Published March 31st, 2021 by

I find constant inspiration for painting from Instagram, where I discover some very fine compositions by friends and family. When I am working on a large painting or feel uninspired, I go to my collection of Instagram finds and work on a small piece or study. Recently, my friend Jonah posted a self-portrait of himself that was wispy and mysterious. I began by painting his portrait in color, as I imagined him without filters, and then glazed over it until I achieved the effect I wanted. Here is an example of the first stage along with the finished vignette.

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Published March 15th, 2021 by

I heard a sermon a while back on Acts 4:32-5:11, the account of Ananias and Sapphira:

There was not a needy person among them, for as many as were owners of lands or houses sold them and brought the proceeds of what was sold and laid it at the apostles’ feet, and it was distributed to each as any had need. Thus Joseph, who was also called by the apostles Barnabas (which means son of encouragement), a Levite, a native of Cyprus, sold a field that belonged to him and brought the money and laid it at the apostles’ feet.

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Published August 22nd, 2020 by

I was reflecting on my dad, who passed away in 1996. I think about him often — probably every day. He was a memorable man and I’m reminded of him every time I look at my arms and hands. Back before the entire world owned smartphones, taking and developing photos was a bit of a pain. So, I don’t have many pictures of my father. This is how I remember him.

As a kid growing up in Whittier CA, some of my friends absolutely hated their parents and, from what I could tell, usually for no good reason, if it’s reasonable to hate someone, at all.… Read the rest

Published May 3rd, 2019 by

Nine of ten churches are either declining or growing so slowly they are not keeping up with the growth of the community. Many churches are just a few years away from dying and closing. Revitalization is an urgent need. Thom Rainer

“set in order what remains” (Titus 1:5 NASB)

We were part of a church plant back in 1988, which experienced the highs and lows common to Evangelical churches moving through the widely acknowledged lifecycle of a church. There are various labels or descriptions of the stages a church passes through on the way to revitalization or oblivion and it’s helpful to recognize where your church is in the process; especially if you have the sense your fellowship is declining numerically and/or spiritually.… Read the rest

Published February 4th, 2018 by

I received my first commission and began with a full portrait from the waist up, but it wouldn’t work out in acrylic. So, I painted this portrait of Jesse in acrylic on canvas. I still have the original acrylic on a panel and hope to finish it in oil paint or pastel sometime in the future.

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Published December 24th, 2016 by
Published February 4th, 2016 by
Biblical Eldership Resources put together this handy little collection of links today on accountability for Christian leaders. Often times, the focus is on sexual sin or pornography, which can be a huge temptation to Christians, male and female. By majoring on sexual purity, lists or resources like these often overlook other areas of accountability that are crucial to building healthy Christian community into the church. Ken Sande’s contribution offers refreshing insights from real life.
For example, the author of The Peacemaker proffers this modest sounding, yet crucial piece of advice: “Provide leaders with regular performance evaluations. Candid performance evaluations conducted in the spirit of Ephesians 4:15 and 4:29 can provide encouraging affirmation of strengths and successes, and address weaknesses or failures in a positive manner instead of waiting for problems to build to explosive levels.
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Published April 18th, 2015 by
Published December 21st, 2014 by

The ministerial work must be carried on purely for God and the salvation of souls… They who engage in this as a common work, to make a trade of it for their worldly livelihood, will find that they have chosen a bad trade, though a good employment. Self-denial is of absolute necessity in every Christian, but it is doubly necessary in a minister, as without it he cannot do God an hour’s faithful service. Hard studies, much knowledge, and excellent preaching, if the ends be not right is but more glorious hypocritical sinning. Reverend Richard Baxter1

I’ve been blogging off and on for years, finally arriving at this moment when I can put proverbial pen to paper, in order to recount, report and reflect upon over 30 years of formal ministry as the director of two apologetic groups, Ex-Mormons for Jesus and Jude 23, as well as serving in the role of an elder (pastor or overseer) and church planter for most of that time.… Read the rest

Published August 19th, 2014 by

future-sign-Things are coming together much quicker, thanks to some wonderful improvements in WordPress, plugins, themes, and CMS.1  Good Mr. Baxter, my short, online  biography of that famous pastor, should be completed this week and I can get to the business of blogging and introducing some fresh, new work. Because my interests and experiences are so varied and seemingly unrelated, the plan right now is to devote a week or so to one subject at a time. So, if something comes up that interests you, just tune in for a while and check out when I’m blogging about boring stuff like Twelver Shi’ism in 19th century Iran.… Read the rest

Published August 3rd, 2014 by

BoDeniseBlogWelcome to Today, I’m launching my new site and, so, I did what just about every failed writer or blogger out there does: I reorganized my office and physical files, went through my inspiration files in Evernote, searched my pockets for hastily scribbled notes and quotes, embarked on an archaeological dig through my inbox, took a nap and, finally, checked my email and social media accounts for any breaking news or urgent correspondence that came in over the past couple of hours. In short, I did whatever I could to avoid actually working on content for the site!Read the rest

Published June 5th, 2014 by