Posts Tagged ‘creativity’

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’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.

I want this site to be more than just me loading what I think onto the “inter-webs” I want this to be a place of encouragement, inspiration and information that will help people who want to use their creative gifts to serve the Lord. What are your struggles? Problems? Where are you stuck? Do you need an idea? Maybe a way to open the door to your ministry in the local church. Whatever you need, I want to be here for you.

Or maybe you’re a church leader. You don’t necessarily consider yourself to be creative (you’re wrong about that by the way, but for now baby steps…) and you want to empower and encourage the creatives in your midst. I’d love to help you too. Contact me and lets see what we can do. Finally maybe you need someone to come into your church (or camp, or school) or whatever to demonstrate some of whats possible while powerfully and creatively sharing the Gospel for a special program or workshop. I can help you with that too. Contact me and let’s work together to help the church to be the most creative place in your community to the glory of God.

I’m here for you. Contact me in the comments below or at

There’s an old saying, “Don’t meet your heroes.” Well I kind of broke that one last night and I don’t understand what the problem is. I met one of my favorite communicators, comedian Brad Stein and he was everything I’d hoped he’d be. He is one of those guys who can have you rolling on the floor laughing and before you know it, he is driving home a deep point that makes a lot of sense. I love that kind of comedy—it makes you laugh, and it makes you think.

I have to admit I was nervous. We brought Brad in for a performance at the church I pastor. When he went on, he jokingly mentioned that I risked my entire ministry to bring him in and while that was a stretch, there was a certain ring of truth to it. Oh, I love my congregation and they love me, and we know each other really well by this point, but there is a risk. It’s like when you make a new friend and you know they are a great person, but when you introduce them to your other friends you hope they will like your friend as much as you do. Well my nervousness was wasted. Brad’s performance was hilarious, his timing was impeccable and his material really connected with everyone. He interacted with the audience, in a good natured and hilarious way. His set was both tight and well prepared with just the right amount of spontaneity to keep it very fresh. The comedy was on point.

We took a brief intermission at about the midpoint, and then he shifted gears into The God Experience. This part of the performance was incredible. There was still comedy, but it was combined with some really amazing illusions and, believe it or not, apologetics. Yes, Brad Stine used his considerable entertainment skills to prove there is a God and communicate the Gospel. His knowledge of theology and philosophy was impressive (He is a true thinking man’s comic). The fact that he could present all this information in such an entertaining, engaging way, was even more impressive. He had everyone engaged from the youngest children on up. It was a great evening.

Even better was watching him interact with my folks after the show. He was kind and gracious and, of course funny. He was with us as part of what he calls his “No Church Too Small Tour” and that really holds true. He made it affordable for even a small church like mine. I was really impressed by that. This is a man who has performed in some of the largest churches and conferences and comedy clubs in the world, as well as appearing on TV and in movies, making himself available to small churches in order to help us build the Kingdom. I was blessed and so was my congregation as well as all the many visitors that came in from other churches and the community in general. I cannot recommend Brad Stine highly enough. He worked with us. He was kind and humble. This is a guy who really cares about the church and building the Kingdom. If you get the chance, bring him in.

When I first started making art for money, I used to charge by the hour. I don’t really sell my art very often anymore, but when I do, I’d almost rather give it away than get paid by the hour. I remember once or twice back in the day when someone actually thought I should only need a half hour to do a project because that’s how long it took Bob Ross. Aggravating! Now one of the things I do as part of my ministry is speed painting, where I paint a painting in six minutes or less. Two things about that—first of all it’s not the best painting I can do, but it is the best painting I can do in six minutes and the fact that I can do it in six minutes is the what makes it interesting.

Of course that last statement is part of the problem. People will also say things like, “I don’t know how you can do a painting like that in six minutes.” The most honest answer is I can’t. First of all it has been a very rare occasion where I have done a speed painting for the first time before an audience. Usually I sketch and plan and practice, though occasionally I will feel a leading in the Spirit to do something I have never done before. To be honest, it usually works because when the Spirit leads, He also empowers, but there is something else to be considered. I started making art when I was three years old, and basically have been creating ever since. In other words, I don’t paint a painting in six minutes. I paint a painting in six minutes and fifty years.

Your work has value, not just in the amount of time it actually takes you to create the actual piece, but also in the years it took to build the skills it took to do it. What you do can only be done by the people who have put in the work. Value that as well. This video I saw on-line illustrates the point perfectly.

This guy can do more with a couple ball point pens than I can do with a full studio. Let this video inspire you. My only wish is that he would have demonstrated his technique in the clip.