Posts Tagged ‘creativity’


At the moment I am taking an Old Testament class as I work on my Masters. The most recent session I completed was on the books of 1 & 2 Chronicles. It was telling. One of the questions I had to answer for my paper was What is the relationship between reflection on the past and the worship of Yahweh?

Here is my reply:

In the books of Chronicles we see evidence of a disappointed people and a theology of hope. The people have returned from exile to see a city and a temple that are in ruins and a pale shadow of what once was and, to put it mildly, they have questions for God. The Chronicler works to cure this by taking them to the past, reminding them of God and his faithfulness, great victories and all His work on their behalf. This in many ways is the essence of worship.

Our circumstances may be such that they make us lose hope, but worship draws our hearts back to the One who saves us and sets us free. Worship reminds us of the One who has been faithful throughout history, to remind us He is still in control. Worship is essential to our lives as believers. I often remind my congregation that the times we feel like worshipping the least are when we need to worship the most. The Chronicler is trying to draw the people back to hope in God. He is showing them that throughout time God has kept up the covenant regardless of our faithfulness. In the same hand, the blessings and curses still apply. The people in Chronicles are living in the remnants of a curse that they, or their ancestors, brought on themselves. The Chronicler is reminding them that they can live in the blessing again. The answer is to return to the right worship of the one true God. It is as true for us as it was for them. Worship turns our hearts to God, and that is where they need to be.

When you feel like worshipping the least is usually when you need to worship God the most. Let Him remind you of His faithfulness, power and grace. He has come through before, He will come through again. Lift your heart in worship, read of His faithfulness in His Word and be comforted. Where there is God there is hope, and God is Here!

Worship Him, whether you feel like it or not.


Well on the morning of June 26th I hit the road again. I am traveling to Saginaw, Michigan to do Pictures of Jesus at a great church called The Church in Drive. From there I will be headed to Grand Rapids, Michigan for the Church of the Brethren Annual Conference. In addition to my role as my church’s delegate to the conference, I will also be doing some painting presentations there on three of the days. When the conference ends on Sunday I will be headed to Ashley, Indiana to present Pictures of Jesus again on Monday Evening. From there I make my way back to Ohio to spend the evening with some dear friends, then back to church, Bible study, etc. It’s going to be a good but lengthy trip.

I am sharing this for a reason beyond just saying, “Hey look what I’m doing!” You see, I love what I do. I love having the opportunity to travel all over the place and preaching and speaking and painting. The downside of it, though is that I spend a lot of time away from home and the family that I love, which can be hard. That’s how it goes with blessings sometimes. There is hard stuff in among the great stuff and I think the key is to be grateful for both. What I do is such a blessing to me, and the missing my loved ones, that keeps me grounded. It challenges me to be sure to be more in the moment when I am at home with my loved ones. It makes me strive for balance and proper priorities. God has been good and faithful to me. I must return that faithfulness, with a faithfulness and an appreciation for everything and everyone God has given. I don’t deserve any of this, and so I must work to be faithful to “Do [my] best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth.” (2 TIMOTHY 2:15)

It’s all about gratitude and the faithfulness born from that gratitude. Be faithful, make the most of every opportunity, and honor God in every part of your life. especially in your relationships.


This morning my wife and I are heading out to a pancake breakfast, otherwise known as the annual carb-fest. We’re doing it to support the arts. You see our son is working with a community theater, he’s acting in a show and this past week he helped to lead a theater camp for a week. He led 30 kids through a production of the kids version of 101 Dalmatians. Later this afternoon, they will perform their production for friends ad family culminating a week of learning and fun. I am really proud of my son and the way he is using his teaching gift and his theater gifts to help others to grow in their giftings. Whether he realizes it or not, he’s putting all the principles I’m trying to teach here to work. Don’t tell him, it’s our little secret.

Then when the show is over, Dawn and I will be hustling up to church, where we will lead a Masterpiece Paint Night tonight. We do these for our church about four or five times a year and it is always great to see people come out and try their hands at making art. Even moreso it is good to see my church folks working with people from the community. My purpose in these paint nights is two fold. I want to help people to embrace their creativity, but I’d also kind of like to see some of the folks give my church a try. Don’t tell them that either. That’ll be our little secret, too. But seriously, there’s not really no ulterior motive. It’s just a great way to make friends and build relationships while having fun and it appears to be working. If everybody comes that has said they are coming, it will be the biggest group by far we have ever had.

Why do I share this? Because friends the arts are a great tool for communication and building community. They can help people to learn and grow, build confidence and maybe even find a new path in life. The gifts you have can do tremendous good in our world. Put them to use in your life, and also use them to serve others in your community. Serve others with your gift.

Support the arts.


It’s been a busy week as you can probably tell from the silence on this end. Sorry about that. I will catch us up. On Monday I will be leaving for a ten day ministry trip. I’ll be ministering at two great churches and at my denomination’s annual conference with art and speaking. That excites me. I am also my church’s delegate to the conference and I face that duty with a little more trepidation. While I am so looking forward to seeing many friends I don’t see the rest of the year, there are some potentially divisive issues on the agenda and that bothers me. I have walked this earth long enough to know that when you get more than two people together there is likely to be disagreement. I’ve also been a Christian long enough to know that division is bad for the body of Christ and that God has given us a remedy. He gave us His Word and if we gather around that word in humility and repentance, He will speak truth. This is what I pray will happen. I was trying to think of something that expresses my thoughts and I was reminded of this song. I’m getting ready!

God is good, and my prayer is that we will gather in His love and goodness and that He will heal divisions with His righteousness.


My message for Father’s Day 2017. I pray it blesses you.


Another way to beat creative block and make the most of your creative opportunities.

So you have limited time to be creative? But now one of those golden moments comes upon you. What are you going to do with it? Do not let this moment pass.

It’s happened to me a lot, how about you? You finally get some creative time and you’re either blocked creatively or you spend half the time looking for the materials you need to bring your project to fruition. What can you do about it? Well any Boy Scout can tell you, (because it’s their motto) Be Prepared!

Here’s how:
If ideas are your problem, you should be storing them (See chapter 2). You should have a notebook or a computer file full of them ready for when that moment comes. Then you can just grab it and get started. 

Secondly, you’ll need to organize your materials. If you’re blessed to have a studio keep it stocked and organized. A place for everything and everything is in it’s place. If you don;t have a space, keep a box or a bag stocked with your essential tools and materials ready so when the moment is right, you can grab it and get to work. I keep a sketchbook and my laptop nearby at all times so that I at least have the bare minimum, plus my studio is set up and for the most part ready for action. My area of needed improvement is in organization, but even so, for the most part, I can at least start a project at a moment’s notice.

Creativity and inspiration sometimes strike at odd times. You’ve got to be ready.


Another way to overcome creative block.

One of the things I hear creatives say all the time is they just don’t have time to create. Nothing could be further from the truth. Now I will concede that there are times when our schedules are so full or when unexpected things destroy our best laid plans, but for the most part, if we want to badly enough, we can find time to create. Here are a few ideas:

1. Get up an hour earlier and use that time to create.
2. Go to bed and hour later and use that time to create.
3. Identify the time vampires in your life that suck up all your time and give little in return.
4. TV time. Now I do not recommend stealing from your family time. Few thing will make your loved ones resent your work more than being placed behind it, but if all you’re doing is watching TV, why not have a sketchbook or note pad with you to et a little work done while you watch/listen?
5. Make your lunch hour creative hour. 


Of course, these are just a few, there are many more just look for the gaps in your schedule handful some of them with the creative projects that will bring joy to your life and help you accomplish your dreams.