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Andrew Osenga- “Swing Wide the Glimmering Gates”

September 3, 2011 Leave a comment

Here’s another Andrew Osenga song- one of my favorites, actually from his solo stuff, but it’s all so good. Check out the original version on “Letters to the Editor”- http://andrewosenga.com/music/.

On this video I wanted to try a more challenging text obscure effect on the title. I’ll write another post soon on how to do that. For now, enjoy:

Andrew Osenga- I’m on your side

September 3, 2011 Leave a comment

A while back my friend put some footage on an external drive for me to edit together. He said he didn’t have time to do it, so naturally like a can’t-say-no type of guy, I said that I’d do it. Well, it’s taken me a long time to produce this first song, but here it is. I liked obscuring the title. That was fun!

It’s Andrew Osenga- “I’m on your side.” I’ve been a fan of Andy O since the days of The Normals. My buddies and I would always catch them in concert when they were within a 250 mile radius from us, I’d say. Some of those friends of mine were the ones shooting this video.  Since those days, Andy has played with a host of others including:

Jars of Clay, Andrew Peterson, Jonny Diaz, Sarah Kelly, Katie Herzig, JJ Heller, Bebo Norman, Matthew Perryman Jones, Emily Deloach, Derek Webb, Jon Troast, Ben Shive, Jill Phillips, Laura Story, Adam Agin, Christopher Williams, Shaun Groves, Indelible Grace, Caedmon’s Call

I love his solo stuff. I’m hoping to book him some time for a concert. The guy’s got some skills. Here’s his new project in the works.  You can check out Andy on: http://andrewosenga.com/. For now, enjoy this song!

New Series Banner Design

August 17, 2011 2 comments

This is the design I went with for our new series on the 7 deadly sins and 7 heavenly virtues. It’s kind of a tough series advertise outside without appearing judgmental in some way. That’s why I added the “all are welcome” text. We’re all sinners in need of grace and in a constant flux of minimizing and suppressing our sinful nature while choosing to live out our Christian virtues instead.

Hopefully this will be eye-catching and raise interest in people, especially new people. To achieve this design I used 3 different creative swap files “adam and eve”, “bling generation”, and “something heavenly” I think. I created one file for the sin graphic that we can adapt for the series slides, etc. and one for the virtues. I brought them both into the banner template, added shadow and the plus sign in between (which was actually a “&” in a font that made it a plus, and I liked it better). I did a simple gradient in the background but tweaked it so that my clean text at the bottom would be read easily. That’s about it.

What have you designed recently?

Quotes from a Great Book

I’d like to highlight quotes from Gary Molander’s great book “Pursuing Christ, Creating Art”.  Go to garymo.com to find out how to order your own copy.

Art finds its truest purpose when its creator attempts to make visible the invisible. Love is an invisible concept. So is patience. So is forgiveness. In its purest form, art enables people to see love, to see patience, and to see forgiveness. The Christian artist then, takes that primary purpose, and adds one word to it. God. p. 19

The best art is borne in the joy of heaven, or the pain of hell. God-fearing artists will experience both, and God will beautifully interact with them in both places. But to create from Hades – to try to become artistically motivated from a place of perfect balance between heaven and hell – will cause artists to create safer art that is less impacting on the viewer, and frankly more boring. p. 41

Real freedom is the ability to tell God’s story with your unique voice. p. 56

If God is not crucifying fear in the hearts of artists, then He’s probably busy crucifying our pride. That’s the other side of the same coin. p. 78

Perfect is a myth…Our lives are excellent. But they’re not perfect. p. 83

Excellence requires that we take all of the ability given to us, and intersect that with all of the resources at our disposal. And we create from that exact intersection – Ability and Resources. p. 83

Don’t ever let personal obscurity stop you from creating art. Please don’t worry about becoming famous, or about making a name for yourself, or about maneuvering the spotlight to shine a little brighter on your face. It’s one thing to get your art as broadly distributed as possible (a good thing), and that’ll take a great strategy. But it’s another thing to make personal popularity the end game. Just continue to do the work. p. 89

I wish we’d all learn to find the sacredness, not in the result, but in the process. Let’s work our tails off at the process, making it our sacrament. But let’s learn, possibly for the first honest moment in our lives, to truly leave the results in the more-than-capable hands of Jesus. p. 98

Artists know that they’re crossed the line into idolatry when they attribute salvation to their art…It’s so easy to jump from God-worship to art-worship. p. 108

I think discontentment is a good thing. There is beauty in this sensation that something in our lives is not yet finished – that we need to write something, or read something, or pray something, or draw something, or paint something, or shoot something, or sing something. And rather than fight against it, I wish we’d learn to embrace it. p. 121

When artists and leaders begin to attach expectations to their dreams, they create nightmares. p. 123

These days, it’s easier than ever for any artist to create a platform for himself, for herself. But the size of the platform doesn’t always equal the size of the character. Platform only displays skill level, not heart condition. Beware of the artist whose skill level surpasses their character. p. 155

The mark of a real leader is never the absence of fear, but the willingness to hand their fears over to a God who is both good, and sovereign. One hundred times every day. p. 157

But my greatest hope in all of this is simple. I hope and pray that you go create some art. That you create it in response to God. That you create it so the world sees a God who is unseen. That you not worry about how widely it’s distributed. Just worry that it’s distributed somewhere. p. 158

That’s just the tip of the iceberg, folks. Seriously, buy the book! In case you missed my other post, here’s my conversation with GaryMo himself on this fine work:

“Untitled” Book Review

Blank pages be gone! Blaine Hogan’s new book “Untitled” is available for just $4.99 on Amazon, iTunes, and B&N. I read it and here’s what I concluded:

Blaine’s book, though easy to read, is a tough pill to swallow. One of the over-arching themes is that the creative process is so very hard, if it is to be done effectively. He most definitely got that point across! Yet at the same time, he comes alongside both the experienced and inexperienced creative person and gives some needed encouragement through personal stories and helpful examples. At times he is blunt and up front with the reader with a sort of tough love that is necessary for creative types to see reality. For me, one of the most compelling moments in the book was a tender comparison of art to that of a baby. Through all of the hard work, it’s way worth it! A truly wonderful and real moment in this great book.

Untitled is chalk full of excellent quotes by a number of sources. It’s accessible to all creatives across any line imaginable with references from prayer to Lady Gaga. It’s simple, but insightful. Philosophical, yet practical. Challenging, but motivating. Do like me, and read it with the highlighter tool do its job. This work is a must read and refer to regularly type book for any creative person who wants to excel in their craft.

Here’s a short video I found of Blaine himself talking about the book:

 

Bonus- Let me give you just some of my favorite quotes from the book:

“No one cares about your ideas or how great a pitch-person you are if you can’t execute your vision.”

“Vision is easy. Ideas are even easier. It’s execution that separates the amateurs from the pros.”

“You will not be stuck forever. The trick is to know there are no tricks. There is, in fact, no easy way. There is only the work.”

“This is the creative process – stop complaining! It’s messy! It’s rarely mappable! It is always dynamic and ever-changing!”

“The best ideas must move you before they can move someone else.”

“Art will always reflect the beauty and the brokenness inside you and a commitment to contemplation leads you to a place where you can release both in lovely and healthy ways.”

“Your art isn’t just the “what” of the end-result, but is also “how” you got there.”

“Our job is to communicate the human experience and is something a machine will never be able to do.”

“Content must come before the medium. Don’t set out to prove a point. Set out to tell a great story. That might seem like kid stuff to you, but they are so simple we often miss them.”

“It’s easy to sell something to someone, it’s far harder to tell good stories.”

“Your inner critic is very real and it wants nothing more than to kill your creative freedom.”

“Failures are absolutely essential.”

“Beauty is a tricky, slippery bugger. But she must be captured…”

There you have it, go buy the book and read it cover to cover! Again, it’s available for just $4.99 on Amazon, iTunes, and B&N.

Blue Like Jazz (the movie)

July 30, 2011 1 comment

UPDATE: New Poster art and official trailer: http://trailers.apple.com/trailers/independent/bluelikejazz/

Donald Miller, author of the New York Times Bestseller Blue Like Jazz, has now written the screenplay for Steve Taylor’s movie Blue Like Jazz: the Movie.  A while back the movie was almost dead because of lack of funds. Nonetheless, thanks to a Kickstarter campaign the movie was saved and is in its final stages of post-production. During Echo Conference this week, a theater-full of creatives were allowed to screen the movie in its present condition. Lucky for me, I was there.

Steve Taylor came out at the very beginning with his disclaimers. He told us about some special effects not yet done, some color grading and sound leveling that is still needed, etc. (But with a room full of creatives, we could all envision the final product and appreciate what we were seeing. We even all cheered when the storyboard pictures came up instead of the finished version!) He told us of some necessary changes that he and Don decided on to be able to start on the screenplay.  He told us about the PG-13 rating. He told us of the challenge of portraying what is in the book (as faithfully as possible) without making it, well, more than PG-13. If you’ve read the book, then you understand that it’s not a children’s story. There is some adult content and language in an attempt to make it as real as possible.

I don’t want to give anything away in case you haven’t read the book, so you can and then watch the finished product.  However, I will say that it was very well done, and extremely impressive. The crowd, which frankly, could be very critical, loved it. I think that this film, like the book, will make many people think (and that’s a good thing).

We caught up with Steve Taylor after the screening (my friend Sid interviews him, while I  stuck behind the camera!):

So there you have it! An exclusive interview with Steve Taylor right after previewing his newest movie, the long awaited Blue Like Jazz: the Movie. Sorry you can’t see it yet, but let not your heart be troubled– here’s the official teaser trailer to hold you over:

My Second Joplin Video

June 24, 2011 1 comment

The last video has done a lot of good, and I’m trilled about it. In just one week, it’s been viewed over 2100 times and shared by over 800 people of Facebook alone. This is not counting people who saw it or will see it in a couple of church services and one ladies Bible study of 100 women. After the video was shown in one church, they, who had already given to Joplin, committed another trailer of supplies! Another church plans on using it to promote relief help. God is good.

This video has no message at the end to help or anything. The message is throughout, and it’s for the people of Joplin, to give them hope and encouragement. It is simple in its approach. It uses sound clips from the preachers at the community memorial service one week after the storm.

The speakers in this video are, in order of appearance- Fr. Justin Monaghan of St. Mary’s Catholic Church, Pastor Randy Gariss of College Heights Christian Church, Rev. Aaron Brown of St. Paul’s United Methodist Church. Some of the footage was my friend, Sid McGregor’s. The music is by Derri Daughtery (of The Choir and Lost Dogs) from his ambient project “Clouds Echo in Blue”, “the sound at the end of the world”.

Amanda Franklin

May 28, 2011 1 comment

It’s another sad day for SW Missouri, and completely unrelated to the tornado in Joplin. Very close to Joplin is Noesho, Missouri. Based out of Noesho was the husband wife team that made up “Pirated Skies”. Kyle and Amanda Franklin last performed their incredible wing-walking air show at Air Fiesta in Brownsville, TX, where I live. I tell the story of that tragic day in this post.

My purpose today is to report that after fighting hard to survive this accident for months, Amanda has now passed away. My prayers are with Kyle at this time. Kyle and Amanda met after both their fathers collided with each other and died at an air show several years ago. Please keep Kyle in your thoughts and prayers.

On March 11th, 2011, the day before the crash, we were wowed by their “Pirated Skies” performance.  No one had any idea that it would be their final successful act. I caught it all on video. So here it is- a tribute to Amanda.

 

And this is the link to a tribute video that someone else made for Amanda with info at the end on how to help the family:  http://youtu.be/X2Awo3sVp20

Family Radio (Before and After)

May 24, 2011 2 comments

Here is Harold Camping’s Family Radio website homepage on May 21st:

Here is the homepage after:

I fortunately snagged the image from the former before they changed it. The latter has been stripped of all things May 21st.

All this is no surprise to me, if you read my “The End is Near?” post and comments I made under it. I predicted this stance that Harold Camping has taken, and it’s a much better and wiser prediction than any he’ll ever make. He’s back peddling now, like he did in 1994. Is he really “flabbergasted” and “dumbfounded”. Can he really figure out what he did wrong in his calculations? I’ll tell you what he did wrong. He calculated. All based off of a wrong premise. October 21, 2011 will be no different. He wasn’t off by five months, he was off by bad hermeneutics. No amount of time and figuring will help. People need to stop believing him. I’m amazed that some people, still follow him after May 21st. Some believe God delayed his judgment because of their prayers! They’ll believe anything except that Camping is a fraud. Either a fraud or a confused old man.

I try to be nice in my posts. Too many go the opposite extreme and are downright mean an “unchristian” in their attacks. A firm stance is one thing. He is a false teacher and prophet, with zero credibility. But being crude is also uncalled for.

This post has some good points and stories in it: http://news.yahoo.com/s/yblog_thelookout/20110523/ts_yblog_thelookout/doomsday-prophet-followers-flabbergasted-world-didnt-end.

This one too: http://www.foxnews.com/us/2011/05/23/preacher-got-date-apocalypse-wrong-tries-says-months/?test=latestnews.

Here’s Harold claiming to need some time to think before doing any interviews.

He say he needs time to think? How about thinking about returning people the money they gave you to follow your message? Why didn’t you sell your house before the rapture if you weren’t going to need it? This is plain ridiculous. His poor followers fund his delusions. They need to turn to the truth. All this crying wolf is an abuse that will numb people into believing it’s all a myth. Instead we need to live like perhaps today Christ could return. Are we truly ready? Are we busy doing his work? Not renting billboards that promote a false, dangerous, and embarrassing date-setting message. Real ministry! This devo scripturally makes a case for doing just that: http://www.swordofthespirit.org/devotional/show/13202. It’s worth the short read! Scripturally speaking, it’s not for us to know times and seasons, but rather we are to Be Busy About Ministry Until The Lord Returns.

I’m done with all this Harold Camping stuff. I first saw them in February and was anxious to expose his heresy. But it’s a waste of time and effort. It’s simply not worth my time. On to more important things like doing real ministry. My hometown of Joplin, MO is suffering greatly right now, and not due to any of Camping’s predictions. Here’s a trusted place where you can give to help relief efforts in that devasted town- http://www.ides.org/joplin.html. It’s better than giving to other organizations because 100% goes to the relief effort and faster than others. It’s SOOOOOOO much better than giving anything to Family Radio or Harold Camping!!!!

I’d never give to Camping, but I am giving to Joplin relief and so should you!

The End is Near?

May 18, 2011 7 comments

I’ve been waiting to blog about Harold Camping since I first heard about him back in February. On the border there is this annual parade, and it’s a big deal. With so many people downtown in one place, guess who rolled into town. A bunch of people that looked like they weren’t from around these parts, and they were spouting off some crazy talk and pamphlets spelling out the Rapture and the beginning of the end on May 21st, 2011 as a guaranteed fact. As a pastor, I had just finished an extensive Wednesday nights study of Revelation (Jesus only gave one unveiling or revelation, not many as I’ve heard these Camping faithfuls say “RevelationS”, that’s beside the point, I digress). For this study, I read more in preparation than I have ever done in my years in ministry. I have a totally different view of eschatology (study of end times) than HC (Harold Camping) does, including not even believing in a Rapture in the way that millions do. My views are for another post and they are not the ones in question. I’m not claiming to have it all figured out either. Furthermore, your eschatological view is not an essential element to salvation. Jesus could come back today or tomorrow, probably not on May 21st since so many claim they know he will, but maybe on May 22 or maybe not in our lifetime. We need to be ready at all times.

I had told my group never to believe if someone said they knew when all this will take place, because you can’t know. Then this group rolled into town. It was exhibit A. All people who have claimed to know have one thing for sure in common. They’ve all been WRONG. Every time. That’s where this becomes dangerous.

For one, this whole ordeal, which is now gaining more media coverage is making Christians look foolish. One little group (well, pretty big actually) is making us all look bad and crazy. Then others who are defending the truth, do so in such a mocking and drastic way that they also give us a bad rap. These sincere followers are misguided and wasting their energy and money on things that will eventually be a “great disappointment” to them. They will have a choice, to continue to follow Camping, or follow Christ. We need to pray for these folks.

HC will make excuses, he’ll claim further study and revelation (even though there’s only ONE revelation, again, not many, and 2 Peter 1:20  says that “no prophecy of Scripture came about by the prophet’s own interpretation.”). He may say he made a mistake or miscalculation and then guess again, making up more magical calculations and some good money in the process. Followers of HC claim he gives his books away, that he’s not out for money. Yet his “non-profit” Family Radio has 120 million dollars of donations from well intentioned followers, and that’s on the books. I’ve read as much as $250 mil, but that just in a viewer comment. That he’s not out for money, is just another bold face lie. I can hear Bill Cosby’s voice from his Noah routine saying, “RIGHT!”

About Camping’s book– this is a real nugget. It’s called “1994”. It’s about how all this is going to happen in September of 1994. Wait a minute, that’s way back when my family came off of the mission field, and nothing happened. In the book he states, “We must conclude that the return of Christ will not be 2011 A.D”.  page 495.  So wait a minute, if you believe Harold Camping, then that means you can’t believe Harold Camping! He contradicts himself, and scripture.

In 1994 Camping’s failed prediction even caused 1 man to commit suicide because he was so embarrassed, and many abandoned the faith altogether. He’s got so many people hook, line, and sinker, it’s like a cult. It’s really sad.

Camping has predicted the rapture approx. 7 times. Deut. 18:21-22 states he is disqualified and a false prophet. Let’s let HC speak for himself: http://nymag.com/daily/intel/2011/05/a_conversation_with_harold_cam.html

How certain are you that world is going to end on May 21 — do you have any doubts?
God has given sooo much information in the Bible about this, and so many proofs, and so many signs, that we know it is absolutely going to happen without any question at all. There’s nothing in the Bible that God has ever prophesied — there’s many things that he prophesied would happen and they always have happened — but there’s nothing in the Bible that holds a candle to the amount of information to this tremendous truth of the end of the world. I would be absolutely in rebellion against God if I thought anything other than it is absolutely going to happen without any question.

But you were wrong the first time you predicted that the end of the world would take place in September of 1994. So you must think, in the back of your mind, that maybe you can’t actually predict when the end of the world will be.
In 1992, two years earlier than that, I had already begun to see that there was a good likelihood that 2011 would be the end, but at that time when my research in the Bible was not nearly complete

If six o’clock rolls around and there are no major earthquakes, are you going to start to get worried?
It’s going to happen. It’s going to happen. I don’t even think about those kind of issues. The Bible is not — God is not playing games. I don’t even want to think about that question at all. It is going to happen.

Are you going to do something with all your money before the 21st? Are you going to donate it to charity or something?
What’s the point? In other words, Judgment Day is the end of the world. That means that the whole world is in judgment, it will not be business as usual at all. At all.

 There you have it. From HC himself. Whatever happened to humility and submission in Biblical interpretation? There’s even more on the link I provided. He makes up a bunch of stuff, including holy numbers that aren’t accepted as such.

In numerology you can say anything you want to say. I could say that “Cute Purple Dinosaur” is 666 the mark of the beast through numerology. He bases his math on a date for Christ’s crucifixion on Friday April 1, AD 33, a date that most commentators would take issue with for several reasons, and no one really is sure, there are so many variables. It’s crucial for his findings, and already wobbly.  That and his other important dates such as 1948, Israel as a nation, Christians are divided on whether this is a fulfillment of Scripture. He takes controversial or at least debatable dates and counts on his interpretation as fact and his findings depend on his being right. Like I said, I could debate and take issue with most of his important data.

Youtube user : (Steve is his name) has done just that. He’s posted many videos, a lot longer than this one: http://youtu.be/J-Tnz-U4bAY, and has gone toe to toe with one of the biggest followers of Camping-  (Bill, I think is his name).

Witness of the (false) truth spreads his so-called “truth” in the marketplace with over 60 videos and thousands of views, adamandtly using the King James only. He’s passionate and very present among the harsh comments. Hetgow has challenged him to put his money (if he has any left) where his mouth is. Give him all his money, since he won’t need it after Saturday, and Hetgow will donate to Bible distribution after the fact. He didn’t take him up on it. So the challenge was lowered to $1…no dice. 1 month ago Witnessofthetruth said “Good-bye youtube”, but has resurfaced with videos of 4, 3, 2 and probably tomorrow, 1 day of mercy.

Hetgow recently pleaded with Witnessofthetruth with a sincere tone to not do anything foolish on May 22nd, when he crashes and falls hard. Again, we should really pray for these deluded followers of a person, a person already shown to be a false teacher and prophet. When you press either Camping or Witnessofthetruth they, of course, get defense and down right fiesty!

A little scripture shows the clear message of Christ regarding the end:

Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves.  (Matthew 7:15)

…many false prophets will appear and deceive many people. (Matthew 24:11)

Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away. “But about that day or hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father. (Matthew 24:35-36)

Therefore keep watch, because you do not know the day or the hour. (Matthew 25:13)

“So if anyone tells you, ‘There he is, out in the wilderness,’ do not go out; or, ‘Here he is, in the inner rooms,’ do not believe it.  For as lightning that comes from the east is visible even in the west, so will be the coming of the Son of Man. (Matthew 24:26-27)

When a prophet speaks in the LORD’s name, and the message does not come true or is not fulfilled, that is a message the LORD has not spoken. The prophet has spoken it presumptuously. Do not be afraid of him.  (Deuteronomy 18:22-23)

If anyone advocates a different doctrine and does not agree with sound words, those of our Lord Jesus Christ, and with the doctrine conforming to godliness, he is conceited and understands nothing; but he has a morbid interest in controversial questions and disputes about words, out of which arise envy, strife, abusive language, evil suspicions, and constant friction between men of depraved mind and deprived of the truth, who suppose that religion is a means of gain (1 Timothy 6:3-5).

HC says that on Saturday at 6pm in every time zone (really? that’s weird) a large earthquake will take place and graves will open up, and the truly saved will be raptured up. Well, if that doesn’t take place, and you believed it, please never believe this guy or anyone like him again. Enough with the date setting! Be ready at all times. I’ll be praising God at a David Crowder concert Saturday night. I seriously don’t think Jesus will come back then, but when he does, I’ll be ready.

Will this Saturday, May 21st, be the Rapture (if you belive in a “rapture” to start)? Then in a weird twist 5 months later as Camping states, will October 21st be the end of the world? Or will May 22nd mark the end of Harold Camping, or at least taking him seriously?

What do you think?

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