Posts Tagged ‘dave weiss’


Most people would say there are two Christmas Stories in the Bible. The most famous is Luke’s and the second most famous in Matthew’s. I maintain there are four. One is found in Revelation 12. Like most of Revelation it is very deep and symbolic. It deals with  a pregnant woman with stars around her head and a giant red dragon waiting to eat her baby but we don’t have time to unpack that one right now. I just finished speaking and painting and I’m really tired. But there is a fourth that some would find debatable, largely because it is usually overlooked. It comes from the book of John and it’s usually overlooked because it’s only one verse. “The Word became flesh and made His dwelling among us. We have seen His glory, the glory of the one and only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth.” John 1:14. It’s short an sweet, but its exactly what happened. God became man and lived with us. John 1 is the passage I’ve been exploring for my Advent preaching this year and so far it’s spawned three paintings.

The first was for my church, Springfield Church of the Brethren and it deals with the Intertestamental  Period (the 400 years between Malachi and Matthew). The next two deal with The Word, and the Light.
Here is a little infographic I did for the first message.

Next we have the two paintings I did for the word and the Light. I did these at Camp Eder for their Christmas Tree festival and the messages will be combined for Springfield next week. Again please keep in mind these are speed paintings done in 8 and 6 minutes respectively. Both were very well received and I pray God was glorified.


I always have a great time doing these things, but what I love most about it, is it give another way to draw people into the message. I pray you all have a blessed Christmas season and my His Word make your life shine.

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This morning I am heading out for what should be my last ministry road trip of the year. I’ll be going to Camp Eder to speak at their Christmas Tree Festival. This will be my third year speaking and painting at this event and I got a pleasant surprise, I’ll be painting indoors this year. In previous years I painted in a pavilion outdoors and it was, pardon the pun, pretty cool. My first year was one of those unseasonably warm December evenings and I got lulled into a false sense of security. Last year it was frigid, so cold that my paint was doing unusual things, and a little hard to work with, but it was still fun.

This is a great event, that I’d love to do every year. It’s at a beautiful Christian camp near Gettysburg, PA. They cover the camp with lights and displays. Indoors they have Christmas trees decorated by the churches in their region, all trying to “out-creative” each other to win the tree decorating contest.  I always look forward to seeing what they come up with, cause you know how I feel about churches being creative, right? There is also all kinds of delicious food and musical performances each night. It is a lot of fun, but more than that, it’s a creative way to raise funds for a very important ministry. I am so looking forward to this event. If you’re in the area, I’d love to see you. I’ll be there tonight and tomorrow night, ministering around 7:00.

Camp Eder, 914 Mt Hope Rd, Fairfield, PA 17320


Well I thought by now my book, Enough, would be out by now. I put my covers online to get opinions and most people didn’t like either of them. That set the process back a little bit. You see, my plan was to do internal illustrations for each of the chapters to try to continue the theme throughout. Coming up with a new design was difficult but I’m getting there and working on the internal illustrations as well.

If I want to be honest, there was part of me that regretted posting the covers and not trusting my instincts. If I had trusted my instincts, the book would be out by now. Why didn’t I just charge in and do it my way? Something didn’t feel right about the designs. The folks who commented confirmed some of the vague discomfort I was having with my work and the end result will be a stronger finished product and a better book.

Think about it. My deadline was self imposed anyway and a little delay allowed me to get some real world feedback from some people who are likely customers for my book, plus I ended up with a new concept that is helping me to convey the message of the book better visually. All in all getting opinions will likely improve the reception of this book and help it’s message spread wider, which is my primary goal for this book anyway. Proverbs 15:22 says “Plans fail for lack of counsel, but with many advisers they succeed.” When you’re working on a project, especially when you’re stuck or something just doesn’t feel right, don’t be afraid to get some opinions. It might really help.

And keep watching for Enough, coming soon from AMOKBooks.


Well I finished the writing of my new book “ENOUGH.” a few days early. (yes I know the period will look like a punctuation error, but it is there on purpose, as if to say “enough. it’s over, complete, I am enough.”)

With NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) you get the thirty days of November to write a 50,000 word book, and there is a great website to log your progress as you work through. Now I did not write a novel per se, but it was really helpful in getting my nonfiction book finished, at least as far as the rough draft stage.

This concept really worked for me. It gave me a goal to shoot for every day and watching the little bar graph climb to the goal really incentivized me to get it done. There was a great sense of accomplishment as I crossed that 50,000 word line.  It was a great experience, that I highly recommend to anyone who can carve out some time. It’s not easy but it is doable. It actually relates to a concept I have been trying for quite some time. Accomplishing a large project, by breaking it down into smaller manageable steps. If you feel like you have a book in you, why not give it a try?

A nice side effect of this for me was this project has also spawned a couple of sermons for my church and will also become several speaking presentations in the coming year. Now I plunge into the hard work, of formatting, editing and making this thing into a real book.As well as the fun work of illustration. Keep watching for updates.


Well I did it, I crossed the finish line on 50,000 words. Now onto editing and waiting to hear from a few people on how to proceed. I’ll share some thoughts on this adventure tomorrow. In the mean time here is today’s excerpt from near the end of the book.

Am I Good enough? part 3

As we near the end of this book, I wonder where you are today. Are you still discouraged? Have I written something that will make you think you’re not good enough. Well you need to know, no matter where you are, you’re good enough to start. They say a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step. Maybe today is the day to make that first step.

Are you doubting because of something you have done, or maybe something you’re continuing to do? Maybe today is the day to turn around and turn to Jesus. Give your sin to HIm. He already bore it to the cross. Ask Him to forgive you and ask Him to help you leave your sin there at the foot of the cross and never take it up again.

Are you wondering because you don’t compare to someone else. The answer to that is simple, stop comparing yourself to other people. They are on their journey and you are on yours, and while in Christ they all end up at the same place, heaven, the paths between here and there are varied and different. Instead, compare yourself to Jesus. Make no mistake, if you do, you will come up lacking. He’s perfect, you’re not, but He is the best example you can follow. Better than any example this world has to offer. So many people struggle with the will of God and what it is for your life. The first thing to consider is totally biblical but not found in the Bible. It’s found in something called the Westminster Catechism. It says, “The chief end of man is to glorify God and enjoy Him forever.” We glorify God when we do our best in Him to honor Him in whatever He puts before us, pointing people to Him as the source of our strength and goodness. We give Him glory when we live to honor Him.

And finally if you want to know the will of God, Paul tells us what it is in Romans 12:1-2 (NIV) “Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.” Now when he says offer your body as a living sacrifice, it is not some sort of ritual that will involve your physical death. Jesus already paid that price, once and for all. Instead, it means to die to your selfish desires and submit yourself to God instead. If we truly do this we will be holy and pleasing to Him, which should be our goal. It means, once again that we turn from our sin and give Him all we are. This is the essence of real worship, submitting to God in every area of life, and anything less is, in fact, a form of idolatry.

Further he tells us not to conform to the pattern of the world. The reason for that is simple, the world is a mess. It runs under a different system, a system that has things upside down and backwards from the way they are supposed to be—completely opposite of the way God intended. This system was set in place by the one who came to steal, kill and destroy, the enemy of your soul, Satan himself. The effects of sin are running rampant everywhere, and they’re trying to drag us into it’s wake, but there is a better way. In order to get to that better way, we have to take on a radical non-conformity. We have to be different than the world. This way of thinking is really nothing new. Your mom probably showed it to you in not so many words when she said, “If all your friends were jumping off a bridge, would you do it?” The smart answer to that question is “No!” Instead you would go a different way, a way different from the pattern of this world.


Here’s a possible design for the book cover. What do you think?


Well I dropped the writing ball a little on Saturday and Sunday. I knew I would, so I worked ahead and today I played a little catch up. Saturday I was in training all day to do disaster relief work with children and yesterday, I preached in the morning, came home, loaded the van and spoke at another event last night. I am over 47,000 words and should finish the 50,000 word challenge tomorrow, Lord willing from there is a lot of editing, and some additional copy. Here’s today’s excerpt.

“Here’s the problem, excellence is like greatness and enough. Its a sliding scale and a slippery slope. How do people become excellent? They learn and grow. How can they learn and grow if every opportunity for learning and growth is choked out in the pursuit of excellence. We wonder why the church has a consumer mentality. I can tell you why, no one has the opportunity to contribute except the talented few that can meet the sliding scale of excellence. The rest come to the church to sit in their seats and watch the show, Why shouldn’t they be consumers when all we will allow them to do is consume? The other side of this is how much do we excuse in the lives of the “excellent” simply because of their talent? For example. If “Joe” is a virtuoso guitarist but he’s living a sinful mess of a life, how long are you going to put him up in front of the congregation. His talent is excellent, but where will his example lead. Excellence can be a very bad thing.

But what if we considered excellence differently? What if instead of only using the people who’ve arrived, we gave the inexperienced the opportunity to learn and grow. What if we considered excellence to be the best you can do today? What if we let people start where they are, and help them to demonstrate faithfulness in the way they work toward growth? What if character counted more than talent? By the way character does count more than talent, especially in the church. If we looked at excellence in this way, we wouldn’t constantly looking for people to serve, there would be a point of entry for the talented beginner and the person who just wants to try, character flaws could be worked out and everyone could start to feel “great” about where they are in the journey.”