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Front Page News

I had the privilege of being featured on the front page of today’s paper in the Joplin Globe. A nice article was written up by the reporter Emily Younker. She even watched my film and pulled quotes from it! In other good news, today, Steadfast has been nominated for an award in the documentary category of the Bare Bones International Film Festival next month! Here’s the story from the paper:

Steadfast, adj.: firm in purpose, resolution, faith. Synonyms: steady, unwavering, stable, constant, immovable.

So begins Gregory Fish’s documentary “Steadfast,” aptly describing its subject — the response and outlook of the Joplin community after the May 22, 2011, tornado. The original 92-minute film, first produced in 2012, has been re-edited and trimmed to just under an hour for a run on local public television and entry in regional film festivals, having most recently been selected for the upcoming 2018 Bare Bones International Film and Music Festival in Muskogee, Oklahoma.

“This version that’s been updated for PBS and film festivals, it’s really five years in the making,” Fish said. “My whole goal in doing it was to help Joplin, and hearing from people who said, ‘This helped me emotionally,’ that’s what made it worth it for me.”

Read the rest of the digital version on the Joplin Globe’s page.

 

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Categories: filmmaking, personal

Andrew Peterson’s “Is He Worthy?”

I normally post videos I’ve made on this blog, but here’s on that I had nothing to do with. It’s really good on all counts. I’ve been a fan of Andrew Peterson for many years. His writing is a true gift. This video was shot in one continuous take! The logistics for it are astounding. Getting people into place when the camera is facing away. The reveals. It’s just so beautiful all around. With Easter coming up soon, enjoy this masterpiece!

Playing Guitar and Keys at the Same Time

February 23, 2018 Leave a comment

I’ve enjoyed an app called Dreamfoot on iPad to use with a Looptimus midi controller. It allows me to map out chords on a song in different sections and then play keyboard sounds easily while playing guitar and even singing. Here’s an example of how it works…

One Second Every Day in 2017

I got this idea and app suggestion from a friend, and decided to make a video that has one second from every day in 2017. It’s neat to watch it and look back now. It’s been quite a year. Some days had big events. Others were very mundane. There’s a lot of my kids and a lot of food! It was fun to do. The “1Se” (1 second everyday) app makes it easy, and then I just added music and a little intro and outro.

I’m glad I did it, but I’m NOT doing it this new year! So please enjoy this little video which was a year in the making…

Worship 1/2 (revised)

September 18, 2017 Leave a comment

Years ago I made a though-provoking video to get Christians (myself included) to think more about the words we sing, and ask if it lines up with the lives we live. The resulting video was a fake infomercial for a worship CD full of satirical lyrics. Some may say it’s borderline sacrilegious, but I would disagree and say it’s purposeful to start a conversation. Recently I remade it, since the old one wasn’t even HD. Below is the result of the remake, as well as the older version. It’s also kind of fun to point out that my wife helped me with the first one (it’s not easy or even possible to film yourself!) and my son helped with the new one. Here’s to no more half-heartead devotion!

 

The older version:

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.

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