Posts Tagged ‘book’


Here’s a creative challenge from my upcoming book, The Daily Creative:

Enjoy, and I’d love to see what you created. Share a link in the comments.


An excerpt from my upcoming book on overcoming creative block.

Often the biggest problem that blocks us creatively is not a lack of ideas, we may have a thousand ideas floating around in our creative brains. The problem may be settling in on one. Which one should I do first? It may also be negative self talk. “I’m not good enough to do that;” “I don’t have what it takes;” “I’m lacking some resource;” or maybe just plain “I can’t.” Maybe the nagging “what if’s” have come to call: “What if I can’t do it?” “What if something goes wrong?” “What if I can’t finish?” The list goes on and on and on.

Here’s the thing. I can’t guarantee you success. You may have a raging success or you may fail royally, but I can guarantee failure. You will fail every time if you don’t do one thing—START! So often this is exactly what we do. We get an idea, maybe even a great one, but then the doubts rear their ugly heads and we walk away from it. Don’t do that. To succeed, you have to start. There has never been a success that did not start with a start. I know it sounds obvious, and it is obvious, but I’m convinced that thousands of people take earth shaking ideas to their graves every day because they didn’t have the courage to start.

You say, “But I have all these ideas, what should I choose?” I can’t help you with that. All I can say is pick the one that most appeals to you and start. I know it might be scary. I know you may think you don’t have what it takes to bring it to fruition. Put those fears out of your head and start. You may not have all you need to bring it to fruition right now, but take it as far as you can and see what happens. You may need to bring someone else on board to help you at some point, and it will be much easier to get them on board if you’ve already got something to show, so start.

What if you pick the wrong project? That could happen, but you’ll never know until you start. At the very least you’ll learn what doesn’t work. START. What if people don’t like it? Find the ones who do and sell it to them. What if I get a whole lot of resources into it before it fails? Make your first steps low risk, high reward steps, sketches and drawings cost nothing but time. Start, do what you can and consult people who can tell you what steps or improvements to make.

You’ll never finish, you’ll never succeed if you don’t start.


Here’s the last one. Look for the book. I have about 100 pages to go.


Here’s the next one. Have at it.


Okay this week has been hectic and I got behind, AGAIN. So here’s what I’ve decided to do. I am going to share pages from my upcoming book, The Daily Creative, one each day.
Here’s today’s.


A long time ago I came up with the idea for a book called The Elephant Cookbook. Ironically, based on the topic, I never finished it. I came up with a format that was clunky and a cute way of presenting the material that I just couldn’t quite make work. It’s still in my idea file and I pray that it can come together one day, but I had other projects that were ready to go and succeed so I changed my focus to bring them to life.

The idea behind The Elephant Cookbook was based on the idea of working on multiple deadlines, constant pressure and a to do list that seems like it will never get done. The title was conceived from the old joke, “How to you eat an elephant?”

“One bite at a time.”

I’ve been there often. There is so much work to be done and you don’t know how you’ll ever accomplish it all. It all gets very daunting and if you look at it as a huge pile, the discouragement can become crippling. But what would happen if you ate that elephant one bite at a time, i.e. What if you broke the project down into small manageable steps and then set about to check each of those steps off your list one at a time. All of the sudden, each step accomplished feels like a victory and the more you check off the better you feel until all that’s left of that “elephant” are the bones.

Breaking things down into manageable steps is often the best way to reach your dreams and accomplish your goals. Now I just need to work out the bugs in The Elephant Cookbook. Oh and by the way it is okay to put a stuck project aside. Just don’t make a habit of starting without finishing. Sometimes it’s unavoidable. Most of the time, you just need to take another bite and keep chewing.

One last thing, don’t leave God out of this process. He has come through for me when I was in over my head so many times it’s not even funny.


I am doing a study on the book of Acts and using what I am learning for a year of Bible Studies at my church and it has been eye opening. In the process of this study, I am always looking for supplemental materials to help my teaching. It was in this search that I stumbled upon Into the Fray. What a great book. Author Matt Mikalatos is a missionary and it is clear he is passionate about this book.

His approach is unique. He attempts (quite successfully) to bring the stories from Acts to the twenty-first century, as if they were happening right now. This really brings a fresh perspective on the text. It is clear, he is a great story teller. He manages to bring the text to the modern day without sacrificing truth or meaning. He doesn’t just tell the story, through a unique layout technique, he “brackets” the story and then tells the story behind the story, explaining what was happening from the Bible itself. These teachings are theologically sound and very biblical.

I think my favorite chapter is The Storytellers. In this chapter Mikalatos shows Luke telling his story, of how the physician becomes a disciple. It’s a departure from the rest of the book but it sets up a wonderful explanation on how to tell your story, i.e. share your testimony. This chapter is pure gold for all those nervous evangelists who want to share their faith but aren’t quite sure how. This chapter has made me reexamine how I share my own story and the other things I do in my presentations with AMOKArts.

At the end of the book, Mikalatos adds a really nice study guide with questions from each chapter, making Into the Fray a great tool for use in a Bible study on the book of Acts. As a resource, Into the Fray would work well from middle school ministry through adult.

If I had any complaint about this book it’s that it’s too short. I would love to see him recreate this book almost in commentary style telling all the stories rather than just the highlights. This takes away nothing from the excellence of this book. Rather it is a suggestion for another project for Mr. Mikalatos. I really loved this book.