Archive for the ‘books’ Category


I’ve been working on a project. It started off as a blog post and ended up taking on a life of it’s own. What ended up happening was a post on failure turned into another post on failure, which led to fear of failure which led to fear. From there I started to think about faith as the way to overcome fear, and the reason we can have faith is because God is faithful and because God is faithful we must be faithful. All of these F words, and before long, I had an unusual idea that really speaks to my mission for helping and encouraging creatives in the church and before long, I was off on a whole other piece, with an intriguing title. Lots of words are in place (50,000 plus, lots of editing be done and it’s a slow process, but I’ve generated a cover. What do you think?


If you’ve been following along, you know that I wrote a few posts on failure recently. What you don’t know is those posts on failure triggered something in me that has caused me to do a lot of writing over the last few weeks, exploring a lot of areas of importance for the creative Christian life, predominantly around the areas of failure, fear and faith. Here is a little sample of my writings on faith.

“Your talent is God’s gift to you. What you do with it is your gift back to God.” Leo Buscaglia

So how does faith apply to the creative life? I think Dr. Buscaglia really hit the nail on the head with the above quote. Our gifts, our talents, our abilities, experiences and a host of other things are given to us by God. Further, in a very real way, they are His investment in us. He gives them to us, knowing how He made us, and the way He “wired” us, in anticipation that we who love Him will faithfully use these gifts for His purposes in our world. I love this. We call these gifts “talents” which is interesting. A talent in Jesus’ day was a unit of measure, specifically it was a way to measure precious metals like gold, and so it could be said, maybe a little facetiously, that our talents are worth their weight in gold. They have value and if they are gifts from God, and I believe they are, then talents are something of great value that God entrusts to us. As a minister of the Gospel, I believe a big part of my calling is to help people to come to believe in God, or at least to work to that end, but our talents say something different to us. Oh, we still need to believe in God, but our talents tells us God believes in us. And so those of us who have a creative bent should be investing at least some of those creative gifts into accomplishing God’s purposes on earth. One might imagine that there are two primary applications of this principle, serving others and sharing the Gospel.


I’ve been pending a fair amount of time thinking about fear and failure for an upcoming project. Here’re some things that occurred to me recently.

What is failure? I’m sure we could find a definition in the dictionary that would suffice. I’m sure, if we were together in person, you could give me a definition in your own words. The problem is, it’s a sliding scale and everyone defines it differently. You might think of the teacher handing you back a paper with a lot of red ink, and maybe even a big red F in the corner, likely with a circle around it for emphasis, as if the failure was entirely your own. Maybe the F was on your report card. By the way, have you ever noticed most schools skipped right over “E.” A, B, C, and D represent nothing but a level. They are not initials for some word, like “lofty” or “proficient” or “mediocre” which is essentially what they mean, yet we don’t get L’s or P’s or M’s, so there is no earthly reason, why the grade below D is F, except that F means failure and the grading system wants to make sure you didn’t miss the fact that you failed and are therefore a failure. Maybe you’d equate failure with not reaching a certain level in your career or a time when you let someone, maybe even yourself, down. It might reflect a time when you just couldn’t reach the goal. It might even be something your rational mind knows was not your fault, but still you take the blame.

For some failure becomes their name, as in “I’m a failure.” Others will adopt it’s cousins, like “Loser” or “Waste” or “Idiot.” It manifests in questions, like “How could I be so stupid?” Sometimes we think we’re failures because someone labeled us as such. Other times we just see the evidence on the faces of those around us. For me it was all of the above. Sometimes I’d hear statements like “If brains were dynamite, you wouldn’t have enough to blow your nose.” Other times it was the C on the report card in a field of A’s and B’s. Ironically, that C was for something most people don’t even teach anymore, Cursive. This brings me to another point. A grade of C, is essentially translated as average. For most people C is okay, you’re not the best but neither are you the worst. Most people would see it as maybe needing improvement, but nothing to lose sleep over. For others, a C might as well be an F. In their minds, average, being on par with everyone else equates with failure. Further, why was it so easy to miss the A’s and B’s and the lower grade of C becomes the focus. Please tell me I’m not the only one who does this. I can get a hundred positive comments and one negative and that one negative becomes my entire focus. I’m almost positive I’m not the only one and that needs to change.


In 2018, I wrote and published a book called “Enough. God and the Fine Art of Measuring Up.” I was really happy with the book, but it I never really got to promote it, the way I wanted to. It’s just been kind of floating out there as a result, and I think it’s a really important piece that could really help and bless some people, so I’ve decided for the next few months, I am going to re-edit it and re-release it and do a sort of tour in support of it in 2020. The presentations will be pretty much what folks who’ve seen me are used to—high speed art, storytelling, maybe even a little drama, video and more, all designed to communicate the Gospel and encourage people to know that they really can measure up and in Christ, they are enough. If all goes well, I will start booking this by the end of the year for 2020. If you think you’re group could use some hope and encouragement, contact me.


So yesterday I was offered some workshops at a Christian Writer’s Conference on the topic of illustration. I’ve illustrated my own books, and of course my messages as a sped painter are also illustrated. I’ve also illustrated numerous coloring and activity books over the years as well as illustrating Herald the Angel with my friends the Furches’ but as yet I hadn’t written a children’s book. I decided now was the prime time as I can kill two birds with one stone. I can write a book that’s been on my mind for a while and use the “in-process” illustrations as examples for my workshops. This morning, I wrote the book. Needless to say, I can’t complete illustrating the book in one day, and taking the extra time to make slides in process will lengthen the process, but the project is launched and with it, another series of workshops I can share with people everywhere.


I remember the day pretty well. I had a letter to take home from school. I was probably 10 to 12 years old. Usually a letter from school was a bad thing in those days, but this one had me beaming with pride. I had been selected to be in an elective program for gifted students. I had all kinds of ideas, but in truth, I ended up doing nothing with it. It was kind of a combination between childish dreams, being a human target in school and the fact that all I really wanted to do even then was be an artist/creative, which really didn’t fit the mold of being academically gifted, at least by my school’s definition.

Fast forward a couple decades though and I was struck with a revelation. Everybody’s gifted. Everybody, every single person, is gifted. The problem is our definition of gifted is too limited. Gifted is not always about the way you write a paper or solve an equation or the grades you get on a test. Gifted implies a gift. Something you come by naturally, something in your DNA, or, dare I say, your design. There is truly something that every person, every single person, has, that can help to make the world a better place. Everyone has something to offer. EVERYONE!

Now I know what you might be thinking, this is another manifestation of the “everybody gets a trophy” mindset. Nothing could be further from the truth. Or maybe you’re thinking labeling everyone gifted somehow cheapens the designation. Not at all. I maintain that we have defined “gifted” too narrowly. Gifted is more than a grade on a standardized test, and besides, since when has any human being been “standard.” There is a uniqueness to every human being. Everyone has something to offer. Everyone has the potential to do something great. Everybody’s gifted. EVERYBODY!

Case in point, I just spent a week at one of my favorite places, a camp for adults with special needs, and by the way we all have “special needs” we need a better term here. A lot of these folks would have trouble with a standardized test, and not many would move that needle to gifted. Pity because each of them is a gift. I see in them an authenticity most of the world is lacking. Last night was our last night of camp for the year, and as such several of the campers were emotional. In most of the world, everyone would just stand around awkwardly, embarrassed at an emotional display. Not my campers, they embraced their crying friend until the tears dissipated. Friend that is a gift, and not a small one. This idea of everybody being gifted has been floating around in my mind for a while. Last night brought it into focus. I don’t know what this thing will become, I just know it’s time.

Everybody’s gifted. And yes, that includes you!


Leave it to Andy Andrews to be able to take a made up childhood pool game and turn it into a way to success that has helped companies reach stellar heights, by doing what seems counterintuitive and yet ends up making so much sense. Sometimes the way up is down and the way to outpace your competition is to do what others aren’t doing, competing at a level where no one else is playing. While this is largely a business book, in typical Andy Andrews style, there is a larger principle that works every time it’s tried in every aspect of life. This guy is a walking wisdom generator, and I love all his stuff. Check this one out.