Posts Tagged ‘stand in the gap’

Hi everyone,
If you’ve been blessed at all by this ministry, please join me in praising God for this day. You see this is a momentous day, the anniversary of a day that changed the entire course of my life. 20 years ago today was a bright, warm Saturday morning, but in truth I was under a dark cloud. I was feeling like I was so lost. I was trying to be a professional artist, hustling like crazy and I see now driving everyone crazy. You see I had to be an artist. It was the only thing in the world I was any good at. I assumed it was my God-given gift and so surely I was supposed to be doing that for a living. If that was the case, and I was quite convinced I was, why was I failing so miserably, and why was everyone so mad at me? I felt like God had let me down. I was wrong.

You see in my pursuit of fame and fortune, I was messing up badly. Now if you had asked me, I would have told you I was doing it all for my family and that once I made it they would have everything they ever wanted. If that’s the case, and lying to myself I said it was, why was my family life in a shambles. It had been about a week since I’m pretty sure I heard the voice of God. I was railing at Him over my perceived failure, and maybe His failure to take care of me, when I heard Him say, “your work is your god.” I was fighting with that thought all week. On that Saturday, I got on a bus bright and early. To be honest I didn’t really want to go, I had deadlines. I found out later that people were praying I would get on that bus, first and foremost, my wife. You see that bus would drop me on the mall in Washington D.C. for a Promise Keepers event called Stand in the Gap.

There were a million men or more on the mall that day from all over the world, but God wasted no time at all. It felt like every speaker was speaking only to me. (I’ve since heard a lot of other guys who felt the same way.) Speaker after speaker, nailed all my issues. I spent most of the day in tears of repentance and by the end of the day I knew what I had to do. I had to take my beloved art career and lay in on the altar. I quit art that day and I told God I would never pick it up again unless I was doing it for Him. I felt Him call me to ministry right then and there and the rest is history. That night I repented not just to God but to my family. God really turned my life around. In time I went from a guy terrified to speak in public to a guy who has spoken all over this great nation. I’ve painted and ministered in about 200 venues just in the last five years in about 15 or 16 states. I pastor a great little church here in PA and I am the happiest I have ever been. It all started 20 years ago today. Thanks for being a part of this journey. The best is yet to come.


I’ve made no secret of the fact that my life was radically changed and my ministry exists (at least in part) by and because of the ministry of Promise Keepers. The event Stand in the Gap was particularly important. I recently found this clip of Dr. Tony Evans on that day over 19 years ago that bears repeating. The whole message is incredible, but right around 2:20 you will hear an amazing and powerful reminder for us all. Thank you God for this amazing day.

If you’ve been reading this blog for any length of time, you may remember that I got my call to ministry at a Promise Keepers Event called Stand in the Gap… It’s been nearly 20 years since that day in 1997 and I am thinking we may need to revisit it. See if any of this sounds familiar. From Ezekiel 22, my devotional reading this morning…

26-29 “‘Your priests violated my law and desecrated my holy things. They can’t tell the difference between sacred and secular. They tell people there’s no difference between right and wrong. They’re contemptuous of my holy Sabbaths, profaning me by trying to pull me down to their level. Your politicians are like wolves prowling and killing and rapaciously taking whatever they want. Your preachers cover up for the politicians by pretending to have received visions and special revelations. They say, “This is what God, the Master, says . . .” when God hasn’t said so much as one word. Extortion is rife, robbery is epidemic, the poor and needy are abused, outsiders are kicked around at will, with no access to justice.’

30-31 “I looked for someone to stand up for me against all this, to repair the defenses of the city, to take a stand for me and stand in the gap to protect this land so I wouldn’t have to destroy it. I couldn’t find anyone. Not one. So I’ll empty out my wrath on them, burn them to a crisp with my hot anger, serve them with the consequences of all they’ve done. Decree of God, the Master.”

Who will stand in the gap? Maybe it’s time for our art to get prophetic. Not in the wildly symbolic sense, because while that’s great and I love it, a lot of people don’t get it and so they make it mean what they want it to mean. No, I’m talking more blatant, in your face, straighten up and fly right art, that challenges people to holiness and righteousness.

Who will stand in the gap?

No it’s not my wedding anniversary, that’s April 23. No it’s not the anniversary of my first date with my wife, that’s June 8. And no it’s not my birthday, that’s coming up in a couple of weeks. It’s not the day I came to Jesus that’s in the Spring and it’s not my baptism that’s December 28.

Today is the anniversary of the day the direction of my life changed forever, October 4, 1997. That was the day of Promise Keeper’s Stand in the Gap event in Washington, D.C. That was the day God really got a hold of me, convicted me of the idolatry I had toward my art career and the mess that was making in my life. On that day He showed me I had to lay that gift down for a season and reconnect with Him. It was also the day when I first felt the call to ministry. I had no idea where that journey would lead. He’s brought me this far, so far and I can’t wait to see what He does next.

God is good. Thank you Jesus for this calling. Help me to live up to it.

By the way in the clip you hear the guy asking us to take a picture out and look at the picture as we prayed. That was the moment where it all broke for me. That day I cried bitter tears of repentance, today that clip fills me with unspeakable joy. God really can turn your life around.

I know, because He did it for me.

If you’ve ever been blessed by my ministry, you need to know it almost didn’t happen. You need to know there was a time when I was nearly destroyed, a time when I was in danger of losing everything, my wife, my family, everything and I was so blind I couldn’t even see it. What makes it even worse is why I was about to lose it. The wedge that was being driven between me and everything good in my life was my art. Now I know that may seem strange. Today art is a tool I use to preach the gospel all over the place but at that point it was my idol. I always reasoned that one day, when I “made it” (whatever that means) my family would have it all. What they really wanted was me but I was blind.

If you’ve ever been blessed by my ministry, you should praise God for October 4, 1997 because that’s the day it all turned around. Some guys from the church were going to Washington, DC to a Promise Keepers Event called Stand in the Gap and reluctantly I went.

That day it felt like God got a million men together from all over the world to talk to me. (I’ve talked to several others who felt the same way.) Each speaker in the above video seemed to know exactly all that I was doing wrong and hammered it. If you saw the man that asked us to take a picture out of our wallets as we prayed, that was the breaking point. The picture was to be of someone we had wronged. I had two pictures, my wife and my sons. He had us pray face down in the dirt asking God to forgive us and help us to fix the relationship. By the end of the day I had a major change. I took my wife and kids off the altar to my art and put my art on the altar of God. I laid art down and told God I would never pick it up again unless I was doing it for Him. I got my call to ministry that day and about six months later God gave me my art back as a tool to spread the Gospel.

If you’ve ever been blessed by my ministry, now you know how it happened and why it exists.

If you’re in a place where things are out of balance, take a look at your life. Are the right things on the right altar in your life or does something need to be laid down? Is there something in you that needs to change? Maybe today is the day to let God change your life.

Near the end of the day that day, Tony Evans made a statement that I will never forget. He said basically,

If you want a better world, composed of better nations, inhabited by better states, filled with better counties, made up of better cities, comprised of better neighborhoods, illuminated by better churches, populated by better families, then you have to start by becoming a better person!

Changing the world might just start by changing you.