Archive for the ‘church art ministry resources’ Category


Last night I preached and painted at a wonderful ministry here in Northeast Ohio at the Liberty Barn, an intimate worship experience hosted by my friends, Bill and Brenda Weiss. I spoke on the topic of choosing love over offense and, of course, I painted. As I thought about the topic, I sort of hit a brick wall. “How do you paint that?” Well, I decided to approach the painting differently. I decided to ask five people to come up and make a brush stroke on my board before I painted. I then incorporate their brush strokes into a final piece. Here’s what came out.

One person made a squiggle, one made a heart, one made a straight line, one made a wave and one made a large arc across the board. Then I prayed and began to see this image coming to life and that’s appropriate to me this is a painting of life. It’s not so much about the subject, but rather about the process. You see, usually when I do creative arts ministry, I have carefully planned, practiced some and I pretty much have the image down before I paint it live. With this image, that is not the case. I simply have to figure out a way to deal with what has been thrust at me. That’s how life is.

Friend, your life is a story, and in your life, there is only one thing you control—your actions and by extension your reactions to the things that happen. Your life story is kind of like those books some of us had in middle school. You remember them. You read a number of pages and then the story comes to a crossroad and you have a choice to make. Choosing one option takes you to continue the story on one page. Choosing the other takes you to a different page. The direction of the story is made based on your choices and so it is with life. The direction of our lives is determined, at least in part, based on the choices we make. In our world, there seems to be an epidemic of offense. Everyone is offended by something, but what we need to know, is offense is a choice. If we choose offense enough times, it becomes a root of bitterness that is exceedingly difficult to overcome. What if instead we chose to love? That’s what Jesus did and His action changed the course of history for all eternity. The world lives in a pattern of offense. We have been instructed not to be conformed to the world’s pattern, but rather to be be transformed. Jesus is our pattern and He chose to love and even sacrifice Himself for His offenders.

The choice is is yours and that choice will effect the direction of the rest of your life, so choose wisely.

Choose love over offense.

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So let’s start with the basics. Yes I’m still alive. I know it’s been longer between posts than it’s been probably since I started this blog, but I have a good excuse…

I’ve been trying to create non-flammable art.

That’s right I’ve been trying to create art that won’t burn. It’s not easy, but you should try it because the end result is out of this world. It’s so liberating working this way. Usually, we artists focus on being meticulous, creating things of beauty, composition, form, and a whole bunch of other things and while that still has a place in the process, it pales in comparison to the biggest challenge—making something that won’t burn.

You might be thinking, “What kinds of materials would you use? Metals?” Well one might try that, but I didn’t. You might wonder, “Well who would try to burn your art anyway? And how would you know if it was non-flammable unless you burned it? No gallery or museum would allow it and no one in their right mind is going to pay money for art for the purpose of burning it. Dave this is a pointless exercise.” No, the truth is there is a greater point to this experiment than for any other and if you’re a Christian in the arts, this is something you need to embrace, because one thing I can tell you for sure…

It’s all gonna burn…

By now you probably realize, I’m talking about something bigger than making great art. The apostle Paul spoke about building our lives and our efforts on the foundation of Christ. Here’s what he wrote in1 Corinthians 3:11-15:

For no one can lay any foundation other than the one already laid, which is Jesus Christ. If anyone builds on this foundation using gold, silver, costly stones, wood, hay or straw, their work will be shown for what it is, because the Day will bring it to light. It will be revealed with fire, and the fire will test the quality of each person’s work. If what has been built survives, the builder will receive a reward. If it is burned up, the builder will suffer loss but yet will be saved—even though only as one escaping through the flames.

You see this week I’ve been finishing up a week of presentations for some of God’s favorite children. (I don’t know that He actually has favorites, but if he did, these people would be among them.) I’ve been writing and drawing and painting and animating and prepping and tweaking and adjusting. I’m going to speed paint eight times and preach ten times in eight days. I’ve been working like a crazy person to get ready for this. When I am done, none of it will be museum quality. I’m not sure I even have museum quality in me, but I don’t care about being in a museum. Museums and masterpieces are going to burn. No, what I am praying for is that God allows me to “paint on hearts.” That He will allow the work that I do to touch hearts and open people to His love and grace, not to mention His plan and purpose, and most importantly His salvation. You see, everything I make with my hands will one day cease to exist, but if He works through me and my work to touch hearts…

That’s non-flammable art.

I pray He helps you make some too. There’s nothing better.


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.


I’m traveling this week so the posts might be a little sporadic, but for today I thought I would share this little reminder. This is my passion. Is it yours?


I’m about two months out from one of my favorite ministry activities. Each year I do a week long came for adults with developmental disabilities. The first couple years I just did the live paintings and then one year I took one of my clips along as an illustration, and they loved it. They also happen to love music and so I thought maybe there’s a way to get them to key in on the topic of the week with a rap-like chant. Well I recorded one, it’s very basic, but it’s something that they and probably every one else needs to know: In Christ, no matter what anyone else has to say about us, we are enough.” I had fun with this, the audio is not the best, but once the campers learn the chant, it won’t matter, it won’t be heard over them anyway.

I can’t wait to put this thing to work.


I’m working on a video clip for a great camp I do in New York each year for adults with special needs, called Haven Camp. Our theme is Enough. based on my book which oddly enough is based on the theme for this camp. I wrote a sort of rap for the soundtrack. Don’t worry Snoop Dog has nothing to worry about. It’s called I Am Enough. Here’s a sneak preview.