Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category


Posted: April 20, 2023 in Uncategorized

Yesterday I reviewed the book Never Too Far by Louie Giglio. I always link my book reviews to Amazon in case the reader wants to check the book out for themselves, and I always share by reviews of great books on Amazon to help promote books I enjoy. Well one of the things that shows up on the Amazon page is a chart showing the number of reviews at each star level. To me, the book was easily worthy of five stars, and given the opportunity I would have given it more, but I saw someone gave the book a one star review and I had to see why. I clicked on the review, and this well thought out negative review held all of four words. Those words were “wasn’t what I needed.” Forgive me but “What the heck…” A one star review means your find the book to be utter garbage. A one star review says, “Well that was x amount of hours of my life that I will never get back.” A one star review is pretty much saying, “Whatever you do, don’t buy this.” It is a horrible thing to do to a writer, and something I would reserve for things that are not just badly done, but destructive. To give a one star review because the writer wasn’t able to psychically discern exactly what you needed and write a book just for you is the epitome of narcissism and it’s ridiculous. You know what is worthy of a one star review? This particular reader’s comment. I’m sorry but that is just awful.

I have read many books over the years that were not exactly what I needed, and were I to review them, I might state that it was not what I expected, but I would still try to review the book based on the merits of what the writer had done, because just because the writer didn’t meet my need (something that was never his responsibility) it doesn’t mean that it won’t help someone. “Wasn’t what I needed” is not an acceptable reason for a one star review, as a matter of fact it’s not acceptable for a review period.

This great little book is the perfect read for anyone in need of a comeback. Through stories of people in various struggles from the Bible and from Giglio’s life and relationships, this book shows us that we are never to far from God for Him to meet us in the area of our deepest need. The book shows God as He is, a good God and loving Father who cares deeply for us, His children. Culminating in the ultimate comeback, the resurrection of Christ, Giglio’s message is simple. God’s got this, and He will help you to overcome. I thoroughly enjoyed this immensely encouraging book.

I’ve been calling this my coloring book. No I am not demeaning it. I’ve taken to reading books with a highlighter in hand, and I could practically have highlighted this whole book. To say that Dr. Evans has written a book for such a time as this, would be a profound understatement. This book is a book that speaks to the times in which we are living. He starts off by looking at what the values of God’s Kingdom are, and how we, as Christians, need to live them out. These chapters are powerful and convicting, and they hold up a mirror to our lives that cannot be ignored. From there Dr. Evans explores the beatitudes where Jesus calls out Kingdom values all believers in Christ need to pursue and live out. Evans does a deep dive into each of these topics and they are a challenge to each of us who claim the name of Christ. Tony Evans speaks the truth in love like few others in our world today. Sometimes it’s tough love, but it’s offered in love. This book belongs in every church library in the world, and every believer should read it. Yes, it’s that good.

Things I’m Afraid Of

Posted: April 4, 2023 in Uncategorized

If you’ve ever wrestled with anxiety, as I have, you may want to check out this song. After a great night of ministry, I was really wrestling. A lot of things around me are changing, some hard, some good, and while many of them have been great blessings for people I love and care about and that makes me very happy, I’d be lying if I said there’s no anxiety in my heart. I was praying and it felt like the Lord was leading me to turn on the radio. I turned on the Message on Sirius XM and it almost felt like the Lord was DJ-ing for me, with a long run of songs that really ministered to my heart, including this song which I heard for the first time.

If you’re ever wrestled with anxiety or even anxious moments, I think this will bless you. It’s Things I’m Afraid Of by Josh Wilson.

I read Daily Rituals: How Artists Work for a book study I am doing with the Emerge Arts Ministry group. It was a very interesting read. Basically the author/editor researched the work habits of about 150 artists, mostly from the fields of literature and visual arts, though artists from other disciplines were also included to a lesser degree. The book yielded some fascinating insights. Of course the artists sampled are anything but a monolithic group and their working habits ran the gamut. There were of course some destructive traits that showed up quite frequently including addictive behaviors and some of the random weirdness that is often associated with my fellow artists. On the other hand there were other artists with whom I really resonated, including something I am most passionate about. Many of the artists sampled derided the idea of sitting around waiting on inspiration. Rather they showed up every day and pursued inspiration by sitting down and doing the work. This is a trait that I believe all artistic people should aspire to. I really enjoyed this book and learned something from most every artist featured. Some showed me things I wanted to emulate, while others showed me the kind of artist I do not want to be. Both of those things can be helpful. This book is a worthwhile read. It is composed of very short essay style chapters, so the reader can digest the book in small bites if desired

How did people back then go from Hosanna to Crucify in five days? This is a question I think of every time I think of Palm Sunday, but maybe the better question is How do people today go from worship to rejection? I think this has something do with it.

The Thief and Theology…

Posted: April 1, 2023 in Uncategorized

I saw a post on Facebook and a related video on the thief on the cross and what the story has to do with our theology and something didn’t quite sit right. I am trying to explain it here.

I’m reading another book for a book study with my friend Jessie Nilo and her ministry called Emerge. By the way if you are into arts ministry, I highly recommend this group. The book is called Daily Rituals: How Artists Work. I’m only about half way through it, but it’s really interesting. It’s filled with short chapters most just a page or two filled with stories and eye witness accounts of many great artists, (of all disciplines, visual art, writing, music, etc.) and how they worked. I’m enjoying the book immensely and it shows me a couple things. First, artists are not all alike, some of these folks did some pretty weird things, while others went at their work like it was a job. Some spent hours and days seeking inspiration while others made their own inspiration by sitting down day after day and doing the work. A lot of them seemed to have taken walks, a habit I need to take up again. All in all it’s really interesting. I’m finding commonality with some of them, finding a few disciplines I would like to try adopting and some things that I find to be just crazy. But all of this is begging a question. What are my daily rituals and more importantly, what would I like my “eye witnesses” to report about me and my life. 

Here’s what I hope it would say. Dave got up early every morning, started off by reading the Scripture and praying for guidance for the day. Then he stepped out daily for a walk and more prayer, (this used to be a regular process for me until busyness started to choke it out and it got easy to rationalize that I don’t have time for it with all the work I have to do.) Dave then went to work, whether at his church office or at home, he spent long hours writing sermons, writing daily blog posts (another discipline that has slipped a little in recent weeks) and creating the art and visual media content that he used to share the Gospel both in person and online. He traveled often preaching and painting, while still making time for his congregation and family. Now here’s the part where I need to improve. When he finished his creative work, he was able to leave it behind to be fully engaged with his family and congregation. 

To be clear I do try to do that last thing, but I often feel unsuccessful. As I look at my list, I realize that my odds of doing it all are probably fairly slim. I often find myself working on projects seven days a week and still not getting it done. To be clear, I do have distractions that need to go, especially in my “off time.” It can be pretty easy to check my socials at night and end up engaged in things I don’t need to be doing. I have dreams and visions and actual projects I want to accomplish in the midst of trying to be the best husband, father grandfather, pastor and artist I can be and in order to accomplish it all, I have to get better in an area where my skills are really deficient, namely delegating things to others and sometimes learning a new word, a two letter word that I really hate, but know I must embrace if I want to leave a legacy. The word is “No.” Sometimes we need to let go of the good to become better at the best. How about you. What would you like people to say about your work habits. 

My Son In His Zone of Genius

Posted: March 29, 2023 in Uncategorized

One of my favorite podcasters, Dan Miller, speaks to the idea of people having a zone of genius. This is the part of a persons life where they are doing their best, most fruitful work.

Last night, I watched my son Chris in his. Chris is a teacher, working at a preschool teaching four and five year olds and preparing them for Kindergarten. He is also a gifted singer and actor. Last night my wife and I attended his school’s Winter program, and when I did, I saw a lot of Chris’ gifts come together. His students were engaged and performing their songs and motions beautifully. They were funny and entertaining, and they did a really great job. I watched Chris in the wings, coaching them and cheering them on and it was beautiful. He was clearly in his zone of genius and everyone could see it.

What is your zone of genius? What is it that you do, where it feels like all of your gifts and talents align and most importantly how can you use that to make a difference in our world and in God’s Kingdom? Finding your zone of genius and putting it to work is a key for us all. 

End of an Era

Posted: March 28, 2023 in Uncategorized

It was October 4, 1997. I was a young artist, husband and father and I was making a royal mess of my life. I was so sold out to being a professional artist that my priorities were completely out of whack. On that day I went to Stand in the Gap, a Promise Keepers even in Washington D.C. and the Lord got a hold of me. On that day I repented of my idolatry to my art and felt a new call, a call to ministry. On the way home, my friend Troy and I were talking music and concerts and we began to discuss a festival called Creation. By the time the festival rolled around, I was doing my first foray into ministry, leading a group to Creation festival. I went back at least nine more times. It was tough at times but I loved it and so many great things happened there. I became the youth leader at the church, met the folks at Interlinc, where I became a writer for them and made several life long friends. It was at Creation where I really got to know the woman who would become my daughter in law. I baptized my son there. I prayed with more than a few people to receive Christ there. It was there that I felt the call to plant a church, moved into pastoral ministry, and gained the experience to start my speaking ministry and more. I even painted a mural on one of their outhouses, which has the dubious distinction of being the piece of my art that has been seen by more people than anyone else.

Today I found that the festival is at its an end, and I must admit, I am struggling a bit. I was sort of hoping to return again to reconnect with so many great memories. I know the people that run the festival are looking to try something new, and I know there is a season to everything under the sun, but this is one I will miss. Thank you Lord for the good you did at Creation and all that you did for me and so many others at that farm in the middle of nowhere PA.