Archive for April, 2013

I just started reading Jon Acuff’s new book called Start. The basic concept is to move from average to awesome. The first step is very simple. You need to Start.

The first step is to overcome fear. One of the big things is dealing with the “voices in your head” and what they tell you, the way they discourage you, etc. Don’t worry, I haven’t gone crazy and other than “the still small voice” I don’t hear actual voices, but there are those things we tell ourselves and inner voices that keep us from trying to succeed. My confession is fear kicks me around a lot.

He suggests you write down what the voices of fear and doubt tell you and he suggests you share them (actually he tells us to punch fear in the face). Well since I have a blog, I thought I would share them here.

Here’s what I hear. I hear that I’m a loser. That my ideas will never work. From there it can go into a downward spiral. And every mistake I make will somehow ruin me. The truth is all those things are absurd. I am a child of God, I am working toward my dream and the Lord is using the gifts He has placed in me to do some good in the world. These are all the things I need to remember and maybe you do too.

The bottom line from the Bible that we all need to remember is we were not given a spirit of fear but a Spirit of Sonship. The spirit of fear is a lying spirit. You can do great things, you might even be able to be awesome. The first step is putting fear in its place.

If you’ve ever been blessed by my ministry, you need to know it almost didn’t happen. You need to know there was a time when I was nearly destroyed, a time when I was in danger of losing everything, my wife, my family, everything and I was so blind I couldn’t even see it. What makes it even worse is why I was about to lose it. The wedge that was being driven between me and everything good in my life was my art. Now I know that may seem strange. Today art is a tool I use to preach the gospel all over the place but at that point it was my idol. I always reasoned that one day, when I “made it” (whatever that means) my family would have it all. What they really wanted was me but I was blind.

If you’ve ever been blessed by my ministry, you should praise God for October 4, 1997 because that’s the day it all turned around. Some guys from the church were going to Washington, DC to a Promise Keepers Event called Stand in the Gap and reluctantly I went.

That day it felt like God got a million men together from all over the world to talk to me. (I’ve talked to several others who felt the same way.) Each speaker in the above video seemed to know exactly all that I was doing wrong and hammered it. If you saw the man that asked us to take a picture out of our wallets as we prayed, that was the breaking point. The picture was to be of someone we had wronged. I had two pictures, my wife and my sons. He had us pray face down in the dirt asking God to forgive us and help us to fix the relationship. By the end of the day I had a major change. I took my wife and kids off the altar to my art and put my art on the altar of God. I laid art down and told God I would never pick it up again unless I was doing it for Him. I got my call to ministry that day and about six months later God gave me my art back as a tool to spread the Gospel.

If you’ve ever been blessed by my ministry, now you know how it happened and why it exists.

If you’re in a place where things are out of balance, take a look at your life. Are the right things on the right altar in your life or does something need to be laid down? Is there something in you that needs to change? Maybe today is the day to let God change your life.

Near the end of the day that day, Tony Evans made a statement that I will never forget. He said basically,

If you want a better world, composed of better nations, inhabited by better states, filled with better counties, made up of better cities, comprised of better neighborhoods, illuminated by better churches, populated by better families, then you have to start by becoming a better person!

Changing the world might just start by changing you.

Check it out!

A friend of mine posted this meme on Facebook.
I beg to differ.
You may think this has nothing to do with arts and ministry…
Again, I beg to differ

You see posts like this show what we’re up against as we take the Gospel to the world around us. People see absurdities like this one and want to agree. I call it an absurdity very simply because it is. Consider this:

The person quoted assumes that the only way prayer works, the only way God can be God is if he demonstrates Himself to us, as if God is our lap dog, waiting to obey our every command.

The thing is if God can only be God if he does what we say, when and exactly how we say it, He’s not really God is He? I mean if God has to do what you say to be your God, doesn’t that make you god? The only time God invites us to test him is when He asks for the tithe, and in the New Testament during Jesus’ temptation, he declares, quoting Deuteronomy 6:16, “Do not put the Lord your God to the test.”

Now I know that the Bible talks of casting lots and Gideon (thanks Tania) put out the fleece and I know that there are times where we ask God for a sign, however, in these times it’s not about testing God, it’s about discerning His will trying to be more faithful.

There is a huge difference.

I just finished reading a little book called The Connection Brand by Jared Latigo. It’s very short, took less than two hours to read, but it was really quite nicely done with a lot of great information.

His basic premise is that there are three “superpowers” that allow us to connect with our customers, tribe, etc. They are stand, relationship and psychology and Latigo asserts (and I agree) that we all have strength in at least one of these areas. The tag line of the book really says it all. “Turning your clients into your most dedicated salespeople.” One of the huge questions he puts forth is “Why do you do what you do?” I thought I really had this down, but really thinking on this made me refine and redefine what it is that I do. This is more than just a business book, though. This is a book that will help you better connect with people throughout your life. Written from a faith perspective, this book will help with one of the greatest needs of our disconnected generation, the ability to connect.

I’ll be away for the next few days on a little anniversary trip so I thought rather than go completely silent, I’d share three of my favorite videos that I have done, in hopes that they will trigger your creativity.

I’ll be away for the next few days on a little anniversary trip so I thought rather than go completely silent, I’d share three of my favorite videos that I have done, in hopes that they will trigger your creativity.

I’ll be away for the next few days on a little anniversary trip so I thought rather than go completely silent, I’d share three of my favorite videos that I have done, in hopes that they will trigger your creativity.

I saw this image on Facebook the other day and it bears repeating.
It’s my favorite quote from Yoda. There is no try… Do or Do Not. This is not to say there is no value in trying, but after a while, you’ve got to stop trying and just do it. Create the masterpiece, show it to the world and let the chips fall where they may.

This speaks to me today, how about you? Is there a positive area in your life where you need to stop trying and just do it? Is there a negative area in your life, where you need to stop trying and commit to quitting and living better?

Today is my lovely wife’s Birthday and unfortunately we are about 250 miles apart but I want to take the time to thank God for a wonderful wife who has supported me through a lot of stuff and helped me to become something better. She is the one God used to draw me to Himself and marrying her was the second best decision I have ever made. She has given me two wonderful sons and a multitude of blessings. I am truly blessed. What can I say… I love my wife. Happy Birthday, Honey!

Incidentally, if you’re reading this and you’re single, this is the kind of spouse you should be looking for. One who builds you off and helps you to become better than you can be on your own and helps you to walk close with your God. If you’re married, the above is the type of spouse you should try to be.

I should probably add at this point that Dawn and I will be married 25 years this Tuesday. As a result, as soon as I leave the conference I am currently at, We will be taking a few days off. AMOKArts will most likely go silent from the 21st to the 23rd.
I’ll be back Wednesday.