Posts Tagged ‘amok’

I was reading 1 Thessalonians 4-5 this week, and I knew that this needed our message. If you want to know how to please God, take a listen.

So today was a really interesting day. It started with helping to set up one of my favorite speaker’s equipment for a major school presentation. Afterwards I got to have an early lunch with him and his team which was just awesome. Stories from the road combined with a few take aways that can’t help but make me a better speaker in the future. Thanks Bob Lenz for sharing some time with me today. If you are a pastor, you should really consider teaming up with a few other local churches to bring his Dignity Revolution presentation to your local school.

After that, I had a few errands to run. Checks to be deposited, and getting my driver’s license picture taken, after which I was craving a small treat, namely a McDonald’s Hot Caramel Sundae. While I was there, I heard a conversation between a worker and one of the other guests. I was trying to mind my own business, until I heard the young lady say she was an artist. At that point I had to join in. It turns out she had recently posted a photo of a new piece of art to social media. She had tried a new technique (for her) and was looking for feedback. She referred to her post as controversial. It wasn’t so much controversial, but she was getting a look at the difficult side of putting her work out there. Some people liked the piece, others did not. I didn’t read the comments, and she was handling it pretty well, but I could tell some of it was hurtful.

The piece was well done and a very good first effort. If she keeps going, she will grow and excel, but I reminded her of something I have had to remind myself of far too many times. As an artist you have to be true to yourself, claim your work and, to an extent, ignore the unkind critics. Let’s face it, as artists we all want everyone to like our work, but this is not reality. Some people will love your work, others will not. Some will praise it, others will put it (and maybe even you) down. Here’s what we need to remember: The people who love your work are the people who matter. Create first for yourself (and of course for the Lord), and then for the people who love your work and disregard the haters. The people who love your work are the people that will 1. buy it and/or 2. tel the world about it. They need to be your focus.

Also as artists, we need to bless and encourage each other and help each other out. In the course of our conversation, I shared a few of my pieces, talked about my traveling ministry, looked at more of her stuff, shared a couple of ideas, and because she was open minded, I showed her some of he work of one of my friends who I would consider a master at her ‘new” technique. All in all it ended up being a good conversation and I was blessed by it. I hope she was encouraged as well.

I’m in one of those places right now where sleep seems such a waste of time. I literally have an overload of ideas. No, I’m not complaining. Well maybe just a little. You see I’m feeling a little sleep deprived, because the ideas tend to kick up in the middle of the night. Engage them too long, and I can’t sleep. Further, I have more ideas than I can act on, and the temptation is very real to back burner things in favor of the shiny objects before my eyes. Add to that a few changes coming up, and I’m starting to feel distracted. I need to focus. What to do?

Well let’s start with the basics. Keep a pad and paper or other idea collection device nearby, so you can record the ideas, after all in the creative world, ideas are gold. Recording them gives me the confidence that I won’t forget them or lose them which often helps me get back to sleep. This also allows me to store the shiny objects, so that I can faithfully finish what I’m already working on. So many creatives have a mountain of started ideas that flounder in the name of the next big thing, don’t do it. Unfinished ideas benefit no one, and if we truly believe in calling, a big part of that is getting our creations out there to the rest of the world.

I’m of the belief that there is no such thing as too many ideas. The answer to the difficulty is being able to maintain focus, and get things done. We need to prioritize and we need to know our calling. Some things are for us to do now, and some are for us to dream on for a while, maybe even hand them off to someone better suited to the task at hand. The point is there are only so many hours in a day and we all need to rest at times. Prioritization will help us manage our ideas until we can get to them.

What are you working on today?

I’ve decided to try something new. I’m going to record my sermons each week and combine them with the power point slides I’ve made for the messages. This will show some of the ways I am using visuals and how I construct messages.

This week the message centers around three traditional questions asked by the deacons before we enter into our love feast and communion service. Based on 1 Corinthians 11:25-27, this message deals with the way we should approach communion.

I’m away from my scanner so I decided to just doodle with my computer. I don’t love the graphic, but the sentiment of this meme is exactly how I feel and what I will strive for on social media.

Is there anyone else who has about enough of the way things are. In so many quarters all we see is negativity. I for one have had enough. The thing is what we put into our heads can’t help but change our trajectory. Put enough negativity in and surprise, surprise, surprise, you’ll also succumb to negativity. Maybe it’s time we said “Enough Already.”

But what if instead we refused to participate. What is we decided for every negative thing we see rather than giving it the power to negatively impact our day, we made the conscious decision to do something positive instead. What if for every negative meme, we made (or even shared) a positive one? What is we determined to let negativity die the death it deserves, by refusing to comment, like or share, and instead found something that will bring someone thoughts of hope, love and joy.

That’s what I intend to do. I am determined from this day forward to be a bringer of love, hope and joy.

Philippians 4:8 Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.

In case you need an example.

God is good, powerful, awesome and a whole lot more. Needless to say all the positive adjectives in the world will not be adequate to describe the totality of God, but there’s one word that cannot be overlooked. That word is unpredictable. The saying He works in mysterious ways is a pretty profound understatement. About the time you think you have it all figured out, there’s usually a plot twist that leaves you wondering what’s going on. It’s in these moments that we need to remember one more word.

God is faithful. Sometimes we have to take these leaps of faith. How good is it to know we jump into the arms of the One who never misses and never fails.

Following God is an adventure. We need to trust the unpredictable to the One who is eternally faithful.

We may have to expect the unexpected, but we also trust in the One who never fails expectantly.