Monday, September 29, 2014

Recommendation: Anomaly by LeCrae

I am picky when it comes to music. The last full album I purchased was Hans Zimmer's extraordinary Man of Steel: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack, but that was in summer 2013. So, it's been a minute.

Then I heard that Christian rapper Lecrae was number #1 on Billboard last week--a fact I could not fathom. I knew of LeCrae, and I had a few of his singles--I got love for "Background" and "Hands High"--but even with Christian rappers, I get singles, not albums.

But I wanted to see what cause the fuss, and I listened to the album preview on iTunes. The 90-second glimpses were hit and miss, but I added a few songs to my wishlist. I later discovered that  Reach Records' Youtube Page has lyric videos for each song, allowing a person to legally sample the entire album if they chose. And I did.

Within two passes, I was sold. 

Monday, September 22, 2014

How are You Living Life Loving Christ When You Talk Movies and Toys?

It's a fair question but one that nobody has actually asked, which I take as a compliment. The lack of such a direct inquiry implies trust, and I hope that below I prove that trust is well placed.

Yes, of late I've been blogging/linking about toys, conventions, films, and updates; but where are the Scripture Memory posts, the sermonesque thoughts, and the reflections on pressing current events

Well, the truth is that the last of these three has taken a toll on me emotionally, and the only post I started--particularly gauging the events in Ferguson, MO, felt late and needless given everything else that's been written (the most telling to me have been here, here, and here---but especially here).

As far as anything Sermonesque, well, I am prepping for my first speaking engagement this Saturday, and that's taken a lot of my "pulpit energies"; my hope is that I can provide the content here in some shape or form after the fact. 

And with Scripture memory, my last focused passage was back in July, and this month my Bible reading is reviewing the passages I've already memorized as well as diving into 1 Timothy, thanks to the admonition of my local pastor.

So what's with the pop culture stuff? How in the world does outlining a movie list from this past summer show me living life loving Christ? 

Thursday, September 18, 2014

In God's Image: Author & Publisher : Art Ayris

Art Ayris is living my dream.

He's the founder and CEO of Kingstone Media, where he and his team have created some of the best comics with a faith-based message to hit the market. His work has resulted in adaptations of Biblical classics as well as original ideas. The quality of Kingstone's releases and the success they've garnered have enabled to team with studios such as Sony Worldwide while also working with heavy hitters in the evangelical culture like Ravi Zacharias. At the end of the day, Art has led his team to produce a library that is sure to contain something for any comic fan. I have already had the pleasure of reviewing standalone comics retelling the stories of Jonah and Job, as well as the original graphic novels, Book of God and Echoes of Eden; and I look forward to reviewing several more graphic novels from Kingstone this fall.

Art was willing to participate in 3LC's ongoing "In His Image" series, and I invite you to join me in getting to know Art Ayris, Founder and CEO of Kingstone Media.

Monday, September 15, 2014

Review: Echoes of Eden: from Kingstone Media

Echoes of Eden
Written By: Marvin Olasky

Note: I received a copy of Echoes of Eden in digital format for this review from Kingstone Media.

Echoes of Eden is a multi-faceted thriller akin to the incredibly successful The DaVinci Code. The graphic novel follows a professor who believes his brother, a celebrity archeologist, may have been murdered by a secret cult once believed to be myth. With the help of a young woman who works with the International Justice Mission, the professor travels across the globe in search of answers.

Echoes of Eden succeeds in regard to the basic beats and rhythms one would expect from a research-thriller; and thanks to adequate art and overall design, the book can be read as quickly as any work of suspense should. On more than one occasion the reader has no idea how the heroes will survive their quest, and one bold story choice at the end gives the book a different type of surprise ending, one that  many conventional thrillers lack.

Friday, September 12, 2014

Review: The Trail by Ed Underwood

The Trail
by Ed Underwood

NOTE: I received a copy of this book from Tyndale House in order to provide a review.

Pastor Ed Underwood frames a sermon series on finding God's will into a narrative in The Trail, a novel published in mid-July from Tyndale. The story focuses on a wife, husband, and their weekend mentor as the three characters reflect on their needs to trust in the Lord for guidance and wisdom while they also hike through the wilderness in upstate California. Revelations and heartbreak lead to repentance as the trio seeks to find God amidst the dangers of not only the wild but also human nature.

I will admit at the outset that I felt immediate kinship to the The Trail as soon as I read the summary. I realized quickly that I was getting a creatively packaged sermon more than a novel focused on narrative, and knowing this covered over a few storytelling shortfalls. Given that my second novel, To Retreat From Romance (coming 2015, Lord-willing), is a somewhat similar work to The Trail, I gave it some grace; and in the end found myself enjoying it. 

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Is Comic-Con International Worth the Trek?

As Comic-Con International took place the last week of July this past summer, I lamented my being "out" of the collectibles-reporting game. Truth be told, attending SDCC as a reporter is a hectic, exhausting time, but I sure loved it. As I looked back fondly on my past experiences, I decided to provide a new article for, and they were kind enough to run it back in August.

Interested in my thoughts on attending the so-called "Mecca of Geekdom"?

Look no further...

Additionally,  Rocco Tartamella, whom I interviewed here and here has a new Kickstarter running for Q4 2014. If you are a figure or video game fan, please check it out!

Monday, September 8, 2014

My Summer Movie Watchlist

I must admit, comparing the full list versus my intentions is a bit of a bummer, given that I watched a slew of bad movies I had no intention of seeing. Below is the full list of what I watched in the "2014 Summer Movie Season" (1st weekend of May through Labor Day), as well as references to my prior list from the original post if the film was listed there.