Archive for the ‘Scripture Visualized’ Category

People do a lot of talking about the real meaning of Christmas and I wonder how many people actually get it, so I made this really simple chart. Christmas is really important. It’s the celebration of the incarnation of Jesus but the reason for the birth is the cross, Jesus came to lay down his life for you and me and of course the reason for the cross is the resurrection. Jesus rose again and because He did, if we place our faith in Him, we get to rise too.


nc1aLast Night I did my new presentation on what may be my favorite verse in all of Scripture, 2 Corinthians 5:17, “Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation, the old has gone and the news has come.” I was trying to think of a good painting to do with it. I’ve already done butterflies and frogs exploring the metamorphosis concept of complete change, but that wasn’t quite right, So I went at it a completely different way.

First off I did something I almost never do. I started with a white surface. I usually speed paint on black. I started off by doing a very simple line art self portrait. What the congregation may not have realized is I was really gobbing on the black paint. Then I added some sky blue around it. What they didn’t know. was it was my intent from the beginning to wreck the painting. Taking paper towels I smeared it into a cloudy mess and then quit. When I began to speak, I spoke of how we basically start as a clean slate, but then life happens and we sin and we get splattered by the effects of sin and it makes a mess of us. I then talked about what it means to be a new creation in Christ—the way He transforms and renews and redeems us.

nc1bAt the end of the message I painted a picture of Jesus over the mess. The reason, when Christ redeems us, He allows us to put on His righteousness. The finished project was a little less successful than I like. For some reason my surface started to warp and it was falling out of the easel. Speed painting while holding your surface with the other hand is not easy. Nonetheless, the painting which took a total of about 8 minutes for both phases demonstrated what it was supposed to demonstrate and I was pleased.

Here’s the point, in Christ there is grace and forgiveness, but there is also transformation. Your past does not dictate your future. You can be redeemed. God can take your life and make it into something new. He can take the best of you and make it better. He can redeem the rest of you and turn it into a powerful testimony. God created you and He can also recreate you and when He does (and He will if you ask Him) you will be a new creation.

dry-bones-live-liveLast night I got to do my new message called inspiration. As many of my regular readers know, I believe waiting for inspiration is a terrible idea (most of the time) I believe we need to seek it out and occasionally hunt it down. We need to seek God and believe that He will speak. Inspiration (at least the best kind) comes from God and He has been doing it for us since the very beginning when He breathed His live into our first father, Adam and he became a living soul. That’s what inspiration is God breathing life into us and into the things that He allows us to create.

In scripture we see this in Ezekiel 37, where God leads Ezekiel into the valley of dry bones. There God instructs Ezekiel to speak to the bones, to prophesy, and the bones come back to life. They rise up and become a mighty army. This is a prophecy for the nation of Israel but I think it’s for us as well. As we look at the condition of our nation and even the church, it is clear we are not in a great place right now. We need something from the Lord. We need His to breathe new life into us again. We need Him to speak into our lives oh and one more thing. We need His Word.

You see Scripture tells us that all Scripture is God breathed. that it is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness so that the person of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work. Over and over I see people, even in the church, that would like to leave portions of God’s Word on the cutting room floor. The thing is truth is a very powerful thing and a very fragile thing. Add a little to it, take a little from it and it is no longer truth. This God breathed Word is life to us. We are not supposed to change it, it is supposed to change us. We need to reconnect to the source of our power. We need to recommit to the Word of God. If we do, God will breathe new life into His church and we will return to being the mighty army God intended us to be. An army in a battle that is not with flesh and blood but with the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. A battle that is as real as anything you see in the news, and the source of most everything you see on the news. And that army will be the one that the gates of hell will not be able to prevail against.

The photo above is the painting I did with the message. It’s done in two phases and takes a total of 12 minutes. It’s based on a much more detailed painting I did for this stop motion video (which took days to complete). The message is part of a series called Imagination, Inspiration, Perspiration, New Creation, Re-Creation. I’d love to bring this series to your church. Contact me for more information.

I had an awesome day Easter Sunday, preaching two services, and proclaiming the risen Savior, before celebrating with family, always a great day. This mean I didn’t actually post this til Monday morning. Sometimes priority dictate getting off the computer. Anyway, I still wanted to share something for that day so I give you what may be the best Easter song ever, Arise My Love by NewSong. If you have not heard this song yet, you owe it to yourself to listen. If you have heard it, listen again and take encouragement. This is telling a better story (okay the greatest story) in music.

Okay, I always get a little nervous when “Hollywood” tries to tell the story of Jesus, especially of the Crucifixion, but I watched a good portion of Tyler Perry’s The Passion live TV musical and it was wonderful. Telling the story outdoors, live as a procession built while carrying a huge illuminated cross through the streets of New Orleans was brilliance. This was the ultimate example of taking it to the streets. Perry’s narration included some of the most unashamed of the Gospel presentations I have ever seen. This was beautifully done.

I also loved the music they used. Rather than writing new songs or using existing Christian songs, they used pop songs that were slightly rearranged to fit the story. Using songs so many people already know allowed people to connect with the story. I know some detractors didn’t like this, but as a person who realizes the importance of meeting people where they are I saw this as a stroke of genius. Overall I thought this was excellent and I am sure opened eyes to the Gospel story.

That is the soul of telling a better story.

Here’s a prime example of what I’m talking about. Chris Daughtry as Judas and Jencarlos Canela as Jesus sing Imagine Dragons “Demons.” This is great stuff.

I was doing some research for a future post on The Passion Live special that was on Fox on Sunday when I came upon the headline: Jesus Sings Katy Perry. I think they were shocked. Of course, The Passion Live broke with tradition using secular pop songs in their telling of the story of Jesus. I thought is was quite brilliant and yes, it’s true, their “Jesus” Jencarlos Canela, sang Katy Perry’s song Unconditional, and did it quite well I might add. Here’s the clip:

But I don’t know why they were so surprised that “Jesus” would sing Katy Perry, since some years ago, Katy Perry used to sing for Jesus. Before her rise to fame, Katy was a Christian artist going by the name of Katy Hudson. Here’s a clip:

Here’s praying she sings for Him again.

A lot of what I do in my ministry would be called performance painting. Some would disagree with the term performance associated with ministry and yet, I’m not sure how else to describe it. The creation of the painting is part of the process. It’s more than just making a picture. It’s the attempt to make the creation of the painting entertaining, drawing people in to the message to follow. It involves keeping them guessing, misdirection and working very quickly. The following artists are some of the best (and after them… me).

David Garibaldi

Denny Dent

Dan Dunn

and here’s one of mine…