Posts Tagged ‘amok’



So I saw the above video on Facebook the other way. No I’m not an evolutionist. To be clear the evidence of micro-evolution is everywhere, where small changes in creatures take place over time as species adapt to their environments. It’s macro-evolution, where one species becomes a totally different creature over the course of billions of years, with which I take issue, but this post is not about that. I watched this video with great fascination, and I almost shared it on Facebook, but then I read the comments underneath. They were ugly.

It always amazes me how some people can be so quick to belittle someone else’s deeply held beliefs. Disagreement I get, but the venom and nastiness is pretty tough to take. When I see a video like this, I marvel at it, and yes it’s true, I see it as evidence of my beliefs in a creator God. To me the complexity of everything around me rules out anything but intelligent design. Other people disagree with that, and that is their right. As a believer, my goal should be to pray and lovingly try to share what I believe. To be honest, after reading the comments, “lovingly” was not first on my agenda. No, I wanted to add to the ugly.

Oh it’s true. I wanted to call these people out. I wanted to highlight the hypocritical intolerance I saw in comment after comment. I wanted to refute every mean spirited thing I saw. I wanted to slam every person who made some ugly comment about the God I love. I wanted to jump into the fray and bash the bashers, especially the ones who were so mean to people who just wanted to marvel at what they see, what I see, as evidence of God. I wanted to throw their venom back. I’ll say it again, I wanted to add to the ugly. But is that what God wants? I don’t think so.

See every comment I make, does two things. First it spreads the venom. In my need to vent, I give the disagreeable behavior of the people in question a wider audience, all my friends, many of whom would also be tempted to add to the ugly. This would only escalate the matter. More importantly, when Christians add to the ugly, it entrenches people in their argument. It hardens their belief that there is no God and that is the last thing God would want. No, if we can’s speak the truth in love, we’re better off not speaking. When we see things that are disagreeable and even mean-spirited we need to remember why we’re here and remember our mission. My mission is not to make everyone be fair and kind and supportive of my beliefs. No my mission is to help people to come to belief in the one who loved me and freed me, in hopes that they will experience His love and be set free. Further our mission as creators is to create beauty that points to the Creator of beauty. I can’t do that if I add to the ugly.

Don’t add to the ugly.

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I’m at my church’s annual conference this week. Today both out Bible Study and the evening message were about the same parable, The Parable of the Workers in the Vineyard. The whole time I was listening, I was thinking that’ll preach and now I want to do it as a presentation. The thing is, I’m having a hard time thinking of the creative element. I will keep praying and I know the Lord will provide, but I thought I’d put it our there. How would you express this passage creatively?

Matthew 20:1 “For the kingdom of heaven is like a landowner who went out early in the morning to hire workers for his vineyard. 2 He agreed to pay them a denarius[a] for the day and sent them into his vineyard.

3 “About nine in the morning he went out and saw others standing in the marketplace doing nothing. 4 He told them, ‘You also go and work in my vineyard, and I will pay you whatever is right.’ 5 So they went.

“He went out again about noon and about three in the afternoon and did the same thing. 6 About five in the afternoon he went out and found still others standing around. He asked them, ‘Why have you been standing here all day long doing nothing?’

7 “‘Because no one has hired us,’ they answered.

“He said to them, ‘You also go and work in my vineyard.’

8 “When evening came, the owner of the vineyard said to his foreman, ‘Call the workers and pay them their wages, beginning with the last ones hired and going on to the first.’

9 “The workers who were hired about five in the afternoon came and each received a denarius. 10 So when those came who were hired first, they expected to receive more. But each one of them also received a denarius. 11 When they received it, they began to grumble against the landowner. 12 ‘These who were hired last worked only one hour,’ they said, ‘and you have made them equal to us who have borne the burden of the work and the heat of the day.’

13 “But he answered one of them, ‘I am not being unfair to you, friend. Didn’t you agree to work for a denarius? 14 Take your pay and go. I want to give the one who was hired last the same as I gave you. 15 Don’t I have the right to do what I want with my own money? Or are you envious because I am generous?’

16 “So the last will be first, and the first will be last.” (NIV)

Don’t worry I won’t knock off your idea, I just want to see how others would approach it.


Before we go any further, I want to tell you what this post is not. It’s not a patriotic or political post. Politics have been done to death and my life is so much happier since I’ve started pushing them further and further off the front burner of my life. It’s also not in any way bagging on America. I consider having been born and raised in the U.S. to be one of the great blessings God has given me. Independence Day is the day we celebrate the U.S. breaking free from England and becoming a sovereign nation and while this nation is far from flawless, it’s still a good place to live and grow and raise a family and not matter your views on immigration, there are a lot of people taking great risks to be here. I appreciate this land… but that’s not what I am talking about.

See there’s a downside to independence. No not the freedoms we enjoy in this nation, but in this idea that so many people carry that they’re independent and they don’t need anyone else. That can be a huge problem and it is not the way God designed us to be. No friends we were not created for independence. We were created for relationships. Thing about the body of Christ image from 1 Corinthians 12. Paul writes about how all these parts (people) come together to form one cohesive whole, a church that represents Christ to the world. We’re diverse and different, but when we bring those differences together and we each bring our best to the table and work together, we can do things that we could never accomplish independently. In the case we were not created for independence, but rather interdependence, depending on each other to do more together than we could ever do apart. As creatives, this plays out every time we collaborate or work with others in any way. One of the great freedoms we can find in the creative life is when we realize we don’t do everything well and allow ourselves to “out-source” our weaknesses to those for whom our weaknesses are strengths.

And then there’s the other element to be considered. We were also created to be totally and completely dependent on God. What did Jesus say? “Apart from me you can do nothing…” This is the truth of our existence as human beings. Whether we know it or not, whether we choose to believe it or not, we depend on God for everything from the air we breathe, to the world we walk on. When we acknowledge our dependence it frees us from having to solve and control everything and that may be the greatest freedom there is.

Celebrate your independence, but don’t forget to revel in your interdependence and the relationships it can create and, of course, never forget your total dependence on God, because in all of this we find true freedom.


I’m traveling this week so the posts might be a little sporadic, but for today I thought I would share this little reminder. This is my passion. Is it yours?


“The world in which we live equally distributes talent…” It’s a direct quote from a Southern New Hampshire University commercial and I couldn’t disagree more if I tried. First of all the world doesn’t distribute talent, talent comes from a much higher authority, from God Himself. Secondly, it is not equally distributed—not even close. Oh I believe everyone gets at least one, but some get many and that’s okay as well. The speaker then speaks about the uneven distribution of opportunity. Unfortunately that’s true too, but here’s what I know. None of that frees us from the obligation to do whatever we have with whatever we’ve been given. If you have one talent, put it to good use, if you have a hundred, put as many of them to use as you can. God expects it, that’s why He gave them to you. If you have a million opportunities you’re responsible to use them all and if you only have one, you have a choice, you can lament that you only have that one or you can make the most of it. I’m not belittling a lack of opportunity or injustice, just laying out the choice.

I used to think I made my own breaks. I’ve since given up on that line of thinking. I use to wonder why I got some opportunities, and got overlooked for others, all it did was make me doubtful, discourages and bitter. Creatives can’t afford any of that. Instead we need to seek out the opportunities, pray and do the work. We need to be bold, creative and trusting. Ephesians 5 reminds us: “15 Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise, 16 making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil.” We need to live God honoring lives and making the most of every opportunity in these evil says, and these days are evil. The gifts, talents and opportunities we have been given are given to us to make the world a better place and point it to its only hope.

Paul gives us some further information on how to live this out. 17 Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord’s will is. 18 Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery. Instead, be filled with the Spirit, 19 speaking to one another with psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit. Sing and make music from your heart to the Lord, 20 always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.

At the end of the day, this is what it call comes down to. Talents are out of our control, to some degree so are the opportunities, but what we do with them well my friend that is in our hands. Live wise, seek God’s will, stay pure and sober, worship the One who gives it ALL, and live in grateful inspiration and anticipation. Use all you have to God’s glory, He’ll take care of the rest. He might even use you to make these days a little less evil.


I went looking for something yesterday. I had mentioned the other day about it having been 20 years since the start of my ministry at the Creation Festival, well yesterday, I took the day and went back. It had been a few years since I was there–I’m guessing about five, but for some reason I was feeling strongly led to go back. I was having a good time, many things were the same, some were really different, but I was starting to feel like maybe I missed something. It was nice, even fun, but I was looking for more—a “bolt-from-the-blue” moment, that seemed to be eluding me. “Oh well, just enjoy the day,” I thought.

The evening portion of the day didn’t go quite as planned. I was going to have to cut my day short. My original plan was to stay through the final performances of the evening, catch a few hours sleep in my van and then make the drive home this morning. That was the plan but we were expecting a delivery, and I had to be home for it. The company decided to call me at the festival and schedule the delivery during a four hour window (who gets a four hour window for anything these days?) that started far too early for me to make the trip this morning, so I had to cut my day short and drove home last night. Now I really thought I missed it.

I went down to the stage for what would be my last band for the night. North Point Inside Out and something started to happen in my Spirit. There’s something about music… Then as I returned to my seat, there would be a worship music set, then the speaker and then I had to drive home. The worship leader started us off by singing Awesome God. Now what you need to know is when I first went to Creation in 98 there were two things I knew for sure. Half the bands would sing Shout to the Lord and every worship “set” would include Awesome God. As I started to sing, it came to me. I was drawn back to another time on that same mountain.

On that particular day I was there by myself, early in the morning, not another person around for “miles” (probably more like hundreds of yards but it felt like miles). I was alone and I was distraught. My ministry was struggling, I was hurting and I was ready to throw in the towel. I wanted something from God. A spiritual gift that would have probably changed my trajectory in life. I was literally begging, and in my spirit, I felt a gentle “No.” Instead I felt the call to “bring the Gospel simply, in a way everybody can understand.” This combination of words and pictures that I’ve been blessed to live out has been the result and yesterday I felt that purpose renewed and maybe reinvigorated. It was another reminder and a gentle nudge. I needed that.

I made this little cartoon as a reminder to me. The words oddly enough are from a song—not a hymn or a worship song, but an 80s rock song repurposed. The song is by Triumph. It’s called Hold on and it was written in praise of music. On that day on the mountaintop stopped being about music for me though and started to be about mission. While I continue to learn and study, I’ve chosen to accept that I may have to leave the “genius-ing” to the geniuses and focus on what I am called to do.

—bring the simple truth to the people and bring people to the simple truth.


Okay someone took my all time favorite painting and made it into an immersive painting video. If you’ve ever wanted to walk that little street or just see one of the world’s greatest works of art in a new way, this is for you.