promophotoIt’s not JUST about the art… 

AMOKArts is about PASSION
It’s about a passion to know Jesus and make Him known.

AMOKArts is about VISION
It’s about helping people to find God’s plan and purpose for their lives, to find and use their gifts to glorify God, serve others and make the world a better place.

AMOKArts is about MISSION
It’s about helping churches to empower their people to be all God intended them to be so the church can fulfill the mission God has given them.

I want to help people and churches to have a passion for Jesus, live their vision and accomplish their mission. Art is the tool, but it’s all about Jesus. I’d love to come to your church, participate in your program, paint and call and help people find and use their gifts to serve the Lord. Contact me today!

The Blog starts below!

There is a great equalizer. There are so many differences between us and yet there is one area in which we are all equal. From the richest to the poorest, we all have twenty four hours in a day. The question for each of us is how will we use them. I hear so many people who say they just don’t have time to make their art.

Truthfully, they do. They have exactly as much time as everyone else. Most of us have to work and we all have responsibilities and sometimes those things take up the lion’s share of our days. I understand that, believe me.

What these people really mean is they don’t have a block of time of several hours to work toward their creative dreams. In truth, most of us don’t. Are you going to let that stop you? I wouldn’t. This is not an all or nothing thing. You may not have a couple hours, but do you have a few minutes to do part of the project. Those minutes add up to finished projects and finished projects add up to reaching your goals. If you don’t have a big block of time, use the time you do have and move forward.

Don’t lament over what you don’t have. Faithfully use what you do.
(This same principle applies to resources, experience, etc.)

Here’s an experiment. The video on the top of this page is a three minute timer. Get out your sketch book, notebook, whatever you use to create, sit down and hit the timer. Work without editing yourself until the timer runs out. At the end, look at what you’ve accomplished. If you can get that much done in three minutes, imagine what all you can do in all those “in-between” times you find every day. This is why I always have a pencil and a sharpie in my pocket and I am never more than a couple feet from my sketch book. You have to be prepared for spontaneous creativity.

We’ve all got the same amount of time. How will you choose to use youres.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles BackdropsAs many of you know, I spent a few years working for a licensee of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. No, I’m neither rich nor famous, but it was some really fun work and I am still a fan. I’ve not yet seen the new movie, but it is on my agenda. Schedule’s been kind of tight. Thank you Jesus.

A friend posted a video of the orchestra performing the theme song and I was mesmerized. What a remarkable piece of music. Listen to it.

Did you ever consider the power of music in storytelling? I know sometimes the soundtrack in a movie gets “drowned-out” by the visuals and all that is going on in the screen, but think about the power in this piece of music. It has the power to convey the emotion in the scenes. Different kinds of music, even notes, evoke emotion and draw us in. Music is an incredibly powerful tool in the art of story.

Listen to the piece again. This time close your eyes, maybe forget the turtles, and just envision what the piece of music is saying. Then open your eyes and create what it inspired. Music is a great way to get inspired.

Now go do something great today.

When I get around creative ministry folks and hear the word excellence thrown around, I always cringe a little. For one, art is subjective. Who’s to say what excellence is? I see works all the time that people fall all over, that, quite frankly, look like they could have been done by a monkey and not even a trained monkey. I also see artists who clearly have wonderful technique, belittled and berated in the arts community. Excellence is in the eye of the beholder.

Moreover, excellence in art requires growth. It requires failure. It requires making work and putting it out there for the world to see. When we start to talk about excellence in creative ministry, I wonder how we will allow for those who are clearly gifted, but inexperienced, needing to learn and grow and display/perform but being deprived the opportunity in the name of “excellence,” whatever that means. The last thing the church needs is elitist creatives keeping people from walking into their God-given gifting.

Then in the midst of reading, Manuel Luz’ book Imagine That, I saw a definition of excellence I can get behind.

“Excellence is doing the best you can with what you have.”

That’s called faithfulness, it allows for growth, learning, failure, etc. If you’ve given your best today, that’s enough, because we all know this to be true. If you give your best every day, to every project, day in and day out, your best gets better, and better.

So work with excellence today, whatever that means today, knowing full well that you’ll be more excellent tomorrow.

Recently, I ministered at one of my favorite places, a camp here in Pennsylvania. These folks have had me back four years in a row and it’s always a great group. I love this place. I was a little struck by the lack of activity when I rolled up to the place. Usually there are kids running everywhere. I panicked a little, and double checked my calendar. No, I had the right date, so I began to set up. It turns out I was there just after the last campers left for the season. This would be more of a community presentation along with the staff who had stayed behind to help with a conference that would start the next day.

I wasn’t quite sure what to do. I had a brand new presentation to do for them (they’ve had me every year and have seen all my previous full-length presentations.) I’d done a similar presentation to this one in another place, but massively changed it to do it for these folks. I had a smaller presentation I could have fallen back on and part of me wanted to just do that, since it would be a smaller group.

Here’s the thing. I prayed about this presentation and felt led to do this presentation for these people. God didn’t give me a number. He didn’t say, “Do this unless only a few people are there.” He simply led me toward this presentation, so I did it and people said they were blessed.

Why do I share this? Sometimes we are far to caught up in how many people are in a room. The people in the room that night were no less deserving of my best because there weren’t 50 or 100 or 1,000 people there. I prayed what I pray before every presentation, that God would use me and the presentation He gave me, to His glory. These things we do are not measured in how many people see it. They are measured in how God works in the lives of the people who see it. I may not see what comes of my ministry, but my ultimate audience, the One I say I actually do this for, sees it. My job, our job, is to be faithful with what He has given and trust Him with what success means for whatever it is that He calls us to do.

He is faithful… Will you be faithful too?

In the church we complain about the consumer mentality of Christians. How they are in the church for what they can get out of it and as soons as the people find someone that offers something they want, they leave the church. It is a real problem for the church but what we in the church fail to realize is we are creating it.

After all, who do we consistently utilize in our services? Week after week, someone preaches/teaches, someone (maybe a couple people) plays instruments and someone sings. If the only people we utilize are the people who can preach, play and sing, the rest of the people are only going to show up for the “show” and as soon as they find a better show, bye, bye!

This creates a vicious cycle. Pastors and worship leaders are under immense pressure to keep the service up to a high standard to keep the uninvolved happy, which makes them focus all their efforts on those three elements, which keeps the uninvolved uninvolved. It doesn’t have to be that way.

My life was radically changed when my pastor gave me a simple project. A way to use my gift of art to serve the Lord and the church. That open door fired my imagination and showed me a world of possibilities for my gift because, don’t miss this, I discovered what I should have known all along, my God made me and gifted me on purpose, for a purpose. What if we could show that to everyone in our congregations? What would that do? Rather than always looking for what we can get, we would be looking for ways to give.

The application of this can be difficult. People are very resistant to change and some people will get upset when we try to change the status quo, but if they would just give into it, a lot of them would find real meaning and God-given purpose in their lives. This, in my opinion, is the key to overcoming consumerism. We need to help people find and use their gifts, giving them ownership and teaching them to serve. Those of us who do it know there is nothing better than serving God in the way you were created to serve him.

Scripture bears this out. Consumer churches are pastor centric, relying on the pastors for everything, while at the same time treating their pastors like employees to be hired and fired at will as soon as the pastor makes them uncomfortable or fails to take the congregation where it wants to go. Remember when the Israelites wandered in the desert for 40 years? That was the end result of the congregation disregarding their leader (and by extension, their God) and trying to go where they wanted to go. A pastor is someone called by God to take the Congregation where God wants it to go. Ephesians 4 gives this list of gifts God gives specifically for church leaders and then it says these gifts are given… to equip his people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ. In other words church leaders are gifted to empower God’s people to do the work which builds up the church and when we do this, the church will grow up and look like Jesus. Pastors who do everything for their congregations perpetuate consumerism. Pastors who empower their people to do what God is calling them to do, build the body of Christ.

Church, we need to have systems in place that empower the people to be who God made them to be. Our churches need to be safe places to fail. We need to create low risk high reward situations for our congregants. We need to move our people from the pews to the mission and we need to do it soon.

I believe helping churches to do this is my mission and calling. I would love to help you. Contact me. Let’s work together to build up the body.

Every once in a while I just want to laugh and this one is a classic.
Have a good laugh, go to worship and spend some time relaxing with the family. Remember, it’s no sin to take a break but it might be a sin not to.

If you’re in East PA in or near the Poconos, come see me at Pocono Mountain Bible Conference at 6:30. I’ll be painting and speaking with my new presentation, FORGIVEN.

I know what you might be thinking, Dave’s going to say something about Salvation through Jesus Christ. Of course that’s foundational, but knowing this thing will even make that most essential of truths easier to believe.

This truth will allow you to get through trials of all kinds.
This truth will allow you to rely on God in every circumstance.
This truth will allow you to step out on faith into the unknown.
This truth will help you to take risks in faith.
This truth will help you stand your ground.
This truth will help you to walk into God’s plan for your life.
This truth will help you to endure life’s pain.
This truth will help you to celebrate life’s joy.
This truth will help you to overcome worry and fear.
This truth will help you face everything you will ever face.

I know you might be starting to worry that this truth is amazingly complex, requiring massive biblical knowledge. It doesn’t. It’s expressed in three words, but believing these three words will radically change your life.

What are the three words…


Once you know that and truly believe it, the rest of things fall into place.

It’s TRUE. Believe it!