Posts Tagged ‘priorities’


Well on the morning of June 26th I hit the road again. I am traveling to Saginaw, Michigan to do Pictures of Jesus at a great church called The Church in Drive. From there I will be headed to Grand Rapids, Michigan for the Church of the Brethren Annual Conference. In addition to my role as my church’s delegate to the conference, I will also be doing some painting presentations there on three of the days. When the conference ends on Sunday I will be headed to Ashley, Indiana to present Pictures of Jesus again on Monday Evening. From there I make my way back to Ohio to spend the evening with some dear friends, then back to church, Bible study, etc. It’s going to be a good but lengthy trip.

I am sharing this for a reason beyond just saying, “Hey look what I’m doing!” You see, I love what I do. I love having the opportunity to travel all over the place and preaching and speaking and painting. The downside of it, though is that I spend a lot of time away from home and the family that I love, which can be hard. That’s how it goes with blessings sometimes. There is hard stuff in among the great stuff and I think the key is to be grateful for both. What I do is such a blessing to me, and the missing my loved ones, that keeps me grounded. It challenges me to be sure to be more in the moment when I am at home with my loved ones. It makes me strive for balance and proper priorities. God has been good and faithful to me. I must return that faithfulness, with a faithfulness and an appreciation for everything and everyone God has given. I don’t deserve any of this, and so I must work to be faithful to “Do [my] best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth.” (2 TIMOTHY 2:15)

It’s all about gratitude and the faithfulness born from that gratitude. Be faithful, make the most of every opportunity, and honor God in every part of your life. especially in your relationships.

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Well this may have been the most days of posting I have missed in a row in quite some time. I have no excuse other than a lot is going on. The church is going and growing, On May 13, I had a wonderful speaking engagement at Paxton Church of the Brethren where I did a revamped presentation of my Creation Station program for a Mother/Child banquet. Then the next day was Mother’s Day, I taught the membership class, preached and did an anointing service after church before going home to catch a little nap and then visit my son and his family. I was a great day. Monday I took my mom out to breakfast, did some yard work and had some vehicle maintenance done and then yesterday it was back to work at church, preaching at a nursing home and working on this week’s material. In between all that I did two weeks worth of Creachertoons, some of the illustrations for one of my upcoming books, began outlining a book and the presentation that goes along with it. I really enjoy this life.

You might think that was a whole bunch of stuff you didn’t need to know, but here’s what you do need to know. Life happens and sometimes we might miss one of our self-imposed deadlines. While I would not make a habit of it, it’s not the end of the world.
Look again at the list and you will see priorities. A new presentation, even a revamped one takes time. Presentation have a hard deadline so it is important that you hit that deadline even more important, someone is trusting you enough to put you before their congregation (or audience or whatever) and you have to give that your very best, so that moves to near the top. After that was my church, again, there’s a hard deadline, but it’s more than that. God has entrusted me to love teach and care for a clock of His children, so my work with the church is also a priority. You might have caught that I took a nap in there and thought that could have gone to the back burner. Well not exactly, rest is hugely important and your body will make you pay if you don’t do it.

Visiting my family may not seem urgent, but trust me when I tell you, they are also given to me by God to love. I have backburnered my family in my life and it was a mistake that will never happen again if I can help it. Creachertoons and the book stuff did not have to be done, but I got inspiration and I can do those things in short bursts of time in what I call the time between.

Lastly, I don’t want you to think that you are not important to me. I value the time that you take to read all that I post. The truth is sometimes you just run out of time and while we all have to do our best to be faithful, we also have to accept the idea that there are only 24 hours in a day and so we have to prioritize. The other truth is I really didn’t feel like I had anything earthshaking to share here in the midst of all the other deadlines. I used to fret over that, but lately I take it on faith that God will allow me to catch up with all my obligations. I simply need to make the most of every opportunity. So today (May 17) and over the next few days I beg your indulges as I catch up. I hope you’ll read everything I post and that all of it inspires you.

What can you learn from this: Don’t beat yourself up, do the best you can and keep going. God is faithful. Bring him your best.


One of the creative lies a lot of people believe is that they’re just not disciplined enough to do what they need to do. I don’t believe this is correct. Oh I have no doubt they may struggle to get things done, but I doubt it’s because they lack discipline. They have discipline. I bet they meet deadlines at work. I bet they pay their bills on time. I bet the things that are genuinely important to them get done on time. It’s not really a matter of discipline, but rather one of priority. If you’re one of these people, I’m not trying to beat you up here. I thoroughly understand how life happens and how sometimes our creative projects get forced to the back burner. If that’s you, this is not a beating. My purpose in writing this is to eliminate false creative beliefs and lack of discipline is often if not usually one of those.

So let’s start there. If you’re not blessed to make your living from your creativity, there will be times when the necessities of life squeeze out your time to create. This is probably not a lack of discipline. You’re doing what must be done and your creation can’t be priority one right now. It’s okay. Just try to find some time and work it in as often as you can. Break the project down into small, but meaningful steps and chip away at it until its done. Yes this may make for a long drawn out creative process, but claim the small victories in each step being completed and enjoy the journey. That in itself is discipline. I feel the need to do a little aside here. Remember, you need to rest, your creativity and your health will suffer if you don’t. Also remember family time matters. Don’t push the people you love to the back burner to reach your goals. After all, it’s supposed to be them, at least in part, that you’re doing this for.

But let’s suppose that’s not the case, you have the time, you just don’t feel like doing it. I have a couple of questions you need to answer:

1. Why don’t you want to accomplish this goal?
At the end of the day we do what we want to do. So if you’re not finishing it, maybe it’s not your dream or your goal. If this is the case, it may be time to reassess your priorities and passions and lay it aside in favor of something you’ll want to actually finish. Now if you’re saying, “…but I do want to finish my project I do want to accomplish this goal.” then we’ll need to look at the remaining questions.
2. Have you lost passion for it?
Maybe this project really fired your imagination in the beginning, but as time has worn on, you just aren’t into it anymore. Maybe conditions have changed. Maybe you got so far and realized it will never work. Whatever the reason, maybe it’s time to can the project and move on. I can’t answer this for you, but I will say this. If this is a pattern for you, finish that project before moving on.
3. Is it more difficult than you thought?
In our society, people seem to be drawn to things that are easy and things that become difficult are often easy to ditch. Let me try to discourage you from ditching. If it was easy everyone would create what you’re creating. The ones who stick with it and finish are the ones who generally succeed. The rest kick themselves when someone else succeeds at what they gave up. Don’t give up. Enlist help, collaborate, find a few people who believe in your dream and get them to help you.
4. Are you stuck?
Sometimes even the best creatives get stuck. They take the project as far as they can and there comes a point where they can’t move it any further. They’re stuck. If you get to this point, there are ways around it. As mentioned earlier, if this is a creative block, start another project. This is different from giving up in that, this project is what you work on when you get stuck on your primary project. The reason for this is really simple. We often get stuck because we’ve been on something too long. So long that we can’t see our way around the problems anymore. Jumping to a second project when this happens will allow you to think on something else for a while which will generally serve to unblock your mind.
I have a lot more to say on this… tune in tomorrow.


This has been a great week and a busy one. I had a great series of Spiritual renewal meetings the first four days of the week. Thursday and Friday were spent having office hours at my church and helping my congregation set up our annual yard sale as well as a lot of other things that have to be done in a pastor’s week, like attending meetings, setting up the services, preparing for future events and more. Then of course there was the weekly sermon. While I worked on the sermon throughout the week, it never really clicked until late Thursday evening when my other meetings were over and I was more able to focus on the matter at hand. I tend to be something of a one track mind when it comes to preaching and I sometimes have a hard time working on more than one message at a time, especially when I am preaching a different message every day.

When I am busy like that, this blog often slips a few days (full disclosure, this post that is dated for Saturday was written early Monday morning). I will still post for all missed days because I have made a commitment to post daily and I really do want to honor that with the best content I can generate, because I value the time you take to read these posts.

Unlike a lot of people, I like being somewhat busy, especially when it involves doing the things I love to do. It energizes me and God always seems to deliver in the creativity department. That being said, busy requires downtime. My body can only keep up the fast pace for so long and the length of that time is getting shorter. For example, by the last day of my renewal meetings I was drinking as much tea with honey as I could sand during the day because my throat had become quite hoarse. Also, even though I spent most evenings at home in this past week, my wife and I were like two ships passing in the night, having spent precious little time together. Busyness is great. It shows we’re doing something right, maybe even in demand, but we cannot afford to forget to take care of ourselves and our special relationships. I didn’t always live that way and believe me when I tell you, there is a cost and it’s high.

So enjoy those busy times, but don’t forget why you do them, to honor God and provide for your family. Ultimately these two are the top priority and if you’re too busy for them you’re just plain too busy.

Be careful who you say no to.


I’m about to go outside and do some seriously demanding physical work, and truth be known I have no desire to do it. In the past, I would have said, this just isn’t important. The underlying thought was this work is beneath me, I’m an artist, a creative and that is the work I should be doing. Thankfully that has changed. See working in my gifting is important, but the work I am about to do is important to my family. It will make their lives easier and maybe even my life in the long run. It is clear, this other, non creative work is important too.

Sometimes when I think how shallow I was (and still can be if I’m not careful) it makes me sad. Think of how often I put off family time so I could work and work and work. I always rationalized that the eventual success I would achieve from my workaholic tendencies would make their lives so much better that it was worth the trade off. The truth is I arrogantly thought my work was more important than what I would be doing with them. I was so wrong and stupid. I am trying to make up for that now, but I wish I had lived differently back then. Pride is so horribly bad and we have wrapped it up as something honorable.

Why do I share this example of my stupidity and bad behavior? Because smart people learn from their mistakes but really smart people learn from other people’s mistakes. Learn from mine. The really important stuff is the stuff that blesses the people we have been given by God to love. Sure our creativity is a gift from God to be used to His glory, but if we ignore the people we love to work in our gifting, that’ll come back to bite us every single time.

When Jesus was asked what was the most important commandment, He broke it down to a statement that was essentially “love God, love others.” Those are priorities one and two. Work, even the work we do “for God,” comes somewhere after that.

We get to make stuff and that is really cool, but don’t forget to make memories.

It’s important


Okay before we go any further, this is not a political post. I don’t believe for a second that my little cartoons could change your mind, and to be quite honest, I am not committed enough to either of these people to try. I love this country and I feel that the fact that these are our two choices, shows that this nation that I love is in DEEP trouble. What I do care about is the relationships between people. I feel like there are people destroying relationships over this mess, and in that regard, I think we can do a lot better and I would love to help. Over the next two weeks my web comic Creacher will feature these comics, but I decided to give my readers here a little preview.

Pray, vote, pray for the one elected and get back to work following Jesus and making a difference.
creacherelectionstrip


I know I will never be the greatest artist in the world. That title would go to Rembrandt or Van Gogh or someone named after a Ninja Turtle. I also probably won’t be the greatest preacher in the world. That title would probably go to someone named Sunday or Edwards or Graham or Evans. So if the greatest in the world in both my passions is probably put of reach, what should I do? I used to say I would strive to be the greatest David Weiss out there, but I’m sort of pulling for my grandson in that category now. What’s left?

Well the fact of the matter is everything I do is subjective. You know this to be true, in the field of art, people either love your work or hate it (or worse yet ignore it) and it all depends on who is receiving it. Preaching is similar, but ultimately that is up to God to judge and He would remind us that to be great in His Kingdom is to be a servant. Maybe the greatest and, for that matter greatness, is the wrong pursuit altogether. Still there is something to be said for pursuit. Pursuit keeps us from resting on our laurels and keeps us working to improve, and that is definitely a worthy pursuit. So then what should I pursue?

Well the first pursuit is obvious to the believer. I should be pursuing God. Remember what Jesus said, “Seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness. After that, the next pursuit is faithfulness. Doing the most I can with what God has given and the opportunities He presents. I really believe that this must be the soul of human endeavor. How does this manifest?

Well for me, I think that a lot of prayer is involved, followed by a lot of hard work. I also know myself well enough to understand that it’s easy to get my priorities out of whack. This is the power of seeking God first. I know I have to lead by example. If I want the people I lead to follow Jesus, I need to follow Jesus. If I want the people I lead to use their gifts to serve the Lord, I have to serve the Lord and if I want the people I lead to be creative, I need to set the tone by being creative.

This year I challenged myself to do a piece of art a day for the year. In truth, this was easy for me. I often do multiple small pieces a day and have probably long since passed 365 pieces for the year. Truth be known I didn’t do this for me. I often hear people say they’re not inspired or they don’t have time and I am trying to prove that wrong. Now not everyone can do a piece of art every day. My art is often cartooning and goes pretty fast by nature. Other media take a very long time by virtue of the skill level required, media limitations, etc. You don’t have to do something every day and faithfulness to God demands that you take time to rest, but faithfulness also requires doing the work and this is the example I am trying to set forth.

In the coming year, I am thinking about a new challenge that will stretch me even further but I am still praying about it. I think it will allow me to expand the reach of my ministry, draw attention to the things I feel called to do, but I also know it could be taxing, so rather than just jump in, I am going to pray some more. The thing we need to remember is we need to be faithful to God, and we need to be faithful in doing the work, but we also need to be faithful to our families and our other responsibilities. In my case, I pastor a wonderful church that I love. Part of faithfulness is serving them well. The object of the “game” here is not to be busy. The object is to be doing what God has called us to do in ever area of life. It can be a tough balancing act, but it’s importance cannot be overlooked.