Archive for August, 2017

I almost titled this review “Don’t read Mike Dellosso unless you have nothing else to do” but then I thought it might dissuade someone from reading his work and that would be a mistake. This guy can write a page turner like few others. It’s just they’re really hard to put down. Centralia is a fast paced page turner that follows Peter Ryan, a man whose life is a complete mystery. When attacked this humble research assistant suddenly has fighting/military skills he doesn’t know he has and he doesn’t know why. His journey leads him to the mysterious town of Centralia, PA, a real life town that was abandoned because it sits above and underground mine fire that has been burning for decades. It’s abandoned state leaves it the perfect place for nefarious experiments and government conspiracies. I know it’s painfully cliche to say it this way but this book is a thrill ride.

I had the opportunity to meet Mike at the Montrose Christian Writers Conference. I sat in on a couple of his sessions on fiction writing and couldn’t wait to read some of his work. I was not disappointed. This book has everything, except the stuff that I’d just as soon not have. It’s clean and well written. It’s got a lot of action, some violence, but it’s not, for the most part, gory or gratuitous and while there is clearly a message of faith, it’s not oversimplified or cliched. Centralia is a thought provoking and original read that I highly recommend—especially if you have some time on your hands. As sated before, it’s really hard to put down.


I’m guessing someone needs this today. Thanks Bart, This’ll preach.

There’s a great song from the seventies by Jackson Brown called Running on Empty. It’s an ode to life on the road that leaves him Running on Empty. Have you been there? I know I have. This creative life is a joy. That is indisputable. We get to do what we enjoy and people even pay us to do it. Some days I have to pinch myself to realize I’m not dreaming. It makes me want to go, go, go, and I can for a long time, praise God. Ah, but that’s what we’ve got to remember. As Christian creatives, we are part of something bigger and we’re creating for someone bigger. We’re supposed to be doing what we do for God.

If we do this right, we’ll never find ourselves running on empty. It’s when we get out of balance that we get into trouble. You see God is our source and our strength and He is an unending supply. So if we find ourselves running on adrenaline and caffeine, we should probably ask ourselves who is driving this train we’re on. Remember this is not just art, it’s ministry. One of my favorite verses is 1 Peter 4:10. It says each one should use whatever gifts he has received to serve others, faithfully administering God’s grace in its various forms. It’s huge and important and it’s pretty much what launched me into this ministry. It says we should use whatever gifts we have to serve others and when we do this, it allows us to become instruments of grace, allowing us to point people to Jesus so they can receive His grace for themselves. It’s vitally important that we do this.

The context around the verse makes this even clearer. Verse 7 gives us a sense of urgency. “The end of all things is near.” This is a limited time offer. The time for us to love and serve is now, but it is crucial that we also see the verses after, especially this one. “If anyone serves, they should do so with the strength God provides, so that in all things God may be praised through Jesus Christ.” In this Christian creative life, God is supposed to get the glory. People are supposed to be drawn to Jesus rather than to us, but most importantly, where does the strength come from? We serve with the strength God provides. So if you’re running on empty, it probably means you’re in your own strength and outside the will of God. The good news it’s easy to get back on track. All you need to do is slow down and trust God.

It seems easy, right? Now all we have to do is do it. Running on empty? Let God fill you up.

These last few weeks have been a whirlwind and I am playing catch up. It was all good stuff and I was blessed to be a part of everything that I did, but a few things have suffered, one of which has been this blog. As you know, my usual practice here is to post seven days a week. I’ve often mentioned how I will sometimes post ahead so I can take days off, but this week that was not the case. I simply didn’t post and part of me feels badly about that.

On the other hand a few weeks back I was speaking with a guy who is sort of an expert on such things and he told me that I may be posting too often and burning my audience out. Other experts talk about the importance of consistency. My stats are fairly inconclusive because I know that creative ministry is kind of a niche and my potential audience is not really large to begin with. I so want to argue this point because I think all ministries need creativity, so my potential audience should be huge, but I digress. Maybe it’s time to ask the people.

So what say you, my faithful audience, is posting seven days a week too much? How many times a week should I post for your tastes? And while I’m asking questions, how can I help you in your creative ministry? What topics should I be pursuing? Rest assured I have plenty of ideas, Lord willing, that’s not usually been the problem, but I also want be sure I’m not answering questions no one is asking.

Let me know in the comments below.

Well I’m back from all my travels and it has been a great time but now we get back to work. So here’s where I’m at. I get back to reality, and I start to see all the stuff I missed on social media and of course I have all these opinion and some of the folks are saying stuff that seems, quite frankly, asinine and there is part of me that wants to pick it apart and fight about it. I have my own opinions, they’re almost always right (okay that’s humor, but I didn’t think they were right, they wouldn’t be my opinions, now would they?) The bottom line is after a week of really fulfilling ministry, this stuff took me way down, again and frankly I am pretty sick of it.

But fortunately the voices in my head were in alignment. It’s okay they’re good voices. First I heard old Samuel Clemens AKA Mark Twain remind me, “Better to be silent and to be thought a fool than to speak and remove all doubt.” Then I heard my Lord reminding me all about this “Love your neighbor” thing and I gave in. I won’t win anyone over in a battle of wits. It’s not that I’m unarmed, before someone says that, it’s because the people that have me all fired up are not the enemy. No the enemy is running rampant in our world right now. I still believe that the two candidates we had to choose from in the last general election put us on notice that this nation that picks it’s leaders is on notice, that we either need to repent or fall under judgment. We’re in trouble and everyone ought to be able to see that.

So since the people posting things I disagree with, even those with whom I vehemently disagree are not the problem, what do i do? I can’t fight. I won’t run especially since some of those who are people within the greater body of Christ, I need to return to my original thesis. The thing the Lord has laid on my heart and will not let up on.

The Gospel is STILL the answer.

My creative brothers and sisters, we don’t have time for another culture war. That thing is a distraction that serves to do nothing but take us off task. Our job as Christian creatives is and will always be to take the Gospel to the ends of the earth. What brings people to repentance? The Gospel. What changes hearts and minds? The Gospel. What turns sinners into saints? The Gospel. What did Jesus command us to take to the ends of the earth? The Gospel.

What to change the world? I’ll say it again…

The Gospel is STILL the answer.

Is it just me or are things getting worse at an alarming rate right now. I was away for two weeks. The first week was a disaster recovery mission trip. The physical work combined with the exhaustion afterwards combined with some really terrible wifi kept me pretty much out of touch with the outside world. Then last week I was having a great time working with adults with special needs at Delta Lake Bible Conference in New York and to be honest, I was just too busy ministering and enjoying these wonderful folks to pay much attention. Coming back to reality almost feels depressing, but there is Jesus so there is hope.

Part of me wants to weigh in on the political situation, but no that’s not the issue. An even bigger part of me wants to talk about how the media seems to be bent on dividing and destroying the nation, as if they will be above and immune to the fall. They won’t, but that’s not the issue either. They’re symptoms of a greater disease. We’re a nation that has turned it’s back on God and all this stuff is the fall out. The answer to our situation is actually pretty simple. And this is where you, Christian Creative, come in.

The Gospel is the Answer.

If humanity could fix our world, surely we would have done it by now. What is wrong with us will take the power of God to fix. So what will we do? I suggest we start off in prayer. I suggest we seek God. I suggest we ask Him how we might honor Him and point people to Him and then I suggest we act on what He shows us. What if we all turned our hearts to God? What if we all cast our cares on the One who cares for us? What if we began to create God-Inspired work designed to draw the hearts of the people back to their God? As for me, I am done worrying about the course of this nation. I am done wringing my hands in frustration and railing about the media and politicians. I serve a higher power, the highest power, and if you’re a Christian, so do you. I know the One who can fix the mess we’re in and I am determined to serve Him faithfully, making the most of every opportunity in these evil days (Ephesians 5:16).

First we pray… Then we act… Create faithfully to the Glory of God.

The Gospel is the Answer…