Archive for April, 2022

Subjectivity

Posted: April 27, 2022 in Uncategorized

I had a few minutes today waiting for a file to upload. While I waited, I happened to see a video on YouTube about my favorite band Rush. They were reviewing the 40th anniversary boxed set of their most commercially successful album Moving Pictures. One of the comments that was made was about the song Witch Hunt, which according to the commentator was the band’s reaction to the “moral majority” comparing them to the Salem Witch Trials. At the time the album came out, I wouldn’t have thought twice about that. I was a senior in high school in 1981 and if Neil Peart wrote it, it was “gospel” to me, due largely to the fact that the Gospel wasn’t gospel to me yet. My how have things have changed. 

While I am still a little hesitant to mesh faith and politics, and there were times where the moral majority way overstepped, I also know we could really use an actual moral majority in this country and I am not sure I want to live in a world where the majority is immoral. Still a lot of this is really dependent on one’s point of view. I can see how the witch hunt analogy may have seemed feasible to someone who was left of center way back in 1981. As a person of faith, in more recent days, I have felt like the witch hunt today comes from the people who would have most strenuously opposed the moral majority in those days. Cancel culture is running rampant. There is no place for grace in political discourse, nor is there room for repentance, a changed life or even a changed opinion. If you at any point in your past held an opinion that runs counter to the status quo, it matters little what was done to change it. I saw this week that the director of the Guardians of the Galaxy movies is facing pressure to remove Chris Pratt from the series, essentially because Pratt is a Christian. If that is the case, the witch hunt is clearly on the other foot. I saw a T-shirt online this week that said “Make 1984 fiction again.” I think that pretty much sums up where we are today. 

The first amendment is vital to a free society for all involved. I remember when people used to say they disagreed with someone else, maybe even vehemently but they would fight for their opponent’s right to say it. This is crucial, we need to stick up for the free speech rights of others because sooner or later the shoe will be on the other foot. It’s time to end the witch hunt called cancel culture. Instead we need to learn how to argue for our points, disagree agreeably and keep moving forward.      

Beware of the god you want…

Posted: April 18, 2022 in Uncategorized

I woke up at 3:00 a.m. one night with this short reading. It came to me so fast that I wrote it in less than an hour. Several edits later, I felt led to add it to our Easter service for yesterday. The basic concept is we tend to want a god who does thing our way. This was the problem that surrounded Jesus in the passion week. The thing is the god we want does not compare with the God who IS!


This week completes our Easter series looking at the story of the resurrection from the perspective of two women. Mary, Mother of Jesus and Mary Magdalene.

I Hate Reading Geniuses…

Posted: April 16, 2022 in Uncategorized

There I said it. I hate reading geniuses. No, perhaps I need to qualify that. There are many geniuses I love to read. C.S. Lewis and Tolkien come to mind as do a number of other writers, including the ultimate genius, God Himself in His Word. Maybe that’s not what I mean. No it’s more that I hate reading people who seem to be deliberately vague, hiding their meaning by attempting to show me their intellectual superiority. I want to shout, “Okay I get it! You’re really smart.” The problem is they lose me more and more with every word requiring a dictionary. Think me intellectually lazy or even inferior if you like. I’m okay with it because I am done, especially with those who try to do it in the name of God. The purpose of communication is to be understood. When I approach a message whether it be written or spoken, my gauge of success is measured in the amount of people receiving the message who understand it, because the message with which I have been entrusted is too important to be missed.

The same rules apply to my art. Should I desire to provoke thought, probably, but I recently read an essay that pretty much derided creating works that were “more illustration than art.” It almost seemed like the author thought that was a bad thing and perhaps to him it is, after all he’s probably a genius. For me, what matters most is that what I am trying to say is understood. Life’s too short to be misunderstood and I’m on a mission with a deadline known only to the One who sent me. I don’t want to be so esoteric that people try to read into my work what isn’ t there. That would likely make people think I’m a genius. I think I could to that if I wanted to. The thing is I’m not in this world to point to me. Genius doesn’t save. Jesus does.

The Tragedy of Palm Sunday

Posted: April 11, 2022 in Uncategorized

The tragedy of Palm Sunday is that on the surface it looks like Jesus was finally getting the credit He deserves, and yet He was weeping. The reason for His weeping hasn’t changed. The people (at least a lot of them) weren’t really praising Him, they were praising what they wanted Him to be. They wanted a King that would free them Rome and give them power and prosperity for today. His purpose was greater. He came to give them freedom forever and eternal life. When many of those people saw He wasn’t going to give them what they wanted, Hosanna became Crucify.

Accept Him for who He is a follow Him. He is exactly who you need Him to be.


I was introduced to Thomas Wilson’s work by author of the Union Station series E.M. Foner, when he found out that Mr. Wilson and I have similar interests and career. I read the first book in the series Fremont and Sidney and loved it, so I was really excited to see when this book released and I picked it up at once. What a book. I would characterize these books as Sci-Fi with a soul. It is action-packed well written sci-fi with a spiritual component that does not disappoint. We first meet Twila in the first book of the trilogy, but in this book she becomes the title character as she enters into a rescue mission to free her younger sister from a sinister boarding school that is performing experiments on the children. There’s robots, action and intrigue that keeps the story moving at a fast pace, with enough heart and positivity to leave the reader feeling good at the end. This is the second book in a trilogy, but Mr. Wilson has managed to write a book with a beginning and middle and an end. Yes there is enough of a cliff hanger to make me long for the third book, but at the same time he creates a satisfying end to this story. It’s a very well written work of sci-fi that I highly recommend!


Today we look at the story of the day we call Good Friday, through the eyes of a Roman Soldier as expressed in the Gospel accounts from the Bible.


Every time we create, we are in a sense exercising the divine privilege. We are created beings creatively representing our Creator. In the book It Was Good: Making Art to the Glory of God, an anthology of essays on art and the Christian faith, Author James Romaine, explored Michelangelo’s mural on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel and the spiritual themes of this masterpiece. Romaine comes to this conclusion. “God continues to work through His own imprint on our creativity. Every time the artist creates, whether or not they are conscious of it as Michelangelo was, they act in the image of the Creator. This is an opportunity for the Creator Himself to con tin His own creative and redemptive workin that person. The gift of creativity, understood as created, redeemed and sustained by the Trinity, is a gift to humanity that we may know Him more intimately. Although not everyone would acknowledge the trinitarian source of our creativity, there is a recognition that this creativity is an important aspect of who we are as human beings. Created in the image of God, our own creativity is a ringing echo of His image within us.”7 What an honor it is to have received the creative gift and to be called to express that gift as our Creator works through us. It is truly a divine privilege. 


As Christians called and created to create, it is important that we have our priorities aligned. Namely, we need to keep the first things first. So what is first and foremost? Christ is over and above everything. When asked in an interview, If God’s Call is central to your life as an artist, then do you see yourself as a Christian and then an artist? Artist Edward Knippers replied, “Exactly. There is much in life that is more important than art and being an artist. But once our priorities are straight and our calling is clear it is amazing what our Lord can do with us—even in the arts. We are called to sacrifice ourselves to His will. So often when we are looking for God’s will in our lives, what we really want to know is God’s option as a possibility—we want to check His will against our other wants and desires. We may even want Him to rubber stand our choice. Neither one will work. If you are just looking for God’s way as another option or to validate what you have already decided to do, you could e looking for the rest of your life. But if you say, “Lord I want your will, period. I am going to do what you want no matter what it means or where it leads.” Then He will truly give you the desires of your heart. Like every Christian, I am called to witness to the gospel of Christ. He lets me do it in paint…”1 I think this is the key. We who are called by God to create, must, to quote Jesus, “Seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness first and foremost.   


This week we look at someone who understood the cross of Christ better than most, because he was hanging on the cross next to him. This man, usually referred to as a thief, came to faith just hours before his own death and his unlikely faith, demonstrates a level of belief that has been seen by few before or since.