Category Archives: Children

You Can Learn a Lot From a Coyote Wearing a Wheeled Helmet

If you want to know how to skillfully setup and tell a joke, watch Looney Tunes.

Looney Tunes were on every Saturday morning for three hours and I’d plop myself onto the floor in front of the TV and enjoy the varied adventures of Bugs and his pals.

One of my favorite moments was when the Coyote, in an attempt to get the Road Runner, affixed on his head a helmet with a wheel on top, that would run down a long wire that was suspended hundreds of feet up in the air, and down to the street, just in time to snatch the speedy Road Runner as he passed by.

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One of the dumbest ideas in the history of dumb ideas.

How the creators presented this dumb idea gives wonderful insight into how to setup and pull of a joke.

  • First, set up an amazingly insane premise as the logical thing to do.
  • Second, spend a LOT of time preparing and trying to execute this insane idea.
  • Third, when the expectations have been set, and we’ve become impatient to see if it will work because we’ve spent so much time preparing for it, provide an outcome that no one sees coming.

The Looney Tune creators, especially in the early Road Runner/Coyote episodes, mastered this technique.

Coyote-Rocket

I encourage you to set your DVRs to Cartoon Network and record a couple of episodes of Looney Tunes.  Watch how these storytellers perfected their craft in the medium of animation.  It’s great stuff.

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A Healthy Faith Journey

The primary reason I am attracted to creating faith-based entertainment for young adults is because they have virtually no viable options that promote a healthy faith journey.

Whether it be our Nikki & Babs DVD or our upcoming Gabby Wells novel series, I feel there is a growing need for young adult characters that are faced with the same moral challenges of the readers and who have incorporated their faith journey as an important part of their lives.

Gabby-Header

Nearly all entertainment geared at young adults promote decisions and life styles that are in complete opposition to church teachings. They confuse lust for love and focus on the lustful stages of a relationship, but quickly abandon it when the “heat” wears off.  They promote indulgence and self-gratification.  They promote materialism and pettiness.  They promote deceit and vanity.

I’m no fool.  All of those things exist.  And all of those things will be faced by a young adult today. But, instead of pushing them to embrace their own selfishness, I create characters that openly struggle with trying to overcome those tendencies, to try and live a holy life in a corrupt and fallen world.

Like the reader, these characters will not always make the right decisions.  They will struggle with selective morality when their faith calling gets too difficult or inconvenient or in the way of their immediate goals.

However, unlike TV and films and most books, our characters brush off their sinfulness and try again, never losing sight of the end goal, entry into Heaven.

Unlike angels, we were not created complete.  We were created to learn and grown, which means we will try and fail.  A faith journey is a life-long process that requires dedication, consistency and filling your life with people and things that help you grow in a healthy way.

We hope the Gabby Wells novel series can be one of those things that help you in your own faith journey.

What other forms of entertainment have helped you in your faith journey?  Let us know in the comments section.

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Fingerprints from God

I believe we are all born with God’s fingerprint on our souls.

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What do I mean by this? I mean that, I believe God imbues every single one of us with a gift, a talent that is solely ours.

For some it is artistic, such as writing, painting or performing. For others, it is mathematic, such as accounting, geometry or chemistry. For others it is personal interaction, such as being a good listener, a caregiver or a nurturer. The list goes on and on, from athletics to cooking to mentoring to building.

Our genetic make-up, our childhood, our family, our faith and our location help shape these gifts. So, two people can have the same gift, yet express it in completely different ways.

As a parent, I believe our responsibility is two fold:

  • Recognize this gift in your children
  • Foster that gift in a way that they will use it to praise God.

By giving our gift back to God, by using it for his glory, we give it far more value than we would by focusing that gift on ourselves.

Think of all of the artists popular today. Most of them are exceptionally talented, born with a gift. Yet, how many of them use those talents for worldly gains and, in the process, offend God?

And yet, when the eventually leave this world, their gains will remain here and crumble, while their souls will live on forever. Where is up to God’s perfect justice.

I believe God’s fingerprint on my soul is storytelling. I’ve been drawn to it all my life. I have pursued it in film, television and novels. And I try to do it in a way that would make God proud. After all, if God is not smiling at our accomplishments, then how much are they really worth?

What do you believe is God’s fingerprint on your soul? And how do you use it today?

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