Archive for the ‘coaching’ Category


Theologian Charles Spurgeon one said “Discernment isn’t knowing right from wrong, it’s knowing right from almost right.” Well our content creation has a similar need for discernment. It’s not necessarily that we need to know right from wrong, though if you’re creating stuff you know Is wrong you need to stop that, now. No, the discernment we need is, as my friend Timothy Wallace says, between the good things and the God things. Case in point:

Since last fall I have participated in three daily art challenges. It all started when I discovered Inktober, a challenge to create an ink drawing each day for the month of October. Well one of my primary art forms is cartooning, which relies heavily on ink, so I jumped in and it was a lot of fun. I’m a pretty firm believer in creating every day to keep your skills sharp so I thought it was a good thing and I got connected to a few people through it. Then in March, I found out about Marchartoon, a similar challenge more specifically tailored to cartooning. Once again This one was a good time and I later found out it was created by some folks that run a youth sports club in Croatia. They liked my work and it led to me getting to speak, via video, to the club in one of their meetings. Then finally I thought, why to create your own, and so I came up with the one I am currently working through Art MAYhem, which has been a real blast, even through I have only one regular participant besides myself. My temptation is to create a different challenge for each month and try to build up a tribe of creatives under my Facebook page The Daily Creative.
The question is, is this a good thing or a God thing? To this point I am undecided.

On one hand I have a mission to help creatives, and as stated earlier I am a firm believer in creating every day to keep your skills sharp and growing, but I don’t just want to keep them busy, because while sharp skills are important, my mission is more than just getting people to create, it’s creating to the glory of God and helping creatives and the church to work together. For this reason I have some decisions to make. While these activities are really fun and I have been able to figure out ways to glorify God in them, they are also really time consuming. Time is the great equalizer in our lives. We all only have 24 hours, and since most of us do something else for a living, and all of us need to sleep, not to mention the other responsibilities, those hours are often really diluted. If we only have a few creative hours a day, is a daily creative challenge really a God thing or just a good thing? The answer is not as easy as you think.

The challenges have taken a lot of time, which may take me off task, but they have also opened doors into the world beyond the church, especially the art world, which is clearly part of my mission field. I’m reminded of the biblical proverb, “Do you see a man skilled in his work, he will serve before kings…” What if this time consuming art opens doors for me to glorify God? It’s already happened, Cost benefit analyses don’t often work in God’s Kingdom and economy. It is for this reason that we need discernment when entering into projects. It all starts with prayer.

Ask God to help you to stay on mission…

More coming soon


Okay so yesterday I made myself into a case study. If you missed it, go ahead and check it out. This won’t totally make sense without it.

Now you may have read this and thought, (especially if you’ve been around for a while), “This is nothing new, it’s even the stated objective of the website. That is true, but believe me when I tell you, this revelation has been desperately needed in my life. Even with a clear picture, there have been times, especially recently, where I have felt like I am way off task. There are a thousand things I could be weighing in on, that are oh so tempting and yet far off task. In fact some of these things have been so tempting that I have considered starting new blogs o deal with them. At times like that, I have some real discernment to do, and we’ll talk about that tomorrow.

Today I want to turn it over to you.

Let’s start with the basic question: 
What is the discontentment I am trying to help others to overcome?
and we’ll add the follow up question:
What is my discontenment?

While reading this blog probably means you have an interest in the church and creativity, it’s highly unlikely that your mission and calling is exactly the same as mine. You might be an artist/creative, looking for how to use your gift to advance the mission of your church or how to minister in the world/marketplace. You might be a pastor, who wants to learn how to work with/recruit/etc. the creative people in your church. Your calling might be evangelism or teaching or preaching or discipleship, or you might just want to make art that communicates your love of Christ in unconventional ways. These are just a few of the reasons you might seek this blog out. What I want to do now is help you to hone in on your mission/ministry and begin to narrow your focus. So start with the above two questions and when you have answered them to your satisfaction, it’s time to add two more.

What’s my calling? and What are My gifts?

When you start to have some clarity on that, there is one final question.

How will I deliver what I am creating to the world?

Needless to say, the first step in this is prayer and it will also take some time to answer these questions, but the work is worth it and leads to a life of purpose.

More tomorrow…


If you missed yesterday’s, go back and check it out, this one will make no sense without it. It’s okay… I’ll wait.

Today let’s put yesterday’s post to work. We’ll start with the question I asked yesterday, and then I will answer it. Please keep in mind this has been a major revelation for me and I am actually working through it as I write. The question is:

What is the discontentment I am trying to help others to overcome?

My answer to that question is ultimately I want to make the world a better place. Great, so does everyone else. Obviously, that’s too broad, so let’s narrow it down.

I want to use my talents to make the world a better place. That’s a little narrower. Now I know some of the tools I will use to accomplish the goal—in my case, art, design, and communication. A little better, but still way too broad, so let’s hone it down a little further with another question.

What is my discontenment?

In other words, What do I want to do? Why do I want to do what I do? How will I make the world a better place? What’s wrong that I want to make right? What needs fixing? What is that thing that makes me say “Someone should do something about this?” This leads to something that I really haven’t touched on yet—calling. This is the divine element that needs to be considered. Look the truth is there are a billion things that would make the world a better place, and you obviously can’t fix them all, but what is the thing that lays on your heart? What is the thing that burdens you?

For me, it comes down to one thing. I believe in the power of the Gospel to change lives. I believe every time someone receives Jesus, their life is changed forever and changed lives will change the world. I believe the Gospel of Jesus Christ, beyond all the eternal benefits, is a great force, the greatest force, for positive change in our world. I believe this because I have seen first hand the good that it has done in my own life. Now we’re getting somewhere.

So I want to help people to come to know Jesus. This, in and of itself, is a lofty goal, but, for me, there’s more. I’ve already identified the tools I can and do use. I could be very satisfied (content) just doing that for the rest of my life, (and I no doubt will) but I feel a broader calling. You see I know I am not alone. I know there are many others in the world with a similar desire. They are creative and they love Jesus and they know He is the answer to solving the world’s problems, but they are banging their heads against the wall (at least metaphorically) trying to figure out the hows and maybe the whys. What if I could help them too? Is there a way to unify our efforts to creatively point the world to Jesus?

Further, God has called me to pastoral ministry, to church leadership. I believe the church is God’s chosen instrument for taking the Gospel to the ends of the earth. Is there a way that I can unite these two worlds I live in, artist and pastor? Can I help churches to embrace creativity (and creative people) while helping creative people to embrace the church and to empower it (as far as any of us can)?

To be continued.


STARTING2I know how blatantly oversimplified that statement sounds. It may even sound a little silly, but it’s not. I approach my post today without a lot of inspiration. I was actually not sure what to write, so I threw a quick prayer to the Lord, and just felt like I should start to write. The thoughts flowed instantaneously. So often we take writer’s block, or creative block or (whatever realm we feel called to create in) block as an excuse to not create. That’s counter productive.

How often has a blocked day turned into a blocked week, then to a dry spell, then finally to I used to draw/paint/write, etc.? I’ve seen it over and over again. People… gifted people… who simply lost inspiration one day and gave up. DO NOT DO THAT! You are talented and gifted for a reason there is art to be made, work to be done, and a world to be changed and it takes all of us doing our best at any given moment.

Inspiration is not something to be waited for, most of the time, it’s something to be hunted down and put to work. Most of the time, it all starts with starting, putting pen to paper, brush to canvas, fingers to keyboard… If you don’t know what to do, just start doing something. Don’t flee to a distraction, don’t check your email one more time or start commenting on Facebook, Tweeting, you know the drill. Instead look to the things that inspire you, and start the hunt.

I’m currently reading by Julia Cameron and that book hammers two ideas—morning pages and artist’s dates. Morning pages is a committed discipline to write at least three pages every morning, first thing. It’s free writing, no holds barred, just start and let it flow. I can’t tell you how many times this has spun into one of these posts. It gets my mind thinking and jumpstarts creativity. Artists dates are committing to a time each week when you do something that inspires you. It’s taking a little time out to nurture your creativity. Again I find these to be extremely helpful. It doesn’t have to be much. Any little thing will do as long as it fires your creativity. Sometimes for me it’s as simple as my early morning prayer walk. Sometimes it’s a walk around the flea market looking for something unique or a matinee movie. It doesn’t have to cost a lot (or anything at all), but it gets you started.

As a person whose passion is to help people embrace and enhance their creativity, my hope is that my blogs will help people get going. I try to come up with a lot of ways to do that, including several books designed to just help people get started. Because in the end that’s what it all comes down to.

It all starts with starting. What can you start today?

How can I help you get started?

(By the way there’s 500+ pretty inspirational words, if I do say so myself) that all came because I did two things. Prayed and got started.)


createbetterWell here we are on the last day of a 48 day journey. I thought I would spend a little time reviewing and a little bit looking forward. First of all I want to say, this project has been fun and really uplifting. I have enjoyed it immensely and have grown quite a bit in the process. Just past the middle of this project, I had a major setback in my personal life, one that could have derailed the whole thing. I decided not to share what happened as part of this project, but it left me with a choice. Give up or press on. It was an easy choice because giving up rarely leads to a better life (unless we’re giving up negative behaviors, thought patterns, habits, etc.). Instead I decided to treat this challenge as a challenge and hit it head on. I stayed to my usual schedule, working on this project predominantly in the early mornings and then getting on with my day.

This project inspired me to finish another major project that was largely complete but sitting on the back burner because I needed to make a few decisions. I am pleased to say that the decision have been made and the project, Creativity Kickers will ship when I deliver Create a Better Life early next month. I am excited to see what it does.

Create a Better Life has had its fair share of missteps and course corrections. It has evolved from a day long workshop/seminar to a webinar and may morph one more time as I finish researching a delivery service. I have an idea for it that may work, and it would accomplish another goal I’ve had for years. Please note, the vision hasn’t changed. I still plan to do the live workshops/seminars. I just decided that something else must be done first. I decided it would be better to deliver some online content and allow that to help promote the live events. Part of the reason for this is logistical. While I love the one on one contact I get when I do live events, I have yet to master being in more than one place at a time. I truly believe that Create a Better Life will help a lot of people, so I wanted to create it in such a way that people can get the materials and use them at their leisure. Let’s face it, most of us will create a better life while working around jobs and other obligations. Having something that is available at any given time is crucial.

So where do we go from here? Well AMOKArts.com will go back to being about creative arts ministry. I will no doubt post updates from time to time, but if you want to follow Create a Better Life, subscribe to dweisscreative.com and/or follow us on Facebook. Some time during the week of June 10, the initial webinar (or whatever incarnation it takes on) will drop. The main Create a Better Life project is finished, so updates will come via dweisscreative.com but I will be sharing other content there as well. Marketing of the webinar will also begin this week. The editing of the workbook continues. There are a couple formatting issues that I think I need to address, but I want to keep to the day by day format. Look for an announcement about its availability next week.

So what did I learn from the project? Keep your plans flexible and allow for course corrections. Setbacks happen and we can power through them. Sometimes you need to take a break. Meeting deadlines is important, but so is making it right. Do your research thoroughly. Creativity is even needed in projects about creativity. Mainly I believe what I have always believed. I can do all things through him who strengthens me. (The Bible) Secondly, the future belongs to those who create it. (me) Finally, you can do this. You just need to push fear aside, do the work and get creative.

You really can create a better life!


createbetterSecond last day of the project, and one thing has become apparent, this won’t be the second last day of the project. I’ve had a setback. The service I was planning on using for the webinar is not going to work. As you recall I am trying to do this project entirely with free resources so that anyone, on any budget, can do it. The blame for this setback falls firmly on me. I didn’t research as well as I should have. Remember also that I said early on that I was going to share the missteps and course corrections. This would be one of those. It’s a setback but not nearly enough to derail the project. I just need to adjust.

In the mean time. I received a short free video course in my email on the subject of promotions and product launches and It gave me some great ideas not just for promotions but also for a way to deliver some of this content. I need to research this a little further but it may be a much better way to bring this content to the public. This course has also shown me a few things I could have done better in the promotion of this product, and I may make a few adjustments based on what I learned. I am also researching other delivery ideas for this content. More on this soon.

This setback will also effect my delivery date and that is really disappointing. I am not giving myself a lot of leeway here, but setbacks happen in these types of projects. That being said, I have also stressed several times in this project the importance of deadlines and delivering on time. This setback could have been avoided with a little more careful research. That being said, the worst thing a creative person can do is beat himself up over an error. Believe me that has derailed more than one project for me and for countless other people I’ve talked to. Don’t let that happen to you. I made a mistake, I can make excuses, I can give up or I can make a correction and move on to a better life. I’ve decided to give myself another week and deliver this content some time in the week of June 10.

Setbacks happen, we can dwell on them or we can learn and press forward and focus on successes. I’ve decided to do the latter. Working on this project and sharing the whole process with the world has been a bit daunting and yet also rewarding. I have written a book in a little over a month, using the early morning hours before my work day began. I am still working on the edits and seeing a few adjustments that need to be made, but that too is progressing and should be done in time to be delivered with the webinar. I finally finished a pretty major project that I want to offer as an ancillary product to create a better life. I call it Creativity Kickers and I am really excited about it. I have had most of the creative work done or Creativity Kickers done for months but kept holding back because I couldn’t figure out the best way to deliver it. Now I can’t wait to share it with the world.

Creating a project like this is a journey. There have been other obstacles, missteps, false starts and setbacks, but those happen to us all. Pressing through them is the key to creating a better life!


createbetterSomewhere in the midst of day 45 of a 48 day project, it happened. I should have been ready for it, because it always happens, but my confession is it hit me like a ton of bricks. Steven Pressfield, in his book The War of Art, calls it the resistance. Essentially it’s this voice that pops up and says, “Who are you to do (whatever it is you’re doing)?” It strikes nearly every creative project on a seek and destroy mission to keep you, the creative person, stuck, unproductive and not moving forward. The resistance is awful, and it’s a lying voice that needs to be silenced.

For me it went this way. “Who are you to tell people how to create a better life? After all you haven’t made it yet. You’re not rich. You’re not famous.” From there it goes downhill all the way to “You have nothing to offer. This project was a mistake. Quit!” Here’s the thing. I confessed all of this on day one. I didn’t position this project as “Hey, I’m a huge success, follow my ten easy steps and become a mega-bazillionaire!” Instead I said “Join me on a journey, to creating something better.” I didn’t even define what something better was, because that is an individual choice. Instead I shared what I am doing and principles that will help you to get where you want to be. The truth is, only you can define what your better life looks like. By this point, the people who were in this looking for the easy route to wealth and fame have probably given up. Anyone who is still with me at this stage of the journey is probably part of the audience I sought in the first place—people seeking to do the work of creating something better. For me to give up now would have been to let a lot of good people down.

That’s exactly what the resistance desires. To stop good things, and good people, in their tracks, by asking “Who are you?” and “What’s the use?” The resistance is the guardian of the status quo at best and diabolical at worst. It kills great ideas, knocks down great solutions to great problems and strangles dreams. It makes problems seem insurmountable and it makes us feel too small to do what it takes. The resistance is to be resisted and on the other side of resistance, great things happen. Do not let it stop you.

Vincent Van Gogh, the great artist once said, “If you hear a voice within you say ‘you cannot paint,’ then by all means paint, and that voice will be silenced.” This is how to defeat the resistance. You do what that negative voice says you cannot do until it shuts up and goes away. So let’s answer that question once and for all. Who are you? Well you might be the person who makes things better. You might be the person that makes a difference. You might even be the one who changes the world. You have within you the ability to at least help one person and maybe many people. You’ve got a story to be told. You’ve got a battle to be won. My faith says you were created on purpose to do good things that were prepared in advance for you, by a creator who loves you sacrificially. (Ephesians 2:10) There is a real purpose in your life and a real resistance that comes against you and that purpose. Resist it and live.

Who are you? You’re someone creating a better life, maybe even, in some big or small way, a better world.

Fight the resistance!