Posts made in November, 2014

Review: The Kingstone Bible : Volume 4 : The Judges

Posted by on Nov 20, 2014 in Reviews & Recommendations

PLEASE NOTE: I received a hardcopy of this book to review for the publisher.

The Kingstone Bible : Volume 4 : Judges

From Kingstone Media

Bottom line: I am torn regarding The Kingstone Bible : Volume 4. The weakest entry in the anthology thus far, this graphic novel is a rough read, and I am unsure if that is inherently due to the content or to the execution. One can go through the book quickly, but it is not a pleasant experience. Of course, given that this is a lawless era of Israel’s history, perhaps discomfort is the point. You see why I’m torn.

Kingstone pays close attention to their interpretation of the text and as such limits their creative freedom. I believe the book conveys what is presented in the Holy Scripture, which is admirable, but the translation suffers because it does not present more contextualization (which i believe they did to great affect in their adaptation of Genesis).If nothing else, this book shows Israel’s folly and the horrendous immorality of the ancient world. Between the injustices of the rulers and the harsh mistreatment of women, one can see why God would have placed his chosen people in the geographical location that he did; the great tragedy of Israel’s history is that they fell into the culture rather than changing it.

Learn More

Fear, Failure, and Forward Momentum

Posted by on Nov 18, 2014 in Writer's Diary

Well, here we are: midway through the last month of 2014. The time has passed more quickly than I would have expected. Sure, some days have been long, others not so. I’ve had the pleasure of savoring many moments and etching new memories while also failing to cherish many more that I let slip through my mind.

I’m off my marks for web traffic, blog posts, tweets, and a wealth of other personal goals. I’ve gained weighed and lost muscle. My love for the Lord has increased even as my strength and discipline seemed to leave me. I’m really not sure how I’ll look at 2014 in the long scheme of things.

I’ve faced emotional hardship I’ve not known and felt more helpless than I can remember, yet the Lord continues to reveal himself. I’ve prayed and sought and pondered, and I hear the Spirit’s quiet whisper saying again and again, “Encourage the Church”.

I still don’t know how. Well, that’s not entirely true. I know ways that I could, methods I might, but not in the sense I desire to–not in the way to which I am being led. I feel unsettled with many of the thoughts I’ve had or solutions I’ve reached. No, I am being drawn to something different. Something…else.

I think I’m getting closer to what that is–to how that might look. It’s not what I would have chosen for myself, but I am getting more confirmation of it each day. Perhaps I’ll close the year knowing (that would be wonderful).

If I follow it, well, life will look different in 2015–not bad, but different. I’ve been afraid of it–afraid of what it might mean. But I think part of that is the fear of having to rise to new occasions and difficulties. If things develop as I expect, I’ll need to be far more focused, more determined, and less listless.

Sounds like a good way to enter a new year.

Time will tell, and so will I, as I figure it out and take steps toward it.

Thanks for reading,
C
 
 
 
 
 

Learn More

Recommendation: “All My Love” by Trip Lee and “Dead Preacher” by Jackie Hill Perry

Posted by on Nov 14, 2014 in Reviews & Recommendations

If you’ve been at the blog for any amount of time, you know I like hip-hop. Just recently I wrote a recommendation for LeCrae’s Anomaly, and I have previously also praised the work of Beautiful Eulogy.

Two recent songs have caught my attention, and I thought it worth my time to commend them to you, alongside some honorable mentions. The tracks I’ll be sharing today are especially beautiful due to their overall theme of redemption overcoming depravity and brokenness. A great many hip-hop songs focus on the latter, but few end with the hopeful outlook of the below ballads.

First I invite you to listen to Jackie Hill Perry’s “Dead Preacher”, a story that follows a pastor who is not all his congregation believes him to be. In fact, he’s quite the opposite.

 

 

Inasmuch as “Dead Preacher” introduced me to Jackie Hill Perry, my favorite song off her album is entitled, “Better”. That song was not available in full for embed/upload, but it has an amazing hook, and the intro by JGivens at the beginning is excellent as well. You can sample and download Jackie’s album, The Art of Joy, from Humble Beast Records.The second song I am commending to you today is “All My Love” by Trip Lee, from his album, Rise. This song has specific resonance for not only me but many men in my generation. The music offers an exceedingly catchy hook that echoed in my mind for days–not unlike the mistress in the song itself. While some online have posited that the song is about online dating, I could make a strong case that it is actually about pornography use. See what you think by listening.

 

BOTH OF THE ABOVE RESPECTIVE VIDEOS are the uploads and property of their respective Youtube Users.

A few other Christian Hip-hop songs to capture my ear recently are listed below. I recommend you check them out.

“I Ain’t Got An Answer” by Propaganda, from his album, Excellent
“Get Well Soon” by Braille, from his album, Weapon Aid
“Father Figure Skating” by Odd Thomas, from his album, The Divine Use of Animosity & Ridicule

And for fun, Foreknown’s quick jam, “#FootyPajamaPizzaDanceKaraokePartyGo!” from Ornithology

 
 
 
 
 

Learn More

Not Sure How Title This One

Posted by on Nov 8, 2014 in Writer's Diary

Some things.

Some things are too difficult to express in words. The pain runs too deep–or maybe it’s the shame. See, I’ve reached one of those mental walls–a point wherein you want to be introspective and think and process, but you can’t. You can’t think about it anymore. But at the same time you know you need to do so. It’s a tough headspace (one that makes me feel altogether foolish).

I won’t go into details because I can’t do so briefly (and they would be embarrassing if I did). Needless to say, the devil has sown seeds of envy in my soul, and the harvest of resentment is in full bloom. What’s worse, I know it’s my fault; I know that I’ve allowed it, that I’ve failed to look upward rather around me, that these emotions are toxic. I have been unable to shake them for the better part of the week, and I see no sign of their dissipating. I need to own them (which is why I’ve confessed them here and elsewhere), and also I need to face them. But I don’t know when I will.

All I can think about is the next step I’m gonna take–the next move I’m making to get passed it. Or maybe just to get by. It’s a strange thing to wrestle with personal perception versus objective reality. One may know the latter but the former is simply too strong and too askew to be silent. How I wish it would. I lament when my emotions get the better of my reason, particularly when my feelings are ghastly.

Looks like I have a new journey to begin with all deliberate speed–a recalibrating of my heart toward contentment, gratitude, and thanksgiving. The lesson is timely, to be sure. I hope I can learn it, apply it, and use it. The Lord knows I must; maybe that’s why it’s come to this.

I know–I know. Could I be anymore vague and/or cryptic? Sure, I could; but that’s not my style. I want to tell you enough to be real and vulnerable but not enough to betray confidences or hurt someone. That’s a hard line to draw, but I’m trying. In time I hope to have a follow-up to this, that I’ve harvested all this chaff from my heart and burned it.  Christ needs to be the one holding the reaper.

Thanks for reading when I get this way–I don’t take pleasure in posts like this one, but they’re necessary. If I say I’m Living Life Loving Christ but not confessing the ugly side of myself, then I’m lying about something. So this is me, laid a bit bare and a bit embarrassed. But better than old, brittle, and bitter. Here’s to repenting before that happens.

 

Thanks again,

C

 
 
 
 
 
 

Learn More

Recommendation: The Kingstone Bible: Volume 3 : The Ten Commandments

Posted by on Nov 5, 2014 in Reviews & Recommendations

Please be advised that I received a review hardcopy of this book directly from Kingstone Media.

 

The Kingstone Bible: Volume 3: The Ten Commandments
From Kingstone Media

Art Ayris and Company at Kingstone have created another compelling adaptation of the Holy Scriptures in The Kingstone Bible Volume 3 : The Ten Commandments. Tracing from Moses’ birth through Joshua’s death, this volume in the ongoing The Kingstone BibleAnthology provides a fine overview of Israel’s journey from Egypt to the Promised Land, complete with the nation’s failures, hardships, and successes.

Through the persons of Moses and Joshua, this graphic novel powerfully explores the profound difficulty in balancing service to God and service to his people. The nation’s ongoing rebellion, Moses’ frustrations, the Lord’s many miracles, and Joshua’s important role as a successor (more on that later) are given space and attention, providing a dynamic picture of Judaism during this time.  Within the construct of this adaptation, one sees how much Israel truly needed to rely on the Lord throughout their journey and how the challenge of doing so took its toll on the national attitude time and time again. Within this context, one can understand why Moses is championed alongside the historical patriarchs of Israel, particularly given his direct communion with God.

Learn More