Monday, June 30, 2014

Scripture Memory: PSALM 27

Psalm 27. It’s a good one, and I am committing it to memory for the month of July 2014. Care to join me?  My feeling is that 14 verses in a month is manageable on a day by day basis, and if I focus on reviewing and adding a single verse each day, then the whole thing will have been studied mid-month, allowing for the back half of July to serve for review. I have pasted the text in full below:
The Lord is my light and my salvation;
whom shall I fear?
The Lord is the stronghold of my life;
of whom shall I be afraid?

When evildoers assail me
to eat up my flesh,
my adversaries and foes,
it is they who stumble and fall.

Though an army encamp against me,
my heart shall not fear;
though war arise against me,
yet I will be confident.

One thing have I asked of the Lord,
that will I seek after:
that I may dwell in the house of the Lord
all the days of my life,
to gaze upon the beauty of the Lord
and to inquire in his temple.

For he will hide me in his shelter
in the day of trouble;
he will conceal me under the cover of his tent;
he will lift me high upon a rock.

And now my head shall be lifted up
above my enemies all around me,
and I will offer in his tent
sacrifices with shouts of joy;
I will sing and make melody to the Lord.

Hear, O Lord, when I cry aloud;
be gracious to me and answer me!
You have said, “Seek my face.”
My heart says to you,
“Your face, Lord, do I seek.”
Hide not your face from me.
Turn not your servant away in anger,
O you who have been my help.
Cast me not off; forsake me not,
O God of my salvation!
For my father and my mother have forsaken me,
but the Lord will take me in.

Teach me your way, O Lord,
and lead me on a level path
because of my enemies.
Give me not up to the will of my adversaries;
for false witnesses have risen against me,
and they breathe out violence.

I believe that I shall look upon the goodness of the Lord
in the land of the living!
Wait for the Lord;
be strong, and let your heart take courage;
wait for the Lord!

I think it’s a worthwhile, mid-summer endeavor (as if I did not have enough of those already), and I would love for you to join me in doing so. There’s not a prize, but if you’d be willing to join me in this endeavor, I’d be very glad to hear from you throughout the month, either via Facebook or E-mail at

“Scripture quotations are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version® (ESV®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.”

Friday, June 27, 2014

Recommendations: Jonah and Job by Kingstone Media

Kingstone Media has been on my radar for some time. The company advertises in some of the newsletters I receive, and the available bits and pieces of content provided always impress me. When they recently made one of their books available for free in digital form, I downloaded it without hesitation. Once I read the piece, I was intrigued; the comic seemed tailor-made to people like me--folks who value worthwhile storytelling as well as media that speaks to their faith. 

Courtesy of Kingstone's PR department, I have several of their books to review over the next few months (Hooray!), but today I’ll start with two single issues from the Old Testament: Jonah and Job.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Being an Ebay Entrepreneur and Paying Higher Prices

This is my second eBay-related post since launching 3LC in 2012; and frankly, I'm hoping it's my last. I'm not intending to leave the bay, but these unfavorable transactions hit me harder than they once did. My buddy says I have a "guilt complex"; I claim to have "willpower" and "integrity". Maybe neither of us is right.

Long story short, a few months ago, an item was on auction. The seller saw me watching it and reached out to me; I asked questions about the items. He offered a lower price. I didn't have the money, so I sold some dupes in my collection to cover the difference without eating into our budget. I paid for the item quickly.

Then the box arrived (a week late).

Monday, June 23, 2014

Culture and Comedy, my latest at X3Church

The focus of June at x3church has been raising awareness about porn addiction. As I began to work on pieces for it, I had a difficult time framing how I could approach the discussion in a fresh way.

Here's my attempt to do so, albeit heavily edited and improved by the x3 staff (my submission did not read as well as the final, polished piece).

How feel you?


"Bring up porn as a joke, you’re clever.
Bring it up as a social danger, you’re a prude. 

Funny how that works. 
Only it isn’t. 

Friday, June 20, 2014

A Personal Milestone...


I have to share the following with you. I cannot tell you how meaningful the below link is to me. The library at my alma mater, Biola University, now has Stronghold listed in their catalog. It may have taken a year for all of the sorting to be completed, but it's there for students and faculty to read.

I am overwhelmed by this.

Stronghold is a manifestation of my sanctification, a true reflection of my journey from a man lost in addiction to a man pursuing integrity. I believe the work is proof of Christ at work in my life. Without the Holy Spirit ever-drawing me nearer to God's Throne, without Christ's salvation, and without the Father's steadfast love and patience, I never would have written this novel nor pursued it's publication. Now, it's available at a place I deeply love, at a library that served me immensely during my time at the college (far more as a staff member than a student, but that's my own fault).

I couldn't help it, I even took a screen shot of this link.

Really full of thanks to the Lord right now. And to all of you for your continued support,


Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Being the Lego Movie

Given that The LEGO Movie  was released on DVD yesterday, I thought it was about time I shared the following.

I had a spiritual experience with The Lego Movie. This is not the first film to which I have had said reaction; I just didn’t expect it. But when I left the theater Friday, February 7, the main thing on my mind was not new Lego sets or my next viewing. I was thinking about Theology.

And I was convicted.

[Warning, I need to spoil the third act of the movie to elaborate.]

Monday, June 16, 2014

Protect and Love : My Latest at x3Watch

Ha! I did not even realize this went live! If you have a home, own media, have children, have friends who have children, or let other people into your house, you may find this article I wrote for the x3watch Blog worthwhile:

The Loving Act of Protection

Here's an excerpt:

"Think of your residence as a castle, and pornography as a latent attacker against your family. You know that he could pass through the walls at any moment, and he could lay claim to one of your loved ones without your knowledge. The truth is clear: evil moves, and it wants to take up residency in our homes."

Friday, June 13, 2014

In God's Image : Recovery Ministry : The Solid Rock Road: Jerry Pineda

In God’s Image: “Subcreators in a Created World”
A Series Presented by 3LCpublishing

Wednesday, I posted an interview with Jamee Pineda, co-founder of The Solid Rock Road, a ministry that she began with her husband, Jerry. While I have corresponded with both Jerry and Jamie, it was him with whom I first made contact. I will always appreciate Jerry's willingness to connect with a small burgeoning author like me, and I look forward to our continued interaction in the future. 

Today, we'll spend some time getting to know Jerry Pineda and hear his heart for ministry. 

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

In God's Image : Recovery Ministry : The Solid Rock Road : Jamee Pineda

In God’s Image: “Subcreators in a Created World”
A Series Presented by 3LC Publishing

Below are interview questions I sent to Jerry and Jamee Pineda, co-founders and writers of The Solid Rock Road, a ministry dedicated to helping people overcome addictions.

I met Jerry and Jamee through Twitter, and we exchanged our respective books (you can read my review of theirs here; their review of mine is on the Stronghold Amazon Page). The Pinedas and I have been in contact a bit since that time; and as I have continued my own ministry work with X3church, I have grown in appreciation for the importance of both good content and strong leadership at the heart of recovery programs. Jamee and Jerry offer both, so I felt they would be great subjects for the "In God's Image" series. 

Each of them were willing to answer the questions independently, so we'll get to know Jamee a bit better today, then spend some time with Jerry on Friday. 

Monday, June 9, 2014

Gratitude Amidst Great Heartache

Several weeks ago, an actor I had met once while in California shot and murdered his wife, a woman whose family my wife and I know. 

I learned of the events via text from a trusted friend who knew that I had been a fan of the actor. Details began to leak from various news sources, some reputable, others not. I learned that the victim was currently an employee at my alma mader (the aforementioned Biola), and that the school had made a public statement. The campus grieved and I, with them, though 3,000 miles away.

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Turning Thirty-Two

Thirty-two is no "big birthday", but I'll remember mine for a long time.

I haven't settled on a logline yet. Twenty-three was, "that birthday when I was alone and snuck Taco Bell into the theatre for my fifth viewing of Revenge of Sith". Twenty-six was "that birthday when my wife took me on a toy-tour at Target and bought me my XLT camera" (this was while I was moonlighting as a toy journalist, so both aspects were significant; plus she got me Sweeney Todd on DVD and the soundtrack). Thirty, of course, was the "the most super party ever".

For thirty-two, I'm thinking, "that birthday when my self-involvement reached its worst depths to date" or something a bit more catchy. See, this birthday I've been incredibly self-focused, and I use that term specifically. I am not referring to being "selfish", just overly reflective on my "self"--and for those who know me, you know that any adding to my self-reflection is heaping fuel on an already burning fire.

Monday, June 2, 2014

Revisiting a Facebook list from 2009

So, you know that "self-indulgence" I mention in the header...Well, here's some.
As I said in 2009, "Hope y'all dig this. I promise that none are lies...not even 14."

As today is my birthday, I thought it timely and appropriate to revisit a little list I posted on Facebook January 29, 2009 at 6:03 PM, entitled, "25 Thangs About Me". And in bold, I have offered my personal reaction...over five and 1/2 years later.  The truly funny "thang" is how I haven't really changed, inasmuch as I actually have.