Archive for December, 2021

Happy New Year…

Posted: December 31, 2021 in Uncategorized

The End of the Year

Posted: December 30, 2021 in Uncategorized

Well here we are on the last day of 2021, a year that brought with it some blessings and a few disappointments. I set a goal this year to create a post for each day here at AMOKArts and to post an image for each day over at BewareofArtists, and if you’re reading this, it means I did it. Now to be clear that doesn’t mean I posted every day, but by the end of the year there were 365 posts and 365 pictures. Why did I commit to that amount of work? In the past I’ve been inconsistent and my audience waned as a result. My hope was to build up both sites and to be honest, I’m not sure that goal has been achieved. My posts seem to average about ten views a piece on a good day. A few have fared better, but I believe I am still doing something wrong. I believe I am posting good content, but it doesn’t seem to be really connecting. Don’t worry I am not giving up. The fact off the matter is, if you are reading this, you are part of the tribe and I really appreciate your time and attention. That being said, as I near 4,000 posts on this blog, I clearly need to change things up. So what will I be doing?

Well for starters I will be posting to both sites less. generating content seven days a week given all the other things that I do is an absurd amount of work. I also plan to cross post more and to create more video content. My hope is that if I boost up the quality of the content, it will be even more helpful to you, my audience. Also this is the year I intend to finish my Doctorate in creative ministry so I will be creating a lot of content for that, some of which will end up being good content for here. Lastly I have to be realistic. I’m a grandfather, with aging parents who are needing more of my help, plus I have to sow into my family and of course my amazing church. I’ve done my best not to let anything slip this year, but to be honest, a lot of that work has come at the expense of self-care. I am not getting any younger, and my content production will decrease dramatically if I wreck my health or die.

So this year my goal is three good posts a week. Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Can you set your clock by that? Probably not. The truth is I am a full time pastor, and as such there are elements of my life that are quite unpredictable. I really just want to serve you all as best I can. Please stay tuned and if you have questions. I would love to hear from you.

Busyness Versus Fruitfulness

Posted: December 29, 2021 in Uncategorized

This year has been busy. In addition to the work of pastoral ministry, I have been doing a lot of creating. It has kept me really busy and overall I have enjoyed everything a great deal… but, lately I’ve been asking myself a question. Have I been fruitful? Has the work that I have been doing really advanced the Kingdom or even helped me make way to my goals? The truth is I am not sure how to answer that. 

I think back to the old days, when I was applying for a lot of art and freelance jobs. This was in the days when most people didn’t have the internet, I would arrive at the office of a prospective employer with a huge portfolio filled with all my best work. I didn’t have an art degree so that portfolio really had to sing. I had a lot in there. Sometimes I got the job, most of the time I didn’t and when I didn’t I wondered why. Most of the time I’m pretty sure it came down to one thing. I showed them my best work, but I didn’t have the right work. What I did didn’t relate to what the company did. 

I’ve often wondered if standing before the Lord will be kind of like that. Oh I believe with all my heart that I am saved because of what Jesus did for me on the cross, but I also know there is a judgment seat for believers that deals with reward. When I stand before my redeemer with the portfolio of my life, will it reflect the right work? There is no doubt I will have done a lot of work. The question is will it be the right work? Will I have been fruitful in ways that matter to the Kingdom? Will what I am doing right now matter into eternity? This is my question and it is also my goal. In the coming year, I believe my output will be different. 

From the perspective of this blog, that begs a question. What would you like to see from this blog dear reader? How can I help or resource or encourage you? How can this blog bear the most fruit for you? 


Posted: December 28, 2021 in Uncategorized

In the beginning of 2020, I had a vision. It was a vision to begin doing a lot more outreach ministry for my church in hopes of growing. I had a few things in the works and a lot more on deck and then COVID hit, and it all seemed to grind to a halt. I was disappointed. For a while I even questioned whether or not I had even heard from God, or if practicalities just kicked in, but now I see something different. When all this started, there were skips I didn’t have. COVID was a crash course for me in diplomacy. People on all sides of the aisle had opinions on how all of this should be handled. Now to be clear, compared to some of the horror stories I’ve heard from colleagues, my congregation was a dream, but even so I had to learn to be a bit more diplomatic than at times I wanted to be. The reason for that is simple, when this is over, what will matter more than whether or not I was right about all things COVID, is that the church is still together and moving forward when the COVID smoke clears.

Secondly, I had some very rudimentary video skills and had only ever used Zoom once in my life. All of the sudden I was leading Zoom meetings and learning how to master making videos. These are skills that cannot help but to help as we move forward and had developing those skills not been “made a necessity” I would have found other things to do, and not gained these essential skills for ministry in the 21st century.

Truth be known, God didn’t give me a time table for when all the things I envisioned in 2020 had to take place. What felt like disappointment may have been merely a delay to give me more training so I could better accomplish God’s purposes. When disappointment hits,. it’s really easy to wallow in it, but what if instead of wallowing, we looked what could be done and started to learn new skills so we are better equipped to do the work?

Christmas was two days ago, and now we begin the charge to the New Year. You heard my message yesterday, and hopefully it gave you some perspective in our role in all of this. So in these days, if you haven’t already done so, seek the Lord. Ask Him what He would have you pursuing in the year ahead and even what would He have you do today? As He begins to lead, start. You may not have everything in hand to do everything you feel led to, but don’t let that stop you. What can you do with what you have on hand today? What can you do right now? Finishing what you start is very important (well most of the time) but we will never finish anything that we don’t first start.

As I think of this, one verse always comes to mind. Philippians 1:6: being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus. This verse tells us who it is that really starts it. It’s God. Then it tells us who He starts it in, You. Finally He tells us who will complete it, God, and when He will complete it, In the day of Christ Jesus. In other words it all starts in the heart of God. He determines to work through us and so He lays dreams and visions and burdens on our hearts, prompting us to do what He wants to start in us. From that point forward we are responsible for carrying is out as best we can and as far as we can. Sometimes we get to finish the work and sometimes our responsibility was merely to start it. What we can be sure of though, is that He will finish what He started one way or another and it will reach and touch and serve exactly who He wants, and it will accomplish exactly what He purposed for it to accomplish.

So today it you haven’t already, seek the Lord and as He leads you, start.

So This Is Christmas…

Posted: December 26, 2021 in Uncategorized

I love Christmas. I love everything about it except one thing, the guilt. Every year some prominent Christian leader or another starts the shaming. Shaming people for the giving and receiving of gifts, I have to tell you, I think it’s counterproductive and it misses the point. Has Christmas been commercialized? Of course. Over commercialized? Yes, a case can be made for that too, but I am getting really tired of seeing people throw shade at others for giving and receiving gifts. They always act like it’s an either or, you can either give and receive gifts or you can care for the less fortunate. What if we did both?

See the thing is, the gifts are significant and just because some may get their priorities out of whack, doesn’t mean the gifts are the problem. What is important is that we keep the gifts in proper perspective. The gifts of Christmas are emblematic of God’s greatest gift, the gift that met humanity’s greatest need. Salvation through Jesus Christ our Lord. We give gifts because we have been given God’d greatest gift, Yes we should remember the poor, yes we should go out of our way in this season of giving to help others, but we should be doing that the other 364 days as well. On this one day, we should give gifts as a commemoration of the greatest gift. We should give well thought out gifts that express our love for others just our God gave us the ultimate gift.

So this is Christmas and I beg you, keep your priorities in order and be sure to do good, but it’s also okay to receive gifts of love and it is even more blessed to give. No need for guilt. Guilt has been washed away for all who believe, that’s kind of the point…

Merry Christmas

Posted: December 25, 2021 in Uncategorized

This message sums up our All Is Calm Advent series. Titled after the last line of the first verse of Silent Night, Sleep In Heavenly peace deals with how we can live out “All Is Calm” even when things around us look anything but…


Posted: December 23, 2021 in Uncategorized

I had a really cool Zoom call last night with my friend William Barnett. He has a ministry called Storytellers Creative Arts in Naples, FL that is doing some really great work. He started off our call with a question. “How can I encourage you today?” What a great question! Think about that word encourage. Of course the main part of the word is courage and the prefix “en” speaks to giving. My friend was literally asking me, “How can I give you courage today?” What a great gift, the gift of courage. Maybe we all need to take a look at how encouraging we are being. 

After all, this creative life requires courage. You have to create something no one has ever seen before and put that creation out there before the world. That is a courageous act in and of itself, but now look at what we do. We do that same process but we try to also include some sort of a message from the Lord. We are using our creative work to represent the Creator of the Universe. Talk about something that requires courage, and that’s when it hit me, One of the places this blog and all my other materials needs to improve is in the area of encouragement. So let me put it to you this way. Consider your gift/talent etc. It was given to you by a good God, for you to use to His glory. Think about what that means. The Lord, the Creator of all things, has invested some of Him amazing creativity, something of immense value in you, so that you can use it to benefit His Kingdom. Think of the trust He has in you to use this valuable thing and be encouraged. Your talent is a sign that, in some way,  God believes in you. 

I believe in you too. Put that good gift to work and when you have finished, do it again and be encouraged, The God of the Universe is at work in your life and He loves you.

I am going to close by asking my friend William’s question. How can I encourage you today? Leave me a message in the comments, and if you’d like to check out William’s ministry go to  


Posted: December 22, 2021 in Uncategorized

A few years ago I experienced major conviction. The president at the time was someone who I disagreed with tremendously. His actions while in office were reprehensible to me and I opposed him vigorously. That’s when the conviction came, a correction from the Spirit with a simple question. If you faced the temptations that man faces every day, would you do any better. I didn’t like my answer. I’d like to think I could resist, but that’s easy to say from the arm chair, and I can be pretty good at convincing myself that the right thing to do is the thing that tempts me most. Further I have not been called to agree with my leaders, but I have been called to pray for them. I was coming up short there too and knew I had to do better. 

Fast forward to last week. I saw an ad for one of those online course companies. They were offering a leadership course from this particular president. I have to admit I cringed a little. I’ve always felt that if I struggled in any one area it would be leadership skills. I do my best but there have been times where I would love to be a little more decisive and that leadership would be a little more intuitive. That being said, I would never want to lead like this man led. I decided to look at the comments on the post and not surprisingly they were savage, to the point where conviction came once again. 

But here’s the thing, credibility is important, especially for leaders and even more for Christian leaders, and if you are using your gifts to serve the Lord, there is a leadership component to that. This man rose to incredible success. There are many people who call the president of the United States the leader of the free world, yet on the subject of leadership, people have clearly not forgotten the example he set and they want no parts of it. The example we set is hugely important and if we want to lead well we have got to demonstrate credibility. Does that mean we can’t step into leadership until we are perfect? Of course not, there was only ever one perfect leader and we crucified Him, but it does mean we need to guard our hearts, and repent when we fail. For a good guideline on all of this, look at this verse from the New Living Translation, 1 Timothy 4:16 Keep a close watch on how you live and your teaching, Stay true too what is right for the sake of your own salvation and the salvation of those who hear you.

If we want to have credibility, we need to be careful what we do, and when people fall, we need to stop piling on and pray instead. Temptation is a bear, and everyone of us has an area where we could take a hit.