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.)