Posts Tagged ‘gratitude’

I know I’ve been on this whole track of encouragement, but there is a painful truth all creatives need to consider. In any given pursuit here will always be someone better than you. Sorry, but it’s a fact of life and that leaves us with a choice. There are essentially three things we can do when we see someone better than us. The first two are not helpful.

You can get discouraged. Given enough time, the end result of this will most likely be giving up, or beating yourself up, neither of which is what God wants for us.

You can also lash out. Acting as if some great injustice has occurred. Given enough time this will have you looking at this other person as a competitor or even an enemy. You’ll start to think things like, “Of course he’s better than me, he has this advantage…” or “She’s not so great…” or worse. This could make you feel like a victim or just plain bitter. Again, this is not beneficial.

But what if instead of these things, we chose to see the person as an inspiration, someone who makes us want to be better and grow in our skills. Rather than feeling competitive, we cheer them on, we’re glad when they get ahead and realize that they are being used in great ways. This is clearly a much better way to live.

At the end of the day, the only thing you are really responsible for is being the best you you can be, faithfully making the most of what you’ve been given. The choice is yours, but this is clearly the best one.

I just updated the booking pages of my web site. I moved the 2018 schedule to my past speaking engagements page. I have now gone over 250 speaking engagements in 18 states since I started keeping records in 2012. I continue to be amazed at how many places I have been, how many lifelong friends I have made and how incredibly blessed I am to be allowed to do what I do. To God be the glory.

So if you’re one of the people that has had me in, Thank you. If you have yet to have me in, I’d love to come and do what I do for you. I am so grateful for this calling on my life and I am especially grateful to all the people who trust me to stand before their congregations.

Thank you, thank you, thank you!

Looking forward to more ministry in 2019 and beyond. How can I serve you?

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.

What do you do when you see someone gets something you wanted? Well you have a choice. You can lament that they got it. You can get jealous. You can beat yourself up. You can wonder why. You can even get mad at God. Of course all of that is counter-productive. There is something else you can do. You can be happy for the other person and grateful for what you have. Ultimately,that is the best choice, especially when dealing with ministry. Regardless of who gets to do what, the hope is always that the Gospel goes forth and that the Lord ultimately knows what He is doing. Choose that and make the most of every opportunity you get. God is good. Believe He will put you in the right places at the right time and you will have a Kingdom impact.

I just have do much to be grateful for and today as we think of things to give thanks, I thought I would take a few minutes and show a little gratitude.

  • I’m thankful to God for my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ who secured eternity for me
    and all who will believe.
  • I’m thankful for my wife who has been a blessing in every way imaginable.
  • I’m thankful for my sons who are both fine young men doing great stuff.
  • I’m thankful for my daughter-in-law who is a wonderful young woman, teacher and mother
    of my grandson David who gives me ceaseless joy.
  • I’m thankful for parents who’ve loved me through all of it and for my brother and sister and their families.
  • I’m grateful for extended family and friends who have brought so much to my life.
  • I’m thankful for my church family who support and encourage me as I do what God has called me to do.
  • I’m thankful to all the churches, camps and ministries who trusts me to speak to their congregations and bring the Gospel.
  • I’m thankful for God’s ceaseless provision and pray I will always use it to His glory.
  • and of course I am thankful for all of you who read and follow this blog. I pray that God uses this humble effort to bless your ministries.

Of course this is just a few things I can think of in a few minutes on this cold PA morning. There are a multitude more and if you think of it, I’m sure you can come up with a few and I think that’s the point, A day to focus on gratitude and all we have to be grateful for is a very good thing. So today take some time off and think about ll you have been blessed with.

rockwellthanksgivingIt is to my mind, the most iconic expression of Thanksgiving, Norman Rockwell’s famous Saturday Evening Post cover. The guy was a true genius at expressing the best parts of life. All those happy people around a table about to share in a wonderful feast. You can literally feel the love in the room.

Love it what it’s all about you know. The meal may be different depending on where you go, you may even be in a place that doesn’t celebrate the day or maybe you’re distant from your family and unable to get to your own family dinner, but regardless of the meal, ultimately love supersedes the meal.

You might think I’m a little off today saying it’s all about love. You say, “Umm Dave, what it’s all about is right there in the title, ‘Thanksgiving.” Why are we thankful? Because we serve a God who loves us enough to provide for our needs and give us people to love. That’s what we’re really thankful for, isn’t it?

I always try to get you to be creative, and today is no different except that what we do today is not going to be done with art supplies. Today it’s done with love. Today I believe we should all seek ways to love creatively. Commit little acts of kindness. Go out of your way to mend fences and restore broken relationships. Break tensions, lay aside offenses and love. Lovingly share the truth of Jesus as opportunities arise.

As of today, I will have done 51 Thanksgivings on this planet. As I sit at the table today, faces will be missing. Faces I won’t see again in this life. Faces I miss dearly, and this much I know to be true, I am thankful for each one of them. God gave them to me as a blessing and for them I am thankful. Love and thankfulness really are synonymous.

The passage I am always drawn to for Thanksgiving is from Colossians 3:

12 Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. 13 Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. 14 And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.

15 Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful. 16 Let the message of Christ dwell among you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom through psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit, singing to God with gratitude in your hearts.

Better words for this day were never spoken. Make these your words of instruction as you gather with your loved ones and make this an awesome day. Get creative if you have to.

Be Thankful and love…

I wanted to take a moment to wish you all a happy Thanksgiving. This year, I am grateful for so much. We’re nearing our 1400th post on this post, while also had a great year and Creachertoons has progressed as well. I’ve been blessed to minister at over 30 different events this year, including several multi-program events. I’ve had the opportunity to meet many new people and the Lord has really blessed. My family is doing well. We found a great new home church and some exciting opportunities are presenting themselves there as well. 2013 has been a transitional year and God has brought us through quite well. To Him be the Glory. I am grateful.

I also wanted to take a moment to thank all of you for following this blog and for putting forth the efforts you are in your own areas of the Kingdom. My prayer for you is that you would keep growing and sharing, using those wonderful gifts you all have to serve the Lord. I can’t help being reminded of the Apostle Paul who several times in Scripture makes a point of saying He always thanks God for the people who read His letters. While I certainly do not measure up to Him, I am thankful for you all. The readers are what make a blog worthwhile and my fondest dream is that this would become less monologue and more conversation this year. Let us know how we can help you, let us know your praises and your struggles. I hope to meet many more of you personally in the year to come.
Thank you.
Dave Weiss

It’s February 2, for those of us in the states that means it’s Groundhog Day. The day when Punxsutawney Phil (a groundhog) comes out of his lair (a hole in the ground) and sees (or doesn’t see) his shadow. If he sees his shadow it means six more weeks of winter. Yeah, I know, only in America… but I digress.

This year, winter in Pennsylvania has been unseasonably mild, near 60 degrees yesterday, and I have to admit, I’m loving it. After a freak snowstorm dumped a foot of snow on us at Halloween, we’ve only had one or two very minor snow events. As a person who really doesn’t like winter weather, this has been great for me. The question is am I grateful?

…or maybe that’s not the best question. Of course I’m grateful for great weather, the question is will I be remember how I’m grateful I am when (if?) the winter weather finally does come? What about you? Do you remember God’s blessings when things get tough and life doesn’t go your way?

There was a movie called Groundhog Day, which has changed the way we look at the day and changed the term in general. In the movie, the same day just repeats over and over and over again. Unfortunately patterns of ingratitude become ingrained in many of us, including this writer, though I’m ashamed to admit it. I can feel the blessings of God week after week after week and I can be grateful but let one thing go wrong and it’s as if the bottom of life has fallen out. Thank God, He has a pattern too, a pattern of faithfulness and grace and love. How do you face blessings? Are you grateful and do you show it? And when things don’t go your way? What then?

Maybe we all need to take a step back and remember God’s faithfulness and then try to show a little of our own when times get tough. When life makes you see shadows, turn toward the light.

Thanks God!

Turtle On A Fence Post

Turtle On A Fence Post

I heard Samuel Chand say this and it is so true. Always remember, when you see a turtle on a fence post he didn’t get there by himself. No matter how high you rise, the same thing can be said of you. We all have had help to get to where we are. Realizing this will keep us grateful and humble. When we are grateful and humble, we are in the best place to be used by God, much better off than a turtle on a fence post.

I know we’re past thanksgiving but since every day should be thanksgiving, I wanted to pass this video along as a reminder for all the things we have for which to be grateful and to say thank you to all of you for being a part of this ministry.