I tell my students all the time…

…Our art class is not about how much talent God gave you.  It’s about how you use what God gave you.

And yet, without anyone teaching them, eventually every child learns to give up, to throw in the towel.  I can’t stand to see kids who don’t even try to live up to their potential, all because they don’t think their potential is good enough.

It’s so easy to set a low bar for ourselves, to assume that we are incapable.  What if we just decided that we would keep going, no matter what the result may be?

photo 1

It’s not about what God gave us, or did not give us.  It’s about how we use what we have.

What does it mean to “pack light?”

414+sA+en9L._SY346_PJlook-inside-v2,TopRight,1,0_SH20_

My wife and I think we’re pretty good at packing light.  We’ve traveled quite a bit, and whenever we fly, we make sure we don’t have to check any bags.  My wife takes an equal amount of luggage as I do, amazingly enough.  We aren’t loaded down with a ton of stuff while trying to travel.

I thought I knew how to pack light.

Then I met Ally Vesterfelt.

Continue Reading…

Do you want to get well?

Do we actually want to be well?

Do we actually want to be well?

I’ve been thinking about that question a lot lately.  Because it sounds like a silly question.  If you asked a sick person if they want to get well, chances are you’d get some weird looks.

But as I look at the world around us, I think about the story of Jesus approaching the paralyzed man at the pool.  He’s been laying there for years.  Jesus, inexplicably, picks him out the crowd.  He doesn’t ask how long he’s been there.  He doesn’t ask if he needs help into the pool.  He asks instead,

“Do you want to get well.”

At first, I wondered why Jesus would ask such a question.  But the more I think about it, the more I realize it’s not such a dumb question after all.  Our modern culture is positively obsessed with wellness, health, and self-improvement…

But do we actually want to get well?

The answer to that question, I’m not so sure of.

Continue Reading…

Happy Friday, my friends.

I’m sure it’s been a big week for all of us.  My life has certainly been eventful, not to mention all the great stuff I’ve been able to read, watch, absorb and learn from.

Here’s what fueled me this week.

The End of An Era

I know this is a contradiction, as it didn’t fuel me in a way that was motivating.  My heart is actually kind of heavy this week.  I spent my teenage years, and even a few years after that involved in an outstanding Boy Scout troop.  It had a storied history that was several decades long and graduated dozens of Eagle Scouts (I was number one-hundred-and-something.)  It was an excellent organization.  This week I learned that their chartering church decided to inexplicably pull the plug, effectively ending the scouting organization where I spent my youth.  I told you in no uncertain terms that short-sighted churches would do this as a repercussion for Boy Scouts’ recent decision regarding gay youth, and I can’t help but wonder if this incident is part of that story.

Continue Reading…

Dear Child,

It’s me again, your future Dad.  I still don’t know when you’ll show up, but I think about you a lot these days.  I want you to know that I’ve been praying for you.

Parents have a lot of things to pray about when it comes to their kids.  There are prayers said for health, and for protection as you take more risks in the world.  You’ll bump and scrape your knees.  A few bones will probably get broken.  Your heart will definitely get broken at least once or twice.

But these days, I’ve been thinking most not just about the kind of child you will be, but the kind of adult you will become many years from now.  Will you be a man or woman of great faith and courage?  Will you be compassionate and gentle?  Will you lead others or create great things with your life?

I have great dreams for you.  But I am worried that you will allow someone to convince you that you are not worthy.

Continue Reading…

What makes an idea?

We all have thoughts and ideas that we would like to share.  We would like people to see our ideas, to admire them, to quote them, to imitate them.

But all too often, our ideas are ignored or unappreciated.  We feel let down.

Could it be because our ideas are not dangerous enough?

A dangerous idea does not have to be the loudest in the room.  Danger can be a quiet, slow force.

And of course, danger is all relative.  Jesus was a very gentle, compassionate, dangerous man.  He was dangerous to the status quo.  He was dangerous to powerful people.

I’ve always been a little bit averse to danger.  Maybe I need to get more comfortable with it.

Dangerous Ideas - LifeAfterArtBook.comGo.  Think of something dangerous today.

Share it with some dangerous people.