When Friendship Makes the Art Better

Andrew Peterson

"I believe strongly in the value of the artists in this world. I believe that when someone who was made to strive to create beauty in the world is - as Brennan Manning said, ambushed by Jesus - the art that results bears a God-given power that draws men and women to Christ. I have encountered that power in the sub-creations of Christ-followers countless times. (I’ve also encountered it in the works of those who haven’t yet succumbed to the source of their gifting.) Those works of art have … [Continue reading]

Finding Hope in a Dark Place

Chief J. Scott Thomson - Artists Who Influence

While Mom made dinner in the kitchen, I finished up responding to some email in her living room. I was in Charlotte for a few days to do some promotion for A Million Little Ways  and stayed extra to see Mom and Dad. We had the evening news on in the background and I hardly paid attention. Until I heard Brian Williams begin reporting from his home state of New Jersey, specifically Camden - a city he called the most dangerous in America. In the report, he interviewed J. Scott Thomson, Chief of … [Continue reading]

Artists Who Give Us Room to Breathe

Leeana Tankersley-2

 Today's artist is a relatively new influence for me. I read her book, Breathing Room, at a time when I really needed some. She speaks the kind of soul language I'm always looking for but rarely find, the kind that comes from thoughtful silence, faithful waiting, and long, dark nights. When life feels like an airplane emergency, Leanna comes along and reminds us - put your own oxygen mask on before assisting others. I needed that reminder. She is a writer who encourages us to be fully human as … [Continue reading]

G.K. Chesterton

G.K. Chesterton - Artists Who Influence

I don't know a lot about G.K. Chesterton and I have only read one book of his. I thought I had a vague idea of what he looked like, so I google imaged him just to be sure and immediately saw he bore a striking resemblance to Mad-Eye Moody. No? Even so, I read his book Orthodoxy (you can get it free for your kindle) at precisely the right time for me. I can't possibly summarize the book partially because I'm still trying to unpack it. Mostly when we read books, they say things we've heard … [Continue reading]

Why Showing Up in Small Ways Matters

Sarah Masen - Artists Who Influence

It's hard to put into words what happens in the heart of a seventeen year old girl who longs for life to be poetry and beauty and then finally, someone comes along and says it's true. For years after I first heard Sarah Masen sing that night in the youth group of Highland Park Baptist Church in Southfield, Michigan I titled every email with a line from one of her songs. It's weird, but at the time it was a small form of expression. Quoting her lyrics were my timid first steps into discovering … [Continue reading]

3 Reasons Why Lysa TerKeurst is an Artist Who Influences

Lysa TerKerKeurst - Artists Who Influence at Chatting at the Sky

I first met Lysa six years ago after attending She Speaks, the training conference for writers and speakers that her ministry founded and hosts every summer. Lysa is the author of many books, her last three all landing on the New York Times bestseller list and let me just say to do that, you have to sell a lot of books is all I'm saying. It might be easy to look at Lysa's life and work from the outside and say oh well she's an artist who influences because she has the ear of so many thousands … [Continue reading]

The Artist I May Never See Again

Nurse Melody - The Artist I May Never See Again

I may never see her again, but that day she made a difference for me. She led me to the exam room with a smile and a pat on the back. She was kind, patient, looked me in the eye. She reassured me when I didn't even realize I needed to be reassured. She was gentle and quick to help. Sometimes I have to search hard to find the good. Other times the good walks up next to me and offers me a smile. Nurse Melody was a true caretaker. And that's also what makes her an artist who influences. If … [Continue reading]

Meet Brenda Morland, My Mom

Brenda Morland

I spent a little time in my hometown last May. It was the first time I had visited there by myself as a grown woman. That also made it the first time I had ever driven those old familiar streets. I expected for it all to feel strange and dream-like. What I didn’t expect was at every turn, at every familiarity, I thought of my mom. It wasn’t a particular memory, like Oh there’s where she taught me to finger paint! or That’s where we went out to that fancy restaurant and laughed about all the … [Continue reading]

Why Mister Rogers was an Artist Who Influences

Mister Rogers

If my childhood were a living room, Mister Rogers' Neighborhood would be on the TV. I simply can't imagine growing up without Lady Aberlin, King Friday, Prince Tuesday, and the Neighborhood of Make-Believe. But of course the main draw was Mister Rogers himself. It felt like home to watch him put on his tennis shoes, to have him sing, It's such a good feeling, to know you're a live it's such a happy feeling you're growing inside! When he said I was special, I believed him. Back then, though, I … [Continue reading]

Lennon & Maisy Stella :: Artists Who Influence

Lennon & Maisy

 This is day 2 of a 31 day series, Artists Who Influence. Today's post has several videos so you may need to click over depending on where you're reading. Lennon & Maisy Stella are sisters. They started here: And they kept doing what they love together. Of course they are talented with some serious skill. But they are also generous with their gift and with one another. One of my favorite things to watch for is how they look at one another while they perform. It's a sweet … [Continue reading]