Archive for May, 2016

One of the things we in the church get concerned about over and over again is immorality and rightly so, but sometimes I think we need to look at it differently. First of all for some reason we have relegated immorality to sexual things and while there is no shortage of immorality in that realm, all sin is immoral. The fact that there are starving children in the world is immoral so long as there are people who can help them. Seeing people needing help and not helping them is immoral, etc., etc,. etc.

One day as I was thinking about this, I looked at the word itself and discovered there is only one letter’s difference between immorality and immortality and that one letter looks kind of like a cross, and that’s when it hit me, when we bring the cross into an immoral world we have a very real chance to see immorality transformed as immoral people (all of us because we all have sinned) receive Christ and are transformed to immortality in Christ. As we who are transformed are faithful in sharing the Gospel, we are used bring more and more people from immorality to immortality. That’s what this piece of art is supposed to represent.


I did this in my church and my wife saw another possibility, that when we look at immorality and we look at our choices, what if we looked at the word and saw those first five letters, as in I’m mor[e] like I’m worth more than the choice I’m about to make. I thought that was great as well.

I’ve also thought of another use for this piece. Sometimes we talk about going to heaven with out talking about the cross. When we take the cross from immortality we run the risk of turning it into immorality. We only receive immortality through Christ and His finished work on the cross.

That’s the thing about art. It makes different people see different things, but if we who are make it are careful and faithful, we can use it to share great truth.

I know they’re glorified commercials but every once in a while a company will make a viral video that is so touching that it transcends commerce and enters the realm of film making. Lowes has just done it. This piece, set to “We’ve Only Just Begun” is easily one of the most touching things I’ve seen, at least in this medium.

Friends as Christ following creatives we have a golden opportunity in this medium. The investment is smaller, the time frame shorter, and the potential for impact is huge. The short film is storytelling at it’s most basic. It requires getting things said clearly and succinctly. Oh, and by the way, it is the perfect medium for our always in a hurry, never a lot of time culture.

What could you do to touch hearts and minds in this genre? Maybe you’re not a film maker, but surely you could team up with someone and bring your gifts to the table to create something that shines, touches and spreads.

Enjoy this clip and let it inspire you to create.

Keeping it light and short or Sunday but in case you wondered who the greatest artist in the world is, He’s the one who made this creation…

My friend Sherri Ziler re-posted these to Facebook and they are gold. I share them here as a reminder to us all.

1 – If you are alive then there is still hope (if you’re not dead then God is not done!)
2 – The biggest breakthrough is often right after the perceived breakdown!
3 – Blaming other people or circumstances for the trouble in our lives (and accepting zero responsibility) means failure is imminent!
4 – Our failures in the past do not have to be the focus of our future (in Christ…what we did is not who we are!)
5 – No matter how dark it seems (think tomb sealed with a guard outside) God is able to do the “impossible” (think resurrection!)

Alright I have had it. I know people and companies have a right to do what they want with their characters but I am what’s known as irate at the moment. I, Dave Weiss, am something of a comic book fan. I don’t geek out over them, but I really enjoy the movies, and being something of a cartoonist myself, I love using the medium of words and pictures to tell stories. The stories are the key. They’re a bit of escapism but they can also provide some pretty nice commentary on what’s going on in our world. Maybe that’s why I’m so irritated.

I know there’s a trend toward the anti-hero and I pretty much hate that and always have. These are people who vary from doing bad for good to villains and psychopaths that people inexplicably root for. I can’t stand it. I like my escapism a bit more black and white. The good guys fight the bad guys and while they may take a beating, at the end of the day the good guys win. It may not always happen like that in the real world, but it should. One guy we could always count on for this was Captain America. In a world full of bad guys, here was a guy that was truly all about truth, justice and the American way (Yes, I know that’s the other comic company, but you get the point). I say “was” for a reason.

The “geniuses” at Marvel have decided to start a new story arc which says Captain America is and always was a Hydra agent. Hydra came out of the WWII era and was based in Naziism. Yes folks according to these writers, Captain America is and always has been a Nazi. I’m infuriated. I know, I know, you might be thinking there are a lot more important things to get infuriated about. Oh believe me I know and I’m finding myself becoming increasingly flabbergasted in our world. In this generation that calls evil good (Isaiah 5:20), the first step is to make good evil. Am I aware that no one is perfect? Yes! Am I aware that everyone, even me, struggles with sin and evil? Yes, painfully aware! But what we are doing over and over again is glorifying the dark side of humanity. What is wrong with setting up an ideal? What is wrong with the good guys winning? What is wrong with giving us something to shoot for? Absolutely nothing. These stories are more than just comics, they’re part of the mythology of our society. If you want to wreck a society, the first step is to wreck its stories, take down its heroes and make them evil. There is an agenda here that is a lot bigger than a comic book and we ignore it at our peril.

This nation is far from perfect but there is still good here. We could still be the shining city on a hill that our forefathers intended and it all starts with the stories we tell. My creative brothers and sisters, the media has once again failed us. If positive, heroic stories are going to be told, they are going to have to be told by us. We have the opportunity to tell stories of good triumphing over evil, stories of self sacrificing good people who put others before themselves, stories of people who overcome adversity and stay good in spite of incredible odds. Of course these stories are patterned after the ultimate self-sacrificing Hero who really did always stay good, and yes the media has long tried to vilify Him too.

This world needs heroes, both real and fictional, who point us to the Hero who came to save us all. God help us!

I know I’ve posted about this year, but as we move toward the summer, my thoughts turn to one of my favorite things, Creation Fest East. I don’t think I’ll make it this year, but taking a group of kids there was the first thing I ever did in ministry and a lot of wonderful things have happened in my life there. It was the first place I led someone to Christ, it was where I baptized my son and it was where I gained a mighty amount of perspective.

You see there was a time in my life where I was really sold out to becoming a famous artist. I fell into massive idolatry in the pursuit and almost lost everything. It was in laying that down that I got my call to ministry and how I eventually ended up at Creation that first time. As the years passed, the Lord led me to use the gift of art in ministry and one of the first things I did was an unusual mural. You see the one downside at Creation Fest is the toilet facilities, a combination of Porta-potties and outhouses. Well the regular wooden outhouses were showing some wear so the organizers did a contest for artists to paint murals on them. I entered and was selected so out to the outhouse I went. I painted it and had a pretty good time doing it.

Later I was struck by the irony. After all those years of laying my life on the altar of fame, the piece of art I’ve done that’s been seen more than any other is painted on a toilet. God is good and humility is lifesaving.

Every creative has had the reverse of this conversation. Someone, usually well meaning, trying to guide us away from the arts and into something “more lucrative.”

That’s why I loved this cartoon I saw on social media. Brad Diller posted it to his Sunday Morning comic and it’s brilliant. A dad is talking to his son and encouraging him to practice his art in case he can’t make it as a lawyer. You can see the cartoon here.

Friends, giftedness is giftedness. Take it from someone who blew a year of his life and ten grand because no one thought he could make it as an artist. Yet here I am 35 years later, far from starving and having had a pretty good life working in the creative field. Was everything I’ve done fun? No! Did I hate some of it? Yes, but hard work and determination combined with finally learning to follow the guidance of God have led to a pretty good life.

Along the way, the direction changed. Back in the day I didn’t think speaking or ministry would ever be a part of my life, nor did I imagine I would be the author of any books, let alone all these, not to mention the fact that the internet didn’t exist, but through a chain of events and openness to God’s guidance, many facets of life came into focus, I learned how to do what I need to do and I think that is what I am saying.

A life in the arts is possible, but you have to be willing to do the work, do what it takes, suffer through some stuff and keep being open to following God’s leading and to new ideas. The path will probably not be traditional, and it will have twists and turns and more than a few aggravations, but you can get somewhere if you’re willing to do what it takes.

Have you seen it? This Star Wars fan mom picked up a little treat for herself and made a video to prove it was hers and not for the kids, a talking Chewbacca mask. She puts it on and just starts cracking up on video. She shared it just for her friends, just as a joke.
Here it is…

It’s had millions of views which is phenomenal, and there has been quite a bit of blessings that come from it.

Now she’s been on The Late Late Show with James Corden with Star Wars: The Force Awakens director J.J. Abrams.

What can we learn from this? Well first of all motivation is king. This was a person not trying to go viral, just someone who posted for the fun of it. It’s not scripted or formulaic it’s just honest and it’s fun.

Secondly, joy is contagious. Seeing this person just cracking up makes us smile and in this case it made us want to share and share and share. Maybe we should learn from this that the world could use a little joy. What would happen if all of us would spend a little more time trying to bring a little joy to the world. Now that sounds like a worthy project.

Give it a shot. You never know what could happen.

buggyBlogging 101: Step 1. Pick a provocative title that will get people to read.

Now that I have your attention, if you think this is a drug culture reference, you’re new here, so welcome! But no, this has nothing to do with drugs. As a matter of fact, it is from the Bible. You see in the ten commandments we are instructed to remember the Sabbath Day and keep it Holy. It is to be a day where no work is done. Later in the law, a penalty is issued for God’s people who break the Sabbath. The penalty is death, more specifically stoning.

Now of course, we don’t do that anymore, but I am sort of stuck at this place. You see I believe that God knew how hard it would be to get people to take a break and trust Him and so He made the penalty quite severe. Essentially the law was saying rest or die.

Now I know some of you will want to challenge me for being legalistic, so just to be clear, I’m not. And some of you might want to quote Jesus and say, “The sabbath was made for man and not man for the Sabbath.” I agree with that too, but look at what we just said. “The Sabbath was made for man.” Who made it? God. Why did He make it for man? As a gift to give us margin to rest from our labors and reconnect with God and so I revisit my original question.

Would my Sabbath get me stoned?

Last week was for the most part a good week. In the first few days, I prepped for and had a colonoscopy, which was necessary and productive, but hard to call it good. The day after the test, I packed up the van and went to the church planting conference for my denomination where I both sowed into other people and then got sown into and that was great. Then I traveled home and ministered at my church where we have a great service. Then finally I got home. It was a great time but I was very tired, and since pastors work Sundays, I decided today, Monday, would be my Sabbath, a day of rest and here’s where I get twisted up.

You see my main job is ministry, so I didn’t do any church work. I spent some time on my hobby (see the pic above). The problem was there were a few things that needed to be done. Having been away all last week and with it having rained every day, my grass was high and rain is forecasted for the next few days, there were also a few other things that got neglected while I was away, so I tended to them as well. The whole time, I sat there thinking, “Is this the way I should be spending a Sabbath?” I don’t really have a good answer to this. There’s always something that comes up in this hyper busy life, yet I also know there have been times in my life where my negligence on rest has forced my body to make me rest. I also know that part of the reason God was so strict on Sabbath was because we have a tendency to live as if everything depends on us and conversely as if we can’t depend on Him.

This difficulty is compounded in the life of us creatives. We often really love what we do, which blurs the lines. So here’s what I am going to try to do. I am going to try to set aside some time each day dedicated to the Lord and block that time out. I do this now, but I will be more intentional and “strict” (for lack of a better word) about it. During that time I will do nothing but things that connect me personally with the Lord. This means I will not sneak my sermon prep in there, but make it “me and Jesus” time. I will still try to still take a day as well. At the end of the day, rest is a gift from God the God who knows exactly what we need. We skip it at our peril, whether we get stoned or not.

I wrote a post on this a bit ago on the song Imagine. Here I broke it down into a few words.