Posts Tagged ‘faithfulness’


At the moment I am reading Torry Martin’s great book Of Moose and Men. I’m not ready to give my full review yet. It’s great, but I’m not done reading yet, but I read something today that I had to comment on. I heard him share this thought at the Montrose Christian Writers Conference last week and I was so glad he included it in the book. It really hit home with me and I think it will with you as well.

In the book, Torry relates the story of winning the grand prize in the acting category at Christian Artists in Colorado. Even with this great victory among the elite of Christian creativity, he was still questioning whether or not he had what it takes or whether his win was a fluke. Then he heard a television evangelist say this, “Exercising our gifts is a matter of obedience. Failure to exercise our gifts can adversely affect the body of Christ and the very glory of God.” Those words shook him to the core. They shake me too.

You might want to question that. You may want to say God’s glory does not depend on me. You may be right about that, but consider this, why were you given the gifts you have been given? I think every believer would say to glorify God. Well if that’s the case (and it is!) then you failing to exercise your God-given gift will adversely affect (even if only temporarily) God’s glory going forth in this world. Don’t do that. Your gift is not a fluke, it’s a freely given gift from the One who loves you most and knows you best. Are you the greatest in the world at what you do? Probably not, but you can bring it into the world in a way no one else can, so bring it! Remember the way we get better is to keep doing what we do faithfully, to the best of our abilities, trusting God to bring growth.

You can do what God has given you to do. There is a pretty great chance that He created you to do it, so don’t withhold that gift. Put it to work, develop it and show it to the world. That’s how we give God glory.

Are you adversely affecting the glory of God? Stop it and get to work!


Wow there are a lot of things going on these days here at AMOKArts. In the next few weeks, I have a lot of ground to cover to be prepared for all the ministry coming up. Now needless to say, I am excited for it all. I love what I do but the task before me is starting to look a little daunting. I’m not panicking though. Instead I am doing two things we can all do. I am prioritizing and I am breaking it down. Each day will have it’s function. I’ll be finishing the most pressing things first and going from there. By breaking the projects down into manageable steps, I will be able to get things done one at a time and I’ll be ready (Lord willing!) for all the great stuff before me.

You can do this too. The first step is prayer. Ask God to order your steps and show you the way. Ask Him to provide all the things only He can provide and ask Him to help you to work in faithfulness. He will because He is faithful. Then don’t waste time. Bring your best to every activity, don’t waste time and keep moving forward. Don’t forget rest is crucial both to your body ad your creativity. You only think you work best under pressure. Really you work best when you work consistently to achieve your goals the full length of your work time.

God is faithful. He will bring you all the way through. Seek the Lord, break the project down, manage your time and work in faithfulness. Busyness can be a blessing. It might mean God is opening new doors for you and breaking new ground. The key though is to not do it in your own strength. Rather acknowledge and lean on Him all the way to your goal.

God is good, even when we’re busy, busy, busy!


I had a great night doing a paint night for a bunch of wonderful creatives. At the end as I was tearing down, one of the folks told me I looked tired. The truth is, I am, but it’s the good kind of tired. It’s the kind of tired you feel when you know you are doing God’s will, and tat He is using you to be a blessing to others. It’s the kind of tired that allows you to feel a certain satisfaction and contentment because you know you’ve been faithful. I don’t mind feeling this kind of tired. I know I can sleep (please Lord, let me get a good night’s sleep, sometimes excitement makes that difficult) a little later tomorrow if I need to.

As I turn in, and I will as soon as I hit publish, I feel like I did what the Lord had for me today. It was a long day, but God was faithful and I kind of feel like I was too…

and that’s the good kind of tired.


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.


Well this may have been the most days of posting I have missed in a row in quite some time. I have no excuse other than a lot is going on. The church is going and growing, On May 13, I had a wonderful speaking engagement at Paxton Church of the Brethren where I did a revamped presentation of my Creation Station program for a Mother/Child banquet. Then the next day was Mother’s Day, I taught the membership class, preached and did an anointing service after church before going home to catch a little nap and then visit my son and his family. I was a great day. Monday I took my mom out to breakfast, did some yard work and had some vehicle maintenance done and then yesterday it was back to work at church, preaching at a nursing home and working on this week’s material. In between all that I did two weeks worth of Creachertoons, some of the illustrations for one of my upcoming books, began outlining a book and the presentation that goes along with it. I really enjoy this life.

You might think that was a whole bunch of stuff you didn’t need to know, but here’s what you do need to know. Life happens and sometimes we might miss one of our self-imposed deadlines. While I would not make a habit of it, it’s not the end of the world.
Look again at the list and you will see priorities. A new presentation, even a revamped one takes time. Presentation have a hard deadline so it is important that you hit that deadline even more important, someone is trusting you enough to put you before their congregation (or audience or whatever) and you have to give that your very best, so that moves to near the top. After that was my church, again, there’s a hard deadline, but it’s more than that. God has entrusted me to love teach and care for a clock of His children, so my work with the church is also a priority. You might have caught that I took a nap in there and thought that could have gone to the back burner. Well not exactly, rest is hugely important and your body will make you pay if you don’t do it.

Visiting my family may not seem urgent, but trust me when I tell you, they are also given to me by God to love. I have backburnered my family in my life and it was a mistake that will never happen again if I can help it. Creachertoons and the book stuff did not have to be done, but I got inspiration and I can do those things in short bursts of time in what I call the time between.

Lastly, I don’t want you to think that you are not important to me. I value the time that you take to read all that I post. The truth is sometimes you just run out of time and while we all have to do our best to be faithful, we also have to accept the idea that there are only 24 hours in a day and so we have to prioritize. The other truth is I really didn’t feel like I had anything earthshaking to share here in the midst of all the other deadlines. I used to fret over that, but lately I take it on faith that God will allow me to catch up with all my obligations. I simply need to make the most of every opportunity. So today (May 17) and over the next few days I beg your indulges as I catch up. I hope you’ll read everything I post and that all of it inspires you.

What can you learn from this: Don’t beat yourself up, do the best you can and keep going. God is faithful. Bring him your best.


The old adage says “Do what you love and you’ll never work a day in your life.” Of course that’s not really whether mean. What they mean is do what you love and you’ll usually work harder than anyone else to keep doing what you love. You just won’t mind so much because you’re doing what you love. I know this to be true and I live it on a daily basis. This life of creative arts ministry is a lot of work. Between my church and my traveling ministry I put in a ton of hours. There is no substitute for practice, and the continued development of your gift in a life in the arts. People act as if the creative lifestyle is impractical. It’s not, you just have to decide whether or not you are willing to put in the effort it takes to do what you love.

Look anybody can do something they hate, (or mildly dislike, or whatever) for the money. I’ve had to and I would again if it came to it. I have responsibilities to the people I love. That being said, if I have my way, I’ll put in whatever effort I must to keep having the opportunity to create.

Why do I post this? Because I run into too many people who want it all now and wonder why it doesn’t happen instantaneously. Heck, I’ve been that person too. The truth is (outside the blessing of God) the road to your dream is usually paved with a lot of hard work. So practice, practice, practice. Create, create, create and then (and this is often the hardest part) put your work out there for the world to see. Also, the Bible says me the most of every opportunity… and while that passage is largely about sharing the Gospel, I think it applies to every area of life, especially the creative life. Whenever you get the opportunity to do what you love, do it for all you’re worth. Bring your all to the project. Do it as if you were doing it for Jesus, because at the end of the day, if you care about glorifying God with your life, that is exactly what you’re doing.

I remember seeing Skillet live at the Creation festival. They had already been playing for years, working hard, building a fan base and all of those other things that are covered by that simple little statement “paying your dues.” Then one year they got an evening slot on the main stage. That night they would play before 80,000 people and they brought it. Their performance was superb and they had more pyrotechnics and other show elements than anyone I Christian band I had ever seen and all the secular ones except possibly Kiss. Why do I share this? The had played thousands of gigs to get to that point, including many I’m sure to small audiences and in tough situations, and then one night the faithfulness paid off, they got a golden opportunity and they did it for all they were worth. As far as I am concerned they had cemented themselves into the role of headliners in that night, but that amazing performance was the result of lots of faithfulness, putting their hearts into their faith and their craft day after day after day. If we want creative success, if we want to do what we love, that’s what we must all do.


Doubt is common to us all, especially doubts in matters of faith, but there is (at least) one doubt none of us can afford. The children of Israel had just been released from Egypt. They were headed to the promised land. This was the land flowing with milk and honey, the land God had promised them since the time of Abraham centuries before. And now they were knocking on the door of all that God had promised. Moses sent spies into the land to check it out. They saw the land was everything God promised, stocked abundantly with everything they could have ever needed. The land was indeed good, but there was a problem. Huge people and fortified cities were throughout the land and doubt started knocking on the door of their hearts. That doubt became so extreme that by the time the spies returned, they worked the people up into such a frenzy that they wanted to kill Moses and the two faithful spies, Joshua and Caleb and then return to slavery in Egypt.



Their problem can be summed up in one word, doubt, but the doubt was specific. They doubted that God could deliver everything He promised. That doubt carried a death sentence of sorts. All the people who doubted died in the desert and the promised land was received by their children after having to suffer with their faithless parents for forty years. Their doubt was deadly and even the faithful, not to mention their children paid the price. The question is, could this happen to you?

Think about it, we are surrounded by God’s promises. They are all over Scripture and there is much ground to be gained for God’s Kingdom. The One who promised never to leave nor forsake us, has called us to go into all the world and make disciples. He has gifted us for that very purpose. We have the call and we have the resources. There is only one thing we lack. Will we have the courage to step out in faith and receive the promises? As soon as we set out there is this very real temptation to look at all that is against us, and there is a lot going against us. Our society is increasingly hostile to the good news, our faith is seen as politically incorrect, and while there is very little outward physical persecution, there can be no doubt that there are plenty of people who make it their mission to bully us into silence. These are the giants we face and the question is will we move forward or will we retreat and wander while our churches die and our children succumb to the whims of society or will we move forward in our call. The thing to remember is nothing is bigger or more powerful that the One who goes with us. If we wander in this desert, it is because we choose it.

Here’s the thing. The One who called you is faithful and in Him, you can do whatever it is He has called you to do. With God al things are possible and you can do all things through Him who gives you the strength. Yes, you can do whatever God has called you to do. You just have to face the giants an trust God to be bigger.