That is me and Melissa Michaels and Ann Voskamp at Relevant in 2010. (Back before either of them had officially released a published book. Melissa has two out now and I’ve lost count of Ann’s, she has several.)
Attending Relevant was an eye opening experience, in a good way. (Back then it was called “Relevant”. It is now owned and run by someone else under the name “Allume”.)
It was there that I heard Ann Voskamp speak for the very first time.
Ann gave the last Keynote on Saturday night and it really got my attention.
She spoke of the first two people that the Scripture specifically notes as being filled with the Holy Spirit. They were Artisans. They were Bezelel and Oholiab in Exodus 35: 29-31.
She spoke of the word Hebrew word “avodah” and how it is used in scripture as work, as worship, as service, and also as Art. She wrote about it more in depth here, where she says,
“When we see our lives as a sacrificial offering unto the Lord—avodah—our work becomes art and our art becomes ministry and our worship becomes serving and our serving becomes work.” ~Ann Voskamp
So when I heard her speak at that first conference, God whispered again, “that art you long to do is actually how you serve me and worship me.” Not only is washing clothes, cooking meals, grading papers and serving my family, worshipping God, but so is doing the creative stuff, the doodling, the watercolor that hangs on our dining room wall, the photographs also, even the one that hangs in our bathroom.
That was the first time I had heard this message outside of a counseling office. It breathed oxygen into the smoldering embers of a fire that were almost snuffed out completely by the careless words of a pastor.
If you have missed the beginning of this story you can read it by clicking the links below: