Tag Archives: Dave Weiss

Parting Words From The WORD…Robin Williams and All Us Creatives, by Dave Weiss

Dave Weiss stage shotAs you know, Fridays are usually a day to look at a specific Bible passage or Bible truth God has shown me through His Word. But today I want to share a post from my friend, author, speaker, artist, and AMOKArts founder, Dave Weiss.

As Christian creatives, Dave and I–and hopefully you, too–are always looking for ways to use our creative gifts for the Lord. But creatives are often different from much of the “normal” world. Dave wrote about the loss of Robin Williams this week and he was kind enough to let me share it with my Christian creative friends.

 

Robin Williams and All Us Creatives…By Dave Weiss

I almost can’t believe I am writing this post. Yesterday Robin Williams died, apparently by his own hand. It’s tragic. One who brought so much joy to so many, could no longer find it in himself. He was a great entertainer and one of the funniest people alive and he will be sorely missed.

So many people are at a loss today. The resonating question is why? He had a great career, wealth, all of what the world had to offer, success most of us dream of and literally millions of fans. It’s the stuff of creative dreams and don’t miss this, it wasn’t enough. Most people will never get it but I do and my guess is, I am not the only one.

We creatives tend to feel more deeply. We tend to be more passionate. We tend toward perfectionism and, as visionary people, there is always more to be done to remake the world so it matches the vision that lives in our hearts. This is our blessing. This is our curse. If we’re not careful, no matter what we have, no matter what heights we reach, it’ll never be enough.

I didn’t know Mr. Williams, so may be I am completely off-base here, but I do know me and I have stoodRobin Williams Mork and Mindy at the same precipice looking into the unknown and wondering if it was worth it to live another day, and while I didn’t have all that he had, I had plenty to live for, but I couldn’t see it. Thankfully for me this has changed.

Here’s what I learned:

  1. There is hope. Those visionary dreams we see, the ones we can’t seem to get to… well there’s no guarantee that we get all the way there. Hope isn’t found in reaching the destination, it’s in moving forward toward it. Gaining ground becomes the goal, moving the ball forward. Even if I can’t get in the end zone, I can move the ball forward, so someone else can. He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.
  2. You are worth it. Every time you get the idea that you’re worthless, remember who you are. The Son of God laid down his life and rose again so that you and I could live eternally when our missions are complete. Your value is high, both to God and to many others.
  3. Life is worth it. We don’t get to pick our level of success, but neither do we really know what success is. At any moment, even in some of the tamest, seemingly weakest moments, we can do something that changes the course of history (in big or small ways) forever. You never know what will be the thing that makes all the difference, so press on. Jesus said, “In this world you will, have trouble but take heart I have overcome the world.” Hang in there, because with Jesus, eventually, we win.
  4. You are loved. By God certainly, and that should be enough, but also by many people whether you believe it or not. There are a lot of people in this world who want you to stay in it. You enrich their lives.

There are of course many other lessons, but these four are special because they are the exact opposite of what the enemy of our souls tells us when he wants to destroy us. “It’s hopeless, you’re worthless, life just isn’t worth living, nobody loves you.” These are lies of the enemy from the pit of hell, told for your destruction. Don’t you believe them. There is hope, you have great value, life is worth it and you are loved. Believe it and if you need help to believe it, get help.

As I looked at all the social media tributes to this entertainment legend, I had a strange thought: I wonder if seeing this outpouring of love and adoration would have changed his mind. Unfortunately, we’ll never know. Suicide is a permanent “solution” to a temporary problem.

…being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus. Philippians 1:6 NIV

It gets better… get help… and push through.

I pray God’s blessing on the work of your hands and your hearts,

Vonda

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Parting Words From The WORD…

Laughing Jesus by Robert Wilson, Sr.

Laughing Jesus by Robert Wilson, Sr.

The Winning Step Awaits, by Cathy Baker


“It took bravery on my part to take the
first step, so tonight is not the winning step. The winning step was the first one.”
David, runner up for The Biggest Loser 2014

Perhaps it was the timing of his statement that caused me to drop my 3 point-worthy Bagel Thins and pick up a pen instead. Thanks to Vonda, author Dave Weiss’ post Your Muse is DEAD had been raising its hand for my constant attention all day long:

“Inspiration is not something to wait for, it’s something to seek. It’s not some wispy goddess who capriciously decides to withhold your creativity. The muse is dead, actually she was never alive. Most of inspiration is work.” Dave Weiss, AMOKArts.com

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Your Muse is DEAD by Dave Weiss; Call-Outs for Kudos & MoGo7000 Totals

Dave Weiss stage shotToday it’s a joy to welcome back Dave Weiss, artist, writer, speaker, and founder of AMOKArts, where Dave helps Christian Creatives use their gifts for God’s glory. I read Dave’s post recently and knew immediately that I wanted to share it with you!

Your Muse is DEAD, by Dave Weiss of AMOKARTS

You’re going to see a side of me you may not like today. I am hoping you will stick with me. There is one thing that always drives me a little crazy. It happens whenever I hear a creative type who seems to be waiting on his or her muse. Waiting for inspiration to strike. Worse still are people who blame this lack of inspiration on God. So today let’s get it straight. The concept of muses comes from mythology, it’s pagan. It has no place in your Christian life. Your muse is dead.

As far as blaming God, that happens when you say God is not inspiring you today. Now I’ll be the first one to admit there are days when it’s hard to find the idea and there are days where you need to unplug, cease striving and be still. I do not think it is fair to blame anything on a perfect God though…

Inspiration is not something to wait for, it’s something to seek. It’s not some whispy goddess who capriciously decides to withhold your creativity. The muse is dead, actually she was never alive. Most of inspiration is work.

What we’re really missing most of the time is not inspiration, it’s motivation. We all know those days where we have the idea and everything is flowing and creating is fun. And then there are those other days where it all just feels like work. Guess what… on those days the best thing you can do is get to work. Let’s just say for a moment that on any given day there is no new idea. My first question is have you finished and shipped yesterday’s idea or last week’s or last year’s? Most of the times when I feel stuck, the reality is, I’m not stuck. I have a project that is at a point where it’s not fun, it’s work and I’m just not motivated to do something that isn’t fun. In those times the answer is to suck it up and push through. Sometimes the new idea doesn’t come because we have to finish the old idea. It’s called faithfulness.

Look at God. He created the Universe in six days, saw that is was good (ready to “ship”) and then rested. That’s a good word for us all. Give your project your best, get it done and done well, ship it and take a break. Maybe instead of looking for a non-existent muse, we should look at what we already have going and finish that, before we start seeking the next idea.

God is not witholding from you, when He has something for you to do, He will make it clear. In the mean time look to what He’s previously given you that you left unfinished and start working on that.

Inspiration must be accompanied with motivation and determination. Don’t use it as an excuse for procrastination.

What do you need to finish?

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Photo courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Photo courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Call-Out for Kudos…I Want to Brag on You!

Have you had something exciting happen recently in your writing or speaking life? Maybe you’ve had an article published, signed a book contract, released a new book, got an agent, or started a new blog. If so, we want to hear from you!

It’s really simple, but I do ask that you contact me with the info in this format and order:

**Your name
**Your state in two-letter abbreviation
**Link to your website or blog
**Your good news
**Link to your good news, if online (online bookstore, online article, etc)

I can’t wait for us to celebrate with you!

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mogo7000 logoCall for MoGo7000 Totals

If you wrote at least 7000 new words on a book project in January, you can get your first entry in the drawing for the 2014 MoGo7000 $100 cash prize! It’s open to everyone who qualifies.

To report your January results, please leave a comment below with your total new words written in January. (Please do not send your totals by email or through the Contact page. Totals must be left as a comment here by next Monday). 

If you missed out on last year’s money-winning writing challenge, don’t worry, a brand new challenge is underway! Here are the MoGo7000 Challenge rules. All you have to do is write at least 7000 NEW words on a book project in any month and you’ll receive an entry into the end-of-the-year drawing for $100.

Each month that you qualify with 7000 new words, your name goes in the “hat” for the drawing. Reach the goal one month and you’ll have one entry. Meet it 12 months and you’ll have 12 entries!

So what are you waiting for? Get started now and you could have $100 this time next year. And it doesn’t cost you a cent. 🙂

Now, quit putting it off and get to work!

Blessings,

Vonda

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Are You Adding to the Noise? by Dave Weiss & Who Won Janet McHenry’s Book?

Friends, please welcome my friend, Dave Weiss, to the Christian Writer’s Den today. Dave is not only an artist, writer, speaker, and pastor, he’s also founder of AMOKArts.com where he helps Christian Creatives use their gifts for God’s glory. So when he shared his thoughts on this book, I knew I just had to share it–and Dave–with you.

Are You Adding to the Noise? by Dave Weiss


I’m reading an excellent book right now called The Divine Commodity: Discovering a Faith Beyond Consumer Christianity by Skye Jethani. I was mainly drawn to the book because in it he relates the story behind Van Gogh’s masterpiece Starry Night to the current attitude of consumer Christianity. But it’s not just Van Gogh, he interweaves many other wonderful illustrations into the mix including many from the arts and humanities.

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Christian Writer’s Den Receives Two Awards & Gives Four Awards Away!

Photo courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Yes, I know it’s only Monday. And yes, I know you don’t usually get a Christian Writer’s Den post on Monday. But we’ve just received two awards and I didn’t want to use our usual post days to announce it. So…

Today is officially declared the Christian Writer’s Den Awards Day!

It was hard for me to decide who to nominate for these awards as I pass them on. After all, I have lots of friends who have blogs! But I’ll just state up front, that I decided to focus on the creative arts, the messy Christian life, encouragement for women, and moms. I only wish I could offer an award to all my friends! But please know you’re all appreciated and honored today.

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First of all, I am honored for the Christian Writer’s Den to receive the Reader Appreciation Award from Tracy Crump and Marylane Wade Koch, owners of Write Life Workshops.

 

If you dream of getting published, or want to publish more, Tracy Crump and Marylane Wade Koch can help. Write Life Workshops offers workshops and webinars to assist you in reaching your writing goals.

You can sign up for The Write Life newsletter to receive a short writing or marketing tip straight to your inbox each month. Guest writers such as Cecil Murphey, James Watkins, and Sally Stuart pop in from time to time to share from their vast store of writing experience.

The Write Life subscribers also receive available story callouts for anthologies such as Chicken Soup for the Soul, Guidepost anthologies, MOPS books, and The Ultimate Series. Some callouts are not accessible by the general public. The Write Life is free so sign up today!

It is my privilege to nominate the following bloggers for The Reader Appreciation Award:

1. AMOKarts.com: Dave Weiss’ mission is to use his creative gifts to God’s glory and his neighbor’s good. A.M.O.K. is an acronym that stands for Arts Ministry Outreach for the Kingdom. The goal of A.M.O.K. is summed up in their founding verse 1 Peter 4:10: “Each one should use whatever gifts he has received to serve others…” Dave uses live visual art, video and the Word of God to challenge people to use their gifts to serve the Lord and others. His message will motivate your group to find the things they were created to do and be, individually and corporately, to the glory of God.

2. Vulnerable, Messy, Broken Hallelujah: Laura Kramer writes, “It’s time you knew the truth about me. This life I live, this journey I walk to love God with my whole heart, sometimes I want to believe it is a love song for Him—a melody of praise. But quite honestly, life is hard. And when I stop to listen in to my own hymn, the one I sing with this life I live…

…struggling and wrestling to surrender…

My song of praise sounds more like a Vulnerable, Messy, Broken Hallelujah. As hard as I may try my song never rises to the right key. The tune is flat and broken—just like me.

And yet—He still adores me. He. Really. Does. You? Yes, He adores you too.”

Congratulations, Dave and Laura. I’m happy to share your blogs with my friends!

There are a few guidelines for accepting this award: 1. Acknowledge the giver of the award and provide a link to his or her blog site. 2. Copy and paste the award to your blog. 3. Pass the award to up to ten bloggers. 4. Notify your selected bloggers that you have nominated them.

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The Second Award for is the Beautiful Blogger Award from Jennifer Mergsberger’s God in the Everyday.

 

Thank you, Jennifer, nominating The Christian Writer’s Den for the Beautiful Blogger Award. Ladies, you will love Jennifer’s blog. Shame and fear kept her from reaching out to the One who could restore her. Now, her heart is to encourage women to see God in their everyday lives and equip them to know Him more. With a unique point of view and quirky sense of humor, Jennifer is far from “normal.” But God uses her gifts to show how an ordinary life is simply extraordinary!

I’d like to pass this award on to these two blogs specifically for women:
Jamie Britt of Encouraging Women and Jill Hart of Christian Work at Home Moms. Both blogs reach women in different areas of their lives. I know you’re going to love getting to know these two dear ladies!

1. Jamie of Encouraging Women says, “My prayer for this blog is that all who visit will find strength, hope and encouragement for their trials of life. I want women to realize that no matter what you go through in life, there’s still hope. Please don’t give up! Whatever you go through, God has a purpose in it all. You may not see it at the moment, but He will reveal it to you in His perfect time. I can promise you, spending eternity with God will be worth it.”

2. Jill of Christian Work at Home Moms says, “At Christian Work at Home Moms, CWAHM.com, you’ll find resources to uplift you, encourage you, help you find a great work at home career and bring you closer to God!”

Congratulations, Jamie and Jill! I’m happy to share your blogs with my friends!

To receive this award:
1. Copy the Beautiful Blogger Award logo and place it in  your post.
2. Thank the person who nominated you and create a link back to their blog.
3. Share the love – Nominate several other bloggers for their own Beautiful Blogger Award.

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So there they are–two awards for The Christian Writer’s Den, both in the same week, and four new award winners. Thanks, Tracy, Marylane, and Jennifer for nominating me.

And thank you, dear readers. Without you, The Christian Writer’s Den would be a lonely place!

Happy Monday!

Vonda

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The Three Best Ways to Ensure Failure

istock1011successfailureIn the world of writing we read a lot of opinions on how to succeed as a writer. But have you ever considered the surefire ingredients of failure?

Today’s post is from my friend, Dave Weiss, pastor and founder of AMOKArts and AMOKArts Tribe, a blog for anyone interested in using art to serve others and glorify God.

Check out this video. Regardless of your goals, are you headed toward success or failure?

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