Archive for March, 2019

Did you ever feel blocked creatively? Like the flow of ideas has just been cut off? I have a few things you may want to check.

1. Are you overly tired? Running ragged only lasts for so long, and remember this is from a guy who called his ministry AMOK! Sooner or later we all have to rest. Maybe you just need to take a little break. There’s no shame in it, as a matter of fact God commanded it in the “big ten.” Don’t bother telling me we’re not under the law but under grace on this one—trust me, rest is grace.

2.Are you over booked? I’m sort of in this phase right now. I booked too many things in a short period of time and the result is a million thoughts racing through my mind and a lack of focus and concentration.

3. Are you taking care of yourself? Living on three hours of sleep and copious amounts of caffeine and sugar (or worse) is a recipe for disaster. Take it from someone who lived it. You need to fuel yourself properly. Are you fueling yourself or fooling yourself.

4. Are you procrastinating on your call? Why would God give you another idea if you haven’t done the one He has already called you to?

5. Are you in sin? God is under no obligation to support a lifestyle of which He does not approve. His grace, mercy, love and righteousness, all prohibit it and for that you should be grateful. Check yourself.

Now assuming none of these is the issue, here’s what I recommend. Pray, pray harder and then pray some more and if none of the above is revealed, then start. Just doodle, or sketch or write whatever comes to mind and see what happens. This post was created in just that way, oh and by the way as I was working on the list, I got convicted on a few of them (namely 1 through 3) so learn from my mistakes.

You’re welcome.

Okay I’ll admit it, I’m a little behind. I’ve been trying to do a piece of art every day over at Beware of Artists. I’ve got a couple drawings done but no time to get them into the computer to finish the paintings and post them. I will catch it up, but in the mean time I would love to get your opinion on my gallery over at I’ve been putting work over there for years, and I’m really pretty proud of some of those pieces but few people get over there. If you get a chance, I’d love to you to go over and check it out. The work there is sort of a combination cartooning/pop art/low brow art with some other influences thrown in for good measure. I’d love to see which pieces you like best. You can see the gallery here.

Also I have been posting teeshirt art over at my Zazzle store for quite some time and I’d love to hear what you think of those designs as well. See them here. 

For the record, I’m not advertising for sales here, just wanting to have some people check out my work and let me know what you think.

Last night I finished up a two night revival series. I had such a great time and I love what I do so much. The first night I did Pictures of Jesus and last night was one I call Forgiven, which deals with forgiveness starting in Genesis and going all the way to the cross. I hadn’t done that one in a while but it was perfect for this lenten season we find ourselves in. There’s something in Forgiven that brings forward all the times when I have had to forgive and that can make me think about pain.

See, I’d be lying if I told you this artistic journey has been easy. There’s been tons of rejection, a lot of soul searching, times when I had hard lessons to learn, when I left my priorities run amok, and frankly times when others took advantage of me. Of course I haven’t even mentioned the bullying that happened throughout much of childhood for a kid who would rather draw a picture than do some of the stuff the other kids were doing. The road to where I am now has not been an easy one, but I praise God for the way he has brought me through to where I am now. He has taught me to depend on Him and for that I am grateful. My life now is better than I ever could have imagined.

At the end of the service last night I met a young artist, looking for her place in the church and the arts. As she spoke, at times I felt like I was hearing my own voice, our stories in some ways seemed similar. She wants to use her gift to serve the Lord. Man, that excites me. Maybe in some small way, I was used to inspire her and I really hope God fans that spark into a flame. You see every time someone hears what God has given me to share and moves forth in it, I get a little more clarity. Who knows? Maybe the things I went through will help someone else to persevere, and do the work and thrive to God’s glory. If God uses me, even in small ways, if the things I’ve been through help someone else, I get to see the purpose in the pain.

Romans 8:28, one of my favorite verse in Scripture says “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” I am living proof that this verse is true, so if you’re going through a tough time, know this. If you love God, there is a purpose in the pain. Persevere, one day God will use it, and you, to do something really important and for your good.

By the way, if my new friend reads this, and you need help in your journey, don’t be afraid to reach out. If I can help, I want to.

So here I sit. It’s been three or four days since my last post, a post where I proclaimed a turning point in my thought process and a direction I intend to wholeheartedly pursue. And I’m stuck. Now I’ll be the first one to admit, I have really been busy and this week will continue to be pretty intensely busy, but that’s not the biggest struggle. The biggest struggle has been a lack of focus and to some degree vision. Have you been there?

The problem is not a shortage of ideas. No the ideas are coming very quickly, the problem is taking those ideas and making them tangible. Taking the visions to reality. I see things in my mind, but I can’t quite figure out how to make them real. In some cases, I struggle with the “wouldn’t it be cools.” You know like “Wouldn’t it be cool if I animated it?”, or “Maybe it would be cool if I made this into a multimedia presentation.” The idea gets bigger and bigger, but it remains just that an idea. Lots of cool dreams, but nothing gets done.

What I need is to focus. How about you? I need to get an idea and run with it. I need to start putting things on paper. I need to look at the things that I am doing and decide which things are truly productive, and which things are just “time vampires.” You know, those things that suck up my valuable time. I need to resist the urge to go to social media and put my nose to the grindstone. I need to do what I can get done today and if a project hits a stuck point, I need to quickly decide if this is something to power through, look for help or shelve it for something I can accomplish and finish while I search for what’s missing in the stuck project. I need to say things like, “Did I really need to enter into one more creation a day challenge or would my time have been better spent making my own dreams reality.

To be clear, it’s not like I’m getting nothing done. I am working hard for my church, I’m writing sermons, preaching revivals, working on a master’s class, and trying to get my speaking schedule full not to mention being a husband, father and grandfather, and that is the other thing we all need to remember. Frustration with not getting our dream projects done is not the same as doing nothing. Sometimes we need to stop and smell the roses, realize things are being accomplished and know that it’s okay. Sometimes the biggest enemy of vision and focus is that self-defeating feeling that you can never do enough, or the need to do one more thing.


Hi everyone,
It’s been a little while since I have posted. Part of the reason for that is I have just been very busy and for the most part, that is a very good thing, but there’s something else. I’ve been doing a little soul searching. You see I’m kinda angry. I see my faith, my friends and my God belittled over and over again as I watch the nation I love falling further and further away from what we are supposed to be and frankly a larger portion of the church going along with the culture rather than being the salt and light we were called and created to be, and I have had enough.

Part of me wants to join in the melee. Part of me wants to jump into the fracas for the purpose of defending my faith, my God. Part of me wants to take to whatever channels I can find, decry the wrongs I see all around me, call out all the perpetrators, especially those in the church who ought to know better, blast the blasphemy, annihilate the apostasy and just go on a reign of holy terror. I feel like at this point in history, it would almost be justified. Almost…

And then I wonder, is all my work in the arts and in the church really doing anything, or am I focused on the right things. Again most of this comes from my desire to fight.

But then I think of my calling. I think of why I am here and I think of the conduct of the One I claim to follow (and for the record, desire and try to follow). What would He have me do? At this point, my heart and mind was drawn to Ephesians 6:12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Diving into the fracas for me would be nothing more that adding to the noise. Blasting people on social media, the internet and other places, would be nothing more than a battle against flesh and blood, and while I confess that might be cathartic at times, I’m not sure it’s Christlike, at least not for me. Instead I think about this weird acronym I selected for this ministry, A.M.O.K. It stands for Arts Ministry Outreach for the Kingdom. The mission is simple, using my gift to take the Gospel to the ends of the earth. If I am going to fight the real enemy, then I must use the weapons I have been given. And so this is my turning point. I’ve had enough of the way things are, and I am going to do what I can to change it in ways that will hopefully actually matter. I’m going to take these gifts that God has given me, and the Sword of the Lord (the Word of God) and I am going to do battle the right way. If you’re in, join me.

I’ve had ENOUGH of the way things are. STAY TUNED!

Every once in a while I feel like I am struggling for significance. Like there is so much more I could be doing. I didn’t say it was right. I didn’t say it made sense. It’s just one of those things that pops into my head that sometimes frankly I need to deal with. Then I heard this song, and it really hit me hard. This is the ultimate legacy.

I think as creatives we aspire to do our best work. I think as humans we aspire to reach new heights and as Christians we aspire to be more Christ-like (or at least we should). Aspirations can be really good things, but then there are other times. I was chatting with a friend last night who is also in ministry and who also does some itinerant ministry. He’s getting to do ministry at some larger events and something weird started to happen. I started to want to complain that sometimes I feel like I can’t seem to get into the larger places. Thankfully I caught myself and I share this here not as a way of venting that complaint but to share the danger. For the record, I don’t think there is anything wrong with aspiring for a larger platform. It takes the basically same amount of work to prepare to speak to ten people or ten thousand and as people entrusted with the Great Commission, “the more, the merrier.” The trouble comes when we start to complain.

You see we serve in a big world in an even bigger universe, and we don’t always understand everything that is happening around us. This is magnified when we consider the Spirit realm, and we Christians should always consider the Spirit realm. Who knows? I may have more spiritual impact talking to a crowd of ten than a group of ten thousand. I’ll tell you who knows, God does. He opens he doors. He gives the opportunities and He knows what needs to happen. We are called to faithfulness. He provides the impact. So whether you think what you’re doing is big or small, only God knows the significance. To paraphrase Paul, some plant, some water, but God brings the growth. Remember Philippians 1:6 “…He who began a good work in you, will carry it through the completion in the day of Christ Jesus.” We need only be faithful.

Don’t stop aspiring to do great work. Don’t stop aspiring to do great things. But bring your best to any and every situation, whether it looks large or small, because you never know what God will do. I love these songs. They both inspire me to aspire, but in vastly different ways. Which is right? They both are. Aspire to do great things, make the most of every opportunity. Honor God in everything.

By the way, in case you wonder, I am grateful for ever opportunity, large or small, because in truth every ministry opportunity, in the hands of Christ, carries with it the chance of eternal significance. If I can be of service to you, please contact me.

From time to time, I will join a creative challenge online. I did Inktober in October and it unleashed a whole new kind of art in me. This month, I found a challenge called Marchartoons, which challenges me to create a different character each day based on a prompt. I was thinking of doing a few of these for April. The one for this site would be AMOKApril and would contain a different Christian art challenge prompt each day, and then on Beware of Artists, I would do April Runs AMOK with a more “secular” challenge. If I do this, would anyone be interested in participating? Please let me know in the comments.

In the mean time, I have been posting my Marchartoons to social media and to my visual art blog, Beware of Artists. Here is today’s creation for the prompt “PLANT.”

It would figure that the day after I finish designing villainous plants for our flower show, the prompt of the day would be “plant.” I decided to go with a classic. Audrey II. One thing this always reminds me of is the old adage. What you feed grows, what you starve dies. It applies to murderous plants from outer space, and it applies to the attitudes and actions we carry through this life. Feed the positive and let the negative starve!

Well it’s almost here. Today is the day when I drop off my last piece of art for the flower show. The last few months have contained a lot of hard work and a lot of fun. This has truly been one of the most enjoyable experiences of my art career. I got to design some really fun and memorable characters, but even better I got to work with some really fun and memorable characters and I had a ball.

It’s funny. I’ve spent most of my career looking to start a creative arts team and to a one they have fizzled. Who’d have thought I would find that team at a retirement community? But sure enough, there they were, extremely talented gifted people with some extra time on their hands and a passion for creativity. I have been thoroughly blessed by this experience.

Another nice thing was while I had a lot of creative freedom, I didn’t have to lead this project. I got to work with an amazing creative who had a lot of ideas of her own and who was able to lead the project and bring some of my craziness to life. There was no territorialism or any of that other stuff that can plague creative efforts. It was just a dynamic environment. Did we have limitations? Absolutely, but limitations are just another creative challenge. How can you do the best with what you have? I have loved this experience and despite the anticipation of seeing the final result and seeing the audience enjoy it, I am sorry to see this project come to an end.

Here’s the thing. I never could have done this whole thing myself. It’s a huge undertaking and there were a lot of things done that are outside my skill set, but in this collaboration, I made some new friends, got to have a great time, and got to be a part of something that is bigger than me. Collaboration is great. Oh and by the way, if you have a project and you’re looking for help, check out your local retirement community. You just might find some really gifted people with the time to do the work and a work ethic that is nothing short of inspiring.

I’ve been doing the One Year Bible in my Christmas present, The Jesus Bible. I’m reading a week ahead so I can get my sermons from the reading so the participating members in the One Year Bible Reading, will be hearing messages from their reading. Well I’ve decided not to just read the text, but to ask read all the commentaries that go with it and The Jesus Bible has some great ones. Here is today’s commentary on Mark 16:1-8. I don’t usually post things directly from other sources, but I needed this today and I am sure I’m not alone.

“Living in this broken world, people know defeat all too well. Everyone has experienced a relationship where someone let them down, or a situation that didn’t work out the way they hoped. These moments of disappointment or frustration reveal the tragic fact that this world is deeply flawed. Even though believers live in the hope of the resurrection and the victorious life that Jesus promises through His Spirit, He still calls on us to live in this world, where we experience death, brokenness, mourning and pain (in contrast to the coming Kingdom; Revelation 21;4)

Jesus’ resurrection reveals to believers the true way to life. Those who think that the abundant life consists or finding one’s way around suffering and hardship have a misguided perception of what Jesus promised. Jesus’ life and example teach that the way to a full life consists of service, hardship, opposition, pain and suffering. Believers look at Jesus’ life and see that God’s best plan for His Son was to stay close to Him through the most unimaginable of circumstances. The New Testament shows many times over that God was with His Son until the end, when Jesus took our sin upon Himself and suffered on the cross.

But the good news is God didn’t leave His Son in the grave! Because Jesus submitted to the point of death, and then defeated death, He paved the way for all people to find eternal life. By submitting Himself to death, Jesus found life. “For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me and for the Gospel will save it” (Mark 8:35). It’s only in surrendering to His will and His way that believers actually find the fullness of life as God intended it. Giving is the key to gaining.

In all of this, Jesus is victorious. He was, is and always will be undefeated by sin, by death and by the grave. His victory is found in the fact that He was, and is, a selfless servant. In graciously giving His life, He also created a pathway to the life that is truly life eternal.”

Keep this in mind as you face whatever you face today.