Monday, March 18, 2013

You Had It All The Time!


(The pic on the left is a scratch board drawing of Captain America and the picture on the right is me sitting in one of my favorite places on this planet. My art studio)

I LOVE to draw!

For as long as I can remember I have loved to use art and creativity to express my heart. I truly believe that this is why I love the book of Genesis.

God expressed His heart for us by personally doing more than speaking us into existence. He personally created you and me!

Formed is the word the Bible uses to explain this act of love to us.

A personal expression of how much God loves us.

A few years back my family was going through a very difficult time. We had just sold everything familiar to us and followed the pillar of smoke and fire to Mobile, AL. to work in a church. I was initially asked to come and direct a drug addiction recovery program (Reformers Unanimous) that was sponsored by that church, and to teach an adult Sunday school class.
I had served as a youth director for 6 and a half years in Illinois so the prospect of working and ministering to primarily adults was an exciting and new experience. Now combine this experience with working with adults and families who were struggling with addictions and stubborn habits!

It did not take long before my workload increased and a few more hats were added to the coatrack.
Hats like: Vacation Bible School administrator, Couples retreat planner, ushers and greeters ministry, building maintenance, Children's ministry director, adult Sunday school director, counseling, and a few more hats that were buried under the rest. These were all used by God to bring me to a point of limitation.

A wall.

During all of these changes my mother-in-law who had also moved with us was diagnosed with cancer. We were not sure what the Lord was doing. My son (Four years old at the time) would pray each night that God would heal his "Guh-Guh". I would leave his bedside prayer meetings at night and have a few of my own. "Father, how do I explain to a child that you love him and his "Guh-Guh" so much that you allowed this wall on the path ahead?" How do you explain to a child or an adult for that matter a clear answer to the question, "Why God, Why?"

He gave me the idea to make this video: "The Man and The Wall"

Extremely simple, yet very profound. Unless you become as a little child you cannot understand the kingdom right?

Recently I was going through some of the artwork that I had saved from when I was just a boy. 8 or ten years of age. I found something that rocked my socks!

We could not afford comic books as much as we would have liked when we were kids, so my brother Josh and I would literally draw our own. We, as kids, would design, create, plot and artwork our own comic book. We made up all kinds of characters for heroes and villains and plots that would have made Sherlock Holmes quit and go home.

Here was one I created that really points a powerful picture of God's voice in our life all along.

Brickman was the story of a scientist (They were all scientists right?) named Nathan (Named after my cousin who in those years of his life seemed to resemble a young and promising young scientist).

The name of this scientist was Nathan Brick. How is that for a name? Nathan Brick.

Nathan is zapped by a "Vita-Ray Helio-stat Construtialaotor"  that morphed his molecular cell structure with that of the brick wall which he was standing by!

The wall proved to be the very thing that gave Nathan his super ability. The wall allowed Nathan Brick to experience something that was truly unique to him, and because of this unique to him experience, it gave him a strength and ability no one else had. When we stop cursing the walls on our path and start accepting them as steps provided by God to bring us closer to Him, we begin to allow the walls that once hindered us to give us strength.

God is in the walls He allows and when we adopt His plan, those walls become the very things that make us the person that God intended to be.

The wall was necessary for him to become the mighty, feared by crime, BRICKMAN!!! Through the painful process of molecular cell binding (They tell me it is painful, I have never actually had my molecular cell structure melded with an inanimate object such as brick, or even animate objects for that matter) Brickman was now equipped to help others with hurts in their lives.

He became a mighty crime fighter, and used his "Wall" as his strength! In the end of the comic book story, there is a panel that sums up his experience. When I saw this a few days ago after finding it in storage it brought tears to my eyes.

It brought tears to my eyes not because it was a spectacular plot and demonstration of innocent artwork (Thought it is all those things).
It brought tears to my eyes to see how God had placed this seed of thought into my heart as a child. The story, though told with a child's innocence, is the very same message which now resonates from my heart as an adult that has seen levels of hurt and injustice I never could have imagined as a child.

The purpose behind this blog is to convey the message to people everywhere that God does not hate them, and He is not mad at them, but rather He loves them with a dynamic and furious love and works personally in our lives to reach us with the love.

The walls DO give us strength when we stop complaining and crying about how unfair and messed up life is and start looking for God in that wall!

I had it all the time! You just take some time and meditate on the things you have been through, fair and unfair alike and trace His hand. Find His fingerprint in every conversation that has directed you to be the person you are today. Life is choices, and if we make bad choices, there will be bad circumstances to follow.  What has God given you?  God has prepared you for what you are going through today and He will use the past to strengthen your present as a testimony of victory for your future!

Our response determines our future, and it is OUR response and not someone else who makes me respond poorly. When we come to the "walls" in our life we can get frustrated, and walk off the path, throwing away an incredible opportunity to literally see God's fingerprint or we can look for Him and ask Him to help us climb the "Step".

The message of "The Man and The Wall" is no different than the message that the Apostle Paul sent to a very young Timothy.

"Whereunto I am appointed a preacher, and an apostle, and a teacher of the Gentiles. For the which cause I also suffer these things: nevertheless I am not ashamed: for I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that he is able to keep that which I have committed unto him against that day."
~2 Timothy 1:11-12

Did you catch it? No?

Let me post it again with underscoring. If you did catch it then pretend that you didn't just for me!

"...for I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that he is able to keep that which I have committed unto him against that day."
~2 Timothy 1:11-12

The message that Paul the "Brickman" was telling Timothy is this. "Based upon the walls that God has taken me over in the past, I am fully convinced beyond all shadow of a doubt that He is more than able to take care of any future walls on my path ahead!"

In essence, despite the setbacks that seem to have altered my life, through Christ I can with confidence say...

When I saw this old homemade comic book tucked away in a well taped box it made me glad to be able to show my son some of "Daddy's drawings" from when he was a kid. When I open the pages and read him the story of "Brickman", my heart begin to melt. When I saw this last panel I cried.

It was as if the Holy Spirit whispered into my very soul, "Dan, you had it all the time."

Climbing with you,
~Dan (aka. Brickman)

* Because this particular post seems to sum up the essence of this blog and the posts that have been added, I would like to ask something of you that I have never asked before. If you have found this post to be encouraging to you I would like to ask you to do more than like it on Facebook, I would like to ask you to share this link on your Facebook timeline.

The message about overcoming hurts is a needed message and I feel that this one needs to get out there. Since Jan 28th there have been over 3,000 reads in well over 25 different countries! Some of those countries have been "closed" to the message of seeking God and I feel within my spirit that this particular one needs to be shared with as many people as we can. I need your help and am very thankful for your help in sharing it! 

*This post was made on 3/18/2013. As of 11/16/2015 this blog has been read in over 76 countries and by over 52,000 people. I compare the stat from above with today and am literally blown away and how one message can go so far because of one BIG God! Daddy throws the ball so much farther than we ever could!!!


  1. wow! thats awesome thank you!!

    1. Thanks for reading and for the encouragement!

  2. Dan, how wonderful that you saved these comic books and you can now share them with your son. And how wonderful too, that God was in you, and for you, and encouraging you as that young child. We adults have far more to learn from children about God and spirituality than we can ever hope to teach them. Blessings to you & yours!

  3. Best thing I've read in a long time - and JUST IN TIME for making sense out of the step I just climbed. Thank you for proving God's Word in the gift of art and storytelling. Yes - I'll be sharing this!!