Archive for the ‘Storytelling’ Category


One of the big things I want to do in this blog is to encourage creative ministry. I’ve been sharing my messages from my church on this blog for a little while now, but now I want to add a feature. Think of it as a challenge. Each week before I post the sermon for the current week, I plan on telling you my next topic and the text. The reason for this is I want to encourage you to think creatively. How would you express the text in your art form? What creative elements would you add? How might you present the text to someone in a Sunday school class, a sermon, a drama, a song or other creative work.

I would love to see/hear how you would express these topics in your art form, so please share them in the comments. I promise not to use anything you create without your permission. On the other hand if you see something on here, you would like to use, I hereby grant you permission to do so, unless otherwise noted and only ask that you link back to this blog. Let’s spread creative ministry together.

The coming sermon is going to be about our resurrection and the resurrection body. I’m entitling it “A New You.” The text is 2 Corinthians 5:5-10

The current Sermon is called simply The End of the World… It’s the latest message in our “New” series is entitled “The End of the World…” What does that have to do with things being new? Everything! The passage I preached on from Revelation 21 is about the New Heavens and the New Earth and God making everything new.


One of the big things I want to do in this blog is to encourage creative ministry. I’ve been sharing my messages from my church on this blog for a little while now, but now I want to add a feature. think of it as a challenge. Each week before I post the sermon for the current week, I plan on telling you my next topic and the text. The reason for this is I want to encourage you to think creatively. How would you express the text in your art form? What creative elements would you add? How might you present the text to someone in a Sunday school class, a sermon, a drama, a song or other creative work.

If I were to share with you my ministry schedule, at least as it pertains to the message, Tuesday is my usual start date. I’m not usually a person who plans months ahead, and I don’t use the lectionary. My topics come as the result of prayer, as well as some practical concerns as we’ll see in a moment. At this point, I have two things going. I felt led to preach on what the Lord calls “New” to start off this new year. It will be a series of approximately four messages, which should carry me through January. The other thing I have going is an extended series on the book of Esther. Esther is our current Wednesday evening Bible Study, so I am preaching through the book and then teaching the study based on what I am preaching. I am writing the study, so every time we finish a chapter, I have determined I will break in to my current series and preach the next section.

Now as to my schedule. I try to have my day of rest on Monday. I pray and I may do some light reading, but I try to do some Sabbath rest. I start the day early on Tuesday, recording and assembling the sermon video you’re about to see. Tuesday, is also the day I really dig into the study and begin the writing. Wednesday is usually the day I will do the bulk of the writing. Thursday is usually my day to work up the visuals, and powerpoint. If I create a video for the sermon, the drawings are done throughout the week and I usually end up recording and animating the video between Friday and Saturday. Friday and Saturday are also days when I will tighten up the message and get ready to preach. Of course, I also do a lot of other things so I have to be a little flexible on the schedule. You should also know that I am always reading and studying and sketching and many of my future messages are born during those times.

I would love to see/hear how you would express these topics in your art form, so please share them in the comments. I promise not to use anything you create without your permission. On the other hand if you see something on here, you would like to use, I hereby grant you permission to do so, unless otherwise noted and only ask that you link back to this blog. Let’s spread creative ministry together.

The coming sermon is going to be about the New Heavens and the New Earth and my main text will be Revelation 21. What would you do with that text and topic?

The current Sermon is called simply A New Creation. As we explore the things that God calls “new” in this series, we come upon one of the most important things: becoming a new creation in Christ. Join us as we explore 2 Corinthians 5:11-21 and how God re-recreates us from the inside out.


One of my Christmas gifts this year was a collection of eight books by C.S. Lewis. So far I have read four. They are amazing. These are not the Narnia books, but rather his philosophical books. I have to admit that while I am enjoying them, they are definitely at the top end of my reading level, and I’m not getting it all. No worries I can always reread them at a later date and even at this point I am learning a lot.

The book I’m reading now is different. This book is the Lewis I really love. The allegorical kind, where Lewis teaches great truths in the guise of stories. The book is called The Great Divorce, and no, it has nothing to do with marriage. It’s about heaven and hell and Salvation. In this allegorical story, Lewis imagines a bus trip from hell to heaven where the passengers are allowed to stay if they want. I know this is nowhere near correct theological but again remember, it’s an allegory. The stories relate to people now alive and their attitudes toward life, faith and the afterlife. One particular account features the protagonist (who seems to represent the author himself) is speaking to his “guide.” He at first is wondering why “the solid people” (the residents of heaven) don’t go down to hell to rescue those who are there. His question then goes to what about the people who never board the bus for heaven, who he calls “poor souls.” His guide, who he calls George MacDonald (a man who was a strong influence on Lewis in real life). This is his response.

Everyone who wishes it does. Never fear. There are only two kinds of people in the end; Those who say to God, “Thy will be done,” and those to whom God says “Thy will be done.” All that are in hell choose it. Without that self choice, there would be no hell. No soul that seriously and constantly desires joy will ever miss it. Those who seek find. To those who knock, it is opened.

Again this is allegorical language, not necessarily theological and yet there is a lot of truth here. The point is very simple. Salvation is offered to everyone who will believe, and everyone who believes will receive. So many people want to overthink it, or look for the loophole, or try to outsmart the Lord. So many are caught up in their own plans and contrivances and beliefs that are not scriptural. The simple truth of the matter is Jesus is the way the truth and the life. He is the only way. He sets the terms and if we enter, we enter through Him alone.

Lewis is a powerful storyteller, who brings the point home masterfully. Those of us with creative gifts were given those gifts to share the Gospel truth. How would you tell His story?


I have to admit I was skeptical that this would be the last Star Wars movie, and while I have serious hopes that there will be more stories to come (The Yoda movie for example!) if they were going to end a story arc, this was the way to do it. I loved this movie. It is a thing of beauty that actually gives closure. The first film came out when I was in Jr. High, and I am now 56 years old. That a franchise could have this kind of staying power and a rabid fan base is truly a testament to how amazing this story really is.

Now I will admit, to give you much here without giving a ton of spoilers is difficult, so I’d like to go at it a different way. I took my son along with me to the movie. He is not really a Star Wars fan and hadn’t been to any of the other movies. I was a little concerned that he wouldn’t get it, but in the midst of really beautifully bringing the series to a close, they also build a complete story, that even someone who wasn’t all that familiar with the franchise could follow and really enjoy. This is a testament to great story telling. This “final” installment still managed to have a beginning, a middle and an ending—truly an in tact story.

As a nearly life-long fan, I loved how they closed the arc and completed the circle. I realize I may not be the best movie critic in the world, but I love a story where the good guys win, but there is one thing I love even more—a story of redemption. This may be the best part for me of the whole thing. I’d love to tell you more but that would give away an amazing ending. This is a five star (out of five) movie. This is a fantasztic example of how to tell a story. See it!


One of the privileges that artists have, is the ability to tell stories that touch hearts and sometimes even change lives. It’s pretty rare that, that can happen in two minutes and it’s extremely rare in commercials. That being said, Chick Fil-A has done it here. Not only do they make the best chicken sandwich, but here they made a two minute film that is both blessing and challenging, in the midst of the hustle and bustle of the season this is exactly what I need to remember. My guess is you might too. They mention their own brand for three seconds of the two minute clip, but it’s enough. It’s “my pleasure” to share this amazing little piece of storytelling with you. This is a “commercial” from a company that clearly cares more about their customers than their bottom line and it is a prime example of the kind of storytelling that makes a difference.

Enjoy. Then go and tell a better story.


I know I’ve shared this before, but from time to time, I feel like you might need a reminder. This is from an episode of Dr. Who, where the Dr. goes back in time to get van Gogh, and show him what his people say about his art today. Now of course this is a work of science fiction and yet, so many of us have a hard time seeing their own value, let alone the value of their work. van Gogh died at the age of 37, many people believe by his own hand, and I cannot help but wonder what would have happened had he been able to see what we think of his work today. It’s too late for him, but not for you. You’re worth more than you know.


Be sure to check the sentiment at the end.