Posts Tagged ‘dave weiss’


If you’ve been around for any length of time on this blog, you know that a guiding verse of this ministry is “Each one should use whatever gifts he has received to serve others…” 1 Peter 4:10 I love that verse and I love it even more when it manifests. My denomination has a wonderful retirement community not too far from the church I pastor, and we frequently do things with them. It’s always a great blessing. Well one of the things they do is this huge flower show, each year. It’s really an incredible undertaking.
One day in my email, I saw a note looking for volunteers to help out. When I saw the theme of the show this year, I knew this one was for me. It’s super powers and flowers—a superhero theme. I fired off a note saying I would love to help out and told about my passion for cartooning and comic art. Today we met to discuss the parameters of the event. One of the things I love is how much they get the residents involved. There is a wide assortment of really incredible gifts there. I just think that’s great. I not only get to do what I love, but I get to collaborate with a large group of creatives who will get an opportunity to do what they love. It’s a golden opportunity given my gifts and passions and I could not be more excited to get started.

It never ceases to amaze me all the different ways this really non-traditional gift God has given can be used his glory. But here’s the clean little secret… everything God gives is intended to be used to His glory that’s why the verse says “whatever…” So what have you been given? Far too many people think if their gift is one of the big three “churchy gifts” (preaching, teaching and music) it has no use in the Kingdom. Nothing could be further from the truth. Take what you have been given and put it to work. Volunteer, let people know you’re out there and do all God has given you. You never know what God can use, but God does and He wants to do great things through you.

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As you all know, one of the things I encourage is creating every day. Well for the last 9 days or so, I have been participating in a challenge called Inktober. It’s basically just a challenge to create something each day. Well I got in and really didn’t completely understand the challenge until about five days in when I found the official prompt list. A prompt list is a list of challenges meant to stretch you further. Well, once I found the list, I decided to catch up and play along. Yesterday after a very busy few weeks, I took a creative day and aside from the two sessions I worked on for my masters class, I decided to schedule a day of creative fun, where I played catch up. I now have all nine days done so far. It will now be much easier to stay caught up.

They really don’t take me a lot of time and I’m setting my own parameters. I’ve decided to call my series, The Faces of Inktober, and as such I am making stylized pieces based on the influence I am currently exploring, as mentioned earlier, the car artists of the 60s and 70s. These parameters force me to work on only one thing and finding ways to make the prompt fit my theme. That makes me get even more creative and the parameter of doing only a face and a simple background, keeps me in something I can do in a manageable amount of time. It’s really stretching me and I’m having fun. Further I have decided to do most of my pieces in symmetry. As such I am drawing a very detailed “half face” and then manipulating the art in photoshop to make the completed piece.

Today’s word was precious. Now my first thought was a portrait of my grandson, but I’m not a great realist, so I decided to go with my first instinct instead. Gollum from The Lord of the Rings, because he called the ring his “precious.” This fit much better with the style in which I am working, and it was fun. When I finish the challenge, I am planning on making a video called The Faces of Inktober. Watch for it in early November on my Youtube channel. How do you challenge yourself to grow and to be more creative.


I was on Facebook the other day and I saw something called #inktober. The basic idea is for all us artsy types who work in ink, to create a piece each day. I decided, since I usually already create at least one piece every day, to participate. I think it will be fun, but more than that, it gives me a goal and a challenge. Where before I might put creating off for a day or two, now I’m more likely to put something out.

Last year, I participated in NaNoWriMo in November. NaNoWriMo stands for National Novel Writing Month. The idea behind the challenge is pretty simple, by the end of November you should have a 50,000 word rough manuscript. They have a pretty great website where you can log your daily word count, get inspiration, encouragement, etc. My book Enough, while not technically a novel was the result of my participation in NaNoWriMo. I’m not sure if I will be participating in NaNoWriMo this year, as it is a lot of work at a pastor’s busiest time of year, but I do have a screenplay/novel that has been gnawing at my brain, and a Master’s thesis that could probably be blessed by a challenge, so you never know.

The point in sharing these things is this. If you are a person who finds yourself stuck creatively, or you just want to do something fun, a challenge is a great way to break the creative ice. I’m sure there are challenges out there for just about every creative discipline if you know where to look. They really can be helpful. It all comes down to that idea of how to eat an elephant. One bite at a time. Large challenges can be so intimidating. If I told you you had to create 31 pieces of work this month, you might be tempted to throw up your hands and say no way can I do that, but to do one a day is really not terribly difficult. If I told you I need you to write 50,000 words in a month, you might have a similar reaction, but 1500 words a day feels much more manageable.

I will close with the words of speaker/author Andy Andrews. When asked if he likes to write, he said, “I like having written.” Thousands, maybe millions of people want to write a book or create great art. The ones who succeed are the ones who do the work. Challenges can help us in that regard. Find a challenge and get involved. On a related note, what kind of challenge might we offer here that would be beneficial to you in your ministry.

By the way here is day three of #inktober for me. I’m really into car art these days, so probably more than a few of these will probably reflect that influence (like this one), while others will be from ministry presentations, posters, etc. Sometimes it’s more about creating than it is about what you create.


I want to do more than just talk about creating here. I also need to be creating. That’s what I did today. I created a couple new graphics for a one I’m working on, influenced by some of my favorite art, the car artists like Big Daddy Roth. It’s not particularly spiritual, I’m not expecting to sell millions of them or anything, it just keeps my skills sharp and satisfies my need to create. Basically what happens is when my family is sitting before the TV, sort of mindlessly watching, I get out the sketchbook and have some fun. It stretches my imagination, I try to figure out how to make the image look the way I picture it in my head, and when I have something I like, I ink it, put it into the mighty MacBook and paint it. When it’s done I upload it to my Zazzle shop and my Deviant Art gallery, in case anyone sees it and wants it, but again it’s mainly just for fun, as well as some artistic growth.

What do you think? How do you keep your skills sharp?


I have to say, I got this book for free through Pastor Resources. I requested a copy because I have seen Brian Houston several times and have thoroughly enjoyed his insights. If you’re not familiar, Houston is the founding pastor of Hillsong Church. This book did not disappoint. In the book Houston speaks of “more”. Not more as in possessions, or accomplishment, but in more of God and His plan and purpose for your life. This book is excessively encouraging (which I think is a great thing!). Houston weaves stories from his life and past into a thoroughly biblical look at what it means to have more of the God who is able to exceedingly more than we can think, ask or imagine.

If you are feeling in need of encouragement, read this book. If you are feeling a little stagnate in your Spiritual growth, read this book. If you look at life and sometimes feel lime there has got to be more… there really is, so read this book.


Well this past week was a long bur wonderful one. In eight days I had the privilege of ministering the Gospel eight times. It started Sunday bringing a message on dealing with offense at my home church, Springfield Church of the Brethren. I’ve been working on a series on overcoming offense with love. On Monday I packed up all my supplies and headed for eastern Ohio early Tuesday morning, to minister with my friends Bill and Brenda Weiss at their amazing home also known as the Liberty Raymond Tavern. No I haven’t gone out to play the bar circuit. Their home was a stagecoach stop back in the 19th century as well as a stop on the Underground Railroad. They have a barn on the property where they have a weekly worship gathering. It is always a great time, always intimate and meaningful. They hosted me for the week and helped me to connect with my other stops.

Wednesday, I ministered at the church that first brought me to the area. I ministered at the closing night for the Spiritual renewal services at Bristolville Church of the Brethren. When i first went to Bristolville in 2014, they arranged for me to stay with “the other Weisses” and we’ve ministered together ever since. This time in Bristolville, I did my newest presentation Love Like Jesus, and we had a great night. Thanks to Fred Keener and the folks at Bristolville for having me back once again.

Thursday, Bill Weiss and I traveled to Erie, PA so that I could speak for a meeting of the Erie Chapter of the Full Gospel Businessmen’s Association. I first spoke at a FGBA Dinner last year and I have come to really enjoy them. The FGBA usually asked that their speakers give a testimony rather than a sermon, and I was delighted to give mine, complete with a live painting from my presentation, Pictures of Jesus. On Friday I did a similar message at the Sharon, PA chapter’s dinner. I always enjoy challenging people to use what God has given to His glory and I thank both chapters for having me.

Before the meeting in Sharon on Friday, I was privileged to tape my first TV program. I was a guest on Crossing Paths with Don Reed Sr. and Ron Kosor. I did my lion and lamb painting called Dichotomy, which is also part of Pictures of Jesus and deals with what we can know about Jesus, just by knowing His name. It was really exciting to see how a TV show is done and I look forward to seeing the episode when it airs.

Early Saturday morning I bid the “other Weisses” farewell and drove the seven hours home only to get up early Sunday morning to drive to Quakertown to minister the two Harvest Home services at Quakertown Church of the Brethren. In the morning service I did Hurried, Buried and Worried, and in the afternoon, I did the full presentation of Pictures of Jesus. It was a really good day of ministry that I enjoyed thoroughly.

By the time I arrived home on Sunday afternoon, I was tired but feeling blessed. Ministering the Gospel through the arts is truly a wonderful blessing. I love what I get to do and I look forward to returning to my home church this Sunday and to my next adventures. God is good.

I believe it was St. Irenaus who said, “The glory of God is man fully alive.” Someone else once said, “Do what you love and you’ll never work a day in your life.” I think the truth is somewhere in the middle. I love what I do, but it’s just one aspect of what makes me fully alive. My family and my relationship with God are a huge part of that as well. At the same time, I absolutely love what I do, but it is a lot of hard work and it’s in doing the work, as faithfully as I can, that God gets the glory.

If you’d like to see me bring my ministry to your church, please contact me.


Last night I revisited the church that brought me to this part of Ohio four years ago, Bristolville Church of the Brethren, in Bristolville, OH. It was really nice to reconnect with old friends. It was the last evening of their spiritual renewal services, and I had a great time.

This was my second time presenting the Love Like Jesus presentation I started doing in August. I have to say I am really starting to love this presentation. The impetus for it was really simple. A camp I was invited to speak at had the theme Love Like Jesus and they asked me to do a presentation on that topic. Well needless to say I was excited about the theme but I quickly ran into a problem. How does Jesus love? Oh it’s not that I was having a hard time coming up with ideas. No the problem was I had too many for any kind of a clear and concise message. How do you describe the greatest love there has ever been in an hour or less? I decided I needed to go back to the tried and true three point sermon format, because sometimes you need to put boundaries on your message. Part of what helped was listening to the radio in the preparation process and hearing Cory Asbury’s song Reckless Love. I’ll put a video of it at the end of the post. It really does a great job of describing God’s love, overwhelming, never ending and in a way reckless.

Then I read a post where someone took issue with the idea of God’s love being reckless. After all, God is all knowing and all powerful, is anything reckless for him. Of course, for Him, though it may appear to us that it is, it isn’t, but if we look at loving like Jesus, I think it’s safe to assume that for us, it will definitely appear reckless if we choose to try to love as He loves.

I also looked at His love being unconditional and sacrificial. While we may not be able to pull off unconditional in perfection, we can certainly strive to love and choose to love in spite of circumstances that might lead us to do otherwise. As far as sacrificial love goes, of course we cannot reach the level that Jesus did, but because of what He did, we don’t have to. He is the once and for, all supreme sacrifice. What we can do is sacrifice our plans, our time, even our rights for the sake of loving on other people. Wouldn’t our world be a lot better if we loved in these three ways?

I think it would.

Here is the painting I did. I call it You Can’t Kill Love.

And here is that wonderful song by Cory Asbury.