A Story of Forgiveness

It’s safe to say forgiveness is one of the hardest lessons we’ll ever have to learn in life, if not the hardest. Forgiving friends. Forgiving the betrayal of those we most love. Forgiving ourselves. Sadly, many people go to their graves without ever learning this lesson. Without understanding the nature of forgiveness we will never experience the fullness of life. Without forgiveness we are nothing but cynical, broken, bitter and sickly people.

My brilliant sister understands forgiveness more than most. When her daughter Aliyah Soleil (Leelee) ran in the house one afternoon with tears streaming down her cheeks, Aimee sat her down and asked what was wrong. Aliyah told her about how she’d been betrayed by a good friend. And in that moment, the story of forgiveness was birthed.

Though its beautifully written and flows off the tongue, and thought Aimee has peppered it with brilliant artwork she created herself, and though its written in a way a child could understand, if you allow it, the message may just change your life as well.

Buy your copy here – “Free as a Leelee Bird: a story of forgiveness.” You won’t regret it. Read it to your kids. They will love it. But also read it to yourself. Let it sink deep. Maybe its not to late for all of us to be as free a Leelee Bird!

 

 

 

Why I Believe in Magic.

What if everyone in the world is born with invisible scales covering their eyes? What if these scales cause us to live in a shadow of the real world without ever seeing what’s truly there? What if the real world is far more magical, fantastical and dangerous than we’ve ever imagined? And what if, in the real world, a battle rages between light and darkness and we are meant to play a pivotal role in ending this battle? This is the premise of the new Jack Staples trilogy – written by New York Times Bestseller, Mark Batterson and myself.

Jack Staples and the Ring of Time (Cover by Duncan Stewart)

This young adult fantasy series (ages 8 and up) takes the reader on an adventure filled journey that’s fraught with danger and riddled with mystery.

Writing this series with Mark was such an incredibly fun experience. We talked often of the idea that life is far more fantastical than most people imagine. As a Christian I find it impossible not to love fantasy. The bible reads like a brilliant work of fantasy. In fact, the inception of the Jack Staples trilogy was taken from the bible. In the book of Acts, chapter nine, verse eighteen it reads, “Immediately, something like scales fell from Saul’s eyes, and he could see again. He got up and was baptized.” As a kid this verse captured my imagination. This guy, Saul of Tarsus was going about killing Christians. Then these invisible scales fall from his eyes and suddenly he decides to become a Christian. His new eyes saw the world as it truly is.

Jack staples and the City of Shadows (Cover by Duncan Stewart)

The world is a magical place. It’s filled to the brim with magic. There’s not a single aspect or moment of life that isn’t wrapped in magic. If it makes you feel more comfortable to replace the word magic with supernatural, then go for it. But for me, magic is a far better word. Theologians have tried to boil down the supernatural into something we can understand. But the best magic can’t be explained. I like magicians – scratch that, I love magicians because they stretch my imagination and add to the wonder of my day. But when I say magic, I’m not talking about a really great trick, but the truly unexplainable.

Jack Staples and the Poet's Storm (Cover by Duncan Stewart)

The galaxy exists through magic. God’s hand and breath formed it, but if that’s not magic, then I don’t know what is. The stars shine in the heavens through magic. The world was formed and the oceans separated from the land through magic. There’s a great account of it happening in Genesis, but that’s just an explanation of the events. How the events occurred is nothing but the most fantastical magic.

If you are a Christian and don’t read fantasy or at least spend time reading brilliant works of fiction, I believe you are missing an important part of what it means to be a Christian. If you are not a Christian and you don’t read fantasy or fiction, I believe you are missing a key part of what it means to be human. If you walk through your days and don’t wonder at the magic of the world, then your imagination needs to be expanded. If you are overly cynical, bored or discontent, you should probably do something to awaken your imagination. Go out and experience the unbelievable wonder of our world. Go and create something of great beauty. Commit an act of sacrificial love. And then go and read a brilliant fantasy series. Let your mind be blown. Because all of these things will stretch your imagination, and without a vivid imagination we will never truly find God. Without a wild imagination we’ll only find religion.

The Adventures of Princess Juno: Episode 7 “the sidekick”

With the last episode of Breaking Bad airing only weeks ago and Downton Abbey season 4 falling flat, where are the fans to turn?

The Walking Dead?           Please.


What about The Adventures of Princess Juno? This series has more twists than Inception and even Walter White would have to step carefully in this story. With the release of Episode 7: the sidekick, The Adventures of Princess Juno takes a turn that will blow your mind.

In a recent interview with Empire Magazine, Juno Jehan said,“I was astounded when I read the script. It was dark and brooding and then it turned into something totally unexpected, something beautiful.”

“The director (Clark) is taking a big leap of faith with this one, but I think it’ll pay off. Our fans aren’t as fickle as the fans of Heroes or Prison Break. This isn’t a two season splash in the pan. We’re playing the long game here and Clark is pulling out all the stops.”

SPOILER ALERT: In episode 7 the fans of the series will get to reconnect with one of their favorite characters. It is “Dogfather” who sends the young princess on her mission. Episode 7 also foreshadows the coming of a new integral character being introduced into the series.

 

Milk and Meat

A little while back I received a call from my good friend and pastor, Mark Batterson. Our church, National Community Church was in gearing up for a series titled “Voices” and Mark wanted to know if I would be interested in finishing off the series.

What a silly question. Of course I was interested! What an amazing opportunity to tell stories at my home church. I immediately said “yes” and asked God what he wanted me to share. It was an easy question really. I’ve had one message over the past few years that has defined me. “More”. It’s the idea that there is so much more to life than we are living now. There is so much more available in our relationship with God and with each other. There is so much more adventure and beauty and romance and love.

More.

We have access to the creator of all things and so often we are happy with crumbs.

More.

There is intimacy and beauty and life altering experiences awaiting us. There are miracles and relationships and daring feats waiting to be accomplished.

More.

I don’t focus on “My relationship with God” when I talk of these things. I think it’s silly to do so. It is all my relationship with God. When I chose to follow him everything became an opportunity to get to know him more. There is no sacred and secular in my life, there is only sacred. When I jump off a crane or make a documentary or write a book or go to McDonalds I am living to the fullness of my potential so long as I am inviting God into the midst of it.

More. Every moment is bursting with opportunity for the miraculous.

You can check out the stories I told at NCC at the link below.

 

Historic Moments with Juno Jehan

Juno’s fans have waited long enough. We are excited to present episode 6 of The Adventures of Princess Juno. You may view the rest of the episodes HERE!

Ever wonder about who invented the Amish or how World War 2 really ended? If so, you  need to watch this.