Posts Tagged ‘amokarts’


Today should be a fun day. Each year our church hosts a yard sale. Basically all the members, as well as some friends of the church being their unwanted items to our fellowship hall. We then sell the items and the proceeds go to funding various projects for the church. It’s actually fun and if you know what you’re looking for you can make some great finds. As I looked over the huge room with it’s heaping tables, I had a realization. Everything I found that I wanted is something that, for some reason or another, someone else was probably going to throw away. This shows once again that value is subjective. One man’s trash is another man’s treasure… 

…and I hate to say it like this, but it’s the same way with our creations. Some people will look upon it and see a treasure while others will look at it and only see trash. The task for the creative is to value their own work enough to ignore the critics and keep creating and it can be hard. After all, we love our work, or at least we should. I’m continually amazed at how many creatives seem to really dislike their own creations. I think if this is you, you’re looking at it wrong. You see I don’t think we actually dislike our work. If we did, we’d lay it aside and do something else. No what we are really struggling with is disappointment. On one side, the thing we’ve created is not as good as what we see in our heads and so we don’t like our end results. Here’s the thing, I’m not sure we are capable of creating a piece that is as good as the one we envisioned. That space between our ears is virtually unlimited, no struggles with media, no laws of nature contend with and certainly no limitations of ability. The imagination can just run wild and it can go way beyond our current skill level. Bringing that wildness into something others can see, is both the problem of the joy and the artist. Handled rightly, that disappointment can push us to greater levels of mastery and creativity. So don’t get down on yourself for your limitations, let those limitations spur you to greater levels of creativity.

On the other side are the external critics. Your work is just not their thing and sometimes they will disparage your work quite vocally. This is hard. We pour our hearts and souls into our work (and we should!) and this kind of stuff can feel very defeating. The thing is we have the choice as to whether or not we are defeated. Defeat in creativity (and many other aspects of life) can be summed up in one word, “quitting.” Do not give into that. The one calling you is bigger than your critics. If you’re work does not speak to someone, you have a decision to make. Are you going to give in and quit? Are you going to try to appease your critics by doing something that pleases them, even if it means creating work that no longer pleases you? Or are you going to forget about the people who consider your work trash and find the ones who consider it a treasure? The last choice will give you a lifetime of creative joy. The others will make you feel like trash.

One man’s trash is another man’s treasure. Look for the audience that treasures you.


I just spent four days ministering at Little Swatara Church of the Brethren. It was a great time. There were quite a few people that I grew up with there and it was great to reconnect. I spoke on the parables. One thing I have become convinced of is that if we as believers will apply the principles of these stories to our lives, they will help us to live a better “stories.” Here are a few pics. Thanks to Pastor Matt Christ for the invite and all you did for me and thanks to Mark Myers for doing all the video work. I can’t wait to see the clips.

I love to do this kind of ministry so if your church could ever use a few days of challenging, renewing messages combining art and the word of God, please contact me.



John Crist did this hilarious video that hits a little too close to home for your average pastor. I’m actually waiting for this show to show up on HGTV.


I just started reading Andy Andrews latest book, The Little Things and I was wondering if anyone would like to join me as we read it together and share thoughts back and forth. I am of the belief that he is one of the great thinkers of out time and this book is no exception. I’d love to share this journey with a couple people. Any takers?


Yesterday, I started leading a few days of Spiritual renewal services at a church near my home. It’s been a really great experience so far. At the end of last night’s presentation, Pictures of Jesus, I decided not to give an altar call but rather just to challenge the people to see me or the pastor for prayer after the service. Well as the last song was being done, I just really felt led to go back to the front of the room and wait. It seemed the Spirit was working on someone in the room. No one came forward, but that’s not surprising, it seems harder than it used to be for people to leave their seats and walk the aisle, still I knew something was happening. I dismissed the people and a young man came up to me. I was expecting this might be the one. Instead he had a question for me. What Scriptural authority to you have for praying with someone to receive Jesus? It was a good question, one I had not been asked before and one I really didn’t have an answer for. The young man was very bright and well read in theology. He knew his Bible very well and I was feeling a little outclassed. But there was more.

You see I now knew he was not the one, but there was still someone there who needed help. I knew he desired a theological debate, but if that’s what he was looking for, he came to the wrong guy. There are many people qualified to have that kind of discussion, My qualifications are pretty simple. I’m the guy that proves God can use anybody. I learned a long time ago that people are not argued into the faith. Now I could have quoted scripture, like Romans 10:9-10, “9 because, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved.” but I doubt that would have satisfied. or Romans 10:13 “for, “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” but I’m not sure that would have worked either.

So here’s what I know. I know that there was a time in my life where I came to the end of myself. I was at a revival meeting, when I felt God knocking at the door of my heart. An invitation was given at the end of the message and I responded. A pastor led me in a prayer of salvation and it worked. I don’t know if he had the scriptural authority to do that or not, but I do know this, when I prayed that prayer I crossed a line and something changed in my heart. Something big. I turned from my sin and turned to God. I was baptized and I received the Holy Spirit. If I had to state it, I’d say that’s my authority. The spirit of the living God lives in me. As far as the prayer goes, I don’t know, but I do know this. If it is wrong to pray that way, The Spirit in me knows my heart and He prays when I don’t know what to pray and that’s good enough for me.

Perhaps the best Scriptural argument I can give would come from Revelation 3:20 where Jesus says, “Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in and dine with him, and he with Me.” In other words, if God uses my ministry to knock at the door of someone’s heart, the prayer is nothing more than me helping them to answer the door. That may not be deep and theological, but I’m not about to let someone face a God-less eternity while I play theology. I’ll take my chances on grace and the power of the spirit to fill in any places where my knowledge fails.

By the way, if any of this inspires you to debate with me, please don’t, I won’t engage.


My denomination sponsored a workshop today called Reimagining Art for Worship. Led by Diane Brandt, this was a great day and a great workshop. Diane Brandt is the creative arts pastor at a church in nearby Lancaster, PA. She gave us a lot to work with. We started off working with Play-Doh, creating something that reflected a moment of blessing from the day before.

After that, she had us create a piece of art that reflected our view of God. It was really quite interesting to try to put into pictures what is in our hearts. In the midst of this all was a constant insistence that we be kind to ourselves and respectful of where we are in our creative journey. Brandt was a constant source of encouragement. Then before our lunch break, she showed us examples of the work that she had done. It’s clear she is a very talented artist, yet she was continually humble. After a lunch break we reconvened around a Scripture (the woman at the well), and through a process of Lectio Divina and prayer, each participant allowed the passage to speak to us and then created a way to express the passage as if we were going to share it in a church/worship environment. I was amazed at the diversity of creations that were created around the room.

This was a really good day, and even though I do a lot of this stuff already and on my own, it was good to sit under someone else’s teaching and to fellowship with other church leaders wanting to increase the creativity in their ministries. I learned a lot today and I can’t wait to put it into practice.


I know God is good and I trust Him. Still there are times where I wonder if I am doing everything right and if I am making enough of the right efforts, especially with my speaking ministry. I’m a pastor and so I want to make sure I am being faithful to the people and the God who have called me to lead at this time while also being faithful to my call beyond the walls. It can be a real balancing act but it is also a tremendous blessing. Still I sometimes find myself wondering if I am doing enough to promote the speaking ministry. My bookings are a little off what they sometimes are by this time of the year and my summer looks a little slim. About the time I start to wonder, I get a reminder. In this case from a dear friend who feels led to bring me in to his ministry multiple times this year. It’s just another reminder that while I am called to be faithful, God’s faithfulness will exceed mine every single time.

So here’s the point you should take from this. Do your best to honor God with everything you do. Put forth your best efforts, do all that you feel led to do and work hard. This is called faithfulness. After that it’s up to God and He can always be trusted.

You need to do your part and then you need to trust.

God provides.

If you feel led to bring my ministry to your church or organization you can contact me by clicking here.