CBOQ Kids celebrate with Reverend Tina Rae as her first book is published this month! Tina serves at Westview Baptist Church in London as Christian Education Pastor where she has begun to incorporate her passion, gifts and skills as an artist into her ministry.
I had the opportunity to ask her a few questions about her forthcoming book.
TY: Tell us about your book.
TR: Devotions for the Artist at Heart is a book of devotions that tie together scripture, art, and stories of how we can see the two combined and applied to our lives. All devotions also contain an “Art Challenge” to inspire the reader to respond to what they have read by creating their own artwork. It is also important to note that this book is for anyone who has a passion for art. It is intended to inspire both novice and experienced artists to express praise to God through art while learning about how God values creativity.
TY: What inspired you to create this book?
TR: While at a conference, where I helped contribute to the decor, I felt God bringing the words to mind that I “help people worship God through art” and since that moment I continued to wonder how I could effectively do that. In many areas of the church, the visual arts have seemed absent or secondary and I was motivated to find a way to bridge art and faith together. I tried a few ideas, by making connections with the local art community and teaching classes to youth there and in my church, but one idea that came to mind that seemed unique, was to write a book of devotions. I started slowly writing a few, but had affirmation when someone prayed for me. She was prompted to specifically pray that I would bridge art and faith together through writing a short story or a devotional. I hadn’t even told her that I was currently exploring that exact idea, so it felt like clear affirmation from God. Following that experience, I pursued the idea with confidence that this was what I was supposed to do.
TY: What do you want people to know about this book?
TR: This book explores several themes, many of which are inspired by my own life, but there are several others that are stories about how I have seen art and faith incorporated in someone else’s life. I explore themes of art and creativity in the Bible, laughter, brokenness, sharing faith, as well as many others. One theme that many have found particularly relevant is centred around stress relief. This devotion explores the idea that there is so much benefit to taking time to draw even if you wouldn’t necessarily consider yourself the best artist. Studies have shown that stress levels are reduced when you spend time creating art, even if it is only stick figures. We are called by God to rest and let go of worry (Matthew 6:34) and creating art is one way that can be helpful for many to do just that.
I am aware that I am talking to several children’s ministers and I want to note that although this book has been written for adults, there are several kids ministry connections and uses. I have made 4 YouTube videos for kids camp (scroll down to see videos) that are based on some of the devotions, so the kids can easily join in on those ones. There are others that I wrote reflecting on my life growing up as a child, some that I wrote at camp, and a couple were originally written and delivered on a Sunday at church as object lessons for kids. If you pay attention to the footnotes you will see VBS influences in there, as well.
TY: How can people get a copy of this book?
TR: You could contact me for a copy of one that has been printed on thicker paper or you should be able to get one printed on the regular paper you find in most books at your local Christian bookstore, or Word Alive Press, Chapters or Amazon. For options on how to get this book you can visit my webpage.
This book will be available just in time for Christmas and will make a wonderful Christmas gift for yourself, your pastor, friends, family members. Whether you consider yourself an artist or think you cannot even draw stick figures, I am confidant this book will be a blessing, and encouragement and perhaps even the nudge you need to discover your inner artist as you spend time with God in fresh ways.