Posts Tagged ‘2 Corinthians 5:17’

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.

Why name a ministry AMOK? It is, after all a name that has gotten me some grief over the years. One person said I should change the name because God is not a God of disorder. That’s true, but totally irrelevant. Another said AMOK is defined as a murderous rampage, I’m pretty sure that’s also not where I was going. For the record the name AMOK appears in the Bible twice, both time in genealogies referring to the name of a specific person, but even that’s not why I picked it. And then there’s the fact that so many people don’t know how to pronounce it. There have been times when I wished I had picked something different, and yet the name is fraught with meaning, so From time to time, as much for me as for you, I like to take a little of time and look at this name I’ve taken for this ministry and what it means. This allows me to tell new people a little about the story, encourage my long term readers and remind myself of the vision behind what I do,

So let’s start with the basics, AMOK is an acronym, it stands for Arts Ministry Outreach for the Kingdom. is the domain name I chose, largely because was unavailable, The idea for the name came from the phrase running amok. Now while can have connotations of disorder, that’s not how I see it. You see I believe the current world system is not as God intended and I long to see God’s Kingdom “running amok” through this world, changing things for the better. I believe the best way to achieve this goal is by spreading the Gospel of Jesus Christ, which I see as, among other things, the antidote to the mess we’re in. You see the Bible says, “Therefore if anyone is in Christ, He is a new creation, the old has gone and the new has come.” (2 Corinthians 5:17 NIV) I believe transformed lives cannot help but transform culture. But there was a problem.

I’m just one little guy, and I’m an artist. What can an artist do to change the culture. Well that’s where my favorite verse comes into play. “Each one should use whatever gifts he has received to serve others, faithfully administering God’s grace in it’s various forms.” (I Peter 4:10 NIV) I began to see ways to minister using the arts, that would encourage other people to find and use their gifts to the glory of God, and this thing I call AMOKArts was born.

What I envision is helping the church to embrace creativity and creative people to accomplish their ultimate mission of spreading the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Equally important I want to help creative people to embrace the church. I desire to see the church become the most creative place in any community, because as children of the ultimate Creator, creativity is in our DNA. I want to resource and equip creatives and the church to find new and creative ways to take the unchanging Gospel to an ever changing world. I believe when this happens, people will see Jesus in us, find Him for themselves, be saved and transformed into their best selves, living lives to His glory and continuing the process. In short, I echo Paul’s sentiment from Romans 1:16 (NIV) For I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God that brings salvation to everyone who believes…

This then is what I desire to see. The Gospel changed my life. I want to help others find what I have found. The arts are the tool God has given me to use. I think there are many gifted people out there, and I want to help them to use those gifts to serve others to the glory of God and from there, watch God work. That’s the meaning of AMOK.

Want to run AMOK with me? Let’s go!

nc1aLast Night I did my new presentation on what may be my favorite verse in all of Scripture, 2 Corinthians 5:17, “Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation, the old has gone and the news has come.” I was trying to think of a good painting to do with it. I’ve already done butterflies and frogs exploring the metamorphosis concept of complete change, but that wasn’t quite right, So I went at it a completely different way.

First off I did something I almost never do. I started with a white surface. I usually speed paint on black. I started off by doing a very simple line art self portrait. What the congregation may not have realized is I was really gobbing on the black paint. Then I added some sky blue around it. What they didn’t know. was it was my intent from the beginning to wreck the painting. Taking paper towels I smeared it into a cloudy mess and then quit. When I began to speak, I spoke of how we basically start as a clean slate, but then life happens and we sin and we get splattered by the effects of sin and it makes a mess of us. I then talked about what it means to be a new creation in Christ—the way He transforms and renews and redeems us.

nc1bAt the end of the message I painted a picture of Jesus over the mess. The reason, when Christ redeems us, He allows us to put on His righteousness. The finished project was a little less successful than I like. For some reason my surface started to warp and it was falling out of the easel. Speed painting while holding your surface with the other hand is not easy. Nonetheless, the painting which took a total of about 8 minutes for both phases demonstrated what it was supposed to demonstrate and I was pleased.

Here’s the point, in Christ there is grace and forgiveness, but there is also transformation. Your past does not dictate your future. You can be redeemed. God can take your life and make it into something new. He can take the best of you and make it better. He can redeem the rest of you and turn it into a powerful testimony. God created you and He can also recreate you and when He does (and He will if you ask Him) you will be a new creation.

This is the latest piece in my New Creaturez Pop Art Series.
Photo on 2013-08-10 at 10.33
Again these pieces deal with 2 Corinthians 5:17 which in the King James says:

“Therefore if any man be in Christ, He is a new creature…”

These creatures represent some stuff from the old nature that has to go. This one is depression. It’s not an accident that he has horns.

Another of these villains is anger…

Well as many of you know I am really getting into pop art and I really love to create Creatures. Today I combined them and I am wondering what you think. I am most likely going to do a collection of several of these pieces.

The concept for these comes from 2 Corinthians 5:17 which in the King James says, “Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.” Lately I have been struggling with some of the old stuff bubbling up and I’ve decided it’s time to make some creatures to remind me these things are supposed to be gone. This one is fear…
What are your old creatures?

I did this painting for a recent art show. I know it just looks like a collection of kooky creatures, but believe it or not it comes from the scriptures. One of my life’s guiding verses is 2 Corinthians 5:17 which says “Therefore if anyone is in Christ, He is a New Creation, the old has gone and the new has come.” It’s a verse that speaks to the idea that Jesus can and will transform you life, it’s something I really resonate with and something I have experienced firsthand. Jesus Christ has radically transformed my life and I am a new creation. I love this verse so much that it’s what I named the church we planted.

Well one day one of my closest friends and my mentor in ministry asked me to preach in his church. His church uses the King James Bible and he asked if I would preach from it as well, a request I was happy to honor, but it left me in a strange place and gave a wonderful creative opportunity. The strange place was caused by the fact that the KJV uses a different word. It doesn’t say New Creation. Instead it says New Creature. In meaning, it’s a subtle difference. I have no problem with saying I am a New Creature, because I am vastly different from what I used to be. On the other hand, I was pretty glad I didn’t know what the King James said when I started my church. I’m not sure what people would think of attending New Creature Fellowship.

The other side of it though was a great opportunity. You see I’ve been creating creatures as long as I can remember. At one point I even worked for a licensee of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. When I saw the phrase “New Creature.” My mind was opened to a new way of telling the story. This painting allows me to tell the story of why I painted it, but it also allows me to tell how Jesus made me a new creature. I love it when I get to tell that story.

So here’s the question for you… Are you a new creature in Christ? And if so, how has He transformed your life? How has knowing Him changed you? If you can’t say that Jesus has changed your life, I know this, He wants to. He wants to take the best of you and change the rest of you, you know the stuff that hurts and breaks you. He loves you.

Lastly for my artist friends, try this, create a new creature that shows how Jesus has transformed you and use it to share your story.