Posts Tagged ‘speaking ministry’


Last night I finished up a two night revival series. I had such a great time and I love what I do so much. The first night I did Pictures of Jesus and last night was one I call Forgiven, which deals with forgiveness starting in Genesis and going all the way to the cross. I hadn’t done that one in a while but it was perfect for this lenten season we find ourselves in. There’s something in Forgiven that brings forward all the times when I have had to forgive and that can make me think about pain.

See, I’d be lying if I told you this artistic journey has been easy. There’s been tons of rejection, a lot of soul searching, times when I had hard lessons to learn, when I left my priorities run amok, and frankly times when others took advantage of me. Of course I haven’t even mentioned the bullying that happened throughout much of childhood for a kid who would rather draw a picture than do some of the stuff the other kids were doing. The road to where I am now has not been an easy one, but I praise God for the way he has brought me through to where I am now. He has taught me to depend on Him and for that I am grateful. My life now is better than I ever could have imagined.

At the end of the service last night I met a young artist, looking for her place in the church and the arts. As she spoke, at times I felt like I was hearing my own voice, our stories in some ways seemed similar. She wants to use her gift to serve the Lord. Man, that excites me. Maybe in some small way, I was used to inspire her and I really hope God fans that spark into a flame. You see every time someone hears what God has given me to share and moves forth in it, I get a little more clarity. Who knows? Maybe the things I went through will help someone else to persevere, and do the work and thrive to God’s glory. If God uses me, even in small ways, if the things I’ve been through help someone else, I get to see the purpose in the pain.

Romans 8:28, one of my favorite verse in Scripture says “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” I am living proof that this verse is true, so if you’re going through a tough time, know this. If you love God, there is a purpose in the pain. Persevere, one day God will use it, and you, to do something really important and for your good.

By the way, if my new friend reads this, and you need help in your journey, don’t be afraid to reach out. If I can help, I want to.


I think as creatives we aspire to do our best work. I think as humans we aspire to reach new heights and as Christians we aspire to be more Christ-like (or at least we should). Aspirations can be really good things, but then there are other times. I was chatting with a friend last night who is also in ministry and who also does some itinerant ministry. He’s getting to do ministry at some larger events and something weird started to happen. I started to want to complain that sometimes I feel like I can’t seem to get into the larger places. Thankfully I caught myself and I share this here not as a way of venting that complaint but to share the danger. For the record, I don’t think there is anything wrong with aspiring for a larger platform. It takes the basically same amount of work to prepare to speak to ten people or ten thousand and as people entrusted with the Great Commission, “the more, the merrier.” The trouble comes when we start to complain.

You see we serve in a big world in an even bigger universe, and we don’t always understand everything that is happening around us. This is magnified when we consider the Spirit realm, and we Christians should always consider the Spirit realm. Who knows? I may have more spiritual impact talking to a crowd of ten than a group of ten thousand. I’ll tell you who knows, God does. He opens he doors. He gives the opportunities and He knows what needs to happen. We are called to faithfulness. He provides the impact. So whether you think what you’re doing is big or small, only God knows the significance. To paraphrase Paul, some plant, some water, but God brings the growth. Remember Philippians 1:6 “…He who began a good work in you, will carry it through the completion in the day of Christ Jesus.” We need only be faithful.

Don’t stop aspiring to do great work. Don’t stop aspiring to do great things. But bring your best to any and every situation, whether it looks large or small, because you never know what God will do. I love these songs. They both inspire me to aspire, but in vastly different ways. Which is right? They both are. Aspire to do great things, make the most of every opportunity. Honor God in everything.

By the way, in case you wonder, I am grateful for ever opportunity, large or small, because in truth every ministry opportunity, in the hands of Christ, carries with it the chance of eternal significance. If I can be of service to you, please contact me.



My new presentation… I am really looking forward to taking this one out this Summer. See a preview here. https://www.facebook.com/RockCafe316/videos/581045878988125/

 

Contact me for more information!


Today was a blessed day of ministry. I was privileged to lead a deacon retreat for a church here in my area this morning (Little Swatara Church of the Brethren). A few of the deacons in this church are people I went to High School with, and working with them always reminds me of the 180 Jesus has done in my life from when I was in HS ’til now. Great group of people. While I’ve done leadership workshops before, this one was the first in this format. The people were very kind and participatory, and I thoroughly enjoyed my time with them and pray they were blessed and that the Lord uses the things he laid on my heart to build up the body at their church. Because it was groundhog day, I built my theme accordingly.

Then this evening, I traveled to Middletown PA for my second trip to the Rock Cafe. It was a rock band called Testimony, a rapper named Constant Battle and his crew and me. I really enjoy this type of ministry as well. The music is always great and the ministry is better. I brought a message based on Mark chapter 2 about the man who was lowered through the roof to see Jesus. I’m still working on a title for this message, at least in this format, but I’m thinking of calling it “The Greater Miracle.” This format gives me the opportunity to pare things down and work with shorter messages, which at times comes in very handy. Well speaking of shorter messages, it’s midnight and time to cut this one off and go to bed. I should be back on the regular schedule Monday, Lord willing. If you’re a person who likes rap and rock, get yourself to Middletown, PA on the first Saturday of the month. It’s always fun.

Thanks to everyone who gave me the opportunity to minister today, and to God be the glory. Good night.


I just updated the booking pages of my web site. I moved the 2018 schedule to my past speaking engagements page. I have now gone over 250 speaking engagements in 18 states since I started keeping records in 2012. I continue to be amazed at how many places I have been, how many lifelong friends I have made and how incredibly blessed I am to be allowed to do what I do. To God be the glory.

So if you’re one of the people that has had me in, Thank you. If you have yet to have me in, I’d love to come and do what I do for you. I am so grateful for this calling on my life and I am especially grateful to all the people who trust me to stand before their congregations.

Thank you, thank you, thank you!

Looking forward to more ministry in 2019 and beyond. How can I serve you?


Last night I preached and painted at a wonderful ministry here in Northeast Ohio at the Liberty Barn, an intimate worship experience hosted by my friends, Bill and Brenda Weiss. I spoke on the topic of choosing love over offense and, of course, I painted. As I thought about the topic, I sort of hit a brick wall. “How do you paint that?” Well, I decided to approach the painting differently. I decided to ask five people to come up and make a brush stroke on my board before I painted. I then incorporate their brush strokes into a final piece. Here’s what came out.

One person made a squiggle, one made a heart, one made a straight line, one made a wave and one made a large arc across the board. Then I prayed and began to see this image coming to life and that’s appropriate to me this is a painting of life. It’s not so much about the subject, but rather about the process. You see, usually when I do creative arts ministry, I have carefully planned, practiced some and I pretty much have the image down before I paint it live. With this image, that is not the case. I simply have to figure out a way to deal with what has been thrust at me. That’s how life is.

Friend, your life is a story, and in your life, there is only one thing you control—your actions and by extension your reactions to the things that happen. Your life story is kind of like those books some of us had in middle school. You remember them. You read a number of pages and then the story comes to a crossroad and you have a choice to make. Choosing one option takes you to continue the story on one page. Choosing the other takes you to a different page. The direction of the story is made based on your choices and so it is with life. The direction of our lives is determined, at least in part, based on the choices we make. In our world, there seems to be an epidemic of offense. Everyone is offended by something, but what we need to know, is offense is a choice. If we choose offense enough times, it becomes a root of bitterness that is exceedingly difficult to overcome. What if instead we chose to love? That’s what Jesus did and His action changed the course of history for all eternity. The world lives in a pattern of offense. We have been instructed not to be conformed to the world’s pattern, but rather to be be transformed. Jesus is our pattern and He chose to love and even sacrifice Himself for His offenders.

The choice is is yours and that choice will effect the direction of the rest of your life, so choose wisely.

Choose love over offense.


Lately, I’ve been missing too many days of posting. I’ve been busy, but everyone is busy. Days fly by and before I know it, I am heading for bed and another day is done. That happens to a lot of people. I could say I haven’t been inspired to post, but you know how I feel about waiting for inspiration. If you don’t, I’m not a fan of it. I think inspiration is something to be sought, hunted down and exploited for all it’s worth. I think it’s time to reorganize my thoughts here a little bit.

My passion for creative ministry has not wained. I’m actually doing a lot of it these days, I’m just not taking the time to write about it, and that has to change. So here is my plan, I am going to share about all the things I am doing out in the field. Like Saturday night. On Saturday night I did Pictures of Jesus. This is a program I have done all over the country, but there was one place I have never done it. My home church. We had a small turnout, but the response was pretty overwhelming. I mainly did this as an outreach. That was my idea, my hope being to attract some folks from the surrounding community. I think God had something else in mind.

You see my church has been wonderfully supportive of my speaking ministry. I am a three quarter time pastor and the other quarter of my time is spent on my traveling AMOKArts ministry. Now truth be known, I always say I don’t have two ministries, I have one, but what I do at my church is quite different from what I do on the road. Preaching a different message every week allows me to be very creative, but it’s a different kind of creative. I don’t always paint at my church. Probably only about four times a year and when I paint, I have a good twenty minutes before I get to preach. which allows a lot of time to really work the paintings. In the traveling ministry, I often do multiple pieces very quickly with stories I have developed and often memorized. Showing my church Pictures of Jesus, which is an hour and a half long containing five paintings, drama, videos more, allowed them to see what I do on the road, and it seems to have really blessed the folks who were able to be there. I really think this will help people to have an even better understanding of what I do when I can’t be with them which will help already very supportive people to be even more supportive. That can’t help but help.

Don’t forget to share your gifts with the folks closest to you.