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!

The Blog starts below!

Who Is Jesus? Part II

Posted: April 12, 2021 in Uncategorized

Yesterday I began what is admittedly a rant about this meme I saw on Facebook. I dealt with the first half of the meme in yesterday’s post and I will continue my point by point assessment below.

Silent in the face of oppression vs. liberates the oppressed

Okay first of all He was silent in the face of oppression. On the other hand, liberates the oppressed. One could argue the reason Jesus was on the cross from an earthly perspective was because He did not free the Israelites from the Romans. On the other hand if we’re oppressed by sin then of course He liberated them. 

Condemns sinners versus critiques religious people

This one is interesting. When a woman caught in sin was brought to Jesus He said “Neither do I condemn you…” however, He followed that immediately with “Go and sin no more.” While He did not condemn sinners, we must realize that He did condemn sin, and in fact He laid down His life to save us from it. Surely He does not want us to continue in the behavior from which He died to save us. Did He critique religious people? Of course, mainly the Ones who persecuted Him for doing precisely what He came to do.

Silent in the face of oppression vs. liberates the oppressed

Okay first of all He was silent in the face of oppression. On the other hand, liberates the oppressed. One could argue the reason Jesus was on the cross from an earthly perspective was because He did not free the Israelites from the Romans. On the other hand if we’re oppressed by sin then of course He liberated them. 

Condemns sinners versus critiques religious people

This one is interesting. When a woman caught in sin was brought to Jesus He said “Neither do I condemn you…” however, He followed that immediately with “Go and sin no more.” While He did not condemn sinners, we must realize that He did condemn sin, and in fact He laid down His life to save us from it. Surely He does not want us to continue in the behavior from which He died to save us. Did He critique religious people? Of course, mainly the Ones who persecuted Him for doing precisely what He came to do.

Endorses church and state versus subverts empire

Once again, the church did not exist and subverting the empire was the charge brought against Him by His enemies to get the Romans onboard with killing Him. As He was standing trial before Pontus Pilate and was asked if he was a King, Jesus said, “36 Jesus said, “My kingdom is not of this world. If it were, my servants would fight to prevent my arrest by the Jewish leaders. But now my kingdom is from another place.”37 “You are a king, then!” said Pilate.

Jesus answered, “You say that I am a king. In fact, the reason I was born and came into the world is to testify to the truth. Everyone on the side of truth listens to me.” His Kingdom is a Spiritual Kingdom and was not subverting Rome at all.

A King versus a homeless man and child refugee 

He was both. He is King of Kings and Lord of Lord’s His name Christ, literally means “The Lord’s anointed.” Why on earth would people feel the need to try to belittle the fact that He was and is a King. One day every knew will bow and every tongue will confess that Jesus Christy is Lord. Why would anyone be surprised that the Lord would relate to people in humble circumstances. 

Upholds traditional family unit verse had half siblings. 

Oh my word, could this be any more disingenuous. Does He uphold the traditional family unit? Well let’s see the Bible tells us that Christian marriage between a husband and a wife as a type for His relationship with the Church, so I would say yes he upholds the traditional family unit, and had half siblings? Yes, He had half siblings, He was the Son of God, raised by his mother, Mary and his earthly father Joseph. After the birth of Jesus, Mary and Joseph like many married couples had other children. 

Endorses Holy war versus Non-violent

Jesus was non-violent. He advocated turning the other cheek and going the extra mile. Yet He also turned the tables of the money changers who were ripping off the people in the temple. He was the Prince of Peace who said there would be wars and rumors of wars and then the end will come.  

To be clear, I disagree with almost everything from the first column and most of the second column. The first column seems to want to vilify a lot of people by mischaracterizing their beliefs, while the second column fails to take His divinity into account. The thing is Jesus is God and as such, He is a very complex, three dimensional (at least) individual. The best way to get to know Jesus is to look past these types of things, and go right to the source. What does the Bible say about Him? He is Lord. He is eternal. He loves us so much that He laid down His life to pay the price for our sins, so that we could trust in Him, be forgiven and set free, living meaningful lives for His purposes in this world and entering heaven when this life is through. He is the Creator of all things, the lover of your soul. He is the savior of mankind and He is the risen Lord. Have Christians failed to represent Him well? At times, yes. Let’s make it personal, Have I failed to represent Him well? Yes, and yet, my prayer is that I grow more and more in Him each day and that I will repent when I fail and do better at representing Him.

My heart broke as I read this meme. That’s why I didn’t ignore it. The truth is, these memes accomplish only one purpose. They turn people against each other and against the Church, while misrepresenting the Lord. He is who we all need. Please check Jesus out for yourself. Even the best of Christians will fail you sooner of later, but Jesus never will.   

Who Is Jesus?

Posted: April 11, 2021 in Uncategorized

A friend online posted this delightful meme, and I just couldn’t let it go. It is so painfully misinformed that I needed to set the record straight.

First of all let’s look at the piece as a whole. First of all it really looks like there can be no other intent than to divide and discredit, especially the church. Colonizer Jesus versus Historical Jesus. At least they admit there was a historical Jesus, so that is a step in the right direction. Am I going to stand here and deny that there has been colonialism in the church? No, there has been, but there have also been many people in the church who have gone to other parts of the world in obedience to God, who have done great good.

The pictures are interesting as well. Let’s just get this out of the way. The first picture is obviously inaccurate, but not uncommon., Many artists in the renaissance would have female models sit for their portraits of Jesus, to make Him beautiful and fair. This was not to make Him more white but rather an expression of the beautiful thing He did for us. The second image may be more accurate was generated by forensic artists based on a reconstruction from three semitic skulls from around the area. It’s really hypothetical but it likely is more accurate, especially when one considers that the Bible says He had nothing in His appearance that would draw us to Him. (Isaiah 53:2)

Let’s look at the rest of the claims of this meme.

White versus Middle Eastern Brown Skinned

This is most likely accurate. The Bible tells us Jesus was a descendant of Abraham and of David, which means he was likely similar in appearance to the semitic people of today. He was likely dark haired, dark eyed and had a darker complexion. I guess my question is, why does this matter? I have African American friends whose churches display pictures of Jesus as a man of African descent. I’ve also seen Him portrayed in other ethnicities. I actually love this, because it reflects what I, as a Christian, very much desire, as expressed in Revelation 7:9 “After this I looked, and there before me was a great multitude that no one could count, from every nation, tribe, people and language, standing before the throne and before the Lamb.” They were wearing white robes and were holding palm branches in their hands. I desire that everyone come to know the love I have known in Jesus, and that we would worship the Lord together.

Christian versus Jewish

Of course Jesus was Jewish. People weren’t even called Christians until the leaders of the church met in Antioch in Acts 11:26, some years after Jesus death. Jesus is the One promised to Abraham when God said all nations on earth would be blessed by His descendants. Jesus was not only Jewish, He followed God perfectly as a completely observant Jew, following God’s law and opposing those who would corrupt it.

Patriotic versus Colonized by Rome

Jesus view of patriotism and of the Romans was summed up in one verse. When someone was trying to trap Him into incriminating Himself by asking Him if it was proper to pay taxes to Rome, He said “Render unto Caesar what is Caesar’s and unto God what is God’s.” (Mark 2:17) He lived in a land colonized by Rome, but when the people expected Him to overthrow Rome, they were sorely disappointed. Jesus wasn’t here to overthrow the Romans, He was here to save the world.

Justice through Retribution versus Justice through Restoration

His call to love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you stands out as a firm example of this. I would agree that He was much more about restoration than He was about retribution, and in fact this is why He came and died. He came to reconcile sinful humanity to a perfect God. This does not mean we can sin with abandon with no fear of consequence forever, merely that we can place our faith in Him and His finished work on the cross and be saved from our sin.

Died for Your Sins versus Killed by Church and State

I don’t even know where to begin here. That He died for our sins is irrefutable. Romans 6:23 says The wages of Sin is death but the gift of God is eternal life through Christ Jesus our Lord. When Jesus dies on the cross, He had no sin of His own. He died to pay the price for ours. Was He killed by church and state? Well let’s look at that objectively. First of all, there was no church at the point of His death, that came later. Is the creator of the post saying then that the Jews killed Jesus? That was the lie Hitler tried to perpetrate, surely the creator of this meme is not going there (RIGHT?). The truth is the religious leaders of the Jewish people conspired against Jesus as did the Romans and even a false follower of Jesus, but if you want to find who is responsible for His death, you will need to look elsewhere. I will tell you who is responsible for His death. It was me. I am responsible for His death, along with every person who has ever sinned. This is the belief of Christianity. We sinned and He died and as a result, we Christians should be nothing but humble. I am ashamed of my behavior and I am grateful for my Savior.

Sends Sinners to Hell versus Friend to Sinners and Outcasts

Let’s start here. Hell was not created for people. It was created for Satan and his angels. Jesus doesn’t send sinners to Hell as a matter of fact, He paid the price so that no one has to go there. Instead all we have to do to enter into eternal life is place our faith and trust in Jesus. All He requires is belief. So those who choose to reject Him, also reject His gift of eternal life. He doesn’t send people to hell, people choose hell. Was He a friend to sinners and outcasts. Absolutely! It was one of the things the prideful leaders held against Him. We need to be careful what we read into that though. He wasn’t sinning with them, nor was He accepting their sin. He was meeting them where they were, loving them and showing them how to be saved.

I’m not even half way, more tomorrow.

Your Filter is Your Friend…

Posted: April 10, 2021 in Uncategorized

I originally created this character to be a sort of meme/award for some of the really bad theology I see on here from time to time, but then I thought better of it. It was going to be called the “Hairy Tick (heretic) Award.” Instead I just made him a character I call Harry. I will say I see some really frustrating things online and were I to do this, I would be handing out a lot of these awards. Some of it is genuinely heartbreaking, but here’s the thing, what good would it do. I have been in more than my share of online arguments and not one has ever really substantially changed my point of view, and truth be known the nastier someone gets with me, the more entrenched I am likely to become. Creating a nastygram for people to share at will probably was not going to accomplish anything but maybe to vent my spleen and likely get me in another frustrating online altercation.

But somewhere in the midst of my creation, I felt that still small voice telling me that was not the way. I started to think about speaking the truth in love, and this clearly wasn’t it. So instead, I just created him as a bug just for fun.

Some days it’s better to remember your “filter” is your friend.

A New Tshirt Design

Posted: April 9, 2021 in Uncategorized

I designed a new Tshirt today that expresses a sentiment I often share with people. The culture is not supposed to change the church, the church is supposed to change the culture. You can get your copy by clicking here or on the image below.

Behold the Lamb

Posted: April 8, 2021 in Uncategorized

This is a piece I did for Easter. Jesus is Risen!

Saying “Yes”

Posted: April 7, 2021 in Uncategorized

Last week, I posted about the fine art of “No” and learning to say no. This begs the question, when should you say “Yes.” I maintain there are a couple of things to consider. The first of which is, have you prayed about it? Most of the rest of this post will deal with the idea of staying on mission and that is hugely important, as is knowing your gifts, talents and abilities, but there is an unknown quantity in all of this, and it’s huge. What is God doing? Is God calling you away from what is comfortable to do a new thing in your life. For years, I said no to anything that would put me up in front of people to speak. I was a mobile DJ for a while in my young adult years, but to get up the courage to stand before people to speak required a lot of alcohol, and when I came to Christ (and the sobriety that came with Him), it wasn’t long before the DJ business was over. I was terrified to speak in public. What I realize now is that when God was nudging me toward ministry, he started with some very small speaking things, like VBS skits. I really had to fight my fear to do these things, but prayer revealed that I should do it. Today I travel all over speaking (well I did before COVID and I hope to again soon) and pastoring a church and it is the most fulfilling thing I have ever done in my life. My instinct was to say no, but I am really glad I said yes.

Beside prayer, (and no I am not removing prayer from any of these other “equations”) it is important to know your your skill set. I remember when I was trying to be a full time freelance, I would take virtually any artwork. To be sure there is nothing wrong with trying things, but sometimes we have to realize our limitations. I got one freelance job painting backgrounds for a wealthy animation cell collector. He wanted me to paint reproductions of backgrounds from classic Disney films. I researched, found out what media to use (one I had never used before) and even worked from a sketch from the original film. I failed repeatedly and what I finally delivered was terrible. I should have said no. On the other hand I found a local tourist attraction that needed a painter to refurbish their displays and make new one. It was stylistically perfect for me, and we had a great relationship and they gave me a lot of work. Part of knowing what to say yes to is knowing what you already do and do well.

Perhaps the main thing in knowing when to say yes, is knowing your mission. Before I take on a project, I will often ask myself questions based on my personal mission, which is to help the church to embrace creativity and help creatives to embrace the church. Will this project help me to do one of those two things. This allows me to say yes to most of the speaking things I am offered and the workshops I do. It also allows me to say yes to things that allow me to make art that connects me with other artists and allows me to build relationships. When I decided to pursue a doctorate, it was largely because the research project involved is the create a creative ministry course, which really excites me and falls right into my mission.

The last thing that determines whether I say yes or no, is something we all need to consider. It is time and this is urgent in the yes/no debate. You have only so many hours in a day and how you spend them matters because you cannot get them back. There are non negotiables in this. You have relationships that need to be nurtured, especially those with your spouse and children. Do not neglect them because you can’t say no. You also need to maintain your health. People sacrifice sleep and good health on the altar of their dreams and that is a huge mistake. You have one body and one life, be wise. You need to earn a living so if what you do doesn’t pay the bills it needs to come behind what does. Most importantly, you must nurture your relationship with God. Say yes to Him first and He will help you to keep everything else in proper perspective.

Saying yes is a wonderful thing, but do it wisely.

It almost reminds me of one of those notes we passed in grade school about our crushes, except the object of our affection, or lack thereof, is ourselves. Nonetheless, the question remains. Do you like yourself? Let’s take it all the way home. Do you love yourself? Most of the. Creative people I know seem to exist on a continuum between egomania and self-loathing and a lot of us exist at the poles of that continuum. Needless to say this is a bad thing. Christian humility, and sometimes false humility, often pushes us to the self-loathing side. This is especially bad. As a mater of fact I would say it hampers us tremendously. While egomania is certainly bad, a healthy self-love is entirely biblical and we can’t have healthy relationships without it. Don’t believe me? 

Think about when Jesus was asked what was the greatest commandment. He replied with what we in the church call the Great Commandment. “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with al your soul, and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: Love your neighbor as yourself.” Matthew 22:37-39. Did you catch it? Love your neighbor AS YOURSELF. You simply cannot, properly obey this commandment without healthy self-esteem. Now this is not to say you should not hate sin and want to eradicate it from your life, but if you loathe yourself and you love your neighbor as yourself, the results could be disastrous. 

A huge part of this is remembering who you are in Christ. You are made in the image of God. You are His workmanship creates in Christ Jesus to do good works which God prepared in advance for you to do. This means you are not accidental. You were made on purpose for a purpose. Most importantly, you must remember the high price Jesus paid to save you, so that you could spend forever with Him in heaven. That is no small thing. If Jesus likes you, maybe you should like you. 

Let’s carry this further. Do you like your creative work? Once again, false humility can step in here and kick us around. It’s time we stop being our own worst critics. Not everyone will like your work. That is okay, as a matter of fact, it’s virtually essential. Work everyone likes is pretty “vanilla” and likely has very little to say. We who have been given creative gifts, need to create the work that the Lord lays on our hearts, most of which is designed to reach people, touch people or bless people. Once again we need to think about Jesus. He loves everyone, yet while He walked the earth, some loved Him while others hated Him. He did not moderate His message to appeal to the masses. He spoke the Gospel truth and allowed people to choose how they responded. Our work needs to speak truth. It will reach who it was designed to reach. 

We have to be okay with that. 

Most of the time, the critics sway us. We’ll manage to hear the one negative comment over and above the acclamation of those who love the work. Left to our own devices, many of us would just as soon create and withhold it from the public, having the joy of creation and avoiding the discomfort of criticism. That is not only incorrect, I would suggest it’s sin. No, we need to create our best work and put it out there for the world to see. This is the purpose of art, but it means we have to come to the place where we like out work enough to show it to the world, and let the chips fall where they may. 

Are you at the place where you can say, “I like me, and I like my work?” 

I know it’s hard, but try. After all, God likes you. He loves you. 


Posted: April 5, 2021 in Uncategorized

Every year, I participate in an artist’s challenge called Marchartoon. It’s presented by a Ping Pong Club in Croatia. I found them online and I really had a good time. It is nice to get to know the artists who participate, and of course the young people associated with the club. Their theme this year was Ending of the Corona Era. Sometimes I do art that is very spiritual and sometimes I just use the art to get to know people. This is always a lot of fun and I get to meet people from all over the world while doing something fun. It’s a win win!

Stations of the Cross

Posted: April 4, 2021 in Uncategorized

I got to participate in my friend Kerry Jackson’s virtual Stations of the Cross Exhibit again this year. This is always a great experience. As we celebrate the resurrection today, please take a moment and see the story behind the day as expressed by at least 12 different artists.

The Fine Art of “NO”

Posted: April 3, 2021 in Uncategorized

Thursday I alluded to the idea of staying focused and staying on mission, and there is one more key to all of that that needs to be discussed. It is one of the most difficult things in the world for creative types like us. I call it the fine art of “NO.” Simply stated, we need to learn to say “no” to things. We need to say no to the good things so we can say yes to the best things. We need to learn to pass on some things so we can focus on the best things.

The word “No” is your friend. Don’t feel obligated to say “Yes” to everything. Make good choices. Your goals will hang in the balance. There is also a difference between good things and God things. God things must come first.

Choose wisely. Learn to say “NO!”