Archive for the ‘books’ Category

I thoroughly enjoyed this book. In it Jenkins goes back and forth between a first century Jerusalem and modern day life to craft a pretty cohesive thriller. We start in a Roman prison. The Apostle Paul is in his last imprisonment before his impending death. Luke is going back and forth between helping him and treating victims of a great fire in Rome, a fire ostensibly started by the Emperor Nero but blamed on the Christians as a way to crush the movement. Paul is requesting his parchments, which contain his memoir, his life story. In modern day, seminary professor Augie Knox gets pulled into a case of intrigue trying to find that memoir, which was stolen during an archaeological dig.

The juxtaposition of chapters is part of what makes this a great story. There are two concurrent storylines that each keep those pages turning. The Pauline memoir is fleshed out scripture which while taking liberties to fill in the story do not seem to take away from the biblical narrative. If I had one complaint about this book, and it is a small one, I would have liked to see the final struggle in the modern day storyline expanded upon a bit more. The conclusion comes a little too easily, but again that is a small complaint, and over all I thoroughly enjoyed this book. Jenkins leaves the story a little open ended, leaving the possibility of a sequel on the table. That is a book I would love to read.

Another way to beat creative block and make the most of your creative opportunities.

So you have limited time to be creative? But now one of those golden moments comes upon you. What are you going to do with it? Do not let this moment pass.

It’s happened to me a lot, how about you? You finally get some creative time and you’re either blocked creatively or you spend half the time looking for the materials you need to bring your project to fruition. What can you do about it? Well any Boy Scout can tell you, (because it’s their motto) Be Prepared!

Here’s how:
If ideas are your problem, you should be storing them (See chapter 2). You should have a notebook or a computer file full of them ready for when that moment comes. Then you can just grab it and get started. 

Secondly, you’ll need to organize your materials. If you’re blessed to have a studio keep it stocked and organized. A place for everything and everything is in it’s place. If you don;t have a space, keep a box or a bag stocked with your essential tools and materials ready so when the moment is right, you can grab it and get to work. I keep a sketchbook and my laptop nearby at all times so that I at least have the bare minimum, plus my studio is set up and for the most part ready for action. My area of needed improvement is in organization, but even so, for the most part, I can at least start a project at a moment’s notice.

Creativity and inspiration sometimes strike at odd times. You’ve got to be ready.

The Daily Creative

Posted: June 14, 2017 in books

Another page from my upcoming book.

I would love see what you do with this writing challenge. Share your results in the comments.

Another way to overcome creative block.

One of the things I hear creatives say all the time is they just don’t have time to create. Nothing could be further from the truth. Now I will concede that there are times when our schedules are so full or when unexpected things destroy our best laid plans, but for the most part, if we want to badly enough, we can find time to create. Here are a few ideas:

1. Get up an hour earlier and use that time to create.
2. Go to bed and hour later and use that time to create.
3. Identify the time vampires in your life that suck up all your time and give little in return.
4. TV time. Now I do not recommend stealing from your family time. Few thing will make your loved ones resent your work more than being placed behind it, but if all you’re doing is watching TV, why not have a sketchbook or note pad with you to et a little work done while you watch/listen?
5. Make your lunch hour creative hour. 

Of course, these are just a few, there are many more just look for the gaps in your schedule handful some of them with the creative projects that will bring joy to your life and help you accomplish your dreams.

Here’s a creative challenge from my upcoming book, The Daily Creative:

Enjoy, and I’d love to see what you created. Share a link in the comments.

Another way to alleviate creative block…

If you’re going to be a creative, you need a diversion, a hobby something other than what you ordinarily do. I’ll be the first to admit this is difficult to imagine. For many of us, our creative pursuits are the thing we really love to do and especially for those who do something else for a living, your creative pursuits may already be (or feel like) your diversion. You might even be right, but remember our pursuit here is to overcome creative block and you can even get blocked when you’re doing that which you love to do. 

The diversion can help. There are times even in the midst of a great, exhilarating project when you can find yourself stuck. A lot of times it’s just a matter of you’ve been working too intensely for too long and you just need to step away for a little bit. Just take a few minutes and do something else.

My personal diversion is building model kits. Yes it still feels creative and yes may of my professional skills are in play in this hobby as well. The difference is, it’s very structured. There are instructions to be followed and by virtue of the way the kits are assembled. I can add a piece or two and get back to work. It actually works better that way for the hobby because it gives the glue time to cure.

It doesn’t take much most of the time, just a little time away an refresh your creativity and get you ready to delve back in.

I read this Bible Study Book as part of my year-long study on the book of Acts. I’ve been reading a commentary by a Pentecostal Missiologist, a great book that told the book as a story set in our modern day and now this book by one of the great (decidedly, and contrastingly not pentecostal) Bible teachers of our day, John MacArthur. The diversity of these views has allowed me to see the book from a lot of different angles, which has been really helpful. I enjoyed this little book thoroughly. It divides the book of Acts into sections and after giving an overview of the section, plunges right into the text itself, giving insights as you read along. These insights are really helpful. Each chapter also has some really thought provoking questions at the end. My only regret with my purchase of this book was that I bought the Kindle version, making it a little clunky to answer the study-guide questions. I have no doubt I will return to this book for more intensive study before my “year of Acts” is out.