Feeling the art blues? Haven’t made anything in a while? What do you do when you need to get your creative juices flowing?

Inspiration comes from many places. Try something different.

Go to a museum.

Go for a walk. Look at the colors. Look at your neighbor’s houses. Look at your neighbor’s dog. Take pictures to remind yourself later when you get home.

Read a book and make something the main character would wear.

Look at a magazine that has nothing to do with art. I find a lot of inspiration from architecture magazines.

Watch a movie and try to replicate something you see there with the supplies you have. Don’t replicate it literally, replicate how it makes you feel.

Try limiting yourself. Some of the most amazing pieces were ones I made from using just two (of the 14) bead bins I have. I decided I could not get any other beads – I had to use just those.

Make up a rule – only two colors, or only two textures.

Only use beads that were purchased from the same store, or the same state.

Use only one kind of art supply.

Use all the beads you can’t stand and put them together and see what happens.

Set a deadline – five things must be made by a week from now.

Sign up to do a show. That will force you to make stuff.

Have an art-date with a crafty friend. You both get together to make something, and you’ll be inspired seeing what the other person makes.

Buy more art supplies. Nothing inspires me more than getting new beads or a new tool.

Buy art supplies in places that don’t sell art supplies – like the grocery or the hardware store.

Only use materials that you found, or were given.

Have an art-swap, where your fellow crafty friends bring all the art supplies they don’t want or use. Trade. Make something.

Organize the supplies you have – you’ll find stuff you’ve forgotten and see combinations you’ve never noticed.

And just make. Make something, even if you don’t feel it. Sometimes the stuff that people are most impressed by is the stuff that I made in 10 minutes without thinking about it. Put something together, then put something else together.

John 3:17 – Jesus came not to condemn…

So many Christians like to quote John 3:16. You know it. “16 For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.”

They don’t go on to quote the next line. John 3:17 is really powerful. “17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.”

Jesus didn’t come to condemn us.

He came to let us know that we are loved and forgiven and needed and beautiful. He came to let us know that we are precious right now, as we are.

We aren’t sinners. We aren’t guilty. We aren’t to blame.

We are human, and fallible, and faulty. We won’t ever get it right. And that is all right. That is who we are. That is part of the package deal we get with this human life.

Sure, we need to constantly examine our actions. Are we acting as well as we can? Are we trying to be kind to everyone? Are we treating everyone with kindness, regardless of their status or station?

Since Jesus came not to condemn, part of the job of Christians is to also not condemn. We must not judge. We have no business telling other people that their ways of living are wrong.

We have to examine ourselves only. The rules for living are for us only. God calls people. They won’t seek God because we harass or berate them. Jesus doesn’t need people who follow him out of guilt. Remember, the Lord loves a cheerful giver.

Remember, go and sin no more. Once you know better, do better.

At least try.

And when you fail, try again. That too is part of the deal.

It isn’t the job of Christians to tell other people how to live their lives. It is the job of Christians to follow Jesus. Jesus didn’t berate others. So we shouldn’t either.