Friday, November 20, 2015

Desert places made new

Isaiah 41:17-20.  God loves to do the impossible with the most unlikely. All you need to do is say yes.  He will do the rest.  

“The poor and needy search for water, but there is none; their tongues are parched with thirst. But I the Lord will answer them; I, the God of Israel, will not forsake them. I will make rivers flow on barren heights, and springs within the valleys. I will turn the desert into pools of water, and the parched ground into springs. I will put in the desert the cedar and the acacia, the myrtle and the olive. I will set junipers in the wasteland, the fir and the cypress together, so that people may see and know, may consider and understand, that the hand of the Lord has done this, that the Holy One of Israel has created it. (Isaiah 41:17-20 NIV)

Saturday, November 7, 2015

92,960,000 Miles

This week I have been contemplating some amazing forces and facts.  The suns rays take 8 minutes to reach earths atmosphere,  traveling 92.96 million miles at the rate of 300,000 Kilometers per second to bring us light and heat.  The earth we are standing on is spinning at 1000 miles per hours and takes 24 hours to make a full revolution.  Deep water waves are represented by a relatively simple equation, but as they approach shallower waters the factors that play into the speed, shape and velocity are almost infinite.   Our world, when distilled to equalization form only becomes more amazing.  As I step through the math that attempts to factor just how amazing our earth is I am blown away by the creative God that spoke it into existence.  God left one force undefinable.  His greatest creation can not be explained by physics, logic,  or math.  It can not be contained, and it can not be measured or diminished.  the force that has been blowing my mind all week is God's love.  God gave us the gift of love, a force that can not be measured.  We love because he first loved us, and his love endures forever.

1 John 4:19New International Version

19 We love because he first loved us.

Psalm 136:2New International Version

Give thanks to God.
His love endures forever.

Saturday, October 24, 2015

Run the Race

This week I was reminded that training is key.  I have been running for many years, but have always kept my mileage around 5.  The last few weeks I have been increasing my mileage, and this week I did an 11 mile trail run.  I felt great in the moment, but my knees paid dearly the next few days.  I had pushed myself to far to fast.   I experience the same thing when I try to run ahead of what God is doing in my life.  I realized that if I want to go the distance and fulfill the plan that God has for me, I must train consistently.  Time in the word and in prayer can not be rushed and requires consistency.  

Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God. (Hebrews 12:1-2 ESV)

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

arise shine

Don't hide your light.  Let your lamp shine bright. 

“Arise, shine, for your light has come, and the glory of the Lord rises upon you. (Isaiah 60:1 NIV)

Friday, September 25, 2015

Lost part 2

Today I was reflecting on just how powerful relationships are.  Two like minded individuals can get much done.  As I read the passage below I was even more struck by the fact that the third cord represents Jesus.  Add Jesus into the mix and nothing is impossible.

Two are better than one,
    because they have a good return for their labor:
10 If either of them falls down,
    one can help the other up.
But pity anyone who falls
    and has no one to help them up.
11 Also, if two lie down together, they will keep warm.
    But how can one keep warm alone?
12 Though one may be overpowered,
    two can defend themselves.
A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

The Lost

Alone, beat down, depressed, broken, hopeless, abandoned, destitute, forgotten, ignored.  Just a few of the words that come to mind when I think about the lost.  I sketched this while pondering how the prodigal son must have felt before he decided to crawl back home (Luke 15:18-19).   
As my pencil worked out the lines of this sketch I imagined what life would feel like apart from God.   Like the prodigal son, we often look to the things of this world to satisfy, sustain, and fulfill.   And for a time the superficial may just seem to be the fix we need.   Over time however, the things of this world will always let you down.  That is when many of us slip into that lost feeling once again.   We may hold up the exterior facade of togetherness, but inside there is a deep pit of "The Lost" trying to swallow us whole.  The good news:  the lost cycle does not have to continue, we do not have to live apart from God.  God is relentless in his love for his people and he tirelessly seeks the lost.  Like the prodigal son,  God is waiting to welcome us home, with open arms and all that he has to offer.

The Parable of the Lost Son - Luke 15:11-32

11 Jesus continued: “There was a man who had two sons. 12 The younger one said to his father, ‘Father, give me my share of the estate.’ So he divided his property between them.
13 “Not long after that, the younger son got together all he had, set off for a distant country and there squandered his wealth in wild living. 14 After he had spent everything, there was a severe famine in that whole country, and he began to be in need. 15 So he went and hired himself out to a citizen of that country, who sent him to his fields to feed pigs. 16 He longed to fill his stomach with the pods that the pigs were eating, but no one gave him anything.
17 “When he came to his senses, he said, ‘How many of my father’s hired servants have food to spare, and here I am starving to death! 18 I will set out and go back to my father and say to him: Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. 19 I am no longer worthy to be called your son; make me like one of your hired servants.’ 20 So he got up and went to his father.
“But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion for him; he ran to his son, threw his arms around him and kissed him.
21 “The son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son.’
22 “But the father said to his servants, ‘Quick! Bring the best robe and put it on him. Put a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet. 23 Bring the fattened calf and kill it. Let’s have a feast and celebrate. 24 For this son of mine was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.’ So they began to celebrate.
25 “Meanwhile, the older son was in the field. When he came near the house, he heard music and dancing. 26 So he called one of the servants and asked him what was going on. 27 ‘Your brother has come,’ he replied, ‘and your father has killed the fattened calf because he has him back safe and sound.’
28 “The older brother became angry and refused to go in. So his father went out and pleaded with him. 29 But he answered his father, ‘Look! All these years I’ve been slaving for you and never disobeyed your orders. Yet you never gave me even a young goat so I could celebrate with my friends. 30 But when this son of yours who has squandered your property with prostitutes comes home, you kill the fattened calf for him!’
31 “‘My son,’ the father said, ‘you are always with me, and everything I have is yours. 32 But we had to celebrate and be glad, because this brother of yours was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.’”

Friday, July 24, 2015

scratches and scribbles

scratches and scribbles

 I sketched this drawing through a series of scratches and scribbles.  The scratches and scribbles overlap and intertwine, becoming heavy in places and thin and  in others.  Scratches and scribbles that resemble a tree, but are no more than marks on a page.   I was reminded of the below verse from Mathew regarding false prophets.     They are shrouded in sheep's clothing and from the outside appear to be what you are looking for, but inwardly they are but a series of scratches and scribbles designed to lead you astray.  Their words are like sweet honey, yet they lead you away, not toward the Lord.  It is important to remember what is real and true.  I am thankful for God's word (The Bible) that allows me to defrock the words of the false prophets.  Just like this sketch can not produce fruit, let alone good fruit,  a false profit can not make good on the lies that they spew.   
15 “Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves. 16 By their fruit you will recognize them. Do people pick grapes from thornbushes, or figs from thistles? 17 Likewise, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. 18 A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, and a bad tree cannot bear good fruit. 19 Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. 20 Thus, by their fruit you will recognize them.

Sunday, July 5, 2015


I started this project 5 years ago when I bought 4 old slate chalkboards at the Central Washington University surplus auction.  I accidentally dropped one of the boards when I was unloading it from my truck.  The slate broke into very interesting and unique shapes.  I kept the broken pieces for years with the intention of someday using them in an art project.  The idea for the broken piece chalkboard started to come together a few weeks ago, so piece by piece, I put it together.  I found myself reflecting on the fact that I too was a patchwork of hurt, mistakes, missed opportunity, pain, and sadness.  My brokenness felt beyond repair.  God accepted me in my brokenness and pieced me together to form a new creation .  A creation that is  rooted in the knowledge, love, joy, and forgiveness that Christ alone can offers.   I am very thankful for my relationship with Christ, and his willingness to love me right where I am.  He is not finished building me yet, and I look forward to the adventures to come.

1 Peter 4:10

10 Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms.

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Notes // doodle & draw

I sketched the above drawing during the 6:30 PM Sunday night service at Journey Church in Bend Or.   I love the fact that a page labeled "Notes // doodle & draw" is included in the program that is handed out to each person as they arrive to church.  It is very freeing to my artistic spirit to be encouraged to fill the page with images and notes during the service.   Today, I found myself feeling very thankful for the church that my family calls home, and the people that are working to live out Journey's simple yet powerful mission:

Mission (what God has called us to):
Transform the world – starting in Bend on a journey through faith, hope, & love in Jesus.
Purpose (how we accomplish our mission):
Love God. Love People.
Journey believes the church is the local expression of the face of Jesus. The way the world will see God will be through Jesus Christ living in and through us. The core values are found in the thoughtful living of each member of the Journey Community. Our mission comes from a place in the Bible where love is being described. The writer (Paul) says, “And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.” (1 Corinthians 13:13 NIV)

Read below and reflect on, "Love" the way God designed and intended it to be:

1 Corinthians 13 (NIV)

13 If I speak in the tongues[a] of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast,[b] but do not have love, I gain nothing.
Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. For we know in part and we prophesy in part, 10 but when completeness comes, what is in part disappears. 11 When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me. 12 For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.
13 And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.

Sunday, May 17, 2015


A tree growing in the wild does so through perseverance.  It must have solid roots, reaching deep for sustaining moisture.  It stretches with it branches toward the sky to pull in the life giving rays of the son, and it must be firmly rooted to withstand the wind, and rain.   It stands firm storing up in times of plenty, and it stands firm surviving upon it stores in times of little.  It is my prayer today that I would store up the word of God in my heart and grow my roots deep in the faith that only God can give. 

 James 1:2-7
 Consider 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.

Friday, May 1, 2015

Cleft of the Rock

I was recently on a business trip in southern Utah and found with the daylight hours extending until 9PM, I had time to explore some of the many state and national parks after work.  During a hike though Snow Canyon I found the unique rock outcropping pictured above.  It reminded me of the story of Moses being hidden in the cleft of the rock as God passed by.   As I peered out through the opening I was in awe of the beauty before me.  It is hard to visit such a place and not pause to marvel at just how creative God is.  His sculptures, design, and colors can not be matched by any artist.  I am simply blow away by his creation.  

Exodus 33:21-23New International Version

21 Then the Lord said, “There is a place near me where you may stand on a rock. 22 When my glory passes by, I will put you in a cleft in the rock and cover you with my hand until I have passed by. 23 Then I will remove my hand and you will see my back; but my face must not be seen.”

 Carved by wind and water
Feeling small and in Awe in Zion

Monday, April 20, 2015

The Giving Tree

Do you remember the book the The Giving tree by Shel Silverstein.  My mom read me that book so many times that I had it memorized.  If she missed so much as a word, I would stop her, and say that's not right, then repeat the page from memory.   The book helped me to understand the concept of unconditional love.  This is the same kind of Love Jesus presents us each day.  He loves each of us with his entire being.  He loves us without requiring reciprocation, and like the tree he was willing to sacrifice his all to show us that love.   When I sketch this drawing I was reminded of the many times the tree shook with joy.  My prayer today is that I would not just take from Jesus, I pray that I would learn from his example of unconditional love and seek to love others as Jesus loves me.  

Colossians 2:6-7

So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live your lives in him, rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness.

Monday, March 16, 2015

Church Notes

My brain tends to process better in images than text.  That said my notes from church often take a pictorial format with words scattered throughout the page.  My wife grabbed my sketch toward the end of the service and penned the accompanying verse.  I love the verse she selected because it reminds me that, when we have fallen and find ourselves in a dark place, God is there to lift us up and provide the light we need to climb back onto His path.   I am thankful for a God that shines his light into the dark places, filling them with hope, forgiveness, and love. 

Micah 7:8Amplified Bible (AMP)

Rejoice not against me, O my enemy! When I fall, I shall arise; when I sit in darkness, the Lord shall be a light to me.

Friday, March 6, 2015

One twig at a time

How does a bird build a Nest?   One twig at a time.  I had this thought as I sketched the above piece.  If you have ever spent time looking at a finished birds nest, it is hard to believe that something so well designed is constructed from gathered bits and pieces.  The finished product is constructed with a keen eye and by design.  Each piece is purposefully selected and strategically placed.  This same thought hit me as I read John 1:1-18.  God's master plan was laid out from the beginning.  Each piece fitting perfectly together through the Old Testament, leading us on a journey that would result in the firm foundation of Grace, we know as Christ. 


John 1:1-18

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. In him was life,and that life was the light of all mankind. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome[a]it.

There was a man sent from God whose name was John.He came as a witness to testify concerning that light, so that through him all might believe. He himself was not the light; he came only as a witness to the light.

The true light that gives light to everyone was coming into the world. 10 He was in the world, and though the world was made through him, the world did not recognize him.11 He came to that which was his own, but his own did not receive him. 12 Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God 13 children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God.

14 The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.

15 (John testified concerning him. He cried out, saying, “This is the one I spoke about when I said, ‘He who comes after me has surpassed me because he was before me.’”)16 Out of his fullness we have all received grace in place of grace already given. 17 For the law was given through Moses;grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. 18 No one has ever seen God, but the one and only Son, who is himself God and[b] is in closest relationship with the Father, has made him known. 

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Lean in

 This week I traveled to Madison Wisconsin for work.  This gave me time to read my bible and sketch on the plane.  I found myself thinking a-lot about the current state of my walk with Christ.  I am in a good place, but I have not stretched my faith in a while.  I have reached a plateau of sorts.  My desire is to grow deeper in my faith.  As the week went on I continued to ponder the question of just how to ignite a new period of growth.  The answer hit me while I was reading my bible one evening after work.  In James 4:8 it says "Come near to the Lord and he will come near to you".  It is very simple really, if I desire to stretch my faith and grow in my relationship with Christ, I simple need to spend more time with Him.   It is only when I spend time with God that He can guide me into the next adventure.    
Proverbs 3:5-6
Trust in the Lord with all your heart
    and lean not on your own understanding; 
 in all your ways submit to him,
    and he will make your paths straight.

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Wisdom of a 7 year old

My 7 year old asked me the other day - "Dad, what is the most important thing in life?"  We were in the kitchen making dinner at the time when he dropped this jewel of a question.  Rather than giving him a canned fast answer, I stopped what I was doing and looked him in the eye.  I said Sevi, what do you think is the most important thing in life?  He said, loving God is most important.  Wow,  my 7 year old understands something that took me well into adulthood to grasp. 
The fact is that God loved us before we even thought to love him back.  He loves us 100% from the start.  He can't love us anymore, or any less.  He loves equally without prejudice. 
Sevi and I had a great conversation about God's love for us.  I used the opportunity to ask many other questions.  The gold nugget of the conversation was when Sevi and I talked about another young boy that he had recently had a conflict with.  I asked him if he thought God loved this boy less, more, or the same.  Sevi thought for a few seconds and then said the same.  He is spot on.
I thought about this conversation as I sketched the above drawing.  My prayer today is that God would continue to teach me just how deep and wide his love actually is. 

Operating in Gods love will take you to places that you never thought you could go.

 Ephesians 3:15-19
For this reason I kneel before the Father, 15 from whom every family in heaven and on earth derives its name. 16 I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, 17 so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, 18 may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, 19 and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.

Monday, January 12, 2015



I sketched this while visiting Wellspring church in Ellensburg WA. over Christmas break.  I handed it to my wife when my youngest son Sevi needed to be taken to the restroom.  Lynda stuck the sketch into her bible for safe keeping.  Later in the day I opened Lynda's bible to retrieve the sketch and noticed it had been placed next to Proverbs 4.   A seemingly random placement of a sketch by my wife in her bible has been a real blessing to me. 

Proverbs 4

Listen, my sons, to a father’s instruction;
    pay attention and gain understanding.
I give you sound learning,
    so do not forsake my teaching.
For I too was a son to my father,
    still tender, and cherished by my mother.
Then he taught me, and he said to me,
    “Take hold of my words with all your heart;
    keep my commands, and you will live.
Get wisdom, get understanding;
    do not forget my words or turn away from them.
Do not forsake wisdom, and she will protect you;
    love her, and she will watch over you.
The beginning of wisdom is this: Get[a] wisdom.
    Though it cost all you have,[b] get understanding.
Cherish her, and she will exalt you;
    embrace her, and she will honor you.
She will give you a garland to grace your head
    and present you with a glorious crown.”
10 Listen, my son, accept what I say,
    and the years of your life will be many.
11 I instruct you in the way of wisdom
    and lead you along straight paths.
12 When you walk, your steps will not be hampered;
    when you run, you will not stumble.
13 Hold on to instruction, do not let it go;
    guard it well, for it is your life.
14 Do not set foot on the path of the wicked
    or walk in the way of evildoers.
15 Avoid it, do not travel on it;
    turn from it and go on your way.
16 For they cannot rest until they do evil;
    they are robbed of sleep till they make someone stumble.
17 They eat the bread of wickedness
    and drink the wine of violence.
18 The path of the righteous is like the morning sun,
    shining ever brighter till the full light of day.
19 But the way of the wicked is like deep darkness;
    they do not know what makes them stumble.
20 My son, pay attention to what I say;
    turn your ear to my words.
21 Do not let them out of your sight,
    keep them within your heart;
22 for they are life to those who find them
    and health to one’s whole body.
23 Above all else, guard your heart,
    for everything you do flows from it.
24 Keep your mouth free of perversity;
    keep corrupt talk far from your lips.
25 Let your eyes look straight ahead;
    fix your gaze directly before you.
26 Give careful thought to the paths for your feet
    and be steadfast in all your ways.
27 Do not turn to the right or the left;
    keep your foot from evil.
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