What Will It Take To Open Your Heart?

“Street Language” is a short film, now in pre-production.

A homeless teen and a businessman dying in an alley; their only hope is each other in Street Language.

Jacob lives an unseen life in the midst of the crowded city. When he stumbles upon Michael, bleeding in an alley, he must decide whether he can take the risk to help. In this moving short film story, a teenage street kid finds the strength to open up his life after a wounded stranger opens his eyes to the possibility of love and beauty around him.

Their journey together opens up both of their lives to the possibility of love and hope for the future.

We’re in pre-production on this short film here in Denver. I wrote the script and will direct the film. Chloe Anderson, of Epicenter Pictures, is producing the project as part our shared mission to mentor emerging filmmakers. Our crew consists of some seasoned professionals as well as students who want to hone their craft.

We plan to make the film available to other non-profit organizations who deal with issues of homelessness, hopelessness, and teens-at-risk.

Maasai Worship – AISIAYAKIYE

The Maasai of East Africa share their stories in song. The En-Kata Choir in Tanzania sings their beautiful music to their Creator.

The Maasai of East Africa share their stories in song. The En-Kata Choir in Tanzania sings their beautiful music to their Creator. This is just one song of ten for which we will be helping to make music videos so the songs can be shared all over East Africa. Enjoy!

Click here to play the song: Aisiayakiye

AISIAYAKIYE  (I Will Serve You Lord)

I will serve You, my God and Savior

I will not leave You, oh Father

I will not leave You, I will not stop serving You

I will serve You, my God and Savior

I will not leave You, oh Father

I will not leave You, I will not stop serving You

Even if troubles come on earth

I will serve You

Even if the cattle are all gone

I will serve You

Even if I go without clothes

I will serve You

Even if severe hardships come

I will serve You

I will sing to You, my God and Savior

I will not leave You, oh Father

I will not leave You, I will not stop serving You

I will sing to You, my God and Savior

I will not leave You, oh Father

I will not leave You, I will not stop serving You

Even if severe hardships come

I will serve You

Even if I go without clothes

I will serve You

Even if the cattle are all gone

I will serve You

Even if malaria comes

I will serve You

I will sing to You, my God and Savior

I will not leave You, oh Father

I will not leave You, I will not stop serving You

I will sing to You, my God and Savior

I will not leave You, oh Father

I will not leave You, I will not stop serving You

The En-Kata Choir’s music is available on iTunes: Hope of the Maasai (Mautmaini Ya WaMaasai) by the En-Kata Choir

Song posted here courtesy of the MAPED and Kahawa Records

You Are Solving The Wrong Problem | UX Magazine

“Find a faster way to fail, recover, and try again.” Good words.

 It’s easy for me to get bogged-down with a big vision. Sometimes I respond to a great task or challenge with inaction. Maybe I can’t see the solution up-front, or perhaps I’m afraid to fail. Other times, I respond with a flurry of activity, creating a whole process and environment in which to solve the problem–but never arriving at a solution. This article talks about how important it is for us to clearly see the true problem, not the most obvious one.

It talks about Paul McCready, the inventor of the first successful human-powered airplanes, and his brilliant insight into the real problem to be solved; it wasn’t how to get a human in the air. 

There is some problem you are trying to solve. In your life, at work, in a design. You are probably solving the wrong problem.Paul MacCready, considered to be one of the best mechanical engineers of the 20th century, said it best: “The problem is we don’t understand the problem.”

Article here: You Are Solving The Wrong Problem | UX Magazine.

His bottom-line:

When you are solving a difficult problem re-ask the problem so that your solution helps you learn faster. Find a faster way to fail, recover, and try again. If the problem you are trying to solve involves creating a magnum opus, you are solving the wrong problem.

I was talking with my son recently about a college paper he needed to write. I knew that what he needed was to see the real problem, not the problem that had him stuck. He is hesitant to start down a wrong path. He wants to have it all together in advance so he doesn’t fail or waste his time. I encourage him to just get after it, write, outline, brainstorm. Encounter the hurdles, but do it aggressively, quickly. Sometimes the temptation is to finesse every sentence before moving on. That’s a killer.

The most successful projects I’ve done (and delivered on-time) are ones where I was not paralyzed by setting up the perfect system first or knowing that I was on the perfect trajectory from the beginning. I go after it, encounter failure of some sort, re-group and re-orient. That gets me there. I try (imperfectly) to apply this to my script writing, visual editing, presentations, and classes I teach. I am just as prone as my son to become paralyzed, to over analyze, and to never get started– even on something that means a lot to me.

“Find a faster way to fail, recover, and try again.”  Good words.

Visual Story Summit – Edinburgh

If I had one sense to convey from today it is that we are all hungry and eager for partnership.

I think a key to becoming more effective and growing in my chosen field is getting together with like-minded people who place a high priority on sharing and partnership.

I’m in Edinburgh, Scotland this week for a Summit hosted by the Visual Story Network.

The event hasn’t yet begun–that’ll happen in the morning–but in the midst of a meal together, prayer time for the event, and hanging out after-hours, I have already had really significant conversations with people I’ve not met before. These aren’t just exchanges of friendly banter; they are real expressions of excitement for what God is doing through very different organizations all over the world. And they are realizations of ways that we can and should work together and share resources.

If I had one sense to convey from today it is that we are all hungry and eager for partnership. The words ‘collaboration’, ‘generosity’, and ‘sharing’ are sprinkled in every conversation I hear.

Why Visual Stories Matter

Meet Yuseff and Andrea – two people who represent billions who communicate, learn, and connect in a post-literate world.

Meet Yuseff and Andrea – two people who represent billions who communicate, learn, and connect in a post-literate world.

This is a short film, created for the Visual Story Network, that explains the urgent need for compelling visual stories to communicate the fullness of God’s love for the world. I’m a part of VSN and share this vision.

A Willing Heart – Joe Dawson

Mourned by his Yanomamö friends, Joe Dawson passed away on Thursday night in Coshilowateli, Venezuela.

Joe Dawson passed away on Thursday night in Coshilowateli, Venezuela. He and his wife, Millie, have lived among the Yanomamö since 1953, giving their lives to learn from,  love, and serve their adopted indigenous community. Through Joe and Millie and their 10 children, the Yanomamö in the Amazonas region came to understand that the Great Spirit that they feared as their Enemy, Yai Wanonabalewa, was really their Creator who loves them. For those who accepted this news, it meant the end of a life of constant fear and bloodshed that was driven by the spirits they possessed. Many Yanomamö today are mourning the loss of their true brother, Pepiwa (Joe’s Yanomamö nickname), but are thankful for his life.

Here’s a short documentary video featuring Joe and Millie, telling their story of how God first called them to go serve the Yanomamö. It’s part of a series that gives a background to the feature film, Yai Wanonabalewa: The Enemy God. That film tells the story of the how the Yanomamö discovered the truth about the spirits and the one Great Spirit who brought them peace.

You can find more information about The Enemy God film on DVD, including more documentary segments that tell Joe and Millie’s story on the film’s web site: www.TheEnemyGod.com