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Epic Theology

Finding God through the lens of an artist

Presenting at Comic-Con

Hey friends,

I have some more exciting news. In a couple weeks, I will be presenting a panel at the Calgary Comic and Entertainment Expo!

The Calgary Expo draws over 100 000 people every year. Nerds and geeks and misfits of all sorts descend upon Calgary’s Stampede Grounds to revel in our shared passion for comics and film and other assorted nerdery. It’s amazing to see so many people comfortable in their own skin and eager to get excited with other people. And this year, I get to be involved.

On Friday, April 28th, I will be teaching a panel on post-apocalyptic media and what it teaches us about living today. We will be looking at the protagonists and themes from The Walking Dead, The Road, and Mad Max: Fury Road and hopefully gleaning a few useful thoughts for our lives in the 21st century.

I loved the Expo last year. I got to take my brother and we nerded out over video games and movies and art. We did some improv, learned about teapot racing, and got to hear from some of our favourite actors. I was able to connect with other Christians who prefer to be IN the Expo with the masses rather than outside protesting (not really an issue in Calgary, but definitely in other places).

This year, I get to be even more involved, which allows me to give back to this community. And if we can shine a light and show that themes of hope and redemption can be found even in the darkest of places (seriously, if you haven’t read The Road, give it a go…but be sure you’re ready…it’s heavy), then my job is done.

I am excited that this is my life. I get to make art, hang out with the misfits and freaks, and serve my God by serving others. It really doesn’t get much better than that.

So, if you’re going to be at the Expo, or if you’re really interested in what I have to say about the end of the world, come by on Friday. I’ll be in Palamino FG from 2:00-2:45PM. If I don’t know you in real life, but you’re reading this anyways, please come say hi. I’d love to meet you!

I hope you all have a blessed Easter.

Blessings

Obtaining the Master Sword

You’ve spent hours in the Lost Woods, fighting off enemies and solving mind-rattling puzzles. You’ve searched every corner and under every bush for clues that will lead you to your goal. You’ve proven yourself to be a hero of great strength, courage, and wisdom. Finally, it stands before you: The Master Sword.

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If you’ve played any of the Legend of Zelda games, you’ll know what I’m talking about. As the only weapon capable of defeating the evil villain Ganon (usually), obtaining the Master Sword is a requisite step towards saving the kingdom. The quest to get the sword is usually quite the journey unto itself and finally finding it can be incredibly fulfilling. We go into the woods, defeat our enemies, and get our prize. Game over!

Except, it isn’t.

We still have to take that magical sword, fight our way to the big bad guy, defeat the villain, rescue the princess, and save the kingdom.

Life can be kind of like this sometimes.

I spent years of working, schooling, proposing, volunteering, dreaming, and pining for a new job. I applied all over the place, tried to create my own work, and tried to convince the church that they should hire me.

And eventually, they did.

And it felt just like pulling the Master Sword from its resting place deep within the Lost Woods. I had proven myself and been judged worthy. I had completed my quest. It was all over.

Except, it isn’t.

This new job isn’t the end. It isn’t the beginning, either. It’s another step on a lifelong mission to shine light where it’s most needed, to push back the forces of darkness, and to see the Kingdom move forward. It frees me and gives me better tools to continue on the quest I was already on.

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My point is that we all have these moments. We all have little quests that can become so consuming that they threaten to overshadow our main quest. While it isn’t a bad thing to throw yourself into whatever step you find yourself on, we can’t lose sight of our end goals. If we do, we risk either losing track of what we’re actually fighting for, or falling into despair if we fail to achieve a small step along the way, or making sacrifices to win a battle that ultimately cost us the war.

So this week, take some time to think about the big things in your life. What are you living for, beyond your next paycheque or vacation or artistic project? What is your purpose, and how are the small goals helping you to achieve that purpose?

Remember, the Master Sword helps you defeat the villain. It’s not a trophy for a job well done.

Blessings

Another Journey Begins

Well, everyone, I have some good news today. Not the Good News kind of news, but exciting nonetheless (and definitely related to the Good News sort).

As of May 1st, I will be in full-time ministry!

I have been hired as the new formed Director of Art and Story at RockPointe Church, here in Calgary. My main duties will be fostering discipleship amongst our drama, film, and visual art teams, and telling stories of what God is up to in our midst.

It’s terribly exciting.

Even though this is a dream job for me, even more exciting is seeing how God has been working throughout the journey.

God pulled my wife and I out of the arts community and onto a path towards church ministry. However, as the years went by, our heart for the arts community grew. God was slowly drawing us back into the arts. This was confusing, because we felt pulled between church and the arts, and there didn’t seem to be much in the way of the middle. We prayed for guidance, but could only hear one word: “Wait.”

So, we did. We’ve spent three years building a drama ministry, waiting for God to provide a bigger answer. But there was still a lot of “Wait.” Not being particularly good at that, we applied for other jobs all over the place. Pastoral, secular, writing, administration, anything, really. But the doors were always closed. Often, JUST closed, which was even more frustrating at the time.

Finally, about a year ago, I had a frank conversation with God about what was going on. He told me that something was just around the corner and I still had to wait, but I wasn’t totally satisfied. He then reminded me that He had called me to serve the arts community. When I pushed back that I needed Him to provide a job for me to do that, He just asked, “Do you?”

That was a huge change for me.

Our calling does not rely upon a job. That struck me like a tidal wave, and we began to think up ways to get back to serving. We started hosting artists at our house. We got more involved with creatives we know. We started planning for an Arts Chaplaincy and making contacts along the way.

And then, a month or two ago, we started to hear that God was about to “give us the land.” Shortly after, I was offered a new job, one that fits me to a T.

So now, we feel like we’re on the edge of the Jordan River. We have an adventure before us and God has given us the means to really dive into it. The Promised Land wasn’t a paradise when the Israelites showed up. It was full of danger. But they trusted, and God provided.

I have faith that God has big plans for this ministry and for our family.

Thanks for being with us for the journey thus far. Let’s go change the world.

Searching for Abraham

Hey all.

As many of you know, I run the Drama Ministry at RockPointe Church in Calgary. I wanted to let you know of a show we are bringing to our Bowridge Site this Sunday.

Searching for Abraham is an honest and vulnerable multi-media production of one man’s modern-day journey finding expression through the story of the patriarch Abraham.

This will be a great night of theatre. I’ve spent time with Jason and seen him perform in the past and I’m excited to host him at RockPointe. I would love to have you come share this evening with us and chat about it afterwards.

Here’s the info:

Sunday, March 26th.
7:00PM-9:00PM.
Doors open at 6:30PM.
RockPointe Bowridge Site – 12 Bowridge Drive SW
Tickets are $15, available at https://www.eventbrite.ca/e/searching-for-abraham-tickets-27317071095?aff=eac2 or at the door.

We hope to see you there!

Blessings

Amazing Opportunity for Faith-Filled Writers

Hello all,

We’re in the middle of a really big couple of weeks at the moment, but I wanted to take a minute and let you know about something that I think is really cool. Cardus is a think tank that is dedicated to the renewal of North American social architecture (taken from their website). They are funding an event called Faith in Canada 150 to help promote religious discussion in our increasingly secular society. As part of this initiative, they are holding a writing contest with $25000 on the line. There are categories for short stories and for poetry.

It’s great to see people coming alongside Christian (and other religious) creatives to foster a society where religion is seen not as an enemy but as a positive force in our culture. I highly recommend you take a few minutes to look over their websites (linked below) and, if you’re a writer, to take the time to submit. The entry fee is only $10, with up to $10000 for the first place winner in each category, I’d say that’s a fine investment.

I hope you are all enjoying your St. Patrick’s Day. I suggest you eat some potatoes (unless you can’t for dietary reasons), but I won’t suggest the green beer. Drink a Guinness instead (again, unless you can’t or shouldn’t). And while you’re doing that, read about the real St. Patrick.

Here are the websites for Cardus and the Faith in Canada 150 contest:

www.cardus.ca

http://www.faithincanada150.ca/initiatives/mitchell-prize

Blessings

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