The Perfect Sinner: Why I’m Done Pursuing the Cult of Perfectionism

March 30, 2012 at 12:00 am | Posted in Faith, Let's Talk Life... | 12 Comments

Romans 3:20 "Therefore no one will be declared  righteous in God’s sight by the works of the law; rather, through the law we become conscious of our sin."

I’m tired.

I’m tired of letting myself fall for the lies of “Christian” Perfectionism.

I’m tired of Christians who are so concerned about blotting out all sin (and all sinners) from the church that they exclude the very people who are desperately in need of a savior. When I see this, I’m almost tempted to ask myself why Jesus had to die in the first place if we were just going to eliminate all sin on our own and negate any need for a savior at all!

I’m tired of people holding Christians to a standard of perfectionism that they can never hope to achieve and then writing off faith in God when his children ultimately fail to live up to their lofty expectations. It’s ridiculous! There must a thousand journalists with their hands on their keyboards anxiously waiting to catch Tim Tebow doing something unChristian so they can crucify him for it.

I’m tired of all of it.

Philippians 3:12aMainly though, I’m tired of trying to be perfect myself.  I’m tired of failing at that and then after failing, trying desperately to cover up my failings before someone notices and calls me out on my imperfection.

When did Christianity start being about us trying to outdo each other in Godliness? When did it stop being about grace, about mercy, about sinners falling on their knees at the foot of the cross and staring in awestruck wonder at the salvation they had no business deserving yet none the less received?

I don’t know when it happened, but somewhere along the way, we as Christians started worshiping perfection and on the flip side destroying all who strove to achieve it and ultimately failed. Continue Reading The Perfect Sinner: Why I’m Done Pursuing the Cult of Perfectionism…

Tough Love: How My Parents Taught Me To Love The Things I Hated Most

March 17, 2012 at 5:57 pm | Posted in Faith, Let's Talk Life... | 1 Comment
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In honor of my dad’s birthday tomorrow, I thought I would write a post about my parents and dedicate it to my dad.

Maturing, becoming an adult, is an interesting process. It has a way of making me look back on my childhood and see things very differently from how I viewed them in the moment. It has given me perspective and allowed me to come to one of my more shocking conclusions.

Almost all the things that my parent’s made me do as a kid that I hated doing, things that I found “unfun” or not worth my while, have now become some of the most important parts of who I am and the things I am most grateful that they made me do!

My parents are good parents, kick-ass parents (sorry mom, I promise I won’t swear in this post again!), and apparently, they are far wiser than I was as an impressionable youth. They knew what I needed, even though I had yet to figure it out for myself.

Here’s what I mean: Continue Reading Tough Love: How My Parents Taught Me To Love The Things I Hated Most…

The 10 Greatest Spurs of All Time

February 15, 2012 at 1:21 am | Posted in Sports | 2 Comments

Top Ten Greatest Spurs of All Time

A little over a week ago, right after Kobe Bryant passed Shaq on the all time points list, I happened to be listening to Colin Cowherd on the radio and of course, Kobe’s place on the list of all time Laker greats came up.

During this conversation, Colin mentioned the fact that if you were to construct a roster of all time Laker greats in their prime, you would have people like Jerry West coming off the bench. He correctly pointed out that with any other NBA team (except possibly the Celtics), if you were to try to construct an all time team out of their players, by the time you got to the 6th or 7th player, you would find yourself playing relative no names or role players off the bench.

This of course got me thinking. What would the Spurs “All-Time In Their Prime” Team look like? How good would they be? Where would they rank on a list of other franchises All-Time Teams?

I had the feeling they wouldn’t fair all that badly, so I compiled a list to prove it.

Before I got started, I had to set up parameters. In order to qualify for this list, each player had to have played for the Spurs for at least 5 years and at least two of those years had to have come during that player’s prime (between the age of 25-32).

After several days of compiling stats and considering the merits of championships won verses all-star appearances and all-NBA honors here is the list I came up with. Continue Reading The 10 Greatest Spurs of All Time…

Back and Better Than Ever!

February 6, 2012 at 11:45 pm | Posted in Let's Talk Life... | Leave a comment

I figure after half a year of no posts and almost a full year since I really did anything close to resembling regular posts, you have probably rightly assumed that this is one of the millions of fad blogs that pop up every year and quickly disappear…you might be right.

So believe me, I understand your skepticism when I say that I’m back and I plan on staying, but I have a good reason!

Monday Monday

Here is a random picture that has nothing to do with anything, but wordpress said was relevant to my post. (Photo credit: soonerpa)

You see, it has been a crazy year. I finally got a half-way decent job in the entertainment industry. I made big inroads on my novel only to crash and burn as the rigors of my new job started to take there toll. I continued to delve into my strengths and weaknesses and discover more and more that I am not what my grandiose ideas about myself might incline me to believe. I took a sizable step forward in my relationship with God then, only weeks later let everything I thought I’d learned and all the discipline I thought I had instilled into my life evaporate for no good reason. I also, thought I was moving for the first time towards pursuing a serious relationship only to have it all fizzle up before it ever began. Continue Reading Back and Better Than Ever!…

Writing Fantasy: By the Numbers

March 4, 2011 at 9:11 pm | Posted in Updates On My Fantasy Novel, Writing | 3 Comments

My fantasy novel is humming along at a decent, though somewhat glacial, pace. However, the project is so big and (at least for me) so ambitious, that I have had to find milestones or accomplishments to help keep me excited and focused on my goals.

I am officially in chapter nine, and during a short break from writing, I got curious and asked myself the question:

“How many different people, places, and events have I created in those nine chapters?”

My curiosity peaked, I did some quick number crunching and here is what I came up with.

Fantasy By the Numbers:

  • 63 – Unique First Names

  • 107 – Historical Events

  • 28 – Cities

  • 61 – Unique Locations

  • 128 –  Total Encyclopedia/Reference Guide Entries

All of this was done in:

  • 63 – Pages

  • 9 – Chapters

  • 31814 – Words

There is still a long way to go to the finish line. I am only about one-seventh of the way to my desired length (approx. 210,000 words), so I’ll try and update these stats as I go along.

On a related note, I would like to thank everyone who read the excerpt I posted and gave me your feedback. I really enjoyed sharing that chapter. If everything goes as planned, I hope to have a second excerpt up by the end of this month, so be sure to check back in soon.

7 Important Steps to Becoming a Hollywood Editor

February 26, 2011 at 7:40 pm | Posted in Editing | 13 Comments

After years of making homemade shorts with your cousins in Windows Moviemaker and hours of going frame by frame through the works of Michael Kahn, Walter Murch, and Thelma Schoonmaker to try to figure out how they “did it”, you’ve finally made the big decision.

You want to be the next big time Hollywood Editor, but you have no idea where to start.

Have no fear, not too long ago, I was in your shoes and had no idea what I was doing. Luckily, I met some very kind and very smart people who did know what they were doing and proceeded to help get me started on my editing journey.

Have I made it yet?

No, but here are some of the most important and helpful steps that I’ve learned about how to make it to the eventual goal of becoming an editor in Hollywood.

This information either comes from personal experience or was gathered from the conversations I’ve had with a group of kind and helpful editors and assistants who are already working in the film industry. I know that this is just scratching the surface, but I want to share it with you and help you take the first steps on your editing journey.

As I’ve said, I am still on this journey myself, so as I learn more, I will continue to share what I’ve learned in future blog posts.

For now, here are my initial 7 steps to help you become a Hollywood Editor: Continue Reading 7 Important Steps to Becoming a Hollywood Editor…

Are the Spurs the Anti-Cavs?

February 21, 2011 at 2:10 pm | Posted in Sports | 3 Comments

Two smallish basketball cities, two once in a generation superstars, two legitimate title contenders. There are many similarities between the Cleveland Cavaliers of the last few years and the San Antonio Spurs. So how did two team that have so much in common achieve such different outcomes? One continues to be a perennial title contender while the other is quickly slipping into basketball irrelevance.

In the end, it all comes down to management.  One team took what it was given and nurtured it, the other simply relied on the one talent it was given to deliver a title to them, until that talent decided to go to south beach and it was all over.

With the 19th and 29th largest TV markets respectively, Cleveland and San Antonio can both be considered small-market teams. Teams that if not successful on the court would soon cease to be financially viable. Both teams, on glorious May days in 1997 and 2003 had the ping-pong balls fall their way and picked up the players that would change their NBA fortunes. A lot has already been made of Tim Duncan‘s decision to stay with the Spurs after the 2000 season and the similarities to Lebron‘s own “decision” this last summer, so I won’t focus on that.

Instead, I would like to look at the current Spurs team and use it as an example of how to build (or rebuild in this case) around a superstar. Continue Reading Are the Spurs the Anti-Cavs?…

7 Writing Tips (From an Unpublished Writer)

February 5, 2011 at 12:12 am | Posted in Writing | 4 Comments
Medieval illustration of a Christian scribe wr...

Image via Wikipedia

Despite what we were all initially lead to believe when we first set out on our writing journeys, writing is not easy. Sometimes we sit down at our computer screens or take up our note pads and stare aimlessly through them in the hope that our ideas and emotions will magically transcribe themselves onto the page. It never happens like that of course, so we’re forced to dig in for the long hall.

In the time I’ve spent writing my screenplays and now my novel, I have come across several tips and tricks that have helped me to get these ideas down on paper and boost my creative output. You may not agree with all of them, some of them may not work for you at all. They are simply what I have found useful for me and thus find worth sharing with you. Here are the first seven. Continue Reading 7 Writing Tips (From an Unpublished Writer)…

First Look!: A Voice in the Darkness

January 31, 2011 at 5:46 am | Posted in Excerpts, Updates On My Fantasy Novel, Writing | 5 Comments

Today I am excited to finally share with you a very brief excerpt from the novel I have been working on the past 8 years. The text is a very early draft, so no where near finished. There will most likely be significant changes made to it before the full book is released, but I wanted to give everyone a short glimpse into how it’s shaping up and I am interested to hear what your feedback is. So please enjoy it and hopefully I can post some more polished excerpts on here soon. (Hopefully an action sequence next time.)

To set the stage, this passage is taken from what is currently the 7th chapter of the book and takes place right around the close of the first act. One of our heroes, Cirac, has recently been captured by enemy forces and is being lead to the prison fortress of Borrain were he is sure to face a swift execution.

There are plenty of places and things that are not described in detail in this excerpt which will be foreign to you. I can only offer a few brief descriptions which will come off a bit cliche and will not do justice to the complexities I have woven into the story, but I’ll save that for another time.

These are the few basic things you should know:

The Aerie: “The children of eagles” The aerie are the main race in my tale. They have large eagle like wings and stand two to three feet taller than the average human.

Axion: The capitol of the Axonion Empire of the aerie. The empire has fallen at the outset of the story, creating the toxic environment from which our conflict arises.

The Skeletar: The immortal half decomposed former human race in this story.

The Wraith: Shadowy beings that now control the Axonion Empire. Possessed of great power, they have given the aerie back the immortality that they once possessed, but as with everything, it comes at a great price.

That should do you for now. Please enjoy the excerpt! Continue Reading First Look!: A Voice in the Darkness…

This novel brought to you by…Starbucks

January 25, 2011 at 8:10 pm | Posted in Updates On My Fantasy Novel, Writing | 1 Comment
Starbucks Shinbashi YM

I get 25 creative ideas per Venti (A friend of my gets 36, but he gulps a Trenta) - Image via Wikipedia

If I ever wind up finishing my novel (and get published), I need to reserve a space at the front of the book for a special thanks to Starbucks, Coffee Bean and caffeine in general.

There is absolutely no way I can make it through all the late night writing sessions with out it.

So thank you for your stimulating power oh dark beverage of creativity. You shall not go unacknowledged!

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