Posts Tagged ‘dave weiss’

Sometimes I need to create just for fun. I’ve long been a fan of the old school car artists like Big Daddy Roth, so in my free time I decided to do my own characters in a similar style. Musicians jam and visual artists can do the same. Think of an artist you admire and do your take on their work. You never know what might come of it.

You can get these on T-shirts in my Zazzle store.


The Bible says the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom. I’ve always wrestled with this verse and what it means. On one hand we need to stand in awe of our awesome God, and there should be a certain amount of fear involved in running afoul of His ways. We should fear living in such a way as to defy the God of the universe.

I’ve seen this illustrated in the life of someone I love very dearly who just stepped in to his first year as a full-time public school teacher. When he corrects a student, they will say things like “Make me.” When I was in school, that would have been followed by a swift and painful response, which of course has been taken off the table. We think we have evolved so much as a society, but truth be known, we’re not doing these kids any favors. Sooner or later they will come up against someone who is not bound by the rules of polite society who will in fact “make them” or their out and out rejection of authority will make society “make them” with incarceration or other penalties. Kids would do far better learning this at a young age from people who have their best interests at heart, you know like parents, and if not parents, teachers, but this will not happen and our society is already beginning to reflect our failure. A healthy fear of authority is truly wisdom and we fail to teach this at our peril. The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom. Oh that we would embrace wisdom again, rather than the foolishness of “conventional wisdom” which in our day is neither.

But there is another side of this verse. A negative side whereby people regard the Lord with terror. They see the power of the Lord but do not see His benevolent love. I had a great illustration of this last night. I was returning to my parsonage from Bible Study. I pulled into the garage to discover a Katydid sitting on the windshield wiper. I don’t really like bugs, but this guy was doing no harm, so I decided to catch him and release him back into the great outdoors. Well of course he saw me coming at him and he flew. I couldn’t catch him because he was afraid.

Now don’t get me wrong, I get it. I probably outweigh him by thousands of times, and tower over him, and if I saw something of similar proportions coming at me, no doubt I would run and hide, too, but here’s the thing. My intention was entirely benevolent. Had I captured him, he would have been in my hand for five seconds, and this morning he would be out doing all the things Katydids do, probably eating grass. Instead he is hidden somewhere in my garage, and before long he will starve. Had his fear not overcome him, he would be in a much better state than he is this morning. As I was thinking of this, I wondered is this another side to the idea of the fear of the Lord. Not so much fearing the Lord, but fear that is from the Lord. After all, there are times where fear is good and right and justified, but there are other times where something we fear is actually meant for our good and is a great blessing—overcome a little fear and receive a great blessing in return.

So what do you fear today. Is it justified or are you running from something that is meant for your good?

Lately, I’ve been missing too many days of posting. I’ve been busy, but everyone is busy. Days fly by and before I know it, I am heading for bed and another day is done. That happens to a lot of people. I could say I haven’t been inspired to post, but you know how I feel about waiting for inspiration. If you don’t, I’m not a fan of it. I think inspiration is something to be sought, hunted down and exploited for all it’s worth. I think it’s time to reorganize my thoughts here a little bit.

My passion for creative ministry has not wained. I’m actually doing a lot of it these days, I’m just not taking the time to write about it, and that has to change. So here is my plan, I am going to share about all the things I am doing out in the field. Like Saturday night. On Saturday night I did Pictures of Jesus. This is a program I have done all over the country, but there was one place I have never done it. My home church. We had a small turnout, but the response was pretty overwhelming. I mainly did this as an outreach. That was my idea, my hope being to attract some folks from the surrounding community. I think God had something else in mind.

You see my church has been wonderfully supportive of my speaking ministry. I am a three quarter time pastor and the other quarter of my time is spent on my traveling AMOKArts ministry. Now truth be known, I always say I don’t have two ministries, I have one, but what I do at my church is quite different from what I do on the road. Preaching a different message every week allows me to be very creative, but it’s a different kind of creative. I don’t always paint at my church. Probably only about four times a year and when I paint, I have a good twenty minutes before I get to preach. which allows a lot of time to really work the paintings. In the traveling ministry, I often do multiple pieces very quickly with stories I have developed and often memorized. Showing my church Pictures of Jesus, which is an hour and a half long containing five paintings, drama, videos more, allowed them to see what I do on the road, and it seems to have really blessed the folks who were able to be there. I really think this will help people to have an even better understanding of what I do when I can’t be with them which will help already very supportive people to be even more supportive. That can’t help but help.

Don’t forget to share your gifts with the folks closest to you.

About a week ago, I woke up with an idea for a new video clip. It uses a fish to talk about making the right choice. Hope it blesses you. Feel free to share it and spread it around.

Explanation: the act or process of making something clear or easy to understand.
—Merriam-Webster Learner’s Dictionary

Here’s my explanation. I woke up one morning thinking about a presentation I did a few years ago that dealt with imagination, inspiration and creation. It was about God’s creative process and involving God in our creative process. It was sort of a twisted alliteration. Rather than all the words beginning with the same letter, they all end with the same five letters A-T-I-O-N. All of the sudden a flood of words came into my mind, all ending with those same letters. In one way or another, all these words could easily be associated with God, faith and the creative process. Before long I was writing them all down and contemplating whether they could form the basis for a new book. What if I could find 52 of these “ation” words and use them as sort of a creative devotional to help creative people of faith to consider more deeply their creative calling. There would be one word a week, complete with a definition, a meditation, related texts for further study and creative project ideas to take the concept further. It is my hope that this project will bring people to clearly see the connection between their creativity, their Creator and their calling.

Even as I begin this project, interesting thing are happening. Every time I type the suffix “ation”, auto-correct keeps changing that to “action” and that is probably not coincidental, because the suffix is defined as “an action or process.” Each of these words calls upon us to act in some way. Now of course some will touch you more than others and some will bring greater motivation than others, but I believe all of them have something to offer. So let’s start off looking at “explanation.”

True I used this word to introduce this project, but explanation is a huge part of our calling as Christian creatives. Consider 1 Corinthians 14:9 So it is with you. Unless you speak intelligible words with your tongue, how will anyone know what you are saying? You will just be speaking into the air. 10 Undoubtedly there are all sorts of languages in the world, yet none of them is without meaning. 11 If then I do not grasp the meaning of what someone is saying, I am a foreigner to the speaker, and the speaker is a foreigner to me. 12 So it is with you. Since you are eager for gifts of the Spirit, try to excel in those that build up the church.

Now one could argue this is about speaking in tongues, and for the record it is, but I believe there are other applications at play here. Consider the new believer in your church. Do you think they understand everything that is being said? As someone who became a believer at 22, I can tell you, they don’t and we Christians tend to forget that and because of that, we tend to “talk over people’s heads.” We may not be “speaking in the tongues of angels” but we might as well be, because we are not being understood. Our message is too important for that. We need to be understood, and as such we need people who have a gift of explanation…

So let’s start with the basics. Yes I’m still alive. I know it’s been longer between posts than it’s been probably since I started this blog, but I have a good excuse…

I’ve been trying to create non-flammable art.

That’s right I’ve been trying to create art that won’t burn. It’s not easy, but you should try it because the end result is out of this world. It’s so liberating working this way. Usually, we artists focus on being meticulous, creating things of beauty, composition, form, and a whole bunch of other things and while that still has a place in the process, it pales in comparison to the biggest challenge—making something that won’t burn.

You might be thinking, “What kinds of materials would you use? Metals?” Well one might try that, but I didn’t. You might wonder, “Well who would try to burn your art anyway? And how would you know if it was non-flammable unless you burned it? No gallery or museum would allow it and no one in their right mind is going to pay money for art for the purpose of burning it. Dave this is a pointless exercise.” No, the truth is there is a greater point to this experiment than for any other and if you’re a Christian in the arts, this is something you need to embrace, because one thing I can tell you for sure…

It’s all gonna burn…

By now you probably realize, I’m talking about something bigger than making great art. The apostle Paul spoke about building our lives and our efforts on the foundation of Christ. Here’s what he wrote in1 Corinthians 3:11-15:

For no one can lay any foundation other than the one already laid, which is Jesus Christ. If anyone builds on this foundation using gold, silver, costly stones, wood, hay or straw, their work will be shown for what it is, because the Day will bring it to light. It will be revealed with fire, and the fire will test the quality of each person’s work. If what has been built survives, the builder will receive a reward. If it is burned up, the builder will suffer loss but yet will be saved—even though only as one escaping through the flames.

You see this week I’ve been finishing up a week of presentations for some of God’s favorite children. (I don’t know that He actually has favorites, but if he did, these people would be among them.) I’ve been writing and drawing and painting and animating and prepping and tweaking and adjusting. I’m going to speed paint eight times and preach ten times in eight days. I’ve been working like a crazy person to get ready for this. When I am done, none of it will be museum quality. I’m not sure I even have museum quality in me, but I don’t care about being in a museum. Museums and masterpieces are going to burn. No, what I am praying for is that God allows me to “paint on hearts.” That He will allow the work that I do to touch hearts and open people to His love and grace, not to mention His plan and purpose, and most importantly His salvation. You see, everything I make with my hands will one day cease to exist, but if He works through me and my work to touch hearts…

That’s non-flammable art.

I pray He helps you make some too. There’s nothing better.

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.