Creativity is the language of the Creator. We were created to carry on God’s desire to create.
There is something divine about bringing creative thought to life. Even as we read through the beginnings of the Bible, we can see how creativity has inspired a God-man connection since humanity has kept records in written form.
This week, we are sharing a heart to heart conversation we had about the creative process, how everything we breathe life into reveals God, and how creativity inspires Christ. This episode is very heartfelt and intimate. We dive into the emotions behind creativity and how these things influence how we act and what we do.
Everyone is an artist, we simply do not share the same medium. Whether it be word, clay, paint, paper, music, wood, metal, cloth, or thought, we are all artists given the gift to create. And what would satisfy a creator more than trying to be like Him?
Unknown Speaker 1:25
It’s recording. Okay.
Unknown Speaker 1:28
What’s on your heart?
Cody Johnston 1:30
What’s on my heart? Yes. I’m trying to be creative. Uh huh. I have all this stuff in my mind.
Elaine Johnston 1:36
What does that look like for you? What is creativity?
Cody Johnston 1:39
What is creativity? Right now? It’s music. I have found a reasonable like, I guess following on Tick tock, and I’m trying to figure out like how to engage with these people more. And like how to get them more involved in what I’m doing. Because, like, it’s cool having a bunch of people reach out and be like, Hey, I I love what you’re doing this brings me so much joy. And I’m trying to figure out like, okay, that’s if I can bring someone joy in what I’m doing, even if it’s just for a few seconds while they listen to a little instrumental piece of music, like, what more could I ask for? And my whole thing in life has always been like, I want to make people feel, or I want to give people room to think and to like, through my music. I want people to be able to feel deeply and to experience I mean, in a way experience God, like dig down into themselves and pull something out. They didn’t know it was there. But I always thought I had to do that through like deep, meaningful lyrics. But a couple years ago, whenever I guess it’s been longer than a couple years now, but a few birdies two and a half years ago, whatever it was, whenever I stepped down from being a worship leader, and all that I lost my voice and I don’t mean that figuratively. Like I legitimately like had a weird lump come up in my throat. I had to go to doctors over it. It was probably a lot of anxiety. Also a lot of allergy stuff, but like I started having panic attacks like I convinced myself I might have cancer. Like I you know, my anxiety just took off like crazy. I started going to therapy and stuff for like counseling and everything for it. And over the last couple years, like I still have that lump a little bit but it’s not as bad and I’ve realized like some of it seasonal seasonal allergy some of it had to do with like some Thank you ukulele. Some of it had to do with Yeah. Some of it had to do with just me. I guess like some of the stuff we inhale at work like fine particles and like flour and like all that kind of stuff was really messing with me. But overall, like, I just, I couldn’t sing, like I lose my voice easier than I used to. I know some of that’s not practicing to like, I don’t sing as much as I used to, I used to sing, you know, twice a week or whatever. Now, I don’t sing as much. But I really felt like God was saying, Cody, that’s okay. You don’t need your voice to make a difference. Sometimes, you know, words get in the way. And I feel like that is extremely true on a lot of accounts, but even more so personally. Because I always feel like I need to write the right thing. You know, I need to say the right thing I need to, you know, make the right statement. I’ve always been very proud of how I can articulate thoughts and how I use metaphors to articulate thoughts. And not saying I’m not gonna continue writing music with lyrics, but I realized like, I listen to Instrumental Music 90% of the time. This morning, I was listening to instrumental music from Like the Middle East, I listen to native american flute music all the time. Like I’ve write a lot of instrumental music in general and it brings me joy and sometimes it’s quirky or even more simplistic than a lot of say
Elaine Johnston 5:13
like sometimes even working out you listen to like what the progressive electronic math mathematical rock like all the jumbly lights or whatever
Cody Johnston 5:25
quite changes transitions odd time signatures like
Elaine Johnston 5:28
that fleet boxes song The argument song the latter half is like
Unknown Speaker 5:35
Elaine Johnston 5:36
Yeah, instrument by Yeah, I love that song. That’s like my brain my emotions on any given moment.
Cody Johnston 5:42
Oh, yeah. Um, but yeah, so like, I love instrumental music. And I was thinking back through my life. And I was like, well, when did this start? Well, if you go and turn on like my truck, which we don’t drive my truck very often we have like our family mobile, and I have my truck which is pretty much just you For like, we’re running stuff around, like we live on a piece of land. So like we have to drive to the dump every other week or so we have to, you know, haul stuff and things like that. And so like that’s pretty much all my truck is used for now. And I used to have a little Bluetooth receiver in there because my truck doesn’t have Bluetooth like metropcs 2007 something or whatever. But I had like a little Bluetooth receiver plugged into like the ox core jack throwback to ox cords, whoa. And it broke like a year ago. And so like if you go in there, it’s on the classical music station. And I can think back specifically, I can’t remember like a moment in second grade and maybe in third grade. But whenever I was a kid at the ballpark that we now work at wasn’t the same one back then. But it was the old stadium but they had a giveaway for a bunch of little FM pocket radio receivers. tight. Yeah, but cheaper. I mean, they’re just little potty they had terrible reception, but it was literally just a little pocket FM receiver that picked up the radio. And you could plug in some headphones to and it had like a manual like knob, you could turn the dial in the stations. And we had a few of those laying around because I had a few leftover from a giveaway night. And so I grabbed one of those or I was given one of those. And I used to carry that around with me. Before I had a CD player. I mean, mind you, I was like, whatever age you are in second grade, I don’t know, eight,
Elaine Johnston 7:30
Cody Johnston 7:31
and the only station I would listen to was the classical music station. Like that’s what I always tuned in to was the classical music station. And so kind of tying all this back in like this is something that’s been going on my whole life and I’ve been ignoring. God kind of talking to me about that in a way. Because like when I lost my voice, I was like, Oh no, my voice is my identity. Like if I don’t have my voice, I have nothing. And like, that’s been the scariest thing to me. I love photography. I love all this but going deaf scares me so much more than going blind because you don’t have the way to understand your own voice a lot of times whenever after you’ve been deaf for amount of time, go ahead.
Elaine Johnston 8:10
So your moniker Braille Atlas. What does that mean to you?
Cody Johnston 8:16
I don’t know. I’ve never thought about that. Get that you’re trying to get into my subconscious.
Unknown Speaker 8:23
He told me I was peering through your soul.
Cody Johnston 8:25
You’re putting on your little counselor hat, your little psychology cap and it’s fitting to that, like, I’m not sitting on the couch next to you today. I’m actually facing you as we record this.
Elaine Johnston 8:37
Yeah, gotta face your subconscious.
Cody Johnston 8:39
So originally, whenever I came up with the name Braille Atlas, it’s because I wanted people to feel music. I didn’t want people to just hear it and go on with life. I wanted people to feel it. I wanted it to make them almost like how can I describe this? How like when you’re rubbing your hand on something Like a blanket and you feel something rough in it, and you’re like, oh, how did that get in there? What is that? Is that a piece of grass? Is that a twig? or How did this get I don’t know if this happened anyone else but like sometimes you get little knots of something in a blanket, or in a shirt or something like that and you’re feeling the fabric and you feel across it. It’s not smooth anymore. It’s not just easy to glide across you have to go and you have to pick it out and figure out what it is. And I want to do that to people’s thoughts and emotions with music. So like whenever people are just kind of coasting through life I want it to catch them enough. I want it to just be raised off the edge just enough almost like a splinter. I don’t know that sounds painful, but I don’t want it to be painful. But you know what I mean lady and pain. Oh, yeah, I’m not trying to go that route. But anyway, like I wanted to catch and I wanted to kind of snag and almost be like a little bit of a hook even you could say and just say Hey, wait a second that that made me feel but I don’t want the catch to be my music. I want my music to be the vessel in which allows someone To find that thing that’s in them within themselves that they’ve been glossing over. And so Braille Atlas was an homage to that, like, I want people to be able to feel, I want it to be deeper than just noise. I want it to have texture, I want it to have something that you can almost use it. Which Atlas part like you can use the sounds as a map, to feel out whatever it is, that is in you that you’re trying to discover almost like a buried treasure
Elaine Johnston 10:37
or a spiritual journey.
Cody Johnston 10:38
Yeah, a spiritual journey. A spiritual treasure hunt, really. It’s here’s X marks the spot, you can feel it, you can see it and it gives you a direction to go to start trying to discover it. And I always feel like I needed my voice for that. I’ve always felt like if I don’t have my voice, which obviously I have my voice I’m sitting here talking and it’s gotten a lot better but like I was Through a long face where it’s easy to lose my voice my voice my throat was always messed up and raspy and singing is just like, taxing. It was really taxing then like I’m getting better about it. But like I I really struggled with that. And what I’m realizing now is I can write the most meaningful lyrics ever the most deep and philosophical lyrics ever. But by doing so, I’m still putting my spin on someone else’s emotion. I’m telling people how to feel about something, if that makes sense. And I know there’s exceptions to that. I know all that but like, I feel like I’m telling people Hey, this is this is how you should feel or like, here’s your general direction like, and that’s not what I want. I want something more. I guess exploring than that I don’t want to be a compass. I want to be a map. I want to have a bunch of points on a piece of paper that says, hey, you can go to any of these places and discover a ton of things. What mysteries lie over that jagged mountain over there? What, you know what is contained in the depths of that, like, I don’t want to be like, Hey, here’s a compass, go find this thing. And that’s just, I guess, like to kind of sum it up on tik tok, which is where I’ve been posting a ton of music stuff. I’ve gained like 50,000 followers in the course of like, what a month and a half. Like people really resonate with what I’m doing some of its cover some of its original, whatever, it doesn’t matter where it really has come. something we’ve been talking about with this podcast, too, is like we are in a place where it’s no longer about what we’re talking about. It’s about people wanting to hang out with us, and putting a personal touch. We’re not just information we want personal We want relationship that’s what we’ve always community is always been a huge part in looking at the sign hanging on our wall. And now it says no matter minds, we have our community, you know, that’s why it’s hanging there. Just saying like, Hey, you have a place to come to feel safe, you know, a shelter in the desert. It’s in the intro of our of our podcast, excuse me.
Unknown Speaker 13:23
Cody Johnston 13:25
I just, I kind of realized life, there’s a lot of beauty in that. But we’ve been information on all the things I’ve been information on things that I’m not just that, like people come have taken to that platform of mine, because it’s something I’m passionate about. And I’m expressive in that and I get comments almost daily. I just read a couple of them. It’s like, I don’t know why but this just made me so happy. Or when that certain note hit it just it made me like light up and I don’t know why. And those little comments like that, like drive me to make and do even more And I kind of been struggling with this, I guess a little bit internally cuz I’m like, I need to do more, I need to do more I need to do this, I need to do that I need to do this. And like he reminds me of my very first tagline I ever had whenever I started blogging whenever I was like 17 or 18 I think 18 anyway, that it was life is to be not to become as in like you already are, who you are, you’re not trying to become something else. Like there’s growth but you’re growing into who you are, who God created you as you’re not growing into something else. You’re not changing. You’re adapting as we get older, we always think oh, wow, they change No, they just grew more or less into who they are. But ultimately you have in you who you are already, you’re either growing towards that or away from it. But like I kind of feel like I’ve been trying to become something mentally, and I haven’t really expressed it out loud very much, but mentally I’ve been trying to become something And just realize like I don’t have to, because all this stuff like I’m bringing people joy through the little things. And that’s all I can ask for. Because ultimately tying it back into what we do here. Joy is a fruit of the Spirit. You know, and if that’s my fruit of the Spirit that I’m focusing on that I can bring people joy, if I draw people closer to the fruit of the Spirit through those emotions that are the fruit of the Spirit, that I’m drawing people closer to God. And I don’t know, that’s just a beautiful thing to me. And I’m just trying to like, do something it’s hard for me and feel my way through that, you know, because I’m, I can start feeling and then I logistics kick in and I start trying to think about my feelings. And once I do that, I lose it and it becomes mundane.
Elaine Johnston 15:51
I feel like I have to preface if you haven’t been following us for very long or you haven’t listened to our inia Graham series that we did. Hello. I’m a type four and Cody is a type five. So you’re a thinker. I’m a feeler, but we’re each other’s wings. And so
Cody Johnston 16:07
we are literally getting Yang.
Elaine Johnston 16:09
Yes. And so where you’re like, Oh, I’m feeling I have to think through this. You know, I, I yeah. And sometimes I’m and for me, I’m like, Oh, I’m thinking I have to feel this. I have to sit with this. So all of what you just said I have a lot of feelings. I don’t have a lot of thoughts, opinions, feelings slam on me. But a bunch. I have like a bunch of random like statements like floating in my head right now. So, one I think it’s interesting that you don’t know how to read music.
Unknown Speaker 16:44
Cody Johnston 16:46
Thanks for blasting me out. No, I know, like everything’s by ear. Yeah,
Elaine Johnston 16:50
you are an incredibly talented musician. You can literally pick up almost any instrument and learn it within five minutes and make it sound like you’ve done it for 50 years. You don’t know how to read sheet music
Cody Johnston 17:03
how you can form your boxes
Elaine Johnston 17:05
but tying that back to bro Atlas of like reading music without actually having to like see it like you’re reading the music based on sound
Cody Johnston 17:16
so you’re saying is kind of like how if you are blind you can’t read you have to feel your way through something I literally have to feel my way through my music
Elaine Johnston 17:24
and your music is a form of that emotional expression that you don’t always know how to tap into but you don’t have to think about your music. You don’t have to think about your writing or creating music you just do it you just feel it you will make me cry.
Unknown Speaker 17:42
I know I never thought right now
Unknown Speaker 17:46
Cody Johnston 17:48
I’m not editing this episode. No don’t like this as it is.
Elaine Johnston 17:52
But no like I just like I said like we’re both tearing up right now but like think about that like you feel your way through it. songwriting sometimes Yeah, you’re like, Oh, I may need to edit this, or I need to like filter this. Or maybe I don’t want to use this instrument. But for the most part, you have the natural flow, the natural progression, you have the idea of like, I like this sound, what can I do with it, but you don’t really think about it. You’re just like, I’m going to create, I’m going to go spend an hour on the deck, playing guitar. I don’t have to think about that. I don’t have to think about the chords I’m playing. I just play that emotional energy, that’s my wing or that I don’t always know how to physically tap into Mm hmm. Here I am not even having to think about that. I’m just creating from my heart space, like I’m just creating from the heart.
Cody Johnston 18:47
I’m trying to like slide over here because I decided I’m gonna like start doing this can be really awkward, but that’s okay.
Elaine Johnston 18:53
That’s okay. But so that’s one of my random thoughts. of like you are able to Just flow with your music that comes natural to you. So this thought but like I said, you don’t have to really think about creating your music you just do it you don’t even really have to think about like, Oh, this is a new instrument. I’ve never played this before. You literally just pick up an instrument start playing with it. Yeah. You just start learning the music you start reading how you feel about the song and how you feel about art. This reminds me of inside outwards like my feelings have feelings. That is me. But No seriously, like, you just feel that out. So that’s just a random thought. And then like you’re teaching people how to read music from their, their, their sound, how they how they feel it as if a blind person was just trying to feel their way. They can still they can. Honestly even people who are deaf, they can still feel vibrational energy they can still feel Feel that they can be at a concert, or a conference hall or whatever concert hall and they can still feel that vibrational energy, they can still tap into that even if they can’t physically, like, hear what’s going on. They know that there’s something different about the flow of the vibrational energy around them.
Cody Johnston 20:19
Well, I would like to just kind of like say this to this completely off topic, but or not off topic, but it’s like kind of a random analogy to what you’re saying. The other day I was playing music in the yard, like filming videos, and this Caterpillar started crawling up my leg as I was playing guitar. And this isn’t the first time that’s happened. I’ve sat in the yard and this has happened on other occasions where when I start playing music, caterpillars crawl on Hmm. And I’m not saying that’s an omen. I’m not going that route. I think like caterpillars feel vibration. That’s how bugs in general. Like traverse is they feel vibration, vibration in sense that The two things in the music, like guitars resonate, like I can sit here and sing a G chord or whatever and the the strings on my guitar gonna vibrate in rhythm with that right? Like, there’s all the time we’re talking we can actually hear a voice pinging off of some of the guitars on the wall like I don’t know if you can hear that, but you can hear it echoing through the guitars right now. If you have a bunch of tuning forks in the same room, and you hit one and they’re all tuned to the same tune, they’ll all resonate together at the same vibration without hitting any of the other ones and that’s that’s just how energy works like music is energy sound is energy it traverses, right? And so my thought to that is like I feel like caterpillars being like for one I love caterpillars. Aren’t I like monster my favorite animal? I don’t know if they know that about me. I don’t know. But the caterpillars that get on me are a moth type Caterpillar, which we have a ton of them in Arkansas anyway. So I’m just gonna go with that. Probably more or less more than likely, but whenever I play in, like music, they tend to come like and it’s because vibrations, Earth vibrations like they come to that because it’s a natural draw to them. That’s how armyworms travel is they go toward the vibrations? If you know what armyworms are, it’s a type of technically they’re considered a pest but they literally line up in hundreds and just March one after another and follow each other. Well I mean, I think that’s like going to what you’re saying like you can even nature feels through vibration that is that’s God’s vibration is God’s expression of himself. It’s his voice. Like if you want to hear God’s voice listen to the wind, listen to music listen
Elaine Johnston 22:44
to him. See, you can’t see when right but you can see the evidence of or you can see what happens when it’s windy. The trees start moving they pick up on the energy but you can’t physically see when
Cody Johnston 22:55
right you can feel it but you can’t yet and it’s just like well, people don’t ever say Oh yeah, I saw God walking over there today, but it’s like, man, I really felt God. Yeah, I feel God. Well, what does that feel like? It’s like this energy in you and you can’t quite explain it. It’s like whenever you walk into a room with high EMF electromagnetic frequencies, you can feel it. It’s like how the other day You and I both work woke up 30 seconds before your alarm went off. It’s almost like there’s this electrical charge you can feel of things kicking into gear. And it’s it’s magical because energy and vibration is the language of divinity. Right? That is God in essence. So like, I like that analogy.
Elaine Johnston 23:44
Another random thought that I have is one just like how amazing and creative God is and just how beautiful everything just flows naturally together. That’s, I’ve always said the most the biggest reason why I know God exists or why God is whom I’m connected to thee. I keep going back to this and sometimes I would think, oh well that’s not enough. But I’m like, if whatever keeps you to that authentic relationship with God, that is enough for you and for me, it’s always been the idea of creation. A wasn’t that Jesus on the cross so that’s amazing thing like okay, but that’s not the thing that I come back to Jesus in himself isn’t what I come back to just creation in itself and how perfect it is how natural that is. Whether it’s through birth, and giving and nurture, nurturing, or even death and just the beauty in all things and and there’s all there’s always a light at the end of the tunnel. There’s always something that you can learn from that you can heal from cultivating that and just that’s what draws me to God is just nature and Oh, those mountains seem to form perfectly together man didn’t do that. Energy vibrations. If you believe in Pangea, like all of that stuff, you know, like everything happened, just so naturally. And even down to like, what we have tried to create what God has instilled in us the thoughts and the feelings and what we create and what we do with those things, even down to like the discovery or the creation of the enneagram you know, I joked and said, Oh, like we’re really tapping into our enneagram numbers right now. But the enneagram is something that I’ve like within the past year have really truly taken a hold up that’s another way that God has spoken to me is seeing different people’s personalities and the complexity and and just the beauty and all of that and how God is all the numbers all at once and and what people what their language is and stuff that you need grim out of all the personality tests and, and theories. That is the one that that’s the best one. That’s Far that I have found that really resonates with me. And it’s funny because I remember last round this time last year, we were watching the umbrella Academy. At the same time we were going through the enneagram. And we were like, oh, what’s, what’s their number? What’s it, which is, in some instances, that’s very toxic.
Unknown Speaker 26:17
But we’re learning. Yeah, we were just shooting
Elaine Johnston 26:19
TV characters who were like, oh, who do you think that is? Who do you think that is? The musician, the violinist or the cello, whatever she played, she was the type for she was feeling that music she was creating from that energy. She may have been, I don’t want to spoil it for anybody. But she may have not always done it in a healthy way or like understood that energy. But she just that was her flow that was her emotions was pouring into her music abilities. I think that just kind of describes how you go through it. Sure. And another random thing doesn’t necessarily have to do with music, but I guess it does. Because The meaning behind bro Atlas and you said you didn’t want to be at compass but you wanted to be a map and the treasure. If you go to Andy Mineo his website. His website is a literally an interactive map. Really? Yes. If you go like, he’ll have like contact me or like, old out like it shows every album that he’s produced through a map, there’s one of like Death Valley, and like the dry bones and then it has like an I remember exactly where it is. But every part of his website is interactive in a map, and I just like, I think that’s so cool how all of this intertwines, you and I both really admire and respect any Mineo and I feel like why did I just now realize this? But yeah, like if you go to his website is an interactive map of different of his music career and like different ways is very cool. And so those are just my random thoughts. About your musical abilities specifically and your creativity and like, what your heart rings true and how God speaks to you and through you and how you speak to others is through your music.
Cody Johnston 28:14
Well, I guess that’s kind of where I’m at right now. It’s like how do I like musics always been a passion of mine and that’s like whenever I was a worship pastor, it made people feel something. And did I do that? Did God do that both? Like it was my it was I don’t know I think of like churchy terms like oh, God really used me this Sunday which can be like misconstrued a lot of ways for people who have church hurt and all that and I think about like, oh, wow, like you really brought in the spirit all these like churchy terms, right that people use. And like for a long time those really irked me, like whenever I left all that I’m like, oh, which is honestly they always are to me, like I couldn’t stand people coming up to me after and being just like, Wow, you really did something great. Because I’m like, it’s not me. It’s God. You know? And like I, I kind of have like re shifted on a lot of this to realize like, a that was me feeling guilty for like having a gift and giving it like that was me taking ownership of what you’re called to do well, that would be like, me giving you a gift and you thanking me and then maybe getting mad that you think to me, huh? Or vice versa. You’re giving me a gift of like, you know, oh, like that was really good. And me being like, I don’t want that. Like Don’t give me that like that’s rude. Like it’s rude to not accept a gift sometimes. Yeah, like, I obviously there’s always occasions but yeah, like to me. That’s kind of what that simple work of,
Elaine Johnston 29:42
like almost an ungrateful fee, right.
Cody Johnston 29:44
And like I thought I was doing it out of humility, but I was really doing it out of arrogance.
Elaine Johnston 29:48
Okay, so something that you said earlier was you lost your voice, right? Mm hmm.
Cody Johnston 29:53
Yeah, literally for two years. Everybody,
Elaine Johnston 29:56
and you said not necessarily physical. You could still sing like you could Talk, we started a podcast as soon as we left the church like,
Cody Johnston 30:03
well, it was both It was literally and not literally.
Elaine Johnston 30:06
But to me, I see the metaphor and that of like, one, I don’t think you lost your voice, I think you would just started the journey of finding it fair. And to I don’t think it was, um, I’m trying to think of like, I have thoughts that I’m trying to, like, say them where it makes sense.
So you lost your voice. And I feel like you’re just learning how to speak you’re just now learning the true meaning of your music and what that was. And deep down you probably were doing that out of humility of not taking ownership of like, Oh, I give it all to God, like I don’t want to be seen as this but God’s like, no, that is your gift. Like that is your desire I instilled in that I instilled that into into your heart. That is your passion. That is your desire. Take ownership of that. So I almost feel like God stepped out of the way for you. Whenever we whenever you step down from worship, I feel like worship was the first setting was an idol. First part of that journey of God was like, Hey, you love music. Here’s a perfect outlet. You get to sing worship songs, you get to hang out with your friends and family, you get to lead this, you’re great at this. I’m going to give you a gift. I’m going to allow you the setting to start your musical journey and really cultivate that I’m going to have people recognize that talent and gift within you. And then you allow church and the stage become an idol. Not one of like, Oh, I’m obsessed, like I get to lead. But you made humility an idol. So God took that away from you. And God’s like, No, you have music within you. I’m going to teach you how to tap into that and I’m going to step out of the way God stepped out of the way to let you really go after that deeper meaning within Because whether you’re leading worship on a stage, you are writing lyrics you are writing music, you’re on tik tok. You have people watching you writing the music with and for you, whatever that looks like there’s so many different outlets. It’s all still music to you
Cody Johnston 32:15
when it’s all leading back to God. I mean essence like, I, I see what you mean. And that’s an interesting way of looking at it. I worship was such a huge part of me and I told you whenever I stepped down from doing that, as my job, I felt like like something died
Elaine Johnston 32:33
because I say the day like, the next morning after you had decided like, Hey, I can no longer do this for the time being. I remember like sitting with you. And like a half like a half room like building it was just like walls and that was like sheet rock sheet rock walls.
Unknown Speaker 32:55
Elaine Johnston 32:56
like you. But I feel like that is symbolic. Because we talk about deconstruction, we talk about taking out walls, we talk about working with the Baron and finding what we can use with the tools. You and I were sitting at an open room that had just started to look like a formation that just started to look like, yeah, we should study. It was an idea. There was an idea of what that room was supposed to be and what that was supposed to look like. But we were sitting in there, and we were talking and you said, I feel like something died, but I feel like something had just been burst. And sometimes birth and death feel the same?
Cody Johnston 33:37
Well, and that’s the whole like, parable of like dying to yourself daily like, you know, in Jesus who is it? He was what was it Nicodemus? I don’t know, whoever he was talking to where he was like, you know, you have to die to yourself daily, like you have to do the second birth or whatever. And like there’s beauty in that of like, literally, you have to read. You’re learning new, you’re being reborn every day. Almost like, it reminds me more of like, I don’t think Jesus was talking more of like slaughter, I think he was having like, like a flower how, in order for it to bloom beautifully it has to wilt.
Elaine Johnston 34:11
And also, every year God gives you a word. Yeah. You don’t necessarily have to share what those words are, if that’s like an intimate part of you and God. But think about the words ever since within the past five years, think about the words and the progression of what that has meant. And whenever you first heard the word, you were like, oh, I’ve never heard that word. I don’t even use that in our normal language. I don’t even know what that means. And then it took you a year to like, realize, Oh, that’s what that meant. Oh, God, that’s what you’re trying to show me in this. And it works. God works with you and seasons and years. And understanding and then thinking about the words that God is speaking to you now thinking about the natural progression and flow of where your music is taking off. And I feel like the reason why I’ve had success on Tech Talk or the reason why people are really strangers online are like, oh, wow, he’s talented. Oh, wow, he brings me joy. Oh, wow, his musical abilities. Like, in the two seconds that I watched this film, I instantly had like a moment of joy, a moment, a moment of happiness. Oh, like this made me think even an educational piece of like, where the organic come from came from, like, people were like, oh, wow, I didn’t know this or I don’t even know this is an instrument. Thank you for sharing this with me because you are just now learning how to use that as your main language.
Cody Johnston 35:36
Yeah. And I think that that’s just it kind of ties back to that is I’m in a place now where I’m no longer trying to figure out what to do. I’m trying to figure out how to feel. And I’m in a place where I’m like, Okay, I have all of this in my head. And I don’t have to be worried about how it looks all the time. You don’t have to try to be perfect with anything anymore. I’ve always been like has to be polished. It has to be this map so rugged, right? Like, it’s it’s literally just a document of someone’s journey, right? Like you think of like older maps, like it’s a document of where someone has been and how they’ve mapped it out.
Unknown Speaker 36:15
Elaine Johnston 36:17
if you could hear the echo when they
Cody Johnston 36:18
heard it in the interview energy, but like, I’m trying to allow that to be a thing that I just feel and I’m trying to allow others to feel that too and that’s ultimately what it is is like, you think of the fruit of the Spirit love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self control. The one that I seem to be focusing on is joy. And I feel like that’s even interesting because God’s been dealing with me for like the last four or five months now six months of like, be in the moment be in the moment be in the moment.
Elaine Johnston 36:55
We just had an entire episode. Yeah, last week about that and
Cody Johnston 37:01
Which is ironic cuz this was like my top three favorite bands like I don’t think that’s a coincidence. No, I don’t either. And like, I absolutely love the classic crime I love. Their lyrics have always been there for me. It’s always kind of coincide with things that I’ve gone through, especially this newest album has coincided with things that I’ve gone through. I’m just talking about being in the moment and all that and I was going through that before I ever came into that’s what’s so wild about it is like, I didn’t even know what this album was about until it came out. And then here it is. It’s like oh, it’s about being in the moment. And I’m like, hey, that’s literally what I’ve been trying to do and like what’s been on my heart and what God’s been dealing with me about. And honestly, like, the best way to remember that you’re in the moment is joy. You know, love is a beautiful thing, but it’s not like you can be in the moment with love, but it’s joy. You know? Patience is like fighting to stay in the moment kindness, you know, all these things are in the moment, but joy like centers you in that and I feel like when people mess up mean they’re like, hey, that really brought me joy that really made me happy. Like, I don’t know why. But this just brought a smile to my face. It’s bringing people to present because the best way to be present with yourself, and this is hard for me coming as like a analytical thought person. The best way to be present is to acknowledge your feelings. Because the moment you acknowledge how you feel about something, it forces you to look right here. And now because feelings change every single moment. We try to grasp it feelings, we try to cultivate this atmosphere where we can always feel a certain way. But it doesn’t happen. I spent a lot of my life fighting to live not in the valley and not have a peak is somewhere in between as long as I could just stay on a steady course and not have ups and downs. That’s what I would love. But it’s not what I would love. But all these things change constantly. And we have to be willing to grab every single little moment and say, Hey, this is where I am. If someone says Wow, that really brings me joy. I don’t know why but I just feel happy. That’s him acknowledging that they’re present right now feeling this, whether they even give credit to that or not. They are feeling something in this moment and they acknowledge it. And that centering, that they’re not thinking about how they’re going to feel about that 10 minutes from now, or anything like that. They’ll be able to look back and say, Wow, that really made me feel a certain way and it trudges up that same emotion. But it’s centering and it brings you into the present, and it makes you feel it makes you vibrate, right? vibrations are present. If a car drives by while it’s driving by, you’re gonna feel the rumble but then when it’s gone, it’s gone. Like, energy is present. Energy is a constant wave going right now and when you can tap into that, that is God God is in the moment. It’s kind of the whole thing. The Bible says like, God doesn’t remember your past. Like God’s not living in my past. Mistakes are Past video is the moment right God knock you off in my future judging me for stuff there something God’s with you in the moment. And all we have is the moment like we have nothing else we talked about that like, oh, you’re not promised tomorrow or, like, can’t dwell in the past and the present
Elaine Johnston 40:19
Cody Johnston 40:20
gift, right? And like, that’s all cute and quirky. But when you really realize it, like all you have is right now, but how often do we spend our time living outside of the moment, and if you’re living with your mind, outside of the moment, you’re not really living.
Elaine Johnston 40:36
And something that’s interesting that I just thought about, which is kind of ironic, but I feel like of all the fruits of the Spirit. Joy is the only one that you don’t have to think about. When you’re when you have to practice patience, you have to think, Okay, I have to be patient with myself. I have to be patient with somebody else. Or when you’re practicing kindness, okay, I have to be kind in this moment. I don’t want to, but I have to be kinda in the moment, but I feel like joy. It’s just natural. That’s one of the things that just comes natural. You don’t have to think about what brings you joy. You just feel it like but you have to think, oh, you have to think about patients you have to think about kindness. But joy is just that natural thing of like, Oh, I this is what brings me happiness or this is what brings me This is where I see beauty and creativity. I don’t really have to think about it. You never really have to think about am I enjoy? Or am I enjoy right now? Is this joyous for me? No, it just instantly happens. It’s when you hear your favorite song or watch your favorite movie. You’re hanging out with your favorite person you’re instantly in that joyful living mindset.
Cody Johnston 41:40
Yeah, and I think I think the first three are all kind of natural reactionary. I think love is pretty natural, but you have to work it love me wrong. But I think love is emotion that just kind of rises up in you. And I think piece a lot of times rises up but also a lot of times you have to try to cultivate it are meant for peace.
Elaine Johnston 41:58
You have to grow that joy. Just create,
Cody Johnston 42:01
like joy is kind of a catalyst. Like, if I am delighted, you know, it’s kind of like the Lord delights a new kind of idea of like, I take delight in you healing and so like, will that bring you bring me joy? And that kind of gets exacerbated in the right word as a negative word. It blossoms into love. Right? Right. Yes. Because like, it brings so much joy that I want to serve you. I want to love you. I want to pour out my heart to you because you make me happy and you bring me joy in a way that nothing else can.
Elaine Johnston 42:37
And which what is interesting to me is this reminds me of our past guest, Phil, the author of Jesus loves movies. And just thinking about Wow, I love movies. I love entertainment. I love scary movies. And God’s there with me. God’s there watching the movies with me. I’m like, oh, wow, I’m kind of scared and God like oh, Yeah, those kind of jumpy are like, Oh, this makes me cry. I’m sad and God’s like, hey, yeah, this is sad or like, Hey, this is a funny thing. God’s like, haha, Yeah, I know. Like,
Cody Johnston 43:10
I just got some distance.
Elaine Johnston 43:11
Yeah, a God is always with you, he’s within you. And he is beside you he’s ever present and the desires of your heart, whether it’s music, whether it’s hiking mountains, whether it’s watching movies, or watching live skit, comment, live comedy skit, whatever, wherever you feel that most joy and love and creativity and feel the most present. That is where God is. Yeah.
Cody Johnston 43:42
Yeah, I agree. Now, I just had to figure out how to take all this and like, allow it to process not try to overthink it, but just allow myself to work. allow God to work in me through it kind of thing. Like however you want to word that like, give it room. I guess like that’s my closing Hold on this is like encouraging anyone listening but especially like myself, like myself
Elaine Johnston 44:06
like this now like we’ve expressed our feelings
Cody Johnston 44:09
right now run out and feel like I have to systematize all this I don’t have to go out. Yeah, like allow it to just exist in the moment. And if you allow it to continue to live and grow it will grow and it will sooner or later become or be all that it’s meant to be it’ll encompass my thoughts versus me trying to figure out how to it’s almost like this is such a weird I see no weirdness a beautiful analogy. I don’t think it’s weird at all. Um, my emotions are like the wind. And we’ve been talking about energy vibration, all that like literally like emotions are energy too. But my method to emotion is often like I just had this deep feel moment. Those deep feeling moments are really what drives me forward I can think all day long. And like the whole I think therefore I am fiasco and like that’s beautiful and whatever like you have to think to put systems in place to do different things and all that. But whenever I get caught up in thinking my creativity just falls out of the sky. Like I can get caught up trying to think what should my next video be? What should I say next? Then one day like yesterday, I drink a couple of shots of espresso go sit in the yard and just film a bunch of stuff. Because I’m just like, I just want to film things for just for art reasons, just because I can only be careful put them out a nice jolt of energy right you felt that jolt of passion and so like my goal here is like I feel like a lot of times whenever I have these moments it’s like a gust of wind right It reminds me of the song like mighty breath of like blow breath of God like we we talked about God like wind right? We use God analogy and everything
Unknown Speaker 45:54
right see him but he is with us.
Cody Johnston 45:56
Well, all the different analogies that God has fire God is Earth God is water like okay. We get it like nature, God is nature but we don’t want to talk about God’s nature because that’s creepy pagan stuff. No, just kidding. Obviously, we don’t believe that but the God is nature like right like that really that No, seriously, right? No, like, seriously, God is nature. Like there’s a reason we use all these analogies. Well, like, I feel like inwardly God moves through me or my emotions move through me. They’re interchangeable in a way because like, you know, like, I am creation, I’m one with God kind of thing, whatever. You don’t have to go and all that. But it kind of blows through like wind. And me being a person who I do this with a lot of things Mind you, literally best. Like, I can use this as an example. I’m one of those people where I’m always like, Oh, no, what’s gonna happen next? What happens? Like I said, I’m scared of the peaks and the valleys, right? So like, I’m on this mountaintop moment, and I’m like, crap. What if I’m not like this tomorrow? What if this goes away? Yesterday I recorded so many Any videos right I was just on it. I was like I was just loving it. My first reaction when I went to sleep was what if I don’t feel like this tomorrow? What if I wake up tomorrow? I just have no drive again. What am I going to do? Like that’s like the negative side of that. And to kind of like tie back to the analogy is trying to get at wind comes in spurts sometimes it’s more calm sometimes it’s when it’s really windy outside right now like the trees I’m looking out the window right here over
Elaine Johnston 47:27
nature is picking up on our little office room,
Cody Johnston 47:30
right? Like it is just like it is gusting. There’s a cold front moving in. It’s been like 80 degrees is supposed to be like 60 degrees like 50 tomorrow, or like, yeah, I think 50s over the weekend. And like there’s a code for moving and issues blowing and like the clouds are like hauling butt across the sky and like it’s coming at it. Sometimes it’s so still outside. And I feel like when those gusts of energy those gusts of creativity come through. I’m that guy with the jar trying to like grasp the wind. I don’t know if you’ve heard the song I try and catch the wind but Like, that’s me like I try to run outside and grasp it. But let’s be honest, when can’t be contained, like creativity can’t be contained, all you can do is show the byproduct of it. If you see where a tornado came through, you can tell where wind was at. But you don’t see the wind all you see is its effects. Or on a more positive note, you may not see is a wind, but you can feel and use the energy that powered from that windmill that converted it. So you can see the effects of wind, you can use the effects of it, but you can’t bottle it. You can’t make it
Elaine Johnston 48:37
and that’s why boxes are so dangerous.
Cody Johnston 48:39
Yeah. As soon as you put a lid on it, you take it out because all it is is energy. Yeah, it’s just it’s moving air it’s energy and that’s how I am with my emotions is my emotions come blowing through and instead of using that to convert into something like using it to power me forward, to store battery, you know, store energy in my Thanks for the time when the winds not blowing, I try to bottle it because I’m scared. I’m going to lose it. And by doing so, you actually
Unknown Speaker 49:06
yeah, I lose it stifled. Yeah.
Elaine Johnston 49:10
I would like to point out that you said you typically don’t like the peaks and valleys and the up and down and the highs and lows and, and I’m not one person. I’m not someone who can read music Well, I can’t even play an instrument much less like carry a tune. But whenever I was little like I used to be in choir I did. I do remember taking music theory and like learning a little bit, but like music. Sure, there’s rest points. You have silences. You have pauses, where there’s no sound. But music is sound music is peaks and valleys. It’s up and down. There’s different instruments. There’s four different tones of voice different tones of emotions, you use a certain instrument because you’re trying to convey a certain message whether it’s a peaceful on a rage or whatever. Like me. Music if you think about it, you have a favorite song for every emotion that you have, whether you realize it or not. When you’re like, Ooh, I’m kind of aggressive or like I have this energy or rage like maybe metal is that music to you? Or a big orchestra? Or like Pirates of the Caribbean music? I don’t know you’re like huh wishes or um, or you like okay I’m kind of peaceful right now I’m kind of somber I’m gonna throw some worship music on or I’m gonna throw on some flute music or, you know, I’m trying to meditate like there is music for every occasion. But music is the peaks and valleys there is no straight line because you wouldn’t have music.
Cody Johnston 50:41
Well, I mean, in essence, like if you look at a waveform, it gets like literally what we’re doing right now we’re recording it’s turning like our voice is being converted into energy, right? Like if you’re listening to this, whether it be video or audio or what, even right here like it’s the vibration of my vote. I can put my hand right here in my throat. I can edit the audio.
Elaine Johnston 50:59
Yeah, no, I can See,
Cody Johnston 51:00
I can feel this vibration. And if I get louder, I can feel it intensify. And like this microphone is picking it up that hit on the microphone just by microphone, it’s picking that up. And it’s converting that to a electrical signal. And if it’s less volume, it’s gonna be really thin. If it gets louder, it’s gonna grow. Because it it’s all just amount of energy. Like that’s how records work. It’s literally etched into the vinyl, you know, like that’s, that is the epitome of that. And it’s beautiful because it’s, that’s what I’m saying is like you take creativity or emotion and you use that to etch the vinyl. You use that to edge the way so that in the moments you don’t have that you can go back, put it on, drop the needle and listen,
Elaine Johnston 51:42
we are Isaac notes and Gods orchestra.
Cody Johnston 51:44
Yes. Deep. But like that’s just that is how you you can’t bottle it up and catch the wind. But you can see where it’s been. Yeah, you know, you may not be able to ever recreate In here, Mozart’s actual orchestras Yeah, but you can hear recreations of it, you know, I may not ever be able to re experience my favorite concert, I will never be able to play a song the exact same way I’ve played it before. But you can see the experience of that if it’s, if that is somewhere even if it’s in my mind, it’s edge there and I can still feel that I can go back and revisit that
Elaine Johnston 52:26
one being in the present, you’re never going to feel that same moment, whatever moment good or bad that you’re like, the sad thing is, things always come to an end. But the good thing is things always come to an end like there’s different times for different things
Cody Johnston 52:38
and that’s what gives you the respect of it all right, like going to any video song he’s like I was walking through the park and like realizing this parks gonna be here long after anyone walking in the park will be here. Like that. somberness is kind of the beauty of it. But also, let’s just kind of sum it up with this may be at least for this recording is like I feel like we look at the Bible so many times as if Is the wind of God. Mm hmm. And in reality if we just looked at it like it was at vinyl, that etching, right, it was the it’s the evidence where the wind blew through. And it gives you a map to show you how to go and find that wind again. It is. The map is the Braille outlets for God, right, like, in essence, like to kind of tie that together like, it isn’t the wind of God. It isn’t the wind, it isn’t the energy, but it shows you a template
Elaine Johnston 53:27
and it’s right in the evidence of God. The Bible isn’t the like you and I are here we are not in the Bible. But we’re just as important
Cody Johnston 53:34
and I think if we were just start like if like you’re reading the Bible, and you were to read is like hey, this is the evidence of where God came through. You know, like this is this is that when you see the aftermath of a tornado or you see I’m trying to think like more positive No, you’re like you see the sand dunes in Colorado like Sand Dunes National Park, these beautiful rolling hills of sand with all these waves pouring off of them and like you see it on screen savers and in movies and all this beautiful stuff. You have all these waves just a uniform even. Well, yeah, ocean waves, but they kind of like, come and go, but I’m talking specifically like evidence you can see. You can see it in the bedrock of like rocks where it has just worn and smoothed over time. But like you see these dudes Well, all these dudes are saying that have piled and piled in the wind literally rakes the sand to create this beautiful swirling pattern that inspires so much. And that’s the Bible that is that’s music. That’s all of these things. It’s not that but it can put you in a place to experience that for yourself. So you have anything else you want to say?
Unknown Speaker 54:48
No, I’m just about feels, bro. All right.
If you enjoy campfire stories, Biblical history, and folklore, check out Cody’s podcast,
Itinerant: Biblical History Beyond the Bible.
If you are a woman looking to find your God-given purpose and let it loose, Elaine has a podcast for you. visit The Prodigal Daughter:
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