Archive for October, 2017

It’s not just Halloween folks, it was 500 years ago today that the church was changed forever. It was on this day that a young priest named Martin Luther nailed his 95 theses to the door of the Wittenburg church. It was the start of the protestant reformation. Let’s think seriously about what happened. A young priest started comparing the actions of the church with the teachings of Scripture and decided something needed to change. This was a bold move, one that could have cost him his life. What can we learn from this event? We believers need to be in the Word of God. We need to check teachings against the Bible. We need to follow Christ first and foremost and if anything, even the church, goes against God’s Word, we follow God and his Word first.  500 years ago today, the church was changed for all time. The church can and must stand on the Word of God, no matter what.


Okay it’s not what it seems. I have a love hate relationship with tipping. I see all of these posts about the dumb thing we believers do when tipping, leaving a tract and no tip, leaving a corrective note for the server, etc. I am sure most of these are probably blown out of proportion, but make no mistake about it: Tipping is a great way to be caught doing what’s right. If you’re going to leave a tract, leave a tip that lets them know God is good. This might even be a great way to get creative. How do you bless someone with a God-glorifying tip.

Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not sure I’m a fan of the current system. Part of me thinks it’s a ridiculous thing that needs to go away. Hear me, I tip and I’m not cheap about it, but I sometimes wish the restaurant proprietor would just pay his/her employees a living wage and let me just pay my bill. On the other hand it is kind of the world’s greatest merit raise. Do a good job and get an instant mini-raise, it’s kind of cool and it encourages people to do a great job. I’m just not sure what to say here. Servers if you read this, I love ya and I am with you, you work hard and you deserve what you get. And my fellow Christians, we will not fix this system by leaving bad tips or no tips or worst of all a written tip.

Sometimes the best way to glorify God, is to bless the people who serve us.

Today was a good day. I ministered at a great church in Virginia. I did a presentation (Pictures of Jesus) that I have done many times before. It’s one of my favorites, but it can be tough to share. You see, in among the five live paintings and all the work that it takes to set it up and tear it down, I share a lot of my story, and not just the touchy feely stuff, the good the bad and the ugly. I sometimes look out at the people and try to figure out what they think as I say this stuff, but it’s all true and I share it because it shows how good God has been to me and that’s sort of the point.

What I love about this, is I don’t share it so I can “bleed on the platform” I share it in hopes that it will help someone else. See every time God uses my story, He gets glory and something happens. My pain makes sense. All that stuff that was so hard to deal with, to live through, stuff that almost killed me, is now used to help people and that just blesses my socks off. But there’s something else to be considered. If I can hold on to this hope when I hit tough times, maybe instead of going to places of fear or depression I will begin to look for the goos that God can do through the situation. remember Romans 8:28 is true. “In ALL things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose.”

Maybe He’s working in something hard for you right now if thats the case, hold on to hope and let Him make your test your testimony. God can do more than we can ask or imagine.

Trust Him! 

I have a dream of presenting Pictures of Jesus in every state in the U,S. If you thinking it could bless you, contact me.

I just read a fantastic little book by church researcher, Thom Rainer, called I Will. The book is meant as a call to action to church members. Specifically it challenges us on nine major topics, such as, worship, study, growth, evangelism, etc. In typical Rainer fashion, the book is challenging, helping church members to see what it means to faithfully serve Christ. I am thinking of starting a new small group at my church. This book is a strong contender for our first study text.

If you watch nothing else today, spend 10 minutes and watch this…

Wow it must really seem like I have fallen off the face of the earth, or maybe that’s just ow it seems to me. I’d like to think that there are people out there waiting for my latest missive with baited breath. That may not be the case, but I still hope you’re blessed by something here.

It’s been hectic around here lately. Most everything is good, but it’s busy as all get out these days and yet I feel blessed. Last weekend I got to travel with my wife to Delta Lake Bible Conference to speak at their Haven Camp for adults with special needs. What a great time. Then on Monday and Tuesday I got to volunteer with Bob Lenz’ ministry as he brought great anti bullying messages to a few local schools. What a phenomenal ministry. From there I worked at my church for a few days, led Bible Study, prepared our worship service, led a MASTERpiece paint party for my former church, had dinner with my niece and her husband talking ministry and life, preached our Sunday Service, preached a second service at a local retirement home, spent some time with my son, daughter in law and grandson went to a class on enriching the lives of older adults and today I find myself back at my church. That’s a lot of stuff in just over a week. All great stuff.

And then there’s tomorrow. October 25th. It’s notable for many reasons. First of all it’s the birthday of one of my favorite artists, Jon Anderson of Yes. Secondly it’s the birthday of one of the world’s favorite artists, Pablo Picasso. It’s also been declared International Artist’s Day, probably because it’s Picasso’s birthday. I also read somewhere it’s National (or international, I can’t remember) Pasta Day and since Pasta is my favorite thing in the entire world to eat, that makes me happy. Of course the reason it’s notable to me is because it’s also the birthday of a lesser known artist, me. Yep, I share a birthday with Anderson, and Picasso and I was born on International Artist Day. All coincidental, and yet kind of cool for me. Why does any of this matter to you?

Well here’s the thing, it matters because it matters and it matters because it almost didn’t happen. Tomorrow I will be 54 years old but I almost didn’t make it past 22. You see at 22 I was broken and without hope, without faith and I just wanted to die. When I was 22 I tried to take matters into my own hands, but somehow, God stepped in and instead of dying, I cried out to God and He rescued me. It doesn’t seem possible that it’s 32 years, but those 32 years I almost didn’t get.

I’m working on a project (in the very early stages) called The Bonus Life. These 32 years have not all been easy, but man have they been worth it. In those years, I became a husband, a father, a grandfather. I became a professional artist, a professional writer, a professional speaker, and a minister of the Gospel. I have spoken in around 200 churches in 15 or 16 states (I’m starting to lose count). I’ve published books, published articles, published art, I’ve made friends all over the world. Not bad for a person who was so broken and hopeless. I call it the bonus life because I don’t deserve it and I almost missed it. I almost missed this beautiful, chaotic life. The most important thing that happened in all those years happened when I became a Christian. That is what has made all the difference.

I write this in case any of my readers are feeling broken or frustrated or hopeless to let you know the best may very well be yet to come. God is good and He has a good plan for you. Believe it.

So tomorrow, have a plate of pasta, make a piece of art and praise God with me for another trip around the sun. Then think about your own life and look for the places where love broke through and made all the difference. Speaking of which, here’s a song from a guy whose birthday was just a few days ago. It’s about as fitting as can be for my story.

Today I had the privilege of volunteering for set-up for speaker Bob Lenz’ Dignity Revolution presentation at a local high school. What a presentation! Using humor, stories and some really heartfelt truth, Bob encouraged the students to treat everyone with dignity and respect. We need more people saying this to more people more of the time. More than once, I wished I could have traveled back in time and had 16 year old me here this message.

The truth is every person has value.  Consider the price Jesus paid for us. The Son of God laid down His life in our place. The God of the Universe desires relationship with us so much that He allowed His only Son to be our sacrifice. We are loved, and there are a lot of people who do not know that to be true. The question we much ask church, is do people see their value to God in the way that we value them? This is something all who believe must strive toward.

Here’s a sample…

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