Saturday, December 24, 2011

Choose Your Words Carefully

Christmas Eve is here and with all the hectic pressure and running around to finish, here are a few thoughts on how it began.

“God spoke: “Light!” and light appeared. God saw that light was good and separated light from dark. God named the light Day, he named the dark, Night. It was evening, it was morning. – Day One.”*

God’s first recorded known words brought light into the darkness. Out of all the possible things he could say, “Hello,” “I love you,” “Get Ready,” – He chose to say, “Light.” His first move toward his creation was to bring in the warmth of light.

Time passed and the world found itself deeper in darkness. Gods’ voice was silent until he introduced his son to the world. The fear of abandonment was replaced with a crying baby wrapped in a manger. He gave no words of comfort for his absence nor did he say, “I missed you.”

When Jesus spoke o f himself he said, “I am the world’s Light. No one who follows me stumbles around in the darkness. I provide plenty of light to live in.”*

If Jesus is the light, then maybe just maybe God knew what he was doing. What if with one word he said everything he wanted to say. Perhaps God did say, “Hello,” “I love you,” and “Get Ready" in the beginning. When he spoke "Light" he spoke the name of Jesus, and his light destroys all darkness, and brings about every type of hope.

*The Message Translation

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Let's take the ole' 4-wheel drive sleigh...

Hey friends!

I took a trip over to the blog: Big Dreams and submitted a few Christmas thoughts for his 25 Blogs of Christmas. Check it out. I share my loves, enjoyment, and what creeps me out. It's starts out as a Lifetime movie and ends like an Adam McKay film.

We all need a little more Christmas in our days anyway. Check it out here.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Radio Interview

Hey Friends,

Christmas is in full swing and my business has increased. I wanted to take a moment to link my radio interview with Katie Smith. Katie is a very talented interviewer with a passion for talking to anyone and everyone. She has the ability to de-stress her guests and make them feel more like friends than an interviewee. Follow her blog so you can stay up-to-date on all of her happenings.

I was also blessed to share this interview with Ben Finch. Ben is a guy who is swimming in talent. He is an accomplished designer, award-winning photographer, and one of the coolest guys around. Check out his site and soak up all the insane talent.

Our interview looked at risk-takers and entrepreneurs. I've spent a lot of time writing and getting my work out. I've been focused on YA books but jumped in to stageplays (basically to see if I could). I've developed a love for theater and have been blessed to win multiple stageplay contests and receive rave reviews for the work I've created.

Check out the radio interview and make sure you give some love to Katie and Ben!

Friday, December 9, 2011

"A presence I haven't felt since..."

Checking in before my radio interview today.

Here are a couple of ways to stay plugged into my world and contacts.

Twitter: timjasonwallis


I'll link the interview as soon as it goes up.

Take Care!!

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

You are not the Bride I married

Quick update before I get back into my posting habit.
The Tennessee Baptist Newspaper just published an article I wrote on the state of the church.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Community, Community, Community

Those of you familiar with Beetlejuice (which should be mandatory in our school system), you will enjoy the writers of NBC's show Community. They recently finished a non-shalont bit that took three seasons to complete. The pay off was an Easter Egg that would make any Tim Burton fanatic wave their scissor hands with joy.

Each season the word "Beetlejuice" was thrown into a random conversation. Anyone who took time to read their handbook would know that to make Beetlejuice appear his name must be said three times. So, after his name made the conversation for the third time this season, Beetlejuice walked through the background. Brilliant.

Not a big fan of Community but they deserve a standing ovation for this three season gag.

Monday, November 28, 2011

My Medical Training...

I always enjoy traveling and speaking to teenagers and adults. My Youth Pastor had a huge impact on my life and I'm blessed to still call him a friend. He's allowed me to be apart of his ministry at different times to communicate with teenagers.

With that said: I had a house full of eighth graders for the weekend to teach. Boys and girls. Guys and gals. Loud and Louder. Crazy and silly. I think you got the idea. Inbetween our sessions we had free time. We played interactive games, chatted with one another, and just laughed. After our first Saturday morning session our host reminded everyone there was a basketball goal outside. Apparently all of the students were struggling with a basketball addiction because they shot down the stairs like a 13-year-old girl after Ryan Gosling.

I get outside to play a few traditional games of Knock-Out, when I look over and see one of the eighth grade boys sitting down with his shoe off.

"What happened to you?"

"I hurt my ankle." he replied.

I now reverted back to an ignorant new born with my next question.

"How did you hurt it?" (I know I know)

My blindness to the obvious was too much for him to handle. He was unsure how to answer.

"Ummm...playing basketball?"

"Oh." I replied somewhat surprised for reasons I can not figure out. "It cant' be that bad. You've only been out here a few minutes."

"But it's huge. It's swollen." he replied back staring down at his foot.

"You lie." I said as I walked over. "It's never as bad as you...GOOD GRACIOUS THAT'S HUGE!!! IT'S LIKE BIGFOOT LET YOU BORROW HIS SLIPPERS!!"

"I told you."

"Boy that shoe is never going back on your foot!" I said with an apparent disregard for any opportunity to encourage.

"I'll be fine. But do you think it's that bad?"

"That's no moon. It's a space station, Luke."

At this point, he, like you the reader, stared blankly unaware of my vast knowledge of the sci-fi world and my ability to include it into my daily life at the most opportune moment.

We all walked back inside the house ready for the next session. One of the Host's and myself were explaining to him how he needed to elevate his ankle and it needed to be iced. We set him up some pillows to keep it raised and she got him a bag of ice. All is right in the world.

Halfway through the session the students are talking, discussing, and are really digging deeper into what kinds of decisions they make. As we are talking I turn around and look at this student with his leg is on the floor next to the pillows.

"What are you doing?" I asked

"It's uncomfortable on the pillows." he replied.

"The pillows?? Are you serious? Pillows are the definition of comfortable. When you are laying down and you can't get comfortable, what do you say...I sure wish I had a pillow? Pillows are always the answer. What do say when you can't sleep well...I couldn't get my pillow comfortable. It's always the pillow. What is the reply when you tell someone you can't sleep...Do you need a new pillow? When you are leaving for a long trip in the car and you have everything loaded and you are sitting in the car about to back out of the driveway, what stops the trip? Why do you rush out of the car and back into the house...I forgot my pillow!!! Pillows were created out of discomfort. If we had more pillows in this world there would be less war! Your ankle is uncomfortable because it's the size of a watermelon on steroids. Don't blame the pillows."

"Well it's cold too."

"That's the point. The cold well keep the swelling down. Now put it back on the ice."

"I can't stand it. My ankle is turning blue."

"Oh it is not." I again said as I leaned over for a better view. "It's just your imagina...HOLY COW LOOK AT THAT ANKLE!!! IT'S LIKE PAPA SMURF IS STRAPPED TO YOUR ANKLE WITH BLUE DUCT TAPE!!!"

I moved back over to my spot and said, "Just keep it off for ten minutes and put it back on."

In case you are wondering the swelling did go down, but he walked with a small limp in his step.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Let the Games Begin!!

Here's a full trailer for the Hunger Games. Great series. Hopefully the movie holds true to the heart and design of what Suzanne Collins created.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Monday, October 31, 2011

All Hallows Eve

Happy Halloween!!!!

Here are some characters I drew for a project of mine.

I hope your Halloween is a candy-filled fun time!!

Monday, October 24, 2011

Love Wins Interview: Danielle Reed

Today I'm blessed to chat with the lady who can make a prison guard cry like a housewife watching a LifeTime Movie, Danielle Reed.

Let's get to it.

Writing on the Wall: How many plays have you been apart of before Love Wins?

Danielle Reed: I have been in plays since I was in high school, mostly church and school productions. I’ve always played supporting roles in these plays. I was Mary in A Portrait of Christ, and my favorite role, Mary Annette and Dusty in Cowboy Bob’s Wrangling Rodeo Hour.

WOTW: Who do you play?

DR: I play Jennifer Bankston, wife of Mitchell and mother to Esther.

WOTW: How would you describe Jennifer?

DR: Jennifer is a complex character who goes through a range of emotion, but I think when it comes right down to it, she’s just searching. Searching for something to make her complete. She has this tremendous love and devotion for her daughter, but at the same time I think she knows there is something missing. I think the same is true for the way she feels about Mitch. I have no doubt she loves him, but part of the reason she runs to Harrison is that she feels something about their relationship isn’t what it should be. Something is missing.

WOTW: Were there any hurdles in playing her?

DR: This was by far the hardest role I have ever played. I think what made it so hard was the range of emotion Jennifer goes through. At the beginning, we see this fun-loving kind of personality, but then as events unfold, she acts betrayed then guilty then empty. It was very difficult to change emotions so quickly and portray those emotions in a believable way.

WOTW: What makes Jennifer tick? What do you think she wants out of life?

DR: As I said before I think she’s searching for that one thing that will make her complete, but she doesn’t know exactly what it is. She wants people to believe she has it all together. I think that’s what motivates her to do what she does. She is involved in all kind of organizations, goes to Esther’s PTA meetings, and fabricates the story about Mitch and Audrey; all so that others believe she has it all together. I believe what she truly wants out of life is to find that key to true joy, and I believe she finds that through accepting Jesus as her Savior. The evidence of that is in the way she responds to everything that happens after that moment in the play. She takes full responsibility for the pain she has caused, but even through her pain she still has this peace that we don’t see earlier on.

WOTW: Did you learn anything from Jennifer?

DR: I have renewed appreciation and love for my husband. After seeing the hurt her choices caused her family, it makes me realize how precious my husband is and how important it is to be honest and open with him. I do not want to find myself in a situation where I am the cause of hurt like that. I also believe her story is one more example of God’s amazing grace, and it was awesome to be reminded of that through Jennifer’s story.

WOTW: How did you get along with the rest of the cast?

DR: This cast was amazing! The talent of the actors and actresses in this play just blew me away. I loved every minute of working with them. We laughed together (even at times when we shouldn’t have), we felt frustration together, and we felt successes together. Even when I was tired after working all day, I always looked forward to going to play practice because I knew I would get to be with my friends.

WOTW: What’s it like working in an ensemble?

DR: Honestly, at first I thought this was going to be the most complicated thing to rehearse because there were so many people, but now I wouldn’t change my experience with these people at all. Being in an ensemble, we all worked together as a team. What helped was us all having the same focus and vision. From the beginning, we all knew God was going to do something amazing with this play and we could all sense that. From there it was just a matter of getting all the kinks worked out. And we did. Being in an ensemble to me just meant I had that many more people supporting me as I struggled through a difficult scene or finally got the right emotion for the moment. And it was great being that support for others, too. It was a really awesome thing to hear us all cheer for someone when they nailed a scene or see us all struggle as one of the cast members worked through a difficult scene. And, we are all better actors and better friends because of it!

WOTW: Do you have a favorite scene?

DR: As hard as it was for me to act in, I love the last scene. Seeing the change God can do in two people is just amazing! And the girl in me loves that the story has a hint of a happy ending. I also thought Esther’s song was so beautiful. Hannah did an amazing job of capturing Esther’s heart. It brought me to tears every night we performed.

WOTW: What do you hope Love Wins will accomplish?

DR: My hope is that Love Wins will reach the hearts of those who truly need to hear its message. Love Wins sends a powerful message about the reality of divorce and the lives that are affected by it. I truly hope we can share this play with people, not just at Meadowview, but across our area and beyond that need to hear how God can change the outcome through His Love. Even if we never perform it again, my prayer is that one life will change as a result of seeing God’s amazing love.

Thanks so much Danielle!!

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Love Wins Interview: Alex Wright

Our next interview in our series comes from the snotty mean girl we all knew in high school, Mitzi Lewis, played by Alex Wright.


Writing on the Wall: How many plays have you been apart of before Love Wins?

Alex Wright: I have been apart of a few small church plays all through out my childhood, but "Love Wins" was my first actual major drama.

WOTW: Who do you play?

AW: I play the role of Mitzi Lewis.

WOTW: Tells us a little about Mitzi.

AW: Mitzi is a melodrmatic teenager whom everyone in the school hates. She thinks she is the best and she is not afraid to tell you that. Someone I would not want to make mad that's for sure! Mitzi has the attitude and the greater than thou self esteem, but at time you will see she is willing to stick up for her friends whenever she needs too.

WOTW: Do you think she's a bad person?

AW: I do not think Mitzi is a bad person. I just think she is not afraid to tell you how it is.That does not make someone a bad person, it is just simply their personality. So when you add in the fact that she is a teenage girl, full of drama, plus her strong personality...all of that equals one rude young lady!

WOTW: Did you have any challenges playing her?

AW: There are always some challenges when you are trying to master the charcter you have been given. For me it was just maintaing the "Mitzi" attitude. Sometimes being rude is harder than you think.

WOTW: What was one of your favorite scenes?

AW: I loved the entire play, but if I had to pick a favorite scene it would have to be the very last scene of the play. In this scene, you see what happens when you put all of your trust in God. No matter how hard things get, as long as you trust in the Lord you can make it through anything.

WOTW: Did you enjoy working with the cast?

AW: I loved working with the cast. Everyone was amazing and put so much time and effort into reassuring that we preformed to the best of our abilities. I would love to work with this amazing cast again. Having an amazing cast makes everything so much better. I am very privileged to have had the opportunity to work with everyone!

WOTW: What was your experience working within an ensemble?

AW: I throughly enjoyed being able to work with everyone. We all have such different personalities and things that make our acting different. When we brought all these factors together it pulled together an amazing play.

WOTW: Will we see anymore acting from you in future plays?

AW: I would love the chance to be a part of any future plays if the opportunity arises.

Thanks for you time Alex!

Just ten more minutes...

Hey Friends,

TWC started an annual playwright festival last year called the "Ten for Tenn Festival." It's the brain child of Eric Love, Theater Professor at TWC.

Here is the description of the contest: The festival features 10 performances of ten, 10-15 minute plays from or about Tennessee. It is a celebration of the Tennessee tradition of storytelling brought to the stage. Local and nationally known playwrights submitted plays which feature local student and community actors as directors.

I was honored to have been a winner last year and I'm blessed to be a winner again this year!

My play premieres tonight and will show this weekend and next.

It's a Dark Comedy called, "The Imaginaries." It's about a 30 year old business man who still has an imaginary friend...who hates him.

I'm pumped to see all the plays and the excitement that comes with it!!

Dr. Eric Love said this about the festival: "One of the great things about a ten minute play is that if you don’t like it, it’s already almost over! The next one will be something new that you probably will like. Every good storytell knows not to go on much longer than ten minutes.”


Monday, October 17, 2011

Love Wins Interview: Chip Miller

We continue our Love Wins Interview series with: Chip Miller. Chip plays the role of Mitchell Bankston. Esther's dad and husband to Jennifer. You can still check out our first interview with Hannah Killian here.


Write on the Wall: How many plays have you been apart of before Love Wins?

Chip Miller: Well, most of the plays I’ve been a part of have been related to school or church. I was in “Hello Dolly” in college, “The Wizard of Oz” in school, played the role of Tiny Tim in “A Christmas Carol” and have been in several roles in church plays over the years ranging from support roles to leading roles.

WOTW: Who do you play?

CH: Mitchell Bankston

WOTW: Tell us something about Mitchell. What makes him tick?

CM: Mitchell is driven by a love for his family, especially his daughter. He is an emotional guy when pressed and wants to do the right thing, even in tough situations. At his core you get the feeling that God is a large part of his life.

WOTW: How was Mitchell different from other characters you’ve played?

CH: Mitchell is a fairly tragic character. He is faced with real-life situations that no one would want to deal with and has struggles that bubble to the surface every once in a while. He definitely has more anger and frustration than any character I’ve ever played.

WOTW: A lot is thrown at Mitchell in Love Wins, was it difficult to play a character that was constantly second-guessed?

CM: Absolutely! The range of emotions Mitchell’s character requires is pretty tough to muster sometimes. You feel for the guy knowing the whole story and, in some ways, that helped me play some of the hurt Mitchell experienced.

WOTW: Did you learn anything from anyone else in the play?

CM: I learned a lot about commitment from my fellow cast members; they worked so hard! I was also surprised and moved by some of the testimonies about how divorce and broken families have affected some of the cast. It was humbling that they would be willing to share their stories of pain with us so that God could use it for His good.

WOTW: What’s it like working in an ensemble cast?

CM: The energy, rapport and feeding off the others was an amazing thing! You seem to react to the other members of the cast when they are struggling or doing an incredible job. It is impressive how the members of the cast can really gel at a certain point (after a lot of practice together!) It seemed that when someone stepped up and performed well, the rest of us went above and beyond too.

WOTW: Were there any challenges working on the play?

CM: Lines are always tough when you’re working on a live production. Probably the toughest thing is making those lines your own, making them sound like something that would actually come out of your mouth. There was also the challenge of keeping a straight face in practice even though the subject matter often wasn’t all that humorous. We tended to laugh sometimes in spite of the gravity of the situations presented.

WOTW: Do you have a favorite scene?

CM: My favorite scene would have to be the confrontation between Harrison and Dr. Lawson at the auditorium. My favorite scene of Mitchell’s would have to be the scene where he is packing his things and telling Jennifer ‘goodbye.’ It was a tough scene to play with all of the emotions involved.

WOTW: What do you hope Love Wins will accomplish?

CM: I hope those who have and will see the play would realize that God seeks to redeem any life, any situation regardless of how hopeless, shameful and broken it appears to be. The brokenness of divorce, adultery, deception, etc., can only be mended by a God who is big enough and compassionate enough to see His work through. I think that God exists and that He sent His son for just such a purpose.

Thanks so much for you time, Chip!

More interviews to come!

Love Wins Again

Shocked. Awesome. Remarkable. Grand. Impressed. Amazing. Breathtaking. Mind-blowing. Awe-inspiring. Stunning. Wonderful.

These are just a handful of words my Thesaurus spit out when I tried to describe the reaction to Love Wins. There has been so much support for this play. I can't thank everyone enough for their kinds words, encouragement, and passion to see this grow.

So many people have expressed how this play has impacted and touched their hearts. This is beyond humbling. I am now in the middle of working with other people to take this play to other venues and possibly into a different medium. I wanted to pause for a moment to express my gratitude and love for the beyond warm reception this play has received.

We are going to offer an encore performance of Love Wins on Sunday, November 13th at 6.00 p.m.

Thanks again for the monumental support. Also, make sure you check out my Love Wins Interview series to get some behind-the-scenes thoughts from the cast.

First Interview with Hannah Killian.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Love Wins Interview: Hannah Killian

This begins a series of interviews that Writing on the Wall held with some of the cast of Love Wins. I hope you enjoy some of the insights into the actors, their characters, and play.

Today's interview is with the star of Love Wins: Hannah Killian.

Writing On The Wall: How many plays have you been apart of before Love Wins?

Hannah Killian: I have been in a couple of minor church plays before Love Wins. They were mostly small parts in children’s Christmas plays, or the occasional silent “Mary” in the adult plays.

WOTW: Who do you play?

HK: I play the role of a teenage girl Esther.

WOTW: How would you describe Esther?

HK: Esther is a typical teenager going through a whirlwind of emotions. She is a pretty defensive character who struggles with finding out how God is playing a role in her life.

WOTW: What was your favorite part about, Love Wins?

HK: My favorite part of Love Wins was the overall transformation of the characters. You see every emotion imaginable throughout the play. As each character develops you see a different side of them, their true colors show. This transformation was my favorite thing to experience.

WOTW: What motivates Esther?

HK: To me, Esther is motivated by her curiosity. She is trying to find reasoning behind the circumstances that are occurring. She is angry at the situation and seeks God with her curious heart to find the answers.

WOTW: Did you learn anything from Esther?

HK: Esther was a very easy and very difficult character to play. Through learning the lines, and getting into the character and emotions, Esther began to rub off on me. I began to see her transform even through the horrible situation. Esther turned to God and let Him take control. That is one thing that I personally struggle with, letting God have control. Esther showed me that even thru what we believe to be the worst of times, God will never leave us and He will always have control.

WOTW: How did you get along with the rest of the cast?

HK: We got along great! We had so much fun working together. Since I’m new at the church, it was fun for me to get to know everyone better. We had several good laughs and I wouldn’t trade that time for anything.

WOTW: What’s it like working in an ensemble?

HK: It was a very enjoyable experience. The cast are all very talented actors and actresses. We used each others strengths and weeknesses to better ourselves. It was really nice to be able to play off of each casts emotions to build the scene up.

WOTW: Did you write the song, Always?

HK: I did write the lyrics and music for the song Always. I had the majority of the song written within a weeks time, and tweaked it for 3 more weeks or so. I so appreciate the opportunity my youth pastor, Jason, gave me when he asked me to write a song for Love Wins. At first it was a huge challenge for me, but God brought me the words and He ultimately deserves the praise for this song. I hope this song was and will continue to be a ministry to people.

WOTW: Have you ever written a song for a play or another event before?

HK: No, this was the first song I have ever written for something like this. I write songs mostly for fun; on my own time, and about whatever I want. It was quite an experience to have a timeframe and also a story behind the song. It was a different kind of writing and I enjoyed it thoroughly.

WOTW: The outpouring for your song as been fantastic, how have you handled it?

HK: I has been amazing how much everyone has commented on the song. I had no idea that people would like it. I was very very scared that it would get a negative response, and for the longest time I wanted to rewrite the whole thing. I didn’t let anyone hear the song before the play except for cast members. I wanted the song to be a complete surprise to my family and friends and that made me even more anxious. But, I am so grateful for everyone’s support and positive feedback. It has meant the world to me, and is encouraging me to continue with writing more songs.

WOTW: Are you writing any new songs now?

HK: I am working on a few new songs. I have slacked off on my writing lately, but I am inspired and looking forward to some time to begin writing again. I have a couple songs completely written as of now, and several unfinished. I hope to have at least four more songs completed by the end of the year.

WOTW: How would you encourage someone to go see, Love Wins?

HK: I want to encourage EVERYONE to see Love Wins. No matter what you are going through or whatever your situation, each and every person can take something away for this play. Whether you are struggling with separation from your spouse, a previous divorce, as a teenager who doesn’t understand God, or someone who is merely doubting God’s love, this play will bring you closer to God. Love Wins will take you on an emotional ride that you may think is your life. I have had several of my friends and family see the play more than once, because of how it ministered to them the first time. I believe Love Wins is a must see. It can provide healing and comfort for those in need.

Fantastic interview! Huge thanks to Hannah Killian for taking the time to talk to us. We can't wait to see what you do next!!

Join us for another Love Wins cast interview in a few days!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Love Wins

My play, Love Wins premiered this weekend. I was (and still very much am) in awe of the response. It was received with overwhelming acceptance. I am still so proud of the cast and all of their hard work. They busted their tails to put everything into this. They gave stellar performances with so much emotion and passion. The audiences were in tears at a few of the most heart-wrenching scenes as well as laughing at our moments of levity.

I'm not sure of the expectations held by our viewers but my hope is that we launched them all through the roof. I've had a day and a half to process this weekend and I'm tired just thinking about it. My lack of energy is second only to my excitement for what comes next. My tension is finally releasing (being built up for weeks). My body is fighting off sickness or prolonged stress (unsure which is the true culprit). Despite my issues, which number in the thousands, I'm looking forward to what happens now.

I'm continuing to receive encouragement and stories of how Love Wins impacted those who came to a showing. I'm humbled, honored, and blessed by every kind word said or written. The ability to create any story is amazing but creating one that impacts someone for good is...well...there isn't a word for it.

There is more to come with Love Wins and it doesn't stop there. Things are working behind the scenes and I can't wait to announce what is in store for the future.

I'll post cast interviews for the next few weeks so that everyone can obtain insight into some of the actors, characters, and whole process. First up will be Hannah Killian.

Huge thanks to everyone for all the support.

Until then here are some of the reviews Love Wins has received:

"That was awesome! Amazing doesn't even begin to describe how powerful the message is in Love Wins!" - Stephanie Ramsey

"Great job! As a child of divorced parents, and also part of a split family it really hits on all emotions involved!" - Anonymous

"It was a wonderful play! Coming out of divorce years ago, I know how it can emotionally affect someone. I was blessed to have grown much closer to God as a result of my experience with it. I still pray daily that I will be the best parent possible to my 8 year old daughter and teach her to rely on God when she struggles with the results/outcome of our divorce." - Anonymous

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Can you come out and play?

Well, we are just a few days away from the premiere of my play, Love Wins. I'm going to post on the creation process and interviews with the cast in the coming weeks. It's been a very exciting process and as stressful as a 13 year old trying to get on stage with Justin Beiber.

I've always loved screenwriting and I've embraced literary writing, especially through YA (which doesn't consist of angst-ridded Vampwolves or Were-pires). Last year my college was hosting a big stageplay contest. I had never written a play before and I talked myself out of it. How often does that happen with you? Do you discourage yourself out of projects?

It was a few days before the deadline and I decided I would give it a try. I came up with an idea. So I wrote it and sent it off. Oh, how wonderful the feeling of a completed work. It's like jumping in a pool of chocolate without the fear of Agustus Gloot's fate...or hearing songs from the tiny orange George Washingtons. Weeks passed and I received an email that I was one of the winners. I was pumped. It was the first writing contest I had won. The prize was having my play performed for two weekends for a total of six showings. There is nothing better than a win to motivate you on to the next thing.

Since that motivation, I've written, starred and produced a sold out murder mystery play and a couple of dramas. I submitted another play for a contest and was informed that I was one of the winners a couple of weeks ago.

I'm now in the process of opening night of my newest play, Love Wins. I've taken on the role of writer, director, and producer. It features an original song written and performed by the star. This has been a ton of hard work and fun. Tonight is the last practice before the dress rehearsal tomorrow night. There are great things in store for this. I'm already extremely proud of all the actors and the hard work they've put in.

Time to go play...

Monday, October 3, 2011

Gleaming the Cube

Yes, I am here to update you on the status of Momma Dog and her baby. On Tuesday I went out to feed them after I walked home. But upon my return to the church with a bag of food there were three little 6th Grade boy skateboarders (skaters, s8ters, skate zombie, and skate rat). For those of you whose skateboarding knowledge is limited to what Christian Slater told you in 1989, have no fear. I've played Tony Hawk's Underground probably once or twice, so I'll walk you through this. My first thought when I saw these champions of the Half-Pipe was, "Are they giving Mountain Dew to Momma-dog?" As I got closer they responded like most young teenagers would when an adult approached...they tried not to look guilty for something they may or may not have done wrong that day or past week.

I was about 30 yards away when Momma-Dog and her baby saw me and started running toward me like I was Santa on Christmas morning. They knew I had food. I was just carrying a bag. I have no idea how they knew. It wasn't a dog food bag. It was a generically unmarked bag with dry dog food in it. I've seen this before. It means only one thing...Kati has already gotten to them. I have no idea how she does it. I'm not sure if she texts them, sneaks out while I'm asleep, or clicks a little Morse Code with a flashlight. It's quite remarkable if you think about it. I will say I was a little surprised when they both were wearing "I heart Kati" t-shirts.

I'm trying to maintain a positive outlook here, so I led the dogs back around the church to the gym doors (where I fed them before). The whole time we were walking over there Momma-Dog and her baby were jumping up and down wanting the food in the bag. They were sniffing, licking their lips, and I think I heard Momma-Dog ask, "How's Kati?" but I'm not sure. I look back and I saw Jr. Bam Margera and his two buddies perfecting their Ollies. We get over to the gym doors and I pour out the food. They are all over it! Eating like crazy. They were so excited, they got some dirt on their "I heart Kati" shirts, but I had a Tide-to-go pen so no worries.

The perfect time to make a getaway is while they eat. I jog around the church and make it back to the main parking lot and our little skaters have moseyed on up the parking lot.

"Hey what's going on guys?"

quietly, "Um...nothing."

"Aren't you skateboarding?"

confused yet still quiet, "Um....................yeah?"

I walked up and introduced myself and shook their hands. They opened up a little and told me their names, but still looked guilty for something (got to love those teenagers). I turned to leave and left them with the salutation I leave almost every teenager I'm around, "Great talking to you guys. Be careful and don't break anything." I was probably five steps away when one of them said:

"Hey, them your dogs? (yes we live in the South)

"No, I'm just feeding'll understand when you get married."

"Oh, but they're not yours?"

"No sir." Then without my control my lovely bride's thought process sprang forth from my mouth. "Have you been mean to those dogs?"

"N-no sir."

"Are you lying to me? Because I can tell if you're lying. It's part of my job. Plus I can find out who your parents are and call them. Do you want me to do that?" (Thank you Kati. I just gave these 6th graders a ShakeDown like Ice-T on Law and Order.)

"No, we promise! We were petting them earlier and gave them something to drink. They were thirsty!"

Sighing "...........Did you give them Mountain Dew?"

"It's all we had!"

By this time I knew Momma-Dog and her baby were almost finished eating so I had to run. I sprinted away and got to the house safe and sound. I went into my office in my house (there is a window that faces the church). I opened the blinds and the Three Amigos were skating around and Momma-Dog and her baby were running around them. They all went to the road and Skated over the hill toward the sunset together. Hand in paw scratching their fleas as they went (I'm not telling you who had the fleas).

I spoke to one of the Skaters at church last night and he is keeping both dogs and is feeding them well. Mamma-Dog and her baby have a home and food (at least for now). Once again, Kati is Happy. The dogs are happy. Little Christian Slater is happy. And I am happy that God's sense of humor didn't give us two more dogs.

God Bless us everyone.

No means No...I think

Well, here I am. I seem to have the same thoughts that most people have when they start up their blog..."I'm starting up a blog?" My goal is update this weekly.

My wife loves animals...let me repeat that. My wife adooores animals, especially dogs. That's called will help you out later on in the story. We live near the church where I work. Actually we live across the parking lot from the church. It keeps things interesting. Well for some reason this Sunday, every dog in a 40 mile radius decided they wanted a little more information on Church membership. Maybe a cat forgave them for trying to eat it. Perhaps hitting that mid-life crisis of 6 has forced them to reflect on their choices. Whatever the reason, the dogs have been let out (tasteless pun, I know).

There were dogs jumping. Dogs barking. Dogs sniffing. Dogs playing, but no dogs fighting (sorry Mr. Vick). They were here all day! Our music minister handed them a hymnal, but alas, they prefer that contempary worship with the projection screens. Parents rushed out to avoid the dogs, while children rushed out to pet the dogs.

While the rest of the south was blasted with snow, we unfortunately were missed. *grumble-grumble* But being overlooked by snow does not mean we are left out of the single digit temperatures. We get the benefit of snow-like weather minus the snow and day off work. We thought all of the dogs went home to escape the cold weather. Well that would be a very wrong assumption. A momma-dog and her baby stayed behind to brave the cold outside of the church. They made their way into the courtyard to avoid the cold wind. They apparently were abandoned and left to fend on their own.

Now my wife (remember the foreshadowing?) saw them in the church parking lot on her way home. She circled the parking lot looking at them. I saw her as I fed our two cats (because only one would be lonely). The garage door raised, she pulled in her car, and...."Dear, did you see..."

"Yes dear I saw the dogs. No we can't keep them."

She paused, a little surprised that I saw her investigation. "Well can we feed them?"

"Yeah, that's fine."

So, off we go feeding Momma-Dog and her baby. We found them behind the church before visitation started. We tossed a couple of bowls of food on the ground and they ate it up like crazy! Kati was happy, they were happy, and I was happy to help out a couple of God's creatures.

As we walked back home my wife's desire to keep these two additions was pouring from her face. My response was a constant "No." Kati wanted to look for them last night so they wouldn't be cold. She has class tonight and I told her I would feed them if I saw them. My hope is that they will be gone. God of course has a grand sense of humor. They both came running as soon as I got back to the office. Kati wants to take them to the vet to get them checked out to make sure they are healthy and safe. I of course do not want anymore dogs, at least not two outside dogs.

I have to end this story because I must keep my word to Kati and go feed these two dogs. But I don't want anymore dogs. I really don't. Did I mention my wife loves animals. She adooooores animals, especially dogs....boy, I'm in trouble.

Here's my Card

Going through Jr. High and High School I had four guys I would consider my best friends. We were always out running around together. We spent hours upon hours playing basketball at my house and a few of the local parks. We practiced plays and drills like crazy. We had zero aspirations of playing college ball but a "sweet victory" over some local punks at City Park was enough to satisfy our egos. We played until the sun went down and the game usually continued for a few hours after that (as long as dad allowed me to turn on the flood lights).

We shared many conversations during those basketball games and even more when they were over. We talked about girls, school, jobs, families, other people, church, our mistakes, our hopes, and girls. I can honestly say I probably had the biggest laughs of my teenage years during those times. We made fun of each other. We laughed about girls we had dated. We were shocked at our similar teenage parental struggles and we pretty much figured out life and all of it's problems (if only I had transcripts of those conversations!).

Of course there were times when we got mad at each other (some because of basketball related "fouls" or a losing streak). We did what most teenage guys did...we didn't talk about it and hung out with the other guys in our group until we forgot what we were mad about. We all shared a similar sense of humor but different enough that we could catch each other off guard.

Humor is really the point of this post. I was going through a desk at my parent's house and found a birthday card that one of my above compatriots purchased me. I'm not sure which birthday it was but I know it was 15-17 years range. I'm not sure why I kept it but I think, somewhere deep in my subconscious, I knew someday there would be an outlet to share this with the world.

Without further adu:

Here is the front...

And the inside...

In case you are at all curious, "YF" stands for "Your Friend." We were already using texting shorthand before it was mainstream popular. Another reason we were so cool.

Now, I've blacked out the name for security purposes. He could be a United States Senator now, but I'm not telling.

How NOT to Evangelize

Some friends and I decided to have a little fun.

Let me know what you think:

Bad Evangelism

Battle Cry of the Unqualified

Our Pastor started a series on "Love." His focus for the series is probably the most famous chapter on the topic of love in the Bible (at least the most popular) I Corinthians Chapter 13. As he preached my mind kept drifting to this chapter.

I've read this many, many times. It's a special chapter to me as well as every other Christian in the world. When I proposed to my wife I had a Bible inscribed with her new married name and this chapter highlighted inside. We have a line by line breakdown of the overly used and "ran-into-the-ground" word "Love."

Here is the most widely read excerpt of I Corinthians 13.4-8a

"Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trust, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails."

How often Christians say we love but are too afraid to lay our actions against this chapter like a piece of tracing paper. We know instead of a beautiful picture we would be left with incongruous lines and unidentifiable shapes that no more construct a picture than throwing sticks on the ground.

As I read this over and over I continued to think how this is not me. I am so flawed. So I rewrote these verses to reflect my imperfections and need for a Savior who loves like this. I am so unqualified.

"I have zero patience. My kindness has limits. Unfortunately I am envious when I wish I wasn't. I boast. My pride makes more decisions than it should. My rudeness is married to every ounce of my selfishness. Fits of anger leap from my personality with ease. The list of mistakes others have caused me shine in my memory like a spotlight. I don't enjoy wrong-doing but often I am afraid of truth. I can't protect as much as I want. I have trust issues. Too many times I hope for the best but expect the worst. Sometimes I don't even finish what I start.

I usually fail...thank God love doesn't know how."

10 Truths

1. I love my wife more than anyone else.

2. I have over 3,00 Comic Books and growing.

3. Deathly afraid of lice.

4. I'm already thinking about my response to your possible statement you will make to what I'm telling you right now.

5. Enjoy watching people.

6. Cooked supper for Miss America in 1998.

7. Writing and illustrating are my passions.

8. Teenagers make me laugh.

9. I can be bribed with bread.

10. Jesus Christ is all I need.

Wrong Number

I'm sitting in my office yesterday working on our summer schedule. As I'm working I hear an unfamiliar beeping from my cell phone. I look over and see that I'm receiving an "unavailable" call. Apparently "unavailable" calls or so special they kick out my normal "Meant To Live" ring-tone. But I digress...

The following is my transcribed interpretation of the phone call that ensued:

Me: Hello?

Creepy Man: Yes, could I speak with Jim Carter?

(note: I was surprised to discover former president Jimmy Carter was still alive...and has a Verizon plan.)

Me: I'm sorry, you have the wrong number.

Surprised Creepy Man: *long pause*......*exhales breath very slowly*...Are you sure?

Me: (Little taken aback by the question) Um...yes. You have the wrong number.

Creepier Breathing Man: *short pause*....This is the number I called.

Me: Um...yes, that's why I answered.

Frustrated Creepy Man: This is his number.

Me: Well, he must have changed it, because this is my number.

Logical Thinking Creepy Man: Ok, well I called 555-1234.

Me: That's my number.

Matter-of-Fact Creepy Man: No, that's Jim's number.

(note: I am now starting to doubt why I answered instead of Jim.)

Me: I don't know Jim, but I do know this is my number now.

Creepy Sighing Man: *siiiiigh* *pause*

(note: I'm afraid to hang up. For some reason I believe that he will find me.)

Skeptical Creepy Man: ....Alright (sarcastically) I guess I was wrong.

(note: At this point I wonder if I was adopted and my biological father had finally tracked me down. I waited for a "How's your mother?" or a "Good Gracious! It's like I'm listening to my own voice." Also I feel the need to apologize to this man...and I don't know why. All I did was answer my phone.

Me: Alright.

Somewhat Defeated Creepy Man: *slow exhale* Fine.

Me: Ok.

Have-The-Last-Laugh Creepy Man: I guess I'll call back later.


Tuesday, April 5, 2011

New Neighborhood

Hey friends,

I've changed my blog. I'm now at