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Epic Theology

Finding God through the lens of an artist

Happy Mother’s Day

A quick shout out to all the mothers out there. Becoming a parent has been one if the hardest, yet fulfilling thing I’ve done with my life. I have associated closest to God as Creator for a while now, but becoming a dad has really made the Fatherhood of God a much bigger theme in my life.

However, my parental duties are nothing compared to those of my wife. Motherhood, especially stay-at-home motherhood, is such a blessing in our home.

I think many people take their moms for granted. I know I did for a long time. But seeing the work and sacrifice that goes into being a mother makes it obvious why God chose to be compared to a mother hen protecting her chicks. Nothing I’ve ever done has demanded more than motherhood, and I sometimes forget that.

So, to my wife and my mother, Happy Mother’s Day. To all our readers who are moms, remember that your calling is so important. You are true artists, creating life and sculpting it over decades into a masterpiece. The masters would be proud.

I love you, Mum. I love you, Bri. 

Blessings

First Week Done

Hey folks,

Another late update. My first week as Art and Story Director was very full. So far, I’ve caught a couple online classes on filmmaking, rearranged my office, met with one of my mentors, met with the youth ministry to see how we can help them, shot a post-mission interview, spent much of Friday¬†with the Sharpen Tech Conference’s keynote speaker, hosted/attended the conference itself on Saturday, and dressed up as the disciple John to tell some stories in our Children’s Ministry.

I spent all day Saturday learning about how Bethel Media approaches storytelling and followed them through pre-production, principal production, and post-production. God’s timing on all of this has just been amazing. The week I’m hired to look after storytelling at RockPointe, Bethel (a church in California) sends us their Executive Producer to teach on story. Such an amazing way to start. I’m very inspired to put everything I’ve learned to good use in the weeks to come.

Looking forward, I’ll be spending a lot of this week sitting in more meetings with ministry leads. As we figure out what each ministry is looking to accomplish with story, we’ll be able to create a plan and dive right into projects. That’s perhaps the thing I’m most excited about: getting into actually creating art and telling stories for the church.

I should be back on schedule next week with more of my regular articles. Thanks for tracking along with me over the past few weeks. It’s been an exciting, and exhausting, adventure.

Blessings

Comic-Con Update

Hey all. I’m currently in line for a panel on writing comics and wanted to post a quick update.

The panel went really well on Friday. Around 90 people or so came to hear about hope and purpose in post-apocalyptic fiction. We had great conversation after, and I had someone find me afterwards to talk further. I did a short questionnaire on people’s views of the apocalypse, which I will go over next week.

I’ve also had the great pleasure to run into some friends I haven’t seen since college. It’s always awesome to reconnect and I’m looking forward to building into some old friendships.

Now, my back is a little sore, my brain is fried from over stimulation, and I’ve dropped more money on parking than I have in a long time, but it’s been great. I can’t wait to hopefully become even more involved next year. 

Finally, if you came to my panel and didn’t fill out an evaluation for on your way out, please download the app and rate the panel. You get entered for free passes for next year, and if I’m well reviewed, I have a better chance of being invited back.

Thanks!

Blessings

Christian Cosplay?

Hey folks,

It’s a crazy week around here, getting ready for the Calgary Comic and Entertainment Expo, but I just wanted to have a quick word about cosplay before the week is up.

For those not in the know, cosplay (short for costume play) is the growing phenomenon of people dressing up in costumes, often for expos and conventions, and often costumes of characters from movies, TV shows, video games, and comic books. It’s becoming quite large, especially around the convention scene, with thousands of people showing up in elaborate costumes to showcase their creative talents.

Now, cosplay can have a tarnished reputation because of the plethora of scantily clad women (and men) in comics and video games resulting in a equal number of scantily clad people in cosplay. There is a much longer blog post on the morality and ethics of modesty in cosplay, but for today I want to offer another thought.

Cosplayers sometimes dress up as their heroes because they want to inhabit the lives of these people. They want to pretend, even for a short while, that they are the superheroes and adventurers and ne’er-do-wells that they look up to. And I think this is fantastic.

Empathy seems to be (at least in my world) to be in the decline. We are quick to make others into villains and ourselves into heroes. We don’t listen to others and we argue only to win our point. We have lost the ability to empathize with others, to think about what it must be like to be them.

Cosplay, and acting in general, forces us to think about what someone else’s life must be like. The best actors are those who have sat in the life of someone else without judgement and tried to understand why they do what they do. This is especially true of villains, who rarely believe what they are doing is evil. We all believe we are justified in our actions, even if we know the actions to be reprehensible. Yet, we are usually quick to judge others by their actions and not their motives.

If we can live like this in our daily lives, if we can spend more time trying to understand others and why they are doing or saying what they do or say, then perhaps we can start moving towards more peace in the world. Our relationships would be stronger if we were to believe the best of our partners and admit that they probably have justifications for what they do.

When we live in someone else’s shoes for a while, they stop becoming a “them” and start becoming a real person, just like us.

And if dressing up like Spiderman or Princess Leia helps us get in that mindset, I’m all for it.

Blessings,

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

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