Guitar Hero Worship?

Posted by on Jun 19, 2014 in Articles, Interviews & Articles | 0 comments

I’m not a musician. But I would like to be. One of these days I’ll eventually get around to learning how to play an instrument. I finally managed to start updating a blog regularly, so this might actually be an achievable dream. Until then, I have Guitar Hero. First released in 2005,Guitar Hero is a computer game that enables you to play along with some great rock tracks by hitting the right buttons at the right time on the guitar shaped control pad. It’s like being in a rock band, except with out all the hard work and talent. And now there’s a Christian version on its way. Guitar Praise is a new product from an outfit called Digital Praise. Players will be able to rock along to over 50 Christian praise songs by artists such as Newsboys, Relient K and dc Talk. My question is: why does this game exist? Is it because there is a huge demand for music that belongs to the Christian music genre that it needs its own game (Like Guitar Hero: Rocks The 80s) or are there other factors at play? I’m not a huge fan of Christian music. That’s mainly because I have rarely found any Christian music that interests me. A lot of the time I find what I do hear either a cheap knock off of a successful, secular band, or the music is so bland it’s not worth listening to. (Please note: I’m not ripping into every single Christian band out there. I have by no means sampled everything in the market. I’m sure there’s some good stuff out there. I do enjoy the work of several Christian bands. Just over all, I find the good stuff is the exception rather than the rule.) Does Guitar Praise exist because of the Christian Bubble? Is it all part of an ideal that would see Christians completely separated from the secular world, giving them their own forms of entertainment so they won’t venture out into the big, bad world? If that’s the case, then I’m not on board. Sure, there are many things in this world that Christians should avoid. We shouldn’t be involved in anything that will lead us into sin. On the other hand, we still live in this world. We still need to be out there, taking a stand, making our presence known, bringing glory to God. We know that God uses us as his tools to bring people to him. Through our lives and through our proclamation of his glory, people come to salvation. If we hide ourselves away in our Christian ghettos, if we only do Christian things with Christian people, then we are being negligent in our duty to proclaim God...

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My Gal, the Zombie

Posted by on Jun 12, 2014 in Catalog, Children & Youth, Graphic Novels, Recent Work, Youth | 0 comments

BUY Perfect Bound, BW, 6 x 9, 126 pages  See more books of same category: Children & Youth Author:  Dan Conner Chelsea goes zombie! Everyone loves a green skinned girl: Monsters, Makeup and Madness! You have it all. A great roommate, an awesome boyfriend, smarts, & style. Then, you become a zombie. Just don’t let it ruin your life…or your afterlife! Read Dan Conner’s fan favorite comic from Lamp...

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The Benefits of Living Together

Posted by on May 28, 2014 in Articles, Interviews & Articles | 0 comments

Around Christmas time, I was walking Star–my dog–and stopped to talk to my neighbor. I told him how excited I was that this was going to be my second Christmas with Marc. His immediate question was, “So when are you getting married?” Shocked, I said that we were already married. His next reaction was priceless. “Good. As it should be.” Wait, what? Why is it that we presume all young adults who are living together aren’t married? Maybe because less and less people delay marriage until they’re in their upper 20′s and early 30′s. Maybe because young adults in church look (and act) no different from those not in church. I apologize if this is offending anyone or stirring up needless drama. This really is the first time I’ve written on the topic–and this time I’m not wussing out. It is not my aim to judge or condemn anyone, but to pose the distinct question: What does it really look like to do life together in a healthy way? I’m not just talking about living together inside or outside the context of marriage. I’m talking about Acts 2 where the believers lived together and had everything in common (Acts 2:44). Whether you’re single, married, divorced, or living with roommates or parents–it’s a question I find myself asking quite often, especially in the first year of my marriage. I’m totally stealing this from The Sacred Search, a new book by Gary Thomas. In it he says, “God made you a sexual being but commands you to restrict sexual activity to marriage (1 Cor. 6:15-20; 7:36-38; 1 Thess. 4:3-7). At a certain point, for some of you it will become overwhelming difficult, to the point of courting temptation, to delay the marriage that will allow a holy expression of sexual activity” (The Sacred Search, page 84). When Marc and I got married I was scared. Terrified. It is by the grace of God I waited until marriage for sex, and also for living together. It wasn’t because God made me or my parents forbid it, but because I truly desired to have a physically, emotionally, and spiritually healthy marriage from the start. When I say there are benefits to living together it’s because I’ve lived them. Not because I’m making you see my point or telling you what to do. I can only tell you what I am experiencing and what I’m experiencing has been nothing short of a miracle. It wasn’t until I got married that I realized how unhealthy I was living. Through Marc, God showed me it was the way I was living that was causing me pain–and I didn’t even know it. I was living at my...

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Break Up Your Fallow Ground!

Posted by on May 7, 2014 in Articles, Interviews & Articles | 0 comments

Jeremiah 4:3-4.  ‘For thus says the LORD to the men of Judah and Jerusalem:  “Break up your fallow ground, and do not sow among thorns.  Circumcise yourselves to the LORD, and take away the foreskins of your heart.”’ Hosea 10:12.  “Sow for yourselves righteousness; reap in mercy; break up your fallow ground, for it is time to seek the LORD, ‘till He comes and rains righteousness on you. This article owes its genesis to a walk I took last summer along a path that runs through two fields near my home.   It was during the dry spell that came at the end of June.  In the first field the farmer was growing maize, and the corn really was ‘as high as an elephant’s eye.’ Although there had been no rain for a while the maize was growing splendidly as the roots sucked up the moisture and nourishment hidden within the ground.  The field was doing what a field is supposed to do- it was providing a crop and the farmer would soon have a harvest from it- thirty-fold, sixty-fold or a hundred-fold, I don’t know, but that is what such fields are for- to produce fruit; a crop, a harvest. But when I walked into the second field, it was a very different story;  there was no crop.  There had been at one point; I could see the stalks where the maize had been cut down by a combine the year previously, but since then the farmer had left the field to lie fallow.  Now because of the hot, dry weather that we had been having, the surface of the ground had been baked hard.  Underneath it might have been soft, but there was a sort of hard skin on the surface, and almost nothing was growing- just some scrub and a few weeds- no crop. A day or two later, there was a torrential rainstorm and I thought, well, that rain will turn the field into a real quagmire, but to my surprise, when I walked through the second field the next day, the ground was still as dry and hard as ever. The rain had not penetrated that hard outer skin and had flowed off the field and into the ditch.  Now imagine if the farmer had dropped seed on that land hoping for a harvest.  Fat chance!  The seed would have remained on the surface of the ground and either the birds would have eaten it or the rain would have washed it away.  The seed needs to go deep down into the ground before it will germinate. So what does the farmer need to do to get a crop out of that field?  He must...

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The Ancestors

Posted by on May 3, 2014 in Catalog, Fiction_Inspired, Recent Work, Slider, Speculative Fiction | 1 comment

BUY Perfect bound, B&W, 6 x 9,  244 Pages Also available in downloadable eBOOK for iPad or Kindle. See more books of same category: Fiction: Inspired! Author: William Barnard Reporting on an extraterrestrial sighting and their message for mankind, a renowned journalist clashes with those who oppose the story, unaware that the real battle is for his own soul. After the loss of a close friend, journalist Zach Miller spirals into depression, suffering from writers block for the first time in his career. Battling to regain his passion to write, he is approached by an esoteric group who promises him a story of historical magnitude, one that will forever change the way we look at life. Taken to a secluded ranch, Zach is completely stunned as he comes face to face with extraterrestrials. These galaxy travelers inform him that they are distant ancestors of mankind and will be coming back soon to rescue humanity from their current path of destruction. They have chosen Zach to relay their message of hope and how they plan to bring about the peace and spiritual harmony that all men long for. While Zach and millions of others around the world embrace the news, his sister Vanessa finds the account disturbing. For years, her religious faith has been a source of irritation for Zach and he scoffs at her suggestion that these aliens may have sinister motives. Unlike her confusing Christian dogma which has only caused division over the centuries, the Ancestors offer a creed that seeks to unify and provides him a deeper knowledge into many of life’s mysteries. Infused with a real sense of purpose, Zach remains steadfast to overcome any obstacles that keep him from sharing this new found wisdom. But nothing he has learned can possibly prepare him for The Day. Thrust into the most cataclysmic event in modern times, Zach is forced to reevaluate everything he has heard and confront the troubling questions about the true nature of the Ancestors. With his back up against an overwhelming wall of fear and doubt, his only chance to survive hinges upon discovering the real truth in...

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