Archive for the ‘Speaking ministry’ Category


I saw a video last night for something I usually do, being done by another arts ministry. I am going to confess something here that may make you think less of me. I got a little jealous. I’ve been doing this stuff for over 20 years and it’s hard not to. The person on the video hasn’t been doing this as long as I have and I know last year, he got a “gig” I’ve been dying to do for the entire length of my career. Seeing him do this thing too was a little tough on the old ego, I’ll just admit it. It’s easy to feel surpassed and overlooked at times like this.  You might see this as a character flaw, I see it as human nature.

So why do I share this? Well the truth is, this kind of stuff happens all the time in the creative world and we need to have a little bit of a thicker skin sometimes. The other thing to remember is this is no time to start comparing. Instead, I need to do two things. First I need to be glad that someone else is working at this type of ministry. Secondly I need to be glad that doors are opening for this guy. It means more people are open to the type of ministry I do. That is a good thing. Thirdly, I need to look at me. Am I doing all I can do? Am I growing in my skills? Am I promoting the way I need to promote? Do I need to create a better web site or better promotional materials? Do I just need to do a better job of reminding people I am out here?

Jealousy is wasted. This is ministry. The other guy is not my competition, he’s my brother is Christ and I need to be glad for him, pray for him, etc. you need to do the same and one other thing, I need to be grateful for what I have and so do you. Praise God for all the doors He opens for you and bring your best to every opportunity. I feel like I do that, but maybe I could do it better.

Jealousy does not look good on us and it doesn’t glorify God. Instead bring your best to everything you do and glorify God. He’s got great things for us all and there is plenty of work to go around.

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The following are some photos from my Imaginative Church Workshop.

It was a great day of creative, imaginative fun and more importantly learning as we looked at new ways to take the unchanging message of the Gospel to an ever changing world.
Here’s an outline of the day.

  • Registration
  • Demonstration piece on imagination
    • This includes the story of how my ministry is at least in part the result of a pastor who empowered me early in my faith walk.
  • Teaching session 1 “But I’m not creative” Overcoming the fear of creativity
    • Short hands on exercise
  • Teaching session 2 “Creative Worship” Stepping out of the boat
    • Hands on project creatively expressing Matthew 14:21-33
  • Lunch
  • Teaching session 3 “Sometimes It’s All About Who You Know” Identifying and empowering the creatives in your congregation
    • Short Hands On Exercise
  • Teaching session 4 Teaching In Story Exploring the Parables
    • Hands on project teaching a Parable
  • Teaching session 5 Going Beyond the Walls Exploring Creative Outreach
    • Hands On Exercise Brainstorming Creative Outreach

Contact me if you would like to know more about partnering with me to bring this to your area.


Yesterday, I set out on another artistic journey. As part of my Masters program, I have to have a portfolio of my creative ministry/art work. Now most of that work is work that I create directly in the context of my ministry and needless to say I am continuing to do that, but I’m also working on some pieces that are decidedly more gallery style at least in context. I envision them being part of a presentation I’ll be doing in the future, but I also want them to be able to stand alone and hang some place where people can receive inspiration apart from me being there. These will be the exact opposite of speed paintings in that they will take long periods of time to be complete. I’m excited to begin this journey.

People will sometimes ask me if I am a prophetic artist, and I am never quite sure how to answer them. In the sense that the work contains a message from the Lord, yes, absolutely, but the work is often planned and prepared so I’ve decided to let the viewer assign, and more importantly the Lord, the designation. I will say these pieces are all based in prophecy. I’ve decided to call it Apocalypsis. It’s basically literal interpretations of the prophecies of the books of Daniel and Revelation. All the pieces will represent beasts and creatures, dreams and visions. Yes I know this is apocalyptic literature and all these things represent other things, and I will touch on the actual meanings in some way, but I’ve long been fascinated by envisioning these things as they were actually, literally, written. I don’t know how this will all turn out, but it will be an epic journey.

The reason I titled this post EPIC though is more for you than for me. This is a large project. I’m estimating the piece I started yesterday, worked at in my admittedly limited spare time, will probably take at least a year to complete. The work on this particular piece, will be extremely tedious, and I am hoping for great results. It will be an epic journey in the truest sense of the word. That said, I have no doubt that I will hit a wall with it. Right now it’s constantly on my mind. It’s a lot more technical than most of my work, almost mathematical, but now most of that is done and the slogging begins. How do you keep yourself motivated in the midst of something that takes a long time? Well first of all, do what I am practicing here. Tell someone about it. You don’t have to tell the world, but tell someone who will ask you about it and how it’s progressing. This will help you to keep from putting it too much on the back burner.

Next, I think the answer is to start with the end in mind. If I keep going, and keep the quality up, I think the piece is going to end up being really cool. I can envision it helping people to understand these passages more clearly and my prayer is that these “fantasy” pop art pieces will help people to see the hand of God throughout history and maybe even come to trust in Him.

This series has been on my heart a long time. I can’t wait to see it come to fruition. I will share photos along the way. What have you been feeling led to? Maybe it’s time to launch your own epic journey.


I’ve been working on it for months. I did the first Imaginative Church Workshop in April and I am now ready to roll it out to the rest of the world. I’m looking for churches to partner with me to present this everywhere I can. The goal is simple, to help churches to embrace their God-given imaginations and creativity and to empower the gifted people in their midst to enhance their worship, teaching and outreach. It’s a day long workshop that is both informative and a whole lot of fun. Click this link or the book cover above to get all the information.

I would love to bring this workshop to your church/community. Contact me to find out more.

Interested? Contact me to set something up.


I’m in the midst of a really great week. I’ve been ministering at a really wonderful church here in PA. The congregation has been great, my presentations have been going really well and I am thoroughly enjoying my time. In the midst of it all, the people have blessed me, I’ve had some great visits and some great meals. It truly has been wonderful. I finish up here tonight and tomorrow, Lord willing I am to head back to my home church to work on all the things necessary things for our service on Sunday. Friday should be spent getting ready for my first workshop based on the things I am writing for my upcoming book, The Imaginative Church. I’m really looking forward to it. I’m a little over a week away from my 30th wedding anniversary and in general, life is better than good.

I love what I do, but I am having an issue, and I would appreciate your prayers. My eating is out of control and I must do better. I’m awake here at about 3:00 am because my stomach is bugging me. Part of that is because my sinuses/allergies are really bugging me and I hope that’s all this is, and not that I’m coming down with something, but part of it is also because of the snack I ate last night when I didn’t need it. I find that I use my weight for a humorous moment in my presentations. I reminisce about my terrified parents who, on hearing I still wanted to go to art school as I neared the end of high school, said “No son of ours is going to starve in an attic,” at which point I turn to profile view and say, “Well that didn’t happen…” and I always get a good laugh about it. The truth is though, after years of being generally unhappy at what I did for a living, my life is finally on the right track. I am feeling blessed beyond measure. I really love what I get to do, and I really feel like I am pretty much at my sweet spot in every area of life except one. To keep this going, I have got to do better with my health. I want to have the strength and health to keep doing this ministry, as the Lord wills, for a long time. I want to get from my 30th anniversary, to my 50th or 60th, hey while I’m at it 70th would be fine, too, (We’d be 94, which is doable if I get this under control) because I really do have the best wife. I want to be there for my sons and my grandson and any more family the Lord chooses to bless me with.

My wife is doing fantastically by controlling her caloric intake and exercise, and I am proud of her. When I can I go with her to the gym, but I’m not consistent enough, and as I’m often told, you can’t out exercise a bad diet. I know there are a lot of plans and programs out there, but I want to do what she is doing (watching the calories and exercise) because that is sustainable for the long haul. I’m writing this mainly to remind me that I can do better, and in the hopes that if you’re in this boat, you’ll take the encouragement in realizing you’re not alone.

I’m going back to bed now and when I wake up, before I immerse myself in all of today’s projects, I’m going for a walk.


I’m sure when Hilary Yancey wrote this book she was probably not thinking, “I hope a lot of fifty something men read it.” but I did. To be honest, I picked up the book because of it’s title. Her publisher offered it to me as a blogger for review and so here it is. The title is something I have been dealing with in my speaking ministry for quite some time. The idea that there are people out there who need to forgive the perfect, sinless, God. Hilary Yancey explores this concept in ways far beyond what I considered and she does so masterfully. I really can’t bring myself to say I liked this book. The subject matter is such that that would make me seem cold and heartless, as you’ll see in a moment. What I will say instead is that I am really glad that I read this important book, and I highly recommend it, because it will challenge your thinking in ways I had not even considered.

Hilary Yancey writes this book around her pregnancy and the subsequent birth of her son Jackson. You see Jackson was born with cleft lip/palate, only one eye and one ear, needing a tracheotomy and a g button. She deals with her prayer life, her struggles when her prayers for a miracle went, in a sense, unanswered. She deals realistically with the struggle when God doesn’t do things the way we think He should. Further she deals with her son and his “different kind of normal.” She is a doctoral candidate in the area of philosophy and this really comes through in her writing, yet the book is very readable and accessible. She has challenged my thinking on so many subjects, from disability to God and I honestly feel like I am a little bit better as a person for having read this book.


It’s Palm Sunday and I wonder if people understand what was happening that day. About 550 years before the original Palm Sunday, the prophet Zechariah told us it would happen. He said,

“Rejoice greatly, Daughter Zion!
Shout, Daughter Jerusalem!
See, your king comes to you,
righteous and victorious,
lowly and riding on a donkey,
on a colt, the foal of a donkey.

And that’s what happened. Jesus came riding into Jerusalem and the people waved Palm branches and placed their cloaks on the road in front of Jesus. It finally looks like He’s getting the recognition He deserved, but the people were missing the point. They were missing the donkey. You see when a king would ride into a territory and they came in peace, they would ride into the territory on the smallest most unassuming animal imaginable. The colt of a donkey. The message was simple, your king comes in peace. The thing is that the people were looking for something else. They were looking for Jesus to overthrow the Romans and when he didn’t deliver that, their Palm Sunday “Hosanna’s” became Good Friday “Crucify’s.” The problem wasn’t with Jesus, it was with the people’s expectations. The prophecy fulfilled in the donkey showed them a king that came in peace. Don’t miss the donkey. Jesus is exactly who we need him to be. He didn’t come to rescue us from every problem. Rather he came to save us for all eternity.

Don’t miss the donkey.

The photo is one of the paintings I did based on my message today.