Posts Tagged ‘ideas’


Ideas are powerful. Literally ever great thing that has ever created started out as an idea. It might have been a small thing that grew over time, or it might have been something that just came all at once like a bold from the blue, but it started as an idea. Look at any problem you have ever faced, at least the ones that were under your control. Faced with a problem, we have essentially two choices, give up or try to find the solution. If you do the first, I have nothing to offer, but if you decide to try to find a solution, guess what you’re looking for. Yep, you need an idea,

Ideas are powerful, but they’re not always well timed. Sometimes you have an idea for something and at this point in your life, given your resources and opportunities, you may be in no position to act on it at all. What do you do with that? Some people would say, well that’s just a pipe dream, but that’s not what smart people do. Smart people realize that ideas have high value. Smart Christian people realize we serve a God for whom all things are possible. Sometimes an idea really is ahead of it’s time. The prophet Isaiah prophesied the coming of the Messiah 700 years before he came. Now I know that was a little different than your ideas, but it works perfectly about what I am going to say about your “ahead of it’s time idea.” Isaiah wrote that idea down, and one day it was fulfilled. And again, I am not saying your idea is on par with the Messiah, because it isn’t, but it’s worth recording. It’s worth getting down on paper.

Then there are times when your idea might seem weird. Is it really, or is it just ahead of it’s time? Remember when the devices they had on Star Trek in the 60s. How many of them seem pretty much like devices that are now reality? Record your ideas. They are powerful.

Who knows maybe your conditions might change in the next year, or two, or ten. Maybe technology will catch up to your idea. Who could have foreseen some of the devices we have now a decade or two go? But can I tell you, someone did. That someone might as well be you.

Record your powerful ideas. It costs nothing but a little time and once you have them, you can refer back them any time you’re stuck for an idea.

There’s a somewhat apocryphal story about Walt Disney. He had envisioned Disney World back then the area where it is build was little more than a swamp. He worked and dreamed, but unfortunately, he passed away before it was completed. At the grand opening, a Disney executive had the privilege of sitting next to Mr. Disney’s widow. It is said at some point in the event, the executive turned to Mrs. Disney and said, “Oh if only Walt could have seen this.” Without missing a beat, Mrs, Disney said, “He did see it, that’s why it’s here.”

Your ideas are powerful. Record them, and look for the ones you can begin to bring to reality. Then pray and do the work. Every great thing that has ever been created started as an idea. Maybe it’s time to bring your idea to reality.

Assignment: Set something up to record your ideas, whether it be a notebook, a sketchbook, computer file, or whatever else. Revisit your idea file often.

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I love the Christmas season. I love everything about it but the weather that sometimes comes with it here in PA, and with Thanksgiving right around the corner, the holidays are almost here. There is one other pressure though. As a pastor I am painfully aware of how often the people in my care have heard this most blessed Christmas story. I want to make sure that I bring this unchanging story to them in a way that is fresh and interesting. I could fret over this, but instead I choose to see it as a creative challenge. You should too.

What are you doing to creatively express the greatest story every told? Are there opportunities for you to do something in your church to enhance the celebration? Is there something you mighty do to hep people see the story with “fresh eyes?” I there a way to express it to someone who is not as familiar or a way to take the story to the streets of your community?

For our church, this year my wife started my wheels turning. She was working on something for decorating the area around our advent wreath and she decided to create a sign based on the lyrics of a classic Christmas carol, (I won’t tell you which one, since my church folks read this blog and I want them to be surprised.) As I looked up the carol in the hymnal to defamiliarize myself with the lyrics, I saw that there are four verses each with a unique theme surrounding the story. As providence would have it there are also four Sundays in Advent. Suddenly I was inspired and the theme began to take shape. That was my inspiration, what’s yours? Share it in the comments below.

I’m looking forward to seeing what you’re doing.


If you’re a creative, you’ve probably already figured out that we don’t seem to function like everyone else. Most people to struggle to come up with ideas, we struggle to stop coming up with ideas and actually get something done. Right now the rest of the world would read this and say, “Cry me a river.” I feel your pain. There are so many things going through your head that it gets hard to focus. Compound that with the fact that not only do we have ideas, but we have ideas about our ideas and some of those are crippling which keeps us from acting on our best and brightest ideas. It’s like ADD on steroids and it is enough to drive you crazy. I’ve been there too, but this is not a site to whine about our problems. It’s a place to find solutions. (In my new book, Start…Finish…Ship…Repeat… we will cover this in great detail, but here are the basics.)

1. Do NOT lament too many ideas: Most of the world would kill for what we have, appreciate it. Lamenting is the first step to procrastination.
2. Respect your ideas: Especially for those of us who consider ourselves people of faith, there should be at least the slightest inkling that at least some of these things may well be divinely inspired.
3. Conversely, not all ideas are divinely inspired: Some of them come from really dark places. Watch your thoughts carefully. It’s okay to edit, and beneficial to eliminate those that are overtly destructive. (In other words, if it’s harmful to you or others, it’s probably not God,)
4. Record your ideas. Get them down on paper, get a voice recorder, or put them into your phone, but keep them somewhere, where you can access them.
5. Pick one and take it as far as you can.
6. When you hit a snag, find what (or who) you need to finish.
7. Finish the project. The purpose of ideas is to convert them into reality.
8. Ship the finished project: An idea has no value until it’s shared.
9. If you have other ideas in the process, repeat step four. Then, unless you get bolt from the blue, divine inspiration, put the idea file aside and finish what you started.
10. As soon as the idea ships (however you release it to the world) begin your next project.

Obviously, it’s a little more complex than this, but the basic truth is, we lie to ourselves about our ability to multitask. Most of the time what we are really doing is feeding our own egos about how multidimensional, multitalented we are, without accomplishing very much. There are a multitude of great things you can do.

Pick one and do it…

Start…Finish…Ship…Repeat


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…
mayhemlogoforprint
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 saw this GE commercial on ideas and I have to admit, I really loved it. What are your ideas worth and how can you make them beautiful?


Last week, I posted the preview posts for my new website/blog Beware of Artists.org. Every day, in addition to the regular posts, I also added a one-liner, a simple prompt designed to get your creative juices flowing. I also decided that some folks may not want to wait to get one a day so I published all 365 OneLiners as a book. You can check out the book by clicking the image below.

A Kindle version of One Liners: 365 Creative-Block Busters to Fire Your Creativity
is also available.

A sketchbook version will be available in the next week!


Hi everyone,
I thought today I would give a little update on all that is going on. I am in the process of revamping the AMOKArts.com website and have been reworking some of the free art ideas.

1. Free Art Ideas
These ideas are things you can use in “preaching, teaching and reaching.” There are several project outlines and more. Please note as the transition is going on, some of the links at the top of the page are not working. Be patient, I am hard at work on them and the sit will soon be completely cohesive. You can see what I have so far on the resources link.


2. Mosquitoes are Death.
There is still plenty of time to become involved in the Mosquitoes are Death Project. Just get a group together and create cards creating awareness of World Vision’s act:s to END MALARIA program. Watch the video above for more information. for all the details go to the AMOK Mosquitoes Are Death page.

3. Jump starts.
Did you ever notice sometimes you just have a hard time coming up with ideas to get started on a piece. I have posted 15 short and sweet art project ideas on the web page. These are part of a resource I am working on called the AMOKArts Outside the Box Project Box.
I’ve challenged myself to create something new every day for this year. It’s a loose challenge, one that I will only continue if I have good ideas. It’s not something meant to get in the way of my progress, just something to keep my “creative muscles” strong. You can follow the progress here.

4. Run AMOK at Home
I’m also looking for a few good artists to start AMOKArts groups in their communities and/or churches. Basically these groups will create ways to serve their communities and grow in Christ together. I’m also looking for like minded artists to help to resource them with ideas, resources and more. If this interests you, fill in the form on this page.

5. Seth Godin’s Domino Project Street Team
Lastly in an unrelated but sort of related piece of information, as many of you know I post a lot of things here and on my various lists from Seth Godin. This guy is an expert on marketing and creativity and his work has highly influenced the things that are happening at AMOKArts. He has started a new publishing venture that I believe will revolutionize the world of publishing called the Domino Project. He is looking for a street team to promote what they’re doing. I’ve already applied. If you’ve read Seth’s stuff and would like to be a part of this, apply here.

I hope these things fire your imagination today. Just remember the first step in creating for the Lord is talking to and hearing from the Lord. Pray and read the Scriptures today.

Bible Reading Guide
An important part of following God is knowing what He wants and a great way to know what He wants is to read His Word. Follow this plan and you will finish reading the Bible in a year.
Genesis 47, Job 28-29, Psalm 19
You can also download your own chart here.

AMOKArts Create! T-Shirt Design

AMOKArts Create! T-Shirt Design