Archive for October, 2021

In this week’s passage, Jesus was taking the religious leaders to task for not understanding the signs of the times. The question for us all is do we understand them? Listen to the message to learn more.


Posted: October 30, 2021 in Uncategorized

It’s not quite 3:00 a.m. and I am exhausted. Another nightmare. In this one I was wandering in the woods well after dark. I was at some kind of music festival but in a foreign country, we were sleeping in these elevated tents ten to twelve feet off the ground (I’m afraid of heights), and earlier in the day we had been warned not to be out after curfew because it was not safe. Well of course I found a reason to have to leave my tent in the middle of the night (probably answering the call of nature) and upon trying to return to my tent, I could not find it, hence the wandering. I woke up terrified and it seemed to take an extended period of time to realize I was safe at home. It was at least my second such nightmare this week and the other one was much worse. Now I am a person who knows the importance of rest and the fact that I don’t get anywhere near enough. I have to confess it gives me questions for God, like I know I could be a lot healthier and I know that I need to get more rest, but when I am trying to rest, I have nightmares or may brain just goes into overdrive and I can’t turn it off. Either way, I feel like I am finally doing what I can to rest and am being deprived of it, and my primary question for God is “Why?” The thing is, you should only ask God why if you really want to know.

My mind was drawn to this verse, Psalm 127:2: “In vain you rise early and stay up late, toiling for food to eat— for he grants sleep to those he loves.” This is my problem. No it’s not that He doesn’t love me, I know He does. It’s the fact that I am really pushing myself these days, and I fear I am trying to do too much in my own strength. It’s really easy to convince myself that I need to stay up a little later or get up a little later (usually both), and that if I really try hard, I can do one more thing. When I finally do lie down, my brain seems to wander to what else needs to be done. It dwells on anything I think I missed and before long even the rest I try to give myself is gone. In those moments I try to pray but even prayer becomes a non-stop list of distractions. I need to rest.

Instead I find myself staring at my screen, trying to capture these thoughts in hopes of helping someone else, even as I ask myself is this really the best use of my time. Basically it’s another conflicted bear of a night. My prayer is this will help someone else, and if you think of it, send up a prayer for me. I’m going to try to go back to sleep.

Inktober/Productober 2021

Posted: October 29, 2021 in Uncategorized

I compiled all of this year’s entries into one video. This is a little different from my ministry art, but I felt like it helped build my skills and challenged my creativity. I hope it blesses you.

One of the things that really inspires me creatively is seeing God at work in His creation. Some friends of mine, Matt and Charlotte Kulp have a channel called Monarch Miracles, which tells many interesting facts about the Monarch Butterfly, as well as other nature topic. Matt and Charlotte have been raising Monarch butterflies for years and after showing many people amazing acts they decided to put out a Chanel where they can share these interesting creatures with a wider audience. They’re just getting started, but they do really nice work. Check out their channel and subscribe if you like it.

I met Naomi at the Montrose Christian Writer’s Conference and I was intrigued by what she is doing. She creates short videos about God and His creation. She brings up some of the greatest facts and lately she has been doing a daily devotional series, It’s a lot of fun facts that are great for all ages, and will really help to inspire you creatively. Check out her channel Credit the Creator and subscribe if you like it.

Here’s a sample.

My wife has said more than once that this will be my epitaph. I would not be surprised that if I am allowed to look back from the great beyond that I will see it on my tombstone. There are worse things I suppose, but here’s the truth. I doubt the pressure to accomplish everything I am setting out to do is coming from God and that really is a problem, In truth I am writing this after a post I just wrote on insomnia which I finished with I’m going to try to sleep and I am writing this post because I realized I missed a couple of posts this week. I don’t know if you missed those posts or not, but it bothered me so much that I did not reach my goal that I felt like I just had to do one more thing. Hopefully this post will do something more than just fill some OCD need in me. Hopefully it will help you to see my madness and choose something better, At the end of the day, I know God doesn’t want any of us to work ourselves into an early grave. If you’re doing that, pray for a way to stop it and pray I find one too.

You really don’t have to do one more thing. All you need to do is what God has given you to do. Anything beyond faithfulness is obsession.

I Turned 58 This Week

Posted: October 25, 2021 in Uncategorized

Today is my birthday. Well actually I should have written this on my birthday, but I was consumed by a few really important things and so I didn’t get a chance to post. Through the miracle of WordPress, I will post this message as if I had. I just want to take a moment to praise the Lord for giving me another year. As I look back on this journey, I am perpetually amazed at His goodness and provision. He has provided me with a wonderful life. A great family, a loving wife, a fantastic career/calling and a wonderful church. He has allowed me to travel the country ministering the Gospel and meeting some of the coolest people on earth. Hopefully I will get to do a lot more of that in the year to come. This past year I got my master’s degree, became a doctoral student and learned a lot of new skills. It was also a very difficult year where I lost several people who were very important to me. Thankfully each of those losses came with the hope of a reunion in heaven which at the very least tempered that loss. In the year to follow, I am praying for open doors to share the Gospel wilh many more people including some of my loved ones and one more thing, I am praying for balance. I am starting to see that I have once again fallen into the trap of being far too driven in some areas of life and creating a lot to self imposed deadlines that are all good things, but I sometimes wonder what God things they are pushing out. I believe I need to become more aware of my personal mission and God’s calling and learn to say no, especially to myself. putting aside the good in favor of the best. I pray you have found that balance as well. Thanks for reading I pray this has been of help to someone out there today.

In the Scriptures we see the full range of human emotions in Jesus, but there is one time where it looks like He is just being pointlessly cruel. Rest assured cruelty is a sin and Jesus never sinned, and nothing Jesus ever does is pointless. In reading this passage and preparing this message, one of the things I came to realize is there are times in all of our lives where it might feel like the Lord is being a little mean, but this passage shows us the truth.

Illustrating the Unpopular

Posted: October 23, 2021 in Uncategorized

I know just yesterday I posted about staying in my lane. but then I saw something that just really frustrated me. A friend posted a meme suggesting that the minimum wage be raised to $25 and the meme alluded to this being for McDonalds employees. My wife tried to respond in good faith and received all kinds of things about the deserving poor including why high school kids deserve to earn $25 per hour. She was right. Here’s why it won’t work.

If the McDonalds employee currently earn the minimum wage and is moved to $25 per hour, that roughly triples the owner of said restaurant’s labor costs, labor being among the highest costs of running a business. For the moment let’s just look at one possible solution. He raises the prices. The current cost of my favorite McDonald’s burger, the quarter pounder with cheese is $3.79. Now the owner saves a little money with me because I think onions are nasty, but I digress. Let’s say she is feeling magnanimous and decides to take a financial hit (something she is not obligated to do) and decides to only double the cost of my burger goes to a whopping $7.58. I look at the doubled cost and have a decision to make. McDonald’s burgers are a convenience, not a necessity, and I begin to think I can make a substantially better burger for much less at home. You see while the employee just got a 300 percent raise, I got more like 1/100th of that. So my decision to cook at home, means a 100 percent loss for the McDonald’s franchisee every time I make it.

Now the franchisee is faced with a decision. She can go out of business, which is what will happen if enough others join me in my choice, or she can find other ways to cut her costs so she doesn’t have to raise the price. She can’t cut the cost of supplies or ingredients. There is really only one expense that it makes sense to cut costs on, and that is labor. In come the kiosks and out go the employees. Bye Bye $25 per hour.

There are no bad guys in this scenario. The franchisee likely scrimped and saved and worked like a dog and went into debt to raise the money to buy her franchise. She took all the risks for the purpose of a reward. As a result of her risking her investment, she provides entry level jobs for people entering the workforce, and/or looking to climb the ranks into management and possibly even a franchise of their own one day. I’m also not a bad guy. I’ve worked most of my life to attain the amount of money my friend wants to bestow to every person who gets a job at McDonald’s. My increases will never be 300 percent and so as prices rise, I have decisions to make and one of the first things I will be cutting is an $8 hamburger, when I can make and arguably better burger for substantially less. Lastly the kind at McDonalds is not a bad guy, because if someone offers him $25 an hour to flip burgers, he’d be insane not to take it.

The bottom line is this. Minimum wage jobs are entry level jobs. They are where you go when you have no experience and are learning things like a work ethic, sealing with people, etc. Usually one of the things we learn from entry level jobs is what we DON’T WANT TO DO. From there you should be seeking to advance to something that is rewarding and fulfilling. Why am I sharing this on a blog for people interested in creative ministry? Because this is the world we live, work and create in. These factors will effect us going forward. What we provide is a luxury to many of the churches and organizations we serve and we are going to need to be really creative (not to mention depending on God) going forward.

Stay In Your Lane???

Posted: October 22, 2021 in Uncategorized

There are often times when I post to social media and the feedback is clear. “Stay in your lane.” As if to say, “Who are you to have an opinion on anything?” They’ll say snarky, snotty things like “do your research,” or take a condescending tone as if I am just the stupidest person on earth. Maybe my skin is too thin but it just vexes me. The days of civil discourse appear to be dead and gone forever. There is part of me that wants to lash out, but then I remember who I am. You see part of the reason I am not entitled to an opinion is because of who I am and who I represent. I’m a Christian and a minister, and the implication is that is the lane I need to stay in because if I violate the tenets of the intolerant tolerant, they will act as if I am a blasphemer who reflects badly on my God.

Maybe it’s true. Maybe I should stay in that lane. After all I believe the Gospel is the power of God to save. At the same time, does “staying in my lane” as a proponent of the Gospel allow me to sit by while people advocate things that run counter to God’s Word? I don’t have any easy answers today. All I know is I want to represent my God well and speak the truth in love. To some degree it is my pride making me want to speak up. People shutting, or shouting, me down makes me feel somehow “less than” and that’s when I want to continue the fight. Online flame wars do not glorify God, but neither does sitting by silently while the world burns. There’s still a wide road and a narrow road, and a profound desire to help people find the narrow one. Lord guide my steps.