The church needs creativity now more than ever.

Each day people are bombarded by hundreds of messages…
but one is most important. The Gospel of Jesus Christ. We in the church have been entrusted with taking that message to the ends of the earth. How do we stand out among the noise and get their attention? The good news is God has gifted people with gifts and talents designed to do just that. Some of them are in our churches and some are beyond our walls.

My name is Dave Weiss. I’m an artist, a pastor and a speaker, but it wasn’t always that way. Oh I’ve been an artist for as long as I can remember, but I’m in the ministry today because of two things. Someone cared enough to introduce me to Jesus Christ, and a pastor found my gift of art as showed me how I could use my gift to serve the Lord. That was transformational.

My passion is to help people find and use their gifts to serve the Lord both in the church and in the market place and to help the church to embrace Creativity. I do workshops, Gospel presentations and more to creatively encourage and build up the Body of Christ. I’d love to work with you and your church. Contact me today!

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Posted: August 11, 2020 in Uncategorized

When you realize how bad the situation is, you realize there is only one real hope.

Today I accomplished a new goal. Over the course of the quarantine, I got a little lax with my health. I think it truth I was trying to work through my anxiety by working a lot and combined with stress eating and, my weight increased while my health decreased. I needed to do something, then someone in my family introduced me to YesFit. It’s quite a program. YesFit uses virtual races in a variety of lengths. You simply select your race, pay your fee, and using a fitness tracker, (I use AppleFit on. my iPhone) it tracks your progress as you walk to finish your race. Today I finished my second “race” a 155.5 mile trek called Tortoise Creep. I previously did an Alien themed 97.7 mile race. I finished the first one in about 18 days. All along the way, the race sends you images and links featuring interesting things based on your theme. Using this program I’ve logged about 250 miles since June 7. I have lost about 10 pounds (it should have been more but as my wife points out, you can’t out exercise a bad diet). At the end of the race, you receive a pretty impressive medal in the mail, and while they are pretty cool and can be great conversation pieces, I don’t do it for the medal. I do it to try to get in better shape, but the races help by setting a measurable goal and allowing you to track your progress all along the way.

So why do I share this? Because measurable goals are extremely important and helpful for us in a variety of ways. Case in point, I am working on my Masters thesis. Now I really had great intentions of being done with it by now, but to be honest my work load has increased pretty dramatically with COVID and I now spend a considerable amount of time publishing and mailing my sermons as well as producing video content. Further, I have to confess I have been struggling with distraction and frustration as I look at all the things going on in our world, very simply put, I am way off track.

The thing is, my Thesis can be a measurable goal. There is a minimum page count and judging from what I have written and what is left in my outline, I will have very little trouble exceeding that, so I have set an estimated page count, and a time by which I want to be done. I can then divide that out to figure out daily benchmarks. Now life is uncertain, but every time I reach a benchmark, I am another step closer to my goal.

What goals do you have? What would you like to accomplish? Set an end goal and establish a few benchmarks along the way. Then check them off and work to your goal. Measurable goals are a great way to get where you want to be.

So the other week I spoke at a wonderful Christian Writer’s Conference. It was the first time I had spoken outside of my church all year because of COVID. I felt a little rusty but I was prepared and it didn’t take long to hit my stride. I ran a little longer than I planned, which I attribute to the rustiness, but I got a lot of great comments when it was over. It went well over all.

The other day I got an email that held all of my evaluations. Overall they were good. Four tens, three nines, two or three eights (one commenting I went a little long, guilty!) two sevens which hurt a little, but someone gave me a 4… A 4!!!!! How did I get a 4? I mean come on, a four says things like “You’re worthless” “You stink” or “That was 45 minutes of my life I’ll never get back.” My first thought was, “You’ll never be invited back!” followed by “Should I go back, if I am invited.” Of course I would go back, I love this conference and it has blessed me tremendously, but a four hurt. That’s not even average.

Then I started to wonder about who would rank me that low. I mean this was in a place filled with creative people. I tailored the message to the audience. I tried to overflow with encouragement. I’ve been looking for what my next long form presentation would be, and after that presentation I thought this would be the one that I would expand, I was even considering making it my next book, and then I got the four. Who would give me a four?

Why am I writing this? I hope you’re seeing it because this is an affliction that afflicts many creative people. I got a lot of great comments and some really good numbers. I got four tens, but that was all eclipsed by a four. Understand that’s a choice. We get to choose where we focus. Some of the mid-range numbers should make me want to shift and adjust, but if I take one four over four tens, maybe I deserve to hurt. I don’t know what was going on with the person who gave me the four. The conference director was very kind, constructive and helpful,
many people were constructive and appreciative.

Do yourself a favor. Check yourself on the fours, but don’t ignore the tens. Focus on the positive, keep improving and stay encouraged. Oh and one other thing. When it’s your turn to be an evaluator, be honest, but be kind. Some day the show will be on the other foot. It wasn’t perfect, but it wasn’t a four!

I just got finished reading Bob Goff’s latest book Dream Big, and let me tell you, nobody tells an inspirational story like Bob Goff and this book where he tries to encourage people to pursue their dreams is no exception. This is a man who has lived quite an adventure and he invites us all along on a ride. In the process, he invites us into living a better story, the story of our dreams. This is a fantastic book that provides a complete framework at the end that will spur the reader on to action. Wish I had a few more stars, because five does not seem to be near enough. READ THIS BOOK!

I was out on a long prayer walk this morning and had a few thoughts that I thought I would share. If I look like I am extremely sweaty, it’s because I was extremely sweaty, but I felt like I had to get it recorded right away. I pray it blesses you.

I’ve heard many great things about the great evangelist, D.L. Moody, but I had never read anything he had written. I am glad I have changed that. This is an amazing book. Written in the late 19th century, Moody writes with a fire and passion that is sorely lacking in many a pulpit today. We need people like this in the church today. Moody goes deep into this prophetic book with the heart of an evangelist. This book reads like a preaching master class. It’s phenomenal. My prayer is that I will be emboldened to preach with even more Holy Spirit anointed power having read this amazing work. I genuinely hope you read this book, but if I could give you one more incentive, Amazon has it for free! One of the best free books I have ever read.

I was given a review copy of this book from the publisher. It actually ended up being the third book in this series that I have read this year. While I was reading her book on Colossians, I felt led to preach through Ephesians at my church so I purchased that one as well. These are quality books with the plain spoken insights I have come to expect from Joyce Meyer. Galatians has always been an interesting book to me. It shows us the Apostle Paul taking a stand in defense of his church. Mrs. Meyer takes us into these somewhat challenging chapters not just explaining what was happening but helping the reader to see how the book of Galatians applies to our everyday life. She wisely forgoes dense theological language and gives us the simple truth, which I really appreciated. I would highly recommend these books as a resource for someone leading a Bible study or Sunday School class. Mrs. Meyer has done a great job here once again.

A short time ago I received Joyce Meyer’s Biblical Commentary on Colossians as well as her book on Galatians from the publisher for review. In the process of reviewing the book on Colossians, I felt led to preach through the book of Ephesians at my church, and since I was so pleased with her book on Colossians (I am also working through the book on Galatians as we speak) so I decided to order her book on Ephesians. I am fully aware that Mrs. Meyer gets grief from some people in the church, but I like her and have always found her refreshing. She has a plain spoken, and forgive me for saying it this way, but “No-bull” approach to presenting God’s Word. I have seen her speak “live” several times and have been duly impressed. This is the case in these books as well. She goes through these verses in order by theme and breaks them down concisely and very effectively. I found many great insights in these pages and the book will be very helpful as I go to present this series. What I love about these books, is her style. Often commentaries feel like the author wants to impress me with their huge words and dense theological terminology. Mrs. Meyer takes a different approach. She speaks the truth plainly in ways that can be clearly understood by layman and scholar alike. I would really endorse these books for anyone wanting to lead a Bible study. Each chapter contains a thought provoking reflection question that would help with application and she offers a downloadable study guide besides.

The publisher offered me a free copy of this book for review purposes and I decided to give it a shot. I’ve always found Ms. Meyer’s no-nonsense approach to the Word of God refreshing and that certainly comes through here. She breaks the book down passage by passage and gives great insights to their meaning.

As an example, when commenting on Colossians 2:2 and 3 “2 My goal is that they may be encouraged in heart and united in love, so that they may have the full riches of complete understanding, in order that they may know the mystery of God, namely, Christ, 3 in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.” Ms. Meyer keys in on the wisdom and knowledge hidden in Christ at one point and says, “Whenever you need wisdom in a situation or any time you need to know something, the answer is ‘hidden’ in Christ. It is not hidden because God does not want you to find it; it is hidden because God wants you to seek it.” Her comments are full of the plain-spoken wisdom I have come to both expect and appreciate.

I would not go so far as to call it a commentary, but there is clearly a fair amount of research happening here, as she references other texts, the Greek, etc. As a text for a church Bible study, this book would be a great guide. The book is a quick read at 180 pages but I really do feel I came away with a better understanding of Colossians. This could be a very useful resource. Check it out.

I was listening to a YouTube video of Michael W. Smith’s version of Everywhere I Go I See You. I love that song. Somewhere in this midst of this lyric video that someone cobbled together there was a photo of three crosses. I’m not sure why it struck me, after all I’ve seen that type of photo a million times, but, for some reason, it did. It wasn’t unusual, the middle one, the one Jesus would have been on, was slightly higher than the rest. I wonder was it really that way. I mean we Christians perceive it should be higher than the rest, but did a bunch of pagan Roman executioners get the significance of what they were seeing? I doubt it. Yes I know later in the day a centurion did, but the executioners? I still kind of doubt it.

The second thing I noticed was that the center cross is ever so slightly askew. That struck me as somewhat odd. Needless to say, the one in the photo is a modern construction and not the original, and yet there was something striking in the “askew-ness.” The cross was not built for permanence. When Jesus was taken down, someone else was probably put up. The cross didn’t have to be perfect, it didn’t have to be permanent, it just had to kill. On that day, most people didn’t get the significance and they surely didn’t see the permanence, but on that day everything changed. Jesus changed the narrative. A cruel instrument of death, became a symbol of life and peace and for those who place their faith in Christ and His finished work on the cross, everything changed forever. A temporary structure, was used to create a new permanence. Life forever for all who believe.

Embrace the permanence of life in Christ.