Wednesday, June 10, 2009(0) comments
Tuesday, June 09, 2009
A painting portraying the creation account from Genesis 1. The introduction for my new children's presentation called God is Creative, which shows how God has created each of us with a plan and a purpose. To book this presentation, contact Dave Weiss at www.amokarts.com
Part of the AMOKArts "God is Creative" Presentation, this short video looks at how God created each of us with a purpose by looking at a fictitious school for animals. At this school the faculty tries to make everyone good at everything with disastrous results. Based on a story by John Maxwell and Rick Warren this videos challenges us all to be what God created us to be and do what God created us to do. For more info or to book this presentation, go to www.amokarts.com
Wednesday, May 27, 2009
John and Kate Plus 8 Minus 1 (Viewer)
By Dave Weiss
I have a favorite TV show. It’s sort of a guilty pleasure of mine and that show is…NCIS. Yeah I know but stick with me, I’m making a point. In the last episode of NCIS this season we are left hanging with Ziva having left NCIS somewhere in Africa, bruised and beaten and being tortured. I confess I’ve spent some time wondering how long it will take for Gibbs to come to her rescue. I’ll have to wait to find out, because not long after that shot, the director yelled, “cut!” and Mark Harmon went home for a well deserved break from being Gibbs and Cote de Pablo removed the fake bruises and scars and did whatever she will do until shooting resumes, while Gibbs and Ziva return to the imaginations of their very creative writers. Gibbs and Ziva are great characters but they are not real people.
The same cannot be said for John and Kate Gosselin and their eight children. I must confess I do not watch their show anymore. In the beginning I found it sort of interesting. We are from the same area, they live only a few miles from me and many of the places that showed up on the show were places my family and I go. I’ve never met them, though in this area everyone knows someone who knows someone who knows them and the stories range from reasonable to ridiculous. I stopped watching the show not because of them but because of me. I found myself judging their parenting, complaining about the way they react to each other, etc. as if I were in some way fit to do so. I think what really turned it around for me was when I heard others doing the same. I have heard friends complain about all the things they get for free (like any of us would turrn those blessings down), their big house (you need a big house to accommodate 10 people), the money they receive to spend their lives in a fishbowl and on and on. I found myself defending them, because let’s face it, I can’t speak for you but if the show was called Dave and Dawn Plus Two and the cameras would follow me around, it would not take anyone very long to see I’m not always and honor student either. Compound that with the fact that if when my son was born, there were five more of him plus two other children under five, well let’s just say Gibbs and Ziva would have had to come rescue me. It would not have been pretty. I don’t know John and Kate, but I know this, when the cameras are turned off they are still John and Kate. They are real people. Maybe we’d be wise to remember that.
This season of the show opened amid the widely publicized rifts in their marriage and I’m sure many people watched it, but not me. These are not characters from a writer’s imagination. They are real people. I’m told that part of the reason for the rift in their marriage is being caused by the relentless touring schedule Kate is on promoting her books. I don’t know if that is true, but if it is, her Christian publisher Zondervan should be ashamed that they have not put her family first and pulled her off the tour. (On further investigation the link to Kate’s book tour on the Zondervan site is down leaving me to wonder if they did in fact pull the tour.) I’ve made a decision, I will not watch the show, nor will I be in the room is someone else is watching it. I will not read their books nor any magazine on which they appear. It’s not because I am boycotting them or judging them for their marital problems. Very simply it’s this. I will not contribute to their problems. I don’t know if the things being reported are true or not, neither does anyone else and the Bible is pretty clear on gossip. I don’t want to be a part of it.
I don’t know them but they are real people and real people face real temptations, which are hard enough to deal with. Real people who become celebrities face temptations on a whole other level. For my part they can return to a normal life and work it out with the rest of us and they are in my prayers. I’ve never met John and Kate, but if I did I would want to say this. I don’t know you, we’ve never met and I don’t know what makes you tick. I don’t know your kids either but as a person who has worked with kids I can say this. Your kids are real people too. They may like the trappings of celebrity, the nice house and the trips and all that stuff and I begrudge them none of it. But at the end of the day, if you asked them all, every last one of them would rather have an intact family than any of it. At the end of all this, the American people will move on to whatever comes next. What will be left when they’ve used you up? What you had before fame seems pretty special. Maybe it’s time to drop the show and invest in what matters.
DC (David) Weiss is pastor of New Creation Fellowship in Reading, PA and has been a professional in the graphic communications/visual arts field for over 20 years. A few years ago, he felt led by the Spirit to combine his love for art and ministry and A.M.O.K. Arts Ministry Outreach for the Kingdom was Born. A.M.O.K. is a ministry dedicated to helping people of all creative disciplines and ability levels to use their God given gifts to serve the Lord in preaching, teaching and reaching. More information on A.M.O.K. including free and low cost resources for preaching teaching and reaching can be found http://www.amokarts.com.
Thursday, April 09, 2009
Don't worry I haven't stumbled into a pit of negativity, but I did learn a great lesson last night. We were doing a study from Rick Warren's 40 days of love campaign. It's a great study. Last night he was talking about forgiveness and how if we don't forgive we will become bitter. His point was bitterness will make you miserable. As I wrote the word miserable on my study guide and it came to me like a bold from the blue. What are the first five letters of Miserable. MISER. What's a miser? Someone who hoards things and can't let them go. That's the perfect definition of bitterness, we hoard offenses that we should let go. We hold on to things because for one reason or another we can't let them go. Forgiveness is as much for you as it is for the other person. What do you need to let go?
Hebrews 12:5 says See to it that no one misses the grace of God and that no bitter root grows up to cause trouble and defile many. In this season as we celebrate what Jesus did for us on the cross, the key point is grace. When Jesus hung on the cross, beaten and bloodied and broken having been abused in nearly every way and he said Father forgive them for they don't know what they're doing. What are you holding onto like a miser? Maybe today is the day to let it go.
Monday, March 23, 2009
A Little More Homework
My son Chris and I are really into musical theater. Recently Chris bought the soundtrack to Jason Robert Brown's Musical 13. I love the music for this show especially the song in the video above, A LIttle More Homework. It's a song sung by a 13 year old boy walking into manhood and confessing that he will do his very best, but he still has a lot to learn. The lyrics are very honest and very poignant and while I'm a long way past 13, I still feel like this song applies to me.
I know this song was not written for the church and I don't want to over spiritualize it, but every time I hear this song, I think if I could sing I would sing this song to the church, cause I think we all need it. We don't always do the best job representing the love of God to the world around us. I think part of it at least is because we are dishonest. We feel as it we have to act as we've arrived and that we have it all together. My confession is as a pastor, I don't have it all together, I'm not all the way there, and I really wonder what would happen if we in the church could make this same admission and mean it from our hearts. We're supposed to be growing into the fullness of Christ becoming more and more like Him each day, but even if no one else will admit it, I will, on my best day, I have a long way to go. We are in this world to love people and share the love of God, and there are days where I fall terribly short of that goal. Maybe we need to be honest about that, come along side others and say, God loves you and I'm trying to too. Let's come along side each other, try and live this thing out and just concede we all have a little more homework to do.
Monday, March 16, 2009
This week my video is a little different. It's a how to video I created showing how I made a prop fish for an upcoming production of Seussical Jr. for Alpha Omega Players. Beyond that there is a message attached challenging believers to do two things vitally important in being used by God.
Tuesday, March 03, 2009
AMOKArts Resource Review
Creative Calisthenics: A Workout for the Writers Imagination by Terri Main
available through the web site http://www.creativecalisthenics.com
Did you ever spend your time staring at a blank page and hoping for inspiration? I think it happens to all of us. Well if you’re a writer, Terri Main has a book that will come to your rescue. It’s called Creative Calisthenics.
Creative Calisthenics started out it’s life as a very regular, very valuable contribution to the Fellowship of Christian Writers. Quite a few of the members of the list encouraged Terri to compile these contributions into a book and I for one am glad they did. The book is filled with writer’s prompts, idea generating ideas guides for creating believable characters and settings as well as tips on organization and plotting, poetry, improving your writing and even games to enhance your creativity.
I’ll be the first to confess, I didn’t use this book properly. Main advises the reader to open the book at random and start writing. I read it cover to cover in airports and on planes while traveling to Nashville (for a gathering of writers incidentally) and found it extremely engaging. There are a wealth of ideas contained in this small volume and as I was reading I really struggled to resist the urge to quit reading and start writing. This book is a treasure trove of great ideas that will never be far from my desk. Now all I need to do is find the time to write.
Interestingly enough while this book is designed for writers, in reading it, I began to realize that this resource could also be helpful to artists working in other disciplines. After all what artist couldn’t use help with a good idea now and then. I heartily endorse this book.
Creative Calisthenics may be ordered through Terri Main’s website:http://www.creativecalisthenics.com or for more information contact Terri Main at firstname.lastname@example.org