Monthly Archives: December 2013

A Cup…in His Name

Many years ago I was approached by a compassionate ministry organization with the request that I create a new sculpture that could represent their work. My goal was to sculpt a piece that could could tell their story but also represent the story of compassion that is present in every group who is stepping into that hard place.

The motivation for a design can come from many different places.

In the mid 1980s a lot of us remember that the famine in Africa held our attention. Every night on the evening news we saw graphic examples of extreme human need. Speeches were given, money was raised and everyone sang “We Are The World.”

We are the world

Eventually, the images faded and lost their edge,
the money was dispersed, and the song felt old.
For most of us, the memory is dull and the movies
in our mind have long been traded for new ones.

But everyday…somewhere in this world
one scene replays…
as if the author of human suffering
constantly rehearses his dark drama.


They’re  always there…
these hands…

a scoop of rice…a bit of bread… a cup of water…so simple

“And whoever gives to one of these little ones
even a cup of cold water because he is a disciple,
truly, I say to you, he shall not lose his reward.”

Matthew 10:42




Posted by on December 11, 2013 in Sculpture in Community


The Sermon in my pocket

 Working on military monuments and sculptures, I talk with service members I encounter to learn more about their stories. One of the small details of military culture I’m learning about is the challenge coin. These are special coins given by units or individuals to other service members when they have served together.

Challenge coins

They are presented in a hand shake; few words exchanged; everyone just understands. Everyone in the military knows about the coins and most will always have one close at hand. So, I created a coin to give when I want to express gratitude to a member of our military.

It is received well every time I “coin” someone unexpectedly.


In my work as a sculptor I am surrounded by people who understand the meaning of service. My sculptures primarily fall into two categories, Military and Faith. So, it seems appropriate that my clients whose service is expressed through their faith should have a coin as well. The most impacting piece I have created for my Faith line of sculptures is “The Calling”; Christ calling Peter to leaves his nets and follow Him. Early on, I thought about this image as appropriate for those who are in full time Christian service. “The Calling” was something I had heard about; growing up the son of a pastor. I now understand that the calling of Christ is for all of us, not only for the ordained.
Coin 2

“The Calling…my life is my answer” seemed to be the best words to capture the idea that it is more than the moment where I may have said “yes”. It is how we live every day of our lives that is really our answer.

On the reverse I placed words to encourage. “Stand firm in the faith; be courageous; be strong.” The hands in the center are actually mine; sculpting the clay. They represent two truths. The first is that every day we shape what our lives will become through our choices, the work of hands, and our answer to His calling. The second truth is that we are sculpted by our creator when we allow Him to shape and mold us.
Coin 3 copy

My desire for the coin is that we will carry it. Every time you reach for your keys or some change, mixed in with the busyness of the day will be this small bronze sermon. You will be reminded again of His calling and be encouraged to stand firm in the faith; be courageous and strong.

Coin edge
The final detail on the “Calling Coin” is found on the edge; easy to overlook. The words of Isaiah, “Here am I; send Me”, are a simple reminder that we must always remember “The Calling” in every moment, in every encounter, and in every place.


Posted by on December 6, 2013 in Uncategorized