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Hey, welcome back. We are in our last episode of a three-week series that we were doing just highlighting some of the top 10 most listened to episodes in 2022. In this last episode, what you're about to hear is a collection of many of the artists that we spoke to throughout this series, Crafted. You'll hear from Bethany Farrell, and she just discusses the creative life in general that God's blessed her with. And then we'll hear from Salvation Army officers, majors David and Susie Erickson.
They discuss their passion for baking and hospitality. We'll then hear from Ed and Ashley Escobar, who used dance as an act of worship. And then Nick Simmons-Smith, who's actually our only musician in this series. And then Flo Knox, who is a painter, followed by John Avery, who's a filmmaker.
This series launched in the summer of 2021. Visit salvationarmyradio.org, go to our Words of Life page, and we'll have a link to this series. I cannot point to a single time in my life where some art form has not been important and life-bringing and bringing me joy. And I think that the Lord has always used creativity in some form or another to just keep me close and to give me life in its various forms.
And it's changed over and over what it is that I'm drawn to. Sometimes it's situational as a child. I couldn't afford dance classes. And when college came, suddenly I have these opportunities and they were really great.
Sewing, there's been different periods of my life where I have time for it and times when I don't. I recently have gotten into gardening, which I've never been able to do before. You didn't always live on a small farm. No, I didn't always live on a small farm.
Now that I say that, I would like everybody to know you can garden in any size that you're in, but it comes with heartbreak. So yeah, I am not by any means an expert in any field, but I have deep love and appreciation for all the art forms, whether I've participated in them or I've just been able to observe them or see others deeply rooted into their art forms. I just really appreciate how God has given us creativity as a way to express ourselves, as a way to draw closer to Him, to learn more about who He is. I like to bring up that the first thing we read in the Bible is, in the beginning, God created. He created. He's a creator. And the coolest thing is we learn a little bit later that we are made in His image, which means all of us have that piece of the Creator.
Now it looks different for every person. Some of us are dancers. Some of us put paint on paper in masterful ways. And some people can create intricate and flawless Excel spreadsheets. And I think that there is value to all of that.
Everybody's got their own form of creativity, and it's just a matter of honing in or exploring, as the case may be, and finding what that looks like for you today. I'm inspired by the way Jesus did life around the table. And He ate with every person you could even imagine, sinners, Pharisees.
And He engaged with people. And so I've really learned that we can learn a lot about people when we invite them to our table, people that maybe we wouldn't necessarily find in our circle of friends. But food has a way of bringing us together and brings cultures together. And so I've learned to be more accepting of people outside my culture and to bring people to my table that maybe I wouldn't invite necessarily into a closed circle of friends. But that shared meal and shared experience, really, I've learned to embrace people and all of who they are. And I think that food has a way of doing that and being at the table and just seeing how Jesus modeled ministry around the table, has inspired me to do the same.
And for me, it's really just that making people feel special, giving them an unexpected gift. I usually bake a loaf of bread, usually every Saturday that we're here, because that's one of my Saturday habits is baking bread, either Saturday or Sunday. And Sunday or Monday, I usually give at least three out of every four loaves away. And it's just a way of making people feel special. Very often I don't, when I'm baking it, I don't know who I'm baking it for.
I'm just baking it to enjoy the process of myself, and then to give it away. And many times, those individuals were just blessed by the gift of thoughtfulness and the gift of bread and even the bread of life. I moved to Florida when I was 14 that I found the Salvation Army, went to their music camp, and they had a dance program. And I went in as a trombone player and I was like, okay, but I really love dance. So I took that as an elective and the person teaching it took me under his wing and really taught me that. And then being able to do that as a ministry, I think that's really when I was like, oh man, there's more to it than just performing in front of people.
So I kind of fell in love with it in that way. And I feel like I was invested in this way. So now I feel like it's my turn to then be able to give that same thing that I was given, all the opportunities, everything that I've experienced in terms of dancing and the arts. I would say it was because the Salvation Army really invested in me and all the teachers that were a part of my life.
So I want to be that person now that is investing in the people who are upcoming. And what the Lord has been putting on my heart recently, the past couple of months, is that there's space for you. There's room for you.
There's always going to be somebody else who does what you do and oftentimes even better. And that's okay. That doesn't take away.
You're still valid. It doesn't take away from what you have and what the Lord has given to you. It's okay if you're not the best. And it's okay if there's other people who do what you do. But the important thing is to just keep doing it. And don't wait for someone to say, yes, I want you to do this. No, you do it. God's making what He's giving you power and authority to do it.
So do it. And I just feel like that's what God has been speaking to me specifically about our craft and our mission. Because a lot of times it feels like, what are we doing with this? God has given us this gift. And now we're parents.
Now we have full-time jobs. So there's so many obstacles as it feels. But that's not a door shut. It's a door that is unlocked.
And we just got to open it and walk through. One of the things I say to my band on a Sunday before we go in, let us not be observers of this worship service. And let us not be hired musicians. We are participants in worship. And that's the crucial part, really.
We're not just hired to play trumpet to make the music sound good. We are there to worship. And for me, Sunday morning is the golden hour where we come together and corporately worship. And very important to me and have that community and thank the Lord we have it back now where we can visit with people and be together.
It's very powerful. I'm so grateful for the many mentors I had in my church, mostly men. As I look back, I can see how the Lord used people in my life to redirect me and to help me to be patient with me. And many of those were musicians in that brass band I was talking about. It was a community of people around me helping me through those difficult days.
And I should always be grateful. And in fact, now I think about how can I be helpful to others that are going through similar things. I've done a lot of different arts and crafts. I love just about anything to do with arts and crafts.
But over the years, it has narrowed down. I've also done a lot of sewing and quilting and those kinds of things, all in the same kind of genre. I just love art. And I guess with watercolors, what I liked about them is they're forgiving and they're kind of transparent.
So if you make a mistake, you can kind of go over it. And I think the fact that I could paint something and you could recognize what it really was. Well, who wouldn't want to do that? I think taking the time to paint somebody a card or a birthday card or a thank you card or do a bookmark, I think for someone to know that you took the time to do that makes them happy. I know it makes me happy if somebody makes me because I've got some art friends that make me things every now and again. You couldn't buy me something that would be worth more than somebody painting me something or writing something.
So I will be happy if it impacts the people that are around me. I always had a camera, even when I was younger. The disposable cameras, they don't really exist nearly as much as they do now as they did then.
And moving up from different levels of regular digital cameras and things like that as technology progressed. Pieces that have been really eye-opening that I've been able to work on is when there's disasters or hurricanes and our department is called out for some of the larger ones where we get to go out and see the ultimate toll that these disasters have taken on these people in these communities. And it's hard in a lot of ways because we are taken to the worst areas where the worst destruction has happened. And so it's going in there with these cameras and you don't want to exploit that disaster for the Salvation Army's gain, but it's also very important to show what God is still doing in those disasters and to be able to hear just those encouraging stories of people helping others when they don't have anything.
They've lost everything themselves and they're still going out and helping and feeding and helping clean things out. And it's just, it's really encouraging. And I love being able to take what is like this horrible, horrible event and circumstance and be able to show God redeeming it and ultimately bringing himself glory through all of it. This is it.
This is what I want to do. This storytelling is what God is calling me to. One of the things we always say is like, if it moves, shoot it, like get it on camera because we're always looking for more at the end. It's like, we've used up these clips.
What else can we throw into this video? And so being on the lookout for just like anything that's moving kind of really opens up your eyes to what God is doing too. It's like, because God is always moving and you just have to really open your eyes to see him moving in every situation. And so it is looking in every little aspect of your life for where God is moving. And it just does go to show that, that he is, he's there even in those disasters, even in those moments where someone's just like at their breaking point, like he's, he's moving through us and in us and he's capable of doing so much more if we just kind of do let him.
Well, I even have this quote up on my monitor that I pulled off the internet somewhere and I, I edited it a little bit just so that it was more applicable to what I do, but I have it and it says create, but do so in a way that you can't run fast enough to place it at the foot of God. The Salvation Army's mission, Doing the Most Good, means helping people with material and spiritual needs. You become a part of this mission every time you give to the Salvation Army. Visit salvationarmyusa.org to offer your support and we'd love to hear from you. Call 1-800-229-9965 or visit salvationarmyradio.org to connect.
Tell us how we can help. Share prayer requests or your testimony. With your permission, we would love to use your story on the show. You can also subscribe to Words of Life on your favorite podcast store or visit salvationarmyradio.org to learn about more programs produced by the Salvation Army. And if you don't have a church home, we invite you to visit your local Salvation Army worship center. They'll be glad to see you. Join us next time for the Salvation Army's Words of Life.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-01-22 08:04:30 / 2023-01-22 08:10:05 / 6