Posts Tagged ‘dave weiss’

A friend of mine on Facebook shared this yesterday and it bears repeating. Did you ever notice there seem to be some people who have a vested interest in keeping us angry? Here’s what Cindy Fetty-Lawliss has to say about it.

“In my feed today
From the right: mass hysteria about Starbucks kicking out officers, Colin Kapernick telling Nike not to make the Betsy Ross shoes, and all the things that need to be boycotted based on these things
From the left: racism revolving around Disney movie character, Trump misspoke at 4th of July in a rediculous way, and all the reasons we need to be angry at Trump and white America.
Am I completely crazy, or is there something out there that wants us to be angry at each other all the time. I am calling propaganda on all of it. I’m tired of letting bots and ad space fuel my feelings. Someone is paying to make us mad. I’m not buying.”

I felt the need to add a comment.

“DING, DING, DING… We have a winner! You nailed it sister. Follow the money. Peace and love are better, but you know what they don’t generate? REVENUE. So the media knows their constituency and reports accordingly. An angry populace keeps watching. Watching increases ratings. Ratings drive advertising revenues. Advertising revenues equal MONEY AND MONEY IS POWER at least in their world! They gain wealth, power and authority by keeping us at each other’s throats and as a result they cannot (with some exceptions) be trusted. Big media is bad, social media is worse, because too often we share things ad infinitum without considering whether or not they’re true. (“You shall not bear false witness, remember?) What should we do instead? It’s nose to the grindstone time. It’s speak the truth in love time. It’s love your neighbor time and dare I say it, it’s SPREAD THE GOSPEL TIME! Thanks for posting this!”

Brothers and sisters, as followers of Jesus, we are in the “truth business,” especially since God has given us gifts that are often related to communication. It is our job to speak that truth in love. Not trying to anger others, not trying to win others to our side, but speaking the truth. If the truth offends, that is really the problem of the offended, unless we are saying it in such a way as to be deliberately offensive. One of the great ways to check yourself is with a few questions, such as:

• As I share this, do I have the person’s best interests at heart?
• Do I care about them and am I trying to genuinely help them?
• Am I treating this person like I would if I knew Jesus was watching/reading and would He be pleased? (Because He is watching/reading.)

Friends there are a lot of things in this world that need a comment, and more than a few on which we should take a stand, but which stand. At the end of the day, the most important thing is the eternal thing and a good eternity requires Jesus. Will your action, post, comment or creation bring someone closer to Jesus or drive them further away?

Keep the main thing, the main thing?

It seems there is always a tension between art and commerce, the legend of the starving artist, stokes this. To make money from your art is seen as selling out, and this is only compounded when faith is thrown into the mix. I hear so many ministries saying things like they will not sell the Gospel or they don’t let money get in the way of the Gospel. I’ve said it too at times and when I said it, I meant it. I truly desire more than anything for the Gospel to go forth, but here’s the thing—nothing is free, and we creatives had better learn this lesson.

I’ll say it again nothing is free. Maybe it’s not quite true. When I create something and someone displays it on their wall, everyone who sees it, sees it for free. I post this blog and you can read it for free (though I did sacrifice some free time to generate it).There have also been times when I will waive my fee and walk away without a check, but again please understand, just because I felt led to give something away and/or donate my services does not mean it was free. It means I paid for it and gave it as a gift. It means my family paid for it in time away from me and resources I diverted from them into my gift. My church allowed me to be away for the time it took me to do what I do, and while I no doubt end up making up that time in other ways, the income I receive from my other efforts, provides for the things I do charitably. I do this willingly, but I can’t do it every time and neither can you. Nothing is free.

If you’re one of those people who has forked out your hard earned money to bring me in, thank you. I love that you have placed the faith in me to put me in front of your people and I take that responsibility extremely seriously. I pray that God has blessed you through me. If you’re one of the people who have received something for free, please know I love and appreciate you as well. This is not meant to be any sort of complaint. What it is, is a reminder to my artist friends that the workman is worthy of his hire. When you give your services away, do it because you feel led by the Lord, not because you worry someone will say “You’re only in it for the money.” Some may also try, “well you need to trust the Lord to provide.” He does provide and He has provided for me both often and occasionally even miraculously, but the way He has most often provided was by leading people to pay for what I do.

Lastly, I know there is someone out there who is thinking, “Hey wait, salvation is free.” Respectfully to think that is to totally misunderstand your faith. Yes, your salvation through faith in Christ is God’s gift to you, but please remember, Jesus paid a high price to give you that gift.

Nothing is free.

My friend John C Brown IV is a brilliant artist. You might call him an abstract impressionist, but I prefer to leave labels to others, and instead just say his work is amazing. He and I used to get together to create from time to time and those were some of the most blessed creative times I have ever had. He was pretty new to making art back then but even his early work showed immense promise. He has since moved with his family to the other side of the country in Bend, OR and so even though I miss those creative times, it is thrilling to see him coming into his own. His work is positively anointed. His latest collection, currently on display at his church’s amazing gallery is entitled simply The Star Series. You have just got to see it to believe it. Check it out here.

I’ve been called upon to do a 6 foot by 8 foot live painting for a camp here in PA. This is a different situation for me in some ways, because usually when I do a live painting I am also the speaker, so I’m also there to talk the viewers through what I’m thinking. This time I’m only doing the painting. My first run at a sketch just didn’t work so for the next run, I went classic. Their theme is on finding fulfillment, so I just did a straight up Jesus, since He is the alpha and the omega, the beginning and the end, He is the fulfillment of the OT law, of Scripture and, at least in my view, the ultimate source of fulfillment.

Why am I cross posting this one? Art is communication. If we want people to get our meaning, we need to make it speak clearly. My first run at this was misunderstood or maybe more correctly was just not understood and while, as I stated above, had I been the speaker, I would have been able to explain the piece to the audience and they would have gotten it. That’s all well and good if that audience is the only group to see the piece, but this piece will be kept and displayed probably for quite some time to be seen by people who were not in attendance when I made it. They need to get it too if I want the art to fulfill a greater purpose. Sometimes it’s best to keep a piece simple so it can be understood. An open armed Christ speaks volumes.

Today is our last day of vacation. Later this morning we will start the long drive home. We’ve been away. It’s been a time of refreshing. There was a time for me when this was a day filled with dread, but these days, not so much. Oh, it’s not that I haven’t enjoyed being away, because I really have. It’s more that, other than the aforementioned drive home, I really do enjoy what I’m going back to. We stayed in a condo at the beach this year. I don’t know how it is in your part of the world but around here, hotels at the beach have become so expensive that you can actually rent someone’s vacation home cheaper than being cramped into a way overpriced hotel room. I do like this. All the comforts of home with none of the responsibilities.

Every year, I stop to wonder, “Could we do this?” Could we buy a little place and rent it out most of the year, allowing others to pay our mortgage? After all, my wife and I love the beach. The answer is probably not. I’m not sure that would be good stewardship, and besides if it was ours, would it still feel as if we were away? In spite my love for all I do all year long, there is something to be said for time away. It’s a time to rethink and reassess. It’s a time to read and think and pray. It’s a time to let your mind wander and imagine. It’s a time to ask “What if?” Sometimes stepping away for a week is all it takes to get a little quieter and find that idea that change everything.

The truth is, I love it here, but I couldn’t live like this. Everything is more expensive, the food is richer. (The one thing I dread about “re-entry” is getting on the scale.) I’ve often wondered if this place would be as special if I was here all the time. Yesterday I saw a pod of dolphins playing, and most likely feeding, at the place where the bay feeds into the ocean. I could have watched them for hours. I never want to get to the place in life where that is ordinary and, dare I say, boring. No, I’ve been away, I’ve been to see and experience something I really enjoy. I’ve been away. I’ve rested and thought. I’ve dreamed, and I’ve imagined and been inspired. Now it’s time to take that, and do what I can to see some of the things I’ve dreamed become real. I’ve been away, now it’s time to go home and do what create a better reality for the people I’ve been given to love.

At the end of the day, that’s the real purpose of being away, isn’t it? To get recharged so we can go back and make our part of the world, that blessing from God we call home (for now), a better place for the people He has given us to love. I think it is.

I am writing this from the screened in porch next to a nice pond with a bubbling fountain at the place we rented for our vacation. I just finished my morning Scripture reading from the chaotic book of 2 Kings and the adventures of Paul from Acts 18. It’s almost ironic that I am reading about such upheaval while in such a serene place, but that’s what vacation is supposed to be, right? The chaos in the world around you still exists, but time away recharges us for what lies ahead.

What lies ahead for me? Well the stuff I know about is exciting. I’m heading into a busy season of ministry. One of the busiest I have had so far, and that excites me. There is much work to be done, both at the church and “on the road” and there is a real temptation to dig into it even now, but I find I must resist that, and depend on the Lord. I need to be present for my family, they deserve no less. Over the next two months, Lord willing, there is a lot of travel in store and there will be some time apart. I need to invest this time in them and in rejuvenating me. Just because I love what I do, does not mean I don’t get tired. I’ve often wished I’d have had this life in my 20s when I was more energetic, but that’s a pointless exercise. I was nowhere near ready. Even today, this all depends on God.

God has blessed me tremendously and I praise Him. I praise Him for busyness, because it provides the opportunity to bear fruit for the Kingdom. Please pray that I will be used to do just that. I also praise God for this time away. Please pray that I will use it well and come away recharged.

I am a blessed man. I have many titles in my life, artist, pastor, minister, speaker, teacher, but there are three that carry a more primary importance, husband, father and grandfather. These three titles are primary. It’s really easy to let the first five overshadow the last three and I have been guilty of this many, many times. That is a huge mistake. Those last three titles represent my primary ministry. My marriage to my wife is of huge importance, and that relationship colors all the rest. My effectiveness in all other area if that one relationship is not doing well. God has also blessed me with two great sons. Again my marriage is of primary importance in these relationships. This was of utmost importance in their childhood, but even now as they are grown, their mother and I still have much to model for them. And then there is the great blessing of my grandson, David John, who always puts a smile on my face.

One of the main things I have to model is how the ministry effects my relationships. Show them through my actions, that the ministry is more important than them and I will tarnish their opinion of the church and the God I serve. It’s a tight rope, balancing act and one that we who minister all have to navigate, because here’s the thing: I think we all want to serve well. We want to honor God with our lives and do the very best we can for the people we serve. There is a very real temptation at times to push our primary relationships to the back burner thinking I’ll make it up to them later. This is usually not the case because later keeps getting later. Any career can cause this to happen, but those of us in ministry have to be especially careful, because how we handle our priorities has a great chance to reflect on our God.

By the way that is our primary relationship. If we learn to keep God in first place, all the rest will fall into place. Please remember God and ministry are not the same thing. Our relationship with God is different from what we do ostensibly for Him. Keep Him first and your loved ones second and after that, let everything else fall into it’s natural position. In our relational lives priorities are tremendously important.

Please learn this from me. I learned it the hard way.

God bless, and happy Father’s day to all the dads and spiritual fathers out there.