Growing Smaller

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Image by this is your brain on lithium via Flickr

A while back, a friend of mine mentioned (after I had made an observation that was more mature than usual, haha) that I was growing up. She meant that I was becoming more mature.

I thought about that for a while.

And then I thought, “I’m not growing up, I’m growing smaller.” That little phrase stuck with me, its poetic paradox kind of intriguing me.

So I kept on thinking, and the thought grew. And I started writing it.

Like this:

Growing smaller

Like a little child

I’m not getting older

My head isn’t larger

My heart is growing weaker

It is growing wider

Because God is in there

He is growing bigger

not me

God is getting older

not me

His heart is growing larger

mine is falling away

in awe

at Him

Like a little child

Just a little baby

Reaching up

Smiling big

Love bigger than that smile

Because God is in there

He is growing bigger

not me

God is getting older

not me

His wisdom is coming in

my mind is fleeing

away

from his

They say I’m getting older

Maturing into a man

They say my heart is bolder

My head is thinking straight

Growing smaller

Like a little child

God is getting bigger

And I am growing smaller

Darkness giving way to light

You see my life is changing

New me dawning on your sight

Cause I’m not there at all

Growing smaller

Like a little child

God is getting bigger

And I am growing smaller

Like a little child

Like a little baby

Reaching up

Open wide

Love bigger than that smile

Growing smaller

Like a little child

God is getting bigger

And I am growing smaller

A Review of Stephen Lawhead’s Skin Map

 

The Skin Map

The Skin Map

 

When I got The Skin Map from Booksneeze (at no charge, no obligations, very awesome), I really had no idea what to expect. I had already read a few of Stephen Lawhead‘s books, and I knew that he had a diverse range of style. So I dug in with no preconceived notions about what it would be like.

And I loved it.

His mastery of the art of description is beyond belief (I had to stop several times to jump up and down because I loved his style so much, seriously). His level of attention to details like period mindset and speech is a delight to behold (especially for die-hard background-first novelists like me).

My only quibble was that he doesn’t end the first book as a stand-alone. He makes you need to read the next one to continue the story arc properly. And that isn’t out yet, which is maddening.

And for those of you who are worried about inappropriate content (I was a bit, since his Song of Albion trilogy had some), don’t be. It is completely clean. Utterly. I couldn’t have been more pleased on that score (and promptly gave it to my little siblings to share).

5 out of 5 stars, very recommended.

A Party and a Very Special Announcement!

Hey there everyone!

* Is very excited *

A year ago, on September 20th of 2009, I started a forum on a whim. I did it mainly because I was lazy and wanted one centralized location on which to discuss my stories and world with my few fantasy friends. So I guess it was sort of ego-centric too (except I wanted to hear about their stories too, but whatever).

I invented a name more or less off the top of my head, threw together a forum, grabbed a theme off the internet, cobbled together some neat sounding names, and let my friends know. There were maybe 6 or so of us, but we liked it.

More than I expected. They loved it, and started telling everyone about it. I thought that was cool, so I told more of my friends about it too, posting on the different forums I am a part of, and etcetera.

And so people started to flood in. And they all loved it!

That was a shock to me. I mean, managing forums and communities is work, and I was kind of busy (I did, after all, start it because I was lazy and trying to save time, never mind about that…). But it was also kind of cool.

I mean, really cool.

There were these brilliant people all working together and talking and making friends and posting awesome stuff and in general being a model community. Very awesome. I loved my people (I still do, too). So I started improving the forums, adding mods and hacks and bbcodes and a logo and a website and a blog and a domain name and whatnot. All the stuff a real community ought to have. It was fun. 🙂

Well, it has been a year, and it is well over a hundred members strong, and I have a core team of dedicated Moderators and Marcher Lords and Honor Roll Members and Editors and etceteras. I also have an inner circle of lovely people who have joined together with me to take Holy Worlds to its extreme limits for the glory of God.

We have great plans.

And so that is why we are all very excited about October 21st. Why?

Because that is a year, a month, and a day since the founding. And we are going to celebrate by having a massive party on the forums. And you are invited. 😀

We want to break the record for the most number of users online at once (it is 30 right now, so this is going to be fun). We are going to invade the chat room (yep, we got one of those too in there). We are going to have contests and surprises and presents for everyone.

And…

We are going to officially open the Holy Worlds Sci-Fi Forum!

Yes, we are expanding to include a sci-fi forum just for all you space-heads out there (well, me too, ’cause I like sci-fi too).

So if you are a member of HW, make sure you come at or around noon (EST) on the 21st of this month to www.holyworlds.org. And see if you can bring a friend! We will have admins standing by to activate new accounts, so if you got a friend who loves Christian fantasy or sci-fi, tell them to come and register. We would love to have them! This is a great time to tell people about us.

See you all then!

Rebellion and You

Torah inside of the former Glockengasse synago...
Image via Wikipedia

What is rebellion?

First, why do we care? That question is easily dealt with:

1 Samuel 15:23 For rebellion [is as] the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness [is as] iniquity and idolatry. Because thou hast rejected the word of the LORD, he hath also rejected thee from [being] king.

Proverbs 17:11 An evil [man] seeketh only rebellion: therefore a cruel messenger shall be sent against him.

Jeremiah 28:16 Therefore thus saith the LORD; Behold, I will cast thee from off the face of the earth: this year thou shalt die, because thou hast taught rebellion against the LORD.

Remember that both rebellion and witchcraft were punished by stoning in OT Israel. Ouch. So… what is rebellion then?

Of course you know where I am going to go to find out, don’t you? 🙂

Yup, Webster’s 1828 Dictionary.

Open resistance to lawful authority.”

That is the short bit, and all we really need here, but the rest is very cool too, so check it out if you are interested. [http://1828.sorabji.com/1828/words/r/rebellion.html]

The only proper (meaning ‘approved by Jay’) shift of meaning that has transpired since Webster’s writing of this cogent definition is a variation of use which allows for rebellion to occur covertly, rather than openly. One may have a rebellious attitude that remains sequestered within your breast, and never sees the light of day, and yet remains truly rebellious in the sight of God.

(One could argue that this sense still retains the quality of openness, since all things are open to God. But if you take that into consideration you might as well strike it out of the definition anyways since all things are open and thus it ceases to be a defining factor.)

On to the next word.

What does it mean to resist?

To stand against; to withstand.”

To set yourself against something means that you are out from under it. You cannot be submissive and rebellious simultaneously. Thus rebellion is a rejection of authority.

Ah, but not just any authority.

Lawful authority.

I think that little word there, Lawful, is the most important word in that definition. I believe that is so because of this simple fact that it makes true:

You cannot rebel against unlawful authority. It simply cannot be done.

This ties directly into Romans 13:1-2.

Romans 13:1-2 Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God.

2 Whosoever therefore resisteth the power, resisteth the ordinance of God: and they that resist shall receive to themselves damnation.

The message of this passage is very clear and simple: Authority only comes from God. And so to resist lawful authority (rebellion) is indeed resisting God just as much as if you spit in His holy face or committed witchcraft.

Because of this powerful fact, we must be very careful. Why? People claim to have authority over us constantly, and by thereby demanding obedience of us they are claiming to be the ministers of God. Whether or not they think they are claiming this is irrelevant.

The Bible is very very clear that we are all equal, and equally at liberty from the control of others, except where God has specifically delineated an authority figure to perform a specific function.

These authority figures are defined and instituted by God for our good. That is His created order: for us to submit ourselves to these authority figures. I cannot go into all of the different ones here (that is a matter for many books), but I do want to point something out:

If an authority figure steps outside of his jurisdiction and exerts control that was not given him by God, he is sinning. And by definition, he is sinning against someone (or more than one someone). This does not mean that we ought to revolt (notice my word choice: we can’t rebel against him, since he isn’t exerting lawful authority, we can only revolt) against him, though. Generally we ought to merely yield (give up your cloak, turn the other cheek, etc.). There are very few situations in which the Bible commands us to revolt, resist, and overthrow unlawful authority. Most of the time we ought to pass it by.

Realize this though: your parents are your lawful authority, and their jurisdiction is far reaching. Their authority surpasses and supersedes the authority of every other ordination of God. That means that if your pastor tells you to do one thing, and your father tells you to do another, you obey your father. Period. Full stop. No questions, no buts, no hesitations, no qualms.

Realize also that even if your parents tell you to do something that you consider to be sin (like for example not going to church, or not wearing a headcovering, or going to public school, or reading a secular book on the ‘Sabbath’ day (I am looking at you Elsie Dinsmore)) in the vast majority of cases, you ought to obey. Even if they are not saved. (Especially if they are not saved, depending on how you look at it.) This passes the responsibility for that action onto them, and God will bless you in that deed.

Why do I say this? Wouldn’t God say that you aren’t rebelling since it isn’t their jurisdiction?

Because God commanded us to do it. Do a study of 1 Peter 3:1-6 and ask me about it in the comments if you don’t see it.

Controversial issue, I know. But those who know me know that I don’t shy from those. * smile * There are a lot of facets that I haven’t covered (such as when parental authority ceases to be binding), but I will save those for another time and another post.

What do you think? How do you think you should change your life in light of this study? In particular, what do you think about how you are treating (and thinking about) your parents? Are you rebelling against them in your heart or in your actions by simply not yielding to them with all your heart?

An Excited Announcement!

Hello all!

I am very excited about this movie project. I have seen a lot of projects fail. They lose steam, lose team members, lose momentum. And no wonder: starting projects and keeping them going to the end is a very very hard thing to do. But this project, well, it just smells of success. And I am salivating just thinking about what is happening.

We have had a great initial boom of people jumping on board and doing things to make it happen, and that is exciting. You can’t get off the ground without that.

But we have also had continued, and accelerating, growth! More and more people are hearing about this project and getting excited about it. That means there is something here that is drawing them in. People are telling other people who are telling other people who are telling yet more people about what we are doing and wanting to do. And those people are climbing on the wagon and asking how they can help.

That is what makes a project succeed.

We have lots of people, all with a common vision and passion to make this dream happen. And it will, if God gives us the strength and the blessing to carry on.

And so here I am to clarify that vision, and to explain what we see the goals of this project to be.

This movie will have dynamic characters driving a strong plot in a creative arena. It will draw inspiration from classics like The Matrix, Star Wars, and Tron, without copying or spoofing them. It will be a powerful musical, calculated to stir your soul and be like nothing you have seen before. It will have diverse action scenes, high, personal stakes, and intriguing special effects. It will appeal to the vast niche of sci-fi fans, programmers and non-programmers alike. It will bring into the Independent Christian Film community a kind of cinema that has been hitherto lacking: the true sci-fi epic.

But beyond that, it will reach out to the vast number of people in the world who are struggling with laziness and addictions in a new, creative, and dramatic way. It will inspire, animate, and empower its viewers. It will thrill your soul without defiling it with crude or untasteful content that you regret having watched. It will be a movie that will make you think, and make you enjoy doing it.

We intend this movie to show in festivals across the States, as well as internationally (possibly). We will release it online as a free download for a limited time with limited content, but we will subsequently release it for sale as a DVD and as a paid download from various venues. And that paid release will include many exclusive bonus features for your enjoyment.

To accomplish this, we have divided the project into several parts, each of which has its own unique goals that we will focus on, and which you can help with.

First we are going to work with our awesome (and constantly growing) volunteer team to get the story ready for marketing to investors.

We will finish the story development. That will include writing and finishing the script and lyrics, as well as creating concept music, art, and storyboards. We will also prepare and plan for convincing people to invest in our project. That includes solidifying our identity branding, developing promotional media, planning our marketing plans, and creating our plans for the final distribution of the movie. We will also be looking for people who are willing to make the movie itself, and finding out how much they need to be compensated.

We will then, from what we have learned from the above activities, settle on a target goal for our budget.

With that completed, we will launch into our second stage of the project: fund-raising.

We will setup a Kickstarter project for our target amount, with a dedicated deadline for us to raise the money. We will do door-to-door campaigns, bake sales, car washes, and we will work with schools, churches, and groups across the States (and across the world) to find investors willing to get us on our feet and going with their donations. If they pay us in hand (which is what we prefer), we will put that money into the Kickstarter project, keeping meticulous record of all our investors.

We will not ask or receive loans or grants of any kind. These go against our principles as a group, based on Biblical standards of conduct. God has the money, and He will provide for us if this is His will for us to succeed. This is His project.

If, in the unlikely event that we ‘fail’ to raise the money in time, the money given directly to Kickstarter will not change hands, and the money donated to us in hand will be returned to the original investors or donated to a reputable charity. We will then not continue with the project, believing that it was not God’s will for us to do it at this time.

I believe, however, that this is God’s will, and that He will give us the people, the strength, and the funds we need to carry it out. He has already blessed us tremendously: beyond my wildest expectations, and beyond my furthest dreams. I believe that He will continue to do so, as we pray and rely on Him to sustain and bless us.

So what exactly needs to be done right now?

We need to research our eventual distribution venues and mediums, such as DVD sales and distributors, festivals, and download sites, to discern what their rules are and what we need to do to get into as many of the best of them as we can.

We need to decide on the final length of our movie based on those discoveries, and finish the script and songs. Right now our options range from 15-35 minutes or so. Though some have wanted to make it into a feature film, that doesn’t really fit into our goals at the moment, at least so far as I can tell. But that might lie in our future, if everything turns out alright.

We need to develop our marketing platform. That means designing and producing promotional materials and brands such as logos, banners, slogans, business cards, pamphlets, fliers, posters, blog badges, desktop wallpapers, facebook fan page, twitter stream, newsletter, youtube channel, blog posts, press releases, and everything else that can be wildly imagined.

And above all, we need you. We need people to continue to come on board and dedicate parts of their lives to this project, helping out in any way they can, stretching beyond their comfort zones, doing things beyond people’s expectations, and just all around buckling down to hard work. We need people to spread the word, think outside the box, and draw others in. We need you to climb on board with this great opportunity to do something big.

So connect with us! Email us at debugger@sir-emeth.com, or me personally at jay.lauser@sir-emeth.com, or my right-hand girl in this project, Katie Daniels, at daniels.katie@gmail.com. Join our forum at http://debugger.freephpbb3.com. Comment below, tweet us back, send us a private message. Let others know about us: ‘Like’ us, Tweet us, ‘Digg’ us, post us, and all around go nuts about what we are doing!

Thank you so much for your kind attention and for taking the time to read this exciting announcement. You are awesome!

With joy and peace and trust in Christ,

Jay Lauser aka Sir Emeth Mimetes

Soli Deo Gloria!

A Call for Help: Epic Sci-Fi Musical

Many Excited Welcomings!

I am launching a new project that I would love to open up to all of you, as I am sure that there are many here who would love to have the opportunity to take part.

I am making an epic sci-fi musical allegorical open short movie.

I need lots of people to make this happen. I am sure that if you are at all interested in sci-fi and this project we can find a place for you. Some of the main roles that we are looking for are:

  • Actors
    • The Main Character: early twenties; programmer (so the actor needs to be able to touch-type fast). The actor needs to be able to act in anger, despair, and with a green-screen doing extensive cloning (he will be playing an army of clones by himself), comfortable with stunt martial arts, and who can sing really well (operatic).
    • The Antagonist: will be masked the whole time, but needs to be able to do stunt martial arts and look intimidating as well as show clear emotion and thought without his face being seen. We will have another actor do his voice.
    • Antagonist Voice: needs to be able to record and sing an operatic villain song. Epic, not comic.
    • Friend of Main Character: same age as Main Character, doesn’t need to sing.
    • Computer: we only need a head for this character, but he needs to be a slightly older man (like a father), who can demonstrate clear, but not overdone emotion, as well as sound mentorly.
    • Client Voice: older man, only heard over the phone, angry.
  • Director: needs good experience with sci-fi stories and with green-screen productions.
  • Copywriter: someone to keep the blog updated with our activities who can write compelling sales copy to get people on board.
  • Choir: we need a middle sized choir (or a clever equivalent) with recording capability, willing to sing in some epic songs (probably Latin) for free.
  • Photo Manipulation Artist: someone skilled with gimp or photoshop who can help with concept art, posters, banners, logos, and stuff like that.
  • Animation Team: this movie will include massive amounts of VFX and CGI, so we need top notch animators, modelers, and special effects artists. If someone has a render farm as well that would be most handy, to say the least.
  • Camera Team: we need quality recording equipment for the movie itself.
  • Fund-raising Team: we need people willing to help coordinate funds being raised to help pay for the services of those people who simply cannot help us for free.

That is just the tip of the iceberg: our top needs. There is still room for scriptwriters, composers, choreographers, songwriters, and all kinds of other people. The best thing to do is to explain what you can do and ask where we can use you. 🙂

I have started a few projects before, and each has been more successful than I expected, as well as bigger than the previous. This one is no exception. There is a ton of potential here. It is already getting off the ground with lots of excited people pitching in and helping out. But we need and want you!

The story will encourage and uplift Christians who can recognize the parallels, but will also reach out to non-Christians. It will present the Christian worldview in a latent manner that is palatable for secular ears.

If you have any questions or or if you are interested in participating in any way (or even if you aren’t and you just want to talk to me about it) let me know by commenting here or emailing me at jay.lauser@sir-emeth.com. We also have a forum for collaboration on all stages of the project that you can join at http://debugger.freephpbb3.com, so check that out as well.

Although I love encouragement on the project, I am really posting to get people on board who are willing to put effort into doing something bigger than each of us. It is about getting true Rebelutionaries ready and raring to go for a new project: a New Hard Thing.

Thanks for listening!

Hope to hear from you soon!

With and joy peace in Christ,
Jay Lauser

Shë Yösaoi – The Sylphs

Well now, it has been a long time since I last made an installment in this series…essence page for sylphs

Shë Yösaoi. The Masters of the Air and Winds. Second-born of the tribes of Ithelak. Ancient in lore and thought. Lost from the middle spheres of the world for centuries and millenniums. Remembered only for their last great act: their treachery in the Great War.

The second-born of the race of creatures that God created to call His children, were twins one of another. They were white in flesh and hair, and their eyes were a clear blue like that of the edge of a white cloud mirroring the sky. Their joyful voices and laughter cheered all who heard them, and they made many childish songs that are now regarded as supreme works of genius and art. Their names were Aoæma and Omiei.

They grew rapidly, and soon outstripped Ëlwëth in height and in prowess in climbing, for they always loved the high places. They often climbed together in the mountains and trees, rejoicing in the feel of the wind in their light hair and on their limbs.

Gradually as they grew older, they came to love each other in more than just friendship and siblinghood. At last in their maturity they were wed to each other, and loved each other yet the more.

When the time came for the gifts of God to be given to the tribes, they were blessed very greatly to their liking. They were given great ability in song and speech, and in the powers of the Aurein, such that they were able to lift themselves up into the air and climb to great heights unreachable before. They were also enabled to command the air to form itself into an invisible solid at their bidding and design, either by will or by song. They used this to build great bridges and stairs in the mountains that opened up great regions to others not as agile and able as them. They were also gifted with a keenness of sensitivity to the weather, and were able to predict what would soon occur with ease.

When the rebellion took place, they shrunk from combat, and hid in the mountains, but were seduced by the Dwarves in the end to the side of darkness, and were broken in the ensuing war. After the Deluge, they retreated to their fastnesses in the mountains and came rarely to the middle sphere of the world, preferring to live in liberty from the confines of society.

When the Great War came, they withdrew even farther, not daring to make any appearance lest they became involved. But even they could not avoid it in the end, and they joined the Elves on the request of the Zidain, the Wizards. But soon after they engaged in the battle and won great victories for the right side, they fell away and tried to set up their own empire, and were tricked by the Men into aiding the cause of darkness, though they knew it not. They became hated for this, and for breaking their oath to help in the war, and they fled to the mountains, leaving little trace of their involvement, except in legend.

They dwindled gradually to weakness, even in their own heights. But they remained pure from mingling the longest, and thus maintained their power, and became known as hermit magicians who hated people and cast trapping spells on unwary explorers of the mountains. But these were rarely true, and they liked most to live in simplicity and peace on their mountains, tending their cattle and living with the wind and their voices.

This is a long-awaited article on the 5th of my 7 tribes in Ithelak, my world. I am not sure when the next will come out, but I hope it won’t take as long as this to write. 🙂 If you want to read the rest of the series, follow this link:

https://siremethmimetes.wordpress.com/tag/tribes/

Let me know what you think! And feel more than free to ask questions. I love to talk about my world. 😀