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Epic Theology

Finding God through the lens of an artist

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Spring Update

Ah, the joys of spring! As a Canadian, there is something magical about seeing everyone emerge from the hibernation of winter (all 8 months of it) and get outside. There are kids running around the common spaces of our townhouse complex. People are barbecuing and lying in the sun. Runners and joggers and walkers are out and looking alive.

As Martin Luther beautifully said, “Our Lord has written the promise of resurrection, not in books alone, but in every leaf in springtime.”

It truly is remarkable, and I couldn’t be happier.

It has been a few weeks since my last post, and I wanted to let you all know what’s been going on and where we’ll be headed over the summer.

First, our Comic Expo adventure was a resounding success. We had over 100 people show up to the screening of Star of Wonder, which filled the room and ended up with people being turned away at the door. Since I was expecting about 20 of my friends to show up and few others, this was stunning. God really wanted people to see our little film! We had another full panel later that evening (despite competing with the cast of Back to the Future during the time slot) where I got to speak on Disney films and being an adult (more on this below). I got to make a few great connections and saw God’s heart for artists of all stripes. Quite an exciting weekend!

From there, we’ve moved into a busy season of training (the Sharpen Music and Tech Conference) and now promotional video creation. This time last year, I was just starting my new job and felt like I was spinning my wheels trying to get a project off the ground. I now have over a dozen projects due in the next two months! The culture at our church is moving to really take advantage of the power of film and testimony. Again, God’s grace and guidance is the only thing I can attribute this to, which is encouraging. Knowing we are following where God is leading really bolsters my faith and keeps me moving when life gets busy.

After the promo season dies down, I’m hoping to film another short (much shorter than Star of Wonder…I learned my lesson) over the summer to screen in the fall. We’re still in the planning stages, so I’ll hopefully be able to let you all in on the secrets and the creative process as they start happening.

Finally, we have our chaplaincy up and running full steam ahead. For those who live in Calgary and haven’t heard the invite, we are hosting a gathering of the Kingdom Artist Network tonight at 7:00PM at RockPointe Church’s Bowridge site. There will be snacks, coffee, and some time with special guest Karla Adolphe. I hope some of you can make it out to connect with likeminded artists.

The Network is growing all the time and we are very excited to see what God has in store for this band of faithful artists.

As for EpicTheology, I am taking the lessons I put together for the Expo panel on Disney films and translating them here. We will spend the next 7 or so weeks exploring what it means to be an adult and what Disney and the Bible teach us about the subject. So, please, stay tuned!

Thank you all for making EpicTheology such a wonderful place to write and discuss art and God. You, my readers, are the reason I put down so many of my thoughts onto digital paper. I look forward to connecting with more of you over the summer.

Blessings

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EpicTheology June Update

Well, my fearless readers, we’re now well into June. Life is going by at breakneck pace these days, so I thought I’d take a moment to let everyone know what’s going on. Depending on how things move continue, we might make this a monthly feature.

I’m now a month and a half into the new job, and it’s still amazing. I have so much freedom to explore where God is leading the new ministry and spend time in His presence. I’ve met with many of our leaders to brainstorm how we are going to go about telling stories. AND, most exciting, I’ve started working on a couple projects. My weeks are flying by and I look forward to going back to the office every day.

God could not have come through in a more awe-inspiring way.

Which brings me to our next point: our new mission. Acts 2:43 tells us, in regards to the newborn church, that “A deep sense of awe came over them all, and the apostles performed many miraculous signs and wonders.” I feel like, for many of us, we’ve lost that sense of awe. We live in such a constant state of grace that the supernatural grace has become mundane.

So, my mission: Rescue the miraculous from the mundane!

God’s activity in our lives can be awe-inspiring at first, but can quickly become less shiny as we get used to it. However, when we hear about what God is doing in others’ lives (which is usually different from our own), we can again be brought to a place of wonder. It’s my job to harness the stories that we all carry around with us and deploy them in a way that opens doors for awe.

Sound fun? I think so!

In other news, we’re also on our way to starting a new ministry and I’ll have more info for you as soon as some things settle into place.

I hope you are all enjoying the start of your summer (or winter, if you’re south of the equator). Our family has been having a great time hiking out in the mountains as much as we can (including during a rainstorm yesterday!). Please spend some time outdoors. It’s good for the soul.

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

NaNoWriMo Update 3

This is where reality sets in.

It’s highly unlikely that I’m going to win NaNoWriMo this year. Not only have I fallen woefully behind, but I’ve had a little realization. My life is beyond busy. Work, ministry, family, Christmas, kids, work. I finally reached my breaking point this week, and realized that, although NaNo has been amazing and has given me the push to write over 20 000 words in a few weeks, I would rather stay sane and enjoy my family and the upcoming Christmas season.

That said, I am not abandoning the project, just lowering my personal bar. I will aim to have 40 000 words done in November, and finish the first draft of the novel (somewhere between 60 000 and 80 000) in December. To that end, I will continue these updates throughout December, because you all have been great incentive to fire off a few hundred words whenever I can. For those keeping track still, here are the stats for today:

Words written: 20 017

Word I should have written by the end of today to stay on track: 35 000 (28000, adjusted)

Average number of words written in my genre: 11911

Average number of words written in Calgary: 15588

Still well ahead of the curve. But then, I believe only about 20% of NaNo participants actually finish in November. So, we’ll see.

As far as the novel goes, I finished outlining the second half of the story, threw in a few subtle twists, and kept drilling on my word count. As far as plot points go (with a 7-point plot structure), we are just recovering from point 3 and heading towards the halfway mark of point 4. It’s been really neat, because every time I start to grow tired of putting fingers to keyboard, I start talking about the story to someone, and the fire to keep writing comes right back. Let’s hope that fire can keep me going through another 60 000 words!

Blessings

NaNoWriMo Update 2

Well, everyone, it’s been another week. We are now 12.5 days into NaNoWriMo, nearly halfway to the end already. Supposedly, the second week is supposed to be where we run into the wall and find ourselves without any creative juice. It’s true that there have been times that I’ve been tempted to spend free time playing video games or reading, but being behind in my word count has given me the push to keep going. Unfortunately, with a busy weekend last weekend and a Christmas script to finish, I wasn’t able to get any writing done for a few days. That really starts to hurt when each day of no-writing puts you back 1667 words off the pace. But I’ve kept going, and I’ve reached a new milestone in my writing.

Before this project, my longest piece of writing was a 38 page manifesto for a Hermeneutics class. That translates to roughly 9500 words. Yesterday, I crossed the 10000 word mark, making this novel already my longest project yet. It’s exciting to think about how much has already been put into this, and how much I still have to do. I really believe I have enough in me to finish a proper length book!

Another interesting observation: my writing has sped up! By about 20%. I was averaging about 1000 words per hour when I started, and have increased that to about 1200. If this continues, I’ll be tearing through the latter half of the book in no time!

So, here are my stats so far:

Words written: 11726

Word I should have written by the end of today to stay on track: 21 667

Average number of words written in my genre: 8370

Average number of words written in Calgary: 10717

So, I’m ahead of the averages, but I’ve got a lot to do to catch up to where I should be.

This week, I’ve introduced the rest of my main cast, written a piece for my main antagonist, and introduced more of the world. We’ve also been introduced to the big mystery that our heroes have to solve. I’ve been writing a bit out of order, but will end up putting it all together soon.

I should have time tonight to add another 2000-3000 words, which will carry me well past the 1/4 way point. Let’s just hope my boys cooperate and that my mind doesn’t melt in the process.

Until next week!

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