Posts Tagged ‘Love’


orlandoWell we’ve seen another heinous attack, a senseless act of violence. I am actually pretty thankful that I am separated from media for a few days because I get to miss all the blame placing and politicization of all of it, which is only ever amplified in a presidential election year. Evil happens in our world. It has since the fall. It will happen until the return. It is a fact of life, but this is not to say there is nothing we can do about it.

I’m reminded of a line from the musical Rent, which said, “The opposite of war isn’t peace, it’s creation.” I believe this to be true. Oh, peace is where we want to get to, but in the midst of a world filled with so much hate, the people on the side of light can cry for peace if we want, but to get to peace requires more. It requires the people of God being the people of God. The children of the Creator need to create. We need to look past a status quo that leaves us precisely where we are and we need to look for creative (and godly) solutions.

The opposite of terror is love. It always has been. Perfect love, (God’s love) drives out fear. How will we show that love to a world filled with hate? The ultimate answer is to point people to Christ. This can be done in a billion different ways, which is good since the Gospel needs to go to the majority of a seven billion person population. It requires every single believer to bring everything they have to foot of the cross and say with Isaiah, “Here am I, send me.” Every single believer who’s been wired for creativity needs to embrace their many gifts and put them to work in the name of the One who died to set us free.

The opposite of evil is Jesus. Only He can truly overcome evil, and we are His body, His hands, His feet. In God’s Word we are instructed to overcome evil with good. We are also instructed to take the truth of the Gospel to the ends of the earth. These two missions are one in the same, so get creative.

The time is now.



I am reading Brian Houston’s new book Live, Love Lead. This passage inspired the video. “Some people are saved but they’re not free. They don’t believe they deserve to be happy, to enjoy the spacious, joyful life God has for them. They feel as if they’re disqualified. They’re unfit for happiness. But it’s not true! It’s nothing more then the devil’s lies.

Sin becomes guilt, which is something we feel, an emotion. However, shame is something you carry, a state of being. People will sometimes say, “Shame on you!” and try to throw it at you. They judge you, condemn you, and try to make you feel the harsh sting of rejection.

He then goes on to tell this truth. “If we want to shake off shame, we myst understand the full power of what Jesus Christ has done for us. If you carry shame, then you’re not carrying what comes with the full blessing of God.”


I have a piece of art I do that is not beautiful. As a matter of fact it’s ugly and it keeps getting uglier, by design. There are days here I wonder if it is not my mot important piece. I do it live, and it is getting thicker every time. I wish I would run out of resources and have to stop using it, but short of Christ’s return, my guess is I will not run out of material. It’s called The Cross of Sin.

It’s harsh, it’s offensive looking. Picture a six foot wooden cross covered with newspaper clippings. Clippings of sin and it’s effects on our world. I never run out, sadly. Some people question why I would take all that ugliness and attach it to a symbol of Christ. Well it didn’t start off as a symbol of Christ. At it’s harshest, the cross is a symbol of torture and death, the first century electric chair, only a whole lot more brutal. The reason we are so attached to it is for one reason and one reason only, Jesus changed the story. He took a symbol of death and destruction and made it a symbol of life and hope. Why would I cover that with images of sin? Because Jesus did.

2 Corinthians 5 says “He who knew no sin, became sin for us, so that in Him we might become the righteousness of God.” Jesus took our sin and nailed it to the cross, paying the price for all time for all who would believe. Because He bore your sin to the cross, you and I can be based clean.

In my presentations I tell the story from John 19. Everything that was done to Jesus, I do to the cross. The beatings, the crown of thorns and the nails as a way of dramatizing what was done. Making people see it in a way that is tangible. It seems to have the desired impact. Of course I don’t leave Him there, but that is a different piece of art. When I finish the presentation, I go to the newspapers and cover it all over again.

The piece is brutally ugly, and yet in it’s ugliness is beauty. It says something Jesus has been saying all along, ever since he stretched out his arms and said “I love you this much.”


pappy and DavidToday, I entered into a new phase off life and I got a new name. Pappy! My first grandchild was born yesterday. I have to admit when I held him for the first time, I was sniffing back the tears. I never cease to be amazed by how quickly one can fall in love with a baby. I know God is above all this stuff, but it always feels a little like He is showing off. God is so good.

Then after a great day, I came home to read about all kinds of stories of people and governments making questionable decisions, including a weapons deal with Iran?????? and I begin to wonder what kind of world will my grandson inherit? It gets me motivated. There is so much to be done and we have to do it, not just for my grandchild but for all of us. God put us here to love us and to make a difference. We can do something about the stuff that is going on in the world and we need to.

The time to create a better world is now.


I’m not exactly sure what to call this post. To be honest, I’m not sure of much these days, but that God is still God, that God is still good and that Jesus is still Lord. We live in a world where discourse has been reduced to memes on social media. If it can’t be said in 140 characters or less, it won’t be heard. Disagreement is now hatred and tolerance, something that used to mean we could disagree, maybe even vehemently, and still respect and maybe even love each other, has been reduced to forced agreement with the status quo. Meanwhile I’ve seen Hitler mentioned on many occasions as an example of a Christian. For the record, no one who killed 11,000,000 million people is a Christian, period. This much is clear, we Christians have fallen out of favor. How should we react?

Well first of all, none of this should surprise us. Jesus told us people would hate us because of Him. Now if they hate you because you’re being a jerk, that’s on you, but if they hate you because of Him, that’s something different altogether. He went a step further in John 16 “All this I have told you so that you will not fall away. 2 They will put you out of the synagogue; in fact, the time is coming when anyone who kills you will think they are offering a service to God. 3 They will do such things because they have not known the Father or me. 4 I have told you this, so that when their time comes you will remember that I warned you about them.” He’s been right about everything else, chances are He’s right about this, too.

The church will not always be a help to us either. Scripture reminds us “For the time will come when people will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear.” (2 Timothy 4:3) A word of caution here, we can’t throw this verse at everyone who disagrees with us. Instead we must do what we have always been supposed to do, compare what we hear from pulpits and preachers (and the media, and the government, and everyone else) with the Word of God and live according to what the Word says.

So what do we do? We do what we’ve been called to do all along. We love others. We love everybody, even those who disagree with us, even those who may persecute us (and by the way, negative memes are not persecution). We pray for our leaders. We speak the truth in love. We help and bless and care and serve. We “Live such good lives among the [world] that, though they accuse you of doing wrong, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day he visits us.” Being reproached is no excuse to live anything but above reproach. We love because He first loved us. We do unto others as we would have them do unto us, regardless of what they actually do unto us. We follow Jesus, regardless.

Nothing has changed. Jesus is still Jesus. He will never steer you wrong. Everyone else… Well, not (always) so much.


rockwellthanksgivingIt is to my mind, the most iconic expression of Thanksgiving, Norman Rockwell’s famous Saturday Evening Post cover. The guy was a true genius at expressing the best parts of life. All those happy people around a table about to share in a wonderful feast. You can literally feel the love in the room.

Love it what it’s all about you know. The meal may be different depending on where you go, you may even be in a place that doesn’t celebrate the day or maybe you’re distant from your family and unable to get to your own family dinner, but regardless of the meal, ultimately love supersedes the meal.

You might think I’m a little off today saying it’s all about love. You say, “Umm Dave, what it’s all about is right there in the title, ‘Thanksgiving.” Why are we thankful? Because we serve a God who loves us enough to provide for our needs and give us people to love. That’s what we’re really thankful for, isn’t it?

I always try to get you to be creative, and today is no different except that what we do today is not going to be done with art supplies. Today it’s done with love. Today I believe we should all seek ways to love creatively. Commit little acts of kindness. Go out of your way to mend fences and restore broken relationships. Break tensions, lay aside offenses and love. Lovingly share the truth of Jesus as opportunities arise.

As of today, I will have done 51 Thanksgivings on this planet. As I sit at the table today, faces will be missing. Faces I won’t see again in this life. Faces I miss dearly, and this much I know to be true, I am thankful for each one of them. God gave them to me as a blessing and for them I am thankful. Love and thankfulness really are synonymous.

The passage I am always drawn to for Thanksgiving is from Colossians 3:

12 Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. 13 Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. 14 And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.

15 Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful. 16 Let the message of Christ dwell among you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom through psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit, singing to God with gratitude in your hearts.

Better words for this day were never spoken. Make these your words of instruction as you gather with your loved ones and make this an awesome day. Get creative if you have to.

Be Thankful and love…


I am reading through Erwin McManus’ newest book, The Artisan Soul: Crafting Your Life into a Work of Art for a book study I am leading. The chapter we are dealing with this week is on interpretation, namely how we perceive and interpret our lives. It’s a wonderful chapter which I have highlighted incessantly. McManus ends the chapter with these words.

It was Einstein who said, “There are two ways to live your life—one is as though nothing is a miracle and the other is as if everything is a miracle.” Interpretation matters. What is your interpretation of life?

I think this is really what it comes down to ad while it’s important for everyone, it is especially important for those of us who have been entrusted with a creative gift. Our work is not just an interpretation of our own lives but it helps others to interpret their lives. Will we help them to see the miracle of another day, of another chance, of hope and of redemption? Can you see those things in your own life? Most of life really is how we interpret it. We don’t get to choose our circumstances, but we do get to choose.how we interpret them and that can make all the difference.

How do you interpret life?