Mission, Faith, and Philosophy Statement

Mission Statement

Alabaster’s Ink Well promotes cross-cultural missions, creativity, and spiritual and emotional wellness.  Alabaster’s provides a sample directory for world outreach, resources for spiritual and emotional encouragement, a marketplace for artists and authors, and a registry of reputable businesses, services, and tutors with integrity. 

Alabaster’s is dedicated to the glory of God and to the people He has made.  The beauty, truth, and imagination flowing from the writings, crafts, visual and musical arts, and businesses originate from God, the source of all goodness, love, holiness, salvation, wisdom, provision, and power.  He is the one who blesses all.  The business and its offerings aim to return glory to Him, the provider of all good gifts.

Alabaster’s also purposes to increase the shalom of people.  Opportunities to discover truth and reflections of natural and spiritual beauty help make well the soul.  Engaging in truth, beauty, and creativity offered here nurtures human flourishing.  Alabaster’s Ink Well is a well of refreshment, a fresh breeze, an updraft, a dawn of a hopeful new day.

All offerings and listings are chosen to align explicitly or implicitly or be neutral to Alabaster’s mission and faith statements.  Each customer is responsible to research business and mission referrals.

“For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.” (Jeremiah 29:11)

Philosophy: The Power of Truth, Beauty, and Imagination

Alabaster’s Ink Well: Arts and Inkspirations is a showcase of created works and talents of those who notice beauty and truth in the world and use their imaginations to better it.  Alabaster’s aids the participant to glorify God and to minister to others productively through creativity in the arts, business, and compassionate callings.

The name “Alabaster’s” reminds us to respond to God with all our hearts.  Scripture provides accounts of two different women who broke their most precious possessions, their alabaster jars, to minister to Jesus.*  The alabaster containers held expensive nard that represented their future security.  These women devoted themselves and their futures completely to God.

“I will bring him near, and he will come close to me, for who is he who will devote himself to be close to me? declares the Lord.” (Jeremiah 30:21)

Beaty can draw one closer to the Lord. Fyodor Dostoyevsky wrote in The Brothers Karamazov, “Beauty is the battlefield where God and Satan contend for the hearts of men.”  Keats, who died young, his faith unknown, wrote in the Ode to a Grecian Urn that truth and beauty are equal.  “Beauty is truth, truth beauty, //—that is all Ye know on earth, and all ye need to know.” 

The “all ye need to know” Beauty and Truth were one in the incarnation of Jesus Christ.  The Apostle John wrote, “And the Word came and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth…For from his fullness we have all received, grace upon grace…grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.  No one has ever seen God; the only God, who is at the Father’s side, he has made him known.” (John 1:14-18)

Beauty in artistic expression can captivate our hearts through the imagination.  When William Wilberforce desired to persuade the English that slavery was evil, he first engaged Hannah Moore, a poet, to begin to soften hearts about slavery through the beauty of her poetry.  She captured the imagination, “the faculty of action of forming new ideas, or images or concepts of external objects not present to he senses.”[1] She brought the people to understand truth through beauty and imagination.

Visual arts and music transcend the limitations of the logical mind. In Who Is This Man?, John Ortberg writes, “…the arts can invite our hearts as well as our minds into a deeper reality…Artists, like saints, depend on a visitation from beyond themselves. Art is the language of inspiration, the signal of transcendence.”[2]  Alabaster’s radiates firelight impressions of truth, beauty, and imagination from the warmth of the Holy Spirit’s inspiration. 

The impressions can either be explicit or implicit from believers and unbelievers.  These discoveries bring starflight or upward lift in life.  Art reaches into the spirit and soul in languages without words the beholder comprehends but may not be able to logically articulate.  At Pentecost God poured out His Spirit on His children and they without reason or knowledge spoke in the languages of the travelers to Jerusalem.  The strangers heard praises of God in their own languages. 

When a heart receives an insight or comfort through the arts in its own language, it may revive to live abundantly again, like the downed sparrow that found renewed strength and courage to fly when it heard songs in its own sparrow vernacular.  Artists or authors plant flowers or even lush gardens in hearts that may otherwise be empty pots. 

Alabaster’s Ink Well holds beauty and truth flowing from writings, crafts, visual and musical arts, missions, and businesses.  The goodness flows from God Himself, the source of all good, all love, all holiness, and all power.  He is the One who blesses all.  The business and its offerings strive to send glory back to Him, the provider of all good gifts, and increase the shalom of the people He has made.  Alabaster’s is a modern day well in remembrance of the Samaritan woman who came to a desert well at noon in the scorching heat of the day.  Instead of meeting her needs for physical water, she met Jesus and came away with spiritual satisfaction and new direction.

Works of art and businesses, although not overtly Christian may contain the refracted light of the Creator, sparkles of the Incarnation without the artist’s awareness of its source of goodness.  New Testament Scholar, theologian and Bishop N.T. Wright wrote

The trouble with confrontations over ideas…is that  it’s easy to make the mistake of thinking that every position, every philosophy, which isn’t explicitly Christian must be totally and utterly wrong. Paul knew better.  He was not a dualist. All truth is God’s truth.  All truth can be twisted to serve the ends of human pride and arrogance, and that happens far too frequently. But it can be straightened out again; and the way to do that is to ‘take it captive’, make it change armbands, to bring it on to the right side.  There is no insight, no vision of truth, so noble and lofty that it cannot be perverted and made an instrument of human pride.  Likewise, there is no small glimmer of light, no faint echo of reality, so small or corrupt that it cannot be taken into the service of the world’s creator and rightful Lord.[3]

Missions professor Charles Van Engen expresses the need for cultural pluralism when it comes to incorporating ethnicities and particulars ofculture into worship. He writes “Everything that does not contradict the biblical revelation concerning the historical Jesus Christ our Lord is open for consideration.”[4] 

* Matthew 26, Mark 14, Luke 7, and John 12

[1] DL Illustrated Oxford Dictionary (London:DK Publishing, 1998).

[2] John Ortbert, Who is this Man? (Zondervan, 2012), 156.

[3] N.T. Wright, Paul for Everyone: The Prison Letters (The New Testament for Everyone),  Kindle ed. (Louisville, Kentucky: Westminster John Knox Press, 2004).  Under Section for 2 Cor. 10:1-11.

[4] Charles Von Engen “The Uniqueness of Christ,” Perspective on the World Christian Movement: A Reader 4th ed.  Ralph Winter and Steve Hawthorne, eds. (Littleton, Co: William Carey Library), 177. 

Statement of Faith

A set of theological affirmations governs Alabaster’s Ink Well.  This is not intended to restrict use of the site but rather to promote trust in its content.  The statement of faith is expressed in the Apostle’s Creed:      

                        I believe in God, the Father almighty,
                            creator of heaven and earth.

                        I believe in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord,
                           who was conceived by the Holy Spirit
                           and born of the virgin Mary.
                        He suffered under Pontius Pilate,
                                    was crucified, died, and was buried;
                                    he descended to hell.
                        The third day he rose again from the dead.
                        He ascended to heaven
                        and is seated at the right hand of God the Father almighty.
                                    From there he will come to judge the living and the dead.

                        I believe in the Holy Spirit,
                          the holy catholic* church,
                           the communion of saints,
                        the forgiveness of sins,
                                    the resurrection of the body,
                                                  and the life everlasting. Amen.

Specific doctrines and applications:

  1. Doctrine of God. There is only one true God.  He exists eternally as three persons — Father, Son, and Holy Spirit — each fully God yet each personally distinct from the other.  God is the Creator of everything.
  2. Doctrine of Sin. Everyone, regardless of race, gender, social class, or intellectual ability, is created in God’s image and for communion with God.  But because of sin, that communion was broken and all of humanity was separated from God, the source of all life.  Because of the fall, everyone deserves God’s judgment.
  3. Doctrine of Salvation. Jesus Christ is the way, the truth, and the life, and God gives salvation and eternal life to those who trust in Him.  Salvation cannot be earned through personal goodness or human effort.  It is a gift that is received by repentance and faith in Christ, His death on the cross, and His resurrection from the grave.
  4. The Bible is God’s unique revelation to mankind, the inspired, infallible Word of God. As such it is the supreme and final authority and without error in what it teaches and affirms.  No other writings are vested with such divine authority.
  5. Doctrine of Christ. Jesus Christ, the second person of the Trinity, was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary — He was God in human flesh.  He lived a sinless human life, yet willingly took upon himself our sins by dying in our place and on our behalf.  He rose bodily, victorious over death.  He ascended to heaven and is at the right hand of the Father as the believer’s advocate and mediator.  Someday, he will return to consummate history and to fulfill the eternal plan of God.
  6. Doctrine of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit, the third person of the Trinity, convicts the world of sin and gives new life to those who trust in Jesus.  He indwells all believers and is available to empower them to lead Christ-like lives.  The Spirit gives them spiritual gifts with which to serve fellow believers and to reach out to a lost and needy world.
  7. Doctrine of Judgment. At the final judgment, unbelievers will be separated from God into condemnation.  Believers will be received into God’s loving presence.
  8. Doctrine of the Church. All believers are members of the body of Christ, the one true church universal.  Spiritual unity is to be expressed among Christians by acceptance and love of one another across ethnic, cultural, socio-economic, national, generational, gender, and denominational lines.  The local church is a group of believers who gather for worship and prayer.  People are made in the image of God and no matter what their beliefs, they are to be honored and shown respect because he or she is made in His image.
  9. Marriage between a man and a woman is a sacred and mysterious symbol of Jesus’ relationship to His bride, the Church. Jesus celebrated the union between a man and a woman by celebrating His first miracle at a wedding. The Catholic Archdiocese of Denver contributes this statement to clarify the meaning of marriage: “Catholic teaching on sexual identity, marriage, family, and parenting are inseparable from the way we choose to live and interact. These teachings allow us to fully comprehend how to love God and neighbor.  We believe that sexual expression contributes to human flourishing as it is integrated with a view toward its natural ends: faithful, covenantal love between a man and a woman, and a self-gift ordered toward procreation and joyful unity between spouses.”

* The universal and true Christian church of all times and all places

Truth can be conveyed through secular and unsuspecting vehicles.  However, all expressions of inspiration will align with or not contradict the message of Alabaster’s Ink Well.  Some tangential links may lead to information that may not coordinate with this faith statement, so the reader needs to practice discernment.