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Life After Art is available next Monday! Remember, when you order your copy, forward your receipt to LifeAfterArtBook.com for three other freebies from me and Moody Publishers.

The customer is always right.

That’s the saying.  Even though it’s not true.  Customers are usually wrong.  But we say that the customer is right and set out to satisfy them so we’ll keep their business.  It’s really a mantra of capitalism.  Give the customer what they want so they’ll keep giving us their money.  Whatever it takes.

But the smartest businesses don’t give customers what they want.

And neither should churches…especially this weekend.

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Before Christians invented side-hugging, they expressed Christian unity by awkwardly hugging and nuzzling each others’ faces. Thankfully, expressions of Christian unity were redefined.

Just a few more days until Life After Art releases on April 1!  Pre-ordering is open, but remember that starting April 1, forward your receipt to LifeAfterArtBook.com to get the deluxe ebook, the Life After Art Field Guide, and The Art of Storytelling from Moody Publishers.

I spent two years at a small Christian college…

…before I had to get out.  I transferred to a state school to finish my art degree.

The first reason was because a Christian college isn’t really the place to learn art.

But honestly, those two years at Christian college was one of the spiritually darkest times in my life.

Now, how could a small town Christian college, with its chapel sermons and curfews and the guys playing exactly three guitar chords all over the quad, be one of the darkest places for my spirit?

It was because of how a place like that defined Christian unity. 

And the further I get away from college, the more I realize how many Christians define unity in the same way – a definition that actually creates disunity.  I have realized our desperate need to change how we think of Christian unity.

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Just who am I hoping will read Life After Art?

Is it just for artsy-fartsy, creative, eccentric, Type B, right brained people?

Actually, no.

In fact Life After Art is not about being a better artist.  It’s not about being “creative” in the way you’ve learned to define the word.

It’s about being a better human being.  It’s about being the human being God created you to be.  Whether that means you’re a calculator-toting, left-brained, type A personality or the exact opposite, I wrote Life After Art with you in mind.
First GradeOne of my favorite things in the book is this drawing.  It was done by my brother, Aaron when he was in first grade.  Yes, it’s humorously bad, and no, he hasn’t gotten much better at art since this drawing was made twenty years ago.  We searched together through his scrapboxes to find one of the lousiest drawings he ever did on purpose.

It will all make sense once you get your hands on the book.  Life After Art is for guys like my brother who haven’t picked up a paintbrush or drawing pencil since they left elementary school art class.  It’s for people who don’t consider themselves creative or “artistic.”  (Don’t worry, it’s also good for people who are creative and artistic.)

In my art room, no student gets left out.  No one gets laughed at or criticized for being “uncreative.”  And the same is true with this book. I wrote this book for high school graduates, for twenty-somethings who can’t seem to get their lives together, for thirty-somethings who still can’t get their lives together, for artists, for truck-drivers, for preachers and teachers, moms and dads who are watching their children grow up too fast and people who are afraid they missed God’s purpose for their lives.

It’s also for people who like free stuff!  When you order Life After Art (or pre-order), starting April 1, you can email your receipt to LifeAfterArtBook@gmail.com to get the deluxe edition ebook (with bonus content), the Life After Art Field Guide, and The Art of Storytelling from Moody Publishers.  Neat-o!

I hope you’ll hop on over Life After Art now and place your pre-order.

It’s been a busy month.

Earlier this month, I celebrated thirty years on planet Earth.

This week, my wife and I celebrating seven years of marriage.  Seven years of love, true love.  Wow.  If we count our time dating and engaged, we’ve been together almost an entire decade.  Like, a third of my life!

To mark the occasion on this Friday, I’d like to share seven lessons I’ve learned in seven years of marriage.  I’d love to hear from you too – what you’ve learned about marriage and relationships lately.  (And tell us how long you’ve been married!)

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Today, I’m so humbled and grateful to welcome Ed Cyzewski to my blog.  Ed blogs at In a Mirror Dimly and has written numerous books on topics ranging from theology to Christian unity to creativity.  He’s a fantastic writer, and an all-around super guy.

How David Sedaris Helped Me Write Pretty One DayEdC200

Four years in seminary exposed me to thick, heavy academic theology books. They were all I knew about writing. They were all I imitated.

State a thesis. Defend your thesis. Beat your head against your desk as you format footnotes. Edit to make sure your ideas are clear.

That was writing for me. I thought it was fine. Not great—just something I could do reasonably well.

I’d forgotten the years I’d spent writing silly stories in elementary school.

I’d forgotten the encouragement of my high school English teachers.

I just wrote ideas: bland, simple ideas constructed on a scaffolding of research.

By the time I started to entertain the possibility of writing full time, I happened upon Me Talk Pretty One Day by David Sedaris. I’d seen it release while working at a Borders Bookstore, but it wasn’t until after seminary that I started to read something other than theology or Christian living books.

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Recently, I turned thirty.  Big number.Gods-Plan-for-you

Today, my wife and I have been married for seven years.  Hard to believe.

I’ve completed a bachelor’s and a Master’s degree.  I’ve got a house and a job.  Not too bad.

But the one thing I don’t have?

A master plan.

How many people went to church this weekend and heard something about finding God’s “plan” for your life?  I am certain that there were many, many sermons preached about finding the grand and glorious plan that God has already mapped out for you.  If only we can figure out God’s plan, then we’ll be set.  Google “God’s plan” and thousands of results will come up, all about focusing, finding, and following God’s plan for you.

You know, I’m still younger than a lot of you in blog-land.  I haven’t been married as long or worked as long.  But I have figured something out at this point in my life…

…God isn’t going to tell us the plan.  God’s plan is on a need-to-know basis, and apparently, He thinks we don’t need to know.

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