I will thank the Lord with all my heart as I meet with his godly people. How amazing are the deeds of the Lord! All who delight in him should ponder them. Psalm 111:1-2 NLT

Monday, July 12, 2010

Creativity and the Soul

The Ponderers are having a contest! Check out the details at the end of the post!

Do you ever stop to think about how imaginative God must be? Just a walk through the produce section of the grocery store is amazing if you think about it. All the different shapes and colors and textures and smells, not to mention the tastes! And some grow on trees, some on vines, some on little ground-hugging plants…

It amazes me.

Then there’s the ever-changing canvas of the sky, all the different things that go inside a human to make us tick and to make us unique, lovable animals and not-so-lovable ones.
And music: the crashing of the waves, the whistling of the wind, the twittering of the birds.

God’s creativity has no end. And we’re made in His image. We’re made to be like Him.

I’m no theologian, but I kind of think that a spark of His creativity is what sets us apart from the rest of His amazing creation. What if our imaginations are connected to our souls?

He’s surrounded us with an environment just bursting with inspiration. Now it’s up to us to create.

In His image.

I think that second part is key. True, not all stories can spell out the salvation message. But we can make sure the motive of our heart in writing it—the attitude with which we approach promotion and every other aspect—is Christ-centered. That, I believe, makes for creativity that has a lasting impact for good.

Here’s today’s creative prompt/discussion question:

What book have you read recently that had an allegorical element? Is there a way to subtly insert an allegorical element into your own WIP?

Jenness Walker

We're having a contest to kick-off our blog. Leave comments during the month of July and you'll have the chance to win a fun assortment of prizes, including:

1. A Starbucks gift card
2. A signed copy of Susan May Warren's latest book, Sons of Thunder
3. A copy of Sara Evan's and Rachel Hauck's The Sweet By and By
4. A signed copy of Jenness Walker's romantic suspense, Double Take
5. A signed copy of Beth K. Vogt's book Baby Changes Everything: Embracing and Preparing for Motherhood after 35
6. A copy of Chicken Soup for the Soul's A Tribute to Moms
7. Chocolate!
8. Copies of Delores Topliff's children's books
Whoosh and Little Big Chief and the Bear Hunt

We're still collecting items for our prize basket, so who knows all the goodies you'll win! Use the word "ponder" when you comment and we'll enter your name twice!


  1. Lovely thoughts, Jennness. It speaks to my heart. I'm inspired by the amazing details God creates in even the tiny flowers of weeds and of insects that will never be seen.

    The three books in Mary DeMuth's Defiance Texas Trilogy are not easy reads, but they are dripping with redemption. I know you didn't ask for it, but an older book with allegorical threads that immediately comes to mind is Enger's Peace Like a River.

    In answer to the second part of your question, I don't write fiction, but I think that writing, like speaking, is an overflow of the heart, and if our hearts are being renewed by a gospel-saturated mind, our writing will naturally be created "in His image."

    Thank you for letting me participate in this discussion.

  2. Great post, Jenness. What amazes me about God's creation is the order He created. The sun perfectly set at a distance that neither burns us up nor freezes us...the earth's axis tilted at just the right angle so we don't fall off...the moon that controls our tides...it goes on and on. He is indeed an awesome God!

    I think Christians have a great opportunity to witness with their writing.

  3. Wonderful post, Jenness! Reading it was a perfect way to start my week...I think you're so right that the creativity He's blessed us with sets us apart. And it must make Him happy to see us put that creativity in motion...thanks for sharing.

    And as for a book with allegorical content...hmm, must ponder on that...(Okay, I admit, I just wanted to use the word "ponder.")

  4. Wow, Jenness, that's amazing. Thank you for sharing the wonder of God with us. I love your idea that it's our creativity that makes us different from the rest of creation. Let's use it today, people!

  5. Funny about ponder, M-Tagg!

  6. I'm seeing all my pondering friends in a whole new light as I read your blog posts! Delightful!
    Suz (aka Susan May Warren) wove some beautiful allegories through her book Sons of Thunder.
    And, Patrcia, I enjoyed Enger's Peace Like a River too.

  7. Patricia, thanks for participating. :-) We're glad to have you here!

    Redeeming Love is kind of an obvious one. Denise Hunter puts a lot of allegorical elements into her stories. I had one little allegorical development surprise me in my current wip. LOVE it when that happens.

  8. Lovely post, Jenness. Thank you for reminding me to look beyond the "face-value" of things...

  9. Jenness, I love those Aha Moments too! Priceless jewels in a writer's life. Thanks for your inspiring post.

  10. I had to ponder over your post because you used a lot of big words. :-)) I'm enjoying God's creation at the moment in the form of pine trees, a crystal lake and lots of birdsong. I think being close to nature inspires the imagination. But I'm still glad I have internet so I'm connected to the 'real world'!!

  11. Ahh...A subject I love! Creativity. I agree that it sets us apart from the rest of creation. Not too many monkeys write symphonies or paint masterpieces. I don't see them pondering over the beauties of a sunset.

    When you said allegorical I thought of something like Chronicles of Narnia, but did you also mean symbolism? I love Susie's use of song in Sons of Thunder. The songs symbolized the mood and even the events of the characters lives. Even the lack of song had meaning.

    And how, oh how did Patricia get hyperlinks in a comment section???

  12. As Beth posted, Susie had allegorical moments in Sons of Thunder. Rachel Hauck had some in Sweet By and By, I believe.

    Lovely post, Jenness. Now I'm craving grapes and I don't have any. Good thing I'm going to the grocery store tonight. :)

  13. I'm with you, LJ. Those grapes look so good. Unfortunately (or rather, wonderfully and luckily) I've got a bag of Hershey's dark chocolate pieces in front of me. Which is, in fact, just another example of the creative spirit God blessed some awesome man (er, probably woman) with - yes, I'm talking about the man or woman who first came up with the idea of chocolate.

  14. Just admit it, Ponderers who came to Susan May Warren's Polish (now called the Summit) Conference when you see grapes, you think of the malted milk balls we ate ourselves silly on to survive pitching to agent Chip MacGregor that weekend!

  15. And, applause please, I just added links in blogger. Feeling so techie right now. Patricia, thank you for expanding my incredibly limited blogging horizons!

  16. Wait! Share the tech-knowledge with the rest of us!

  17. Will do, except, I'll have to look it up again! :)

  18. Applauding, but you'll get a standing ovation if you share your incredible knowledge.

    And yes, tee hee, I think of mint malted milk balls when I see grapes or when I start brainstorming.

    I'll share a link with a picture if you teach me how.

  19. Here's thegrapes for brainstorming food.

  20. It worked! I'm floored. (Teri takes a bow.)

  21. Yes, YES! Teri! Those, my friends are the malted milk balls aka "grapes!"

  22. This comment has been removed by the author.

  23. Ok, now I can't just type the code, because it makes it a link! Clearly, I'm not as smart as I thought!

  24. Jenness, What a wonderful post! I always stand in amazement at what God has created when I walk through my garden. Thank you for your beautiful descriptions.

  25. Jenness, I truly enjoyed your post (I know, you've heard that a lot today). I also love seeing the creativity God put into animals. Have you ever pondered all the properties of a platypus? I think God shows His creativity and His sense of humor in the animal world. We get a glimpse of how vast and incomprehensible He is. How wonderful to know we are created in His image, and that we can use the creativity He has given us for His glory. Thanks for making me think today!

  26. Cathy, what are you trying to say? lol

    Teri, I was thinking allegorical, but symbolism is great too, of course.

    Thanks so much for chiming in, everyone!

  27. Hey, everybody--that's my friend, Jeanne T, who is going to StoryCrafters this fall! Woo Hoo! She has a great idea for a novel!

  28. YAY Jeanne T. You are going to have the most amazing time of your life!

  29. Lovely thoughts, and appreciate the variety but effectiveness of each voice. I'm pondering how great it was that God birthed this groups and holds it together with fun and caring (even if we spend lots of times in corners), and I may ponder The Ponderers even more...

  30. I'm looking forward to it! In the meantime, I'll do my best to glean from the knowledge and insights of you who have gone before me. :)

  31. Jenness, what a beautiful post!

    I have to agree with Beth and Lisa about Sons of Thunder. It was such a beautiful picture of redemption. And much like a lot of Old Testament stories where the hero/heroine was not the pure and/or perfect choice by man's rules (Joseph and Rahab come to mind)God knows best who is right for the job.

    And Jenness, thank you for the reminder that God is beyond creative and imaginative. With His creativity, and the creativity He has bestowed in us, we are perfectly equipped to do that which He has called us to do!