Stewardship And Creativity

If you know much about me, you may know I have a heart for keeping old stuff out of landfills.I’m not what most would consider a fully over-the-top environmentally conscious person, but I care a great deal about what I would term biblical stewardship on all levels- including the earth on which we and our grandkids and future generations will live.Not to mention, I’m often quite cheap. I purposely live a bit simpler life than the average American with a view to as much money coming in going into direct ministry to others.I don’t dumpster dive, but I love freebies, garage, yard and junk sales, resale shops and in fact the best computer I’ve ever owned so far I happened to find next to a dumpster on a dry day in the summer. It eventually died, but I got a good year and a half of service out of it… using a sweet version of the Linux operating system (also free) which I’m addicted to and have been for many years… and am using to write this blog now.I’m quite a fan of “found object” musical instruments, and have for some years now hung out lurking at  as well as built several cigar box guitars.These come in many varieties and at present I’m building one that’s a variation on a couple I’ve seen at that cool site… but not the really hip, modern, “eye-candy” sort… for me the fun is using something that looks a little on the grubby side… but both plays and sounds good, at least to me, for what I want to do with it.Which brings me to an even more important point:At times people may feel useless and basically fit for nothing but a dumpster- but God never sees any of us that way. He sees the potential, not merely what currently -is- but what (we) can be.When someone is tossing an old computer, be it pda, laptop or desktop out… sometimes even an old monitor, guitar, bass, speakers, whatever… I often see potential in it.I’ve known many full-on sinners who have repented, sought hard after Jesus and changed. In fact the Holy Spirit worked such change in them via redemption that now they are actively used by Him as an example of His love and redemption.This is the continual work of God in our lives! No dumpster for your life or mine!Look around, you’ll be amazed- IF you pay attention and are willing to spend the time and work needed- you’ll be blown away by the creative, cool stuff you can make.The Make Magazine site, Mother Earth News online, Instructables, Backwoodsman and many other online sites are loaded with ideas for recycling and re-using stuff. The creativity and fun as well as stewardship rings my bell.In fact this past Christmas I found various stuff I can use while obtaining  other stuff in order to make gifts for Wendi. Old wood became new shelves for her books and storage, and a footstool. Instead of buying a new computer I found a friend willing to sell one just collecting dust. Saved a lot of money and put something to good use while upgrading her from what she had.Sometimes zero money, a bit of time and effort, a few hand tools, sandpaper, glue or epoxy, a few drywall screws later and she smiles 🙂 I like that!We both love Craigslist online, here in Chicago there are loads of free items as well as good cheap stuff when we need this or that. Our dvd player recently gave up the ghost… found one locally via Craigslist for 15 bucks, works perfectly and my grandson is watching a movie on it as I type!So in me and perhaps you (?) are various parts geek, creativity, stewardship of the elements and yes, the pleasure of seeing if I can make something truly useful out of junk.I -was- junk once. Corrosive junk. And that cleaning process, that fixing of various broken and semi-messed up parts is still an ongoing work of the Spirit in my life. But God is faithful.The Lord Who speaks of stewardship to His people is the BEST at stewarding US. IF we will trust and in love, obey Him, it’s amazing what He can do with us in the everyday, even in what we may consider mundane tasks.Some of the coolest music costs next to nothing in terms of making instruments that work. Some of the best Web and editing work can be done on what most people would simply toss into a landfill. And speaking of LInux (if one is willing to accept the learning curve as with anything else) operating systems, even free (and virus-free) computing.The same principle applies to people whom many of us (myself included at times…) would rather just ignore, forget about or toss.There IS a time to finally separate ourselves from stuff that seems truly un-redeemable. But I think we are typically too ready to throw money we don’t have (or would be better off spending in other ways) into new stuff that has all too short of a useful life.I also think we are often too ready to separate from broken people, deeming them less valuable than God does.Over two day’s time I found enough stuff to build 3 cigar box guitars (a 2 stringer, another one with a bass string and 2 guitar strings and a third with 1 bass and 3 guitar strings on it).I wonder what I’ll find tomorrow?Jesus is all about leaving the 99 to seek and save the 1 that was lost.Some things to think about.Grace- and thanks for stopping by. -Glenn


Wendi and I have been fully blessed by Jim and Anne Mills- directors of Creative Arts Europe, their staff, the staff at Schoenblick and of course all the excellent participants at the Arts Session. There are so many skilled, creative artists here, photography, film, sculptors, dancers, musicians and more… actors, comedians, the list goes on. They’ve got a great turn-out and many are offering nightly presentations that have been quite good!Tonight I was able to do a short set and share a brief message and the people were very gracious in their response. There are two of us teaching guitar, myself focusing on blues/electric and a brilliant Austrian bro. named Martin Moro who is doing the acoustic (and dobro) track.Martin is amazing, and tonight we were able to link up on the last song of my set (Fly Away) where I brought vocals and acoustic guitar and he played magnificent dobro. A very cool ending to a wonderful night.Each day a long list of teachers do 4 to 4 1/2 hours. It seems each class is being quite fun and productive, all seem to be enjoying the learning experience together.Wendi and I have had a great time meeting so many Christians in the arts from all over Europe, the worship has been wonderful and Jim’s messages encouraging and stimulating.The weather has been cool (which we like actually) but today the sun really made an appearance for the first time. Kids play outside our window in the Schoenblick compound soccer field, or on the zipline or sand and Noah’s Ark playground, etc.. Really fun to see.We are only now beginning to really sleep at night, and still take short naps or at least rests inbetween meetings, teaching sessions and such. Jet lag is alive and well in south-west Germany!So nice to have web access as too, the usual pile-up of email has not been an issue so far. We likely won’t have continual access as we travel to other towns for shows but when I can I’ll try to post a bit of news and at some point, pics.Thanks for stopping by and for your prayers and many kind encouraging emails and posts!-Glenn