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Giving IS Better than Receiving

On my last trip to Mexico, there were many sweet moments, but no sweeter than this. It’s a memorable in which I was reminded that it truly IS better to give than to receive.

We visited a small church in a very poor part of town. When we ask the pastor what needs he had, he mentioned that he had no instruments to use in church, and a guitar would help tremendously. That’s when God put a thought in my spirit… A thought that I wrestled with for the next day or two.

 

I had a guitar with me. It’s a guitar with tremendous sentimental value. I had it since before my first kid was born. And now he is a teenager and a member of the team on this very Mexico trip! I’ve recorded albums with this guitar, sung thousands of songs on it, and now God is prompting me to give it away. I fought Him on this, recounting all of the reasons why this guitar (which I called by it’s nickname “Al”) should stay with me. The reasons weren’t good enough to stop a change in ownership, and I knew it. I knew I was supposed to give it away.

As long as these were my thoughts, I could change my mind in selfishness. So I knew I needed to put it out there and tell a friend, and then I couldn’t take it back. So I told my friend, Derick, who is in my life a tremendous example of selflessness. And there it was. That night, I’d play some songs and tell of my history with the guitar, and inform him that I just played my last song on it, and that it was now his to play.

I want to be clear on something. I don’t write this to brag in any way. I know Jesus says that when you give not to announce it. I can’t brag about this anyway. The way I fought God on this internally doesn’t put me in a very good light! I write this to encourage you, that if you feel the promptings of God to sacrifice and give something away to someone less fortunate, do it! Don’t fight Him. You’ll lose. Or you might miss out on the blessing of giving.

What a sweet moment is was! I get emotional just thinking about it. Seeing my brother in Christ play his first song on my old guitar. You’ll have to just watch it for yourself. My now teenage son recorded the exchange:

 

 

We Lost a Good Man…

Last month, we lost a good man. Mark Allen was GNPI’s Nomad Coordinator for the last two years, and made a huge impact in that short time. It was emotional for me to edit this tribute video. Shortly after he passed away in a vehicle accident I wrote the following paragraphs to share about this wonderful soul:

In Color Code personality theory, yellow is the driving core that’s motivated by fun. Mark tested as high yellow. Bright yellow! As a fellow yellow, myself, I’m no stranger to being the comic relief in the office. But whenever Mark was in town, he stole that show in a great and wonderful way. People fed off of his energy, (I know) probably depleting his own reserves. But like the energizer bunny, he kept on going and going, and was perpetually lifting people’s spirits.
He shared with others an infectious joy in life. I’ll remember him, not only for the way he made people laugh, but also for his giving spirit. Some of the neatest old cameras in my collection in my office were gifts from Mark just because. It goes without saying that he will be missed every time I see those pieces.
My daughter won a CD at some event and wanted to hear it as we drove to the lake this last weekend. We were listening to it when a colleague texted asking if I had checked my work email. I sensed it was important so I looked and saw the tragic news of Mark’s passing. Sadness hit like a ton of bricks. Then I immediately heard over the car stereo on the CD my daughter gave me the words from Chris Tomlin’s song “Home”:
 
There’s a better place waiting for me in heaven
Every tear will be wiped away
Every sorrow and sin erased
We’ll dance on seas of amazing grace in heavenin heaven
I’m going Home
Where the streets are golden
Every chain is broken
Oh I wanna go, Oh I wanna go
Home, where every fear is gone
I’m in Your open arms
Where I belong Home
The tears well up as I think of that moment and even now as I write. Mark was not just a teammate, a talented trainer, a funny storyteller. He was a friend. And although it’s painfully shocking to think of how he will be missed, we find some solace in knowing that he’s gone Home, which is right where he belongs.
Please take a few minutes to watch this video tribute featuring people from all over the world who were also impacted by this individual.

Categories: Uncategorized

Bucket List Item Fulfilled

How are you doing on your bucket list? I’ve still got a bit to cross off of mine. I’ve bungee jumped, but I haven’t been skydiving yet! Next year I’m gonna get to fulfill a big item.

Many people, especially people of faith like myself dream of seeing the Holy Land. To walk where Jesus once walked is to make the Bible come to life! So, I’m going to Israel next year.

To say I’m excited is a bit of an understatement. My guide for the tour is intriguing as well! I’ve been reading the Lion of War series of novels by Cliff Graham. I’ll meet him in person this September, and next year I’ll embark on a “Good Battle” Israel Tour.

Here’s what the site has to say about Cliff:

Cliff Graham spent many years seeing men of all walks of life lack interest in the Bible and what it meant to be a man of God. He was passionate about catering to these men, and creating material that spoke to their interests.

He and some of his friends talked about developing exciting stories based on men of the Bible. They decided that the real life adventures of King David and his band of warriors known as the Mighty Men, found in 2 Samuel and 1 Chronicles, were some of the most gripping. After five years of research and writing, the result was his debut novel Day of War, the first entry in a series of five called Lion of War.

He is a former Army officer and runs the Giborrim course, a training program for men wishing to get involved in fighting the sexual exploitation and trafficking of young girls and women. 

You should check out the site www.goodbattletours.com and inquire with Cliff if this type of trip is on YOUR bucket list. Tell him Greg Fish sent you!

Of course I’ll let you know how it goes, but do you want to hear more right now? Here’s a testimonies video from a trip that took place just last month:

First Element 3D Video

I recently installed the Element 3D plugin from Videocopilot that we had at the office, and used a model phone for a video. It was fun to do, and I think it turned out pretty nice. I think my favorite part is when the phone multiplies into several phones. Enjoy! Oh, and get the GNPI app too!

Categories: Uncategorized

No Glass was Harmed

My organization’s theme for the year is Breakthrough. I was excited about the visual imagery for illustrating this theme. Using stock video and recreating shards of glass digitally, I can say that no glass was harmed during the making of this promo video. That said, it was a complicated and rigorous edit at times, with lots of pieces to it. Having glass refract what’s underneath it, and have video in it, etc. I’m pleased in the end with the voiceover, the music, sound effects, the edit, and ultimately the message. (It can be difficult to succinctly summarize all that our ministry does, but I think with this one, we accomplished that.) See for yourself!

It’s Not Greek to Him

My dad is a Greek Professor and a smart guy– which is why it’s so funny to see him dancing and playing the fool in this parody of Margaritaville! He asked for my help to make a little video for his Greek class, so created this rendition of Participleville. For all the students who’d like to say, “It’s Greek to Me!” enjoy!

Mixing Live Action with Cartoons

I finally finished a project that I started several months ago. It’s a cartoon episode that involves a real person who dialogues with the cartoon characters. So technically, to pull it off, I used 3 different Adobe software programs, Premiere, After Effects, and the new Character. Learning Character was fun. It utilizes a webcam where you can make the “puppets” do things based on your live performance of webcam movement and tracking, and keyboard triggers that you assign. That and the automatic lip sync made this episode much easier than the last ones we did in the series!

Enjoy the final result and the behind the scenes video!

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