Monday, December 22, 2008
Again, I'm the worst about running around, losing focus and generally making Christmas anything but Jesus's birthday celebration. So let's all encourage one another to celebrate God's Son's birth and the coming of our salvation in the manger.
Please pray that I do the same.
Wednesday, December 03, 2008
Friday, November 07, 2008
Thursday, November 06, 2008
Wednesday, November 05, 2008
Tuesday, November 04, 2008
It has a variety of kids' show w/ animation, puppets, people, kids, etc. There's new content/show every day.
I'm additionally excited b/c a bumper I did for them made it in the programming. The 'bubbles' bumper in Tuesday's show is mine (and the voice is my oldest son).
Check it out!
Friday, October 24, 2008
"Thank you Thank you. My wife and I teach children in South Korea nites that come to our house to learn English..but we are using it as an opportunity to teach them about Jesus."
It's awesome to see how God uses us all in ways we don't expect - even using Booples in South Korea!
Thursday, October 23, 2008
This is very exciting and the videos should be listed on their sites in the next couple of weeks!!!
Booples! - Children's Bible story & song animation DVDs
Tuesday, October 21, 2008
It is ingrained in us that we have to do exceptional things for God—but we do not. We have to be exceptional in the ordinary things of life, and holy on the ordinary streets, among ordinary people—and this is not learned in five minutes.
We always want to make it about some great act, accomplishment, deed, etc. but first He just wants us to walk with Him.
To me, that's freeing.
Monday, October 20, 2008
This is the third year for Booples to be in the Seguin film festival. In 2007, "Jonah and the Tarshish Fish" won Best Animation and Fourth place overall!
The festival takes place this weekend, Oct 24-26.
Saturday, October 18, 2008
Booples is now available on SkyAngel VOD!!!
This has been in the works for a while and it's being viewed already!!!
Just wanted to share the good news!!!
Wednesday, October 08, 2008
However, it's sad that this isn't the church or something else doing this... I guess there's a lot of sides to this...
1. It's 'sensational' so it gets news - you don't hear about the local soup kitchen doing good every day.
2. It's about debt - hot topic.
3. It's wild - gambling!
Also, the church tends to try more rehab type solutions: don't just pay off their debt, teach them to be good stewards of their money. Programs like Financial Peace University and such are amazing in their long term effects.
On the flip side, I've read that around 90% of people coming into sudden wealth (e.g., lottery winners) are WORSE off w/in 1 year.
Just some thoughts... no real solid point here.
On the Booples front...
- I'm working on finalizing deals with several download based sites
- the Booples children's book is moving along (everything is w/ the publisher!)
- one more video ("Love Your Neighbor") and I'll release the 3rd DVD!
Booples! - Children's Bible story & song animation DVDs
Monday, September 08, 2008
Wednesday, July 16, 2008
11.26.07 -- "Booples 2: Yikity Blar!" featured on MamasLike.com (full article)
11.24.07 -- "Booples 2: Yikity Blar!" featured in the MamasLike.com "Holiday Gift Guide" (full article)
11.21.07 -- "Booples 2: Yikity Blar!" reviewed at Bergers Reviews (full article)
11.17.07 -- "Booples 2: Yikity Blar!" featured Christmas gift idea at Christianity.About.com (full article)
11.16.07 -- "Booples 2: Yikity Blar!" reviewed by Laura Williams (full review)
11.06.07 -- "Booples 2: Yikity Blar!" reviewed by Trish Berg (full review)
10.27.07 -- Booples' "Jonah and the Tarshish Fish" wins best animation and fourth place overall at the Seguin Film and Arts Festival 2007 (press release, official site)
10.23.07 -- Booples review at Kiddie Clique and Bambina Ballerina (here and here)
10.12.07 -- "Booples 2: Yikity Blar!" earns "Dove Family Approved Seal" (details)
10.10.07 -- Booples earns Parents Television Council Seal of Approval (details)
10.05.07 -- Booples to air on AngelTV.org (details)
9.28.07 -- "Jonah and the Tarshish Fish" a finalist at the Seguin Film and Arts Festival (details)
9.7.07 -- "Booples 2: Yikity Blar!" DVD released (Press Release, Details)
7.4.07 -- Booples "David Rocked Goliath" completed.
4.4.07 -- Booples "Forgive Each Other" completed.
3.3.07 -- Booples.com website redesigned.
3.1.07 -- Booples "Jonah and the Tarshish Fish" completed.
12.19.06 -- SermonSpice.com lists Boople videos in their children's section
12.06.06 -- Signed w/ SermonSpice.com as online distributor (link)
12.05.06 -- Booples is about.com's Christmas Day 5 "Children's Movie of the Day" (link)
12.01.06 -- Added Booples books and clothes to Booples.com (link press release)
11.17.06 -- Mary Fairchild made Booples #6 on about.com's "Top 10 Christian DVD and Video Series for Children" (link press release)
10.27.06 -- Submitted "Truth" to COMIX35 web animation competition
10.15.06 -- Informed that "Love One Another" was selected by Seguin Film Fest (link press release)
08.24.06 -- Interviewed for Pearls of Shalom on Denton public access ch25
08.22.06 -- Got first Booples T-shirts (link)
08.09.06 -- Submitted Google video "Love One Another" (link)
08.08.06 -- Interviewed for Denton Perspective public access ch 25
08.01.06 -- kidssundayschool.com ministry of the month (link)
06.12.06 -- Airing on Denton public access ch. 25
05.17.06 -- Contract and airing on Smile of a Child network (link press release)
05.15.06 -- Dove Foundation approval (link)
04.27.06 -- HollywoodJesus.com review (link)
04.04.06 -- Booples DVD officially released
03.28.06 -- Booples First sale
Monday, July 14, 2008
"We've just posted the "official" JellyTelly demo video for all the world to see at www.jellytelly.tv. It's a 28 minute video where I explain the concept behind our new mini TV network and then show some sample programming. "
Wednesday, July 02, 2008
A great interview w/ the director of "WALL-E", Andrew Stanton.
"The greatest commandment is to love one another, and to me, that's the ultimate purpose of living. So that was the perfect goal for the loneliest robot on earth, to learn the greatest commandment, to learn to love."
Tuesday, July 01, 2008
Sermonspice.com was created to gather and distribute sermon media for pastors and Christian communicators. Our searchable library and downloadable products are the focus of our on-demand service. Our desire is to inspire creativity with the widest collection of Christian multimedia.Also, check out their new blog!
Monday, June 23, 2008
I believe this part will pretty much take care of itself if the other aspects are in place. When you're at peace trusting God, resting in Him, waiting and walking, you will hear His voice.
John 10:27 (NASB)
"My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me;"
As I mentioned before, all steps need to be bathed in prayer. It's a vital part of it all and can be the the start to each part and all parts together.
Much of the actions and benefits of my implementing the new plan aren't measurable. A few things I've done...
- made my time w/ God a higher priority
- put the videos online for people to watch for free
- spend less time "running the business" (marketing, emailing, strategiaing, etc.)
- spend more time writing, animating, etc.
Noticeable differences to me...
- more peaceful
- enjoy the work more
- more productive
- more traffic and sales on the site
- more contact by others for partnerships and licensing opportunities
- more contentment in where things are and where they will go
- less worry/stress about what will happen and what I need to be doing
- more confidence that I'm "in His will" and being obedient to what I'm called to do
- more fun!
These posts are not meant to be a complete and thorough investigation and study into these topics, but more of one perspective into what I'm thinking and feeling about these areas. I believe the 5 areas (Trust, Rest, Wait, Walk and Listen) build on one another, but that wasn't planned at all - that's just the way the 5 areas were revealed to me as I wrote a line in a letter.
To boil it all down, it's all about your relationship with God. Make Him first and base all of your contentment on Him. He won't let you down. The creator of the universe is big enough to be the center of yours.
Focus on Him and you'll find that you can be content by just your relationship w/ Him. The results of your efforts won't be important, but your obedience will be. You won't strive to just be doing things or trying to please Him b/c you'll realize you need to be obedient in what He's called you to. You'll thrive on your walk with Him; your time w/ Him. That spiritual food will call you back and be what satisfies you most. And He'll speak to you when you're ready for Him to use you.
God bless you all!
Friday, June 20, 2008
So what do you do while waiting? Walk...
John 15:5 (NIV)
"I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.
So "remain" in Him. Spend time with Him. Walk with Him.
The Navigators have a Wheel Illustration that demonstrates crucial items of the Christian life: God's word (comes down from above), prayer (goes up), fellowship and witnessing both go to the sides (other people). Those are certainly important areas to a walk with God.
AND YOU SHALL LOVE THE LORD YOUR GOD WITH ALL YOUR HEART, AND WITH ALL YOUR SOUL, AND WITH ALL YOUR MIND, AND WITH ALL YOUR STRENGTH.'
"The second is this, 'YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF.' There is no other commandment greater than these."
Simple, but not easy.
I think this post will be short b/c a) most of us know how to "walk", but we let a lot of "junk" get in the way and b) if you can get the previous aspects down (Trust, Rest and Wait), I think Walk will be self-evident.
To continue the analogy of the father-and-son, imagine a simple walk. What are you doing: communicating is the picture I get. Typically involved with that is the father imparting wisdom and lessons to the son ("What's that? Why? How does that work?", etc.). That time and communication allows the son to be formed by the father and there's growth and fellowship and guidance.
So we can trust the Father to do what He says and that it will be good whatever it is (He's big and good enough). We can rest in the Father that He'll take care of the results from what we do (we sow seeds, He rains). We sd wait on the Father until He calls us to do something (no need to make stuff up to do, enjoy). And we sd walk w/ the Father to be conformed to His image and heart (we walk and talk).
Spend time with Him and make it a top priority. What in life is more important? It's what everything else in your life is about! Besides, if you don't have this in place, what good will anything else be?
(Part 6 or 6 will be posted on Monday)
Thursday, June 19, 2008
I really am trying to make these entries shorter...
Ephesians 2:10 (NASB)
For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them.
So what has God called you to do? Certainly there are general callings like "make disciples of all nations" and "do not forsake the gathering with others." There are certain general obediences we all need to be doing, but beyond that, what has He called you to do?
I find few people out there that really feel they are "called" to do something. Yet they often are running around doing a lot of things "for God."
But as the verse says, we're prepared for good works which He prepared beforehand. It's like there are things God will have us do... when we're ready. When we're ready to be used. And it won't be the crazy, frantic, panic work that we get burned out over...
Isaiah 40:31 (NASB)
Yet those who wait (hope) for the LORD
Will gain new strength;
They will mount up with wings like eagles,
They will run and not get tired,
They will walk and not become weary.
It will be in His strength:
Philippians 4:13 (NIV)
I can do everything through him who gives me strength.
But until you're "called" to do something, I believe the "general" callings are what we need to be responsible to and not look for other things to be doing. As Phil Vischer shares in his book ("Me, Myself and Bob"), Noah "walked with God" for hundreds of years (some debate about when God told him to build the ark) and only then was he ready for God to use him. And boy did He use Noah!
For the father-son example, if that father tells the son to do some chores, he sd do them, but then if he says to take the rest of the day for himself, he can! Enjoy that time, do what you'd like, but don't necessary try to guess what the father wants, etc.
So trust and rest (see previous posts) by putting God first and then wait.
What to do while you wait? Walk (see next post).
Wednesday, June 18, 2008
What in life really changes when you worry about it? We know worrying does no good, but we still do it. We're human, but we need to still struggle and try.
1 Peter 5:8 (NIV)
Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.
Building on the idea of trust (previous post), we can trust that God will take care of the matters out of our hands. We plant the seeds (obedience) and than pray for rain (that's up to God).
Do what you can, pray and leave it up to God. I've taken to writing emails, but not doing a ton of follow-up (except out of excitement or to make sure the person got the email). In most cases I figure, I sowed the seed and I'll leave the rest up to God.
Like the guy who kept praying to win the lottery and finally God had to say "Well, at least buy a ticket!"
Resting in Him for paying for our sin is one thing, I'm talking about the day-to-day.
Luke 12:28-30 (NASB)
"But if God so clothes the grass in the field, which is alive today and tomorrow is thrown into the furnace, how much more will He clothe you? You men of little faith!
"And do not seek what you will eat and what you will drink, and do not keep worrying.
"For all these things the nations of the world eagerly seek; but your Father knows that you need these things.
How much should we worry about how we'll take care of ourselves? Our family?
Sure, it's a concern and a responsibility, but, for me, I don't think I know anyone that has had to resort to homelessness or other extreme situations. If I lost my job today (which is realistic), God will provide. Again, in reference to the last post, He's big enough to do it and good enough to care about me.
He even said in the above verse that He'll do it. Do I believe Him? Can I trust Him? Will He do it?
I did a few things after the Chicago trip that started The New Plan. They were all pretty much going against with good business wd tell you. However, since then, sales have gone up and I have had more opportunities to partner with people, discuss broadcasting licensing, etc.
I believe when I stopped trying to run my business, God was able to step in and do it. It's like if someone cut me off on the road and I did something in vengeance, God now can't really do anything or He'd be endorsing my anger, pride, judgment, etc.
My actions were probably preventing Him from blessing my business. I'm called to make videos to minister to kids. If running a business is necessary for that, ok, but I'm not called to "start a media business."
So if we can trust Him to be big and good enough, we can trust Him to take care of us. Moreover, that He knows our heart.
Delight yourself in the LORD and he will give you the desires of your heart.
Whether that means He will grant you your desires or places desires into your heart, it doesn't really matter. I believe the end result is the same.
Seek Him and life will be amazing. If He's calling you to do something, do it, but leave the results up to Him. Sow the seeds, pray for rain.
I'll try to provide an analogy like the father-son-swimming-lessons from the Trust post. Imagine if your father setup a trust fund for you. Though you had no idea how it worked, he said it would provide money for the rest of your life.
You cd go get a job or not - either way you cd not make any more or less money. He told you to write books or be a farmer or teach yodeling lessons or whatever. So you didn't have to worry about how well the books sold, your purpose was to write them.
What results are you worrying about that are really up to God?
Tuesday, June 17, 2008
I don't intend to do a radical exegesis on the text or a thesis paper on the concept. I'll let the Spirit lead you into anything further. I hope to simply make the core point: we can trust Him.
Matthew 8:26-27 (NASB)
He said to them, "Why are you afraid, you men of little faith?" Then He got up and rebuked the winds and the sea, and it became perfectly calm.
The men were amazed, and said, "What kind of a man is this, that even the winds and the sea obey Him?"
What kind of a man was He? He was God. He calmed the winds and the waves. It took no effort, just His words. And that's child's play to Him. He spoke the universe into being. You could spend a quick 10 minutes just meditating on how big, powerful, omniscient, etc. God is and only scratch the surface.
So first we need to believe that God can do whatever He wants. Believe that?
Romans 8:28 (NASB)
And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.
But do you believe what He wants to do is good? Does He use even the "bad" things for good?
We need to be mentally in agreement with these things, but also live them out practically. Can He catch me if I fall? Will He catch me if I fall? If He doesn't, can I believe He has a better purpose for that too? Can I accept that even if I never see how and why?
A father teaching a son to swim will often stand in the water and have his son jump to him. The father can catch the son. The father will catch the son. The son still has a hard time jumping (often times). The father says things like "Trust me. I will catch you."
As the child, do we trust that God can catch us? Do we trust that He will catch us.
The concept of the father not catching the son doesn't follow this example b/c the father said he wd catch the son. If he intentionally didn't, that wd be lying. What might work is if the son had a life jacket on and fell into the water and the father waited to grab him to show him he cd trust the life jacket. I'm not endorsing that, but just trying to show the point.
So can the God that created the universe with a word, calmed the wind and the waves, sent a fish to swallow Jonah, flooded the earth and sent his Son to die for our sins able to do what He wants with your life too? Is He big enough?
And does He love you enough to do what is good? If He sent His only begotten Son to die for me, I think everything else is small in comparison and removes any question that He's good enough.
Unfortunately, it's the big issues that sometimes seem the most clear in this sense. Is He big enough to cure her cancer? Is He big enough to give me a baby? Is He good enough to want a mate for him? Yes.
But the "smaller" issues tend to hang us up. And not so much on the "can He" area, but in the "will He" area. Will He let me get this job? Will He let me get this house?
Of course, if the answer is "No" the more complete answer is "No, I have something better." Can we believe that? Is Romans 8:28 true?
If I talk to a network about airing Booples, can I trust that if they choose not to that it's for the best? Yes! If I talk to someone about partnership that seems like it would mean the world to me and it doesn't happen, can I trust He's in control? Yes! If Booples crumbles completely and all is lost, can I trust that my relationship with Him makes all the difference in my life, that I can be 100% content with life in Him alone and that He's still infinite and nothing can be added to Him? Yes!!!
He is big enough. He is good enough. Put Him first and not only will you find peace and contentment in Him, but the rest will feel like gliding instead of like breaking rocks with your head.
Matthew 6:33 (NASB)
"But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you."
Wow, this turned out to be MUCH, MUCH longer than I intended. I hope you made it this far!
Monday, June 16, 2008
I blogged before about the Conspire Conference I went to several weeks ago and how I had some revelations during that trip. I'd like to outline some concepts that I'd like to try to live by. I'm calling it "The New Plan" which is always a bad name. I may come up w/ a better one later.
I intend to blog several entries on the various concepts (5 at the moment) over several days so check back. I'll give a quick overview here...
Trust - Is God big enough and good enough to trust?
Rest - Can He take care of my day-to-day worries?
Wait - What has He called me to do?
Walk - What do I do while waiting to know what to do?
Listen - Be listening for His voice to know when He calls you to something.
Prayer must bath it all as well as being a part of "walk."
It doesn't spell something cool or have 7 points (number of completion). And really, the words simply popped into my head (from the Spirit) as I wrote a letter to a friend. I'm trying pretty hard not to make it "catchy."
The first part (on Trust) will be tomorrow.
Thursday, June 12, 2008
The second day was more of keynote addresses versus smaller sessions of the first day. Technically, the second day was "Industry Giants" and the first day was "Master Classes."
Saturday (the second day) was sessions starting with Johnny Gibson (digital effects supervisor for Digital Domain on "Speed Racer"). He spoke on "Speed Racer" some, but then presented nicely on the history of special/visual effects. This was very cool to see the early days and creativity of effects.
David Schaub presented again about the creature development for "I Am Legend." Originally they were going to use actors in makeup for the infected people, but they cdn't get people to be as "all out crazy" as they needed to be. He showed some great material on their development.
Farhez Rayani (senior lighting technical director at Rhythm and Hues for "The Golden Compass") presented on the amazing work they did on the ice scenes for that movie. Again, too great to see the breakdown and build up of those scenes.
Piyush Patel did a brief presentation for Digital-Tutors.
Mike Anderson (supervising director for "The Simpsons") represented the 2D world very nicely with humor, technical perspectives and great insight for his show including their Universal Studio's ride and video game.
At the end they had a panel discussion to talk about how each got into the industry, their inspiration, some favorite work, advice, etc.
For each presentation this day, it was SO cool to see the breakdown of scenes and hear the explanations about how they made their decisions and motivations, etc. It was also cool to see some behind-the-scenes stuff for these movies.
The Texas Film Commission presented and gave info on the Dallas Film Commission, Texas Motion Picture Alliance, the Moving Image Incentive, Dallas Producers Association, etc.
It was great that it was local and cheap to attend. I enjoyed seeing the feature film side of things and hear about what's going on. Mike Anderson even draw a picture of Homer for me (he's a director now, but started out as an animator on the show).
I look forward to going again next year and maybe even some events by a bunch of short guys who organized it.
Wednesday, June 11, 2008
Alan Chan, Senior Technical Director at Sony Pictures Imageworks, spoke on lighting, rendering and compositing.
Unfortunately, a lot of this was over my head. Above that, there were technical difficulties about half way thru his presentation that took a while and I wound up needing to leave before he finished.
As with David Schaub, he used a lot of examples from his work ("Beowulf") which was very cool to see the before and afters, etc.
Tuesday, June 10, 2008
The second session was with David Schaub, animation director at Sony Pictures Imageworks and he spoke mostly in his work with "Surf's Up" and "I Am Legend."
He was teaching on animating expressive eyes which I've been very interested in and he started with some interesting science.
He showed images of brain development in embryos and how the eye forms as an outcrop of the brain. He shared the perspective of Richard Williams and how the "soul is revealed with the eyes." He also pointed out how even with animals, eye contact is always automatic. Even if something else is happening (e.g., shaking hands, fighting, etc.) eye contact is maintained.
Also, he pointed out a study that states 93% of communication is non-verbal. He breaks down that 93% as 38% voice quality (tone, pitch, etc.) and 55% body language (and he believes 35% is eyes and 20% is body cues).
He split out eye animation into several parts...
1. Shapes: directional and emotional
2. Movement: vergence, vestibular, pursuit & tracking and saccadic
3. Blinks (be purposeful: 80% top lid, 20% bottom)
- eyes lead the action
- blinks synced w/ eye movement
- head follow the eyes
Eye Cues (this is TOO cool): NLP
The basic break down is: people look to their left for recall. They look right for construction.
For recall (left), up is visual, middle is audio and down is inner dialog. So when you're trying to remember a painting, you'd look up and to the left.
For construction (right), up is visual, middle is audio and down is kinesthetic (emotion, textile). So when trying to imagine how a song would sound with a different instrument, you'd look right and neither up nor down.
It was an amazing session and probably my favorite of the conference.
Monday, June 09, 2008
I went to various sessions on effects, animation, pitching, etc. I'll post about the various sessions here starting with the session with Rita Street on pitching.
Rita Street (radarcartoons.com) spoke on Friday morning about pitching your animated concept. She spoke a lot on the perspective of the industry and the various changes going on now. It seems some key things are a move away from the Flash style of animation and a move toward teenage characters (led by "High School Musical" and "Hannah Montana" - the "Halls and Malls" idea - school halls and shopping malls: that's where kids "live" so relate to that).
Some key suggestions she had were...
1. Watch (at least) one cartoon a day. This helps see what's going on and keeps creativity flowing.
2. Have lots of ideas - you never know when an idea will meet what the industry is looking for or when you'll need another idea in a meeting for some other concept.
3. Determine good inspiration for your work
4. Learn how children think, react, learn, etc. (Nickjr.com - parenting link - list of cognitive resources)
Other good resources: Kidscreen and Cynopsis (enewsletter).
She also spoke a lot on pitching. Some highlights...
1. Pitch the hero
3. Develop the hero (write their journal, etc.)
4. Have character quirks
5. Describe characters in "Like the time..."
6. Make your movie poster.
7. Have a very tight log line.
8. Show, don't tell - big pics, few words
For the pitch itself...
1. Have fun
2. It's ok to say you're nervous
3. Goal: get a second meeting
4. Explain, don't read
5. Take criticism well
And while a lot of take centered around seeing where the industry is and where's it's going, she had a great piece of inspiration from Carl Banks and about how they didn't make their comic books for kids, but for themselves. It's great to have the best of both worlds - enjoy it!
Tuesday, June 03, 2008
Stepping Stones Church of McKinney is using Booples videos for their children's ministry this Summer!
Last week was the first week and here's some comments from the leader, Angela, about how it went:
The 2-5 year olds loved it. It held their attention and they loved dancing to the songs. The teacher of that class used some of your lesson suggestions. They did the treasures in heaven segment. Being they see things so concretely I was amazed that they caught on to what is a treasure in heaven. She'd ask them, are clothes treasures in heaven, is obeying your mom a treasure in heaven -- and they'd answer correctly.I love the shortness of the segments as it supplements our teaching but does not leave the kids glued to the TV for a long time.
Friday, May 30, 2008
- All the Booples videos are online at Booples.com to view online for free!
- I'm talking w/ 2 different non-U.S. networks about airing Booples
- I've been making some logo promo videos for Phil Vischer's new Jelly Telly
- I'm almost done w/ the next Booples episode "God Made Everything" (not set on that title)
- I'm talking w/ another children's show producer about putting Booples in that show
It's very freeing to "give up" (e.g., die to yourself). Not that I've "arrived", but I can see a little bit more down that path.
I'd love to hear from you: write me or comment on this post.
Friday, May 09, 2008
He talked about "owning a burden" one given by God. Like Nehemiah - something that causes you to "sit down and weep."
Also, he talked about "loving one another" and how we're commanded to do so.
He shared a story of how he was a secret Santa for a girl in class. She asked for a piece of candy, he gave her (his mom's idea) a big box of chocolates.
The point being that "getting by" and "nice enough" is a piece of candy, but that "owning a burden" and "loving one another" is a box of chocolates.
The last session was Phil Vischer's key not address called "Don't Eat the Glue." He shared a great story of driving on a trip w/ his daughter and son. His daughter got sick just after he was pointing out the beauty of God's creation. The point being that kids can be random.
He shared how burned out he was when he got pericarditis and more. And his burden for the kids at Columbine. He owned a burden that wasn't his.
He realized one night that the fruit of the spirit isn't a commandment, but "fruit" produced naturally when you have the Spirit. He wasn't producing that. Paul had it w/ beatings, jail, etc. so why didn't Phil?
Because Paul was dead to himself, crucified in Christ and alive in Him. What he did was in God's energy and not his own.
I purchased a few of the sessions and I encourage you to do the same. I can't find a link to them, but I'm sure you can if you're motivated. Please comment w/ it here if you do.
It was a great conference and I was very refreshed and can confidently say God used it great in my life.
I was able to see Chicago a bit some and spend time w/ friends which was awesome.
Thursday, May 08, 2008
Another good point was about how Jesus invaded culture when telling His stories.
We did a great exercise on story construction picking words from a few lists (adjective, animal, trait, etc.) and using the story structure:
1. Setup/Exposition (Creation)
2. Conflict (Fall)
3. Resolution (Redemption)
They also talked about archetypes and monomyths. Also, the referenced a book called "Ideas for the Animated Short."
They had a handy memory device for stories: What's HOT and what's SNOT.
HOT: High energy, Over the top, Teasers (support or reinforce message)
SNOT: Sensory deficient, Narrowly focused, Outdated and Tried/Tested
Next: The last day.
Wednesday, May 07, 2008
Phil talked about ambition and dreams... our dreams. About how we mix up the American dream, the Protestant work ethic with the gospel. We get missed up with mixing these things up w/ God's calling.
He mentioned applying an "expediency test" to his efforts he had heard once. "Which path will impact more souls?" It's a formula and can lead us to measure our effort in impact and numbers.
"Until I'm ready to do nothing (rest) for God, I'm not ready to do anything for God."
Phil read several parts of his book and it was very emotional and he was very vulnerable. It was a great session despite not being what *I* wanted/expected/etc. It was just what God wanted it to be.
After lunch, I went to the story telling session w/ the guys from Timbuktoons.com
Tuesday, May 06, 2008
The presentation was great and I can't wait to read more about Jelly Telly at Phil Vischer's blog: http://www.philvischer.com
He shared some great info:
* Kids 8-18 years old watch about 4hr of video, 1.75 hr music and 2 hours of games/internet per day.
* Christian TV is usually pay-to-air like infomercials so the model doesn't really work for filmmakers
* Christian media is behind the curve for the industry and Christian retail is on the decline
Kids TV is plentiful, good and mostly moral so there's no motivation to go looking for something to pay for. Therefore there's no platform for Christian filmmakers to work and grow.
The new model must:
* use new technology
* scale to match audience size and economics
* create opportunities for entire Christian creative community
* must create something to aim for: community w/ Christian families and long-term teaching relationship w/ Christian kids
Enter Jelly Telly! multi-platform, Christian kids mini-network online: new model, "open source", 2-5 min shows, ministry driven.
It's something to also "connect the dots" btwn the Sundays for kids. Hopefully it can keep Sunday school from being the one time a week kids get good Christian input.
After the first session, I went straight to the second session room for a couple reasons. The second session was a discussion group about Phil's book, "Me, Myself, and Bob" and I was most looking forward to this session. I wanted a good seat.
Also, I wanted to let other people have a chance to talk to Phil. I tend to try to hog his time. I had just re-read his book and God speaks to me so clearly and directly in it. I have asked Phil a few times w/ help in direction, but I felt I had it now. Read the book and you'll get that I felt I needed to rest, wait, listen and trust. Not that you need to read the book to understand that, but you'll see how I felt.
More next about the second session w/ Phil, Timbuktoon guys and more!
Monday, May 05, 2008
Rick talked a lot about stories and they their truth relates thru the story. Jesus told parables where an earthly story has spiritual truth w/in it.
Some great points he made were:
* Know your audience/be relevant
* Avoid talking down to your audience (Heb 5)
* Good stories have heart (Jonah) - good setting, identifiable situation
Glen Keane told his story of conversion and related it to his characters The Beast and Ariel.
Aaron tried to tie Rick and Glen's points into children's ministry directly:
1. In order to reach kids, we must know kids.
2. We must equip kids for transformation through "ruthless application" (Phil 4:8 - XBox temptaion illustration)
3. Use/tell stories w/ heart and sincerity - we MUST bring the Bible to life
It was a great first day!
More to come on day 2: TWO sessions w/ Phil Vischer and Timbuktoons!
Thursday, May 01, 2008
The second session was by John Trent and Kurt Bruner mostly talking about ministering to the family. They had some great illustrations and references to mini-vans and how we neglect these years of parenting.
But that they are the best years! Also, the most important spiritual years for kids though parents are the least likely to be intentional about their children's spiritual growth.
They had some great stats:
* 65% of Christians become believers as young children
* 31% of Christians become believers before 13 years old
* 4% of Christians become believers after 13
Generally it's believe that the loss of faith has led to a loss of family in societies and cultures. However, recent research is showing that the loss of family has led to a loss of faith. And many children today are growing up and leaving the church - I believe the number was 50%.
So churches are starting to see more of their congregation being made up of previously unchurched people. Also, people that aren't believers, but think their kids need something good and figure church is it.
Another good point they made was that the family can't be the church and the other way around. Both are vital.
They gave more information and things we can do to help. A great resource is here: http://willowcreek.com/innovationsalliance/
I got back from Conspire in Chicago on Saturday. I wanted to take some time to write about it, but if I wait for "enough" time, I'll never write about it so here goes...
I got there Wednesday morning and heard Christina Yount Jones speak about "Erase Your Fears." It was great to hear her and others make the point that "you are the right person to be here." It was comforting to believe the God meant for me to be there and that I was the right person to be there.
She talked a bit about how Jesus calmed the wind and the waves (Luke 8) and how that related to all the "storms" we go through. She encouraged us to "Stick with It" and not just change courses for the sake of fearing we might not be doing enough (Ecc 11:4). Don't just change, but if there are problems address those. Also, don't give up best practices for "quick" results.
She also talked about what your "worst case scenario" might be. We fear something bad that can happen be she encouraged us to "lean into" it. She told a heart-wrenching story of losing her husband. She's lived thru her worst case scenario and God is faithful (Ps 23:4).
The last fear she talked about was "Fear of Breaking Something." She encouraged us to "breat it" (Dt 31:8). In many cases God might be calling us to change things up completely and if so He's prepared the way. She felt led to change up her church's children's ministry a few years ago which was strange b/c she wasn't the leader. However, when she shared her thoughts w/ the leaders, she found out they were praying for God to raise someone up to take over!
I'll try to post more in the following days of the rest of the conference.
Tuesday, April 22, 2008
I'd appreciate your prayers for a safe, productive trip of learning and meeting others ministering to children.
Also, please pray for my family while I'll be away for a few days. Thanks!
Tuesday, April 15, 2008
Sunday, April 06, 2008
Just a quick note to let you know that the latest Booples video is onlne now! Watch it here!
I'd love to hear your feedback!
Also, thanks to all the bloggers and others taking part in the 1-Step Affiliate Program. 40% commission is our way of saying thanks!
Booples is a series of Christian children's animated videos designed to entertain kids with silly, funny videos that include a lesson based on a Bible verse and a song with the verse in the lyrics (learn the song = memorize the verse!).
Thursday, March 27, 2008
Monday, March 17, 2008
- Got in free thanks to Kirk Longhofer
- Met Phil Vischer the first day (pic on left)
- Met several other great people
- Heard Michael W. Smith play
- Met George and Daniel Temple from SermonSpice.com
- Went to Phil Vischer's session on his upcoming Jelly Telly and got to hang out w/ him some more
- Heard Mark Zoradi and Glen Keane from Disney speak
- Met countless great people on the expo floor who were all very encouraging and inspiring especially Maralee Dawn (pic below)
I hope to follow up on the contacts I made at the expo and look forward to some great opportunities to partner w/ people for broadcast, production, distribution, etc. It was great to be in that environment w/ so many people who share a heart for ministry through media!
Friday, March 07, 2008
I'll try to post some updates while I'm out there???
If you're going, let me know!
Tuesday, February 19, 2008
Monday, February 04, 2008
HJ Live! � Booples 2: Yikkity Blar: "I’m not sure I could ask for a more ideal use of film in my child’s life."
I reviewed the original Booples cartoon a year or so ago, and really liked it for what it had to offer—scripture memorization, the easy way. Truth is, I know that words put to music are much easier to memorize, but I’m just not a musician. I’m a storyteller… which also helps with memorization, incidentally. A story is an excellent mnemonic device. So, when Booples came along, combining the stories, the verses, and the songs, I was pretty pleased!!
This second installation is pretty much more of the same. Some of the episodes on the DVD are better, while others are pretty corny. I had hoped the visual cartoon quality would improve a little this go-round, but I understand the fact that indie filmmakers don’t have giant pocketbooks to make all their dreams come true. Still, the device is successful. My kids not only remember the words to Bible verses, but they remember the application through the stories.
A true story: My oldest daughter was unprecedentedly generous to her little sister one day. I asked her why she did what she did and what prompted her kindness (you know, one of those typical stupid mom questions that she’ll roll her eyes at when she’s older). She shrugged and said, “I don’t know. I just wanted to share. Like that story.” Then she flippantly went off bobbing her head and singing to herself, “Be kind and compassionate to one another…” I’m not sure I could ask for a more ideal use of film in my child’s life.
There is an ongoing debate about whether there truly is a market for “Christian” films and family friendly movie fare. One side argues for clean, moral content, while the other side argues that audiences are already too film savvy to go for it. I think there is definitely a market in children’s programming. Not only will young children ALWAYS go for a cartoon, but parents are still quite protective of their children at young ages. They want only the “best” information going in—hoping that the best information will also come out one day. But we have to be careful not to let television and film become a crutch, an excuse not to teach. Plopping a kid down in front of Veggie Tales or Booples doesn’t necessarily produce clear-thinking, well-behaved teenagers. I believe media is a tool in the hand of a parent. “Good” media and “bad” media can achieve the same result, if handled right.
In the end, I support the ventures of independent filmmakers like Bear Cahill (Booples) who give parents alternative media to work with—because even I don’t always feel like being a model parent every day. There are just some days when I don’t feel like making up a spontaneous Bible lesson or finding applications for the shows that don’t have anything good to say. Sometimes, it’s nice to have a break. Sometimes, I simply need to veg out and let someone else do the talking (and singing, and dancing, and entertaining!). So I’ll keep my Booples DVD handy. Give them a try while they’re still way cheaper than Veggie Tales. You can find them online at www.Booples.com.
Monday, January 07, 2008
The episode is currently titled "Children of God" with the message verse being John 1:12
Yet to all who received him,
to those who believed in his name,
he gave the right to become children of God
I have made some improvements to the Booples' world - adding some depth to the background (as you can see from the images below) w/ additional hills and a focus range so the distance objects are slightly blurred.
The song by Pete Buchwald is great as always and I'm really excited about some new aspects of the stories I don't want to write about just yet.
Let me know what you think!
Sunday, January 06, 2008
|11.30.07||--||Booples affiliation program featured on the Christian Affiliate Network (CAN) (full article)|
|11.26.07||--||"Booples 2: Yikity Blar!" featured on MamasLike.com (full article)|
|11.24.07||--||"Booples 2: Yikity Blar!" featured in the MamasLike.com "Holiday Gift Guide" (full article)|
|11.21.07||--||"Booples 2: Yikity Blar!" reviewed at Bergers Reviews (full article)|
|11.17.07||--||"Booples 2: Yikity Blar!" featured Christmas gift idea at Christianity.About.com (full article)|
|11.16.07||--||"Booples 2: Yikity Blar!" reviewed by Laura Williams (full review)|
|11.06.07||--||"Booples 2: Yikity Blar!" reviewed by Trish Berg (full review)|
|10.27.07||--||Booples' "Jonah and the Tarshish Fish" wins best animation and fourth place overall at the Seguin Film and Arts Festival 2007 (press release, official site)|
|10.23.07||--||Booples review at Kiddie Clique and Bambina Ballerina (here and here)|
|10.12.07||--||"Booples 2: Yikity Blar!" earns "Dove Family Approved Seal" (details)|
|10.10.07||--||Booples earns Parents Television Council Seal of Approval (details)|
|10.05.07||--||Booples to air on AngelTV.org (details)|
|9.28.07||--||"Jonah and the Tarshish Fish" a finalist at the Seguin Film and Arts Festival (details)|
|9.7.07||--||"Booples 2: Yikity Blar!" DVD released (Press Release, Details)|
|7.4.07||--||Booples "David Rocked Goliath" completed.|
|4.4.07||--||Booples "Forgive Each Other" completed.|
|3.3.07||--||Booples.com website redesigned.|
|3.1.07||--||Booples "Jonah and the Tarshish Fish" completed.|
|12.19.06||--||SermonSpice.com lists Boople videos in their children's section|
|12.06.06||--||Signed w/ SermonSpice.com as online distributor (link)|
|12.05.06||--||Booples is about.com's Christmas Day 5 "Children's Movie of the Day" (link)|
|12.01.06||--||Added Booples books and clothes to Booples.com (link press release)|
|11.17.06||--||Mary Fairchild made Booples #6 on about.com's "Top 10 Christian DVD and Video Series for Children" (link press release)|
|10.27.06||--||Submitted "Truth" to COMIX35 web animation competition|
|10.15.06||--||Informed that "Love One Another" was selected by Seguin Film Fest (link press release)|
|08.24.06||--||Interviewed for Pearls of Shalom on Denton public access ch25|
|08.22.06||--||Got first Booples T-shirts (link)|
|08.09.06||--||Submitted Google video "Love One Another" (link)|
|08.08.06||--||Interviewed for Denton Perspective public access ch 25|
|08.01.06||--||kidssundayschool.com ministry of the month (link)|
|06.12.06||--||Airing on Denton public access ch. 25|
|05.17.06||--||Contract and airing on Smile of a Child network (link press release)|
|05.15.06||--||Dove Foundation approval (link)|
|04.27.06||--||HollywoodJesus.com review (link)|
|04.04.06||--||Booples DVD officially released|
|03.28.06||--||Booples First sale|