Are You Waiting for a Door to Open?

[A]re you waiting for a door to open? Are you waiting for God to come through for you with a particular hope or dream in your heart? I know I’m waiting for several doors to open in different areas of my life. When I walked in Capo Beach Church on Easter Sunday a few weeks ago, I was pleasantly surprised to find that the Easter Theme was “Doors.” I have found that waiting on God is where does his deepest work and cultivation in my life. Read on…

old doorway

Are You Grateful for the Gift of Friends?

[Y]esterday I had a wonderful conversation with my buddy Roy Cochran, a dear friend of mine who leads a ministry for worship leaders and artists called the Worship Mentor Network. We had just come from a Grove planning meeting with Monty Kelso and Sherri Alden (also dear friends!) at Hidden House Coffee for an upcoming Grove Worship Leader Getaway.

CelebratingthegiftoffriendshipAs we stood in the gardens on Los Rios Street just talking and watching the sun go down, the warm light danced through the sycamore and eucalyptus trees. It was one of those reflective moments framed by the gift of friends and the breathtaking beauty of the waning day. After a hug and a goodbye, I got in my car to get home before dark to take my seventh-grade son, Aidan, out with some friends for Halloween trick-n-treating. I called home to check in and what I heard next broke my heart…horrors of horrors on Halloween! Read on…

15 Simple Reminders When You Feel Overwhelmed as an Artist

I don’t know about you, but the older I get, the more I need simple reminders when I feel overwhelmed. As I write, I have several reminders on little yellow sticky pads on my desk: Call Marty. Double-check rooms for Grove artist retreat. Pay Visa. Floss. Okay, delete the floss one.

If you feel discouraged, overwhelmed, or distracted, I hope these simple reminders will be helpful for you as an artist. In recent days, I’ve felt overwhelmed. I’ve never written so many checks to cover taxes and tuition for two college students. Last Monday, it was everything I could do to keep the anxiety monkeys from hurling handfuls of mental monkey excrement at me. If you’re overwhelmed…

How to Discover Your Beautiful Strength in Weakness

[A] few years ago, Marcus Buckingham and Donald Clifton wrote a wonderful book called “Now, Discover Your Strengths.” This bestselling book helps you identify your core strengths so you can focus on building upon your unique talents. I love personal inventory books like this because I’m a life-long learner. (“Learner” is part of my StrengthsFinder profile.) StrengthsFinder by Tom Gath was the followup companion book. Both are excellent books and both sit on my shelf. But what would happen if you were strolling through a Barnes & Noble and your eyes fell upon a book entitled: Now, Discover Your Weakness or it’s companion book, WeaknessFinder? Would you pick it up? Flip through the pages? I don’t know about you, but I’d avoid those books like a coiled rattlesnake. I don’t need a book to identify all my weaknesses. Got that covered, thank you. But what if you found a book that promised to make your weakness your beautiful strength? Read on…

Joey Recommends: The Prodigal God by Timothy Keller

[C]hances are you’ve heard the story of The Prodigal Son. You know, The Younger Brother who hacked off his Older Brother after wasting his inheritance on wine, women, and wild living? If you missed my post, The Prodigal God: Are We Loving or Judging Others, I want to recommend you get The Prodigal God by Timothy Keller. Today I’m beginning a new video series where I personally recommend some of my favorite writing tools, books, movies and creative resources. This is my top book for this year and here’s why…

Swimming in Grace

In his book Practice Resurrection, Eugene Peterson talks about grace and the art of writing. As he read poet William Stafford‘s book on creative writing, Stafford’s analogy of swimming reminded Peterson of God’s grace. This is a beautiful passage for anyone seeking to follow Christ and live a creative life in Him.

…any reasonable person who looks at water [grace], and passes a hand through it, can see that it would not hold a person up…But swimmers [followers of Jesus] know that if they relax on the water [grace] it will prove to be miraculously buoyant;

The Prodigal God: Are We Loving Others or Judging Others?

[I] am only two chapters into The Prodigal God by Timothy Keller, pastor of Redeemer Presbyterian church in New York City and my immediate one-word response is: Amazing! Keller reveals the central message of Christianity: God’s prodigal grace toward both the irreligious and moralistic self-righteous.

In short order, Keller informs us that the story of The Prodigal Son should really be called, “The Story of the Two Lost Sons.”

Both the Older Brother and the Younger Brother are lost, but the target of Jesus’ story is not the “tax collectors and sinners” who Jesus eats with. No, Jesus is pointing sharp, outrageous and scandalous words at the religious leaders who sit in judgment of all those younger brother types.