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Another Great Issue of CVMag

December 11, 2012 Leave a comment

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Here’s what’s in the Sept/Oct issue of CVMag (free subscription at www.christianvideomag.com)

Cover Story, Inside the Mind of a Writer-Director, Darrel Campbell, by Gregory Fish

Article, The Way- choosing a life, living a life, by Martin Baggs

Article, The Rules of Design, by Dan Stevers

Article, Easy Green Screening, by Gregory Fish

Article, Top Tools for Problems in Post, by Ryan Geesaman

Article, Basic Composition, by Ken Erickson

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First Issue as Editor

Christian Video Magazine, Volume 5 Number 3 is my first issue as editor. It just went out today. This is pretty exciting for me and I look forward to the future of this publication as I continue to work on it.

If you do not receive it currently, I’d be honored to deliver it to your inbox. It is a free subscription. Simply go to www.christianvideomag.com and follow sign up directions. You can read this issue and past issues at our online community in a new flash viewer or download pdfs to read/ save.

This issue contains:

Editorial, New Beginnings by Gregory Fish
Cover Story, NOMaD 1-2-3 – An interview with Good News Productions, Intl, by Gregory Fish
ArticleThe Avengers – manipulation and teamwork, freedom and subjugation, by Martin Baggs
ArticleThe Power of Video for this Generation by Gregory Fish
ArticleSync Without Sinking by Ryan Geesaman
Quick TipIncrease You YouTube Upload limit from 15 min to 12 Hours! by Chad Gleaves

The Case of the Missing Halo

I’m by nature an observant person. In fact my name “Gregory” comes from the Greek word gregoreo meaning “to watch” or “be attentive”. Vigilant watchman is my name, so it’s a Bible name after all! As I parked at the hospital today to visit a friend from church, I made an observation that compelled me to take out my little camera phone. I documented my observation and went on to do what I had come to do. When I came back to the car, I noticed something else out of the ordinary. A white piece of paper was flapping in the faint breeze underneath my wiper-blades. I thought it could be a flyer for something. Maybe for some religious event, after all I was in the clergy only parking and the clergyman’s vehicle next to mine also had a paper decoration. No, turns out it was a parking violation.

I got a parking violation for parking in the clergy parking space when I am clergy! Never before has that happened in all of the times I’d visited this hospital. This time it did, so I went back in to get this sorted out. I was dressed in sandals, shorts, and a T-shirt, so I didn’t really look the part, but fortunately I had a laminated badge from another hospital that identified this young punk as a member of the order of the cloth. What security told me is that my vehicle was missing its halo. So a new security guard went a little violation crazy. I didn’t have the correct laminated piece on my dash apparently. The halo comment was funny, but here’s where my initial observation comes back into play. There was no visible halo above the clergy’s cars, but if you look underneath the vehicles, you may see a rounded ring of sorts. As I drove in to park, I noticed in all of the clergy only parking places there was a heavy circular oil stain, noticeably absent in the vast majority of non-clergy parking spaces.  When you want to identify a preacher’s car, don’t look for the halo above it, look underneath it!

I’m not sure what the point of this post is. That may be for you to determine and chime in at the comments section and tell me what it means. Many churches pray, “Lord, you keep our pastor humble and we’ll keep him poor!” For this reason, many take up other “tentmaking” opportunities, to steal a phrase from Paul’s moonlighting gig. Well, while my miles-heavy, paint chipping mini-van added to the stain in the clergy parking space, I was glad not to be stuck with a real violation fee. And I’m glad that God has taken care of us through the years and that we have been able to put our hands to the plow and take care of our bills. I’m glad that we can cheerfully give towards other needs and to the less fortunate.

This topic is a funny one, because smaller churches will typically reflect this type of stain, while you’ve got televangelists extravagance on the other extreme.  I guess one point to be made would be this: whether you add to the oil-stained halo, or your vehicle is leak free, whether you are at a mega-church, or a smaller church with several part-time projects on the side, whether you’ve squandered what you’ve made or have applied Dave Ramsey economics, whether you are in full-time ministry or if you’re a layperson, just be a faithful Christian. In the end, we’re all just Christians, and the world’s security is patrolling, watching our every move. Our only credential is Christ in us. Whatever your situation may be, just don’t lose your halo.

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:

Freedom is Not Free

Memorial Day is right around the corner. This is a short video about sacrifice and freedom that parallels the raising of the flag on Mt. Suribachi of Iwo Jima, to the raising of the cross on Golgotha.

Download link: http://bit.ly/k1606D

The Intentiona​l Chance Encounter

May 17, 2011 1 comment

This morning I had a chance encounter…well, sort of. It was actually more intentional on my part, but it was a chance encounter nonetheless. I was driving in to the office like any morning. I was a little earlier than I’ve been lately. Thought I’d get a jump start on things before our staff meeting. Then things took a turn, a turn for the better.
 
As a pastor, the real job is not at a desk, but out with people. I used to chase people around and lately I’ve taken more of a “if you need me, you know where to find me” type of stance, which is inevitable with growth. The problem with that is that people don’t do it. If they’re suffering or needing someone to sit and listen to them, they struggle with coming out and saying it. It leaves them too vulnerable, they think. That’s why we must be more proactive and probe a little and find out how things really are. Without any digging, relationships will remain plastic and superficial. I think the Good Shepherd (Pastor) was proactively seeking out the lost sheep, who were you and me. While in scripture we see a clear precedent to seek out God, he also seeks us out, even leaving others in safety to find us. We should maybe take our cue from Him and be more intentional about having and creating chance encounters.
 
Let me explain what happened. There’s this guy that has been coming to our service for a couple of months. But I’m already on the stage in full swing when he comes in, and I never get to talk to him after. He leaves before I can even find him. He has never filled out an attendance card. It was on Easter that I first talked to him, the only time. This was possible because we didn’t have Sunday School that day, and he arrived early. I finally got his name, and told him that I’ve seen him at the bus stop close by the church. One time before Easter I pulled into the parking lot next to the bus stop, waved and he waved back. I don’t think he recognized me without a tie on. I told him that if he saw a red minivan there, that was me, and I’d give him a ride. It saves him having to wait for a bus to Walmart, then another bus to his work. He said not to worry about it, but I told him to look for me.
 
Well, today I looked for him. From the light, I didn’t see him, because he wasn’t there. When the light changed to green, as I made the turn, out of the corner of my eye he showed up. I almost wrecked getting into the other lane, but managed to pull into the second parking lot entrance and made my way around. I made eye contact, waved and he acknowledged me. Even then, he didn’t come over. I could have left it at that. But we had this talk already! Oh well, let’s press the issue. Since my window doesn’t work very well, I had to unbuckle and get out of the car and yell, “You want a ride to work?” Then and only then did he leave the routine of standing by the bus stop alone and closed off from anyone else. He told me he didn’t want to inconvenience me. He told me it’s too far away, to which I replied, “Isn’t it just straight down the road and to the left?” As I insisted, he finally took me up on my offer. Even with an active pursuit there will be resistance to opening up.
 
Now I cleared off the passenger seat, and manually unlocked the door that didn’t work with the power locks button. And he was my captive audience. I only knew his name and where he worked when he got in, and in the short drive I learned much about him and who he is. I didn’t have to force any conversation, it just flowed because there was opportunity. And this chance encounter for him, I learned was what he was needing and wanting. He wanted to ask for 5 minutes of my time at some point to tell me some things that happened in his life and talk to me about his life today. He didn’t have to get up the courage to call a meeting, because I listened to the Spirit’s prodding and beat him to it. It was an intentional chance encounter.
 
I found out that someone gave him a Bible from the church. He’s been reading it. He’s already in Ecclesiastes and since coming to our church he’s been doing a lot better. He walks to church and then walks to work. He’s had some pain, like everyone else, well, in his case probably more than most. He so much appreciated the chance to get some stuff off of his chest, and I told him that now I know how to pray more specifically for him. He loved the idea that I would do that for him and was appreciative for the ride. I told him that it’s my job, so don’t feel like it’s an inconveniance, and that there will be a next time.
 
Make the most of every opportunity is a Biblical principle. I am not recounting this story out of pride or arrogance. Quite on the contrary, actually. Maybe I feel compelled to share it out of repentance. I have assumed a position of waiting as opposed to creating opportunities. I feel this was a divine appointment, but one that I could have missed due to selfishness or busyness or any other excuse. We, like the priest and Levite in Luke 10 (the good Samaritan) are far too good at quenching the Spirit’s still small voice. The same voice that whispered to Elijah in a cave calls to you and me. He urges us to create opportunities to impact the lives of others– starting with our own families, our spouses, our kids, etc.
 
Now I think there’s still value in making it clear that you’re available to people and placing the ball in their court, where if they really need you they have an open door, but sometimes I need to do more. And you? Have you had any intentional chance encounters, recently? If not, should you be more intentional about looking for them?

Live Guitar Loop Fun

May 10, 2011 1 comment

This is a fun little loop that I made. “Qué Alegría” means “Oh, what joy!” in Spanish.

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