Archive for July, 2018

The reason is simple. I get to create stuff that will help and bless others. Case in point. This Friday, my church will be doing our one day arts day VBS. We don’t quite have everything we need to do a full week of Bible school (YET!) so instead we have this one day, creative bonanza where the kids come in and make art, have fun and learn about Jesus all day. It is a lot of fun. Our theme this year is the New Creature workshop. In the morning we’ll look at what it means to be a new creature in Christ (2 Cor. 5:17) while we paint interesting creatures as a reminder. Then in the afternoon we’ll look at one of the great benefits of being a new creature in Christ, the fruit of the Spirit. Nine evidences that the spirit of the Living God is living and active in the life of every believer. I wanted to create a way to help the students learn this powerful verse. So with the help of an unknown rapper named AMOS AMOK (He might sound familiar) I made this video. It was a lot of fun and I really think it might be helpful to a lot of churches. If you’re in another church and you think this might be useful, feel free to download it and use it. I’m sure AMOS won’t mind.

Around here, there has been this trend of people painting rocks and hiding them in plain site for people to find. It’s spawned Facebook groups and all sorts good feelings all over the place. Some people find them, take a picture and re-hide them for someone else to be blessed. I have to wonder, is there a way the church can do something like this to bless people and maybe give them a little touch from the Lord.

I’m going to work on ways of doing this, and I would love your input. How can you give someone a little gift of love that will show them that God cares? Let’s work on this together.

I know what you might be thinking, I don’t come here for science, politics or anything of the sort. I come here for creative ministry tips, well this is related to that. I’m not talking about the climate of the earth. I’m talking about the climate of the culture. Roseanne made some bad comments and got fired from her own show. Probably should have happened, racism is not acceptable in any circumstances, but I’m not her judge. Another high profile celebrity reportedly said worse things things to a guest on her show but will be allowed to keep working because she is on the other side of the political aisle. If the story is true, she at least had the common sense not to put out there for the world to read. I’m not her judge either and because I don’t know for sure the story is true, I won’t divulge her name.

The point is, the climate has changed. Were Don Rickles to start his career today, he would be run out of town on a rail. We can’t laugh at ourselves anymore. People are triggered by more and more things and less and less things are “sayable.” If you’re a Christian in this climate, you need to know you already have two and a half strikes against you and I don’t know that it will get a lot better. What does this mean? Should we be silent, cringing in the corner in fear. No. Instead we should be careful to say what needs to be said in love. Speaking the truth in love is more key than it has been in a long time.

Getting by without offending someone is essentially impossible in this climate, especially since we serve the One who is called a rock of offense in 1 Peter 2:8, and if people are offended by the Gospel, that’s on them, unless you are being deliberately offensive in which case, the Gospel isn’t the problem, you are. We can survive and even thrive in this climate, so long as we accept two things. First we Christians will never be universally popular and we’re becoming increasingly unpopular. No surprises there, Jesus said it would happen.

Matthew 5:11, 12 “Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.”

Secondly we need to make sure that we always lead with love. Jesus told us more about how to navigate this climate just before the verses above, just to prove that while this climate is changing, that is nothing new.

Matthew 5:3“Blessed are the poor in spirit,
for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
4 Blessed are those who mourn,
for they will be comforted.
5 Blessed are the meek,
for they will inherit the earth.
6 Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness,
for they will be filled.
7 Blessed are the merciful,
for they will be shown mercy.
8 Blessed are the pure in heart,
for they will see God.
9 Blessed are the peacemakers,
for they will be called children of God.
10 Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness,
for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

To thrive in this climate, we just have to be all of the above.

When I first got married, I was in my art career pretty deep, trying to “make it” as an artist. I worked constantly and even when I wasn’t working I was always thinking. Every time a brainstorm erupted in my head, I grabbed the closest piece, scrap or sliver of whatever would accept pencil or ink to get those thoughts down. You might think man he was committed. Well sort of, but I was suffering from a pretty chaotic mind. What made matters worse was the chaos went external. I would invariably end up leaving these “moments of brilliance” everywhere. Imagine my dismay, when my unsuspecting wife would have the audacity to clean up after me and inadvertently throw one of these colossal ideas away. We could have been rich, I tell ya.

Okay that last part was untrue, but there was more than one heated argument as my creativity disappeared. In case you’re not good at reading my sarcasm, I am making light of the fact that I was completely at fault. If these ideas were really that valuable to me, I would have taken care of them. And then one day marital bliss was restored, and the solution was simple. My wife bought me a sketch book. Now I always knew where all my things were, and I had it handy whenever a great idea came to call. I’ve since filled literally dozens of them. I get a size that fits nicely on my flatbed scanner. I got a strap that holds a couple drawing implements right on the cover. This one little organizational element saved us a whole lot of stress and aggravation, and it made me able to create even more.

Look at the struggles you’re having. There’s usual a simple solution if you’ll just get creative.

While I’m on this subject of rest, (I have about an hour before heading out) there is something to be considered. When one day you walk through the gate of Heaven, remember this. You won’t have entered on your own merit. You won’t be going in because you were in any way deserving. You won’t be there because you earned it. The only way into our forever reward is grace. You get Heaven because you received it as a gift from the one who knows you best and loves you most. Heaven is a gift, not a payment for services rendered.

Why do I share this? I share it because there is a great temptation to try to earn what has been freely given and this can really skew our view of the work we do, not to mention our view of our heavenly Father. Your works aren’t going to be what gets you through the gate, so watch your motivation. When we start to feel deserving, we get into trouble.

Does that mean our works are unimportant? No, not in the least. Our works are acts of gratitude for unmerited favor. They are a way of showing how grateful we are for what God has done for us. They are acts of love and obedience to a God who loves beyond measure.

The only way to heaven in Jesus, period. So do what you do with a grateful heart, to the best of your God-glorifying ability, realizing there is eternal life in paradise for all who believe and when we get there it won’t be because we deserve it.

Heaven is a gift. It is utterly and completely


Hi, my name is Dave Weiss and I am a recovering bad vacationer. In years past, I would do so much work on vacation that my wife actually had to limit me to a sketch book and a few drawing tools, otherwise I would work the whole vacation away. I look back on that time now with a combination of regret and gratitude. Regret because I lost a lot of time, gratitude, because my wife cared enough about me to help me.

I think I thought that was the only way I would be able to keep making art, that if I didn’t work constantly, I would get behind or that somehow I would lose my “edge” whatever that means. Here’s the truth, I lived for years on the verge of burn out and for a guy who would have told you he was doing what he loved, I was pretty miserable.

The thing is, the point of a vacation is to recharge and to reconnect with family. I was missing all of that in some workaholic drive to “get ahead.” It was a waste and I missed a lot. Well this week, I am going on vacation, just getting away for a few days. Now you should know, I completely love what I do, I love ministry and making art, and I really love the people I work with, and to be honest, I have a lot to do, but I’m taking a break, because I need one. I’m not burned out but I also don’t want to be burned out. I need to give my brain a few days off. I need to spend some time with my family, giving them my undivided attention.

Please learn this from me, creativity needs rest to really thrive. Give yourself a break and take it. I’ll have something with me to capture ideas and inspiration for when I return, but I’m taking a break.

(I may post a few “best of posts” here, so this doesn’t get boring, but I’m taking a break.)

My Church Won't Accept My Gift...Confession time, I hated dating. Oh maybe  came that time not in the initial, but there always came that time (until the last time) when I had to come to the realization. “Dude, she’s just not that into you.” It was painful. Have you been there? And then there are the friendships that were pretty much one way, where you are the one making all the effort and you realize that only one who is really committed to keeping this thing going is you. That’s really painful too. And of course, glutton for punishment that I am, I became an artist, where at times rejection just seems to be part of life.

Ministry can be that way too. You put a lot of effort into being the best you can be, you do the work, you study and labor and practice and an opportunity comes up that you really want and you say “Hey, over here, I’m interested and I’d love to be a part of this.” You think you might even have something to offer, but then you get the promo for the event and you see the website and there is one face that’s missing—your own, and you start to wonder if maybe, you don’t have what it takes, because even your friends don’t seem to see the value in what you do. You wonder if all the work, the decades of work, and the struggles and the sacrifices, have been for naught. Maybe you’re just not good enough.

You’d think a guy who wrote a book called Enough. God and the Fine Art of Measuring Up would be immune to feeling this way. If you think that, you’re wrong. I’m not immune, but I am wrong to feel that way and you might be wrong too.

There are a few things to keep in mind. Maybe my friends don’t see the value in my work, or maybe they do and there’s something else in play, but you know who does see the value in my work? The people who have taken risk to let me come to their places and stand before people who trust them, not to mention the people God has entrusted to them. Then there are also all the people who have been touched by what God has given me to do and what He has done through me. They not only see the value of what I do, in a very real way they are the value of what I do. The people who call me pastor see my value too, and they get behind me and help me to do and be all that God is calling me to do and be. Of course I never want to leave the people who come here to read what (hopefully) God has laid on my heart. Thank you, and I love you.

To make the last point, I need to go back to the dating analogy. I didn’t realize I hated dating in the midst of it. Oh the pain was there and it was real, but I really only realized how much I hated dating, when I met the one who would stop me from dating forever, my loving wife Dawn. She was different. She treated me better. She had to, she was the one God had for me. At the end of the day, that is the point behind this post. In the dating world, once I saw what God had for me, I wondered why I had put forth all the effort and endured all the pain from all the rest. In the same way, maybe the things that we want and don’t get aren’t so much a case of rejection and more a case of this is not something God has for us at this juncture. Maybe getting the thing we want will get in the way of us from getting the better thing God has that we can’t yet see.

My advice. Forget rejection, focusing on it will do nothing but make you bitter and frustrated. Instead, love the people who pass you over and do the things God has put before you to the best of your ability. Trust Him to open the doors no one can shut.

His plan is still good even when you feel rejected.

I decided to try my hand at Facebook Live today. I have a few bugs to work out but over all at least I as able to express what was on my heart. You see I’ve been seeing so many Christians online downing the church, and I think that is an incredible waste of time. What if instead we saw our struggles as inspiration to get imaginative? That’s what the video is about.

I’ll just confess it. I’m aggravated. It’s not at any one person, just the state of our world. We are a nation in dire need of Jesus, and yet his church is vilified. In some cases maybe we deserve it, but there are a lot of us out here trying to make a difference. Lately there has been a real urge in me to speak out. The problem is what I really want to do is lash out, and as long as I want to lash out, I need to be silent. Otherwise I’ll just be adding to the problem. That “speak the truth in love” thing is in the Bible for a reason.

At the end of the day, I need to honor God. This means that no matter what the world does, I need to follow God, first and foremost. I need to obey Him whether that is popular or not because at the end of the day, He calls the shots. I need to comfort myself in the fact that greater is He who is in me than he who is in the world. I need to remember that my mission to rescue the perishing does not change with the political climate. My mission to take the Gospel to the ends of the earth has not stopped and will not stop until Jesus brings the plan to completion.

My creative brothers and sisters, we need to stay on mission. Sometimes that means we stay above the fray, and work that ripe harvest, i.e. seeking those who are seeking and showing them the love of Christ. Don’t let yourself get drawn into the “ugliness.” We’re here to bring beauty. 2 Timothy 2:23-24 reminds us. ‘Don’t have anything to do with foolish and stupid arguments, because you know they produce quarrels. And the Lord’s servant must not be quarrelsome but must be kind to everyone, able to teach, not resentful.” To do this involves prayer and make no mistake about it, it means continuing to do our best work, letting it speak even when we need to be silent. It means we need to live as holy lives as we can in Christ, and always being prepared to give the reason for the hope we have, with gentleness and respect. The fruit of the Spirit has not changed, and if we exhibit it, people will be drawn to it and want to know more. In these ever darkening days, we need to continue to be light. Many things have changed, but Jesus still wins. Don’t give in to the pressures to compromise God’s truth. Don’t let the culture change you. That’s not what you’re here for.

You’re here to change the culture.