Posts Tagged ‘create’

<a href=”; target=”_blank”><img border=”0″ src=”//″ ></a><img src=”; width=”1″ height=”1″ border=”0″ alt=”” style=”border:none !important; margin:0px !important;” />Okay, okay, okay, I know this is children’s book, so why do I love it so much. I’ll tell you why. Because it’s brilliant and it’s a wonderful representation of a drum I have been beating for 20 years. I first found this book in a gift shop while I was on vacation this past summer. I read it standing by the shelf (not that hard it’s a children’s book, after all) and had tears in my eyes when I was done.

It’s about a little child and his anthropomorphized idea. It shares all the struggles we have with our ideas, the pain of rejection and the joy we feel when we immerse ourselves in bringing our ideas to life. What do you do with an idea? Well that would be a spoiler, but suffice it to say, it’s what I have been saying all along. I loved this book. Author Kobi Yamada did a great job of bringing this concept to its essence so that anyone can understand it and illustrator Mae Besom captures the spirit of this book fantastically.

Lastly I love that this book was written for children, but the truth is children don’t need it. Children already dream and create. The real and lasting impact of this book will be fond in two ways. First that the children will hold onto it when the world begins to tell them they are too old to dream, and second that people reading this book to their children,grandchildren etc. will grasp the concept and begin to feed their ideas again.

I have so much more to say, but by now my review is probably longer than the book so I will end with three words, read this book!

There’s a lot of complaining in the church about the culture and frankly I have found a lot of it to be counterproductive at best. I think we’ve all gotten the letters telling us which advertisers to boycott because they sponsor a certain show and then usually asking us for money to support that ministry to essentially watch it so we don’t have to. They then launch into extensive campaigns that have often succeeded in drawing attention to otherwise forgettable creations. I remember the PMRC Parents Music Resource Committee (a creation of Al and Tipper Gore) that succeeded in creating the greatest marketing tool in the history of (especially rap) music, The parental advisory label. Translation, massive backfire, drawing attention to often regrettable creations. Sure it helped a couple parents make better music choices for their kids. The problem is, how many parents buy their kids music? My sense is that our cultural complaints have been useless at best.

Here’s the thing. Where did we get the idea that we in the church are called to be culture monitors? That’s not our calling. We’re not here to critique culture. We’re here to create culture—to impact culture—to change the culture. Part of the problem is that too often we have abdicated our call to be world changers, to settle for complaining. What we need to understand is that culture is the way it is, at least in part, because we have abdicated our calling. We are here to glorify God. We’re His ambassadors. If you’re a Christian creative, your calling is to create. We’re not here to complain about the culture, we’re here to reclaim it.

Then of course there is the other side of complaining. Christians who feel they are too cool for school complaining about the quality of the creations of their fellow Christians. This is also extremely counter productive. I always want to say, “At least they’re doing something, at least they’re trying.” If you think the quality of their creations is lacking (and it may be) the better choice is to come along side them and help them out, volunteer, donate, bless them in some way. Spur them on to (more) love and good deeds. Often the reason our creations are lacking has to do with the lack of budget. This is easy enough to fix, the resources our out there, but they’re still in our wallets. Let’s do better. Let’s put our money and our talents where our mouths are. Let’s quit complaining and start creating. We’re here to glorify. Complaining NEVER does that.

Channel your creative energy into making great stuff. Be a part of the solution!

Create a better world! Reclaim the culture.

So here’s what I have been up to lately.
I finally finished and released my book to accompany Pictures of Jesus. The print copies came today:
You can get yours here, or the Kindle version for .99!
I recently presented my new presentation Close Encounters With Jesus. I am reworking the paintings. Here are two of the demoniac, one in his rage, the other in his right mind.
demoniacdemoniac sane
One of the things that really excites me is, I am just a few weeks away from being a grandfather for the first time. I was asked to paint a mural in his room with a farm theme. It’s almost done.
farm mural
And lastly sometimes you get to do stuff that’s just plain fun like this secret agent robot for a presentation at the Goddard School.

secret robot
These are just a few of the things that are going on and here’s the thing, there’s nothing special about me. You just simply have to pray for an idea and take the steps to make it work, or more simply stated…

Just make art.

What are you making?

Ideas start out in a lot of different ways. In this case the idea started out with a name… Mayhem. I don’t know why it’s mayhem. Maybe because a couple people gave me grief over AMOK, I don’t know. (AMOK by the way stands for Arts Ministry Outreach for the Kingdom, not the murderous rampage some people accused it of being, but I digress…) Usually when I get a name or a title, the first thing I do is create a logo. I’m not sure why this is either, but I think it’s because a logo somehow makes the creation a little more real, at least in my mind. I am a huge fan of ambigrams, words and images that look the same right side up and upside down, and I had already seen Mayhem expressed in this way, so I decided to create my own spin on it. Here’s what I came up with…
I know what you’re ready to ask. What is Mayhem? The truth is, I don’t know yet. My guess is it may be some sort of edgy comic newsletter or anthology, but I’m not sure yet. Is it right for the final project? I have no idea. My first thought is it looks a little dark, so it may not work out. Also if it is a comic type of project, right now I have no time to create it. None of these issues is a factor at this point. What is important is I got an idea and I got it down on paper (okay in this case pixels). The idea now has something tangible to refer back to, when the time is right.

As creatives, our ideas are of huge value, at least when we put them into action. They don’t always come at the most opportune time, but squandering them is a huge mistake. It took me about an hour to put this together and add it to my file. Now it exists as a reminder of what could be a really cool idea.

How do you manage your ideas? An idea is a terrible thing to waste!

I was listening to one of my favorite bands from way back when, Kansas. They did some truly great music and while they were never a Christian band, spirituality was clearly evident in a lot of their music. The song in particular that I listened to was called The Wall. A video of a fairly recent live performance can be found below. Check out the lyrics:
I’m woven in a fantasy
I can’t believe the things I see
The path that I have chosen now
Has led me to a wall
And with each passing day
I feel a little more like something dear was lost

It rises now before me
A dark and silent barrier between
All I am, and all that I would ever want be
It’s just a travesty
Towering, marking off the boundaries
My spirit would erase

To pass beyond is what I seek
I fear that I may be too weak
And those are few who’ve seen it through
To glimpse the other side
The promised land is waiting
Like a maiden that is soon to be a bride

The moment is a masterpiece
The weight of indecision’s in the air
Standing there, the symbol and the sum of all that’s me
It’s just a travesty
Towering, blocking out the light and blinding me
I want to see

Gold and diamonds cast a spell
It’s not for me I know it well
The riches that I seek
Are waiting on the other side
There’s more than I can measure
In the treasures of the love that I can find

And though it’s always been with me
I must tear down the wall and let it be
All I am and all that I was ever meant to be
In harmony
Shining true and smiling back at all who wait to cross
There is no loss

There are walls in all of our lives. Things that stand between us and our dreams. Sometimes they’re imposed by others and sometimes they’re self-iinflicted. I am not talking about healthy boundaries here and I’m certainly not talking laws of men, God or even decency, I’m talking about the things that stop us from being who God created us to be, doing what God create us to do and living the dream God dreamed when He knit us together in our mother’s wombs. That wall is big and imposing, but it’s just a travesty and it needs to be torn down.

What’s your wall?

Come and join us September 20 and 21 for the Poconos CREATE Retreat at Pocono Mountain Bible Conference, Clifton Township, PA. It’s going to be a great couple of days as we explore the gifts God has given us and how we can use them to His glory. For details go to the Poconos CREATE Retreat on this sight or contact Dave Weiss.

You can also sign up on Facebook.

Check out this gem from 1981…

Yes, 1981, the year I got out of high school (yes, I know I’m old). It’s not THAT long ago. Back then it was hard to imagine something we consider common place. The one guy in the report is referred to as a home computer owner as if that’s a novelty. The thing is, in 1981, it was! Today, what’s really strange is a non-computer owner. My how times have changed. Sometimes I think for the better, sometimes I’m not so sure, but what we have is what we have.

I post this to remind us all that we don’t really know what’s coming. That’s part of the reason it is so important to make the most of our opportunities and of today in general. The world looks a lot different than it did 32 years ago and 32 years from now it will probably look a lot different. In this world of constant change, God is the same, yesterday, today and forever and that is good news. He is the constant we can depend on. That being said, He also said He is doing a new thing and that He makes all things new. I wish I could tell you what comes next, if I could have I would have bought, etc in 1981 and waited patiently. What I can tell you is each of us has today to be faithful to the one who stays constant in the midst of constant change.

So stick with the Lord and create. Who knows, you might just be used to create a better future.

One day, the future will be now.

I saw this Ted Talk called I Am An Artist and I had to check it out. It’s an amazing piece. Artist Gregg Visintainer shared his art and his story. If you think you can’t do something amazing with your art, if you’re frustrated or wondering is you have what it takes, you MUST watch this!

What’s holding you back? Are you going to let it?
Be an Artist!

On Saturday, I participated in the Snowflake Gala at the Mulberry St. Gallery in Lancaster, PA. It was a great day. I displayed five of my paintings in the gallery, did a live painting and brief message in the “performance” area and had a vendor table to introduce AMOKArts to a wide variety of creative people. It was a wonderful event and I had a great time.

That’s not to say I was without some trepidation. The performance time slots were all either five or ten minutes. I had never done the painting I did there in under 12 minutes, always set to music and then spoke afterwards. My original intent was to cut the music and just speak while I painted, but at the last minute, I decided to add the song “Like A Lion” by David Crowder. It’s just a little over six minutes long. My wife and I prayed before I went on and by the time the song was over, I was finished with the painting and it was one of the best renderings I’ve done ofthat image to this point. I had about four minutes left to present the message and the Lord ordered my thoughts. I finished on time and really felt blessed, the feedback I received also seemed pretty favorable.

Am I sharing this to boast? No. Anyone who knows me will tell you self confidence is hardly my strong suit. No I share this to tell you I had no idea if I could finish this piece and present it well in the allotted time. I just knew I felt led to do that piece, and I gave it to God. That verse that says I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me is true. So when you pray and you feel God leading you to do something. Don’t look at your limitations. Trust Him and do it. He will allow your work to accomplish precisely what He intended it to do.

My guess is if we have Christ confidence, maybe we don’t need self confidence.

Something to consider.

P.S. God answered my prayer on the weather for that day too.

Ephesians 2:10 says: “For we are God’s workmanship created in Christ Jesus to do good works which God prepared in Advance for us to do.” In other words, you were created on purpose, for a purpose so live on purpose!