God’s Creative Gift—Unleashing the Artist in You

Growing up with a piano teacher for a mom meant that my childhood experience included an assortment of kids tromping in and out of our house, sitting down to the Steinway in our living room, and playing at a variety of levels, mostly beginner. I heard the same simple tunes over and over—many of them I had to play myself as she also attempted to teach me (with little success, I might add, not due to her lack of persistence, but mainly mine). Despite these drawbacks, I have wonderful memories of lying around in my bedroom, just off the living room, listening to my mother play.

She is a remarkable artist at the piano, and her artistry was most evident when she practiced in the privacy of our home. She benefitted from her practice by being a great pianist. I benefitted from her practice by learning a deep appreciation for music, especially the piano, and for finding God in the midst of her beautiful playing. To this day the piano is the one instrument that easily takes me into the Lord’s presence. It calms my soul and brings me a deep peace that resonates in my spirit.

This childhood experience is very much a part of the journey that brought me to Ashland Theological Seminary to pursue a degree in religion. During my time at ATS, the idea for a book was birthed and following graduation, I began to compile and write. The result is God’s Creative Gift—Unleashing the Artist in You: Bible Studies to Nurture the Creative Spirit Within, an in-depth study for the creative Christian, published by Wipf & Stock Publishers.

God’s Creative Gift is intended for both professional and lay artist, for the casual crafter and hobbyist, and for those in both sacred and secular settings. It is for those who see things where others do not and for those whose imaginations cannot be confined by religious dogma and tradition. It is for musicians, singers, painters, sculptors, dancers, dramatist, writers, poets, carvers, weavers, film editors, photographers, filmmakers, architects, designers—anyone who finds inspiration in creativity.

Focusing on the creative spirit within, it is designed to help artists draw their inspiration from a Deeper Source. It is deeply rooted in Scripture—for the creative Christian must enter into the Word of God on a regular basis in order to know the choreographer of their steps, the crafter of their designs, the author and perfector of their faith, and the sculptor of their creative heart, soul, mind and body. And to know Him intimately.

God’s Creative Gift is, simply stated, a beautiful gift for the people of God. Integrating Scripture, experience, and insights from a broad spectrum of scholars and practitioners, Jody Thomae provides a pathway to freedom and wellbeing available through creative expression. She reveals that we, the creative gift of the Father, hold within the potential to unleash beauty and healing creative gifts as acts of worship to God and healing to one another,” states Terry Wardle, Ashland Theological Seminary Professor of Practical Theology and Director of the Institute of Formational Counseling. “An amazing thought!”

God’s Creative Gift—Unleashing the Artist in You is available through Wipf & Stock Publishers and Amazon, and is also available in Kindle format through Amazon.

About the Author
  Jody Thomae

Jody Thomae graduated from ATS in 2009 with an MA in Religion. She currently serves as Worship Arts Pastor at 5 Stones Community Church in Ashland, Ohio, where she leads worship and coordinates creative involvement in church services through dance, drama, poetry and fine arts. Her passion is for the revelation of God to be made more real through the prophetic use of the arts in church and formational ministry. It is her desire to portray the message of Christ’s desperate and unfailing love for His people to help sustain the hearts of the broken and weary. Life scriptures include Psalm 27, Isaiah 50:4-7, and Zephaniah 3:14-17. She lives in Ashland, Ohio, with her husband and two teenage children.