Posts Tagged ‘arts’

In my new book, Enough., one of the things I dealt with is the subject of having enough. For today’s post I thought I would build on that. This is not an excerpt, it’s an expansion.This is a frequent struggle for creatives, especially. We get ideas or feel a calling or maybe even a commission and we feel the need to pass because we feel we don’t have enough, whether it be resources, talent or whatever. I confess I have struggled here too, but I’ve come to the conclusion that it’s pointless for us to do that to ourselves. I mean sure there is a time to count the cost, but for the most part that’s not what we’re doing. Rather, we’re selling ourselves short. So whenever I hear someone lamenting whether or not they have enough, I will usually ask a follow up question.

What do you have right now?

The reason I ask this is simple. If we focus on what we don’t have, we’ll never start and we’ll forget to be grateful for what we already have. Forget for a second having all you need to finish something. What do you need to start? Starting builds momentum and momentum keeps things moving. This is especially true in the realm of talent. People will make the fatal flaw of comparing their abilities with others. Do you know how that person who you think is better than you got to that place? The started and kept going. some people are naturally gifted, but no one starts off great. Rather they did what you need to do. Start where you are, with what you have and build on it. Every great creation started as raw material. The ones who do the work are the ones who get the finished product, so I’ll ask again.

What do you have right now?

Start with that.


Hi All,
Just wanted to let you know, my new book “Enough.” Is now available on Amazon in both the print and Kindle Formats. The Print version is available for $12 and the Kindle version is just $2.99. I can’t wait for you all to read it and I look forward to your input.

Basically this book is for anyone who has ever questioned if they have what it takes, if they measure up or if they just plain wonder “Am I Enough?”

Well I am now in the midst of writing my next book, The Imaginative Church. Let me tell you I have a truckload of ideas of things to write on and share, but I really want this to be an effective tool, so I need your help. What are your questions on the topic of creative ministry? I am emphasizing three aspects of ministry, Worship, Teaching and Evangelism, or as I like to call it “preaching, teaching and reaching.” Let me know them as soon as you can. I’m working on a quick turnaround, my seminars start in April.

I had to take a little hiatus from my web comic, Creacher, but it’s a new year and I am going to take another run at it. To see more, click the ‘toon.

Back in the day, when I was trying to be a full time freelance, there was someone I saw as the bane of my existence. His name was Bob Ross. Don’t get me wrong, I love his show, and I learned a lot from him, but clients and potential clients would see him whip out these masterpieces in a half hour and wonder why I would charge for many more hours. The truth was simple. What they wanted took more time than what Bob Ross was creating. Fast forward, I now earn part of my living s a speed painter, knocking out painting in far less time then Bob Ross did. I can’t imagine what I would have thought of what I do now, back in the day.

But here’s the thing, yes I can do a painting in six minutes and there are certain ones I can do in even less time, but if you were to ask me how long it takes me to paint a painting like the ones I do in my ministry, I’m liable to say six minutes and fifty years, because that’s the truth of the matter. I can do a painting in six minutes because I’ve been making art for fifty years. I’ve learned how to break it down, I set the parameters of time and figured out how to create something in the time allotted. It’s similar with Ross. He learned the techniques and figured out a way to break it down into a piece he could do in a half hour TV program while demonstrating the techniques so the home audience could do it as well. Those were the parameters, and it worked.

Now here’s the mistake we make. You’re not working by the hour and never allow yourself to fall into that trap. Just because I can do a painting in six minutes does not mean I should do that painting for a tenth of an hour’s wage. Your skill and experience allows you to do whatever it is that you do and that skill and work and experience has value. Don’t let someone shame you by acting as if you’re in it for the money. I’m not talking about being in it for the money, I’m talking about sustainable ministry. We may decide to do certain things for free, but please understand, everything has a cost. Materials are the most obvious, but there are other things that cost money and the less thought of, but equally important, time. It all has value and it all has a cost and if you want to be able to continue doing what you do, if you want your work, and yes, even ministry, to be sustainable for the long haul, it has to at least come close to covering the costs.

For the record, this is no reflection on anyone for whom I have ministered. This is for my readers who are trying to balance wanting to create great art and do great ministry with the struggle of finance and ministry.

Well it’s another day and once again we are in the midst of a firestorm over the comments of our president. People are all up in arms over what he said about several nations. I won’t repeat them here for obvious reasons, so if you don’t know what he said, google his name and you’ll see it, guaranteed. Now before I go any further, you need to know this is not a political post. Were his comments inappropriate and unfortunate? Absolutely, but what if we looked at them differently. The fact of the matter is conditions in many nations around the world are horrible. In many cases the people have been oppressed and the nations have been pillaged by dictatorships leaving the people in horrendous conditions. Not in all cases, but in many cases.

Again, I think what the president said was terrible, but like any other words, once they’re out, they’re out. We can apologize but taking them back is an impossibility, so what can we do instead? Well many people act like taking to social media and complaining about it is valuable. Hey I love free speech as much as the next guy, but very few if any people are helped by our complaints. Talking about something and doing something are usually two different things. Voice your outrage if you must, but what are you doing to help change conditions and bless people? I know the problems are immense, but Mother Theresa suggested doing small things with great love. How about if we could each go into one of those countries and help one person? Well there is a way. My family and I support several children in two of these nations through Compassion International. The cost is small, and you might say so is the impact, but if each of us would take the time to help one, eventually a lot would be helped.

We can complain or we can do something to help. Do both if you must, but do not do the former and ignore the latter. Compassion is one of the ways we do it, but there are many. Find a group helping people, and find a way to help them.

Okay, it’s not funny “ha-ha” but rather funny “peculiar.” In my devotions I am currently in the book of Exodus. Today I am at the place where God is bringing the plagues against Egypt. What struck me was for the first couple of plagues, after Moses (with God) produces a plague, the magicians of Egypt did the same by their “secret arts.” Think about this for a moment. God sends a plague, and then the magicians through their demonic powers show they can do the same. In other words, every time the enemy acts to show his power, the end result is it just makes things worse. This is pretty much the best the enemy can do, copy from God and make things worse. That’s funny at least to some extent.

Of course eventually even the magicians are brought to their knees by the plagues as well and then this struck me. The end result of the plagues was the passover and the freedom of the people. The passover was preparatory for the coming of Jesus and in this we see a major truth, even the punishing acts of God end up working for the good, because God is always good. That may not be funny, but it ought to put a smile on your face.