Archive for the ‘Speaking ministry’ Category


Last night I preached and painted at a wonderful ministry here in Northeast Ohio at the Liberty Barn, an intimate worship experience hosted by my friends, Bill and Brenda Weiss. I spoke on the topic of choosing love over offense and, of course, I painted. As I thought about the topic, I sort of hit a brick wall. “How do you paint that?” Well, I decided to approach the painting differently. I decided to ask five people to come up and make a brush stroke on my board before I painted. I then incorporate their brush strokes into a final piece. Here’s what came out.

One person made a squiggle, one made a heart, one made a straight line, one made a wave and one made a large arc across the board. Then I prayed and began to see this image coming to life and that’s appropriate to me this is a painting of life. It’s not so much about the subject, but rather about the process. You see, usually when I do creative arts ministry, I have carefully planned, practiced some and I pretty much have the image down before I paint it live. With this image, that is not the case. I simply have to figure out a way to deal with what has been thrust at me. That’s how life is.

Friend, your life is a story, and in your life, there is only one thing you control—your actions and by extension your reactions to the things that happen. Your life story is kind of like those books some of us had in middle school. You remember them. You read a number of pages and then the story comes to a crossroad and you have a choice to make. Choosing one option takes you to continue the story on one page. Choosing the other takes you to a different page. The direction of the story is made based on your choices and so it is with life. The direction of our lives is determined, at least in part, based on the choices we make. In our world, there seems to be an epidemic of offense. Everyone is offended by something, but what we need to know, is offense is a choice. If we choose offense enough times, it becomes a root of bitterness that is exceedingly difficult to overcome. What if instead we chose to love? That’s what Jesus did and His action changed the course of history for all eternity. The world lives in a pattern of offense. We have been instructed not to be conformed to the world’s pattern, but rather to be be transformed. Jesus is our pattern and He chose to love and even sacrifice Himself for His offenders.

The choice is is yours and that choice will effect the direction of the rest of your life, so choose wisely.

Choose love over offense.

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I want this site to be more than just me loading what I think onto the “inter-webs” I want this to be a place of encouragement, inspiration and information that will help people who want to use their creative gifts to serve the Lord. What are your struggles? Problems? Where are you stuck? Do you need an idea? Maybe a way to open the door to your ministry in the local church. Whatever you need, I want to be here for you.

Or maybe you’re a church leader. You don’t necessarily consider yourself to be creative (you’re wrong about that by the way, but for now baby steps…) and you want to empower and encourage the creatives in your midst. I’d love to help you too. Contact me and lets see what we can do. Finally maybe you need someone to come into your church (or camp, or school) or whatever to demonstrate some of whats possible while powerfully and creatively sharing the Gospel for a special program or workshop. I can help you with that too. Contact me and let’s work together to help the church to be the most creative place in your community to the glory of God.

I’m here for you. Contact me in the comments below or at AMOKArts@aol.com.


What do you do when you see someone gets something you wanted? Well you have a choice. You can lament that they got it. You can get jealous. You can beat yourself up. You can wonder why. You can even get mad at God. Of course all of that is counter-productive. There is something else you can do. You can be happy for the other person and grateful for what you have. Ultimately,that is the best choice, especially when dealing with ministry. Regardless of who gets to do what, the hope is always that the Gospel goes forth and that the Lord ultimately knows what He is doing. Choose that and make the most of every opportunity you get. God is good. Believe He will put you in the right places at the right time and you will have a Kingdom impact.


I’m at my church’s annual conference this week. Today both out Bible Study and the evening message were about the same parable, The Parable of the Workers in the Vineyard. The whole time I was listening, I was thinking that’ll preach and now I want to do it as a presentation. The thing is, I’m having a hard time thinking of the creative element. I will keep praying and I know the Lord will provide, but I thought I’d put it our there. How would you express this passage creatively?

Matthew 20:1 “For the kingdom of heaven is like a landowner who went out early in the morning to hire workers for his vineyard. 2 He agreed to pay them a denarius[a] for the day and sent them into his vineyard.

3 “About nine in the morning he went out and saw others standing in the marketplace doing nothing. 4 He told them, ‘You also go and work in my vineyard, and I will pay you whatever is right.’ 5 So they went.

“He went out again about noon and about three in the afternoon and did the same thing. 6 About five in the afternoon he went out and found still others standing around. He asked them, ‘Why have you been standing here all day long doing nothing?’

7 “‘Because no one has hired us,’ they answered.

“He said to them, ‘You also go and work in my vineyard.’

8 “When evening came, the owner of the vineyard said to his foreman, ‘Call the workers and pay them their wages, beginning with the last ones hired and going on to the first.’

9 “The workers who were hired about five in the afternoon came and each received a denarius. 10 So when those came who were hired first, they expected to receive more. But each one of them also received a denarius. 11 When they received it, they began to grumble against the landowner. 12 ‘These who were hired last worked only one hour,’ they said, ‘and you have made them equal to us who have borne the burden of the work and the heat of the day.’

13 “But he answered one of them, ‘I am not being unfair to you, friend. Didn’t you agree to work for a denarius? 14 Take your pay and go. I want to give the one who was hired last the same as I gave you. 15 Don’t I have the right to do what I want with my own money? Or are you envious because I am generous?’

16 “So the last will be first, and the first will be last.” (NIV)

Don’t worry I won’t knock off your idea, I just want to see how others would approach it.


I’ve written about this before, but today is sort of a momentous day for me. The first thing I ever did in ministry was take a group of students to the Creation Festival. That was in 1998 and the 2018 festival starts today. That’s right, for all intents and purposes this is the 20th anniversary of the starts of my ministry. Now I don’t know the exact starting date of that festival back in 98, but fittingly Creation is where it all began. It’s been 20 years since I first sat on that beautiful hillside and saw God demonstrate his faithfulness in what would be my ministry. It was a day of turmoil and stress, a day where I thought I heard God completely wrong. It was a day when I wondered who I was to think someone like me could ever be in ministry and it was a day where I saw the light of God shine through. It was the first time God reminded me that the only thing that really depends on me is that I would be faithful and that he would do everything else. I’ve needed that lesson almost daily ever since, but God has continually been faithful.

So many things have happened since that day. I became a youth leader, God showed me how to use art in ministry, I started to train for ordination, I got ordained, started a church, closed a church, started a web site to share the creative ministry ideas I was getting, started getting invitations to speak around the country, and today I pastor a church and continue to do and teach art ministry every chance I get. I’ve been blessed to write books and a ton of Bible lessons, make a ton of art and meet thousands of wonderful people and those are just the external blessings. One year during the festival I had the privilege of baptizing my son Christ at Creation. I had the privilege of marrying quite a few of those girls to their husbands and one of the girls from that youth group married my son, became my only “daughter” (so far) and blessed me with my grandson David John. Through it all my loving wife Dawn has been by my side. Her organizational skills made that first trip possible and her love has helped me over and through every bump in this journey since. I am a blessed man and it’s been an interesting 20 years.

I’ll share with you what I believe God said in my spirit on that first night 20 years ago. “I never said it would be easy, but if you will be faithful, I will be with you and use you.” Take that to heart because it wasn’t just for me.

Thank you Jesus!


I’m about two months out from one of my favorite ministry activities. Each year I do a week long came for adults with developmental disabilities. The first couple years I just did the live paintings and then one year I took one of my clips along as an illustration, and they loved it. They also happen to love music and so I thought maybe there’s a way to get them to key in on the topic of the week with a rap-like chant. Well I recorded one, it’s very basic, but it’s something that they and probably every one else needs to know: In Christ, no matter what anyone else has to say about us, we are enough.” I had fun with this, the audio is not the best, but once the campers learn the chant, it won’t matter, it won’t be heard over them anyway.

I can’t wait to put this thing to work.