Seeking All Things Brilliant

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“I want people to become curious about the stories that abound in their neighborhoods and cities. I want to create a ‘culture of honour’ where we are all intentional about pulling out the good, the noble, the beautiful around us.”

By Christina Crook | Twitter: @cmcrook

I first met Jenn Co on Robson Street where my friend Keela and I interviewed her for a national documentary about church decline. Dressed like a fashion frontrow champ, she was articulate beyond our wildest hopes and savvy to boot. I liked her immediately.

Fast forward seven years and she’s the same, except brighter and bolder, if that is even possible.

While Jenn’s charted a course as a fashion stylist for years, today she’s producing Anything Brilliant, a pilot television show that celebrates good wherever she can find it.

It was a sitdown with footware magnate John Fluevog that led to her current trajectory.

“I went to this church, uTown, for the first time a few years ago. The pastor gave each of us a blank piece of paper and said, “You’re all going to finish my sermon for me.” I thought, “This is different!” He went on to challenge us with the scripture where Jesus said, “Greater things will you do …” Then he asked us to write down some of the dreams in our hearts and, if we wanted to, share it with the rest of the church. I knew nobody really, so with a beating heart, I went down and released this vision I’ve been carrying for many many years.”

John Fluevog walked up to her after the service and introduced himself: “Hi. I’m John … I’m in fashion.”

“And that was that,” Jenn recounts.

“My coffee date with John Fluevog turned out to be my springboard for launching into media. He essentially prophesied over me, asking if I’ve ever considered having my own show and telling me I was the ‘perfect package’: my upbringing, my race, my age, my personality, my character. [At first] I could not believe or accept it. And it showed. “You don’t believe me, now do you, Jenn?” he asked …

“I could feel my insides burning.”

When John left for his next meeting she immediately whipped out her sketch book and started writing down ideas. It was as if a geyser was uncorked. Anything Brilliant was born.

Jenn’s vision for the show is to start a movement of “treasure hunters” in the world, desiring for people to quit complaining about how ugly, depressing and discouraging life can be and to pull out their antennas and start documenting the goodness all around them.

To date, Jenn has interviewed a compassionate denim company (Good Society Jeans,) swapped affordable outdoor gear with Mountain Equipment Co-op, talked social media for social change and tasted truffle heaven with world-class chocolatier Cocoa Nymph.

“I want people to become curious about the stories that abound in their neighborhoods and cities. I want to create a ‘culture of honour’ where we are all intentional about pulling out the good, the noble, the beautiful around us. Instead of tearing each other down, I want us to build each other up!”

For Jenn it is always essential to remember “the one,” a phrase she learned from well-known Christian speaker Heidi Baker.

“For me it is about listening to the Lord’s promptings. Not being too busy in all the running around to stop and listen to a person or extend a helping hand or a smile.”

Basically, looking for anything brilliant.

In her own words:

Faith to me means [community / hope / food / sacrifice / art / etc] …

Taking God out for a spin.

What I mean by that is …

Instead of simply staying in “first gear” all the time (being cautious, safe), I like giving God free reign and having him “bump up” the ride of my life. 🙂 It means living audaciously, stupendously, risk-taking all the time.

It means becoming a “thin place” or a portal between heaven and earth, wherein the supernatural and the miraculous are normal, everyday occurrences.

It means the cyclical continuous flow of worship from my heart to the Father as He pours out His adoration upon me. It means reeking of His love to everyone I meet. As one of my modern day heroes Bill Johnson says, “No one is safe from a blessing wherever you are.” Literally, allowing here on earth what exists in heaven–love, joy, peace, healing, restoration, hope. Creating spaces for God to manifest His goodness.

It means taking the moment to pray for the woman limping by the side of the swimming pool and watching her eyes well up in tears as she is overwhelmed by the love of her Father. It means encouraging prospective landlords in my house-hunting process with words of knowledge about their character and their destiny and leaving an atmosphere of restored hope.

One of my life’s mission statements is I desire that whoever encounters me will leave with a greater measure of hope.

When I was little I …

would be found in the library. It’s hard to believe nowadays that I used to be a painfully shy kid. I actually read books on how to befriend people. Hahaha. I know. So sad/funny/cute all at the same time.

My mom put me in sports, art & music lessons to help me get out of my shell. I remember her telling me the reason why I was in voice lessons was because one of my grade school teachers overheard me singing accidentally and remarked that I had natural talent. It seems, growing up, that was the story of my life: painfully shy kid with apparently many natural talents.

The only problem with that scenario is it taught me early on that my identity was wrapped up in what I did and how well I did it. It’s taken many many years of brokenness and searching and counseling and healing to get to the place where 1) I actually love myself and 2) I’m sinking into deeper security that who I am is dependent on the fact that I am ridiculously loved and adored by the Father. So there ya have it– that’s my number one job: To be loved and adored by the Father.

My days are filled with …

discovering more ways to connect with the heart of my Papa, laughing out loud, singing/praying (all the time), dreaming with God, brainstorming creative ideas on releasing goodness and hope to this world, interviewing folks for my radio broadcasts/anything brilliant, stopping for “the one,” going on “treasure hunts” (finding people whom the Lord highlights in my heart) and smearing love on them … HAHAHA!

I wish …

I had more time to tell you of the many stories of His goodness.
I could know God for other people.
I could bottle up hope and give a dose to everyone in the world.

 

Today I give myself permission …

to breathe
to be still, to be at rest
to be childlike in my awe and wonder
to receive even a greater dose of His affection
to take pauses throughout the day to intentionally praise Him
to speak life to others
to listen and draw out people’s stories
to laugh out loud–even more (especially in the face of challenges orproblems).

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About Christina:

Christina Crook is founder of SeekingEve.ca: a perpetual search for honest faith. Christina grew up inside an art gallery and is sister to seven wonderful far-flung siblings. She is a core contributor to UPPERCASE, a magazine for the creative and curious, and Contributing Editor at Geez magazine. In January 2012 she turned off the Internet in all its forms and chronicled a month off-line with a letter a day. Letters from a Luddite was featured on CBC’s national technology show, Spark, and is now a book. When not mucking with paper or penning poetry on the backs of napkins, she’s exploring the world alongside two little marvels: Madeleine (3) and Thomas (1.) She attends Grace Toronto Church.

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Would you like to add your story to Seeking Eve Monday?

We’d love to hear your story. Please share it by emailing Christina at seekingeve[@]gmail.com

To find words for your story, try following these lines, as Jenn did:

Faith to me means [community / hope / food / sacrifice / art / etc] …

What I mean by that is …

When I was little I …

My days are filled with …

I wish …

The thing is …

Today I give myself permission …

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