29 02 2008

I know that tagging is a common occurrence in the blog-o-sphere, and I don’t usually pay any attention if it happens to me…but today Fletch sneaked up behind me on the internet playground and yelled “yer it…” (then promptly added: “no tag backs” as he ran away laughing to himself). So…I’ll play…this once…kinda.

What’s on your desk? You can tell a lot about a person by the state of their desk and what they keep on it. So, share what’s on your desk. You can take pictures, take an inventory, or do both. Don’t have a desk? That’s okay, just give us a glimpse into the space where you pay bills, write letters, grade papers, study, or work on the computer.

Office Desk
Office Desk
This is where I pay the bills, edit my audio pieces; Skype with the parents and the kids do their Spanish (and occasional computer games)…its also where a lot of things get stacked (not pictured).

Studio Desk
This is “my space”…everything that would once go to the office, now can reside here…but notice that it has a door that transforms it into just another closet when I’m not home…I also edit video in here. Finally, it is where many of the old books and “forbidden books” reside.

The Portable Desk
This is my most common desk…sometimes casual, sometimes dressy, but almost always available (when the other spaces are too cluttered) unless there’s a kid on it/over it.
From Job 36

16 “ Indeed He would have brought you out of dire distress,
Into a broad place where there is no restraint;
And what is set on your table
would be full of richness.


Outside Hollywood

26 02 2008

Isaac Botkin Outside Hollywood
Isaac Botkin

I produced this three-part series based series for Prime Time America this week on Isaac Botkin’s book: Outside Hollywood: A Young Christian’s Guide to Vocational Filmmaking.

There are many voices today that call for Christians to enter Hollywood in order to positively influence it…unfortunately, the track record is pretty poor. Some who have tried, have been frustrated at best and contaminated at worst.

Isaac is clear on why independent film-making is a better answer.  Vision Forum has a couple great lecture series on Christian Filmmaking that I highly recommend.

I’m also grateful for my friend Chris Staron for his participation in the features, sharing his experiences with me.

Part I


Part II


Part III



Click here for more information about the film festival sponsored by Vision Forum Ministries.

Interview Extras

There are always interview clips that just don’t fit into the features…here are three of them that ended up on the editing floor.

Geoffrey Geoffrey Botkin: more on the Frankfurt School and his own testimony


Isaac Isaac Botkin: on the importance of strong heroes in our films


Chris Chris Staron: on the question “can Hollywood be redeemed?”


Count Your Blessings…

21 02 2008
Bless Our Home
Bless Our Home, courtesy of the Library of Congress

I recently heard an interview on Kevin Swanson‘s radio program with Greg Vaughan of Letters from Dad. The program encouraged fathers to begin writing letters to their families as a living memorial of our love for them, as well as a record of God’s faithfulness to our families.

So I wrote the following letter to my family and read it to them before dinner this evening. It isn’t overly thoughtful or profound, but I hope that it is something that over time becomes a meaningful part of our family life.

For my family,

On the occasion of the 37th anniversary of my birth, I want to take a moment to contemplate the blessings of my life and hope you’ll find encouragement in their telling.

I am blessed to have a wife who is so gifted and chooses to honor God by being obedient and investing those gifts for the betterment of our home.

I am blessed to have children who find such companionship in each other–who lovingly call each other friends.

I am blessed to have a home that is a refuge of love and peace from the world around us.

I am blessed to have a family-line of Godliness–by His grace, a multi-generational work for His glory and to His end.

I am blessed to have a heavenly Father who has chosen to reveal Himself to me–through His Son and His word.

And I am blessed to have this day to remember my blessings and mark another year of God’s provision and care.

May God work His perfect plan through us in this coming year so that we will not only receive His blessings but also freely share those blessings with others.

– Your husband and father
February 21, 2008

Make a Wish

20 02 2008
Make a Wish
Grandma Taylor Sings to Her Cake, courtesy of Library of Congress

The children have been reminding me today that in three years I will be 40 years old. I know some friends that might freak out when they think of themselves reaching that milestone…but I don’t feel that way at all. What I am a little weirded out by however, is the fact that I am entering the time period of my life that corresponds with some of the strongest memories of my father during my own childhood.

In fact, in my mind’s eye I still see my Dad as the younger man I remember throwing a ball with, or playing chess with, or swimming with. Those images of my father are some of the strongest memories I carry–when my dad was my age…

I am challenged on this day to recommit to taking time to make those memories with my own children. Snow forts, picnics, lunar eclipses, trips to the aquarium, family worship, pizza lunches after lessons, bedtime stories (just to name a few)–for these are the days that they will remember…someday when my sons and daughter are 37…

From Psalm 92

12 The righteous shall flourish like a palm tree,
He shall grow like a cedar in Lebanon.
13 Those who are planted in the house of the LORD
Shall flourish in the courts of our God.
14 They shall still bear fruit in old age;
They shall be fresh and flourishing,
15 To declare that the LORD is upright;
He is my rock, and there is no unrighteousness in Him.

Audio Feature – Meat Recall

19 02 2008

This past weekend the largest meat recall in US history was announced by the United States Department of Agriculture. The recall covers meat packed since February 2006 at the Westland/Hallmark Company in Southern California.

Monday I produced this short feature for Prime Time America on this recall of 143 million pounds of beef.

One More Reason to Homeschool?

18 02 2008
To Market, courtesy of the Library of Congress

While we have chosen to Home-educate/disciple our children for theological and philosophical reasons, after today there is yet one more pragmatic reason added to a growing list…the latest meat recall.

The largest meat recall in US history has occurred after undercover video was shot by Humane Society operatives which captured on tape horrendous treatment of sick and injured cattle at the Hallmark/Westland meat packing plant. The recall occurred because they were unable to prove that the meat from these weak and sickened animals didn’t make it into the products leaving the plant.

While this story further illustrates the problems of large-scale, industrial farming, the part of the story that is additionally troubling is where this meat most likely ended up…in the school lunch program. Isn’t it a comfort to know, that in an attempt to make our education tax dollars stretch far enough to pay our teachers’ union dues, benefits/salaries, administrators, computers, janitors, etc. that school boards across the country feed school-aged children the cheapest beef they can find?

Thankfully, McDonalds has assured consumers that they don’t buy their meat from Hallmark/Westland…maybe, like Pepsi and Coke, they could invest in our educational system and begin sponsoring lunch rooms across the country to provide a safer product for these developing minds…

I think we’ll serve peanut butter and jelly today…

From Genesis 41:

And the seven thin and ugly cows which came up after them are seven years, and the seven empty heads blighted by the east wind are seven years of famine.

Circular Reasoning

13 02 2008
Tea Cup, courtesy of Library of Congress

Today in faculty meeting, I was a bit underwhelmed by the proceedings…so I took out a piece of paper and began a list of words and phrases that followed a stream of consciousness; beginning with what was immediately in front of me…a cup of Earl Grey Tea.

With Valentine’s Day approaching, I was thinking of my beloved–and most connections are in some way shared with her…I know that many (maybe most) of the connections will not be obvious, but they are logical, I promise. Maybe I’ll post another entry that explains the list…or you can ask Pamela about them.

Earl Grey Tea
Captain Jean Luc Picard
Inner Light
Old Towne School of Folk Music
Violin Lessons
Edith Fridley
Tow Truck
Cinnamon Rolls
Amazing Grace
Slave Coast, Ghana
Luke 4:18 – 19
November 15, 1992
Breakers Retirement Home
Blouses and Buttons
Wedding Cake
1 Corinthians 13
The Bond of Perfection
Faith, Hope and Charity Stained Glass Window (somewhere in England)
Hard Cider
“A Punch” (translated: A puncture)
Drums by James Boyd
The kid’s bedtime
9:30 pm “coffee-house”
Spanish tutor
Mr. J’s
Best friend’s dinner table
Paul Rader
Articles on tape (read by Pamela with surprise messages from the kids sprinkled in)
$1.45 with an empty tank and toll-booths
Chicago Ave
“Every heartbeat bears your name…”
Quilts and paintbrushes
Hi-Fi and Banjo
Black and White TV
Star Trek
“Earl Grey, Hot.”

I am grateful for my bride who has traveled so many of these life paths with me. The memories are sweet, the company is sweeter.

Happy Valentine’s Day.

– Lego