How the Bible Taught Me to Be More Creative

(GUEST POST: Today I’m excited to share with you a guest post from Jackson Dame. Jackson is a young writer I’ve been following over the past few months who blogs at JacksonDame.com. He’s in the process of self-publishing his first book Ex Materia about the impact of faith on creativity. I jumped at the chance to have him write a guest post here on the blog so that you can learn more about him. Check it out and be sure to check out the Kickstarter page for Jackson’s new book to see how you can support this up-and-coming author.)

exmateriaA couple of years ago I couldn’t come up with a good idea to save my life.

I wanted to exercise my creativity, but it was almost as if I had none. Was I really cut out to be creative?

Fast forward to today, and I’ve never been more confident in my ability to generate ideas and execute them with excellence. What changed?

Well, a lot of things, but overall it was one crucial action. And it was an action that I discovered while I was reading my Bible of all things.

My faith actually taught me that I was skipping over the first and most important part of the creative process: consuming. Allow me to explain. Continue reading

5 Books That Changed My Life

With November being National Novel Writing Month, I feel the urge and the pressure to write my first book growing. It’s long been a goal of mine to write a book and leave my mark upon the world.

After all, there are so many books which have shaped my life. A book has the power to impact a person like no other art form.

With that in mind, I want to share with you 5 of the books that have changed my life over the past 28 years. These are books I go back to time and time again for inspiration. If you’ve never read them, I encourage you to check them out on Amazon. Maybe one of them will inspire you too.

In chronological order of when I discovered them:

dear-mr.-henshawDear Mr. Henshaw by Beverly Cleary – This was my first favorite book in elementary school. Dear Mr. Henshaw tells the story of a young boy completing a class assignment of writing to his favorite author. Over the years the boy continues to correspond with Mr. Henshaw seeking advice and wisdom as he struggles with all the issues of adolescence, including his parent’s divorce. Dear Mr. Henshaw is engaging and captivating and honest – just like all of Beverly Cleary’s work. Most importantly for me, Dear Mr. Henshaw opened up the possibilities of what a book could be in my eyes. The entire book is written in the format of the boy’s letters to Mr. Henshaw. At a young age I learned every book doesn’t have to look the same or follow the same format. Ever since then I’ve always enjoyed reading and writing that plays with the traditional narrative. Continue reading

POP GOD POPcast: Episode 23 – John Sowers

slide.001Welcome to the POP GOD POPcast – an exploration into the lives of people seeking God in the present tense.

This week’s guest is John Sowers. John is the President of The Mentoring Project and the author of the new book “The Heroic Path: In Search Of The Masculine Heart”. There’s a major disconnect between pop culture’s view of manliness and the true path to masculinity. John shares about finding this path in the life of Jesus and how a conversation with C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien led him there. We also talk about John’s own struggles with being manly, finding God in the myths and stories of pop culture, the biggest enemies of the masculine heart, and more. Plus John offers a look into the life of his friend, the seemingly mythical Bob Goff. Enjoy this deeper look inside the life of an author truly seeking God in the present tense.

Listen to the podcast here:

[audio http://adoriot.podbean.com/mf/web/bqzt76/Popcast23.m4a]

Or Download on iTunes Or Listen on Podbean

Order a copy of The Heroic Path on Amazon or wherever books are sold

Find out more about The Mentoring Project and how you can get involved including attending the Long Live Mentoring Conference

Don’t miss your chance to win a copy of The Heroic Path from POP GOD! Just leave a comment here or on my book review about The Heroic Path and you’ll be entered for a chance to win!

Subscribe to this podcast on iTunes, rate it, leave a comment, listen to all the other episodes, share it on Twitter and Facebook and anywhere else. I’d really appreciate it. Thanks.

I love sharing stories of people seeking God in the present tense. Let me hear your feedback. Leave me a comment and let me know how to improve things, what you’d like to hear discussed, and give me your ideas as to who you’d like to see on the next episode of the POPcast.00f70f35408dac58d4698286fe5f2719

 

Choosing The Heroic Path

When you’re in Su00f70f35408dac58d4698286fe5f2719nday School you’re taught about Jesus being fully God and fully man.

But have you ever been thought about Jesus being fully man?

 Jesus was not just a human, but our model for masculine behavior as well.

With a world rejecting the importance of gender more and more everyday, I can’t think of a better time for a book embracing the manhood of Jesus and the masculine heart in general.

In The Heroic Path, author John Sowers does just this, charting his quest to find out what it means to be a man in a brutally honest and relatable fashion.

It’s not too manly of me to admit that I teared up often while reading the book. The stories of John’s struggles to be a man’s man and failing hard along the way are so relatable – so many things I have struggled with over the years.

In fact, I would bet there are more men like author John Sowers out there that can’t seem to maneuver a lawnmower than there are brawny lumberjack men nowadays.

Sowers has a lot of experience searching for masculinity. He details a life story of feeling outmanned by his peers at every turn from high school to adulthood. Continue reading

POP GOD POPcast: Episode 13 – Mitch Schultz

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Welcome to Episode 13 of the POP GOD POPcast – an exploration into the lives of people seeking God in the present tense.

This week’s guest is Mitch Schultz. Mitch is a pastor who’s served for nearly 30 years with the Christian and Missionary Alliance. He’s also the author of the new novel The Whisper. The Whisper tells the story of a pastor caught up in a vicious church scandal who tries to run from God. Mitch talks about the creative journey behind the book and shares his incredible testimony as well. From being born to missionaries in Papua New Guinea to pastoring in England to facing down personal tragedy, Mitch has a truly unique story and he opens up about the way God uses our personal pain to bring us back to Him. Enjoy this deeper look inside the life of a pastor and author truly seeking God in the present tense.

Listen to the podcast here:

[audio http://adoriot.podbean.com/mf/web/zhch8s/Popcast13.m4a]

Or Subscribe and Download on iTunes Or Listen on Podbean

Pick up your copy of The Whisper on Amazon

Find out more about The Whisper and get updates from Mitch on Facebook

Subscribe to this podcast on iTunes, rate it, leave a comment, listen to all the other episodes, share it on Twitter and Facebook and anywhere else. I’d really appreciate it. Thanks.

I’m so excited to open up POP GOD and share more stories of people seeking God in the present tense. I’d love to hear your feedback. Leave me a comment and let me know how to improve things, what you’d like to hear discussed, and give me your ideas as to who you’d like to see on the next episode of the POPcast.

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Create Like R.L. Stine

goosebumpsWho didn’t love Goosebumps as a kid?

If grew up in the 90s, there were 3 things that were always in your bookbag: an emergency supply of Gushers, one of those different color eraser pen things, and the latest ‘Bumps book. (Did people call them ‘Bumps? They totally should have.)

One man was responsible for revolutionary children’s horror anthology. Say his name with me:

R.L. Stine.

R.L. Stine churned out 62 Goosebumps books between 1992 and 1997 – an average of over 10 books per year! That’s not including the 50 Give Yourself Goosebumps create-your-own-adventure style books, plus 74 episodes of the television series based on the books, plus the Fear Street series he published at the same time aimed at teenagers.

Before Harry Potter began weighing down children’s backpacks, R.L. Stine was the undisputed king of kid’s literature.

But this blog is not about R.L. Stine the Goosebumps author.

Last week I read an interview on The A.V. Club with Stine. The interview focused on another aspect of his career.

What I learned in the interview completely redefined my childhood. Before a page of Goosebumps was ever written R.L. Stine worked on another landmark project: Continue reading

Rethinking Goliath

What if we’ve been wrong about David and Goliath this whole time?

This is the question posed by Malcolm Gladwell at the center of his new book David and Goliath. Gladwell is the revolutionary brain behind The Tipping Point, Blink, and Outliers – 3 books which revolutionized the business world and my personal thinking as well.

Gladwell’s books consistently offer fresh perspective on seemingly obvious thoughts we take for granted about success. In David and Goliath, Gladwell asks us to rethink the idea of underdogs – the heroes who seemingly overcome great adversity to triumph in battle. Gladwell posits that perhaps some disadvantages are really advantages (and vice versa).

The book starts off with a reexamination of the first and greatest underdog story ever recorded – David vs. Goliath. As we all once learned in Sunday School, David was the meager shepherd who, forsaking a warrior’s armor, brought only a slingshot to take down a mighty giant.

Generations have been taught this story as an example of the power of God to use the smallest of men to slay the tallest of enemies. But what if David wasn’t the underdog here? What if David was actually the prohibitive favorite against Goliath?

Gladwell’s research shows David was not an underdog at all. He was actually a strategic mastermind. Continue reading