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CSMI Blog-Olivia Conn

Olivia Conn

Article #9 (for Aug. 2014)

What’s God doing in the arts?

Striving for excellence is a goal we all should work toward.  It is a tough, strenuous and many faceted journey.  As a Christian, we represent God
through Jesus with the power of the Holy Spirit.  Our lives are to be examples of righteousness, reflecting the character of God - now THAT’S a BIG task!  Do we ever really make that highest standing?  Maybe a few, well maybe only
one -- Jesus.  But what a price He paid.  

We are in a global market and have been for over 20 years, what’s going to make us stand out, be noticed and hired?  Not necessarily that zebra print necktie you wore at the job interview.  The meek shall inherit the earth.  Yes, God appoints us for positions, He anoints us to be in the right place at the right time and He directs our footsteps AND He gives us favor.  But I highly believe that even God would have trouble selecting a person to walk into a hospital, apply for a surgeon position with a person who doesn’t have a GED.  We must be prepared.  Faith without works is dead.  We must be equipped to do the task He wants us to eventually do. Sometimes He changes our direction, but so far, in my life, what I started out in as a career choice has only been the first steps toward what I am doing now.  The practical elements have overlapped and significantly built a foundation, one step at a time.

Don’t skimp on the process -  any process whatever the task, be it large or small.  There are no shortcuts.  Excellence comes in many forms, ie., attitude,
application, willingness, following orders, working within time-restraints (be on time), go the extra mile, make the coffee in the morning or at the start, middle or end of your shift.  Believe me these things are noticed, if not by your employer, peers or family, but truly always by God.  El Roi, the God who sees.  That’s comforting.  Step up to the plate.  Sometimes it’s God who is solely watching us to find out if we’re getting ready to go to the next level.  Have you seen that commercial about the cheese be mature?  So must we.  Yes, we all go through growing pains and temper tantrums, God our Father gets this.  But keep going.  If you want to win you have to practice.  A 17 year old girl said to me last week during a conversation she wants to make a lot of money.  So as the conversation went on, I suggested she get a part-time job for the summer.  The conversation went on for a while and ended with her saying she doesn’t want to get a job!  I just chuckled to myself------------------

Excellence sometimes requires us to be humble, pliable and obedient.  Take the time to learn what you need to learn to become the best.  Discipline is a tough pill to swallow, especially when you’re a free-spirit artist; whatever the art form.  Have you ever gone to a museum and studied the paintings of the great master painters? Or sat quietly in the back row seat at a classical music concert or watched an acrobat perform without a net?  These people worked toward excellence and attained their goals.  What a miracle that is.  

The first step is a miracle too.

Bye - be blessed.


Please visit our website at:

Artist’s Refuge Network Update

Attention Christian Artists!

Live/work spaces available for rent at:

Blue Door Place
Close to IUN and bus routes, Gary, IN
Male residence house
For information call 312/494-5844
and leave your name and phone number please.

Upcoming Christian Art Events

Christian Songwriters and Musicians, Inc.
Oct. 24, 25, 26, 2014
Gatlinburg, TN
For information:


ANITA MARIE ZURAWSKI Anita Marie Zurawski born October 22, 1951 in Burns Harbor, IN, passed away at her home on January 19, 2016 in Gary, IN. Anita was preceded in death by her parents Andrew and Marie Zurawski of Cedar Lake, IN. She is survived by her brother Tim Zurawski of Topeka, KS. Anita was a graduate of Hanover Central High School - Class of 1970. She then went on to graduate from the Art Institute of Chicago. She founded the Artist's Refuge Network of Gary, IN. Memorial Visitation and services Saturday, February 6, 2016 from 1:00 p.m. until time of service at 3:00 p.m. at the Elmwood Funeral Chapel and Crematory - Cedar Lake 9931 Lincoln Plaza Way (1/2 block south of 133rd Ave. across from the public library). Private inurnment Holy Name Cemetery. 219-374-9300

Published in The Times on Feb. 4, 2016

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Jesus House a Spiritual Emergency Room...

November 23, 2013 at 10:00am

Sunday's at Jesus House: Doors open at 8:30 serving coffee, and pastries from Panera Bread. Our homeless community along with anyone in need of day shelter and or a safe place for the day; all are welcome. Our worship service starts at 11am, immediately following service we serve a fellowship dinner provided by area church groups, and individuals...this Sunday, Jesus House is serving the meal. Our doors are open throughout the day until 400pm. Jesus House operates as a spiritual emergency room. We are ready in season and out of season to preach the gospel though many acts of kindness: heal the sick, cast out devils, feed the poor, clothed the naked; to become all things to all people that they might be saved and come unto the knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ!


Description of Jesus House found within the pages of Scripture…


And it came to pass on a certain day, as He (Jesus) was teaching, that there were Pharisees and doctors of the law sitting by, which were come out of every town of Galilee, and Judaea, and Jerusalem: and the POWER of the LORD was PRESENT to HEAL them. And behold, men brought in a bed, a man which was taken with palsy; and they sought means to bring him in, and to lay him before Him. And when they cold not find by what way they might bring him in because of the multitude, they went upon the housetop and let him down through the tiling with his couch into the midst before Jesus. And when He saw their faith, He said unto him, “man, thy sins are forgiven thee” and the scribes and the Pharisees began to reason saying, who is this which speaks blasphemies? Who can forgive sins, but God alone? But when Jesus perceived their thoughts, He answering said unto them, “what reason you in your hearts? Whether is easier to say, Thy sins are forgiven thee; or rise up and walk? But that you may know that the Son of man has the power upon earth to forgive sins.” (He said unto the sick of the palsy,) “I say unto thee, Arise, and take up thy couch and go into thine house.” and immediately he rose up before them, and took up that whereon he lay, and departed to his own house, glorying God. (When we rise up and walk in obedience there is healing, which brings forth praise!)…And they were all amazed, and they glorified God and were filled with fear, saying, “We have seen strange things today”…and after these things He went forth, and saw a publican, named Levi, sitting at the receipt of custom: and He said unto him, “Follow Me” And he left all, ROSE up and FOLLOWED. And Levi made Him a great feast in his own house: and there was great company of publicans and of others that sat down with them. But their scribes and Pharisees murmured against His disciples, saying, Why do you eat and drink with publicans and sinners? And Jesus answering said unto them, “They that are whole need not a physician; but they that are sick. I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.” 9Luke 5:17-32)


Jesus House, a spiritual emergency room for the sick. To call them to repentance that they might be made whole. Our volunteers are like the friends of the man with palsy; by faith, faith that is seen, they find away to bring people before Jesus, where their sins are forgiven and they rise up, and walk, and they rise up and worship God, and those around them will stand amazed, and they too, will glorified God and they too, will be filled with the fear of the Lord saying, We have seen strange things today…amen. And at the Jesus House, we have seen strange things and have glorified God together with holy fear.


A sinner encounters Jesus. Jesus says to him, “Follow me” and immediately the sinner follows. How does he follow? He puts together a GREAT feast, notice the scripture says, “he made a great feast for Jesus“…I love that. Every Sunday we put together a great feast for Jesus and invite sinners to come and celebrate with us…. He celebrates Jesus and welcomes Him into His home and invites others to come and meet Jesus and I’m sure his desire was for them to know Him and follow Him as well. Jesus comes to us, to call us out of sin…Jesus sat with the sinners, He eat with sinners, why? Because a sinner knows he is sick and needs a doctor. At the beginning of this passage in Luke 5:17 it shows us the foundation of a spiritual emergency room; Jesus was teaching, and the power of the Lord was present to heal…this is our vision and our passion to teach the eternal word of God through the power of His presence calling sinners to repentance as we proclaim the everlasting gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ. We too will hear His Words, “Your sinners are forgiven, rise up and walk” and immediately, we too, will follow glorifying God as we make Him a great feast within our homes, our lives, and invite all to come and glorify Him together on the earth!


The mission and vision of the Jesus House ministry is described within the pages of scripture as we live, and move, and have our being in Him, and live by every word that has come forth out of His mouth., that we might know Him in the fellowship of His sufferings and the power of His resurrection!


Acts 10:38..How God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with Power: who went about doing good, and healing all that were oppressed of the devil; for God was with Him…and God has anointed us with His Holy Spirit and Power to do good, and to heal all who are oppressed by the devil, for God is with us…For He is, Immanuel.


Bonnie Kae Lentz

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