Posts Tagged ‘dave weiss’


Last night I finished up a two night revival series. I had such a great time and I love what I do so much. The first night I did Pictures of Jesus and last night was one I call Forgiven, which deals with forgiveness starting in Genesis and going all the way to the cross. I hadn’t done that one in a while but it was perfect for this lenten season we find ourselves in. There’s something in Forgiven that brings forward all the times when I have had to forgive and that can make me think about pain.

See, I’d be lying if I told you this artistic journey has been easy. There’s been tons of rejection, a lot of soul searching, times when I had hard lessons to learn, when I left my priorities run amok, and frankly times when others took advantage of me. Of course I haven’t even mentioned the bullying that happened throughout much of childhood for a kid who would rather draw a picture than do some of the stuff the other kids were doing. The road to where I am now has not been an easy one, but I praise God for the way he has brought me through to where I am now. He has taught me to depend on Him and for that I am grateful. My life now is better than I ever could have imagined.

At the end of the service last night I met a young artist, looking for her place in the church and the arts. As she spoke, at times I felt like I was hearing my own voice, our stories in some ways seemed similar. She wants to use her gift to serve the Lord. Man, that excites me. Maybe in some small way, I was used to inspire her and I really hope God fans that spark into a flame. You see every time someone hears what God has given me to share and moves forth in it, I get a little more clarity. Who knows? Maybe the things I went through will help someone else to persevere, and do the work and thrive to God’s glory. If God uses me, even in small ways, if the things I’ve been through help someone else, I get to see the purpose in the pain.

Romans 8:28, one of my favorite verse in Scripture says “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” I am living proof that this verse is true, so if you’re going through a tough time, know this. If you love God, there is a purpose in the pain. Persevere, one day God will use it, and you, to do something really important and for your good.

By the way, if my new friend reads this, and you need help in your journey, don’t be afraid to reach out. If I can help, I want to.


So here I sit. It’s been three or four days since my last post, a post where I proclaimed a turning point in my thought process and a direction I intend to wholeheartedly pursue. And I’m stuck. Now I’ll be the first one to admit, I have really been busy and this week will continue to be pretty intensely busy, but that’s not the biggest struggle. The biggest struggle has been a lack of focus and to some degree vision. Have you been there?

The problem is not a shortage of ideas. No the ideas are coming very quickly, the problem is taking those ideas and making them tangible. Taking the visions to reality. I see things in my mind, but I can’t quite figure out how to make them real. In some cases, I struggle with the “wouldn’t it be cools.” You know like “Wouldn’t it be cool if I animated it?”, or “Maybe it would be cool if I made this into a multimedia presentation.” The idea gets bigger and bigger, but it remains just that an idea. Lots of cool dreams, but nothing gets done.

What I need is to focus. How about you? I need to get an idea and run with it. I need to start putting things on paper. I need to look at the things that I am doing and decide which things are truly productive, and which things are just “time vampires.” You know, those things that suck up my valuable time. I need to resist the urge to go to social media and put my nose to the grindstone. I need to do what I can get done today and if a project hits a stuck point, I need to quickly decide if this is something to power through, look for help or shelve it for something I can accomplish and finish while I search for what’s missing in the stuck project. I need to say things like, “Did I really need to enter into one more creation a day challenge or would my time have been better spent making my own dreams reality.

To be clear, it’s not like I’m getting nothing done. I am working hard for my church, I’m writing sermons, preaching revivals, working on a master’s class, and trying to get my speaking schedule full not to mention being a husband, father and grandfather, and that is the other thing we all need to remember. Frustration with not getting our dream projects done is not the same as doing nothing. Sometimes we need to stop and smell the roses, realize things are being accomplished and know that it’s okay. Sometimes the biggest enemy of vision and focus is that self-defeating feeling that you can never do enough, or the need to do one more thing.

Focus.


I think as creatives we aspire to do our best work. I think as humans we aspire to reach new heights and as Christians we aspire to be more Christ-like (or at least we should). Aspirations can be really good things, but then there are other times. I was chatting with a friend last night who is also in ministry and who also does some itinerant ministry. He’s getting to do ministry at some larger events and something weird started to happen. I started to want to complain that sometimes I feel like I can’t seem to get into the larger places. Thankfully I caught myself and I share this here not as a way of venting that complaint but to share the danger. For the record, I don’t think there is anything wrong with aspiring for a larger platform. It takes the basically same amount of work to prepare to speak to ten people or ten thousand and as people entrusted with the Great Commission, “the more, the merrier.” The trouble comes when we start to complain.

You see we serve in a big world in an even bigger universe, and we don’t always understand everything that is happening around us. This is magnified when we consider the Spirit realm, and we Christians should always consider the Spirit realm. Who knows? I may have more spiritual impact talking to a crowd of ten than a group of ten thousand. I’ll tell you who knows, God does. He opens he doors. He gives the opportunities and He knows what needs to happen. We are called to faithfulness. He provides the impact. So whether you think what you’re doing is big or small, only God knows the significance. To paraphrase Paul, some plant, some water, but God brings the growth. Remember Philippians 1:6 “…He who began a good work in you, will carry it through the completion in the day of Christ Jesus.” We need only be faithful.

Don’t stop aspiring to do great work. Don’t stop aspiring to do great things. But bring your best to any and every situation, whether it looks large or small, because you never know what God will do. I love these songs. They both inspire me to aspire, but in vastly different ways. Which is right? They both are. Aspire to do great things, make the most of every opportunity. Honor God in everything.

By the way, in case you wonder, I am grateful for ever opportunity, large or small, because in truth every ministry opportunity, in the hands of Christ, carries with it the chance of eternal significance. If I can be of service to you, please contact me.



From time to time, I will join a creative challenge online. I did Inktober in October and it unleashed a whole new kind of art in me. This month, I found a challenge called Marchartoons, which challenges me to create a different character each day based on a prompt. I was thinking of doing a few of these for April. The one for this site would be AMOKApril and would contain a different Christian art challenge prompt each day, and then on Beware of Artists, I would do April Runs AMOK with a more “secular” challenge. If I do this, would anyone be interested in participating? Please let me know in the comments.

In the mean time, I have been posting my Marchartoons to social media and to my visual art blog, Beware of Artists. Here is today’s creation for the prompt “PLANT.”

It would figure that the day after I finish designing villainous plants for our flower show, the prompt of the day would be “plant.” I decided to go with a classic. Audrey II. One thing this always reminds me of is the old adage. What you feed grows, what you starve dies. It applies to murderous plants from outer space, and it applies to the attitudes and actions we carry through this life. Feed the positive and let the negative starve!


Well it’s almost here. Today is the day when I drop off my last piece of art for the flower show. The last few months have contained a lot of hard work and a lot of fun. This has truly been one of the most enjoyable experiences of my art career. I got to design some really fun and memorable characters, but even better I got to work with some really fun and memorable characters and I had a ball.

It’s funny. I’ve spent most of my career looking to start a creative arts team and to a one they have fizzled. Who’d have thought I would find that team at a retirement community? But sure enough, there they were, extremely talented gifted people with some extra time on their hands and a passion for creativity. I have been thoroughly blessed by this experience.

Another nice thing was while I had a lot of creative freedom, I didn’t have to lead this project. I got to work with an amazing creative who had a lot of ideas of her own and who was able to lead the project and bring some of my craziness to life. There was no territorialism or any of that other stuff that can plague creative efforts. It was just a dynamic environment. Did we have limitations? Absolutely, but limitations are just another creative challenge. How can you do the best with what you have? I have loved this experience and despite the anticipation of seeing the final result and seeing the audience enjoy it, I am sorry to see this project come to an end.

Here’s the thing. I never could have done this whole thing myself. It’s a huge undertaking and there were a lot of things done that are outside my skill set, but in this collaboration, I made some new friends, got to have a great time, and got to be a part of something that is bigger than me. Collaboration is great. Oh and by the way, if you have a project and you’re looking for help, check out your local retirement community. You just might find some really gifted people with the time to do the work and a work ethic that is nothing short of inspiring.


I know I’ve been a little quiet the last few days, but believe me when I tell you, I have been hard at work on a variety of projects. I did a quite a bit more art for the flower show from the 14th to the 6th of the month, I’ve been making some other art as well as trying to write a paper and finish a class for my Masters program. Most importantly, I’ve been making some things for my church ministry. This week, I preached on the authority of Scripture and I decided to make a video for it, based on one of my favorite passages, 2 Timothy 3:16-17. There seems to be a trend lately, even among some in the church, for picking and choosing what passages of Scripture are important and which are not, which should be taken seriously and which should not. I made this video to illustrate what the Bible says about that.  I hope it blesses you.

 


My new presentation… I am really looking forward to taking this one out this Summer. See a preview here. https://www.facebook.com/RockCafe316/videos/581045878988125/

 

Contact me for more information!