The church needs creativity now more than ever.

Each day people are bombarded by hundreds of messages…
but one is most important. The Gospel of Jesus Christ. We in the church have been entrusted with taking that message to the ends of the earth. How do we stand out among the noise and get their attention? The good news is God has gifted people with gifts and talents designed to do just that. Some of them are in our churches and some are beyond our walls.

My name is Dave Weiss. I’m an artist, a pastor and a speaker, but it wasn’t always that way. Oh I’ve been an artist for as long as I can remember, but I’m in the ministry today because of two things. Someone cared enough to introduce me to Jesus Christ, and a pastor found my gift of art as showed me how I could use my gift to serve the Lord. That was transformational.

My passion is to help people find and use their gifts to serve the Lord both in the church and in the market place and to help the church to embrace Creativity. I do workshops, Gospel presentations and more to creatively encourage and build up the Body of Christ. I’d love to work with you and your church. Contact me today!

The Blog starts below!

Give Thanks

Posted: November 24, 2022 in Uncategorized

This is the sermonette I gave as part of our Thanksgiving Eve Service. I call it “Give Thanks.”

I feel the need to start this review with a confession. The author of this book is a good friend of mine. Maybe that colored my review, but I doubt it. This book is gold! Gordon Douglas is a stand up comic, a minister and more and this book shares not just his journey, but the things he learned along the way and things he wishes he knew. Here is a man who has raised at 19 kids, traveled the world doing what he loves, but it’s not all glamour. He shares so many life lessons in this book that it is hard to categorize. Is it a memoir? Yes! Is it a self-help book? Also yes and it is much more. Growth Spurts and Growing Pains by Gordon Douglas is hilarious in one moment and tear-jerkingly tender and touching in the next. Gordon is a man I’ve known for a long time, but I know him a lot better now, but that’s not the best part. This book has helped me to learn more about me, not to mention the God I serve. This book is brilliant, check it out.

A Facebook friend posted the above question the other day. Needless to say, I have heard it before many times and every time I see it, it takes me to things I could do with my gifts and talents. If I could not fail I would live my dreams. This time as I contemplated, I started to realize my response to that question is somewhat narcissistic. The ability not to fail is a huge amount of power, and my first thoughts were how to use it to do what I want. In truth I wan’t being a narcissist, I was simply looking at my gifts and my abilities what I have to offer, meager though they may be. Most of the changes that I feel I should be making with that level of power are not in my wheelhouse. Curing cancer, or some other dread disease, ending poverty or homelessness, and this presented a whole new problem. What important thing would get left out as I try to figure out how to use this superpower otherwise known as the inability to fail?

Another through occurred to me. I could just make a big blanket statement. I would solve all the world’s problems, but still there is a problem, in that some of the things some people see as a problem, others may not see as a problem at all. Even in trying to be benevolent, I could create more problems. This question is even more complex than it looks and I think that’s because it’s the wrong question. The inability to fail is the stuff of God. Indeed God is the only One who cannot fail. Only He knows the right thing to do every time and at just the right time. The rest of us would just make a bigger mess. So let’s leave infallibility to God and look at this a different way.

None of us is immune to failure, especially if we are trying something new. What if instead of asking what would you do if you could not fail, you asked another question? Are you ready?

What would you be willing to fail at over and over again until you succeeded?

See now we have some skin in the game. Now it’s not that everything is easy and you can’t fail. Now you’re going to invest your blood, sweat and tears in accomplishing your dream or your mission. You’re going to do the work. You’re going to find the thing is most important to you and you’re going to go down into the trenches and slog it out til you win, and if you don’t get everything accomplished that you want to accomplish you will have at least paved the way for the next dreamer to pick up where you left off.

What would I do if I knew I couldn’t fail? When it is all said and done, I figured out what that would be. I realized that solving all the world’s problems was daunting, but I do know the thing that would go a long way toward that. I know the thing that is needed most in our world. If I knew I could not fail, I would evangelize the whole world for Jesus, but here’s the truth. I can fail, and I have and I will.

Here’s to keeping on trying one soul at a time. Anybody want to join me?

Where’s the Joy?

Posted: August 10, 2022 in Uncategorized

So I’m watching a Christian movie, and it’s not bad, but why do we have to take the main characters so far down before we can lift them up. I was getting so depressed, but then I realized it’s not all that unrealistic. I know the depths I fell to and where the Lord brought me from. That’s redemption. But it’s not just that. I have looked at the world and all that is going on, and I can go to dark places too, even now as a man of faith. I am redeemed and yet I still see the need tor redemption all around me. It can be overwhelming but that’s kind of the point.

We can’t do this on our own. We need the Redeemer. This world needs Jesus but there is something else they need. They need joy. We can’t afford to wallow in the dark places, the joy of the Lord is our strength. We can acknowledge that the darkness, but we need to remember to walk in the light, because darkness is conquered, every single time by light. Jesus is the light of the world. In Him is light and that light is the life of all mankind. We need to rest in Him, trust in Him, find His joy, point the world to its Redeemer and we need to shine with His light.  

Every so often publishers will send me emails offering review copies of their latest offerings. When I saw the title Crazy Joy, I was automatically drawn to it and asked for a copy. You see of late, things happening in our world have been weighing on me and maybe even stealing my joy. I figured I needed to read this book. When I review books, I will often look up the author just to find more about them and I did so with Ms. Backstrom. I found some things that showed we would likely have some pretty major disagreements. I became worried specifically because of the sub title of the book: “Finding wild happiness in a world that’s upside down.” I began to wonder what if she spends her time on what is upside down and the things she thinks are upside down are what I think is right side up? Would I finish this book crazy but without the joy I have been seeking?

I considered not reading the book, but seeing as how I hate cancel culture with the white hot passion of a thousand suns, I decided it would be best not to engage in it. I determined to read the book. I am glad I did. I finished it in two days. This book is devoid of controversy but instead deals with the matter at hand, helping people to find joy and she does it masterfully. This book is chock full of humorous and poignant stories from the author’s life (and a few other sources) that meld beautifully with the point she is making. If you are a person who is struggling to find joy, this is a book for you. It is well written, thought provoking and joy invoking. I thoroughly enjoyed it, and it reminded me of something else, that I know pretty well but that is missing in much of our society. We don’t have to agree on every point to gain from each other. What we need to do is learn to understand each other, “hear” each other out, disagree agreeably and love our neighbors. I think we’d find a lot more joy in life if we did. Nice work Ms. Backstrom.

What Do You Do?

Posted: August 6, 2022 in Uncategorized

As many of you know, I am working on my doctorate through Kingdom Bible College and Seminary. In the process of my research, I came upon a book from a major expert on creativity. I haven’t gotten very far. In the introductory chapters, he speaks of God as if He is something we created to help us understand the things going on in the world, and basically asserts that as humanity’s creativity advanced, we no longer had the need for a god. I wanted to throw the book out the window, but it’s on my Kindle Fire and I’d just as soon not wreck that. I thought about quitting the book, and yet I am struggling. I’m not ashamed to admit the man’s point of view frustrates me, but is there still something to be learned from his research and scholarship? I’m really torn. I know there are many in the arts who would happily share his point of view, and many in the world who would see my reaction as narrow minded, but I am sorry, I know my Creator and I believe any creativity I have has been endowed on me by my Creator. To see God belittled as a figment of my imagination is hurtful and for the context of the book completely unnecessary. The book is not assigned reading or anything like that. It is just a book that comes well recommended. Am I being too thin-skinned? Am I becoming the Christian version of the “cancel-culture” from the world which I passionately hate?

Here’s what I think I will do. I think I will read on, and direct my anger and frustration and prayer for the author and all those who think like him. I think I will try to glean any good information on creativity that I can in hopes that it will help my research and then in the process, I will do what I planned to do all along which is write (as best as I am able) the consummate book on creativity for the Church, one that acknowledges our Lord on every page and encourages believing creatives to use their creativity for the sake of the Gospel and the Kingdom of God.

What would you do?

Would You Rather?

Posted: August 5, 2022 in Uncategorized

I’ve been ministering this week for the Family Art Camp at the Washington, PA Corps of the Salvation Army with my friends Captains Amber and Jason Imhoff, and what a blessed week it has been! I have been responsible for the evening messages and some of the art projects, while Amber has been doing other art projet/crafts and some icebreaker games. Last night’s game really got me thinking. We played “Would You Rather?” based on things that happened in the Bible. Basically the participants had to go to the side of the room that matched their answer. One of the questions really hit me.

“Would you rather have 15 years added to your live (like Hezekiah) or ride to heaven in a flaming chariot (like Elijah)?”

For me this one wasn’t even hard. I made a b-line for the side of the room for having 15 years added to your life. That might sound shallow or even unspiritual for someone who does what I do. Here’s why it’s not. I am a believer in Jesus Christ. He is my Lord and Savior and I believe with all my heart that His sacrifice secures my space in eternity. I’d have to believe there will be a lot of opportunities for flaming chariot rides where I am headed when this life is through. Here’s what I am also sure of. This world is a mess and everywhere I look are people who need to find the hope that I have found. 15 more years of life (tacked on to whatever God is already determined to give me, since He already knows what that is), would equal 15 more years to do good in this world. It would be fifteen more years to share the good news of Jesus Christ with that many more people. There’s nothing that compares to serving the Lord, especially when I know what’s on the other side. Lord, I know what is on the other side of the grave because of the hope I have found in you. Please give me as much time as you desire to share that hope while I am here.

The Power of Prayer

Posted: August 1, 2022 in Uncategorized

I recently came upon a post which spoke to the idea of reframing I’ll pray for you. They included this graphic.

This was my response…

“I’ll pray for you, and…’ any of these would be fine, except for “holding space” because what the heck does that mean? lol Seriously we who are believers have to resist giving into culture’s idea that prayer is the equivalent to doing nothing. I understand that not everyone believes in the power of prayer, but I think we need to at least acknowledge our belief in it. I often go back to the story of the paralyzed man lowered through the roof in front of Jesus. Notice it says when Jesus saw their faith. It wasn’t necessarily the faith of the paralyzed man that borough his healing but rather of the guys willing to go to extraordinary lengths to bring their friend before the Lord. That’s prayer and when God acts on our prayers, people should know what we believe happened… Just my two cents.”

Prayer is taking the situation to the Creator of all things, the most powerful being in the Universe. It is not just something it is THE thing, and to my mind it should be the first thing. What say you?

What do you do when the first pages of a memoir speak of being hit by a truck and living to tell the tale? You read on. This is a thoroughly enjoyable memoir from a phenomenal musician, Mark Lee of Third Day. It’s more than just a behind the music episode. This is the story of one man’s journey to “happily ever after” and coming to the realization that that’s not really the point. This is a wonderful story of life, music, faith and a God who is bigger than all we face. Great stuff and I highly recommend it.

I found this book at Hobby Lobby on clearance. What a shame. This book is extraordinary. It’s all about forming good habits and breaking bad ones. Batterson’s thesis is simple. Do it for a day! It’s the old proverb, “How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time” fleshed out in wonderful ways. Combining scriptural stories with stories of more modern people with plenty of examples, Batterson writes a useful, instructive and highly relatable book. Following his own format, the book is designed to be read a chapter a day, which is essentially how I read it, and as a result I have already done some work on a few of my habits and learned a lot in the process. This thing is inspiring. Pick up your copy ASAP, as a matter of face, do it today.