Archive for the ‘Speaking ministry’ Category


I had a great night last night. I had a great time of ministry. A few months back, I preached a series of revival meetings. One of the things that I love about using art in ministry is that the art connects with the kids. Well this time, the kids said they should have me back to do something for them. The pastor, liked the idea so they had me back. Last night I did the first of a series of four services based on the animals of the Bible. It was wonderful. Rather than doing the event in the sanctuary, we did it in their fellowship hall. The kids were seated at tables. I started with doing a painting, then told the story, and then we allowed the kids to do their own painting based on the story and the painting I did. Basically they created their own reminder of the teaching that night. I have to say it was so rewarding, just a night of pure joy.

I had a couple of observations from the evening. The first was, at the end of the night, when the kids were busy painting, I went back to the adults in the back of the room and joked that on the last night the kids were going to sit in the back and the adults were going to paint. These are great folks who I have ministered to several times, and we have a really good rapport, but quite a few folks seemed kind of nervous that I might be serious. I wasn’t, but it struck me. Children are quick to create at just about every opportunity, but the older we get, the people willing to create, especially publicly, shrinks. It bears out what Picasso said, “All children are artists, the problem is to remain one as one grows up.” I honestly would love to know why that is. I can’t imagine life without creating. It’s such an outlet. I’m not saying everyone has to be a professional or that everyone should seek to get a gallery show, or whatever, I just wish everyone would allow themselves the opportunity to get what’s going on inside them, out, not to mention the fun of creating.

My big observation though was this. This was a church event that started in the heart and mind of a child, that the church leadership took seriously and ran with it. I think that is huge and important. The church is consistently losing the next generation. Churches like this one, that give their young people a voice, and take them seriously, have a much better chance of keeping that same generation and all the ones to follow. Next time a kid comes to you with an idea for the church, rather than looking for the problems, look to what can be gained and give it a try. You might be surprised.

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At my church this year for advent, I wanted to address something that worries me, that, on the surface, sounds like it shouldn’t. I sometimes worry that we know the Christmas story too well. I know, right? You might be thinking, “Cry me a river, pastor. You think people might know a text too well.” Not exactly. What concerns me is that people know the story so well that they take it for granted, and cease to be blown away by how amazing the story actually is. I mean, this is the incarnation, God becomes a man and comes to earth, born a baby, to experience all of life as we do, set a perfect example, prepare the way for us to receive eternal life, teach us all that the Lord wants us to know and dying to secure the way to God for all who will believe. It’s a beautiful, nearly scandalous story that I never want to see people miss because they think they know it. So how to present this powerful story in a way that makes people really take it to heart? Well I got creative.

I started reading through the text, selected four people intimately involved in the story and really studied all that the Scripture says about them. This led to a series I called “Prepare Ye the Way of the Lord.” In the series I looked at four “men” (one of them was an angel, hence the quotes) and told the story as best I could, from their perspective as if I were them, dramatically. It was one of the most commented upon series I have ever done, but aside from that, it blessed me. I had to really delve into the story. I had to dig deep and I had to really put myself in their shoes, because I was going to quite literally put myself in their shoes. I had to think things like, “How would they have experienced this moment?” and “Would he really say that?” It was one of the most rewarding study experiences I have ever had.

The other thing was, I had no desire and felt no leading for costumes, but his would I get the people to forget it was me and imagine the person in question was speaking to them. I ended up doing what I do best, i.e., making art. I did a portrait of each of the people I was portraying and put them in the front of the sanctuary. Rather than speed painting these “live” since advent series’ tend to be very full, I took my time and painted them in my studio. This also ended up being a blessing, because I could really push myself artistically. I had a great time with this series, but that’s not why I share this. I share it to encourage you to take the familiar passages and find a different way to present them—a way that will be faithful to the text and yet creative enough to get people to see something they already know with fresh eyes. I believe God gave us our creative gifts for this very reason. How can you help people to really see God’s truth?

Here are the portraits. They are Gabriel, a shepherd (who I named Itzhak), John the Baptist (because if you’re going to talk about preparing the way for Jesus, he can’t be left out) and finally Joseph.


Well this past week was a long bur wonderful one. In eight days I had the privilege of ministering the Gospel eight times. It started Sunday bringing a message on dealing with offense at my home church, Springfield Church of the Brethren. I’ve been working on a series on overcoming offense with love. On Monday I packed up all my supplies and headed for eastern Ohio early Tuesday morning, to minister with my friends Bill and Brenda Weiss at their amazing home also known as the Liberty Raymond Tavern. No I haven’t gone out to play the bar circuit. Their home was a stagecoach stop back in the 19th century as well as a stop on the Underground Railroad. They have a barn on the property where they have a weekly worship gathering. It is always a great time, always intimate and meaningful. They hosted me for the week and helped me to connect with my other stops.

Wednesday, I ministered at the church that first brought me to the area. I ministered at the closing night for the Spiritual renewal services at Bristolville Church of the Brethren. When i first went to Bristolville in 2014, they arranged for me to stay with “the other Weisses” and we’ve ministered together ever since. This time in Bristolville, I did my newest presentation Love Like Jesus, and we had a great night. Thanks to Fred Keener and the folks at Bristolville for having me back once again.

Thursday, Bill Weiss and I traveled to Erie, PA so that I could speak for a meeting of the Erie Chapter of the Full Gospel Businessmen’s Association. I first spoke at a FGBA Dinner last year and I have come to really enjoy them. The FGBA usually asked that their speakers give a testimony rather than a sermon, and I was delighted to give mine, complete with a live painting from my presentation, Pictures of Jesus. On Friday I did a similar message at the Sharon, PA chapter’s dinner. I always enjoy challenging people to use what God has given to His glory and I thank both chapters for having me.

Before the meeting in Sharon on Friday, I was privileged to tape my first TV program. I was a guest on Crossing Paths with Don Reed Sr. and Ron Kosor. I did my lion and lamb painting called Dichotomy, which is also part of Pictures of Jesus and deals with what we can know about Jesus, just by knowing His name. It was really exciting to see how a TV show is done and I look forward to seeing the episode when it airs.

Early Saturday morning I bid the “other Weisses” farewell and drove the seven hours home only to get up early Sunday morning to drive to Quakertown to minister the two Harvest Home services at Quakertown Church of the Brethren. In the morning service I did Hurried, Buried and Worried, and in the afternoon, I did the full presentation of Pictures of Jesus. It was a really good day of ministry that I enjoyed thoroughly.

By the time I arrived home on Sunday afternoon, I was tired but feeling blessed. Ministering the Gospel through the arts is truly a wonderful blessing. I love what I get to do and I look forward to returning to my home church this Sunday and to my next adventures. God is good.

I believe it was St. Irenaus who said, “The glory of God is man fully alive.” Someone else once said, “Do what you love and you’ll never work a day in your life.” I think the truth is somewhere in the middle. I love what I do, but it’s just one aspect of what makes me fully alive. My family and my relationship with God are a huge part of that as well. At the same time, I absolutely love what I do, but it is a lot of hard work and it’s in doing the work, as faithfully as I can, that God gets the glory.

If you’d like to see me bring my ministry to your church, please contact me.


Last night I revisited the church that brought me to this part of Ohio four years ago, Bristolville Church of the Brethren, in Bristolville, OH. It was really nice to reconnect with old friends. It was the last evening of their spiritual renewal services, and I had a great time.

This was my second time presenting the Love Like Jesus presentation I started doing in August. I have to say I am really starting to love this presentation. The impetus for it was really simple. A camp I was invited to speak at had the theme Love Like Jesus and they asked me to do a presentation on that topic. Well needless to say I was excited about the theme but I quickly ran into a problem. How does Jesus love? Oh it’s not that I was having a hard time coming up with ideas. No the problem was I had too many for any kind of a clear and concise message. How do you describe the greatest love there has ever been in an hour or less? I decided I needed to go back to the tried and true three point sermon format, because sometimes you need to put boundaries on your message. Part of what helped was listening to the radio in the preparation process and hearing Cory Asbury’s song Reckless Love. I’ll put a video of it at the end of the post. It really does a great job of describing God’s love, overwhelming, never ending and in a way reckless.

Then I read a post where someone took issue with the idea of God’s love being reckless. After all, God is all knowing and all powerful, is anything reckless for him. Of course, for Him, though it may appear to us that it is, it isn’t, but if we look at loving like Jesus, I think it’s safe to assume that for us, it will definitely appear reckless if we choose to try to love as He loves.

I also looked at His love being unconditional and sacrificial. While we may not be able to pull off unconditional in perfection, we can certainly strive to love and choose to love in spite of circumstances that might lead us to do otherwise. As far as sacrificial love goes, of course we cannot reach the level that Jesus did, but because of what He did, we don’t have to. He is the once and for, all supreme sacrifice. What we can do is sacrifice our plans, our time, even our rights for the sake of loving on other people. Wouldn’t our world be a lot better if we loved in these three ways?

I think it would.

Here is the painting I did. I call it You Can’t Kill Love.

And here is that wonderful song by Cory Asbury.


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.


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.