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!

It’s not like the old days. In the old days (and yes I know I’ve touched on this before, but bear with me) when I finished a piece of work, if I wanted the world to see it, there was only one possibility. Submit it to a lot of companies and wait to be picked. It rarely happened and it was, frankly, depressing. Those days are gone.

Now there is a third option: withhold your work and benefit no one, submit your work to other companies and possibly still benefit no one, and the third option, utilize the amazing array of tools available out there and put it out yourself. This is the option I have chosen time and time again and it’s great, but it’s also difficult.

covershotcolorbook4finFor example, I just posted two more of my Making Faces books for publishing. The files are being reviewed to make sure everything works and if I have my files correct, they will be available on Amazon, most likely today or tomorrow. Now you might be asking, “What kinds of sales are you having?” The truth is so far my sales have been very small, probably only making up a fraction of my time investment. Why continue to do this kind of work?

Well first of all because the ideas came and ideas are of great value, but only when brought to fruition. Secondly, and relatedly, if it doesn’t exist, no one will buy it, or for that matter be blessed by it. Thirdly, I am building something. Sooner or later, I will find the formula. I will create the thing that gets people’s attention, and when I do, guess what will happen. People will say, that was pretty cool, what else do you have and I will be able to point them to nearly twenty different books and products they might also like. You may not get an immediate return, but the work that we do is an investment.

covershotcolorbook3finReally it all comes down to this, you can sit on your ideas and lament every time someone puts their similar idea out before you (I’ve done that hundreds of times and believe me when I tell you, it stinks every time!) or you can be the one who takes the risk, does the work, and puts it out there for the world to see. I want to be the latter very single time.

Every piece of work you do is an investment. It builds your skills and it adds to the body of work you have available from which to reap a benefit. Plus, it’s usually fun.

One final thought, when it comes to our work, no one can buy what you don’t put out, and no one can benefit from what you keep to yourself—not even you. Put it out there!

Spoiler alert…
If you subscribe to my webcomic Creacher, you may not want to look at this post, or maybe you’ll want to take the sneak peak.
I started off thinking I was going to do a lot of quotes from other people and decided I would just do my own. These are some heartfelt (and hopefully humorous or thought provoking) ideas that I hope will touch and bless you.









If you don’t subscribe to my web comic, now here’s your chance.


Posted: August 29, 2016 in Thoughts on art ministry and life

It happens from time to time. You’ll see someone that just seems to charge ahead, get everything they want (or maybe everything you want) and they move up the ladder ahead of you. When that happens, jealousy is probably not far behind. Can I tell you, that is a waste of time.

Another thing that can really be a waste of time is changing what you do to try to jump the process. I was talking with my wife the other day about a ministry event I would love to be a part of. Lots of creative arts ministry types are involved but I can’t seem to get the invitation to present. I think what I have to offer could be a real blessing to everyone involved and it might open up whole new venues to the participants, but for one reason or another I’m not invited.

My wife pointed out something very important. What I do is different. I already knew this but the outside perspective was hugely beneficial. I do have an art ministry, but in my art ministry art is more of a tool than the end result. The art is subservient to the story—the message. That’s my call and while I don’t want to boast, it usually goes really well and I love it. For the others it’s about making great art, for me it’s about making the best piece of art I can make in a short period of time to draw people into the message I have been called to bring. It’s neither better nor worse, just different. Now I could change and do what they do, but I wouldn’t be as good as them and I also wouldn’t be as good at that as I am at what I do. The best thing I can do is be the best I can be at what I do and love and bless those who minister differently. Jealousy gets me nowhere. It’s far better to focus on what I am best at and the people who do invite me and I think that is the point.

Jealousy is all about focusing on what other people have and do. You don’t have time for that. Better to follow your own call and work out of your own gifting. The focus on the people who love what you do and give them the best you have in you.

Some day, I still hope to get that invitation and when I do, they won’t be sorry, but in the mean time I have lots of amazing places to go and that is the moment I choose to live in. Other than that, I need to focus on doing the work to create the best presentations I can give and developing the gifts I have been given.

In those rare moments when jealousy rears it’s extremely ugly head, we all need to push it aside and focus instead on being the best we can be.

One last thing, Please remember the last five letters of Jealousy are LOUSY. It’s not worth it!

The other day I heard this wonderful song from Casting Crowns and thought I have to share this. The song is not new to me, it just had been out of sight, out of mind for a while. To me this song represents where I find myself a lot of the time and I’m guessing you probably do too. We’re better than we were, but nowhere near where we want to be.

The most telling line in the whole song is a line that asks God a painfully poignant question. Just how close can I get Lord, to my surrender, without losing all control. Isn’t that really where we’re at? We want to surrender all, we really do, but we fear what will happen if we give Him control. The truth is control for us is an illusion. Surrendering all to God is the wisest thing we can do, and we know it. but for some reason it’s really hard to do it. There are things we want to control.

I remember a time in my life when I had a life threatening illness. In the midst of that, my heart and mind were drawn to my youngest son, ten years old at the time. My oldest was a grown man by this point. He’d be okay, but my youngest, he was still a little boy. “If I die, what will happen to him?” “Who will raise him?” Everything I thought I controlled was in question. I felt God in my Spirit reminded me that He loves my son more than I do. I wanted so bad to control that outcome, but I couldn’t. I needed to trust him and everyone else I love to the One who loves them more and I still do. How close can I get? As long as I am holding onto control I am not fully surrendered and fully surrendered is where I need to be.

Until I get there, I’ll be caught in the middle. This song will challenge you. Listen to it and ask God to show you the areas you’re still trying to control.

My last post was about being really prolific and those times when the creative inspiration is just flowing. As creatives, I think we all love those times. It’s almost like you can’t work fast enough. Of course, if you’re like me you have to be careful or those times come at a price. You do all that great creative stuff, but in the process you are tempted to push things like eating right, relationships,exercise and rest right out of your schedule. This is, always and forever, a bad plan, no matter how much fun you’re having and no matter how much work you’re getting done.

Your body needs a certain amount of rest every day. You also need some exercise. Writing and drawing are fun, but they’re not very active. Do this for too long and your body will rebel. You need to take breaks and get your exercise in and for goodness sake, go to sleep.

You also need to make sure you are caring for your soul and your relationships. When was the last time you opened your Bible? How about spending meaningful time in prayer? Do not neglect your spiritual disciplines because you’re on a roll. Remember where all that inspiration comes from (or at least is supposed to come from). That’s right it’s the one who instituted a day of rest under penalty of death in the Old Testament. I find that so fascinating. God knew that, given the choice, we would quite literally work ourselves to death so He had to force us to rest.

When was the last time you went out on date night with your spouse or spent some time with your kids. Don’t have a spouse or kids yet, good! Get yourself in the habit of relational health now. It will be worth it in the long run.

Being a creative is fantastic. Being an unhealthy creative? Not so much. Creativity is a gift from God and it an be your gift to the world. Don’t misuse it. Creativity needs a body to manifest its creations. You can’t create your best if you’re not healthy physically, mentally and especially Spiritually.

Take care of yourself. I have more to day on this, but it’s time for my walk.

herald9If you’ve been following the 2016 A Year In Art page you may be of the belief that I have been inactive. Nothing could be further from the truth. In the last month I have covered thousands of miles, ministered in three states, illustrated a 34 page children’s book and did 100 illustrations for my next two Making Faces drawing books and several weeks of Creacher Cartoons. This is in addition to my pastoral ministry. God has really been blessing me with ideas and the energy to get things done and it’s been great. That’s the thing about being busy. I’d rather get the work done than talk about it.

That being said, this morning, I caught up the 2016 a Year in Art page, and here is July’s Page!

It was the tagline for ABC’s Wide World of Sports. The Thrill of Victory and the Agony of Defeat. Ben Tankard had that in reverse. Ben was six feet, six inches tall by the time he was in sixth grade and everyone saw for him a future in the NBA.He went to college and eventually tried out for the NBA things were looking good until he came down from a jump and heard a pop. His knee was injured and his dream was over. One night at a church revival meeting he was called upon to play the piano and to his surprise he played better than he had ever played in his life. Supernaturally better as he says it. This led to mazing opportunities.

Today Tankard is an internationally recognized, award winning Gospel Jazz artist, an author, a pastor, reality TV star and private pilot. When his basketball dream ended, he found his true calling. This is the background of his new book The Full Tank Life. This motivational book successfully walks the line between Scriptural principles and motivation toward success. Using the acronym DESTINY, Tankard takes us through seven chapters to show us how to live out our God given destiny. With several excellent exercises designed to refine your focus, as well as quotes and personal stories Tankard makes a compelling case for trusting God and following Him to a better life. This is a well written, inspirational book that I recommend to anyone looking to figure out your career destiny.