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!

I’ve been trying to express the way I’ve been feeling lately and that usually comes out in cartoons, So here’s a preview of this week’s Creacher.
Sometimes the best way to vent is to hit the old sketch board. Guys there is hope. We just need Jesus!

There have been times over the course of my life where I really have struggled with anxiety. This really came to a head a couple of years ago after a mild heart attack. I finally broke down and saw a psychologist. We only had a few sessions but it was very helpful. She brought out the idea that anxiety was usually the result of our fight or flight response. Namely when we feel threatened, the most primitive parts of our brains will take us to one of two places, fight or run (flight). The real anxiety comes when neither of this options is appropriate.

I remember this from being bullied as a kid. What was I going to do? If I ran from the bullies they would catch me, if I fought they would just beat me down, so instead I would just deal with anxiety that would manifest itself in a variety of symptoms.

My confession is, I’m kind of feeling that way again. I went on social media today and saw a post that was just horrible and blasphemous, maligning my God and my faith. I responded and was soon corrected by a friend asking me to understand where the people were coming from, basically blaming my faith for the existence of this kind of behavior and hatred. It wasn’t personal, but it sure felt like it. To be honest that really hurt me, because for the last 18 years I have devoted my life to helping people in the name of Jesus and I have met literally thousands of people trying to do the same thing. Are we perfect? No! Have we made mistakes? Yes! While we might disagree, we don’t hate, and no matter how many people try to position it that way, disagreement and hate are not the same thing. All those old feelings came flooding back. I made what to my mind was a very polite stand and really felt knocked down for it and to be honest, for the rest of the day I have kind of felt those old feelings. The stuff that’s going on in our world right now has me feeling like I don’t have a choice but to take whatever people dish out, because otherwise I’m the bad guy. And that’s when it hit me. This is the new bullying.

So what am I going to do in a world where I can’t fight and I can’t run? Well I’ve had enough of anxiety for at least one lifetime and I refuse to go back. So what am I going to do? Well, first of all I’m going to take the advice that I would give anyone else, which is forget about what you feel, go with what you know. I know who I am in Christ. I know what I am called to do and I know what I am commanded to do. I am called to speak the truth in love and creatively communicate His Gospel and I am commanded to love. If I’m doing those things and people still hate, it’s on them. Jesus told us this wouldn’t be easy, so I’ve got to stop expecting that it will. I’m commanded to love, even to love those people who could call themselves my enemies.

I guess what I am saying is this. Life is to short for anxiety. I have to do what’s right and trust God. You probably should do this too.

Someone dear posted about a struggle she is having over the use of the light of the world passage in the inauguration. I actually didn’t see it, not because I was boycotting or anything, but simply because I was working and didn’t have time to get away. I’m sure we come at things from different points of view. I’m older and somewhat more conservative and yet I could understand her angst. If you’ve been following this blog you know I think the election was sort of a no win situation and wonder if our two choices don’t reflect a nation under judgment. Nonetheless, her post spawned this response.

“Here’s what He [Jesus] said, “You are the light of the world, A city on a hill cannot be hidden, nor do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on a stand and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way let your light shine before people that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.” Politics is part of the world system, and while occasionally people go in there and shine, government is not usually where the light comes from. At another point in Scripture Jesus said He was the light of the world. We reflect His light. We need to pray for our government, but we can’t wait for it. We need to shine. We need to do good for others in God’s name, whatever the government does and even in spite of the government sometimes. Darkness doesn’t exist. Darkness is the absence of light. When you find yourself in darkness, the best thing to do is shine.”

Regardless of your political position, what’s done is done and our job remains the same. We Christians are in this world to reflect the light of Jesus. Once you cast your vote, your part in the process largely came to an end. It is time to get back to shining the light by doing good and working in faithfulness to live a life of blessing and grace. If we are faithful to our calling, God will be glorified and when God is glorified, in big and small ways, things change.

So here’s how my morning went. I left for church in time that I could be early to church.  I have about an hour commute to my church but I can save a good deal of time if I take the highway as opposed to the preferable, safer and more scenic route. Well today there was road construction and my commute ballooned from one hour to two and a half. That was aggravating, but it was not what frustrated me.

I turned on my radio to take a little mental break from the traffic. I was in a place where reception was pretty terrible, so I used my seek feature to find a station and I found a really good one. A classic rock station, the music of my teen years. Song after song were favorites from a bygone era and I was quite happy, even singing along (which I’m not very good at so I usually only do it in the car when I’m alone) and that’s when the frustration started. I’d be in the middle of a song (isn’t it amazing how those lyrics just seem to come back) and before long though I would become conscious of what I was singing and how I had no business singing those words. I’m not a prude, I just can’t justify those words with my faith and world view. Song after song had something objectionable in it. Guys, this is music that I LOVE! Songs that bring back great memories. Great songs that said things I have no business repeating. It’s frustrating.

I’m not asking that they be Christian lyrics. I love Jesus and I love worship music, but I am more than okay with songs that speak to other aspects of life, though I know in my heart faith covers all aspects of life. I guess I just wonder why so few people felt the need to keep it clean, positive and, dare I say, up-lifting. I still want to love those songs and in most cases I still do, I just wish they had made better choices lyrically, because those lyrics really do stay with you.

All that is in the past, what’s done is done, but here we are creatives in 2017 and I think we have a responsibility to bring the best we can to all aspects of life so that people in the future can look back on what we do right now and have nothing but happy memories with no regrets or frustration. You really can be challenging, thought provoking, stimulating and even world changing while keeping it clean.

Just make art. Clean, uplifting, positive art with something to say that matters.

If I’m going to speak on credibility, I have to start with an apology. I am very sorry that I have not been posting as regularly as I intended.  I am going to go back and fill in posts for all those days. This is not an attempt to be dishonest and make people think I posted every day when I didn’t, but rather a way to keep to my commitment of a daily post. I will try to do better. Being dependable is a big part of being credible.

You may want to kick back against my title today. Of course you can point to a million other things each of us has, salvation in Christ being foremost, but when it comes to everything we do as believers, credibility is huge and when it comes to spreading a message, the chief goal and calling of followers of Christ, credibility is of the utmost importance. What good are you if people don’t believe you?

Consider the news media. I’ve come to the point where I rarely watch the news anymore. No I’m not trying to live an uninformed life, nor am I becoming some kind of separatist. I just have found them to be dishonest too many times. Spinning a story to support your point of view is not the same as truth and this is what I see too much of the time. Spin me and you lose your credibility. Fox News calls themselves fair and balanced. They’d be so much more credible if they said we look at the world from a conservative point of view. Similarly all the rest of the networks act as if they do not have a liberal bias and when they do that, poof, there goes their credibility. I don’t mind your spin, I just want you to admit there is one. We all have points of view and opinions, maybe you’re better off admitting your bias than trying to hide it.

But there is one area where credibility is extremely huge and that is in communicating the Gospel. Lose your credibility here and you damage the cause of Christ. So let me put mine out there. I am on team Jesus. I try my best to live my life following His example and His Word. That being said I am a flawed human being who fails many times. To act as if I have this all figured out is to lose all credibility. My faith colors my world view. I believe the teachings of The Holy Bible. I believe salvation comes through Christ. To say I believe anything else is to lose my credibility. Does this make me hateful? No! As a matter of fact, I follow a God who tells me to love my neighbor, my friends, my family, even those who would consider themselves to be my enemies, and I try, imperfectly to live this out as well. Part of that love is to share the truth as I believe it. Disagree with me. It’s okay, I love you. Disagreement is not intolerance, it’s disagreement.

Credibility is huge. As a Christian, this means I have to live what I believe and apologize when I fall short. How do you stay credible? We’re tasked with communicating His message so this really, really matters.

You may have heard this analogy before, but it bears repeating. Which are you, a thermometer or a thermostat? What does that mean? Well a thermometer tell you what is going on, temperature wise. On the other hand a thermostat changes the temperature. Most people are thermometers. They are acutely aware of the things going on around them. They can tell you all about it, but they feel powerless to do anything about it. On the other hand, thermostat people know what’s going on around them and they change the temperatures of their lives. They don’t just observe what is happening, they do something about it.

Ultimately, the choice is yours. Which will you be?

I went over to my email account to find out that none other than Cece Winans follows me on Twitter. I am honored to have her onboard at least in part because it will also mean that she sees these posts, maybe even this one. If you see it, Ms. Winans, thank you for following.

Believe it or not I didn’t just share this to show that someone important follows me. Hopefully by now you realize you are all important to me and more importantly to our heavenly Father and He has great things in mind for each and every one of you. No the main reason I share this is to remind you how small this connected world is. This wonderful tool called the internet allows us tremendous reach. You never know who you will be used to reach touch and bless. Sure sometimes it might be a Grammy winning artist, but the real prayer should be that it will reach and touch the one who desperately needs to hear what you have been given to share.

The point is this, we need to be faithful with whatever we have been given and from there we need to trust that God will use what we do to His glory. We may not know how we have been used on this side of the grave, but God is faithful. Submit your gift to Him and trust.

Here’s Ms. Winans doing one of my favorites.