Posts Tagged ‘story painter’


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.

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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.