Posts Tagged ‘amok arts’

I have been working on a new presentation called Close Encounters with Jesus about several people who were up close and personal with Jesus. It’s all about sharing your faith because a close encounter with Jesus is meant to be shared.

One of the people whose story I am exploring is someone we call the Demoniac. He was filled with so many demons that he Jesus asked his name the demons should “Legion, because we are many.” Jesus cast the demons out and set him free and then something strange happened…

CLOSEENCOUNTERSLOGOThe man is free. He’s sane and in his right mind for the first time in a very long time. The thing is there were other people around to see what happened. The people tending the pigs. They see the power of God in Jesus, they see the changed life of the man and they rejoice, right? No. They ask Jesus to leave. They don’t want Him around. Jesus isn’t welcome.

Why? Well maybe because their pigs just ran into the sea, but I think it’s more than that. I think they feared His power. I think they saw him as a threat to their way of life. They realized that if this guy stays around things are going to change. Do you see any parallels to today. Friends we live in a world and especially in a nation that is telling God over and over again that He is not welcome here. It’s as if to say, thanks for the first 240 years, but we don’t need you anymore. He gets in the way. He wants to change us. He wants to Make us righteous. He wants to be Lord and so many of us don’t want that. We say people can’t pray anymore. We remove the ten commandments from the courthouse. We want to remove Him from our money. His way is not our way and we want our way so He has to go. This is the path we’re on and the news every day shows us the results. We went from God bless America to Godless America and we are paying the price.

These people in Jesus day, saw God’s amazing power to do good and turned away from it and I think we’re doing the same thing. They didn’t want Jesus around. I mean they have proof. The maniac is sane. He’s dressed and acting like a civilized human being. He no longer needs to be chained. He’s not dangerous anymore. A few minutes with Jesus, a close encounter with Jesus and he is healed once and for all.

Can you imagine, what it must have felt like? The demons are gone. He can see and think clearly for the first time in a long time, maybe ever, and the first thing he sees is this man that just saved him being asked to leave. I can’t imagine it. This man has just found the source of hope and he will never be the same. If they’re asking Jesus to leave. He is going to go with Jesus.

Then Jesus does something no one could have expected. He looks at the man and says no. Jesus doesn’t want this man to come with Him. Think about it. As our world becomes more and more hostile toward the faith, isn’t the temptation to huddle up with other believers and go into hiding with Jesus. It’s easy to separate ourselves from the world and say enough’s enough. If this world doesn’t want Jesus, they don’t want us, so we’ll just huddle together and wait for the rapture. Here’s the thing, Jesus isn’t there. He’s not hiding in the church. He’s out in the world, doing what He came to do.

The reason Jesus doesn’t want this formerly possessed man to come with Him is not because Jesus doesn’t want him. It;s because Jesus has a mission for Him. He says, “No, don’t come with me, go to your home town and tell them what God has done for you.” I mean can you imagine what it would have been like to see the crazy guy that lived among the tombs standing in the streets and talking about Jesus? That would be something to see and his story empowered by the Spirit, probably convinced many. Friends, it’s the same way with us. You may not have story like his or like mine, but you do have a story, and just because the world doesn’t want to hear it doesn’t mean they need to hear it any less. Jesus doesn’t want us huddling away separated from the world. He wants us in the world and not of the world, sharing the way to be saved. Some won’t want to hear it, but some will receive it.

A close encounter with Jesus is meant to be shared. When you see Him for who He is, you need to share Him. Church the world looks the way it does, because the world is not following Jesus and getting the world to follow Jesus is why we are here. We are are the ones who’ve been entrusted with the message of reconciliation. We are here to prepare the way for the Lord’s return. That’s our mission and we need desperately to be on it.

Stay tuned for more on Close Encounters. I’m presenting it for the first time tonight. If you’re a believer, you have seen Jesus for who He is. You’ve had your close encounter with Jesus.

It was meant to be shared.

This is a milestone! I started this blog on my mom’s birthday March 22, 2010 now here we are just over five years and 2000 posts later. That’s an average of just under 400 posts a year and I have to tell you the truth, I have loved every moment of it.

If you wonder where I came up with the ideas for 2000 posts, I would direct you back to the very first post. It all started with a prayer walk…

and reading Seth Godin’s Tribes, deciding I would try to gather together a tribe of Christ following creatives and try to write posts to sow into their lives. It’s been an amazing journey and I appreciate each and every one of you who have take the time to join me on this wild ride.

What’s next? Well more of the same but with hopefully a different perspective. I am now doing creative arts ministry on a bit more of a full-time basis. If I can sustain that (and I don’t know if it’s sustainable yet, but God does), my hope is to use this blog to help other people to do the same. Regardless though, I know I have only just scratched the surface of what can be done in creative ministry. I would love to hear from you about what you’re doing and how it’s working as well as your questions, your concerns, etc.

I still feel like this blog is a little too much of a monologue and I want it to become a bit more of a conversation. Nonetheless, I have loved sharing with you all, and hope to get to know you all better in the years to come, Lord willing!

Thanks for being a part of this.

If you want to see where it all began, click here!

You may have noticed that this post is showing up late. The truth is, I had something happen that doesn’t happen often. I missed two day of posts this week. I hate to do that, because I am trying to be really disciplined and faithful to the folks who read this blog.

The truth is I have been really, really busy. I have two presentations this week, both of which are new. One involved building a secret agent robot for a Goddard School in my area and the other is called Close Encounters with Jesus, which I will be presenting for the first time Sunday night (and for which I had to finish the writing and make all the presentation graphics. We are also only a week out from our church’s vacation Bible school and I just made a 15 foot map for that. Of course I also released the Pictures of Jesus Book this week and I had to make charts for the face painters at our church’s fourth of July community outreach.

All of this has been great fun to do, and I am really excited to have two new presentations to offer to churches, a new book and more, but it all takes time.

Managing our time and priorities is hugely important. I’m not always the best at it, but I am getting better. The best way to manage all of this stuff is to keep a running list of what ha to be done and when it has to be done. Once you have your deadline, work backwards dividing the work into manageable steps. Having multiple projects going can sometimes be a blessing because sometimes you get a little burned out on one thing and its good to have something else to jump to. Be careful with this though. Having too many things going at once can make it hard to get anything done. At the end of the day, what we start only matters if we finish it.

timevampThe reason I didn’t blog for two days is because I knew I had to spend a serious amount of focused time on getting all these things done. Getting online usually ends up with me bouncing over to social media and checking my email. Both of those things are major time vampires for me, so my online time was kept to a minimum.

Thanks for letting me play catch up today. I now return you to your regularly scheduled life already in progress.

picturesofJesuscoverI love what I get to do. My speaking/painting ministry is one of the most fulfilling things I have ever done, at least as far as my “work life” is concerned (birth of my kids, wedding day, my salvation and a lot of other family type of things are still ranking higher, but this is pretty great!) Of all the things I do in my speaking/painting ministry, my favorite thing to do is present Pictures of Jesus. In it I do five live paintings combined with storytelling, video, I even act a little. It has just been great, but there has always been a problem. Someone will always come up to me after the presentation and say, “I wish (so and so) would have seen it.” I finally decided to fix that by writing it as a book.

For the next three days, the Kindle version of the book is FREE at Amazon. Click here to download it. Here’s how you can help.

1. Download the book.
2. Share the link with other people who will download the book.
3. Share the book with people who need to see this book.
4. If you like it, take a minute and review it on Amazon.

Why is your help so urgent? This book contains some great stories, but more than that, it contains a strong, clear presentation of the Gospel. I put it up for free, because I want as many people as possible to download it. This will propel it up the ratings on Amazon which will get it highlighted at several places on the site, which more people will see it, which will, Lord willing, get more people to read it and share it, which will hopefully get the Gospel to more people, which has always been my ultimate goal.

My prayer is that God will use this book to introduce people to Jesus and help those of us who already know Him to follow Him more closely and represent Him better to the world around us.

Please, Please, Please download read and share this book. It’s a quick read, and quite short only 50 pages, but I believe it will help a lot of people. There is also a print version available. It is full color, which is quite a bit more expensive, but color printing is expensive.

I had to take a moment to mention the passing of one of the great bassists in rock music, Chris Squire of Yes. Back in the day, I had visions of being a rock and roll bass player, and when I first heard Chris Squire play, my mind was blown. He passed away from Leukemia Sunday. This guy is one of a handful of musicians who reinvented his instrument and took it way beyond what was intended. Check out this amazing solo.

I’m not exactly sure what to call this post. To be honest, I’m not sure of much these days, but that God is still God, that God is still good and that Jesus is still Lord. We live in a world where discourse has been reduced to memes on social media. If it can’t be said in 140 characters or less, it won’t be heard. Disagreement is now hatred and tolerance, something that used to mean we could disagree, maybe even vehemently, and still respect and maybe even love each other, has been reduced to forced agreement with the status quo. Meanwhile I’ve seen Hitler mentioned on many occasions as an example of a Christian. For the record, no one who killed 11,000,000 million people is a Christian, period. This much is clear, we Christians have fallen out of favor. How should we react?

Well first of all, none of this should surprise us. Jesus told us people would hate us because of Him. Now if they hate you because you’re being a jerk, that’s on you, but if they hate you because of Him, that’s something different altogether. He went a step further in John 16 “All this I have told you so that you will not fall away. 2 They will put you out of the synagogue; in fact, the time is coming when anyone who kills you will think they are offering a service to God. 3 They will do such things because they have not known the Father or me. 4 I have told you this, so that when their time comes you will remember that I warned you about them.” He’s been right about everything else, chances are He’s right about this, too.

The church will not always be a help to us either. Scripture reminds us “For the time will come when people will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear.” (2 Timothy 4:3) A word of caution here, we can’t throw this verse at everyone who disagrees with us. Instead we must do what we have always been supposed to do, compare what we hear from pulpits and preachers (and the media, and the government, and everyone else) with the Word of God and live according to what the Word says.

So what do we do? We do what we’ve been called to do all along. We love others. We love everybody, even those who disagree with us, even those who may persecute us (and by the way, negative memes are not persecution). We pray for our leaders. We speak the truth in love. We help and bless and care and serve. We “Live such good lives among the [world] that, though they accuse you of doing wrong, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day he visits us.” Being reproached is no excuse to live anything but above reproach. We love because He first loved us. We do unto others as we would have them do unto us, regardless of what they actually do unto us. We follow Jesus, regardless.

Nothing has changed. Jesus is still Jesus. He will never steer you wrong. Everyone else… Well, not (always) so much.

If you’ve been reading this blog for any length of time, you may remember that I got my call to ministry at a Promise Keepers Event called Stand in the Gap… It’s been nearly 20 years since that day in 1997 and I am thinking we may need to revisit it. See if any of this sounds familiar. From Ezekiel 22, my devotional reading this morning…

26-29 “‘Your priests violated my law and desecrated my holy things. They can’t tell the difference between sacred and secular. They tell people there’s no difference between right and wrong. They’re contemptuous of my holy Sabbaths, profaning me by trying to pull me down to their level. Your politicians are like wolves prowling and killing and rapaciously taking whatever they want. Your preachers cover up for the politicians by pretending to have received visions and special revelations. They say, “This is what God, the Master, says . . .” when God hasn’t said so much as one word. Extortion is rife, robbery is epidemic, the poor and needy are abused, outsiders are kicked around at will, with no access to justice.’

30-31 “I looked for someone to stand up for me against all this, to repair the defenses of the city, to take a stand for me and stand in the gap to protect this land so I wouldn’t have to destroy it. I couldn’t find anyone. Not one. So I’ll empty out my wrath on them, burn them to a crisp with my hot anger, serve them with the consequences of all they’ve done. Decree of God, the Master.”

Who will stand in the gap? Maybe it’s time for our art to get prophetic. Not in the wildly symbolic sense, because while that’s great and I love it, a lot of people don’t get it and so they make it mean what they want it to mean. No, I’m talking more blatant, in your face, straighten up and fly right art, that challenges people to holiness and righteousness.

Who will stand in the gap?

Almost all of us fingerprinted when we were kids. Iris Scott takes it to a new level and reminds us once again, Picasso was right, “All Children are artists, the problem is to remain one as one grows up.

Here, Iris explains how she got started.

Hi everyone,
I know my posts have been a little more sporadic of late but I have to tell you, I have really been excited about some of the things that are coming out.

A Night AMOK: Pix of JCFirst up, I just finished writing something I have wanted to do for a very long time. It is the book version of Pictures of Jesus. So many people have come to my presentations and said, “I wish so and so could have seen this.” I decided to create this book as a way to keep the message moving. When it’s finished it will contain full color photos. I’m hoping to release within a week or two because I really want to begin taking this book with me on my presentations.

kickerslogoCreativity Kickers is also nearing completion. This has been a pet project for a while. It’s got over 500 creativity kick starters. I’ve been wrestling with how to release it. It’s something of a card file, but there was no affordable way to release it, so eventually I settled on putting it out as a book that can be cut apart into the cards, downloaded as a pdf and printed on card stock or just kept in tact as a book. The idea is to use these cards as prompts on days when you feel blocked creatively.

createbetterFinally, Create a Better Life. Yes, I know I have been breaking a lot of my ow rules on this one. I am way past deadline, but those are the dangers of creating a project live online. I have run into a couple snags setting up the webinar. I recently signed up for a course to help me move this project along. Sometimes one simply has to admit they don’t quite know what they’re doing and get some help. I am sorry for the delay but I do want it to be the best resource I can possibly generate. Of course the other side of this delay has been a really good thing. The bookings are rolling in for speaking engagements for AMOKArts. I will be out at least 11 times in July and I’ve already logged eight for August. This made projects like the Pictures of Jesus book a greater priority.

I really hope these projects bless you and I look forward to seeing you on the road.

I’ve been reading Book Launch: How to Write, Market & Publish Your First Bestseller in Three Months or Less AND Use it to Start and Grow a Six Figure Business

and the author, Chandler Bolt, has a motto that I am quickly adopting as one of my own. He says:

Done is better than perfect.

It’s very true. Perfectionism is something of a disease for creatives. Now don’t get me wrong, I am not talking about putting out sloppy garbage work. I am merely saying that we can perfect our work to death, and or use our perfectionism as an excuse to keep our creations from a waiting world. Remember your work is a gift. You need to get it our there.

Yes I am fully aware that I am a bit hypocritical on this seeing as how Create a Better Life is languishing on the back burner. In truth, several other projects had to move to the front burner, and I am currently signed up for a course on building webinars that will help me to release it soon.