Posts Tagged ‘arts’

Mike Rowe has a Facebook show out called Returning the Favor, where he blesses people who are blessing and serving others. If you ever need creative inspiration to use your gifts to make a difference, this show is for you! Case in point, this episode about a 13 year old girl who started a food pantry that serves thousands every month. There is something each of us can do to make a difference in our world. Pray and as God how you can use your gift, in a way that makes a difference in our world.


I really love, when really smart people say better what I have been saying all along.
Thanks Seth Godin!

I’m about two months out from one of my favorite ministry activities. Each year I do a week long came for adults with developmental disabilities. The first couple years I just did the live paintings and then one year I took one of my clips along as an illustration, and they loved it. They also happen to love music and so I thought maybe there’s a way to get them to key in on the topic of the week with a rap-like chant. Well I recorded one, it’s very basic, but it’s something that they and probably every one else needs to know: In Christ, no matter what anyone else has to say about us, we are enough.” I had fun with this, the audio is not the best, but once the campers learn the chant, it won’t matter, it won’t be heard over them anyway.

I can’t wait to put this thing to work.

I occasionally wrestle with peace. Now to be clear, I have no problem with peace. I love peace, I try to live out Paul’s admonition from Romans 12:18 “If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.” That being said I sometimes wonder if people really get peace. When we say peace, what are we talking about? Inner peace? outer peace? world peace? My heart in all of this is I’m not sure there is a lot we can do with world peace, beyond living out Romans 12:18, what I really want to help work with is helping people find peace with God. I really want to create a piece of art that expresses my heart for what I see as real peace.

There are a lot of symbols of peace out there, but I want to create something that really shows real peace. How would you express peace visually?

I’d love to hear your comments or better yet see your ideas.

Here and there, I have been posting about this massive art project I’m working on. The one that should take me at least a year to complete—the one that is forcing this speed painter, whose spent most of his career having to work fast, to slow down and work very methodically. Well, by my calculations (and calculations don’t always go well with me), I’m about a 16th of the way through the process. Here’s the truth, I’m not sure I like it. I’m not sure it’s working and there’s part of me that wonders if I should do the other 15/16 or if it’s time to give up, salvage the canvas and do something else. Yes folks my piece has hit the awkward phase.

Most projects (*especially if you’re trying something you’ve never done before) hit an awkward phase. To some degree even God is not immune. Consider His greatest work, humanity, you hit an awkward phase, *unless you’re one of those disgusting people who was beautiful all the way through adolescence. Most of us hit that phase, our body parts grew at different paces, we get sort of gangly and awkward. Here’s the thing, we also know God knows exactly what He’s doing and even what we see as the awkward phase is really just a natural part of his omniscient design. We go through that phase to get to where we are supposed to be. What we see as awkward is actually an essential part of our development. We have to pass through it. Maybe your work is the same way.

Now of course you’re not God, and there is always the possibility that you are botching your project. Consider for a moment though that your creation isn’t damaged. Maybe it’s just going through a phase. Don’t give up on it. It may well be a natural part of it’s development. Keep going and see it through. Finish what you started. Maybe it’s just the awkward phase. Beauty is happening. It might just take a little while.

My wife and I have been going to the gym. She’s doing phenomenally well, I’m both losing and gaining. Losing sleep and gaining weight. I’ve lost a hundred pounds this year, unfortunately it’s the same five pounds 20 times.

So what’s the difference between her and I? Well it’s two things. First she goes seven days a week, and with traveling and everything, I go less than that. She eats better than I do, but there is one thing that may be most important of all. She tracks her progress. She tracks calories on an iPhone app and uses a Fit Bit to monitor her exercise. Tracking your progress is a huge key to reaching your goals.

It’s not just weight loss. Tracking progress helps us to reach all kinds of goals. I am an avid reader and my work in ministry, not to mention my continuing education requires me to do a lot of reading. Also, as a blogger, publishers send me books for review. I love to read. A few years ago I decided I wanted to read a certain amount of books a year. This was made so much easier when I discovered which allows me to track the books I read, post reviews and more. On my home page, it will tell me how many books I have read so far and how many I am ahead or behind of reaching my goal. It’s been a great help to me.

Last year, when I was writing my book Enough. I decided to do it as part of NaNoWriMo. They have progress tracker on their site as well which allowed me to enter my daily word count and helped me to write a 50,000 word book in a month. It was God-send.

I love reading on my Kindle for a multitude of reasons, one of which is it tells me how much time I have left to read a chapter. This lets me know if I have enough time to start another chapter and will usually at the very least prod me on to finishing the chapter I’m already working on. It’s been a great help.

You don’t need a special device or an app or a website to track your progress. Just find the way that works for you. charting your progress makes the project less intimidating and you can watch yourself getting closer to your goal. It really works.

Now it’s great if you

I’m working on a video clip for a great camp I do in New York each year for adults with special needs, called Haven Camp. Our theme is Enough. based on my book which oddly enough is based on the theme for this camp. I wrote a sort of rap for the soundtrack. Don’t worry Snoop Dog has nothing to worry about. It’s called I Am Enough. Here’s a sneak preview.