Monday, December 29, 2014

Faith without works is dead

 Faith is a gift to be shared.  If it is hidden away, buried, or masked, it is wasted.  Faith without works is dead.  The action is a direct result of God using the faith that he has given you to bless others.  I found these thoughts rolling through my head as I sketched the dead forest above.  I found myself thinking that faith, if not exercised,  may spoil, rot, or even disappear.   I began to ask myself the hard questions.  What have I done lately to exercise my faith?  When was the last time I stepped out of my comfort zone in my pursuit of Christ?  God's simple answer is "Patrick, open your eyes and I will show you the need that is all around you".  I pray today that I would see others with God's eyes and that my Faith would be exercised.

James 2:14-25

14 What good is it, my brothers and sisters, if someone claims to have faith but has no deeds? Can such faith save them? 15 Suppose a brother or a sister is without clothes and daily food. 16 If one of you says to them, “Go in peace; keep warm and well fed,” but does nothing about their physical needs, what good is it? 17 In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead.
18 But someone will say, “You have faith; I have deeds.”
Show me your faith without deeds, and I will show you my faith by my deeds. 19 You believe that there is one God. Good! Even the demons believe that—and shudder.
20 You foolish person, do you want evidence that faith without deeds is useless[d]? 21 Was not our father Abraham considered righteous for what he did when he offered his son Isaac on the altar? 22 You see that his faith and his actions were working together, and his faith was made complete by what he did. 23 And the scripture was fulfilled that says, “Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness,”[e] and he was called God’s friend. 24 You see that a person is considered righteous by what they do and not by faith alone.
25 In the same way, was not even Rahab the prostitute considered righteous for what she did when she gave lodging to the spies and sent them off in a different direction?26 As the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without deeds is dead.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014


I had the opportunity to share with Olivia while traveling from Chicago to LA a few weeks ago.  I had been reading James in my bible and sketched the above drawing.  When I finished I felt God's tug on my heart to give the drawing to Olivia, the passenger sitting next to me, and share with her what I had been reading in James.  She told me it was exactly what she needed to hear and it opened the door for a rich conversation about her 74 years on this earth.  I am thankful for that conversation and pray that Olivia continues to grow in her faith.

James 1:2-8

2Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you. But when you ask, you must believe and not doubt, because the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. That person should not expect to receive anything from the Lord. Such a person is double-minded and unstable in all they do.

Monday, November 3, 2014


family (from Latin: familia) is a group of people affiliated by consanguinity (by recognized birth), affinity (by marriage), or co-residence/shared consumption (see Nurture kinship).
Christ had a much broader view of family.  He said in Luke 8 21  “My mother and brothers are those who hear God’s word and put it into practice.”  Christ welcomes all to the family, excluding know-one.   I am very thankful to be counted as part of Christ's family, and rejoice in the strength he provides.  I pray that I would hear God's word, see others through God's eyes, and that I would have compassion to love the unlovable.  

Mark 9:36-38

36 He took a little child whom he placed among them. Taking the child in his arms, he said to them,37 “Whoever welcomes one of these little children in my name welcomes me; and whoever welcomes me does not welcome me but the one who sent me.”

Monday, September 8, 2014

Adventure of Marriage

I recently had the opportunity to create a painting to be used in a friends wedding.   I spent several weeks praying for the couple, then began to apply paint to canvas.  It was truly a joy to pray for my friends as I painted this piece.  The tree represents the couples strong foundation in Christ.  The valley and mountain tops are representative of the adventures, good time, struggles and journey that the couple will experience over the years.  The lack of foliage is representative of stepping into marriage with nothing expect love and commitment.  My prayer for the couple is that the foliage will fill in throughout the years, their roots as a couple in Christ will grow deep and strong, and the adventure of marriage will draw them closer to God and each other.  I pray that they will realize that marriage is not the finish line of dating, but the beginning of a union between two heart, a partnership of strength, and a journey with an itinerary that spans a lifetime. 

Matthew 19:5-6

and said, ‘For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh’[a]? So they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate.”

Friday, August 22, 2014

Pressing In

I painted this a few weeks ago and have been struck by the words "Pressing In".  This led me to Philippians 3.  Paul talks about pressing in, looking forward toward the promise of Christ.  I find myself often looking back, wishing for the chance for a do-over.  Today I am reminded that we get one chance for everything we do.  Each minute is new, and we have the opportunity to press in with each step we take.  My prayer today is that I would accept the challenge to press in and live each moment for the unique opportunity that it is.  I pray that I would move ahead, and press in with the strength that only Christ can provide.

Philippians 3:7-14
But whatever were gains to me I now consider loss for the sake of Christ. What is more, I consider everything a loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them garbage, that I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which is through faith in[a] Christ—the righteousness that comes from God on the basis of faith. 10 I want to know Christ—yes, to know the power of his resurrection and participation in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, 11 and so, somehow, attaining to the resurrection from the dead.
12 Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already arrived at my goal, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. 13 Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, 14 I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.

Tuesday, August 5, 2014


I often struggle with balance.  I tend to throw myself 110% in whatever I am doing, and often find myself over-extended, exhausted, and ever watching my to do list grow.  In reflection I am typically missing a key starter question.  What direction is God pointing me in?  I am so busy getting things done and fitting stuff in, that I have not stopped to take a few minutes to pray about the direction my Father would have me go.  Ironically injuries have been the one thing to slow me down.  Today I am nursing an injured shoulder, the product of a 5AM mt bike rides before work.   This pause has caused me to reflect on the balance in my life.  I pray that I will rejoice and accept the peace that God has promised.  I pray that my heart would be steered in the direction that God is moving.  I pray that God would allow me to find balance in Him.

Philippians 4:4-7
Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Psalm 42

This last few months have felt a bit like being caught in the breakers after a wipe out.  Just when you pop up for air another wave crashes over your head.  It is in those times where the peace that God brings is so very important.  His presence calms the slamming waves and brings fresh air to oxygen starved lungs.  My family has been caught in the kayos of  life, death, and change.  Through all of it we have been epically thankful for the God we serve and the joy and peace he brings.  I am thankful for our relationship with a heavenly father who deeply cares for us, and I am thankful for the people he brings into our lives who distribute his love.

Psalm 42

As the deer pants for streams of water,
    so my soul pants for you, my God.
My soul thirsts for God, for the living God.
    When can I go and meet with God?
My tears have been my food
    day and night,
while people say to me all day long,
    “Where is your God?”
These things I remember
    as I pour out my soul:
how I used to go to the house of God
    under the protection of the Mighty One
with shouts of joy and praise
    among the festive throng.
Why, my soul, are you downcast?
    Why so disturbed within me?
Put your hope in God,
    for I will yet praise him,
    my Savior and my God.
My soul is downcast within me;
    therefore I will remember you
from the land of the Jordan,
    the heights of Hermon—from Mount Mizar.
Deep calls to deep
    in the roar of your waterfalls;
all your waves and breakers
    have swept over me.
By day the Lord directs his love,
    at night his song is with me—
    a prayer to the God of my life.
I say to God my Rock,
    “Why have you forgotten me?
Why must I go about mourning,
    oppressed by the enemy?”
10 My bones suffer mortal agony
    as my foes taunt me,
saying to me all day long,
    “Where is your God?”
11 Why, my soul, are you downcast?
    Why so disturbed within me?
Put your hope in God,
    for I will yet praise him,
    my Savior and my God.

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Pray for all people

 I was reminded today as I read 1 Timothy that God has called us to pray, petition, and intercede for, and on the behalf of all people.  This includes your boss, coworker, neighbor, cranky lady at the check out and yes even the guy who cut you off this morning on your way to work.  

I have determined to put this into practice in one simple way.  Each time I have a conflict with a person, I will stop and pray for that person prior to addressing the issue.  The prayer can be as simple as "God, I know that you have a plan for all of us and I lift up (insert name) and pray that you will have a hand in resolving the conflict that is causing mistrust in our relationship". 

Each day as I step into the fire of life I need to remember that I carry a promise that is much bigger than the problems of this world and I have a light within me that if allowed to shine will add light to the dark places.

1 Timothy 2:1-6

 I urge, then, first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for all people—  for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness.  This is good, and pleases God our Savior,  who wants all people to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth.  For there is one God and one mediator between God and mankind, the man Christ Jesus,  who gave himself as a ransom for all people.

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Death could not hold Him

 Death could not hold him.  Jesus took upon himself the weight of all our sin.  He became that which he despised the most,  but because he was without sin death could not hold him.  I am so very thankful for the gift that Jesus has given me.  He has risen, He has risen indeed.

 Acts 2:24

24 But God raised him from the dead, freeing him from the agony of death, because it was impossible for death to keep its hold on him.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Mountain Top Experience

Today I would like to tell you about a friend of mine who is in the middle of a Mountain Top Experience. Gretchen Weller is a devoted wife and mother of three beautiful children,  she plays a mean bass guitar,  and loves God with all her heart.  It came as a shock to us all when she was recently diagnosed with stage 4 cancer.  My family and I began to pray daily for the Weller's.  As we prayed God began to tug on my heart to step out and do more than just pray.  It was at that point that I began the above painting.  As I painted I prayed for strength and peace for Gretchen and her family as they fight to conquer the mountain that has been placed before them.  Below is a video where I invite you to pray along with me and join in supporting the Weller family.   Prints of this painting are available by clicking the buy print link above and all proceeds will go to support the Weller Family.   If you wish to make a cash donation to support the Weller's please visit their support site at

Support the Weller Family as they fight stage 4 Cancer.  
Buy a print by clicking link above
Make a direct cash donation

Psalm 121

I lift up my eyes to the mountains—
    where does my help come from?
My help comes from the Lord,
    the Maker of heaven and earth.
He will not let your foot slip—
    he who watches over you will not slumber;
indeed, he who watches over Israel
    will neither slumber nor sleep.
The Lord watches over you—
    the Lord is your shade at your right hand;
the sun will not harm you by day,
    nor the moon by night.
The Lord will keep you from all harm—
    he will watch over your life;
the Lord will watch over your coming and going
    both now and forevermore.

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Root of Jesse

Isaiah 11:10-11

On that day, the root of Jesse will stand as a signal to the peoples. The nations will seek him out, and his dwelling will be glorious. On that day, the Lord will extend his hand a second time to reclaim the survivors of God’s people who are left from Assyria and from Egypt, from Pathros, Cush, Elam, Shinar, Hamath, and from the coastlands of the sea.

Saturday, March 1, 2014

Light shining in dark places

My prayer today is that God would use me as a light that shines into dark places...

2 Peter 1:19

19 We also have the prophetic message as something completely reliable, and you will do well to pay attention to it, as to a light shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts.

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Morning Star

I sketched this the other day and had completely forgotten about it.  This often happens to me as I have random sketch books that live in my car, backpack, and throughout the house.  I did not remember the drawing until the other morning while jogging along the river trail at 5:45 AM.  I had just rounded a corner when the brightest star I had ever seen captured my attention.  I stopped and just starred at it, frozen for an instance by the bright morning star.  At first I thought it must be an airplane as the light seemed much to bright and close to be a star, but as the seconds clicked by I realized that it was in fact stationary in the predawn sky.  It was in that moment that God reminded me of the sketch I had done a few days earlier.  I could not get the morning star out of my head and I felt as if God was trying to help me remember something important.   When I got home I did a quick search on morning star on and found several scriptures that helped me to better understand the promise that God was laying on my heart.  Jesus sets the bar for letting his light shine, and it is that very promise he is asking me to remember.  He has entrusted me with his light and is asking me to let it shine in the dark places.  Where is God asking you to shine your light?

2 Peter 1:19
19 We also have the prophetic message as something completely reliable, and you will do well to pay attention to it, as to a light shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts.

Revelations 22:16-17
16 “I, Jesus, have sent my angel to give you this testimony for the churches. I am the Root and the Offspring of David, and the bright Morning Star.”
17 The Spirit and the bride say, “Come!” And let the one who hears say, “Come!” Let the one who is thirsty come; and let the one who wishes take the free gift of the water of life.

Matthew 5:15-16 

15 Neither do men light a lamp, and put it under the bushel, but on the stand; and it shineth unto all that are in the house.

16 Even so let your light shine before men; that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Faithful and True






All words that I would use to describe Christ.  Today I am thankful of the promise delivered and the promises to come.


Revelation 19:11-16

11 Now I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse. And He who sat on him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness He judges and makes war. 12 His eyes were like a flame of fire, and on His head were many crowns. He had a name written that no one knew except Himself. 13 He was clothed with a robe dipped in blood, and His name is called The Word of God. 14 And the armies in heaven, clothed in fine linen, white and clean, followed Him on white horses. 15 Now out of His mouth goes a sharp sword, that with it He should strike the nations. And He Himself will rule them with a rod of iron. He Himself treads the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God. 16 And He has on His robe and on His thigh a name written:

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

The Lord is my Rock

This weekend my wife and I took our boys rock hunting at Glass Butte in Central Oregon.   The boys scrambled over acres of high mountain desert filling their pockets with pounds of obsidian.     Obsidian has been used to make tools, knives, arrowheads, jewelry, and even surgical tools.  We have not made any arrowheads yet, but we did get a bit creative with some metallic sharpies.  We now have several pieces of Obsidian by our fireplace reminding us daily that the Lord is our Rock and our Fortress. 

Psalm 18:2-3

The Lord is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer,
My God, my rock, in whom I take refuge;
My shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.
I call upon the Lord, who is worthy to be praised,
And I am saved from my enemies.

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