Saturday, September 22, 2012

Stories End

4:46 PM
I wasn't sure how Day 2 of the STORY 2012 conference in Chicago could top Day 1. Yet, it was amazing. After amazing worship with All Sons & Daughters, artist Makoto Fujimara kicked off the morning. His art is inspirational, creative & spiritual all in one breath. He challenged us to create in secret. To create for the sake of creativity and the Creator. To not let all our art be for utility & purpose. It was a challenge that I want to take seriously. Spoken word artist, Micah Bournes, wowed us all with creatively chosen words to craft a beautiful message, like Who Broke Africa? It was...moving.

Afterwards, pastor & author Kyle Idleman shared about idolatry. A seemingly random subject a creative conference, but was dead on. An idol is something man has replace God. Like the Israelites and golden calf. There's nothing wrong with creativity, it's a gift from our Creator! But when I create something, who gets the glory? My art...or my God? It was great perspective setter. I ended up buying his other book, Not a Fan, because I was so challenged by his perspective on art & life.

The last speaker of the day and conference was Phil Vischer, formerly of Veggie Tales fame. I hope I can adequately even describe how amazing his talk was. His talk was one of humility, of inspiration, of tragedy, and of success. If you aren't sure of the story of Veggie Tales rise & demise, pick up his memoir Me, Myself & Bob. You won't regret it! I was moved by his openness in sharing about his struggles and where God took him. The themes of intimacy & abiding in Christ once again spoke to my heart. His poignant statement of "Jesus + [__________] makes you just as valuable as Jesus + nothing". It was this idea that even if I did no ministry, did nothing for God but love Him, He'd see me as just as worthy. I can't earn more [or less] value in His eyes. What freedom. For all of us who have ever felt that we have to create something world changing to be more accepted by God, stop it. We don't. If we know Him as Savior, we ARE accepted. Praise the Lord.

So yeah, it was an amazing two days, filled with sensory & information overload, but in such a good way. Met new friends, enjoyed spending times with old friends, was inspired & challenged & refueled.

Story 2013....I may just see you there!

About the author

Joy Muldoon is a full-time missionary and part-time blogger. Read about her travels, adventures, and missions here!