: Who has ultimate say over your career, over how far it goes, where it goes, how long it lasts, what it experiences, etc? As I said each of us has to answer that question for our individual career life. And our answer is a determination for whether we’ll fall into compromise or not. Does the agent, the casting director, the curator, that critic, that artistic director, that conductor, that producer, that artist – do they have final say and ultimate authority over what happens to your career? Or does God? Again, you make that choice. But here’s where that decision plays into whether we compromise or not; If you decide that they, whoever they is, if they have ultimate say over your ability to have the career that you’re pursuing, then you have to do what they say, whatever that is, whether it compromises you or not, or else you can’t have the career. And if they have the final say then the eventual compromise becomes necessary for you to keep the career. So if that director or curator is the gateway to the rest of your career, then you’re going to have to do what they say or else you can’t have the career. But, if you decide to recognize that God has the final say over your career, over the career vision He gave you, using the gifts He gave you, then all you have to do is follow Him. Then there’s no need for compromise. And, I know, some people say it’s not that simple, Marlita. That’s not how it works, Marlita. Don’t make it so spiritual, Marlita. And to that I say, first of all, this is a spiritual matter. In fact you have the option to compromise or not do so because of your spiritual relationship. Also, it is that simple. It may not be easy, but it is simple. You may have to muster up a lot of courage to say no to those industry Goliaths. You may have to confront some fears about what if I go against this industry giant, what if I go against this person and it turns out bad. You might have to muster up some courage to believe that if you turn down this project at God’s leading, that He will still be able to get you where you need to go. So, I understand that it’s not necessarily easy in the moment. And it may not be easy to stand in that decision strong in that decision once you make it. But it is simple. Do you believe God or not? And to the idea that this is not how this works, it’s not how they work. But you belong to a different system and you operate by different processes and principles. So that may not be how they work but you serve the living God, so it’s how you work. Again, we each have to decide who holds our careers in their hands. If it’s the proverbial they, you’re going to have to do what they say to keep your career whether you have to compromise your faith or not. But if it’s God that holds the final say, then all you have to do is follow Him. And if you’re following Him, how can you be compromising? And to those who worry that following God will compromise the integrity of your art, don’t. In fact, it will liberate it, freeing you to take chances and find your true voice because you are only beholden to your Creator, and He has the final say over your career. Follow us on Social Instagram @iammarlitahill Facebook @iammarlitahill Join our mailing list TALK TO ME What came up for you as you thought about who has the final say over your career?
5 minutes | 2 years ago
Ep 29 – Where’s Your ID?
Episode 29: Where’s your ID? Episode 29 challenges us to assess where our identity, as artists, is rooted and how it is being defined. Listen to the audio Read the transcript Hello, hello, and welcome to Episode 29 of the Kingdom Art Life podcast. I am Marlita Hill, here to help you flourish in faith, art, and career. We are continuing to explore mindsets that help us overcome our anxiety about compromising our faith in our career pursuits. Another way of mind that helps us is to keep our identity rooted in the right foundation. It’s important that we keep watch on what we’re permitting to inform and shape our identity. Does your art form define you? Does your career? Or are you rooted in your identity in Christ? And what does this have to do with building our art career without compromising our faith? I was thinking about a part of my book, Defying Discord, where I look at Mark 10. In this account, Jesus has this exchange with this man who comes asking what he has to do to enter the Kingdom. Jesus tells him what to do. The man says he did that already and asks what else he must do. So Jesus tells him to sell everything he has and give it to the poor, take up his cross, and basically follow Him. And it says the man was very sorrowful because he was very rich. So here’s this man who wants to follow God, who wants to do what God is leading him to do; but he can’t because it would mean giving away or separating himself from the things that define him. What’s really interesting is that later in that passage Jesus tells His disciples that it’s very hard for a rich man to enter the Kingdom of God. I looked at that language and it was really interesting because He said it’s hard for a rich man to enter, not that it’s hard for a man who has riches to enter the Kingdom of God. For this man who had this exchange with Jesus, it was his riches that defined him. In his mind, him having riches, and all of the access and status they afforded him, those were the things that defined him and brought all the good in his life. So he was unwilling to separate himself from those things even though he really wanted to walk with God. How does this factor into our conversation? If your career is what defines you, or if your career being at a certain status or you being active in your art form is what defines you, then you put yourself in a vulnerable position for compromise because you are more willing to do whatever it takes to maintain those things upon which your identity is formed. One of the things I hear a lot is I’m an artist who just happens to be Christian. But you’re not. And don’t get me wrong, I totally understand what you mean when you say that; and I know what you’re trying to delineate and define. You’re not a person who makes Christian art and you’re trying to remove that expectation off of you so you can do you. I get it, but still, you are not an artist who just happens to be Christian. You are a child of the Kingdom who engages in this world and in their relationship with their God through their art. See the shift. Art is what you do it’s not who you are. It’s a vehicle that you use to give expression to who you are. And who you are doesn’t change based on what’s going on with your art career or your art form. Your identity is that you are a child of the Kingdom. Art is one of the ways you take space in your identity. If you want to build a serious, compelling high level, noteworthy art career without compromising your faith, make sure you watch where your identity is rooted and how it’s defined. Follow us on Social Instagram @iammarlitahill Facebook @iammarlitahill Join our mailing list TALK TO ME How have you navigated this tension between identifying as an artist or as a Christian. What struggles have you run into while trying to do it? I want to know.
3 minutes | 2 years ago
Ep 28 – Word is Bond
Episode 28: Word is Bond Episode 28 explores our life as artists on the other side of a ‘yes,’ and looks at how we build an art life that honors that ‘yes.’ Listen to the audio Read the transcript Hello, hello, and welcome to Episode 28 of the Kingdom Art Life podcast. I am Marlita Hill, here to help you flourish in faith, art, and career. We’re in the middle of presenting mindsets to help us overcome our anxiety about compromising our faith in our career pursuits. The third mindset is to keep in mind that you are an artist on the other side of a yes. And on the other side of your yes, it’s important to remember that God is for your career, and He’s with you in your career, but He’s after more for you, in you, with you, and through you then just your career. Your art career is a vital part of this exquisite tapestry that’s being woven together by your life. But it’s only part of that tapestry. And as that tapestry is made to be put on display, it doesn’t just matter that you get the career, in fact it matters so much more how you get it. So does the way the you build your career honor the maturity and fruitfulness that God wants to develop in you? Does the way you build it honor the relationship and the life He wants to build with you? Does it honor the fullness of the gifts He gave you and the opportunities, the dreams, the desires, and the doors those gifts were supposed to open and make happen for you? And does the way you build your career honor the healing, the correction, the legacy, the footprint, the reconciliation that is ordained to come through you? Because here’s the thing, you are an artist absolutely, and you’re absolutely building a noteworthy art career. But you’re an artist on the other side of a yes, building an art career that is accountable to that yes. And the accountability that comes with that yes is acknowledging that while God is for you in your art career, and with you in it, there is something greater at work in you building and occupying it. When you bring that recognition into your career building, it will help hold you accountable for the way you build it. And if you know that you’re building it for something bigger than just having it, you won’t make compromising decisions. Follow us on Social Instagram @iammarlitahill Facebook @iammarlitahill Join our mailing list TALK TO ME I’ve talked a lot about being on the other side of a yes. What comes up for you when you hear that?
5 minutes | 2 years ago
Ep 27 – It’s All About Love
Episode 27: It’s All About Love Episode 27 dispels the wonky belief that our creative life is only interesting to God if it’s “useful,” by exploring art for our life, not just our Christian service. Listen to the audio Read the transcript Hello, hello, and welcome to Episode 27 of the Kingdom Art Life podcast. I am Marlita Hill, here to help you flourish in faith, art, and career. In our last episode, we began tackling this idea that we wrestle with about our art career compromising our faith. And we began presenting mindsets to help us overcome this struggle. The second mindset I want to share is understanding that this creative part of you has been given to you for your life, not just for your Christian service. It’s something that God has given to you to use to participate, respond to, and take space in this life. It’s something that He’s given you to engage with Him in relationship. We’ve talked about how we fall prey to wonky thinking about the relationship between our faith and art career. One aspect of that wonkyness is falling into thinking that our creativity, and our creative life are only interesting to God, are only worthy of being brought up to Him, and are only worthy of bothering him with, if they’re useful to Him. But here is wonderful news: God is not in relationship with you because you’re useful to him. And He’s not in relationship with you because your gifts are useful to Him. God is in relationship with you because He loves you. And He has gifted you as an expression of that love. And within this loving relationship, the two of you engage in these gifts for the things that He wants to do for you, for the things He wants to do with you, for the things that He wants to work and develop in you, and for those things that He wants to work, accomplish and manifest through you. Within this relationship the two of you put these gifts to use in ways that serve Him, and you, and others around you. Why are these mindsets so important? Well, when you recognize that your creativity put to use in your “secular” art career is a valid, God-honoring way to participate in Kingdom citizenship and community, and when you understand that this creativity has been given to you for your life, not just your Christian service, then you feel safe to let God into that space, into the space where your creativity lives with it’s hopes, it’s dreams, it’s fears, its desires, it’s ambitions, and it’s pursuits. You feel safe enough to let Him into that space. The thing that makes us vulnerable to making compromising decisions in our career is that we keep God out of that space. Some of it is for fear of what He might take away from us, or what he might prevent us from doing. But sometimes, we keep Him out of that space because we genuinely don’t want to be disrespectful or displeasing to Him. It’s like if there’s something you know your mother doesn’t like. It’s not that you don’t do it, you just don’t tell her about it, and you don’t do it around her. You don’t talk to her about it because you know that it makes her upset. And sometimes that’s what we do with God when it comes to our careers. We keep him out of that space. We don’t talk to Him about it. We don’t do it around Him. But, if we understand that it’s been given to us by Him for all parts of our life, and all parts of our relationship with Him, and if we understand that it is honoring to Him when we take space as Kingdom children in secular culture through our art careers, then we feel safe to let Him into that space. And we feel safe to talk to Him in that space. And, if we feel safe to let Him in there, and we feel safe talking to Him about our creative life and career ambitions there, eventually, we will come to find that it’s safe to let Him lead us in our career ambitions from there. And if He’s leading you, how can you possibly compromise? Follow us on Social Instagram @iammarlitahill Facebook @iammarlitahill Join our mailing list TALK TO ME Have you had any struggles with not feeling useful to God or in your church? How did that make you feel? How does knowing God is not after your usefulness change that for you?
9 minutes | 2 years ago
Ep 26 – You have a place
Episode 26: You have a place. Episode 26 explores how our art careers in secular culture are valid, God-honoring ways we participate in Kingdom citizenship and community, make Christ known, and communicate the gospel. Listen to the audio Read the transcript Hello, hello, and welcome to Episode 26 of the Kingdom Art Life podcast. I am Marlita Hill, here to help you flourish in faith, art, and career. In our last episode, we talked about two things that hinder our ability to walk unapologetically as artists in Christ working in secular culture. Those two things were our inability to answer how our kind of career serves God, and our mindset about the relationship between our faith, art, and career. In this episode I want to tackle a specific mindset that tends to stifle us and hold us back from soaring ahead in building the career God has planted in our hearts. How do I build this art career without compromising my faith? This really plagues us. For some reason, we are really hesitant to believe that we have permission to go forward and enjoy building a career with our creativity. We are even more hesitant to believe that that enjoyment could coexist with living a committed life for God. So we’re always checking for land mines. Always pulling ourselves back when it feels too good, or flows too smoothly. Ok, I’m about to use a terribly crude example. But it’s almost like when we have to go to the bathroom in our dream. In our dream, we want to let go and let it flow so badly. And if we ever do, it feels amazing…but that’s how we know we’ve messed up- because it feels so good and the feeling triggers us to snap to, and wake up! And that’s kind of how we treat our art careers sometimes as Christians. When it feels too good, it triggers a suspicion that something doesn’t feel right, and breaks the flow. So let’s spend some time on that. How do we build a serious art career without compromising our faith? How far can we go? How high can we reach with our artistry without forsaking the way of life that we’ve committed to, without dropping the ball on the responsibility to this way of life, and without dishonoring the one to whom we’ve committed? How do we do it? The most simplistic answer to this question is mindset. Mindset is the way that you build your art career without compromising your faith. The things you believe about what it takes to build a successful career, and about where your faith fits in that, is going to be the determining factor for whether you make compromising decisions to move your art career forward or not. So, over the next few episodes, I’m going to give you several mindsets, ways of thinking that will help you trample that struggle. The first mindset that I want to share with you today is understanding that your creativity, your artistry that you put to use in your career are valid, God-honoring ways that you participate in Kingdom citizenship and Christian community. They are God-honoring ways that you fulfill your Christian responsibility to worship God, to live for him, to honor him, to glorify him, to make Him known. They are valid, God-honoring ways that you participate in communicating the gospel. Now you might say Marlita, wait a minute, how is that even possible? You know the kind of art I make. You know where my art lives. You know what it does and doesn’t talk about, and you know who I make it with. So, how is that even possible that my kind of art life could do this? Well, its because you have a life in art, not just a message in art. And your life in art communicates the gospel, participates in building the Kingdom, glorifies God, and makes Him known even when the content of your art is not talking about God directly. It does these things even when the purpose for you creating art is not focused on evangelism. So we’re gonna look at how. This life in art consists of 3 P’s: Person, Process, and Product. Person is who you are. This is how you participate in Kingdom citizenship even when the art you create is not talking about faith or is not living inside the church walls. The Bible says that you are the light of the world. You are the salt of the Earth. You are the way that God diffuses His fragrance throughout the Earth. And you are an exhibitor and dispenser of His love. That’s who you are. It’s not what you do, it’s who you are. Before you ever do anything, and regardless of what your art talks about, this is who you are. This is how you come into the room . This is how you show up in whatever space you enter, including your career. You are the representative and ambassador of the living God and of His Kingdom in the Earth. You don’t have to do anything to accomplish that. You are already that. The second part of this art life is process. Process is how you do things: how you go about creating your art, how you make career decisions, and how you interact with the larger art world and the people around you. Your process is about the how. You honor God and make Him known, and demonstrate the gospel at work by the way you go about making these decisions, by your disposition in embodying these decisions, and by what leads and influences you in making those decisions. And the last part of this art life is product. Product is the actual art work. And again, you may say Marlita, Wait a minute, I don’t make art about faith. And to that I say that it doesn’t matter so much what you talk about. It’s the perspective that you present on what you talk about, because you and I as Kingdom citizens in the world are contributing the Kingdom perspective to cultural dialogue. Even though we’re Christians, we’re still sexual beings, we still have feelings, we still deal with loss and grief, we still have awe, we still fall in love, we still make mistakes, we still engage in the human experience. So, what does that human experience look like from a Kingdom perspective? How do you address, confront, and look at being human and living in this earth in all its messiness from the Kingdom perspective? Regardless of what you make art about, you’re still letting people know how the gospel informs your perspective on the human experience. Through your art life, you communicate the gospel through your embodiment, even though it’s not through your conversation. You show what the gospel looks like put to work, what it looks like lived out. You show the gospel expressed, demonstrated, and applied in every day life. You show what the impact and the effect of that gospel on a life looks like, which is the responsibility of every Christian. Amen! Follow us on Social Instagram @iammarlitahill Facebook @iammarlitahill Join our mailing list TALK TO ME What did today’s episode release for you, or release you from, as you heard more about how you honor God with your kind of career life?
7 minutes | 2 years ago
Ep 25 – The Liberty Blockers
Episode 25: The Liberty Blockers Episode 25 explores the unanswered question that hinders us from being able to walk unapologetically as an artist of serious professional pursuit and serious faith. Listen to the audio Read the transcript Hello, hello, and welcome to Episode 25 of the Kingdom Art Life podcast. I am Marlita Hill, here to help you flourish in faith, art, and career. In episode 24, we looked at the second pillar of a healthy relationship between our faith, art, and career; which is liberty. In this episode, I want to talk about things that hinder that liberty. And what are they? What are those things that hinder and interfere with our ability to be unapologetic as artists in Christ working in secular culture? What are those things that put us back, or keep us in a space of feeling like we have to apologize, or diminish, or downplay any part of our make up? What are those things that lead us to think we’re compromising in our kind of art life? The first hindrance is an unanswered question; or really the inability to answer a question. What unanswered question is this? Let’s read 1 Peter 3:15. But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts and always be ready to give a defense to everyone who asks you a reason for the hope that is in you. Be ready to give a defense for the hope that is in you. This career that you and I are pursuing, this dream that we have of being career artists, is a hope that we’re carrying within us. And we need to be able to give an answer for it. And there’s a specific question about that hope that we need to be able to answer. Here it is: How do you serve God, build the Kingdom, make Christ known, participate in Kingdom citizenship, fulfill your Christian responsibility, how do you do all that working out there, making that kind of art with those people? Listen family, until you’re able to answer that question, you will not be able to stand unapologetically as an artist in Christ working in secular culture. And here’s why: because you are not just an artist. You are an artist on the other side of a yes. You said yes to Christ. You said yes to serving him with your life. You said yes to doing your part in building His Kingdom. You said yes to making your life available to make Christ known. In order for you to stand unapologetically about what you’re doing in your career life as an artist on the other side of a yes, you need to be able to answer for how the things you’re doing in your career are honoring that yes. For your own conscience, you need to be able to answer this. Now, the great news is that your “secular” art career does serve God, and it does build his Kingdom, and it does make Christ known. But you’ll never be able to own that, to wear it, to stand confidently in it like God desires you to until you’re able to answer and articulate how your career activity is honoring the yes that you made. And any occasions of confidence you do experience will be unstable, wavering and vulnerable. The second thing that hinders and interferes with this liberty is our mindset. These are the things we’ve been taught, things we’ve heard, things we’ve experienced. But they’re even things that we’ve concluded, assumed, and simply resigned ourselves to; things we’ve just accepted about faith, art, and career living and existing in the same space together. So we have to address these mindsets. We have to address the ways we think about the relationship between these three, no matter how that thinking got there. Because here’s the thing about mindset. The mindset that we have about the relationship between our faith, art, and career, the way we think about those three, shapes our choices, actions, and methods. We do certain things and make certain choices because of what we believe about them living in the same space. And because of what we believe about them being able to thrive simultaneously in that same space. A major part of renewing that mindset is understanding how our career activity both honors our faith and honors our art. It is easy to fall prey to unfruitful beliefs about this relationship: from believing that our art career in secular culture fails to fulfill our Christian responsibility or that our kind of career taints God’s pure and holy gifts, to the other side where we think that bringing our faith into our career life compromises the integrity of our art or puts a cap on how far we’re able to go in our career. And none of those are true. But we believe them, and worse, we make decisions and interact with these parts of ourselves based on these beliefs; and that can hinder our liberty. So we need to renew the way we think about the relationship between our faith, art, and career; and we need to be able to answer how we serve God working out there, making our kind of art with those people. We will continue to unpack this question from various angles in this podcast. But if you want an in-depth understanding of this, I would encourage you to read my book, Defying Discord, which is all about answering that question. Follow us on Social Instagram @iammarlitahill Facebook @iammarlitahill Join our mailing list TALK TO ME What are some mindsets that you know are problematic to having a healthy relationship between your faith, art, and career? What do you think about the impact of that unanswered question I talked about?
6 minutes | 2 years ago
Ep 24 – Apologize for What?
Episode 24: Apologize? For What? Episode 24 explores what it looks like to stop apologizing for being a serious, committed Christian who works in secular culture, and a serious, committed artist whose art life is guided by their faith practice. Listen to the audio Read the transcript Hello, hello, and welcome to Episode 24 of the Kingdom Art Life podcast. I am Marlita Hill, here to help you flourish in faith, art, and career. Over these first few episodes of season 2, I am spending some time to introduce the three pillars of a healthy relationship between faith, art, and career. In episode 22 and 23, we looked at the first pillar, which is wholeness, embracing all parts of who you are as an artist in Christ working, or pursuing a career, in secular culture. The next pillar of a healthy relationship is liberty. In this pillar, I use another word. That word is unapologetic, by which I mean being free from the need to apologize for, justify, alter, diminish, choose between, or feel guilty about any part of your experience as an artist in Christ working in secular culture, from the kind of art you make, to where it lives, to who you make it with. It’s being free to love God, live your faith out loud, create your art, build your career, and intertwine them all. To be all of them at the same time, all the time, in the same space, without having to apologize for it. Now, this unapologeticness has two sides. The first side is being unapologetic about being a serious, committed Christian who works in secular culture, who doesn’t make art about faith, doesn’t make art for evangelism, and who works intimately with people who are not Christians. It’s being able to put your heels down, straighten your back, and lift your head and say this is how I participate in building the Kingdom, in representing Christ and making Him known. This is how I engage in Kingdom community. Now, I understand this could be difficult if you struggle with answering how it’s possible that such an art life could build the Kingdom and make Christ known. I would venture to propose that this is the root of some of your current struggles. But I have good news. Such an art life does build the Kingdom and it does make Christ known. Such an art life is an honorable way to serve God, even your kind of art life; and we’ll get into how in later episodes. The other side of being unapologetic is not apologizing for being a serious artist, who is serious about their craft and industry, and whose creative, business, and relational decisions are led and guided by the Spirit of God. It’s not apologizing for the fact that honoring Him takes precedence over everything. Now, I could see how this could make some of you uneasy. For some, imagining God dealing with complicated industry negotiations and issues is like imagining your cute old grandmother trying to do it. We might not want to admit that, but we’re just not used to imagining God in that space, being able to effectively lead us there. I know this because when I’ve talked to some artists of faith, I ask, “What did God say?” – to which they annoyedly reply, “Don’t get spiritual on me.” Or, “It’s not that simple.” And I get it. It’s honest. It’s wrong; but it’s honest. And hopefully, our journey together will help you begin to see Him as powerful and capable in that space. Another hesitation is anxiety about what He might make us do, that whatever He leads us to do will have us looking straight stupid among our peers and industry. But guys, though God is supernatural, He’s not weird. He guides us in very wise and practical ways. Supernatural and practical are not mutually exclusive. His direction might not make logical sense at the moment. It might not seem like that instruction He gave you will actually get you where you’re trying to go but that’s the supernatural part because He’s leading you from His eye, from beyond what you can naturally see in front of you. And the other thing I think we’re a little nervous about is how to talk about decisions God has led us to with people who don’t serve Him. We’re unsure how to communicate what we know we should or shouldn’t do spiritually in those industry conversations. But we shouldn’t be. Just say what God told you to say. You don’t have to go into details about how you got it. You don’t have to quote your Source. You just have to communicate your decision. And if there’s anything more that needs to be said, God will lead you in how to say it. So that’s liberty. When you’re in the church community, you don’t back away from the kind of art you make, who you make it with, or where it lives. And when you’re out in secular culture working your career, you don’t back away from the fact that following the Spirit of God is the way you navigate your career. You don’t have to beat people over the head with your faith. You just don’t apologize for it being the way you make career decisions. Follow us on Social Instagram @iammarlitahill Facebook @iammarlitahill Join our mailing list TALK TO ME Are you already flat-footed in this liberty? If so, how did you get there? Or, is this something that you’re working on? And if you’re still working on it, let us know how it’s going.
6 minutes | 2 years ago
Ep 23 – A Picture of Wholeness, Pt. 2
Episode 23: A Picture of Wholeness, Pt. 2 Episode 23 explores what it looks like to invite God into the secret places of our creative life and let faith play its role in our creative practice and process, and career management. Listen to the audio Read the transcript Hello, hello, and welcome to Episode 23 of the Kingdom Art Life podcast. I am Marlita Hill, here to help you flourish in faith, art, and career. In episode 22, we started painting a picture of wholeness, unpacking what it looks like to embrace all three parts of who you are as an artist in Christ, being Christian, creative, and cultural participant. The first part of that picture was bringing your whole self, all three of those parts, into your faith walk. Today, we’re going to dive into the other two facets of that picture. The second part of that picture is bringing your whole self to your creative practice. What does that look like? Well, for one, it means acknowledging that this creative gift has a Source, and it’s Source has intentions for His gift. It also means bringing your creative practice and process to the other side of your yes. What does that mean? Well, you are an artist on the other side of a yes. You have said yes to God. And as one who has said yes to God, you have agreed to live for Him by honoring His intentions for the gift in your life. So the way you use your creativity should honor the yes you made to Him; and that looks different for each of us. Bringing your whole self to your creative practice means allowing faith to have its place as the guiding force in your creative process, from ideation to execution. Basically, that simply means inviting the Spirit of God into your creative space and allowing Him to lead you fully into the things He has for you. It means acknowledging that the creative space in your life is somewhere God wants to meet with you, spend time with you, dream with you, fill you, mature you, and support you. It means committing to present the Kingdom perspective in your work. That doesn’t mean that you have to talk about faith. Rather, it means that whatever topic you explore, whatever subject, whatever medium, it’s explored through a lens informed by faith. Our relationship with God, the things that He teaches us, the ways we’re transformed in our faith practice – should be reflected in the way we live, in our thought process, in the conclusions we draw, and the lens through which we see and respond to the world. It should also be shaping the way we practice our art, converse through our art, and take space as artists. That’s bringing your whole self into your creative practice. The last part of this picture of wholeness is bringing your whole self to your career life and management. And what does that look like? Well, one of the things it means is embracing your creativity as a valid path for your career. Instead of doubting that it’s possible, it’s finding out how it’s possible. If God has put that on your heart, it’s doable. Now, it may not match your assumptions or even hopes of what your art career will look like, but a fulfilling, sustainable career in art is totally doable, especially when God is leading you in it. It means bringing your career to the other side of your yes. Again, as one who has said yes to God, that yes should be honored in the way you navigate your career, and in the kind of career you’re building. And that simply means seeking God in creative, business, and relational decisions and choosing to trust His leading and follow His guidance. It means allowing God into the vulnerable place of your career ambitions, desires, hopes and fears. Those are things He desires to process and pursue with us. They are not something we have to hide from Him. For my die hards out there, it means submitting your art career to God, getting His vision for it, and committing to pursue that. This becomes possible when you are fully convinced that God is for your art, that He’s for you as an artist, and that He is for you having a career in art that fulfills and sustains you. He’s after more than just you having the career, but He’s totally for the career. So those are the three parts of this picture of wholeness: As a Christian, Creative, and Cultural Participant it’s bringing all three of those part to your faith walk, to your creative practice, and to your career management Follow us on Social Instagram @iammarlitahill Facebook @iammarlitahill Join our mailing list TALK TO ME What resonated with you in either of these two parts? Also, is there anything you would add to either of them, in terms of what it means to bring your whole self to your creative practice and career management?
8 minutes | 2 years ago
Ep 22 – A Picture of Wholeness Pt. 1
Episode 22: A Picture of Wholeness, Pt. 1 In episode 22, we explore what it looks like to take our creative life off the fringes and embrace it as an essential part of our faith experience. Listen to the audio Read the transcript Hello, hello, hello. Welcome to season 2 of the Kingdom Art Life Podcast. My name is Marlita Hill and I am excited to help you flourish in faith, art, and career. Our last podcast was March of 2017. Wow!!! What a year and some change that’s been. I only meant to take a short break but God and life had other plans, which I’ll definitely be sharing more about over our time together this season. But, the big news that I want to share with you is that I published my third book in January. The title is Defying Discord: Ending the divide between your faith and “secular” art career. If you enjoy this podcast, you’ll love the book, which you can purchase on my site at marlitahill.com. Alright, enough of that. So over this past year and a half, the Spirit of God has really refined KAI’S place in this conversation about faith and art. Again, KAI stands for Kingdom Artist Initiative, and it’s the program I developed through which I support artists in Christ working in secular culture, like yourself. I do that through workshops, mentoring, this podcast, my books, retreats, courses, and other things. And the mission that has really settled in my heart in working with artists of faith is to minister into two relationships in their lives: the first is the relationship between their faith, art, and career, and the second is the relationship between them, as artists, and God. This is why I’m so excited to connect with you!! Because my desire is for these relationships in your life to be healed and healthy, reciprocal, thriving and deepening. But to have that, there are some things we need to be freed from, things we need to shift our mind about, things that we need to peel off, and things we need to be reacquainted with. Now there are three pillars to these healthy relationships. The first is wholeness. This is about you being able to fully embrace all parts of who you are as an artist in Christ. The second is liberty. This is about you being able to stand unapologetically in the kind of art life God has led and positioned you to build. And the third pillar is harmony. This is about faith, art, and career being allowed to thrive alongside one another, at the same time in the same space, as they work together in your life. Season 2 will be about digging into these three pillars, understanding what blocks them, what empowers them, and how to receive and walk in them so that you can flourish in a healthy, undivided relationship between your art and faith life. So, let’s get to it!! What does wholeness look like for artists in Christ working, or pursuing a career in secular culture? What does it look like for you to fully embrace all parts of who you are in this station? I looked up the word whole and there were two definitions that really stood out for me. The first one is an organization of parts fitting and working together as one, which we’ll get more into in our harmony conversation. The second definition is not leaving any part out. Not leaving any part out. What does that look like? Well, as artists in Christ working in secular culture, we’re essentially made up of three parts. There’s the Christian part of us. We are believers, followers of Christ. There’s the creative part of us. We make art or work in the artistic sector. And, there’s the part of us that is a cultural participant. We participate in secular culture through our art making and career. Okay… So what, then, does it look like for all three of those parts to be brought into every aspect of our experience as an artist in Christ working in secular culture, in every context that we occupy as such? I have 3 pictures of this wholeness that I want to share with you; one in this episode and two in the next. The first picture of this wholeness is bringing your whole self (that’s all three parts) to your faith walk. This means not denying that you are an artist, that you are a creative person. It means not diminishing, or putting away, or only relegating your creative self to the fringes of your life – but embracing this as a vital part of the way God has designed you. It means embracing this part of you as essential to the fabric of your life and essential to the fabric of your relationship with God. And if its essential to the fabric, then it has an important place in your life and it has an important place in your relationship with God. And that means that your creative life should not be treated as any less than important in either place, and should have an active role in both places. Bringing your whole self to your faith walk also means embracing your creative self, your creative lens as a way that God has gifted you to experience and engage in this world, and as a way to process, embody, express, and participate in your faith. It also means embracing your career in secular culture as the place that God, Himself, who is the author and finisher of your faith, has planted you in to put that creative gift to work. That your participation in your faith walk includes your career life…yes, even your kind of career. It means accepting that as you engage as an artist in secular culture, making the kind of art you make , God is in you, He is with you, He is for you, and is also working through you to make Himself known and to build his Kingdom. It means accepting that you, as the kind of artist you are, contribute to building the Kingdom and you are a needed member of the Kingdom community. It means embracing yourself as a person of faith who is creative and takes space in secular culture. And it means your artistry and career are an important way you participate in faith, and engage in the larger faith community. So that’s what it looks like to bring your whole self to your faith walk. Before you go, please join our discussion below. And until next time, be whole, walk free, live harmoniously! Follow us on Social Instagram @iammarlitahill Facebook @iammarlitahill Join our mailing list TALK TO ME
10 minutes | 4 years ago
Ep 21 – Pressing into the Tipping Point
Episode 21: Pressing into the Tipping Point What do you do when you’re carrying a vision from God about your art career, and you move on things He tells you to do, but nothing happens? You have to keep doing. You have to keep pressing into your tipping point. Listen to the audio Read the transcript One of the most frustrating things about being an artist in Christ is the journey of attaining this visceral, tangible vision He's given you of your career life. Inside of you, it is so vivid that you feel like you can reach out and touch it. Then there are thoughts that come to your mind, things that God leads you to do, instructions that come with such a sense of immediacy, and such urgency that you believe the floodgates are going to burst open as soon as you do it. So you do it ... and crickets. Then the next instruction comes, and it comes with that same immediacy and urgency. So you think maybe I was wrong on the last one but this one is going to be it. So you do it ... and crickets. And you do this again and again until you get to the place where you start to doubt the next instruction. You start to doubt very seriously whether you're actually hearing God talk to you. And in this doubt, you start to get confused about what to do next, and agitated because that fricking visceral vision won't go away. So you feel stuck. I know this place. I know this place very well. I have been on this journey for 20 years and am only now beginning to see notable momentum. I remember the times when God would tell me to host a workshop and no one would show up. Then the very next weekend He would tell me to do it again and no one would show up. He would tell me to write this book and I did it, thinking my obedience was going to change the situations in my life. And I had several copies sold. I'm grateful for those but it was nothing like what I sensed was going to happen. Then He led me to write the next book and I thought that was going to be the one to shift everything. So I wrote it and it did even worse than the first one. I remember all of the videos that He told me to record and post that it seemed like no one cared about. I thought once people saw what I had to offer that they would invite me to their workshop and they would invite me to teach. None of that happened. But then a funny thing started happening. It was me following instructions to record a dance to an excerpt of one of the books that I wrote (one of the ones that didn’t really sell) and email it to someone that brought me into the season that I'm in now and introduced me to the people that I know now. That one act of obedience ended me up in Spain and connected to whole new world of people. It was my diligence to continue making those videos that it seemed like nobody cared to watch that got me noticed by a young lady from the Salvation Army. I work with her now and that relationship has opened a tremendous door and allowed me to connect what God has given me to so many artists. It was my diligence to sit down and keep writing the next book that gave me this KAI curriculum which I am receiving more and more opportunity to now take to more and more artists. It was my persistence to keep doing the next thing God told me to do. And this wasn't on account of any virtue of mine. A lot of times I just felt like I had invested too much time to turn around and I just I had no choice now but to see it through. Some of it was because I just didn't know what else to do. If this didn't pan out, I was screwed. So, it wasn't that I was always virtuous and trusting of God. I was talking to a young man last night about this very same issue. He was at the point of giving up because everything that he did to attain this vision he carried was not working, and he didn't know what else to do. He began to doubt if he was even on the right track, if he was even hearing God at all. The Lord brought this verse to me for him and I want to share it with you.
8 minutes | 4 years ago
Ep 20 – A process for every promise
Episode 20: A Process for every Promise We have talked about the inevitability of time in walking out God’s promise for our career life. In this episode, we talk about the inevitability of process, forming us to thrive in the promise as we receive it. Listen to the audio Read the transcript This past Saturday morning, I was taking a break from writing to cook myself some soup; and the Lord said to me, Every promise has a process. Then yesterday, I went to church with a dear sister and her pastor was talking about a vision the Lord gave him. Part of the vision was two images of buildings. The first image was of 3 and 4-story buildings. When he saw that image, he said the Lord told him This is not what I intended. Then the Lord told him, This is what I actually intended, and showed him a second image of buildings; but these buildings were skyscrapers. This led me to research how foundations are laid for skyscrapers and I came across the story about the Wilshire Grand Hotel here in Los Angeles, which is slated to be the tallest building west of Chicago. I learned about all of the massive work that has to be done in the foundation before the part that we see from the street can ever be built. The construction of the Wilshire Grand Hotel has been a massive feat, having broken several records throughout the construction process. After demolishing the original structure, they had to dig a foundation site that was five stories deep and the size of a city block. Then they had to create an infrastructure within the foundation with various systems to facilitate the pouring of 84 million pounds of concrete that had to be brought in by 2,120 trucks. Even before they were able to do that, they had to spend 6 months removing almost 250 truckloads of dirt every day. And before that could happen, there was massive research done to test the fitness of the soil on the site to handle such a structure. There was massive research in engineering and architectural planning to make sure that the design of the skyscraper could support its own weight and the weight of all the people and furniture that would go into it. They also had to make sure it would be able to deal with regional weather issues, which in Los Angeles are strong Santa Ana winds and earthquakes. It is interesting that Mr. Cho, the owner of the Wilshire Grand, had the desire to demolish and rebuild this site back in 1990. In reading about its process, it was a huge feat just to get to the point of laying the foundation. The pastor yesterday talked about the discouragement some of us encounter when foundation laying is happening in our promise. During this part of our process, it feels like things are going the opposite way; and they are. Here’s why: because, to lay a foundation for a skyscraper you have to start the project by going down. When you look at a skyscraper from street level, there is no indication of anything existing below what you see. At street level, we see the building going from the street up. And if we don’t know anything about construction, we could miss why there is any necessity for any movement down, when the building goes up. The Lord said every promise has a process. I once heard someone say that it takes a minimum of 10 years to create an overnight success. I think about my own journey and the amount of time it has taken for my foundation to be laid, which has been about 20 years. The reason I am able to talk so fluidly now about creating a harmonious relationship between faith, art, and career is because I this is what I’ve lived and this is how I live. I stayed in it, allowing time for the foundation to be laid so that I could walk in what God has given me to do. I am only now realizing that is what was happening. I just knew stay in it, don’t stop (no matter how hard it gets), and keep doing the next thing the Lord tells me to do. Every promise of God has an external and internal process to the full manifestation of that promi...
15 minutes | 4 years ago
Ep 19 – A Time for Joy
Episode 19: A Time for JOY! As artists of faith, we sometimes get nervous when we realize we are enjoying our art too much. Why? In this episode, Marlita Hill explains how our artistry is for enjoyment, as well as service and communion. Listen to the audio Read the transcript I just came back from a beautiful weekend in the Santa Cruz mountains where I spent several days attending the Creative Arts Retreat with the Salvation Army. While there, I got to facilitate two KAI sessions. In the first one, I met this really cool break dancer. After our session, on the walk over to breakfast, he started to share with me how the session resonated with him because sometimes, when he’s taking class or performing, he struggles with making sure he gives God the glory. He feels bad because sometimes he forgets to give God the glory. I spoke to him about it but the Holy Spirit kept talking to me about it and now I want to talk to you about it. Talking to this young man made me remember several similar conversations I’ve had with artists who, it seems like, almost feel bad for enjoying their art too much. I find this very interesting. On a side note, one of the by-products of this KAI work that I’m doing with artists is helping them experience and embrace the liberty and the life found in relationship with God. We have reduced relationship with Him to service only, and doing that robs us, and Him, of such deep, joyous, intimate connection that we both desire to have with one another. So what did the Holy Spirit teach me about this matter? We are artists. As artists, we have artistic and creative gifts. Here’s what He told me: those gifts have been given to us for service, and communion, and enjoyment. Family, the gifts are for service, communion, and enjoyment. Why are we so reticent, so hesitant, so afraid to simply enjoy God’s goodness to us? You know I like to use real examples, so, to me, it’s like sex. Many times, in the church, we have problems simply enjoying sex, or talking about sex as something that can be simply enjoyed. It is a gift from God. Yes, it is used for service: to procreate. But it’s also for communion, for a man and wife to spend time together and get closer to one another. But, y’all let’s live a little… it’s also for fun. Sex is fun! Why are we so afraid to admit that and embrace itt? We can’t we just admit that it feels so good and we have an amazing time doing it, like God, Himself, didn’t build our anatomy to capture and experience the amazing sensations sex provides? And like sex, our artistry and our creativity are gifts that, in addition to service, are also meant to simply be enjoyed. So, let’s dig into this some more. As Christians, we get ourselves all in knots about this honor and glorifying thing. Yes, honoring and glorifying God are important. We are commanded to do so. It is only right for us to do so. But let me ask you a questions about that: How much more can a creator be honored than when the thing they created does what it was created to do, and thrives at doing it? It’s like God looks at His dancers and says I created you to dance. When you dance, I’m over the moon because I see my intention, I see my purpose, I see the capacity I put in you materialize before Me. I get joy out of seeing you do what I put in you to do. I mean, how excited did Belle’s father get in Beauty and the Beast when his machine finally chopped the log and threw it I the pile like He intended, when it finally did what He designed it to do? Why wouldn’t God also get pleasure out of watching His creation do the same? How much more honor could I possibly give my Creator than to participate in His intention for me? And here’s another question: how happy does it make you to give someone a gift and see them really enjoy the gift you gave them? Like building a jungle gym for your kids. You don’t build that jungle gym for them to complete service. You build it for them to play, and laugh,
20 minutes | 4 years ago
Ep 18 – How’re you seeing what you see?
Episode 18: How’re you seeing what you see? Perspective is not just about what you see, but how you see what you see. In this episode, Marlita Hill continues the conversation on patience and looks at how perspective helps us successfully navigate patience and fully come into the things God has promised us. Listen to the audio Read the transcript In episode 17, we started a conversation about patience, about what being a career artist looks like inside of the faith process. We talked about patience being a necessary part of faith, and time being a necessary part of patience. We ended that conversation exploring how we could be, and remain patient. Last week our tool was remembrance. In this episode, I want to explore the tool of perspective. As you are walking out God's promise to you for your career life, it’s important for you to check yourself at each juncture about how you’re seeing what you see. In numbers 13 we read the account of a group of men who were challenged in this very area. In this account, the Lord tells Moses to send some men to spy out the land God promised to the Children of Israel, land He said was theirs and, at the time of directing Moses, was in the process of bringing them into it. And the LORD spoke to Moses, saying, “Send men to spy out the land of Canaan, which I am giving to the children of Israel; from each tribe of their fathers you shall send a man, every one a leader among them.” In verses 3 through 16 we get an account of all of the men who went. Verse 17 continues, saying, Then Moses sent them to spy out the land of Canaan, and said to them, “Go up this way into the South, and go up to the mountains, and see what the land is like: whether the people who dwell in it are strong or weak, few or many; whether the land they dwell in is good or bad; whether the cities they inhabit are like camps or strongholds; whether the land is rich or poor; and whether there are forests there or not. Be of good courage. And bring some of the fruit of the land.” Now the time was the season of the first ripe grapes.” Verses 21 through 24 tell us that the men go out. They spy out the land and they collect fruit from the land. Verse 25 picks up saying “And they returned from spying out the land after forty days. Now they departed and came back to Moses and Aaron and all the congregation of the children of Israel in the Wilderness of Paran, at Kadesh; they brought back word to them and to all the congregation, and showed them the fruit of the land. Then they told him, and said: “We went to the land where you sent us. It truly flows with milk and honey, and this is its fruit. Nevertheless, the people who dwell in the land are strong; the cities are fortified and very large; moreover we saw the descendants of Anak there. The Amalekites dwell in the land of the South; the Hittites, the Jebusites, and the Amorites dwell in the mountains; and the Canaanites dwell by the sea and along the banks of the Jordan.” Basically, ain't no way we getting in this land. Now, this is interesting because perspective is not just about what you see. It’s about how you see what you see. Remember, they’re in the process of being brought into their land of promise and this step of seeing what’s there is part of bringing them into the land. They were not sent to find out IF they could get in; that was already settled. They were only sent to find out what was there. But they lost sight of that and instead spoke about the situation and made conclusions about it from the wrong way of seeing it. They reported from the wrong perspective. It wasn’t the fact that they reported these difficulties. The difficulties were there and they were real. It was that they lost sight of why they were sent there, and of what to do with the difficulties they saw. They didn’t come back and say here’s what’s going on. Let’s seek God about how to deal with this. No, they didn’t say that because that’s not how they saw the situation.
11 minutes | 4 years ago
Ep 17 – Patience, Dear Watson
Episode 17: Patience, Dear Watson As artists in Christ, we experience harmony when we honor the faith walk, our artistic expression, and our career life and ambition. Since the just are supposed to live by faith, we need to understand what being a career artist looks like inside the faith process. In this episode, Marlita explores patience as an element of faith. Listen to the audio Read the transcript Harmony between faith, art, and career is about all parts being accepted and honored, given full expression in the same space. All parts: the faith walk, the artistic expression, and the career life and ambition. This harmony can only be experienced when art and career are aligned with God and achieved by the working of faith. Rom 1:17 tells us “the just shall live by faith.” If you have accepted Jesus as your Lord and Savior, you are one of the just. If you have to live by faith, and your career is part of you, then your career must be worked and accomplished by faith as well…at least if you want the fullness of what God showed and promised you. Harmony between faith, art, and career is experienced when we navigate our career in a way that honors the working and process of faith. If we understand how faith works, when we experience certain things in our career that are a necessary part of the faith cycle, we won’t be thrown off. So we have to learn what being a career artist looks like inside of the faith process. One element of faith is patience. Unfortunately, it is an unavoidable part of faith. Well, I shouldn’t say unfortunately. It’s like going to the dentist: it’s good for you, but it never feels good. Much love to all the dentists out there. Thank you for helping us keep our teeth. Like the dentist, patience is good for us and produces so much in us, but will probably often be misunderstood by us, at least in the beginning, and until we mature and learn to honor its presence and contribution. Heb 10: 35-36 says, “Therefore do not cast away your confidence, which has great reward. For you have need of endurance, so that after you have done the will of God, you may receive the promise.” Habakkuk 2:3 (Classic Amplified) For the vision is yet for an appointed time and it hastens to the end [fulfillment]; it will not deceive or disappoint. Though it tarry, wait [earnestly] for it, because it will surely come; it will not be behindhand on its appointed day. In Luke 8:11-14 (NKJV), Jesus gives an explanation of the parable of the sower. “Now the parable is this: The seed is the word of God. Those by the wayside are the ones who hear; then the devil comes and takes away the word out of their hearts, lest they should believe and be saved. But the ones on the rock are those who, when they hear, receive the word with joy; and these have no root, who believe for a while and in time of temptation fall away. Now the ones that fell among thorns are those who, when they have heard, go out and are choked with cares, riches, and pleasures of life, and bring no fruit to maturity. [Mark 4: 19 says, “and the cares of this world, the deceitfulness of riches, and the desires for other things entering in choke the word, and it becomes unfruitful.”] But the ones that fell on the good ground are those who, having heard the word with a noble and good heart, keep it and bear fruit with patience. What is this patience? Webster’s defines it as “courageous endurance; the capacity or habit of enduring evil, adversity, or pain with fortitude; calm self-possession in confronting obstacles or delays; exhibiting power to endure hardship or physical or mental distress.” The thing that struck me most about patience is that obstacle and difficulty are an inherent part of it. Like you don’t get water without wet, you don’t get patience without difficulty. But, from the verses above, we know that what God has shown you has an appointed time, it will come pass, but it will come to pass with patience.
6 minutes | 4 years ago
Ep 16 – All parts honored
Episode 16: All parts honored Harmony between faith, art, and career happens when all parts of you as an artist in Christ are honored and allowed full expression in the same space. Marlita unpacks this harmony and what it looks like. Listen to the audio Read the transcript Well, first of all, Happy New Year! Can you believe we’re in 2017? That is incredible! So much has happened in our world and in my life personally since our last episode in 2016. Before we launch into our conversation for today, I want to encourage you to join our mailing list at thekingdomartlife.com. Things are moving forward in awesome ways and I want to keep you informed! One exciting bit of news I want to share is that I have started working on my next book. The title is Harmonizing the Artist of Faith: A Manifesto for Christians with “secular” art careers. That will be out in March 2017. So get on the list so I can keep you posted! Alright, enough about me. As this podcast is about building harmony between faith, art, and career, I wanted to spend our first episode back digging deeper into this process of harmony. The Lord is continually unpacking this idea for me and the most recent thing He helped me understand is that this process of harmony we’re in is an internal one. What do I mean? Well, first let me give you our working definition of harmony. It is: Where all parts of yourself (as an artist in Christ) are accepted and honored, and are working together as one, toward one end in agreement with God. As an artist of faith working in “secular” culture, you are a Christian, you are an artist, and you are a cultural participant. And harmony is about all three of these parts of you being honored and allowed to have full expression in the same place. This is an internal process because this same place we are working on is within you. Building harmony between faith, art, and career is about helping you come to a place of assurance, where you can stand flat-footed in the reality that, one, God is pleased when these parts of you work together, and two, that they can in fact work together in a way where each part is honored. So how does this happen? The Lord gave me the image of pruning, but first He told me that harmony is a natural process that has already been started in us. Our life coming together in God started when we said yes to Christ’s invitation for salvation. However, that natural process has been blocked, much like a tree is hindered from continuing its natural capacity for growth. I told you that the Lord gave me the image of pruning as an analogy for harmony. What is pruning? It’s when you cut away dead, decayed parts of the tree so that it can continue growing unhindered. The Lord asked me, does pruning make the tree grow? The answer is no. Pruning doesn’t make the tree grow. The tree already has the capacity to grow, and as long as it is unhindered, it will grow. What pruning does is remove things that are hindering the tree from doing what Is natural. What does that mean for us? The three parts of you as an artist in Christ working together is something that is natural. It’s something the Lord started working in you from the moment you gave Him permission with your yes. Yet, even though it’s natural, even though God is in it, we, as Christians with “secular” art careers still experience hesitation letting these parts organically live together. Why? Because there are blockages that must be removed. What are these blockages? They’re our thoughts, our perceptions, our understandings. How did they get there? Some of them came from what we’ve been taught, what we’ve seen and experienced. But other blockages have come from us, ourselves, through what we’ve accepted, what we’ve assumed and concluded. So this process of harmony is one where we’re removing dead, decaying, erroneous, unproductive thoughts, assumptions, and understandings. When these are removed, the ease, the fluidity,
8 minutes | 4 years ago
Ep 15 – Thriving in difference
I am testing this to see if it works
12 minutes | 4 years ago
Ep 14 – Just be, and be led
Episode 14: Just be, and be led! As career artists, we work among people of many different beliefs, lifestyles, attitudes, and perspectives. Marlita explores how we, as Christians, should interact with those around us that don’t live as we do. Listen to the audio Read the transcript As Christians with secular art careers, one of the things that we’re constantly thinking about is: How do we interact with the people we encounter on our jobs; many of whom don’t live or believe as we do? The reality is we do the whole art life and career thing with people of all kinds of beliefs, lifestyles, attitudes, and perspectives. Some of them live a completely opposite life than us in every possible way. How are we to act around them? How are we to interact with them? And, how much interaction should we have with them at all? These are all questions that we face as Christians living and working in secular society. And in trying to navigate this, we have thoughts flooding our minds from different fronts. We have the church asking us how many people we’ve gotten saved or brought to church this week? We have societies perceptions of Christians as being pushy and judgmental, weird, and just plain disconnected with everyday life. And, we have our own thoughts about not wanting to be pushy, not wanting to be weird or put in a box, not really knowing how to talk to people about our faith. We don’t want to turn people off or make them uncomfortable, but as a Christian, aren’t you supposed to be trying to find an “in” to the faith conversation with people? And then there’s the uneasy pressure of feeling like you have a quota to meet, and dealing with the guilt when you don’t meet it. It’s alot. It is a lot. And all of these things are shooting through our minds to varying degrees as we encounter the many kinds of people on our jobs. So, let’s tackle this through two questions: 1.What is our responsibility as Christians concerning the people we encounter? And, in light of that responsibility, how do we interact with them? So…what is our responsibility? To answer that, let's go to the bedrock of our approach to evangelism, the great commission: Matthew 28:19. I'm going to read the King James version: It says, “Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost.” Now, we can go very deep into what that means, but for the purpose of our conversation, I want to focus on one thing. The verse says “go ye therefore, and teach all nations.” But, in other translations of this verse, it says go and make disciples. Our Christian history is rife with people who, very zealously, took up this charge, who’ve trampled humanity all over the globe trying to make them serve God through violence manipulation and other horrible means. But when I think about it, there is no precedent in the Bible where anyone is ever forced to serve God. Now, you do see places in the Old Testament, before grace through the Cross, where people who did not serve God got slaughtered. And they got slaughtered when they were either in the way of God's plan, when they were directly opposing God's plan, or when they were threatening God's people. But to my knowledge, and please email me and correct me if I'm wrong about this, but to my knowledge there is no precedent for anyone in the Bible ever being forced to serve God. So, from this we know what our responsibility is not: it is not our responsibility to force, manipulate, guilt, or scare anyone into serving God. Now, I want us to look at Matthew 28:19 in light of Mark 16:16 (NKJV). “He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned.” This verse says “he who believes and is baptized” - that person (who believes) will be saved. And, if we pair this with Matthew 28:19, the person who believes is the person you make a disciple out of. You teach and make a disciple out of the person who believes and is bapt...
12 minutes | 4 years ago
Ep 13 – There’s more at work than you know!
Marlita Hill talks to the reality that even though we can't see while we're waiting, things are coming together and they are moving forward.
13 minutes | 4 years ago
Ep 12 – It ain’t supposed to be this hard!
What does rest look like as a Christian when you're on the career grind as an artist?
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