Backgroound Image

Progress on two more songs.

These songs are nowhere near final. They’re mainly for aesthetic, tempo, and flow purposes using beats I got from youtube as a guide for Brian Provencher, who’s going to be helping me craft the songs and score. 🙂 I included the making of one of them. Enjoy!

Production Blog Coming

So I decided to do a couple of things…

1. Create a production blog for all of my projects
2. Begin making an animated motion comic TV Show (Hopefully for Loor.TV) for The Idiot’s Guide to Illegal Tech Repair.
3. Begin writing thoughts and struggles down in a place I can go back to in addition to The General’s Report.

So with that, (And not much else) said right away, and the promise of more blogs in the near future, here’s two videos from my ongoing production on The Idiot’s Guide to Illegal Tech Repair as a TV Show.

Animation Test with minimal Audio

Minimal Demo of one of the songs

Anyway, thanks for checking everything out, I’ll be back soon!


Recorded Live, This is Audio Adventures with Joshua David Ling

*Theme song begins*

Mike Kraft is your standard lonely trucker on the open road. But something paranormal keeps following him.

This, is Ghost Trucker

*Theme Song Ends*

These audio adventures are supported by listeners like you. Without your help, these stories can't be produced. If these stories feed your imagination, please consider helping me feed my family by visiting joshuadavidling.com/support, and becoming a monthly contributor.

If you'd like to read along with today's story, or check it out in text after the fact, you can visit https://joshuadavidling.com/gtrep1/ and read my full script.

if you'd like to be a sponsor of this podcast in exchange for an audio advertisement, get in contact with me at joshuadavidling.com Today's episode is sponsored, by the following...

*Play Poets At War Sponsorship 1*

((Christians who are artists, artisans, and creators are a unique unit in The War on Culture. They're often over and under-estimated at the same time. What does it take to be an artist, and what does it take to win the culture war?

Join Joshua David Ling as he rallies the troops to answer these questions and promote the best artists for God's Glory. We're in this war together, join us at the front!))

And now...

Ghost Trucker, Episode 1, Stragglers

1 - Truck STOOOOPPP!!!

“I’ll never forget the songs we sang.
I’ll never forget the games we played.
I’ll never forget the times we had.
And I owe it all to you.”

Mike Kraft scoffed at the lyrics on the radio
Inside that run-down truck stop.
He had a long way to go to Fort Bragg, California
And his mind needed to be tip-top.

An old man sat on a guitar stool,
Behind the counter, chewing gum.
He stared at a tv listlessly,
Seeming to have no fun.

“Y’all ain’t got the jerky I want.
What you reckon is the best?”

The man to no notice of Mike,
So Mike continued to press.

“I said, you ain’t got the jerky I want!”

“I heard ya before!
I don’t know, I don’t eat jerky!”

“Then what good are ya for?”

The man grabbed a shotgun off his counter,
And began to head toward Mike.
Mike put his hands up in a placating gesture.

“Hey, I didn’t want a fi-”


The man hushed him,
And walked past Mike to the door.

“There’s a storm brewing out on route 50.
There’s lots of danger in store.
Many have gone down that road,
And many have been driven mad.
Your truck may survive that white-hot desert.
But will your mind last?”

Mike laughed aloud and sighed aloud.

“That’s a good one there.
I’ve done this run eight times before.
But you sure did give me a scare!
Look, I’ll just take this one here.
Will you ring me up?”

The man put his gun back on the counter,
And sat down with a huff.
He rang up Mike and said no more.
Mike went back out to his truck.

“Stupid crazy small town men.
I wish I had another spot for my truck.”

He climbed inside and dialed the radio.
And soon, he began to drink.
He looked at a few pictures on his wall,
And just sat there, trying to think.

He saw his Mom, his Dad and others,
But he stared at an empty spot.

“Get some good sleep tonight Mike.”
It’s a long road ahead-”


Mike jumped at the sudden scream from his speakers,
The radio crackled and popped.
But a moment later, his signal came back.
And he searched around for his glock.

But nothing else happened that night.
And in fact, he slept well.
It’s a good thing too because he would need it,
To make it through the desert’s spells.

2 - Melanie

As Mike Kraft flew down the highway,
The radio continued it’s static.
The interference was getting to him,
As was the enigmatic-
Moment several hours ago
When the radio screamed at him.
And the weather wasn’t looking good either.
In fact, it looked rather grim.

As the road stretched on and on,
A tiny shape came into view.
It was so dark that he almost missed it,
And his alertness he renewed.
He swerved to avoid the human-ish object,
But felt that something was hit. 
He cursed under his breath,
And pulled over to take a look at it.

He ran back fifty yards or so,
And saw a little girl.
She was shaking in the cold of the desert,
And fright had rocked her world.
She stared down at the remnants
Of a Hard-cover backpack,
The victim of Mike’s eighteen wheels,
And when Mike shouted, She shouted back.

“What the flying squirrel are you doing?!
Do you realize where you are!?”

“I’m walking to California. Is it very far?!”

The girl shook with cold and fear.
Mike couldn’t believe his eyes.
He grabbed his phone from out of his pocket,
And lifted it to the skies.

“No signal, figures.
Dispatch has been pinching pennies,
Downgrading our phone service and plans.
What a bunch of ninnies...
Girl, what is your name?”

She took a moment to respond,
As Mike grew patient with her.

“Melanie is my name.”

“Well, I’m not leaving you here, for sure.
Come with me to the next town,
And the police can help you there.”

They gathered up her undamaged belongings
And got aboard his truck,
And drove on to the next town,
To see what would be their luck.

3 - More Signs

The night air was still upon their route. 
Not even a little breeze. 
Melanie lay cuddled up in the passenger seat, 
As he drove steadily, and with ease.

Now that she had drifted to sleep,
He flipped on his radio.
Hoping to find a good station,
To keep him alert and on the go.
He flipped to the first channel on the dial,

“I’ll never forget the songs we sang.
I’ll never forget the games we played.
I’ll never forget the times we had.
And I owe it all to you.”

Mike changed the station, 
He hated that song. 
But it buzzed and crackled, 
And before too long, 
It repeated those same four lines again, 
And he punched the radio
In frustration then. 

““I’ll never forget the songs we sang.
I’ll never forget the games we played.
I’ll never forget the times we had.
And I owe it all to you.”

Melanie stirred at the sound of the punch,
And the swelling of the tune.
Then Mike tried to turn it off,
But the song fought through the gloom-
Of the night, and the darkness around,
And and began to grow louder
Than every other sound.

“I’ll never forget the songs we sang.
I’ll never forget the games we played.
I’ll never forget the times we had.
And I owe it all to you.”

Melanie stirred as Mike grew cold,
And the noise continued to grow.
But Mike had to hold his wheel tight,
And keep his eyes on the road.
For even though he felt no wind-
Against the sides of his rig,
The overhead roadway signs quavered,
And started to do a jig. 

Melanie screamed as one fell down, 
And Mike had to swerve to pass. 
Others began to melt like butter, 
As they went under an overpass. 

“Just hang on!”

Mike screamed aloud, 
As they rocketed down the road, 
And Melanie closed her eyes shut,
And tried to be brave and bold.

4 - Bacon and Eggs

The next thing Melanie knew
She was waking up in a bed.
She smelled bacon and eggs cooking
Which soothed her aching head.

Mike: “Hey! You wakin' up over there?”

The gruff trucker yelled to her.
She covered her ears with a pillow
And he laughed:

Mike: “Just makin' sure!”

A few moments later, Melanie yawned,
And stretched her tiny arms.
Mike brought a plate over to her,
And she smiled at the breakfast warm.

Mike: “Ya ain't much of a morning person, huh?”

Melanie shook her head.

Mike: “Probably still freaked out about last night.”

Melanie shivered with dread.
Up until then she believed
The previous nightmare
Had been simply that.
But Mike's voice grew grave as he took off
His beige, dusty, trucker cap.

Mike: “You remember it too, huh?
I'm not sure what went down.
I saw things, and then they were gone.
Then we just... Went into town.
You had fallen asleep by then,
So I just carried you.
I'm gonna take you to the Sherriff's office later.
They'll be able to help you.”

Melanie made to protest,
But Mike cut her off.
His phone rang and he answered it,
And began to loudly talk.
His attention toward her shifted,
And he began to pace
All over the hotel room
While she ate the food on her plate.

As she ate, however,
And Mike with someone jawed-
She thought she heard a set of strings
As if from heaven or God.
She listened closely and followed the sound
To their exit door.
And then she peeked to see if Mike
Was still yammering away from her.

Mike's attention was completely fixed
On whatever this phone call was.
So Melanie slipped out of the room
Without so much as a pause.

5 - Moment of Joy

Melanie walked slowly,
As if not to scare away-
The beautiful sonic creatures
That floated her way.
Every shimmering note
Seemed like a song in itself.
They'd spring with life and fire in a moment
Then dance back down with a yelp.
They seemed fraught with sorrow and pain
But hope still lingered within.
Then she saw the man playing
And helplessly grinned.

A man in his late 20's
With brown skin and poorly cut hair
Was sitting on a bench by the hotel
Laying his heart bare.
His eyes were closed as he silently mouthed
Words to go with his song.
A baseball cap laid beside him on the bench
Disgustingly dingy and worn.
It'd once been bright and white.
But the dust and fabric's cuts
Served to make it almost brown
With all the sweat and muck.

Melanie bobbed her head,
And her toes began to tap.
And before she knew it, she was dancing
And putting coins in his cap.
He smiled and kept playing
Quickening his pace.
She giggled and the two shared a joy
Within that tiny space.

But soon he played discordantly
And fumbled to a stop.
Melanie turned and saw Mike
Standing with his arms crossed.

Mike: “What do you think you're doing, boy!?
She's a little girl!
Come on, Melanie. We're going to the Sheriff.”

Mike took her and twirled-
Her around and off they went,
To try to get her back home.
Leaving the guitarist by himself
Confused and alone.

6 - The Sheriff

"If she doesn't want to give me her last name,"
The Sheriff calmly said,
"Then all I can do is post her picture
And simply hope for the best.
My wife said she can stay with us.
And she's coming to pick her up."

Mike: "Sounds good to me, Sheriff,
I just need to get back to my truck."

Sheriff: "Sorry it took me so long.
We got over a dozen calls last night.
Must be a full moon or something.
Everyone's full of fright.
Seeing things like ghosts and junk,
Reasonable people too."

Mike: "Huh." Was all that Mike could say,
But deep inside he knew,
Something was following him down the road,
But he didn't know how.

Mike: "Well thanks for taking the girl, Sheriff.
I'm gonna head out now.


During that conversation between
The Sheriff and Mike Kraft,
Melanie was in the other room
Lying down on her back.
She stared up at the ceiling fan,
And then she heard a sound.
The man's guitar was playing again,
And she sat up and looked around.

She checked to see that Mike and the Sheriff
Were still discussing her fate.
She rolled her eyes at some of their words,
And slipped out the back gate.

Thinking: "They can't tell me what to do.
I've got to get away."

She followed the sound of that guitar
Her siren song did play.

7 - Hitchin' A Ride

Mike Kraft thundered down the road
Finally on track, it seemed.

Mike: "Finally, some peace and quiet."

Mike to himself beamed.
He'd cut a couple of wires last night,
In his FM Radio.
Hopefully there'd be no more freak shows
For his many miles left to go.

Bang and clang! Went several noises
That nearly made him swerve.
Something was back in his trailer!
So he pulled off the road to serve
A bit of Texan justice
To whatever made that noise.
He pulled his hand gun out of the dash,
And walked back to the door, poised.

He inspected the plastic seal,
And saw it had definitely been cut.
He sighed in both relief and worry.

Mike: "This is just my luck."

He lifted the latch and shined his gun-light
Into the trailer, then.
All the cargo was accounted for it seemed.

Mike: "Come out, you cluckin' hens!"

Then sheepishly from behind a pallet,
Came Melanie and the man with the guitar.
Melanie had her arms crossed,
And The man's we're in the air.

Mike: "Why won't you two leave me alone?!"

He said lowering his weapon fast.

The man: "She came in the truck, and I tried to stop her!"

The man said blurted out in a blast.

Melanie: "I saw a ghost get in the truck!"

Mike: "Both of you get out, now!"

They carefully came out of the trailer,
And dropped down to the ground.

8 - Black Ash

Mike: "There ain't no Ghosts, Mel!"

Mike said climbing into the trailer.

He shuffled about the pallets,
with full plastic containers.
Mike knew he was going to lose
Money since the seal was broke.
Especially since he knew that
It was a Government load.

He ripped the lid off of one and peered deep inside.
Melanie winced and held her friend,
All three's nerves were fried.

Mike looked in and saw,
Some sort of black ash.
He knew this was going to a disposal facility,
So he didn't want to ask.
He closed the lid and then hopped down.

Mike: "Now what should I do with y'all?"

His yelled above his roaring truck,
But then it began to stall.
He stood a moment, slightly confused,
Then went to start it again.
But no matter how he turned the key,
No sound came from within.

9 - Peanut Butter and Jelly

Mike: "I took a quick look, but it seems like
It'd be smarter to wait for the mechanic."

Mike told his two guests while they sat
In his truck's apartment, feeling manic.

Mike: "I had to use a satellite phone.
I purchased with my own coin back in town.
Stupid dispatch been pinchin' pennies.
I told them: 'What happens if we break down?!"
We're really out in the sticks.
Gotta conserve energy in case things get dicey.
Either of you want a sandwich?"

They both nodded, and he made PB and J,
And they sat and enjoyed their meal.
Well, enjoy isn't exactly right,
As everyone did feel
The tension within that tiny room,
Mike decided to break the silence.

Mike: "Boy WHY ARE you following this girl around?"
He asked with great defiance.

Man: My name is Ozzie. I'd appreciate
If you'd use my name, kind sir."

Mike: "Well, Ozzie what's your game?
What team are you playing for?"

Melanie: "Stop being mean! He's just trying to help."

Mike: "Well, that's what I'm afraid of, Mel.
Look, why don't you just start from the beginning.
I'm sure you've got a tall tale to tell."

10 - Ozzie

The Music-man with latin skin
Took a deep breath and his story did begin.

"My name is Oswaldo Dominguez.
Most people call me, Ozzie.
I've been hitchhiking from Palestina, Mexico
Like a one-minded kamikaze.
My family sent me to the States
Their situation is dire.
Twice our town has been burned
By deliberately set fires.

I am almost at the end of my funds.
I had almost given up hope.
Then this girl, who reminds me of my daughter
Threw me a saving rope.

She told me you're going to California.
And Along the way we'd go-
Out from you and your truck
And hitchhike to San Francisco.
From there I can find a path to make it big
And play my guitar and be found,
And perhaps that will save me familia
And our little town."

Mike: "You left your family? Don't Palestina have jobs?
I'm sorry, Oz, but your story's a little odd!
How dare you abandon your family like that!"

Ozzie: "I had no choice!"

Then they all noticed something VERY... BAD...

Instead their roadside assistance savior,
They saw a most-threatening sight.
1 dozen black SUVs
Sailed down Route 50 through the night.
Men with suits arrived and stepped out,
Surrounding the whole truck then,
The 3 of our heroes sat silently freaking
In Mike Kraft's truck cabin.

*AA Theme song begins*

*Improvised Outro*

*AA Theme Song fades out*

The Protector And The Conduit

Recorded Live, This is Audio Adventures with Joshua David Ling

*Theme song begins*

An Urban American moves to Ireland and finds himself embroiled in an ancient disaster that nearly split the universe apart. He and his new friends must hold our world and theirs together until the final healing can take place.

This, is Craic In The World

*Theme Song Ends*

These audio adventures are supported by listeners like you. Without your help, these stories can't be produced. If these stories feed your imagination, please consider helping me feed my family by visiting joshuadavidling.com/support, and becoming a monthly contributor.

If you'd like to read along with today's story, or check it out in text after the fact, you can visit https://joshuadavidling.com/ctwep1/ and read my full script.

if you'd like to be a sponsor of this podcast in exchange for an audio advertisement, get in contact with me at joshuadavidling.com Today's episode is sponsored, by the following...

*Play Poets At War Sponsorship 1*

((Christians who are artists, artisans, and creators are a unique unit in The War on Culture. They're often over and under-estimated at the same time. What does it take to be an artist, and what does it take to win the culture war?

Join Joshua David Ling as he rallies the troops to answer these questions and promote the best artists for God's Glory. We're in this war together, join us at the front!))

And now...

Craic In The World, Episode 1, The Protector and The Conduit

1 - American Exile

Jayshawn Grogan was a little boy-
Raised in New Orleans.
His parents had a hard time keeping up with him,
Every night, they'd drink themselves green.
They were never abusive to Jayshawn,
But he had to fight for his life.
At school, at the corner, and in between,
His young days were full of strife.

One day Jayshawn had had enough.
It was time for him to break free.
So at 16 he stowed away on a ship,
And to Ireland he did flee.
His Gram wrote him letters from her home there.
So to Ballyshannon he'd go.
He'd seek a new life on the Emerald Isle,
And his Gram, he'd finally know.

He found his Gram without a problem,
She took care, and pulled some strings.
She got him his Irish citizenship,
Among many other things.
Those 6 years with her, were loving and carefree,
Until one day she died.
Peacefully she drifted off in her sleep.
But before she'd slept, she tried-
To write Jayshawn about something important.
But it looked like gibberish.
Symbols and letters all jumbled up,
Was one of them a fish?

Jayshawn inherited the house,
And put the message away.
He always thought Gram a little crazy.
But he'd find out one day,
Exactly how sane Ol' Gramma was.
The clock of time ticked by.
And this is where our story truly begins,
In the middle of July.

2 - Bumping Into Destiny

The streets of Ballyshannon hummed-
In the middle of afternoon.
Light drizzle served to paint the town
In a thin, but substantial gloom.

Jayshawn walked, hands in pockets,
Feeling alone and lost.
But that was certainly nothing new,
His life had had quite a cost.

But just as Jay began to despair,
Destiny hit him hard.
A petite young woman, running full bore,
Slammed into him, and both were jarred.

Both took a moment to collect themselves,
And Jayshawn saw her face.
The palest countenance he'd ever seen,
She was a creature of grace.
Her platinum blonde hair was almost white,
And the only color to be seen,
Was in her bi-colored, smiling eyes,
One orange, the other green.

Jayshawn: "You alright? Why were you running?"

He was answered before he knew.
A man in a suit stepped around a corner,
Continuing to pursue.
He pulled a gun from his coat,
And pointed at the girl.
Jayshawn took the pale girl's hand,
And into the crowd they whirled.

3 - The Protector

Shots were fired into the air,
Making the crowd scatter quick.
Jayshawn pulled her through an alleyway,
That with people, was less thick.
They rounded a bend and came to his house,
He fumbled around for his keys.
He unlocked the door, and they stepped inside-

Jayshawn: "Would you tell me, please?!
Why is Agent Smith there,
and why is he mad at you?!
What in God's green earth
And sam-hill did you do!?"

Woman: "Why did you bring me here?
Did you pick that lock?"

Jayshawn: "What?" Jayshawn said,
His confidence rocked.
"What are you talking about?
Are you mental or something?
Why in the world-
Was that man coming-
At you like that,
With gun in hand?"

Woman: "... You have her eyes.
Do you know the plan?"

Jayshawn: "Do I sound like I know-
Some secret plan?
And who is she?
Do you mean my Gram?"

Just then, the lock on the door was shot,
And the gun-man kicked right in.
Jayshawn disarmed the man in a second,
Twisting his wrist, breaking the limb.
He slammed him to the ground, and got on top,
With his forearm, he choked the gun-man out.
He rose and took the gun in hand.

Jayshawn: "You better tell me right now.
Who are you, girl, and what is this plan?"

Jayshawn began to tie up,
The gun-man who'd been chasing her.
She looked frightened and worried,
And struck with awe, But definitely sure,
That she could trust Jayshawn with her life.
He'd just saved her right here.
She took a deep breath to calm her nerves,
And silence any lingering fear.

Woman: "Was your grandmother,
Lydia Grogan?
And what are you doing, there?"

Jayshawn had picked up his phone to call,
The police, and get them there.

Jayshawn: "I'll calling the fuzz,
What's it look like?"

Woman: "Oh please! Don't call them now!"

Jayshawn: "Girl, you must be hella-insane!
You think I'm gonna stop now?"

The woman grabbed the phone from his hand,
And slammed it on the receiver,
Then spoke fast and trembling, spilling out words,
Almost like she had a fever.

Woman: "My name is Zoe Wallace.
Around here, anyway.
But my real name is Ziona Aisling.
And you saved me this day.
I knew your grandmother
From years ago.
She was my last Protector.
Now I'm alone. Though-
Are you her blood? Or were you adopted?
I guess it doesn't much matter.
The job of Protector is so simple."

Jayshawn: "Are you done with your chatter?
Zoe, is it? You knew my Gram?"

Zoe: "Yes,
She was wonderful to me.
She knew our fight to keep Otherworld,
And this world strong and free-
From the ripples of the event,
That caused the rift in time."

Jayshawn: "Whoa whoa whoa, Dimensional girl,
I think you've lost your mind.
I'm calling the cops, whether your like it or not.
You can stay, or get out.
But don't think of trying anything funny.
I ain't afraid to choke you out."

Zoe frowned. Her eyes pleaded with him.
But she got up and ran.
She sprinted past the broken door,
Into the streets of Ballyshannon.

4 - Research Time

Cop: "And you're sure he just busted in by himself?
No one else was involved?"

Jayshawn: "I told you seven times officer,
I don't care if it can't be solved.
No one else was here,
When he shot my lock.
I fought him, and I won.
Is that such a big shock?"

The cop frowned and moved along.
Not daring to ask anymore,
Of the grandson of that crazy old woman,
Who lived at address 204.
The cops left, and Jay, was finally alone,
With himself and with his thoughts.
And so he turned to Google,
For the answers he sought.

He found a lot of crazy speculation
On the albino girl-
With two different colored eyes-
That had just rocked his world.
But only one result was local,
And it came from a blog,
From a local bookstore,
That was only a 15 minute jog.

Jayshawn shut his computer down,
And left his home without a lock.
And he set out for Deoch Eolais.
Just around the block.

5 - Patty Hallett

Deoch Eolais was a small storefront,
Jayshawn had passed before.
It was a hole in the wall, just down the street,
And very obviously a bookstore.
But there was an eeriness that seemed to loom,
Just beyond its doors.
The dark green paint hid, something inside.
And Jay's mind played on him, head wars.

But he pressed on and went inside,
And it smelled very musty.
The books on the shelves were mostly very old.
Dingy, faded, and dusty.
The he navigated the labyrinth of bookshelves,
To the "front" counter in the back.
Which sat next to a cage for ancient books,
And other valuables to be kept.

A little woman about 30 years old,
With a brunette braid popped out-
Almost like a meerkat from his den,
And she greeted him with a shout.

Woman: "Welcome to Deoch Eolais!
Can I help you today, kind sir?
Looking for anything in particular?
Or are you not yet sure?"

She pushed her glasses up on her nose,
And smiled at him professionally.

Jayshawn: "Yeah, I want to know what you think,
About our resident Albino chick.
I saw your blog post on your website,
And there, you kind of lay it on thick.
Something about some crazy event,
Thousands of years ago?"

Woman: "Well you're half-right. The Precipitous Event
Took place around 1100 though."

She went about her business,
Putting more books on shelves.
Jayshawn followed as she explained.

Woman: "This world has been through hell,
What with the otherworld connection slowly spiralling,
Completely out of control."

Jayshawn: "See, you lost me again there, sister.
You are on quite a roll."

She sighed but smiled once again,
And held out her hand to him.

Woman: "Pleased to meet you sir, My name is Patty Hallet.
And all I'm telling you isn't a whim."

Jayshawn: "I never said I thought it was.
There's something weird about that girl."

Patty: "So you've met her before? What was she like?
I hear she's pale as a pearl."

Jayshawn: "She's... Interesting, to say the least.
So what was this 'Event'?"

Patty: "Basically a Legend that simply states,
Something cosmic is happening at present,
And has been happening since the 1100's,
Where another dimension and ours collided,
And now the two are unravelling fast,
And you're not listening!" She chided.

Jayshawn: "Mostly cause I'm lookin' at that monster,
Starin' at me from outside."

Patty's eyes widened as her door flung open,
And Jayshawn ran to hide.

A werewolf-like creature, about 7 feet tall,
Barrelled in right at Patty.
Patty stood her ground with surprising confidence,
And said,

Patty: "That's a good boy, laddy.
Come to sister, we'll take care of you."

And when it got there,
She side-stepped it.
It landed inside the ancient books cage,
And she very quickly locked it.

The monster thrashed inside the cage,
Angrilly snarling and trouncing about.
Patty put her hands on her hips,

Patty: "Stupid, man.
Now I'm out."

She turned her attention to Jayshawn,
Who sat staring at the beast.

Patty: "Come on out, I'll buy you a drink.
It's the very least-
That I can do, after a sight like this.
My brother can be quite the pain sometimes,
I need a pint or two to relax me bones,
And you look like you need to unwind.
There's no one coming in this store,
While Ted is in his fog.
C'mon, man, have a drink with me,
Down at the Handsome Hog."

6 - The Tale of Ted Hallett

Darkness was upon Ballyshannon.
It was too hot to work in the day.
And so, at the ruins of Cullahill Castle,
They worked the night away.
The archaeologists were lead,
By native, Theodore Hallett the fifth.
His fathers worked on this same site,
It's secrets they tried to lift.

"Sir!" A grunt called, as he put his shovel down.
"I think I found the entrance to the King's crown!"

That passage by name was legendary.
Very few thought it was real.
Ted hopped down into the pit,
To get a better feel.

Sure as sure, a single file tunnel
Marked with engravings and art,
Had been unearthed by his new grunt member.
The who was named Bart.

Ted: "Get a team together, Johnny!
We are going in."

Bart: "Can't we wait for tomorrow, Teddy?
What if there's beasties within?"

Ted: "We're going down, and that is that.
This is an an amazing find!
They say kings stored their treasure here.
Let's see what kind of kinds."

Into the darkness they crept along,
The cold wind rattled their bones.
Everyone but Ted looked freaked out,
The tunnel seemed to drone.

Ted: "Johnny! Shine your light over here!"

Johnny didn't respond.

Bart: "I think he went out to get some supplies."

Ted: "I hope that you're not wrong..."

They continued further, and heard something sniff.

Ted: "What's wrong, Connor? You smelling something?"

Bart: "No. But something is."

Ted: "Where's Connor? Where'd he go?"

Bart: "Probably to the fridge.
I heard his tum tum rumbling.
A little bit ago."

Bart suddenly cried out in alarm,
And Ted was all that was left to show.

A low and primal growl,
Emanated from the hall.
And forward loped a two legged hound.
Ted pressed against the wall.
It's forelimbs were shaped like a man's.
But clawed like a rabid dog.
He had no doubt. This was a werewolf.
And to his death he had slogged.

There was a shining pendant of stone,
Around the beast's broad neck.
Ted grabbed it and jerked with all his might,
Trying to choke it to death.
But the pendant broke free , and hit the wall.
The stone was shattered there.
The werewolf instantly turned to gold treasures
And Ted just couldn't leave it there.

He grabbed a necklace to confirm all was real,
And he ran out of that tomb.
But as he ran in the moonlight,
He felt a sudden gloom.
He limped right over to their tents,
And saw Bart's mirror there.
He jumped and roared at the image he saw.
A werewolf holding its stare.
He backed away, as did the wolf,
And he suddenly realized,
He was now a werewolf too.
And he howled into the skies.

7 - More Than Can Be Imagined

Patty Hallet sat with Jayshawn,
His jaw dropped open in shock.
Patty Hallet chugged down her beer.
And then wiped some foam from her smock.

Patty: "My brother changes back and forth,
Not knowing when it will happen.
But sure enough, he is the Werewolf,
Of this town, Ballyshannon."

Jayshawn: "That's insane. I'm not sure I believe it.
Even though I saw it myself."

Patty leaned into the table's low light.

Patty: "Cumina there's an elf."

She pointed to a short bartender,
Jayshawn looked puzzled-the-more.

Jayshawn: "What the heck are you saying, now?"

Patty: "To wake up and see what's sure!
There are more creatures hereabouts,
In this world than anyone knows.
These secrets aren't very well kept.
You just have to look past your nose!

There are giants, and fairies, and spirits and more.
But no one will just look out their front door.
People love to be ignorant of the wonder of this world.
They say Fairytales are hogwash, meant for boys and girls.
But I know the truth, and the truth is this.
The World is more wondrous than you thought could exist."

Cumina the alleged elf,
Came over and refilled,
Patty's mug of beer,
With a brew both frothy and chilled.
Cumina looked like a tiny woman,
Around the age of 22.
She wore a baggy knitted hat,
In patterns of red and blue.
Her hair and hat would have covered her ears,
If pointed they really were.
And Cumina didn't look very pleased,
With the things Patty had conferred.

Cumina: "Couldn't help but overhearing,
You're telling this one my secret.
Tell me why I shouldn't slit your throat,
Miss Pretty Patty Hallet?"

Jayshawn grabbed a steak knife and slide it into his sleeve.
Cumina put a hand on his wrist. And said to him-

Cumina: "Honey? Please.
If I wanted to kill either of you, I'd have done it by now."

Patty: "Cumina comes from a warrior tribe."

Cumina: "This conversation I'll allow.
As long as you let me tell my own tale.
Patty has a way of lying.
Over-dramatizing the facts to fantasy,
For anyone who is inquiring."

Patty went to protest, but Jayshawn gave her a look,
And Cumina sat down. Her time she took.

Cumina: "... I was part of the protector clan,
Out in Otherworld.
I protected the conduits who kept the link connected,
Between there and our little world.
I had it all, fortune and fame,
And a fiance that was mine.
'Til one day I was framed for his murder.
I was stuck with the crime.

Unlike your world here, where things are black and white,
I was sentenced on a middle ground,
Where they said there was not enough light.
To see what could've been found.
So neither guilty nor innocent,
I was banished to Earth instead.
To live out the rest of my immortal days,
In nothing but sadness and dread."

Patty put a hand on her shoulder,
And Jayshawn felt pangs too.
The story Cumina told brought Empathy,
For the little elf who was so blue.
She pulled the corner of her hat up,
To show Jayshawn it was true.
Her ear was long and pointed underneath.
This changed all that he knew.

Jayshawn: "So you were a protector too?"

Cumina: "Too he says, Patty, Dear?
I haven't heard of a protector in these parts,
For over a hundred years!"

Patty: "He is one. He has the mark."

Jayshawn looked confused.

Patty: "And I believe The Last Conduit is in Ballyshannon.
But he is less than enthused."

Cumina: "Well we've got to show him his path then, don't we!?"

Jayshawn: "You two are crazy! For reals!"

Jayshawn got up to leave the table.
Without even paying for his short meal.

8 - Werewolf on the loose

But when Jayshawn got to the front door,
He looked out and saw a sight.
A snarling, hairy, wolf-man-beast,
Making everyone run in fright.

Patty came running,

Patty: "Ted Got out!
We have to capture him now!
Before he hurts anyone else!"

Cumina: "Or hurts himself somehow."

Patty looked pleadingly at Cumina,
Who now looked very annoyed.

Cumina: "More help cleaning up your mess?
I am overjoyed."

The elf took off her apron,

Cumina: "To me, a debt you owe!
Just give me a second to get my armor,
My quiver, and my bow."

Cumina scampered off,
And Patty looked out concerned.
She looked up to Jayshawn who looked petrified.

Patty: "If there's one thing you must have learned,
From your grandma, it's to step up and assist.
I need your help now, Protector Jayshawn.
Things might be at their bleakest."

Patty pointed and Jayshawn looked,
And he saw Zoe Wallace being attacked.
She had climbed up to an awning above a shop,
But the werewolf would not move back.

Patty: "If she is killed, this world will collapse,
And beauty will be forever gone.
Please help us Protector Grogan, sir.
Please help us, brave Jayshawn!"

Jayshawn: "Look, just stop it. You're so dramatic,
I'll help save whoever I can.
But we're waiting for Cumina to get back.
She's the one with the plan.
She's also got some arrows too,
If she wasn't talking in metaphor.
Just chill with me, he hasn't seen us.
Just chill for a few minutes more."

9 - To Catch A Werewolf

Patty grabbed a cricket bat,
From off the wall at the pub.
Jayshawn grabbed himself one too,
To use as a sort of club.

The werewolf man was almost upon her,
Zoe trembled and backed away.
Now there was no time to wait for Cumina.
They had to fight this day.

Jayshawn said a little prayer,
Then they dashed out at the beast.
Patty swung at the beast's knees,
And took him off his feet.

Zoe screamed and turned and ran.
The beast caught Jayshawn's bat.
He splintered it within his grip,
And roared on top of that.

Jayshawn and Patty took a step or two back,
But Patty barked in his face.

Patty: "Back down, Ted! I know you're in there!
Get back to the safe place!"

Ted's roar turned to a guttural growl,
And Patty pushed forward toward him.

Patty: "Ted, I am NOT letting you do this.
Do you hear me?! Are you within?!"

Ted backed up into a corner,
His werewolf form unsure.
Patty reached out to touch him,
But he swatted at her more.
Then from atop a nearby wall,
In the alley they had led him to,
They heard a song in Gaelic sung
By a voice that was solemn and blue.

Jayshawn looked up and saw Zoe,
Or Ziona as she said her name was.
She was singing to the beast below.
And he whined and raked his claws,
Against the brick of the wall that separated
Him from his pale white prey,
But Ted Hallet in werewolf form,
Would not get her this day.

An arrow from Cumina's bow,
Flew down the alley and hit,
Ted's backside, and penetrated deep,
And the beast began to quit.

Ted turned back into a man,
Naked in that alleyway.
Patty pulled the arrow right out.

Jayshawn: "Are you sure that that's the way-"

Patty: "He still has healing powers going,
Up to an hour after he's changed.
If I left that arrow in his rear,
His seat he'd need to rearrange."

Jayshawn: "That still doesn't really explain,
How he fell asleep like that."

Cumina came down the alleyway,
Swaggering like a cat.

Patty: "You sure waited long enough."

Cumina: "I had to find my bow!
It's very seldom I get to use it now,
Come on, pick him up and let's go!"

Jayshawn: "I don't like this guys,
What if his sleepyness is a trick?"

Cumina: "It isn't, numbskull, I did it.
The secret's in my spit."

Jayshawn: "Say what!?" Jayshawn exclaimed in shock,
“Are you telling me you've got venom!?"

Cumina: "It won't kill you, but it'll make you sleep,”

Patty: "We need to get him some denim."

Jayshawn turned and looked up the wall,
Zoe was still standing there.
She smiled and quietly stared at them all,
Her gratitude expressed with a glare.

Jayshawn: "Why don't you come and join us, Zo?
Maybe it's time you had some fun."

Patty: "Aye, I'll treat you all to a pint."

Zoe: "A pint? Let me show you how it's done."

They all laughed and Zoe climbed down the wall,
And they all went to get Ted's clothes,
And soon enough, they ended up at The Handsome Hog,
To celebrate and drown their woes.

10 - The Protectors Reform

When all was said, and all was done,
They sat together. Their battle was won.
Patty filled Ted in as much as she could.
Then Zoe told stories of evil and good.

She told them of the event that was set off in time,
And how Earth and Otherworld continue to unwind.
She told them of the conduits, who them bound together,
And the ancient plan for how. Jayshawn thought she was clever.
Then she told them all about, her woes and of her mirth,
To be the last living conduit, on the planet earth...

At this revelation, the table went silent with dread.

Jayshawn: "Are you saying without you, we would all be dead?"

Zoe: "Not quite dead, but you'd be lifeless.
This world continues to slow-
All wondrous and fantastic activity-
That allows this world to grow.
If it's bond with Otherworld
Is severed for a moment,
All beauty and joy would cease to exist,
And a similar fate would be reckoned-
To the people of Otherworld.
They'd be more like abstract thoughts.
Floating around with no concrete form,
I guess you can connect the dots."

Patty: "You need help right away!
And we'll be there for you!
I say we make Jayshawn the leader!
All who think it's cool?"

Jayshawn: "What??"

Everyone raised their hand in a moment.
Jayshawn looked around and sighed.

Jayshawn: "This isn't something I should be scared of.
In fact, I take some pride.
We're the last protectors on Earth?
We'll protect Zoe to the death.
I've accepted that this is the reason-
Why God gave me breath."

And so The Conduit had her Protectors.
But safe would she always be?
There's many-a-thing in Ballyshannon,
I suppose we'll read on and see!

*AA Theme song begins*

*Improvised Outro*

*AA Theme Song fades out*

PAW12 – Benjamin Curlee

Joshua Ling 0:00
Today’s episode of poets at war is sponsored by the following. Imagine countless worlds before you fantasy and science fiction tales, heroes charging gallantly into battle heedless of win or fail upon the ancient steps of glory. A battle for time must be one. Join the characters from every realm as they seek the words. Well done. Audio adventures podcast by Joshua David Ling, full of epic poetry, sure to make your heart sing. If you like listening to rob Inglis, read the Lord of the Rings or Andrew Peterson read his wingfeather saga. You’ll love audio adventures by Joshua David link. Visit Joshua David link comm slash audio adventures to listen

Joshua Ling 0:57
today on poets we speak with Benjamin Curlee about the home work life balance of Atlanta and now Hollywood is moving there. And an artisans craftsmen ship mindset in the arts. You run our entering the walls Oh, this is Paul What’s up

Benjamin Curlee 1:29
Yeah, So how you been?

Joshua Ling 1:32
A bad not bad. Braves won the World Series. That was really great.

Benjamin Curlee 1:37
Yes, I have not gone back to watch that yet.

Joshua Ling 1:42
Not not even didn’t get to watch any of it.

Benjamin Curlee 1:44
I watched the the one that they played here. That truest? And just before. Okay, and then. That was a disappointment. You know, I was actually camping when they played the last game.

Joshua Ling 2:00
Ah, okay, gotcha. You’re out in the middle of nowhere, correct? Yeah, gotcha. Gotcha. Yeah, a lot of my narrative friends get sick of me talking about the Braves. But there’s just so much story that went into this year. With that. It’s just like, it’s all narrative, like baseball is so incredibly narrative. It’s ridiculous. Mm hmm. But, yeah, so I know who you are. And we could just talk for hours because we do on phone calls every now and then. We do. Yes. But and and I can give a little bit of background before we talk about you in depth. But Benjamin and I have known each other for a really long time we met because a friend of ours, a mutual friend who will also be on the podcast. Hopefully, I think I’m recording with him next week. We started the three of us sort of story to screen movie review podcast. That was really fun. We did that for a while. And Benjamin and I grew closer and closer and we became co workers for a while we’re still kind of co workers. I do freelance for the company he’s employed by and so yeah, I mean, there’s just all kinds of connections we’ve had over the years. I guess that’s a good introduction. You want to tell people what you do what? You know, I’m a bard. What are you?

Benjamin Curlee 3:26
Yeah, yeah. So Ah, man, you know, that’s one of those things. It’s like, I remember at 18 having like this major crisis about what you know, what am i What’s more my passions? What am I supposed to do when I become adult? And it’s like, okay, you know, want to go back and slap myself it wasn’t that big a deal. Okay. The world isn’t going to change just because you turn 18 But it’s your fault like it I’m so very similar to you. I am a multimedia multi hat wearing individual specialties being video and design. So yeah, but my hand is in just a little bit of everything because that’s that’s freelance world.

Joshua Ling 4:16
My do a cut here at it. I’m just going to move this guy over here. And yes, it’ll be a different angle. I don’t care. I’m no. Or at least as close to you as I can. Well, how’s how’s this eye angle? Tip? Not terrible.

Benjamin Curlee 4:35
No, it looks good. It’s better.

Joshua Ling 4:36
Okay. Yeah.

Benjamin Curlee 4:37
How’s how’s my audio coming through by the way? I picked up this mic because Okay, so my XLR mic died on me. Last week.

Joshua Ling 4:47
This is the geek talk everybody. Yes,

Benjamin Curlee 4:50
I well. I spilled my drink on it. So it’s kind of my fault. Okay, the XLR mic is fine. It’s the it’s the US USB audio interface that’s broken. So I had to run out to Best Buy and go pick up a mic today. So I haven’t had chance to really play with it yet. So I hope it’s sounding good.

Joshua Ling 5:12
So back to what you were saying about your big, you know, yeah, rice this and everything. Yeah, considering like, it’s very obvious you’re much more into like, the details of the than the big picture like, see, I’ll be a little scary.

Benjamin Curlee 5:31
Well, that see, okay, so I am a details person. And actually, yeah, actually, just earlier today, we were building out a quote. And for for a potential client, we were building out the gear list for a studio, and I was just, you know, geeking out browsing b&h. It’s like, okay, this camera with this lens without give us that look. And so that is my specialty. I love that. I thrive on that. Yeah, my background I started out is a HVAC technician. With the the control side of it, not the not the mechanical side working for my dad. And I did that for just, I think just shy of a decade. The last four years of that time, at least four years, I was doing a lot of my own video stuff, basically just making those short films, satire pieces. Occasionally, a paid commercial, but not very much. But basically, I was I was trying to learn my craft as best I could. Meanwhile, I was harassing a local production company, local Christian production company

Joshua Ling 6:48
to hire me named drop them.

Benjamin Curlee 6:50
Oh, why not? Yeah. So if for anyone who’s familiar with wretched TV with Todd Friel. They, they were just up the road for me about about 30 minutes away, and I, I harassed them for years until they finally had an opening. And yeah, that was that was the big, giant foot in the door to completely change my industry, and change the whole trajectory of what I do. So it was really a prayer come true.

Joshua Ling 7:21
Yeah. And since then, you’ve worked on just about every kind of multimedia job you possibly can. Yeah, you are the fixer, the detailed guy, you’re, you know, in the weeds, taking care of things. And lately, you’ve been doing some conferences and things of that nature, making sure they’re live streaming. You work with Adrian renqiu. I’m hopefully going to have at some point I haven’t asked him yet, but hopefully gonna have some point on this. This podcast also worked at wretched. And, you know, so many guys have come out of Richard and moved on to some amazing things. There’s some amazing guys working there now. It’s just seems to have been a very fertile ground for creators. Wretched.

Benjamin Curlee 8:06
Yeah, wretched is a Richard is a forge. And you either come back come out of it on the other side, stronger and more refined. Or you get tossed to the side. That’s that’s the culture that is wretched. Yep. For good or bad. That’s what it

Joshua Ling 8:25
is. Yep. So there’s a couple other guys that used to be on white with wretched that I’d love to get on the show to chocolate Knox and Marcus Pittman. You guys probably some of you guys who listen know about them. I’m hoping to get them on at some point I haven’t asked yet. But you know, I usually ask and people say yes, and then I schedule it and then go from there. It’s yeah, I don’t really work very far out. It’s just kind of like, let’s go. Um, but yeah, so anyway. So you’ve been in this for a while now what? We’re almost we got to be 15 plus now right for you.

Benjamin Curlee 9:04
Okay, so if we count if we count the years that I was basically just doing it in my free time. Mm hmm.

Joshua Ling 9:13
Which I do.

Benjamin Curlee 9:14
Yeah, then we are probably no we’re not we’re not that many. I would say we’re approaching nine maybe 10 years

Joshua Ling 9:21
really only that long? Yes. I always forget you’re so much younger than me.

Benjamin Curlee 9:25
I know I know cuz I was at wretched for three and a half years and then I’ve been working freelance now for three approaching three approaching three. Yes. I got it on top of the on top of the four years so yeah,

Joshua Ling 9:41
you’ve learned so much more than me in such a shorter I’m like jealous because I’m still figuring stuff out that you’re like way ahead of me on

Benjamin Curlee 9:51
hey, I love problem solving. And actually that’s, that’s yeah, I love problem solving. He’s a puzzle or the details. Yeah. Listen, listen, that paired with my laziness, I will spend a day finding an easier way to do something rather than just sitting down and doing it for 20. That’s me,

Joshua Ling 10:14
well, there you go, especially when we don’t have the money to do it right, exactly. The easy way. Find the workaround crazy way. So, so your MacGyver, your and your wizard, making the signal go from one end to the other. I liken it to plumbing and a lot of people think I’m crazy. Like it’s No, honestly plumbing is more complicated to me thinking about it, like I’m sure I could figure it out. But the idea of getting a signal from one end to the other has always been whoops, dropping stuff. Uh, always been really important to me. Just because you know, the getting the gospel out getting not just the gospel, but good stories and edifying people. It’s it’s such a powerful thing to be able to communicate. And, you know, being a veteran in this war, I actually wanted to start this podcast with you poets at war. Right? As a as a co anchor, but you’ve been too busy. That’s always open.

Benjamin Curlee 11:19
laughs I am glad that is living beyond me, though. Because if it was on me, then yeah.

Joshua Ling 11:25
But being a veteran in the war, what has been like, the most important parts to the actual culture? Were fair, within all those details, what have been the things that have allowed you, you know, the principles and and even the details and moments that have allowed you to really work at a higher level? And, and actually, you know, gain ground in the war, so to speak?

Benjamin Curlee 11:54
Yeah, yeah. Um, when you work in the arts, you like to philosophise, and make a lot of things theoretical that you honestly shouldn’t. So going back to your plumbing,

Benjamin Curlee 12:18

Benjamin Curlee 12:21
people hire a plumber, or you would hire a plumber, because he’s a good plumber, you wouldn’t hire a plumber, because he’s a Christian plumber, and a Christian plumber is not going to do necessarily different work than a secular plumber, right, he’s gonna do a good job is gonna, his his ethics will be different. But as far as his technique and the clients he takes on, really no difference. And so applying that here, because when it comes to Christians in media, we like to glorify the art, so to speak, rather than treating the art like a craft. And it’s like, okay, yeah, I’m bringing skills to the table here, much like any other craft, and it is a it’s a skill that, in many ways, is intangible, at least as far as what I produce, but it still has real world value to people. And I have to approach it from that perspective as more of a as a craftsman rather than an artist, so to speak, and wrapping my head around that I think has really helped clarify the type of work that I do and how I approach it. And honestly, I don’t know I want I want to I used to walk around in some of the the Christian film circuits and I would love to go back and just give a lecture on why they need to stop hyper focusing on the details of well okay you know, you can you can allow your actress to kiss but only in these circumstances and they shouldn’t say these words like it’s it’s not it’s not that cut and dry and it’s not that philosophical.

Joshua Ling 14:23
Yeah, yeah, the I think that’s one way we have you know, diverged and come back on each other over the years there is a side of you that is an artist as well hence why being on boats at war, but there’s the artist in mentality which is kind of in between to you know, in between a someone who does a craft and someone who’s an artist, I tend to be more on the artist side I think, even though I’m technically sound I can do technically great stuff. My heart is in creating something out of my heart out of myself. And I think that actually comes from Surprisingly, even though like I have big emotions and feelings that really actually I think more than anything comes out of, well. It’s more of like, thinking in terms of resources, my mind, so long as I don’t, you know, go crazy, is unlimited as far as imagination can go, I can think of stories and make stuff up, you know, as long as I can, you know, and that is something that is a well, that does not run dry unless I run dry, which then I’ll have bigger issues. Yeah. point being that, you know, I’m thinking, you know, long term for my kids and all that kind of stuff, I want them to have something, you know, and the best thing that I think I can give them on both a moral level, you know, we’re talking in our industry, moral kind of level. And then also in a eventual monetary level, as I’ve had faith, that this will come about giving them intellectual property, because it is actual property that they will be taking on, regardless of whether it’s, you know, big in my time, or they can make it big in theirs, you know. So it’s kind of like crypto that way, you never know where the value is gonna go. But you got to kind of stake your claim and go from there, you know, it’s not just crypto, that’s any kind of investment of time, talent, etc. So, what do you think was the draw for you into, you know, the the technical aspect playing with, you know, your cameras and toys and things like that, like, what, what really brought you into that world and made you want to pursue a career out of filmmaking and all the other crazy things that surround it these days?

Benjamin Curlee 16:53
Yeah, I think one of the things that solidified the value of good storytelling, or just storytelling in my mind was the time that I put together I can’t even remember the name of the programme. Now, it was similar to iMovie. But it was for Windows, and it wasn’t Windows Movie Maker, but it was, it was along those lines, really basic level. I was basically putting together slideshows with music, but I had text on top of it. And I decided to basically go through the story of the Bible, from Genesis to Revelation, pulling out key things and then tying together and I had a really fun time making it and I pulled a piece of music from Lord of the Rings, I forget the name of the track now. But put that all together. And one Thanksgiving, I think my relatives were over and I had my granddad watch it. And he’s watching it. And he’s there’s no narration or anything. He’s just he’s reading texts as the music plays and gets to the end, he’s got tears in his eyes. And I just watching him move by that watching him move by the narrative of the Bible, just thrown into a three minute piece. Combined with the music, it’s like, it’s, it’s storytelling allows us to engage our emotions in a different way. And so that’s why I would say that’s probably a defining moment in when when I realised that there is actual value here in pursuing this as a craft. Not it’s not just something fun that I do and, you know, show to friends. Right?

Joshua Ling 18:44
Right. Yeah. The any chance you still have that video lying around somewhere?

Benjamin Curlee 18:50
Ah, there, huh? There is a chance there’s a chance I’ve got some I’ve got some hard drives sitting on the shelf. It might be there somewhere.

Joshua Ling 18:58
Well, if you find it, I will link it in the show notes eventually. Okay.

Benjamin Curlee 19:03
I mean, it’s it’s got copyrighted music

Joshua Ling 19:08
we’ll put it on Dropbox somewhere and people can there we go. Anyway. Um, well figure it out. So yeah, sure. Details, good old copyrights anyway, or we could re edit it with you know, some royalty free Well, no,

Benjamin Curlee 19:25
that’s yeah, that’s what it’s, that’s that honestly, that video is one that one day I want to come back to and remake again with the skills that I have now. That’d be um, so I don’t know. I just don’t have time to pursue that project at present, but one day,

Joshua Ling 19:41
yeah. When I first started making videos, it was because of I don’t know if I’ve ever told you this. I may have but considering how much we’ve talked over the years, but I was I am and still was more so than I am now but still huge pro wrestling. band you know, and sting who’s a Christian really great guy. He’s still in the wrestling business. He was my favourite growing up. And I just wanted to make some music video tribute type thing for him and my first one was to the song bring it on by Steven Curtis Chapman. A little known be sidetrack. You’re nodding like you really do know that song.

Benjamin Curlee 20:29
I forget exactly which one but Stephen Chris Chapman. He’s He’s, he’s a classic. Oh, yeah. So I think I’ve heard most of his Yeah,

Joshua Ling 20:38
that one’s on the declaration album. But anyway, he, I, I had no clue. So this, this is this gives you a little bit of an idea here. I had to have been 2006 2007, something like that. I had windows moviemaker on XP, Windows XP. And I was just learning how to use it. And I could not for the life of me figure out how to mute video clips. So what I did instead, in the sales to your thing about like being lazy or finding a way around things or whatever else. I found two programmes one, and this is sorry, for the technical side, folks, just I think you’ll I think you’ll laugh anyway, I think you’ll kind of get where I’m going. Basically, I used one programme, which is a video game tool, rad video tools to break it out into into break these clips on out into individual frames. And then recompile them with another piece of software, which I cannot remember the name of into animated GIFs which I then pulled back into Windows. They were in slow motion, but it workers the frame rate was off. And yeah, because the frame rate was off. Yes, yes. So Well, I found a way to mute those videos. Because animated GIFs don’t have sound god darn it.

Benjamin Curlee 22:18
But it’s Jeff. But anyway, no.

Joshua Ling 22:22
Anyway, but it’s Smuckers now. So yeah, but I know we had talked a little bit. You’ve listened to one or two episodes of the show now.

Benjamin Curlee 22:39
Yes. Yeah.

Joshua Ling 22:41
I gotta ask you. What are your overall thoughts? What can I improve on because you’re Mr. details here? I’m Mr. Big picture. I got a great concept. I got a great theme song. But come on, man. Help me out. What do I need? Oh,

Benjamin Curlee 22:54
no. All right. So so be brutal. I haven’t listened to enough to be able to do that. Well.

Joshua Ling 23:00

Benjamin Curlee 23:02
I really, okay. So when we were first talking about creating this podcast, you were going off on how on the introduction, basically that old news cat or was word as a thing, right? Yes, yes. That right there. Yes. And I wasn’t fully convinced. Like I was like, Okay, sounds cool. And now that I’ve heard it, it’s like, Oh, I love it. I love it. It’s a key characteristic to the show.

Joshua Ling 23:30
Yeah, yeah. Yeah, the drums really nail it and everything else. Yeah. But go ahead. And

Benjamin Curlee 23:37
honestly, I don’t have much I really don’t have any criticisms. Um, and I, I think I think that’s something I’ve had to train myself in, in being less harsh about things. Because I’ve had to let go of a lot of projects that were nowhere near as polished as I wanted them to be. But I’m, I’m learning to cope with that. So. Yep, there is always Yeah, no, we’re always we are always improving. Yes, yes. And the only the only time I think I need to speak up to a problem is when we repeat the same problem twice. It’s like okay, we’re missing something. Otherwise, I’ll assume everyone else sees it and is improving.

Joshua Ling 24:27
So what is the hardest thing that you do

Benjamin Curlee 24:34
balancing being a dad

Benjamin Curlee 24:39
while working

Joshua Ling 24:41
well besides that, yeah, I actually in your job, but it was yeah, no in my job Maggie that if you want yeah, I want to I want to hear what’s the hardest actual task that you perform in your job? Yes.

Benjamin Curlee 24:55
Mmm hmm. Managing managing people. Hmm. So I am, I can’t seem to wrap my head around. And this is something that I’m, I’m becoming more and more aware of and I need as, as the company tries to grow and bring on more people, like,

Joshua Ling 25:18
younger child media, give them business so I can come back on full time. Yes.

Benjamin Curlee 25:23
Yeah, no. So so as as the the need comes about, I anticipate that I’m going to need to move into a more managerial role. Because the more experience but with the company along, you know, just that’s just the natural way life, but learning how to balance managing people and giving them feedback, especially remotely is really hard. Yeah, really hard talking people through. Yeah, so I’m sure a lot of people are already aware of that having been through a pandemic, where so many people work from home. But yeah, giving you that back and forth. It theoretically, it shouldn’t be that hard. Because it’s like, alright, just share your screen and Okay, click that and do this. But it’s, it’s not that simple. Because there’s this craft is both an art and a science. I can tell people Oh, okay, cut, you know, cut that exactly two frames prior. Um, or your your audio is clipping, look at those metres there and a little things like that I can, I can tell them, I can give them those rules. That’s the science part. It’s that it’s that art side that it’s really hard to convey, especially when you’re doing dealing with latency and whatnot on the internet. I can’t, it’s hard to teach them what it feels like. As far as like the beats go the edit the cuts and how it paces with the music. And so it’s like, it’s something that you FEEL, and that’s how you start crafting your own style, honestly. Right. That’s how you you know, you can recognise an editor based on his work because of just how it feels.

Joshua Ling 27:10
I gotcha. Yeah. Yeah. No, I totally, I totally understand that. Getting back to the the family work life balance. This is something you and I have had a lot of conversation about. One of the things that we’ve done in here, and I’m not going to do tour right now, I’ll do one off air for you. But I have my own office for the first time. How’s that? Oh, fully, actually, this room is only my office for the door. Yeah, well, for a little while, it was also where Peter and Mama slept. And everything until like, couple days ago. And so they now actually have it full time, I can come in here in the middle of the night, if I want to do something, you know, that kind of a thing. I’m not gonna I’m not gonna bother people that way. And so that that’s been a huge change, but worked out really well for her too, because now she’s got a full nursery room with both kids and she loves that. That’s her office. Yeah. But ours are, you know, it’s, it’s been really good since you asked, like, I haven’t nearly put up everything that I want gotten everything together the way I want. But I’m working on it. And I’m working toward trying to my overall goal. And this is this is my sort of, not exactly therapy session, but just getting something off my chest. I already told Casey this but telling someone else is important. Tell him even the listeners is important. And you especially but my big thing at the moment is trying to create systems for my art and essentially creating a workflow that is not going to burn me out. Yes, but But is also going to be as balls to the wall as I can stand it. Yeah. And also, um, allow me to repurpose the initial recording process with as little editing as possible. Being able to repurpose for vertical videos like Tic Toc and landscape and you know for Odyssey and YouTube and the rest I’m considering going back to YouTube for a little while but it relationship so we’ll see we’ll see. But yeah, so basically right now that’s, that’s my biggest thing is just creating my systems but being at home, having a diversified income since y’all took me from full time to part time freelance has been a blessing in and of itself. I’ve had to trust God more. I’ve had to relax more. And I honestly feel better than I ever have with my work life, family balance everything else even though I’m having to really hustle at certain points he always work is actually the hardest for me at this point. Oh, really? Yeah. Even though it’s not like super hard. Behind the Scenes baseball stuff, I don’t think I’m credited in any way whatsoever whatsoever. But you know, I work on founder stuff with you. Yeah, I don’t I don’t mind saying that. You guys. Work on it subcontracted under Chuck Knox, I believe Yes. Correct. Yeah. Okay. So y’all are subcontracted to them subcontracted under that. So you know, this is the way this works. But honestly, the biggest, most annoying thing and this is actually the hardest part of my job. Going into that is I’m doing what doing the B roll isn’t hard. I’m actually picking out the B roll and giving you a one cut so you can then edit it for final. My issue is my my machines and my internet not keeping up with my crease. And that is the worst of the situations. Unfortunately. Augusta is horrible for internet. I have two hot spots that I run off of. And I don’t have the money to tie them together right now with Speedify. Um, so I’m just you know, Lincoln. It’s working very well tonight. But um, yeah, anyway, getting back to your thing I want to know about your work life balance, you know that I said my part I want? Yeah, no,

Benjamin Curlee 31:46
I it goes back and forth. This summer was really hard on the family. Before the summer started. We had we had a nice routine, nice schedule. We knew when I would get off and when I could help the family. And then the summer came around. And I did so much travelling and our schedules just went all over the place. So we’re trying to resettle that. And it’s difficult. But I would say the the hardest part is it’s it’s it’s twofold. I need to focus. Because my ability to focus directly results directly impacts my ability to work and provide for my family. So it is incredibly important that I’m able to focus. At the same time, I have to pull back and remember, nope, my family needs me to I need to be there for them. So I’ve got to find that balance between when do I need to tell them? Okay, guys, y’all are disrupting me, or stepping out and saying, Hey, guys, what’s going on? Let me help. And finding that balance. And I usually tend to err on the side of as men our work is, you know, our identity is wrapped up in our work. And so I tend to err on the side of you guys are disrupting me stop, I need to provide for you. So shut up. And that’s, you know, that’s wrong. That’s a wrong attitude. That’s wrong way to approach it. I mean, there’s, there are times that yes, they are disrupting me and they need to, they need to be more mindful. But I also need to model the gospel to them in that in my providing for them. And that’s difficult. That’s that’s where that’s where theology comes to the day to day and yeah,

Benjamin Curlee 33:42
you know what?

Joshua Ling 33:45
Every time I hear you talk about that, it brings me back to a story not a personal story or anything it says a very well known well pull up story, I’m sure you’re extremely familiar with it. It’s called Monsters Inc. It is the absolute best movie about the homework life balance. It is the absolute best allegory to having what what what it is like having a child disrupt your workplace. And, you know, that just goes back to you know, you’ve got that detail, you’ve got what you do, but I know you well enough to know like a you know how to put the artist aside and knuckle down and get to business. But you’ve got an artist and cool stuff too. Yeah. And and that’s, that’s one of those things where I see you know, I think that and this is just me spitballing but I have found when I I find that it’s actually a three fold balance. In my life more so. And that helps me from going to one side or the other too much. And no, the third isn’t God in some kind of cheesy goofy way, it’s actually it’s actually the like the family, the artist and the workmen. Hmm. And if I’m not doing something that excites me, you know, in a, in a storytelling kind of way, I have to pause, step back before I start going crazy, and just start putting something down, whatever it is. And

Benjamin Curlee 35:39
well, I mean, yeah, not not to be not to be humanistic, and how we think about things, but you can’t pour out of an empty bucket. Right? You’ve got to be. And this, this applies to both your creative and your spiritual well being, you’ve got to be feeding yourself and your physical, you’ve got to be feeding yourself and taking care of yourself so that you can pour into other people. And then other things.

Joshua Ling 36:06
Yeah, and there are times when you need to take a break. But I’m not even advocating for taking a break, what I’m actually advocating for is turning to the thing your heart wants, and actually pursuing it. And I’m talking specifically about something you do, I’m not even talking about, like, you know, like you were telling me earlier, like sitting down and video gaming, and that kind of thing. Like that can be part of it, depending on how you want to do it. But think of something productive, that is the greatest thing that you want, you know, something you really want to accomplish. That’s actually like inside your heart and inside your soul. It could be, you know, go in and build in the shed. You know what I’m saying? It can be any of those things. And if you’re doing one of those kinds of projects, especially as a man and and you’re making sure it gets done as to the best of your ability. I find the other work gets so much easier.

Benjamin Curlee 37:07
Yeah, yes. Because Because you’re fulfilled, right? Because you’re being creatively fulfilled.

Joshua Ling 37:13
That part of the curse, I’m completely convinced is the fact that it’s twofold one that we cannot appreciate all of the work that we do, because we’re messed up. And then also because the work itself has been messed up because there’s so much maintenance, to just keeping things alive in a in a vain way. Because we know it’s all gonna die eventually. Anyway.

Benjamin Curlee 37:38
Sure. Well, and and well, yeah. And yeah, don’t get me started. Because that was that was probably the most heartbreaking thing about my work as a service technician was fixing something and knowing that three months down the road, I will be fixing that exact same thing again, like soul crushing. Yeah.

Joshua Ling 37:56
Well, I mean, you want to talk about that kind of soul crushing talk about working out? You know, as much as I love to play Publix. You know, I worked at Publix for five years as a as a front service clerk, but I did a million other things too. And it’s just one of those things where to pass the time I was I was you know, we get a total between 1776 minutes a day and I tried to name the president and and just say it out loud. And people go What, no, just do little goofy things like that in order to like, break their rhythm, break them out of their rhythm to have an actual conversation that might have some significance in the future. That’s how desperate Oh, wait,

Benjamin Curlee 38:35
yeah, when you when you are the small cog in a giant machine, you don’t get to see that full pipeline. Like you don’t get to step back and say, okay, these, you know, the running the story is bringing in groceries or bringing in produce that then feed this family and I’m seeing that family become you don’t see that big picture. You don’t get

Joshua Ling 38:55
to write exactly, yeah, it’s it’s, it’s really crazy. Like to think about to know so much about story and how the universe works through story how God has woven His Word, His story throughout the entire universe. And then to be sitting there, you know, switching flips on widgets all day long. Just and sometimes that’s necessary, and it’s because of the curse. But that’s something that we’re warring against constantly. And that’s, you know, one of the things I think you listen to James O Ferens podcast probably on. He talked about Christian transhumanism and that sort of thing. This is where technology, you know, us being in the AV field, we’re have a specific part of that technology, you know, whatever. But like when it comes to building things to help people deal with the curse, you know, and Christ is actually allowing us do that over over the centuries and build buildings to His glory. That’s something that you know, far too many people get suspicious of. And, you know, they get they get wearied by the technology. And I just want to say like, anything that’s gonna allow me to spend more time with my children to write more stories for the hundreds of years, hopefully, my stories last after me, you know, anything that I can do to just and it’s not me laying down me, it’s me using the voice that God gave me to have an impact on the people in the future. You know, even if they never know my name. Um, that’s, that’s something everyone wants. And I feel like artists types, and even some artists and types, there’s so much more aware of it. Then then someone else who just, they’re happy, they’re cared for, you know, etc. And that’s nothing against them. I love those people. They’re great. They’re wonderful. Yeah, my wife is one most of the time and she tells me calm down. Very, very,

Benjamin Curlee 41:15
I don’t know how many times my wife has turned to me and said, Man, I wish you could just, you know, do a nine to five and then clock out and then be home.

Joshua Ling 41:25
Speaking of the wife. Hey, he says, Hey. You’re trying to serve.

Unknown Speaker 41:33
Here? Oh, sleeping baby. Behind. Yes. Oh, he’s

Benjamin Curlee 41:38
getting so big. I need to bring the family up there. We need to see all Yeah, you do.

Joshua Ling 41:46
Yeah, you really do. Yeah. Come on over. And he says he needs to come. Come see us soon. Come see the house. You haven’t seen the new house.

Benjamin Curlee 41:53
So now? I know. Yeah.

Joshua Ling 41:57
We could take what? Oh, yeah, we could. Yeah. The pictures Y’all said you would do at some point. To come here. Yeah.

Benjamin Curlee 42:05
Yes. That’d be great.

Benjamin Curlee 42:08
Almost in her.

Joshua Ling 42:14
Right, she said last pictures. We took her in front of the bus because that’s where we thought we’d be living. And so now we can be here. So she’s all happy romantic about that. See, that’s the thing. She has romantic notions. But she’s not particularly artistry. Like she does do some artsy things. But like, she’s not consumed with it. Like some.

Benjamin Curlee 42:37

Joshua Ling 42:39
She said I used to be then I had kids. Kids are her art.

Benjamin Curlee 42:45
Yes. Yes. I wish. I wish more moms recognise that. Definitely more much more dads recognise that too. Right. Yeah,

Joshua Ling 42:56
that’s, you know, and that’s one of those things that I tell people all the time, my daughter at, you know, something like, I mean, as soon as she could have, you know, formed full sentences, basically, three broke down Beauty and the Beast and three act structure. Like in front of me, she’s like, Beast, you know, Beast was bad. Belle came, help them feel better, you know, whatever it was, yeah, she did it in like three sentences. A three act breakdown of Beauty and the Beast, just telling me the story. And I’m like, Girl, you’ve got instinct. She just has it in her mind. She’s gonna help me with my stories. And one day take them and I didn’t even put that idea in her head. You know? But I do think she’s going to be my Christopher Tolkien. So, anytime I’m working, it’s it’s already bigger than just me. You know, I don’t tell them all my stories yet. But she knows some of the characters and she asked to hear those stories sometimes. And you know, they’re, they’re special to her, you know? Yeah. And and they’re gonna continue to be as she grows older, and even if they’re just for her, you know, it’s gonna have an impact, but she wants to give them to other people. She tells other people my stories already so that’s exciting. Um,

Benjamin Curlee 44:15
but yeah, that’s along the same lines of something that I remember listening to Nate Wilson speak and if you need

Joshua Ling 44:23
I want I want him he’s gonna be one of the harder ones to get actual Absolutely. Okay, for real though. I might as well hold on one second screen share. We’re gonna go desktop one. Yep. And share and let me know if you can see it. It says screen share. Yeah, I can see it. Cool. Let’s go to my and I think this is put in the recording if it’s not all figure something out. Um, let’s move that down. Let’s go to my daily to do list and ignore the craziness that is my to do list. Thankfully, I already have it zoomed in to big levels so people can see this on low resolution. Once it loads, loading, loading, cut all this talking. It’s ridiculous. Joshua, what is your problem? Oh, come on filler words. dead air is a deejays worst enemy. And you know that I was a DJ. So slash still am in some ways. Do you ever stop being a DJ? That’s that’s yet another philosophical question.

Benjamin Curlee 45:36
I don’t think so. I don’t think so. No, no, no, not not judging wise. You have friends who are meeting Airaid Yeah, not not judging, by the way. Just thinking about working with Todd Friel. It’s like his tendency to be a comedian and to tell puns or whatnot. It just, it never went away. It’s all kind of sticks with you.

Joshua Ling 45:59
Yep. Okay. So I actually I wanted to show you this. I actually skipped originally listed these out in I need to take that one off, because I don’t have her scheduled. But I did. But then we got tired. The I actually have everyone kind of going downward from like, easiest to get on the podcast down to like hardest to get. And Andy Wilson’s right here before. So I knew he was pretty far down.

Joshua Ling 46:36
Yeah, but yeah, but yeah, so

Joshua Ling 46:38
but he’s on. He’s on the list.

Joshua Ling 46:41
Also, look who’s not so far down. He’s one of the first bigger names I’m looking at. Bring it on. But

Benjamin Curlee 46:48
yes, not to be good.

Joshua Ling 46:50
Or to be good. Anyway. Yeah. Yeah. So yeah, I think it’s, it’s doable. Like, go ahead. So

Benjamin Curlee 46:56
yeah, so one of the things that Nate Wilson said in his talk was, it was directed at mothers, but it was I forget the exact wording, but in basically, don’t forget that you are raising an eternal soul. Right? Like that’s, that’s your chief responsibility. And you are you have no idea the impact that you as the mother are having on this eternal soul. Right. And so applying that to storytelling here, like you are impacting eternal soul, through your storytelling, and we know that storytelling impacts a culture. It shapes worldviews. Yeah, it otherwise Hollywood wouldn’t be doing it.

Joshua Ling 47:45
Yeah. Well, they’re they’re starting to give up in many ways. And this is this kind of a, I talked about this with Chad Lewis on the previous podcast, but to me, at least I think I did. But to me, the idea is right now, this is the way I see the battlefield. This is the the war, okay. We’ve got this crazy war that has been raging on for years and years and years in the political sphere. That’s like, the frontlines. That’s where everything is going. That’s where everyone’s throwing their money and their troops and everything else. And it’s just one giant Mosh

Joshua Ling 48:19
that’s the perceived

Joshua Ling 48:21
frontlines. Yeah, right. Right. Right. Okay. Well, it’s there people, you know, not literally, but in the terms that we’re using the metaphors, this is a bloodbath. This is the blood pit, this is the crazy spot where everyone’s living and dying. So Hollywood, probably 150 ish years ago, decided, oh, that floodplain over there. You know, let’s go build on that floodplain and do some crazy things with it. And there, they got flooded out. COVID flooded them out. And they did that to evacuate people from other areas that also got rained on but they essentially, you know, created a massive flood on that area and Hollywood has suffered as a result. But the fact is, that mushy, swampy floodplain is now wide open for business. Oh, absolutely. And, in a sense, everyone’s migrating over to Atlanta at the same time, which is absolutely crazy and bonkers.

Benjamin Curlee 49:30
Terrifying to because they bring with them, but he does but

Joshua Ling 49:34
at the same time, Atlanta has never ever, ever, ever been able to escape what Flannery O’Connor calls The Haunting of God. It’s not that the South is Christ centred, it’s that it’s Christ haunted is the way she put it. And so the it’s it’s it’s a weird flash and it’s not going to result in just Hollywood again. On the other side, it’s just the South is too steeped in its Christianese culture. Not as Christian culture, it’s Christianese culture. Oh, yes, yeah. To not have a severe impact on Hollywood. So we’ve got the situation where the flood plain of storytelling of narrative is wide open, because the snake is eating its own tail trying to make every movie that they’re doing the same thing Christians are doing, and it’s starting to slow down in that industry, but essentially, like, you know, make it as Christian as possible or make it as woke as possible, right.

Benjamin Curlee 50:48
Yeah. What Yeah, I mean, the wokeness is a result of Hollywood shaping worldviews, and not under and then under estimating the power of that storytelling. So they for years and years, for generations now they’ve been telling people you are the master of your own destiny, you are the ultimate moral compass, you you know, all so many things. And so they are now approaching their workplace, the church, their families with this, basically at the forefront of their mind. And, and some of them are going back to Hollywood and approaching the executives there. And oh, oh, yeah. Okay, we’re being pretty hypocritical over here, apparently.

Joshua Ling 51:48
It’s, it is fascinating how wide open the playing field is for good stories. As saturated as the market is as how even as how difficult it is to get discovered on a broad spectrum. I’m, I’m I’m seeing more and more. The fact is, if you can make a good story, and get past the first initial woke mob,

Benjamin Curlee 52:18
you’re golden. Yeah. Well, the internet is the new Romans road. Mm hmm. And it is enabling people of all persuasions to reach corners of the world that they never would have otherwise. I’m convinced that that’s why we have a resurgence of such crazy conspiracy theories. Because suddenly these crazy people can talk to each other and join communities that once upon a time, they would have been isolated and anyone they tried to share their crazy idea with would have said shut up, but it would have never, it would have never gone beyond that. But now we’re able to quit. Yeah.

Joshua Ling 53:00
Do you know about the wives of Snape?

Benjamin Curlee 53:02
No, I do not.

Joshua Ling 53:06
Not exactly conspiracy theory, but there was at least for a little while an organised online cult of women who said they were married to the fictional character Snape and and worshipped Him as their Lord and Saviour. Oh, and then they had a split and then both denominations fell apart. Like not Alan Rickman, not Alan Rickman, snow No. Snape. Yes. Who exists on some ethereal plane?

Benjamin Curlee 53:42
I mean, why not? Why not?

Joshua Ling 53:44
If that can happen my my silly epic poetry about superheroes and fantasy and everything. Like there’s gonna be somebody likes it?

Benjamin Curlee 53:55
Yes. So bring it back to Yes, bring it back to the idea of a Romans road. It’s it’s obscene that Christians would not be there. No, at least to shout at passers by. But at best to go travel that road to find these communities of people who have never heard the gospel. And there are so many different mediums you can use to bring the worldview and gospel truth there. And this gets into the, the the classic, you know, Christian media back and forth of do we do we tell the gospel like explicitly or do we, you know, is are we producing good art if we’re not sharing the gospel and you know, all along you? We could talk about that all day long.

Joshua Ling 54:48
We’re not because we’ve done it for so many years.

Benjamin Curlee 54:52
We’ve done it and yes, but for the Christian to say that technology And these things are evil? No, no, it is the new Romans road. And Christians need to have a presence there. And they need to be explorers of that they need to be pioneers of it. In all honesty. What makes it quote unquote evil is the depravity of man. Man corrupts basically everything he can get his hands on. And so that’s why every new technology is tainted with sin. It’s not the technology itself, so to speak, it’s that it’s that mankind is using it. So anyway, yeah, minor talk tirade there.

Joshua Ling 55:41
But well, in that regard, that’s why it’s so important to trust the Holy Spirit, and actually grow in grace, worship Him, and in turn, trust, the leadings of the Holy Spirit in Scripture and your thought process in the way that God is remaking your mind. To do what you feel called to do. No, and not in some crazy way, just trust the sanctification process that God is putting you through that this is the path that he’s put you on, you know, I, I stress this a lot. My my, you know, a lot of people say they have a life verse or like a favourite Bible verse minus Joshua, one, nine, you know, and it says, Have I not commanded you be strong and courageous, do not be terrified, do not be discouraged, for the Lord will be with you, wherever you

Joshua Ling 56:39

Joshua Ling 56:41
That was specifically to the leader of the of God’s people. A man who is a second, the second to Moses, who had no power in and of themselves, who was completely, you know, without the wizarding power of Moses. And he had to trust God and just walk in as a warrior. And the fact is, God gave promises to Abraham that he fulfilled in Joshua, his people have this covenant promise down through the ages. That includes the promise he made to Joshua, if you are a Christian leader, he is promises to you that he will be with you wherever you go, did not turn to the right or the left, right. Do not turn off and he will be with you wherever you go.

Benjamin Curlee 57:37
And sometimes that means the grave. That’s right.

Joshua Ling 57:41
That’s right. Absolutely. We’re in a battle after all, this is poets that we’re after. All right. Well, these poets are going to be wrapping up here. Stay on, I’m going to talk to you for a few minutes after, hopefully not too long to keep you away from your wife, but you know how it goes.

Benjamin Curlee 58:00
Oh, thank you. Thank you so much. Yeah, I enjoy when we get to sit down talk. I do.

Joshua Ling 58:07
Yeah, for real. So not just where can people find you? But if you have anything left to add, go ahead. But also where can people find you?

Benjamin Curlee 58:15
Yeah, okay, so you can find me searching my name, Benjamin, curly, and Curly is spelled cu R L e. So yeah, so English spelling I don’t know there’s not too many people with that spelling. Although I’ve encountered some people lately moving into Atlanta that have the same last name so I Are they really weird I guess I need to do an ancestry search or something and see if they’re they’re related somewhere up the chain. But anyway, yeah, so you can probably Benjamin Curlee calm most social media platforms. Yeah, and then if you want to work with me, check out yonder child. Yonder child.com this website? Yes, we don’t have much there but we do have a button that you can click on to contact us. So we have the bare minimum.

Joshua Ling 59:04
We do the great work of making things pretty.

Benjamin Curlee 59:09
Oh, yes. So yes,

Joshua Ling 59:12
thank you, Benjamin. Everyone, be your families barred Work Hard and Remember, do not turn from the right or the left God will be with you wherever you go. We’ll see you all. Ones Ciao ciao.

PAW2 – Sarah Levesque

Joshua Ling 0:05
Today on our general speaks with Tara Lebec of logo Sofia magazine about wordsmithing fruitfulness and fighting the culture of death. You are now about to enter the war zone. This is poets at war

Sarah Levesque 0:40
juggling too many things.

Joshua Ling 0:41
Yeah. Let’s talk about some of those things. I know logo. Sofia, how much time is that actually like taking up?

Sarah Levesque 0:49
Well, it is not a mag month, not till next month. Oh, it’s probably only taking up an hour or two a week right now, okay? Next month that travels if not quadruples, right. And then it just gets heavier and heavier workload until the end of the month. And then the first week of November, I’m just like, it’ll be at least 12 hours a week, which on top of my full time job, and whatever else is going on. It’s gonna be a lot, but it’ll be fine. I’ll manage.

Joshua Ling 1:26
You’re gonna tell us more about LEGO Sophia here in a second. Let me just say one time for my audience. If you hear kids crying, it’s too bad. Just because they’re my kids, they’re gonna be in the room, they’re gonna be out of the room, they’re gonna be all over the place. You’re gonna have to deal with it. It’s part of the podcast, because we’re actually building up warriors here. We’re building up arrows to be shooting right now. And they’re in training. So you’re gonna hear war sounds in the background? So, Sarah, tell us about logo. Sophia. What is logo? Sophie, I know that you’re kind of your main passion project. And correct me if I’m wrong, but that seems to be your main passion project lately? And tell tell the people about it.

Sarah Levesque 2:06
I mean, if my passion project, you mean something I don’t get paid for then yes, it is certainly my passion project. Y’all

Joshua Ling 2:12
have those? Let’s be real.

Sarah Levesque 2:17
So logo, Sofia magazine is a quarterly magazine with a regular blog that we put out weekly, a couple a couple times a week. And what we do is we try to build bridges between the different Christian denominations, by posting things that are written by people of various denominations to kind of explain, hey, here’s where I’m coming from. And this is what we believe. So each of our issues corresponds to our yearly theme, which changes every year. So, for example, this year’s theme we have, it’s acts of mercy. So our theme for our first issue of this year, our winter issue, we did spiritual works of mercy, we’ve done corporal works of mercy. Our summer issue was based on evangelization. And our Fall issue is going to be justice and mercy. So it’s a lot of fun. That’s fantastic. It does take a good deal of my time, during mag months, which is the month that we just have to get everything done before, which is the month before they come out.

Joshua Ling 3:37
That’s a digital magazine. For those who are wondering, we are working on print, we are working on all those other sorts of things. And I say we because I’m heavily involved in the audio version. So if anyone wants to listen to that, yeah. If anyone wants to listen to that they can go look it up logo Sophia magazine on any of your normal pod catchers. We have it posted through anchor.fm. So you can check that out? Um, what what is what was the impetus for bringing on logo Sophia into your life? And how does it fit into the culture war that we’re dealing with now? Where do you see this? Building bridges or doing whatever it is like give give your vision for logo Sophia a little bit and how you came up with it?

Sarah Levesque 4:26
Okay, well, for the record, I did not come up with it. It was entirely God’s idea. Um, I’ve been working on magazine since 2014. And it was just kind of a thing that I did. I enjoyed it. I enjoyed the editing. I enjoyed the writing. And in 2019, there was some friction going on between myself and the magazine that I was currently working at. And I just brought it to God and prayer and I’ve said that Okay, God, like, do you want me to continue working here? Because this is just a whole lot of friction here. Do you want me to work here? Do you want me to do something else? Do you have another magazine I’m supposed to be working on because again, I love the work. Or do you just want me to quit, like, Give me something. And he did. I was prayer journaling at the time, and I just came up with this one word, Blaze. And it did not come from Me. I don’t know if you’ve ever had that experience, where you definitely get something that’s not from you. And you know, cuz you’re in prayer, and you, you know that it’s from God. And I just got this word Blaze, which seems ironic, because it hasn’t doesn’t seem to have anything to do with logos. But it was the beginning of a kind of I don’t know how to describe it wasn’t a torrent more like a, like, sprinkling of rain, of ideas of information, of like, this is this is what we’re doing. This is where you’re going and you’re going to make a magazine. And it’s going to be set up in this way. And it’s going to be to help build the kingdom of God on earth. And I had a song come into my head, which is I love this song. It’s by run collective, and it’s called Build Your kingdom here. And I was like, Okay, I guess we’re building the kingdom. On Earth. More, we’re gonna build it up with a magazine. That has to do with uniting different denominations. So I reached out to some of you, you were one of the first couple, I think, the first game right and UK Wilson,

Joshua Ling 6:54
which we’re gonna have on the podcast soon.

Sarah Levesque 6:57
Yeah. So I reached out to Ian and tk Wilson. And some other people have asked like, hey, so this is what’s up. And you were part of that fairly early on. So we just figured it out, like, Okay, we’re gonna do this, or this, or gonna do that or the other thing. Until December of that year, we kind of have everything figured out. So December 2019, we started running things on the blog. And our first issue was published, I believe, in February of 2020.

Joshua Ling 7:34
Just before everything due,

Sarah Levesque 7:37
yeah, before the world ended.

Joshua Ling 7:43
Not bad. That is, that is crazy, though. And I found so many things. I’m finding so many things that began like right before, and just thinking back to it. Yeah, this is one of them. And I’ll just say like, you and I have particularly interesting doctrinal differences. And you, as a Roman Catholic, really, really pushed me hard because you really wanted that hard edge reformed kind of side of things. And I even though we have dis disagreements, we both were into the exact same kind of thing, so geeky, fun adventures and that sort of thing. And that’s kind of where we were at the previous magazine. And I think we’ve learned a lot about each other through that, you know, there’s there’s a, I’ve had plenty of Catholic friends of mine in my life growing up. And I think it’s just, I tend to even in my circles have a little bit more of a sacramental idea of reality. How everything is, for God’s glory, to God’s glory Roman, they ended Romans 11. And it’s, it’s one of those things that I think logo Sophia, correct me if I’m wrong, but you seem to have even ministered to yourself built up yourself in a way through the education of different beliefs of Scripture and all that sort of thing. Just yeah.

Sarah Levesque 9:02
What is the whole one of the whole things behind logo, Sophia, one of the things that God really put on my heart before he even gave me the idea this magazine was that we need more dialogue between people of different Christian denominations, because we have this, this disconnect in our world, where people of different denominations either don’t associate with each other, or they don’t talk about their differences and their similarities while they are hanging out or whatever. And I actually had a friend who I was talking about a group chat, that you’re actually part of Josh, and I was talking about a group chat and I was like, oh, yeah, we have different different people from different denominations. And we all get to talk about our faith. And we get to talk about our similarities, you know, differences. We don’t even like argue we just discussed and then it’s great. And my friend was like, wait, you can do that. Right. And this is a perfectly lovely individual, who is a well rounded individual. And just the fact that this friend of mine didn’t realise that this was even something that was doable. Right was kind of astounding. And also within that group chat, I realised how much I didn’t know. Right? Like, I am well versed in my own faith, my own traditions. But I didn’t know anything about what you believed, right? I knew nothing about other denominations, whether they were Presbyterian, or Baptist, or whatever it was, right? Hey, I had no idea what they believed. Right. And that was a problem. So that group chat certainly helped me out with that. And it was a big factor in logo Sophia, as it is today.

Joshua Ling 11:07
And one of the things that, you know, the audience for this, at least initially, I think, is going to be more on my persuasion of things. And we tend to be very up in arms about sort of things, and rightfully so in a lot of cases. But here’s the thing that I really want to get across to people is, I have not, you know, anything that is an actual differentiating factor between me and Sarah, I’ve not bowed to and I don’t think you’ve bagged any of mine. However, that’s okay. The fact that the fact is, you and I are friends, and we are on the same side of this culture war, we’re on the same side of everything that’s going on in the United States and in the world. We’re building Christ’s kingdom, even though I think it should be built one way and you should it should be built another way. And we probably even you know, don’t mean this in like a literal sense. But it powers Yeah, exactly. Where we’re building two different two different sides of a wall, you know, I’m saying it’s gonna look completely different on the other side, but God, draw straight lines are crooked sticks, no matter who crooked stick is, no matter what side is what and just the fact that I know that builder on the other side of the fence. And I know that if someone comes along, you know, if we’re using more metaphor, in the trenches, someone of the enemy comes along, trying to shoot me that I know, Sarah has got my back. I know that I’ve got her back. And the fact is building up people who love the Lord, regardless of what they think of him and the specifics of who he is, and his general nature, which is a very honestly, knowing you and actually going into detail. There’s very little difference in what we believe about, actually Christ. That that’s the thing. He is our king, He is our Lord. And He is the one who we’re marching into battle with.

Sarah Levesque 12:59
Absolutely. So when we are marching into battle for

Joshua Ling 13:03
Yeah, exactly. That’s right. That’s right. And so

Sarah Levesque 13:06
what it is interesting, there was a quote, and maybe you know, who said it, or who wrote it. But, okay, now that I started this sentence, I’m trying to remember the actual quote,

Joshua Ling 13:18
paraphrase, no big deal.

Sarah Levesque 13:20
It’s along the lines of, you know, we can we can disagree and be friends. And that is the sign of maturity. Yes.

Joshua Ling 13:32
I don’t know who said that, either. But I agree with the sentiment of it, for sure.

Sarah Levesque 13:38
Yeah, but it’s, it’s definitely amazing how many people can’t do that these days. But that’s, that’s just part of the culture where we have to fight.

Joshua Ling 13:47
So in many ways, you know, in a metaphorical sense, this is like, lubrication. This is building the troops from all different sides of things, your recruiter, that’s really what you are, in the end your recruiter. Right for the cold.

Sarah Levesque 14:01
Like, I’m more of a recruiter than some because of my job, because I teach Catholic theology at a Catholic school. So it’s very, very interesting. I was actually reading from the Bible today. And the Catholic readings for today. Include that, that parable about the seed, the sower of the seed, and some of it falls on the rich crowd. And some of it falls on the path. And I was like, Yeah, this is me. I’m just planting seeds.

Joshua Ling 14:31

Sarah Levesque 14:33
What are the ones that are already there? We’ll see what happens.

Joshua Ling 14:37
I find that that’s one of the big metaphors that gets thrown around with artists, but it’s one of the most true is no matter what kind of art you’re doing no matter what kind of beautification you’re putting upon the world. The fact is, you are planting seeds, you’re planting seeds to go for people to go what is this? Why is it here to ask the questions that humans all too often are Getting away from and more toward, you know, what am I? What am I supposed to do? Right? The second as opposed to what is this for? It’s the metaphysical questions and those those those sorts of things. You know, I think that you and I, in particular, as well as everyone in logo sophea are thinking of more and more even as we iron sharpens iron, you know, talk to each other. And

Sarah Levesque 15:25
it is definitely interesting, though, to see how many people who are of the secular culture, who don’t realise that we need to step back and look at things from a different perspective from a bigger perspective. And it’s just go go go, and don’t stop and think and reflect,

Joshua Ling 15:49
right? Well, Satan only has so many sins, I was gonna say Satan had only has so many plays that he runs. And one of the biggest ones that he’s played in this in this particular culture war, which I date back to the enlightenment, or as my as one of my pastors, who helped raise me called it the endarkenment. The, the the, the fact is, like, the whole idea of secularism, of atheism, the whole idea of this, and without God, I, you know, this whole concept is flawed from the get go. It’s flawed from the beginning. And until, until people start to realise that, you know, the devil can take hold for a time, but but the thing is, this is his entire play, it’s removing all forms of supernaturalism as far as he possibly can. This is why at least I did. I don’t, I don’t, I can’t speak to you. But I grew up with people telling me there’s no such thing as witches, magic, etc, etc. We grew, grew up hearing all these sorts of things, and popular media and we had no idea what was going on. In this in the supernatural realm, we were taught that it didn’t really exist that much, you know, maybe maybe angels and God, but you know, maybe, maybe not all the other stuff. And, you know, we don’t talk about the spiritual thing.

Sarah Levesque 17:16
And my, my growing up years, we had kind of a counterculture. With us, surrounding us. We I was homeschooled through eighth grade, and we were part of a very large Catholic homeschool group, which sort of dovetailed with an even larger Christian homeschool group

Joshua Ling 17:37

Sarah Levesque 17:40
So the culture that we were in was definitely more. Yes, this, these things are real. And you need to be careful,

Joshua Ling 17:50
right? That’s fantastic. So talk to me about the other things you do as an artist and as a person who’s trying to beautify the world and how that dovetails into all the culture war stuff.

Sarah Levesque 18:01
Oh, my. So I mentioned that I am a theology teacher. So that’s always interesting and high school theology. So that’s, it’s a job, but it’s also a vocation. So it’s good. Most of the time, unless I do something quite silly. Like I’ve done this. This upcoming week, I have about 100, and something essays that I’m going to have to go through, which was very bad scheduling on my part.

Joshua Ling 18:33
But immediately when I hear that I immediately go back to CS Lewis and the horse and his boy, talking about storytelling versus essays. You remember that bit?

Sarah Levesque 18:45
Yeah. Well, if I don’t give him the essays, then the essays I assign are, this is basically what I want you to take out of this class for this quarter. Right, right. So it works. So actually, we’re writing about the Kingdom of God. So that overflows quite nicely. But other things I do, I run a young adult group in my area. And I also edit as a freelance editor. I’ve edited some of Ian’s work.

Joshua Ling 19:19
I will say for those who are wondering Ian Wilson, yep.

Sarah Levesque 19:25
I’ve edited it edited. Wow, that is a hard word hard phrase to say. I said all the time, and I still can’t get it right and half the time. Anyway, I do the editing for certain other friends of mine such as Killarney trainer, and other random people that I don’t necessarily know, which is great. Right now. I’m in the middle of a 300 Something page book that I’m editing. And it’s it’s quite interesting, to say the least.

Joshua Ling 19:57
You were telling me a little bit about that earlier. Yeah, that’s Really strange connections and stuff with various characters from different lore. So, yeah, that’s awesome. So where do you see culture wars going at the moment? Where do you see not just like politics, but specifically like the the hearts of the people, and particularly the way that we’re thinking about beauty. Go in and do a period where are bastions of beauty Hollywood wink wink, are kind of kind of broke like everybody else.

Sarah Levesque 20:34
Okay, that was a lot to go on in one, one. Take your time set of questions. So I’m just going to pull randomly out of that not answer everything, because I already forget what the first part was. But, um, it’s definitely interesting how we are opposed to the secular culture, as Christians were opposed to the secular culture, which has, as you mentioned earlier, it has totally pushed away any idea of God. And any idea of the supernatural as real, instead pushing it as fantasy and fiction only. So it’s interesting to see how our political leaders, by and large, tend to be doing things that are not in accord with God’s will. And yet, I can’t believe that the majority of the country is actually behind that. I think that we have lost faith in our politicians, for good reason. And I think that that has brought us to a downfall of actually being involved in politics, too now. And I’m definitely at fault here myself. But it’s having no confidence in politician is definitely difficult to get invested in such things and make sure that we do our darndest to get those proper people into office where they can do good things. Now, interestingly enough, having said that, I was very pleasantly surprised this past week, I believe it was because here in New Hampshire, we’ve had some excellent political news, which I kind of forgot was possible. New Hampshire is not known for being conservative, right. And yet, they are in

Joshua Ling 22:48
a few weird things such as like zoning, they don’t really do zoning a whole lot and a few other because I know tiny house people love New Hampshire for that reason, because there’s not a whole lot of regulation and stuff regarding those sorts of things. But go ahead.

Sarah Levesque 23:02
Yeah, no, we’ve we’ve had some good news on the the abortion front, and it was decided, fantastically miraculously, that the state will no longer fund Planned Parenthood. There was something else that happened to that it was like, Wow, we got a double Good thing this week. But I forget what the other thing was.

Joshua Ling 23:26
That’s all right. People can look that up and see if you’re in that area, you can get involved and see what you can get to happen. I’ve been pleasantly surprised with a lot of local stuff to not necessarily my town, but in some of the various areas around the South, there’s been a lot of things happening. The thing that’s particularly interesting is to me and the thing that I want to touch on briefly with you. There’s this abolitionist movement going on, currently, and a lot of people in the abolitionist movement are and if you don’t want to touch on this, you just fine but they they’ve they’ve done a lot of good work and and and done a lot of good things but they

Sarah Levesque 24:09
pause here for a sec. Abolition of what now. abortion. Okay, thank you.

Joshua Ling 24:15
It’s okay. It’s okay. Yeah, so they they’ve been doing a lot of really good stuff. But and you may not know about these sides a whole lot, especially because the Catholics tend to have their own stake in the matter and stick to their own. But this abolitionist movement basically says that any legislation being passed, that regulates seeks to end abortion through regulation, instead of just straight up. No, we’re done. That’s it. Is is essentially seeking something wrong and unrighteous. We’re incrementalist. We’ve had a problem with a lot of incrementalist on the other side, who have and not all of them there. There’s a lot of good Smash Mouth incrementalist. is what I refer to them as they’re the people who want it done by hook or by crook want to take every little bit of ground that they can get. But then there’s incrementalist to it, especially in the Protestant side, national right to life is one of the worst, where essentially, they believe that they want to be extremely careful with every single little bit of legislation because if it gets overturned in one way or another, that’s bad PR, if it gets overturned at all by Supreme Court and, and they don’t want to put Jesus at the forefront of any of it, they don’t want this to be a Christian thing. They want this to be some homogenous secular beast. And and and they’re not willing to say that this is wrong based upon supernatural moral ethics. So Well, it’s

Sarah Levesque 25:54
interesting, because it is, it is definitely wrong on Supernatural moral ethics. But it’s also wrong from like, even a scientific like horse perspective. Yeah. Because obviously, as we know, like life begins at conception and if we are going along with the Declaration of Independence, Constitution kind of stuff where all human beings have rights. Wallah, you know, QED. But, so you can definitely get it from other perspectives. But to speak to the incrementalist versus whatever the other verb bullishness. abolitionists, I say, we know we’re in a war. If you can just add, abolish it sweet. I am totally all for that. But generally speaking, words are not fought by annihilation wars are fought one step at a time, one foot at a time, one mile at a time

Joshua Ling 26:59
with a goal in mind. Cough, Afghanistan, cough, Vietnam.

Sarah Levesque 27:06
But it’s, I find that a lot of people that are a little more vocal, which doesn’t necessarily mean all people in general, but the vocal ones seem to have some interesting ideas that can turn other people off, I did have a friend, I do still have that friend for the record. But um, and this friend was put up a post on Facebook, regarding abortion that I disagreed with. And I commented on it. And another friend of my friend also commented on it. And what this secondary friend said, was that because people who are against abortion, were also in favour of other things, that were basically hypocritical, that they didn’t believe in anti abortion things. He didn’t believe in the pro life movement simply because certain vocal people were hypocritical.

Joshua Ling 28:28
Yeah, that’s a fallacy. My logic fallacy,

Sarah Levesque 28:31
my friend agreed with this other person. And I’m sitting here being a very logic based person, and I’m looking at this. And I’m like, thinking how, yes, that is a hypocritical stance for whoever that vocal person was to have taken. And yet it’s not an a logical thing to say, oh, this person is wrong on B, therefore, must be wrong on a right and everybody who believes in a must also be wrong, right? It’s a dearth of logic, and it had to be quite upset for a number of hours, actually. But it’s an odd sort of logic that people have these days where that it, it’s not actually logical, right. And I also see people who are argue for the pro choice side, arguing that, you know, nobody wants to have an abortion, which is probably true.

Joshua Ling 29:38
And several, but go ahead.

Sarah Levesque 29:42
That, you know, and that we need to be working to get rid of the reasons why people have abortions instead of working the political side of things. Yeah. Absolutely. We need to hit both sides. Yeah. For myself, I don’t have much, much free time. As you can imagine from what I mentioned earlier, but there is a local home for pregnant women that I do help out with. On occasion, I used to help out with more before I got this theology job. And it’s been a really good blessing for many people. But one thing I find amusing and I’m talking a lot, but that’s one thing I find interesting in a Riley dry amusing sort of way, is when I see those posts on Facebook, from, you know, some random thing that has, you know, a couple 1000 quotes on it, or a couple 1000 comments on it already. And it’s like, oh, you believe in, you know, anti abortion, but what are you you’re not doing anything about it. And then all these people are commenting like, Well, I do this, and I do that. And I do this, that and the other thing, and you can go through and read it, and you can see all the Catholics, because they’re like, Oh, I work with this Catholic organisation. I do that with this Catholic organisation. And do you have any idea how many Catholic organisations are out there that work on these background problems? Not just, you know, the legislative problems, but like, the whole reasons why women are getting abortions, right. And I have an article that I wrote about that whole thing that is getting republished it needed some tweaking, but it’s getting republished shortly, have to finish a couple of things. So that’s, yeah,

Joshua Ling 31:46
I hear you that’s, that’s really the heart of Smash Mouth, incremental ism is hitting, hitting every play every side. It’s, it’s a war, and you take every advantage you can possibly get. And that’s

Sarah Levesque 31:58
it, we need to, we need to also remember that even though it is a war in one sense, that the war is not against people. And it’s, we need to convert the people and not just bad, not them. Right, which I’m sure you already know. Yeah, many of your listeners already know, but I just had to say it.

Joshua Ling 32:20
There’s a place for biting rhetoric to the conscience. And there’s, there’s and that’s a whole other side of the war too. i My My thing is people who are taking care of women in, in, like you were saying pregnant pregnancy homes and these sorts of thing, and they’re there, they’re on the compassion, end of things probably shouldn’t be practising rhetoric they shot probably shouldn’t be the ones who are on the front lines, preaching against this stuff, and biting hard and politics and doing all these other sorts of things. It is it is a two edged sword, we know we don’t need to be, you know, trying to do everything all at once, you know, different people are called the different acts. And there are people who actually will go out to the particularly rough abortion clinics, and immediately and directly confront not in a screaming way but in a plain logical this is what you are doing and call them straight on their BS, you know, with with real scripture saying you are you stand before the God of the universe guilty about what you are about to do. And you can change you can turn back right now. And that that’s that’s something that when you say clearly it turns into Elijah, nobody liked Elijah. But, but there’s one for Elijah, and there’s room for the Good Samaritan to there’s there’s room for both of those. And they both have to be there.

Sarah Levesque 33:57
It is interesting work working with some teenagers, and seeing, you know, how they are influenced so heavily by our culture, which I believe has been correctly termed the culture of death. And, you know, even though the school that I work with is or that I work at is a, you know, a religious school that doesn’t make all of the students religious. And it is definitely sobering. Yeah. To see the influence of the society on those teams. And you know, I’m over here giving them the truth about Jesus, and you know, the basics. And I’m over here teaching them about, you know, when does human life actually begin and why is this important? write all this sort of stuff. And the truth about marriage and so much of what I teach them is new to them. Or it’s something that they hadn’t thought of even if they’ve heard it before, or it’s something that they hadn’t fully reflected on. And, you know, there’s some of them that are like, oh, yeah, that’s absolutely right. And there are some of them that are more sceptical. Because somehow, you know, I am not the authority in their minds. Right. But culture is what they saw on TV, what they see on social media, that’s the authority.

Joshua Ling 35:44
Right? Yeah. And it’s, it’s a, it’s interesting getting into the the culture of death, like you were saying, that’s one of the big reasons why, in this culture war, the biggest thing that we need to be focused on and this is something that I don’t see, particularly conservatives, particularly conservative Protestants focused on it and and people who are nominal Protestants, you know, the time they are, they are so focused on the direct rhetoric of everything, that they cannot see that this is actually not just an enemy, this is the culture of death. This is anti fruitfulness. On every end of the spectrum, we’re talking about, you know, abortion, homosexuality, we don’t have to go into all the specifics. But every single thing that we have is based in the secular society is based on a lie of sterility. The idea that everything that you ever produce is going to be expensive, or tax in some kind of way. And so instead of actually being fruitful, you should be fruit less, because there’s so much less pressure on you, it’s so much easier. And it’s not just children, like that’s the first thing that pops into our mind, but even like us being writers, right? It’s like us telling stories, what are we often told by people from all kinds of different circles, oh, that’s a hard life, oh, you really have to be good. There’s so much competition, you know, all these other sorts of things. And I, I’ve learned in my life, that that comes from a place with these people of, of love most of the time, and that’s the hard thing. We’re even fighting love on our side that has bought into this lie of sterility.

Sarah Levesque 37:37
Right, and it’s, it’s, a lot of it has to do, I’ve noticed at least with more back to the abortion side of things, it has to do with a love of self. And people. You know, there there are definitely people that are think that it’s loving to say, No, you have to put yourself first, right, instead of you know, putting this unborn child first. So it is definitely interesting how love can be skewed in that way.

Joshua Ling 38:19
Yeah, yeah, it’s it’s perverted and changed. It’s really, you know, the, when you think about it really, really deeply as it goes back to the garden, you you can be as gods, this is about you, this isn’t about what you were created for. This was not the commandment to be fruitful and multiply and 10 the garden and protect it, you know,

Sarah Levesque 38:42
right. But it’s also a fundamental on a bill inability to understand what love is because we have kicked God out of the picture, right? There is no understanding that of agave love of doing the best good for another person, because there is no best good and the mind of the culture. And the fact that we have truth, you know, you can’t have a best good unless you have truth. The fact that there is objective truth is another thing the culture does not understand. Right? Now, of course, there are definitely people within the culture that understand it. But as the culture itself, it does not admit to objective truth,

Joshua Ling 39:28
right? And even I go as far as to say objective beauty. A lot of people go into the idea and I’m not saying this quantitative, you know, objective beauty, but no one looks at a sunset and says they’re disgusting. They either say I’ve seen better or Wow. Right? Like it’s in its own category of beautiful now you can put that on a spectrum of how beautiful it is, you know, and rate it as compared to other sunsets. But the fact is sunset is beautiful, objectively, right? And so this is this is one of those things that when you begin to move away into a more relativistic idea, you’re moving away from the idea that God defines everything because he created it in the first place. And not only that, but he also judges everything that we make as sub creators on the same spectrum of goodness and beauty because he’s unchangeable. And that’s why it’s important to write these good stories and make these good things and hand them down to our children for generations and generations as as tokens of what we truly believe. And and the the tenacity with which we believe it. One of the biggest things that my father gave me, a outside of great teaching on the Scripture is Narnia and Lord of the Rings to reinforce the beauty of that truth. That was the whole point that he gave me with with Lord of the Rings and Narnia and music, I’ll even put music in that same category. It he, he loved absolutely everything. He was a prog rock guy back in the 70s. So he, he loved absolutely every type of music imaginable. And he was able to pick out the good and just about every kind of music imaginable. And so like, with him, his love of these things, and seeing him emotionally affected by these things, showed that he really, truly believed what he said about Scripture.

Sarah Levesque 41:42
Yeah, you know, and,

Joshua Ling 41:45
and that’s the thing when if you as a parent are or a teacher or whatever, if you’re an authority figure in a child’s life, and you are not modelling affection toward God, affection toward beauty, affection toward the good things in this world, they’re not going to know what is good or bad or whatever else.

Sarah Levesque 42:06
That right. definitely interesting to think about religion, as you know, obviously, its relationship with God, and not just a Sunday thing, and you know, this full well. But, again, this is something that I see in the people around me and in students and things like there are some people that just get it like, okay, yes, this is my life. God’s in charge, or, you know, God’s the foundation. And this is this is what’s up. And then there are people that are like, okay, yo, I want to charge check that box off. I’m good for a week that you this is a relationship. You can’t just give somebody an hour a week for your relationship, and it’s gonna be good.

Joshua Ling 42:56
Try being married that way.

Sarah Levesque 42:59
Okay. Oh, boy, no, it is definitely something that is supposed to permeate our entire lives. And so many people are not living that way. You know, they claim to be Christian, and they don’t live it every day. And I think that’s part of probably a large part of our problem here is that people these days are used to seeing these nominal Christians. Whatever denomination they happen to be. There’s plenty of Catholic ones I know. These nominal Christians that don’t actually practice anything, right? Or if they do, it’s very minimalistic, right. So I feel like that has had a giant negative called negative impact on our culture as we just let things slide

Joshua Ling 44:06
Yeah, yeah, I hear that. So with our last couple minutes here and everything you can take your time I have eight minutes by what I’m looking at for ending the cop I’m trying to keep these two an hour recording and then they end up being whatever they are in between. I was uh, I was wondering you know, specifically talking to people who might be in your you know, end of things where you’re just really fond of working with words being a wordsmith playing around with these sorts of things and and you know, maybe you want to be an editor maybe you want to be a writer maybe you want to talk write nonfiction fiction, whatever it is. You have this particular affinity for words. This is like Little Sarah avec, right. This is this is this is the little Sarah avec from five years ago. Okay. What advice are you got? to give to that person in regard to what we’re talking about here specifically like and I’m not saying like literal Sir, I’m saying now a five year old five, five year less sterile avec, right? I’m not saying Okay, watch out for COVID. I’m not saying I’m not saying that. I’m saying you’ve got someone just like you loves words, loves the Lord has this passion wants to do all these sorts of things, and they’re just frustrated in their own way. What is your advice to them on how to deal with these things? And how to be fruitful in their area?

Sarah Levesque 45:37
Really good question. So I guess just chance to answer this off the cuff? I would say, No, no, your relationship with God. First, of course, that that’s the basis for everything you got to know, know who God is, and know where to put him in your life, you know, as the foundation as the first thing. And then once you have that relationship with God, I mean, it’s not that everything’s going to be easy, because Heck, no, it’s not going to be easy. But you can have that foundation. And when you do go, and you write something, you can ask God, okay, what do you think, what should I be writing? How is this going to work? Right, and you have that, that sort of backup. And you can always ask the Holy Spirit to help you too, because he knows a lot about creating things God does. And even just asking him to be able to tap into his beauty, and his, his logic and his structures organisation. It’s so helpful. And if thought has put something on your heart, whether it’s an idea whether it’s a character, whether it’s a plot, run with it, because if he has put it on your heart, it’s either going to be something that will teach you something, or it will help other people.

Joshua Ling 47:21
And let me point out to those who are immediately going, Disney bad. Follow your heart bad. Here’s, here’s the thing. Yes, heartful is wicked and deceitful above all else. But notice the sequence of what she said, your relationship with God, at the centre, as the foundation. And then then you can trust your heart. If you are in the word, if you are studying, if you are going to church, if you are doing all these things, and not just doing them on the outside, but doing them on the inside. The fact is, your insides will be changed because the Holy Spirit promises that in Scripture. Go ahead.

Sarah Levesque 48:01
Yeah. So it’s not what your heart decides is a good idea right now. It’s what God puts on your heart, right? And with intellectual or intellectual things, like stories, sometimes it’s in your head. And sometimes you don’t know that, God put it in your heart or not. But run with it and see, you know, there you can, once you have that relationship with God, you can look at something and say, okay, yeah, this is a godly thing. Or you can say, No, this is not pulling me closer to God, this is pulling me away from God. And I have to fix that either by stopping entirely or by adjusting what I’m doing and changing the trajectory. So I’m focused and pointed to God again. And that’s the thing

Joshua Ling 48:45
even if you get off the rails, he can pull you back. You know, you gotta you gotta keep praying. Gotta keep discerning that’s, that’s all gifts of the Spirit right there. Yeah.

Sarah Levesque 48:54
And it’s not that everything has to overtly point to God, because that turns off a lot of people. But if he’s your foundation, then you’re probably going to be upset. Yeah, it’s not necessarily going to be financially great. It’s not necessarily going to be a best hit whatever genre you’re working with. But if it brings you closer to God, if it brings other people closer to God, I don’t think there’s anything greater than that.

Joshua Ling 49:35
Yeah. Oh, that’s fantastic. Sara where can they find you on the internet?

Sarah Levesque 49:41
I can be well loco Sofia can be found at logo Sofia mag.org is it.org.com. Hang on pause to edit that.

Joshua Ling 49:52
So big

Sarah Levesque 49:53
is calm. I was wrong. Okay, so you can find logo Sophia at low josephian mag comm I’m definitely there. I also have my own website, which is start Lobeck SAR Lovak at or excuse me, sar livex.wordpress.com. And that’s my editor site. And most of the stuff that I have written are linked up to there in some, some form, including logo, Sophia.

Joshua Ling 50:29
Well, everyone, we appreciate you being here and we’ll talk to you next time. Remember, this is part of the you let me try that again. I don’t remember exactly what my phrase is, but I’m going to throw a new one new pithy one every time until I have one that sticks. Remember, you are a part of this culture war, whether you like to be or not. You are a soldier in God’s army. If you’re a Christian and you march forward to his glory in His Kingdom, talk to you all next time. God All right, Ciao. Ciao

PAW3 – Jaymes O’Pheron

Joshua Ling 0:04
Today we talk with Coach James O Ferran about coaching community and checking my notes here. Christian, transhumanism. What is that? This is the wall Yeah. Moving right, like you’ve been, you’ve been dealing with getting things in Yep. So Right.

Jaymes O’Pheron 0:47
Yeah, moving from Washington State 1500 miles away to Fargo, North Dakota. Cross several mountain ranges, new climates, new people new culture. Though I find I fit in better with this culture in the Midwest than I did back on the West Coast. I have a strong hippie side of me. But there’s something about that Midwest, stable level of respect and charm and kindness that’s given that is just so beautiful to be around on a regular basis. I love that

Joshua Ling 1:23
that’s something I find in both southern culture and in Midwestern culture. Yeah. And I find that people who are grounded in their philosophy, but a little bit weird, tend to find better friends amongst the conservative that just need a little push the Yes, yes. The liberals who don’t know what’s going to happen to? Absolutely, but continue with what you were saying. Yeah,

Jaymes O’Pheron 1:55
so that’s one big shift. And then, of course, at the same time, also beginning my new company, moving from web development into coaching web developers that was kind of expanded beyond that. The more I researched into it, the more I knew that I enjoyed coaching people and watching kind of creatively craft, themselves helping them to reify their vision of themselves, as coaching is all about is assisting in implementation. And so helping with that has always been something I’ve enjoyed and gravitated towards, but finding the bigger scope, and I’ve been finding the needs that are not so unique to our developers, media. Nerds need help with communication was a big part of it. But it’s also being able to connect people together with some of the grander struggles that we’re facing. And one of the biggest struggles that we’re facing culturally right now is, how do you synergize humanity with technology. Because on a fundamental philosophical level, I believe that technology is an extension of humaneness. That’s what it is, that’s what

Joshua Ling 3:17
it should be.

Jaymes O’Pheron 3:18
It should be, shouldn’t be at odds with it, but it has become at odds with it. And there’s so much of how technology has been implement that has become effectively demonised. Not in the sense of making it look bad, making it actually demonic and evil, by having a turn against human hood and diffracting thoughts to fracturing the world diffracting community and culture, right and becoming an engine for destruction rather than an engine for creation and unity and productivity for the glory of God. Yeah, and so part of my, my, my grand conquest, in a sense, has developed into this vision for understanding what makes community work. And then how that can be implemented in a technological environment. So how can you have authentic connection over zoom? How can you do that effectively and reliably and going into the nitty gritty of that? So that’s something I’m passionate about, and exploring and researching. And my third big transition recently moving from Protestantism into Eastern Orthodoxy has also been a huge part of that because I reaching back and studying the writings of ancient desert aesthetic fathers. And I think this is applicable to how to have good etiquette on Zoom. This is crazy. Time was true truths. And this pursuit of the good that shooting the beautiful at a very deep theological level. That and that appreciation for not just appreciate For but the centrality of that to theology and Christology and the incarnation and how that impacts all of life is tremendously powerful in the Orthodox tradition. And so diving into that exploring it in its nuances like opening VISTAs, I mean, I thought that I had a pretty good grasp of how, you know, culture and creativity worked with theology. And I haven’t even scratched the surface.

Joshua Ling 5:34
Exactly. Let me pause you right there. And we can we can kind of do a choose your own adventure thing on this. One, I definitely want at some point a little bit more about you and your background, and just who you are, like, that sort of thing? Because this is about you. This is your highlighting you. A second thing I want to get into. I think, you know, I’m reformed Presbyterian. Yes. So so we actually do have a fair amount in common, we have a few things that are slightly different, but not a lot, you know, especially you coming from a Protestant background, I find Orthodox people who understand for Protestant language, have a much better idea of writing than the other way, you know, and so that’s another thing I want to I want to get into. And then I had one other thing that I’d love to get into, we can get into all of these, but you can kind of pick your path. Sometimes you like to meld them together, I’ve saved

Joshua Ling 6:30
up, part of my creativity is creating connections. So

Joshua Ling 6:35
we’ve been together. And then the last thing I really want to touch on out of the out of these three things is, you know, there’s a lot of scammers and schemers in your field. There are a lot who are selling a false hope. And how is Christianity even if you’re not directly proselytising, the philosophy of Christianity? How is that so much more hopeful than any other form of religion in this world? But yeah, and go with those three? That’s

Jaymes O’Pheron 7:07
a fantastic question that that last one, actually, that weaves into the other ones. So something that is a significant issue when you’re trying to move into the coaching industry, is that it’s blooded. There’s everybody in the third cousin in their pet dog is trying to get into coaching. Oh, and because, in a sense, because of its inherent nature, it’s easy to do that, because it doesn’t requires the same kinds of training or certification, like a therapist would. However, there are a lot of people and unfortunately, the majority of people who, even though they don’t really understand what coaching actually is, and they go awry, because of that. So I’ll explain in brief, I could do a whole seminar on this subject, right. But I’ll tie it into the concept of creativity and culture. And specifically, I’ll even tie it in with some of the religious aspects that that’s actually kind of core to some things that I’ve observed in this because there’s a lot I enjoy it because there’s a lot of people come from a very spiritual perspective, which makes sense. But a lot of income from it from choose specific main branches of spiritual ism, we will call on a spiritual artist. So so one is the woowoo, Eastern, New Age type direction, right? And then there’s the people from very prosperity gospel named in claim it type Christian persuasion, right? Or in some cases, I was I would even I, I know, the two are in there who who would, who would, who who are good, earnest, faithful believers, but who I believe are led astray in this concept. But a lot of them are false Christians. I would say that they’re, they’re using it for the wrong reasons and the wrong ways. It’s their Christianity is closer to magic than sacrament. Yeah, and there’s a very specific technical distinction between those

Joshua Ling 9:31
four Presbyterian you don’t have to explain that to me.

Jaymes O’Pheron 9:38
Um, but those two branches of spirituality are incredibly common in the industry. And a lot of my friends who actually are even good coaches still tend to walk along those lines. There’s a few that are, you know, honest and wholehearted and in and committed to integrity. And what they’re offering. But I think that it’s just so much in the water, that it’s hard to distinguish the nuances. So if I’m going to distinguish what coaching is, in contrast to other forms of facilitated growth, I’d say right, a partnership of facilitating growth, and one of them expectrum, you’d have teaching and training, where you’re teaching somebody how to know something, or training somebody how to do something. Right, right. And there’s very additive, you’re putting open ahead Stiff Stuff, if

Joshua Ling 10:38
you don’t put

Jaymes O’Pheron 10:40
some glue in there to help it stick. Yes, and that’s incredibly important. You need that that’s my wife, my wife was a middle school teacher. And it’s a beautiful profession that is incredibly needed important. But it’s only one component of the whole picture of what’s necessary. A more personalised approach that is mentorship, where you are helping someone in a personalised path by sharing your personal stories of experience in growth, to help them tailor their learning career. That’s what mentorship would be, right? Right. And then the next step is very similar teaching and training. So kind of teaching training. The next step, I would say, is the consultant, umbrella. Okay. And the distinctives there, I believe, is you are an expert who diagnosis the situation and prescribes the solution. Okay. And so that includes everything doctors, therapists, psychiatrist, spiritual counsellors, the whole range and spectrum of all of that, right? And you want somebody to be an expert. So they give you the right prescription. So you don’t go investing time and effort into solution that’s actually making the problem worse, for example. Right. So that’s a really important component and really important. But it’s fundamentally giving of advice. You’re adding it’s additive in that sense. It’s it’s multiplicative, to a degree is kind of in the middle. But it’s still along that spectrum

Joshua Ling 12:12
formulaic. Yeah.

Jaymes O’Pheron 12:14
Yeah. Exactly. Again, criminally necessary. Yeah. So a coach is non additive. Okay. He’s fundamentally fundamentally multiplicative, in this sense, because he takes what is already present in a person and asks questions to bring clarity to the path forward to help them structure an implementation plan, and help them actually take action on it. So it takes what’s already there and actually make something happen with

Joshua Ling 12:45
it. It’s almost lubricated. A greases? Yeah.

Jaymes O’Pheron 12:51
Yes. He opens the gates. I like the cliche phrase unlocks potential, of course, yeah, cliche, but it actually is accurate.

Joshua Ling 12:59
Well, you look at actual professional leagues, like sports and things, the coaches that work with these players, you know, you got crazy batting stances, you know, I think back like Julio Franco, and Craig Counsell, and a bunch of these guys, if you know, any kind of baseball, these guys had really crazy stances where they’re arching their back in ridiculous ways that actually even hurt them later on. But the fact is, they saw success in that early on and got to the professional level doing that. So you don’t even necessarily want to change that you want to make it the best that it can possibly be. So that’s the difference there

Jaymes O’Pheron 13:36
and help them to like, what worked, what didn’t How can you adjust that to move forward and lay out that plan? Absolutely. And so, the art of coaching is fundamentally one of asking questions, right? And asking questions, you can’t ask yourself like I have a coach. I have multiple coaches one that actually paid for because it’d be hypocritical for me as a coaching is so necessary and I don’t have one

Joshua Ling 14:04
I don’t see any problem with that. You know,

Jaymes O’Pheron 14:06
I need to go out there and don’t I don’t I’m not actually

Joshua Ling 14:11
okay. Darrin don’t not a coach but he is a he is a filmmaker he but he does a lot of other stuff. He’s a he’s a social media maker person. Okay. And he he is very much on the you know, his his whole listen to host his don’t cast as Doa and he hope to have him on at some point but he is a guy who his his whole intro is like, we don’t round table it. We don’t pause. We don’t tell staff to take a discussion. We just do we just get it done. And I really liked that approach. I really liked that sort of thing. Because he’s sort of like the anti coach way. He’s the one who actually telling people go and get stuff done go and you know, work hard and do it to God’s glory, you know? Yeah, but yeah, Like the

Jaymes O’Pheron 15:00
one thing I talk about, one thing I talk about a lot, and I’m particularly I’m not going to mastermind context, which is a particular variety of facilitation that’s in between. It’s a, it’s a variety of coaching. And it’s, that’s you’re coaching a conversation between other people. But one thing at a time was when you’re pulling out action items at the end, right? I’ll tell people, it’s okay. Thoughts are not complete, until they embodied themselves in action. Yes. Right. You have all these great ideas, all these great insights, all these different things until something happens as a result of them. They’re incomplete. They’re not real, they’re not done.

Joshua Ling 15:46
And that doesn’t include the production necessarily. It includes the publishing.

Jaymes O’Pheron 15:52
Yeah, all the way through, actually, right. Having something happened. Yeah. Right, that has a tangible result. Right? And maybe a bad result, but it’s, it’ll at least have some form to it that you can then iteratively improve, right? Yeah. But always like, so you have all these ideas for this conversation? Which thoughts? Do you want to finish? Right? Right. And let’s take some of these inputs in action. What do we want to finish during this week, but action items you can pull out of that? And that’s where the creative part comes in. As far as I’m asking questions to help them draw out the clarity what they need to do, I can ask a question here, draw that out or ask question here to clarify that are what obstacles do you see to this? Let’s create a plan to circumvent that. It’s like weaving a story plot in a sense, but going forward in a person’s actual real life future? Yeah, it’s a very creative act.

Joshua Ling 16:44
Yeah. And one of the things that, that, that brings up to me more than anything, and this isn’t like, you know, I do think that if you are helping somebody, your worth is I’m not reducing what you’re saying in any way when I say this, but it’s really actually being a friend. It’s really actually being the sounding board for all these sorts of things, and just cross

Jaymes O’Pheron 17:07
my coaching hat off when I’m not getting paid. Yeah, I’m always doing it in every conversation, I’m incorporating some element of that, because like, the best kind of statement is a question.

Joshua Ling 17:20
Another another metaphor for that, that I would throw on is it’s like a EGPU that you’re throwing onto your graphics card, you’re getting the extra processing from an external source. together to get Yeah, exactly. To get to get the fire lit, get the get the frame rate up and your game, you know, which rolls

Jaymes O’Pheron 17:37
forward into incense into the culture wars and thinking your magnetic technology, because the solution to so much of that is community. Right? One of the truths that I’ve encountered that more I study, or the more I firmly believe this, that lasting transformation is designed to be encountered within community. Okay, you could even say that transformation never happens apart from community. But there are miracles where the Holy Spirit is not constrained. It does work through people in isolation, but then that’s still community.

Joshua Ling 18:18
This way, even if it’s not catalysed, in community, it is it is sustained in community.

Jaymes O’Pheron 18:25
Absolutely. There’s, that’s how God chooses to work in his creation is through community. And so when we try and do this whole independent self reliance to the extreme that we do, particularly in our, you know, Neo Western culture, it’s actively disintegrating community and the fundamental components of community. So that’s one of the things that I study, specifically, for our profession, but also for all of my projects and passions that I’m doing is what really is community. How is it designed to work? And how can we intentionally craft this? Right, right? And how do we do so in any circumstance online or offline? Right? And it really comes to ties into a lot of my I want it to not be a hobby someday, but currently hobby of fiction writing, world building and crafting these nuanced fantasy worlds where I’m thinking of all the different implications of different pieces and how these nations and work with this one and tweaking this one little rule in the physics changes all these different things. Yes, I love that. Yes, there’s something that same mindset, that same way of thinking in the manner of creation translates directly over when dealing with thinking about crafting a culture. Yes, right. Yeah, that’s creative. That is sub creation. Nice. God invented the first cultures. And we are sub creating after him following as his as his image bearers in that sense. So there are, avoid going to the whole seminar of this, but in brief on there’s, I believe that there are four levels, in a sense. And this actually makes it very tangible. I’m talking about connecting world building to community and culture creation. So there’s four levels to it. So the first one is a connection. Okay. And that happens within the frame of a conversation where you’re conversing with somebody, and you create a connection between two there’s an exchange of trust. Right, right. of some sort. There’s an element of vulnerability, that shared element of human hood is brought forward in exchange for this sensory emotional, there’s alignment that’s brought into play,

Joshua Ling 21:05
and it’s even transactional to a certain extent it’s an emotional transaction. Yeah,

Jaymes O’Pheron 21:09
absolutely. Absolutely. And but it’s, it’s one connection. Yes. Right. So if we had a connection earlier, where we exchange services, that was an exchange of trust, right, exactly. It was through a series of conversations, and it was amazing. And then we’re having this other conversation now. Right, where there’s an exchange happening here as well, we’re creating a connection, another connection, but those connections weave together, like threads into the next level, which is a relationship. Yes. Okay. So relationship is woven out of conversations and connections. And it takes the form of a story, right? There’s a story thread that’s happening here. That’s one the other, and there’s all kinds of tropes, and arcs and narrative structures that come into play in a relationship that people have. Oh, yes. Oh, my goodness, yes. But that’s between two people. Yes. Right. Yes, you fractal it out, you start, we have one more person. So those three people in the triangle, right, I’ve got my relationship with him, your relationship with him and our relationship together. And as those are connecting together, my relationship with him is shaped by the fact that we also share relationship with you for tonight, you know, and then that the more complex that web develops, the more nuanced that those those interconnections become, and the more power that community which is that next level develops, yes, because there’s a shared identity, there’s a, in a very real sense, a new soul is born, a new being an entity, um, which unorthodox thought has its own guardian angel. It is an actual spiritual reality that is formed there. And it has its own life. It has its own nature, it has its own rises and falls and all these different kinds of things. What’s fascinating is, is that when you go into this levels, what I call this the story, turn them to an epic. Okay. And you look at the actual origins of epic, right? Culturally, anthropologically, an epic is an origin story. Yes. Okay, is a story of heroes that have shaped a community. Okay. And the goal of a community is to accomplish things for the sake of common values. Okay. There’s certain things that a community can do that an individual cannot. And most things in this world that are ethical, I’ll even say this for everything that is worth doing, can only be done through a community, it’s not, you can’t do things that are worthwhile on your own. And so the community is the catalyst for that. Right? And it does that via a common ground of values. They’re all focused in the same direction, doing a thing together, right? All these common values, but values are meaningless, unless embodied in a person, a hero, a champion of those values that say, we don’t find loyalty to an abstract set of causes. That’s not a thing. Yes, I over design. We operate relationally with a person who embodies those values. That’s why you know, we have creeds and our faith really isn’t in the Creed Correct? Yes. Our faith is in Christ, who is the WAY the TRUTH and the LIFE exactly we find that loyalty in the form of accrete?

Joshua Ling 25:01
Exactly. Yeah, it’s done to create itself.

Jaymes O’Pheron 25:05
Alright, so the next level because we think we think, Well, I first philosopher, I thought that was that was the end of the three truly, three is a good number. Right? Right. But then I started realising that there’s another level to this. Because in my own experience, I see this a lot, right? Communities fail. They collapse, they don’t have longevity through time. Right. The next level is culture. And I define a culture. Right, as the system of communication of values from one generation to the next, is propagating those values to the, into a heritage, right. So it’s not just those origin heroes, they have to be able to pass on that torch.

Joshua Ling 25:50
You might even use a reformed Presbyterian word like covenant. Yes. Yeah. This is this cultural covenant, one of

Jaymes O’Pheron 25:58
the mechanisms of that absolutely, absolutely. Oh, that that continuing covenant in that continuing community through time that is bigger than any individual, or even the specific generation of heroes, and you’ll be able to hand pass that torch on, right. That’s a culture. And it’s done through myth. So the ethic becomes a myth. And a myth, in our, in our modern secular mind tends to be associated with something that’s fake, right.

Joshua Ling 26:26
I know that and pretty much all my listeners are gonna know this by probably two or three. So yeah, no, you don’t know,

Jaymes O’Pheron 26:34
is a participatory story. Short, yeah. It’s a story that you participate in, that you continue on and extend. It’s like the fanfic universe. I’ll actually I really liked writing fanfic, actually, I think honestly, all fiction is fanfic.

Joshua Ling 26:49
Yes, I mean, the sun

Jaymes O’Pheron 26:55
always work. But it’s that kind of you’re creating a story that people want to help continue the storytelling, right. So there’s three specific components, the circles, background technology, there are three specific components by which or means by which culture is propagated, okay. So one is through language, or communication. One is through creation, okay, art, which includes music, um, you know, actual painting, art, any kind of creation, though, really, that we encounter through our senses. And then through ritual. Okay, or CO acting or CO action, in a sense, we’re doing something very precise definition of ritual is a physical action, which has spiritual impact. Okay, something happens spiritually, because so working

Joshua Ling 27:51
out would be included. Yeah, yeah.

Jaymes O’Pheron 27:55
But you know, if you’re working out with somebody, yes, there’s a bond that’s created that one of the biggest ones eating together. Yes. Is one of those powerful. This is the actual fundamental nature of sacrifice. Yes, in Scripture. It’s not about the killing. It’s about the sharing of a meal. Right? So specifically what it’s about, and that creates communities why you don’t eat food sacrifice to idle because you’re becoming one with the demon, bad idea of community with a demon. This is why when you excommunicate you cut off, you don’t eat with them, that’s when you’re communing with them. That’s right, what’s happening, right? It’s not just like, it’s not saving, like shunning or not cute, actually correct, indicating, it’s like you’re not communing in the Eucharist with them that what that word actually means, right? You’re still communicating with them, because you’re trying to draw them back in again, but you’re not communing with them right? Not being one with them, right? Yes, yes. So this, these three components, right, are what embody the values that a culture is propagating. And when those break down, when communication breaks down, when art and creation break down, when ritual breaks down, to become secularised and so on, it loses that coherence that cohesiveness and the culture breaks down. Right. And so technology from what I said before example, communication and language is empowered through engagement of the senses, more of the humans you’re bringing in, whether it’s you’re seeing each other versus just on the phone just via text, or give each other a hug and a handshake, or eating a meal together, engaging all the senses, the smell and the taste. All these senses engaged, sharing emotional vulnerability, all these things together. Those are part of what makes communication work. Right. Yep. And that’s muted online. It’s possible to do it you can talk about you can even eat meals together online. It’s not quite the same, but it’s close to them. would otherwise be right. You can talk about senses when you use storytelling techniques to help people engage with their senses and the things around them to embody themselves again, they become more connected. Right, right. So there’s ways that you can transcend that barrier a little bit, of course, to be able to still make connection. Through an online meeting, it’s still possible if you know what the fundamental components of connection actually are. And then you’re transcending.

Joshua Ling 30:31
Yeah. And this is this is one of the things I really wanted to get to. Yeah, I have a science fiction story. That is actually like the origin of it is twofold. One, the TV show Firefly, just a big inspiration, in general, but then secondarily, the verse. And this is what I was looking down for Leviticus 1711, which says, For the life of the flesh is in the blood. And I have given it to you on the altar to make atonement for your souls for it as the blood by reason of the life that makes atonement. Yes. So this is a this is a fundamental Christian value, and not all Christians hold to it. I don’t think it’s something that you’re an immediate heretic if you have a hard time with this heterodox but in life, right, the the, the continuation of the connection between the soul and the body, which is life, is perpetuated by blood.

Jaymes O’Pheron 31:26
Now, I’m sure you’re aware, you probably already made this connection. But this is actually reify. Physically, yes. Because the spirit, the life, right, right. The breath literally in the Hebrew, randon, the Greeks, and the nefesh is breathed into us by God, correct? Yes. Right. So is that right, the Spirit of God and moves as a win? I guess. It’s very tied physically to breath, which is why incense is like the embodiment of prayer, right? And what

Joshua Ling 31:57
it covered carries the literally the life moving. Yes,

Jaymes O’Pheron 32:03
this is what is the physical reality of spirituality. Like they’re merged together in separate so we’re

Joshua Ling 32:08
totally on the same page here for this. Totally. Alright. Yep. So here, here was my thought. Okay. First of all, I don’t know if you remember years ago, I had the experience of being one of the people who were protesting down in Atlanta, when the federal court saw Terry Shabbos case years and years and years ago. Are you familiar with the Terry Scheiber case? Oh, no. Oh, this sounds familiar.

Jaymes O’Pheron 32:33
Is that one of the was that one of the euthanasia type things taking off life support when he was a vegetable? Yeah, yeah.

Joshua Ling 32:42
It was a female. But yes, she Yeah, she was a read off. Yeah.

Jaymes O’Pheron 32:46
Because his his because her husband was trying to get her shut off. Yes. Um, despite her still being present, you know, there’s like Trump or what legal loopholes. And I was, I bought the book for my dad, but didn’t read it myself. So scan just I’m generally

Joshua Ling 33:04
just just a little little bit little backup on that, though. She had not a lot of brain activity to the point where technically by our current medical standards today, she was a vegetable. However, she was still responding in a very obvious toddler like sense, in her own way.

Jaymes O’Pheron 33:23
For some reason, the mature rule is not the only part of our existence. Right? Right, exactly.

Joshua Ling 33:28
So with all that being said, I was actually down years and years ago when this happened with my family, with my parents protesting that and that had a profound impact on me, being there for that, and arguing these things with other folks and people who are just interested in learning, you know, very deep things. And so, you know, the thing that my mother kept coming back to is the life is in the blood, the life is in the blood. And we can say that, you know, I’ve met people with just basically a brainstem, you know, who’ve not who still have interactions with other human beings, and it’s not even the interaction that makes them alive. That’s the thing we need to realise. But that’s, that’s a sign of the life that is in them. So, with all that being said, I thought, okay, science fiction. Let’s take this to its end degree. And I’m gonna, I’m gonna give you a little bit of the story, and I just, I just want to hear your thoughts on it early and how this dovetails into what you talked about with Zoom, and what you talk about with all these other sorts of things. Okay. All right. So we have this guy Blaze and his wife, they are in a war. They are not conscripted. They’re their militia, you know, kind of a thing just fighting for their own people. And the the woman is mortally wounded. And in order to save her, he being a technological person, her as well. takes her back to his workshop and in a blog Panic tries to save her heart and her brain because that’s basically all that he can save at this point. He keeps that he saves the heart, he loses the brain. And he leaves the heart pumping, as on life support for a while. And then in his grief builds an Android powered by in this world vampiric technology is what they call it, where blood actually fuels. Right? Right. So basically, he creates this Android tries to make her as realistic as possible. Everything else. This is all illegal in his world, because there’s a Conservative government. And essentially, he’s trying to make her as realistic as possible to hide her and still have her around and he is totally conflicted as to whether she’s alive or not, if this is really right or not, or if this is a recreation of her based on his memory only, etc. And I

Jaymes O’Pheron 35:55
merely like a in orthodoxies venerating a commemoration of a relic in a sense, or just actually, right,

Joshua Ling 36:03

Jaymes O’Pheron 36:04
which is a relic isn’t just just a commemoration, but actually

Joshua Ling 36:08
the obvious, I’ll say my conclusion, you know, being that I read that, and I take it very literally, is that I believe she’s really there, you know, yeah, she, she is augmented by all this technology. But she’s really there. And this is one of those things that, you know, you’re talking about zoom in, I’ll let you dovetail into this, but I believe I really am talking to you, I don’t have a problem with that barrier. I have no

Jaymes O’Pheron 36:32
less real of a person, because I’m talking to you via screen anymore, then you’ll be less than the person if I was talking to you through a you know, suit can with a string. Right, right. Right. As a couple directions, I want to comment on that one briefly. And I know people have this thing, a whole hang up in the sense about technology. Right? Right. And there’s a couple different directions to tackle it from. But one way to conceive it? Well, I think of it in the philosophical, setting aside the phenomenology of it in a sense, and how we interact with it. Um, but if you look at it from just a completely think of digital things as abstract, like, platonic ideal kind of things, and it’s information transmitted from one database to another, it’s still the same information. So there’s certain amount of that, you know, mutability and non fungibility in that as part of that. But ultimately, everything digital is still somewhere embodied in physical matter. Yes. Right. It’s

Joshua Ling 37:51
a physical matter, right. Like, yes. etched into? Yeah, yeah. At least negative physical matter.

Jaymes O’Pheron 37:59
Yeah, it’s there. It’s there. It’s in the physical world. Yeah. Um, and so there’s is still a physical interaction. Um, if I interact with you, right now, you know, what, some of the politics that the slightly you’re still you even if you’re wearing a mask, yes. Right. And it’s still talking, there’s an issue there. Right, there’s, there’s still a need. There’s an ambition there. And that’s real. Right. But you’re not less human? Correct. Because you’re wearing a mask, that you if you try and carry that through write that has very dangerous implications. For example, you could even argue that that would be I mean, if you’re going to argue that way, that would probably be the better arguments for abortion, because you can’t actually interact with them directly. Right? Therefore, they less human well. How far do you want to take this argument? Right? So But no, we are human inherently. As we interact just by sight of God, right, regardless of how each other and we ascribe meaning and definition to each other by how we interact. But that doesn’t change that fact. Right.

Joshua Ling 39:13
And let me just say to anyone who’s listening, this is in no way at all advocating for transhumanism. Pandora, my character is is still has a human heart and blood. She is still human.

Jaymes O’Pheron 39:27
Oh, actually, I want to take that over that. So I actually labelled myself as a Christian transhumanists. Okay, that’s a nice thing. So people define transhumanism very differently, though. Right. Right. Right. So

Joshua Ling 39:40
obviously, I’m talking going beyond God’s creation. Yeah. Well, so

Jaymes O’Pheron 39:44
there’s a component to hit this here. Right. Right. So like I mentioned earlier, technology is fundamentally an extension of humanity.

Joshua Ling 39:55

Jaymes O’Pheron 39:56
Okay, right. I’m following. There’s not really anything distinction. Ultimately, that’s what makes us it’s not what makes us human. But it is a human ability that’s distinctly granted to us to fulfil that, which makes us human the image of God,

Joshua Ling 40:10
I’m following you. It’s dominion, though. Yeah. So

Jaymes O’Pheron 40:12
in contrast to like, you know, a eagle is given his own wings with which to fly. Right. And we are given not much, by way of physical ability to do pretty much anything,

Joshua Ling 40:25
right? This is the argument. Are we supposed to be rained on or not?

Jaymes O’Pheron 40:32
Are we supposed to be blind if we lose eyesight? Well, no, we put glasses on. Right. Right. That’s our ability that is given to us in order to fulfil God’s command to be sub creators. Correct? Right. And so clothing is a part of us. And in fact, we’re Orthodox, and all this also, more explicitly, hierarchically made explicit, and in Catholic thought to have multiple orders of relics. Right. So we have first order relic is an actual piece of a person, right? Bone or hair or something like that. Right? Right. Second order rock is something that belongs directly to them. Okay, like their clothes. Right? So looking at the used stuff. Yeah, like it was a saint with a prosthetic arm, that would be a second order.

Joshua Ling 41:23
And see, these things would make sense. Even if you don’t believe in relics in the sense of like, you know, you’re right. Yes. Yeah. This is a song that

Jaymes O’Pheron 41:31
makes sense. Yeah. Yeah. And you have third order relics or things that they encounter encountered had contact with, you know, that kind of stuff. And so, but they’re all tied to the person. Right there still, His presence is still there. Effectively, I mean, even see that ongoing, the whole relics thing, but you know, you can see in Scripture with, you know, st Elijah’s bones, right, right, fallen, fallen touches bones that are resurrected spontaneously, but he’s still there. It’s still down. Right? Right. That’s where he’s like, you know, we are alive in our spirits, but our body is sleeping, that body is still you write it’s not you anymore. It’s still you, and it’ll be resurrected bodily at the end. Right, then, so

Joshua Ling 42:13
the tragedy of the of the fall, is that it’s not all of you.

Jaymes O’Pheron 42:19
Right? Exactly exist, that division that is unnatural, and should not be. Exactly, yeah. And so you have this idea of, it’s not just your physical body, it’s also the things that belong to you, that served you that you use your clothing as technology, right? Ultimately, yes, it’s an extension of you into the world. And so taking that, right, in the same way, that it’s not wrong, to use a car to go faster than you’re physically able to move, or to fly in a plane, which is you can jump higher and otherwise. And in the same way, that’s one level of augmentation that is natural inherent to the purpose of technology, right? That serves a god glorifying purpose. And some people draw a line of goal embedding things right, you know, right, directly modifying yourself right, like we use, you know, devices inside ourselves to, you know, fix problems. So he’s a procedure and he writes your view of course, you have contact lenses you Howard

Joshua Ling 43:22
our heart, our starters. Yeah.

Jaymes O’Pheron 43:24
restarts my mind, like on the term now. Yeah. kinds of things. So what’s the philosophical difference, right, between embedding technology in yourself to augment your ability or use it externally, what’s really the difference? Race authentically. And so the idea of Transhumanism is ultimately at its heart, though humanists use it a lot, mostly, um, is being ethical in use of technology. Basically, you say, Oh, if we only if we if we hide from technology, only unethical people will use it. It’s kind of the gun control argument if you outlaw guns on the outlaws use guns, right? Yeah, it’s the same kind of idea. So we need to as Christians who have literally the monopoly on true and right ethics and morals, right, should be at the forefront of technological innovation, amen. Bracing, bringing the human hood into it, instead of surrendering that part of the culture war, or to everybody else, and that’s what I believe is true. Christian, transhumanism.

Joshua Ling 44:36
Exactly. Yes. And that’s, that’s a completely different idea than the, you know, see, perspective.

Jaymes O’Pheron 44:45
Perspective is is the idea that evolution is not as stalled and we’re helping you start improving on where we’re at, and we can do better. That’s not it.

Joshua Ling 44:57
We’re reversing the curse. by his, by his by His power and His by the Holy Spirit’s power in us. We are not recreating humanity. Yes, exactly. That’s, that’s the difference. Yeah. And so I was just gonna point out, you know, this is exactly what CS Lewis talks about in that hideous strength that’s really coming out in this whole thing. When he comes at transhumanism from the the, like you were saying, the, the atheistic side of things. Absolutely. Yeah, so let’s, so let’s get into you. In closing, let’s not in full closing, we got about 15 minutes or so. But like, I really want to know, like, where you’ve come from, I want to know, you know, you talk about your Protestant background just a little bit and talk about like, what led you to where you are physically and spiritually, everything else and just take your time with a man like, I’ll ask questions if I need to, but to hear from you, I want people to know who you are. Because you’re this great coach, you know, you do these great things. And I’ve seen, I’ve seen your stuff, I’ve edited some of your stuff. And I really do enjoy hearing you as opposed to a lot of the scammers and the scammers.

Jaymes O’Pheron 46:05
I found it I authentically want people to be able to grow into the potential and the gifts that God has given them instead of them wasting. Exactly.

Joshua Ling 46:12
And so I want to know why that is you how did this come about? Because it’s God’s story. Tell it man.

Jaymes O’Pheron 46:22
All right. Yeah. So I grew up, I’m oldest of eight. And my family has always been I was gonna say reasonably odd, but really unique.

Joshua Ling 46:35
Mine two, to five. So yeah, walk together. Totally.

Jaymes O’Pheron 46:42
But we my father was tremendously intentional about how He raised us. And I look up to him tremendously for that. He’s one of my heroes because of that. Well, he and my mom came from families that were not wholly dysfunctional, but not really functional, right? In the ways that mattered, right. And there was enough there for them to be aware and say, We don’t want to just take what’s given us and just use it by default. We want to sit back and think what’s the best way to do things. And so my dad sat down and said, Okay, I’m going to start from scratch effectively. And think through how to intentionally craft a culture for my family. And I was the guinea pig. As always, that’s how the oldest gets it. And they learned a lot and my siblings have turned out in many ways better than I have. I went to prison, they haven’t. So that’s a win there. But one of the things that I took from them more than almost anything else other than other than my faith, was that that spirit and passion for intentionality, of thinking things through and asking the questions particularly why cuz I love why it’s in my name. I love that letter. I love that word. I love that question. And always asking probing deeper to understand the reasons behind things. And that led me to a lot of things that got me in trouble. You know, curiosity kills the cat. But frequently, what I what I believe firmly is that is yes, Curiosity killed the cat. But what curious to cat is more curiosity? If I had asked questions about the consequences of actions more, rather than what’s possible, if I thought, what might not be best possible, right, then I would not have gotten into the same trouble. But it was that curiosity that led me out of it. It was sitting there as I Okay, you know, I really freaking messed up here. What did I Where did I go wrong? How can I Right? Right. And that’s what led me back to God. That’s what led me to him in that humility and repentance. What is a form of curiosity? It’s a quickening of the hope that there’s something better than where I’m at. Right. Right. And so as I entered into that kind of mature curiosity, right, not just the the kids why, why why about everything, and you know, running over every Cliff just to see what it’s like, there was a deep, deeper and more mature curiosity of who can I become, right? How can I make amends to the world in a sense by becoming a better person? Right. You can’t undo your past, but you can create a better future. Yeah. And so, you know, through that process, and, you know, through prison, I struggled with that, because I was like, I don’t have five years. I can’t not do things for five years. That’s right, intolerable. So what do I do is I treated monastic Lee actually before I even was aware of monasticism really as a thing before I even knew orthodoxy existed. I was like, This is enough. For me to grow in temper my faith, right it did. I read well over 1000 books and just dove into learning and studying not just books and things that I was curious about, but about people about myself about faith. Because in prison, you don’t have a choice really about what options you have for denominations. And I grew up fundamentalist impacted Baptist and first few years, I was like, they were not fundamental Independent Baptist, okay. And I just went to what was available and I started thinking and like, these people, obviously are worshipping the same God I am, right, in a very different way. And they have very different reputations of things, but the worshipping the same God, and it kind of tempered some of my exclusionary elitism that I had cultivated in my narcissistic youth. Careful carefully cultivated intentional narcissism, unfortunately, part of the curiosity that got me into things was how psychopathic Can I actually get on purpose? Bad, bad, bad question to ask.

Jaymes O’Pheron 51:06
Definitely. But as I start exploring, like finding out asking questions, I knew scripture backwards and forwards, right, my dad, but it was out loud every year, and I was I was an apologetics I studied and I knew scripture. But I’m like, Well, this is a completely new perspective that I had never encountered before. And casting things against them. Like, you know, this is actually better explanation than what I grew up with. That’s interesting. And start, you know, exploring things. I encountered Messianic Judaism during that time, and they have a coherent internal interpretation of scripture that’s wildly different. Yeah, than everything I had grown off with, by looking at them side by side house like these are completely different interpretations. Right. But they each have internal consistency, right? As far as I can tell, right, at least. I mean, there was inconsistencies in both. But obviously,

Joshua Ling 52:06
we’re human. We can’t see the other of all things. There are certain things that were yes, no, we’re not going to know for sure that we’re right, exactly.

Jaymes O’Pheron 52:13
Not until, as far as I’m able to figure out like there’s no way in the balance to figure out which one is closer to truth than the other. And that at first shook my faith, because I like that’s an epistemological challenge, for sure. How do you have one truth when you’ve got this kind of situation? So I was wrestling with that, and I knew God. Personally, I never questioned like, I’m going to leave the faith. That was never even in my mind. Like, I know God, I want to find him in the best way. Was that really what came what came down to? And I encountered Coptic orthodoxy, which is not actually Eastern Orthodoxy is oriental orthodoxy. Right, which they branched off from 580 500 years for Catholics back branched off right. Over my arthritis ism, with the fifth Council, you can communicate counsel, but they’re very, they’re kissing cousins. They’re very, very, very, very close. And I was really I’m excited about now actually, personally, I know a lot of them have actually come to our parish, in the Eritrean Orthodox churches, which is the same communion. They are. There’s progress working towards it actually. reunifying. Right, with bodies, which is amazing. Yeah, because they’re tracing evangelising. A lot of this the This communication was just that miscommunication. It was more semantics. Right? Like, well, oops. So working, trying to mend that rift and a sandwich is really cool. But I kind of kept it worse at Oxy. And it was yet again, so wildly different than what I had encountered before. And you know, there’s the incense there was, you know, entering the service, barefoot, and unleavened bread for communion and more books in the Bible, and you know, all these different things. And I was like wrestling, like this is so different, right? But there’s something about it. That rang of truth. And this goes back to the to the good, the true in the beautiful, right? Like, you’re familiar with that phrase? Yes. They are the ones like a trinity. They’re three different, you know, hypotheses of the true essence of God, is this trinity, right? And so our premises we can reason from premises but how do we know a premise is true. And good and beautiful. It’s by them being good, true and beautiful. We we intuitively in our spirit, in our news in our in our mind, the heart of hearts, the eye of our mind, we recognise that

Joshua Ling 54:53
Yeah. And so as as you know, good Protestant Presbyterian boy by Greg Bahnson kind of thing sort of showing through, I want to ask by what standard is something good, true and beautiful.

Jaymes O’Pheron 55:06
Exactly, exactly. That is the question, right? How do we recognise it?

Joshua Ling 55:13
I, as a Protestant, Presbyterian guy would say, yeah, it’s the Scripture. You read the Scripture, and you trust the Holy Spirit to interpret it for you, as best as you possibly can keep reading it, keep learning it, keep studying it, and close to that. It’s true. It’s good. It’s beautiful.

Jaymes O’Pheron 55:30
And as an orthodox, I would say, Yes. And

Joshua Ling 55:36
you say, Yes, right. Yes. I agree.

Jaymes O’Pheron 55:40
This is a, this is a core, this is a huge part of is we recognise it because the good the Trinity beautiful is fully manifested through Christ, Christ, the way through life. Yes. Because the truth is beautiful. Right? He is the manifestation of God’s revealed Lord to us. That and there is no way to the Father, but through him. There is nothing that is good, true, beautiful, apart from

Joshua Ling 56:01
the hero, he’s the archetype. I’m totally with you.

Jaymes O’Pheron 56:04
Exactly. And we understand him. And we encounter Christ in a true way through the Holy Spirit. Yeah, cuz he can see, the disciples didn’t always get it. Even though we’re living with them. It wasn’t until Pentecost, they go, Oh, right. Now we get it. Yeah, Holy Spirit quickens our ability to perceive the good, the true in the beautiful in Christ as He manifests itself in the world. Correct. One of the coolest ways in which He manifests Himself and that the apostles preserved that particular manifestation was through Scripture. Yes. So yeah. And that is one way that we encountered the good tubule directly is through Scripture.

Joshua Ling 56:43
Exactly. Yes. And, and, and discernment from that scripture, interprets everything else through the Holy Spirit. Yes, exactly. So through

Jaymes O’Pheron 56:52
our own cogitation, that’s all kinds of that’s where Yeah, so yeah, it’s awesome. So yeah, absolutely. Um, but I encounter like, I recognise this. And I, in my, in my spiritual intuition is I like, this seems more good, more true and more beautiful than what I’ve lived. Right. And I still struggled with it cuz they baptise babies. You know, I

Joshua Ling 57:17
always the big one for

Jaymes O’Pheron 57:20
my narrative of history was like, we’ve been slaughtered by the 1000s. For being anti Baptist, right? I’m not gonna just gonna toss this away on a whim. I need to really understand this before I set this core doctrine aside, this is why I call myself a Baptist. Is this one doctrine? And we don’t do that like?

Joshua Ling 57:40
Right. Weird,

Jaymes O’Pheron 57:41
you know, it was a real stumbling block for me, I met, you know, praying to marry you praying to saints icons, like, okay, I get that. That makes sense. You know, that one was very confused by that with me. Like, you’re not you’re not confused about this. I’m like, No, that’s fine.

Joshua Ling 57:59
It was hilarious. Oh, that’s amazing. That’s

Jaymes O’Pheron 58:03
it took a long struggle. But one thing that really stuck with me, I ended up like rejecting is I know, this isn’t for me, yet, at least I need to do a lot more research to do my due diligence before I approach something of this magnitude, right, right. Because you can’t take pieces and bits and pieces from it. That doesn’t work. Because that’s the whole point of converting to Orthodoxy is saying this is my epistemology. That the way in which I interpret Scripture is by means of the church, right. And the church is this specific community, not just whatever I happen to call it together in my back garden, right? I have to submit myself to this tradition thing of the apostolic interpretation passed down. Right, not just my own idea of what might be the right interpretation. This is how the Holy Spirit’s reserve interpretation that right, huge to submit to that, that was going against the whole independent part of the fundamental. Right, like, right, oh, I don’t want to submit myself I don’t have to like, always, if I agree with everything they say,

Joshua Ling 59:05
you know. And it’s really funny that you mentioned that because that’s one of the big things in polity and I’ll say this, and then we can you can comment and we can start wrapping I wanted to stay on after we actually finished the this portion of the show too. So stick around for that. I wanted to give you some parallels in my life to almost exactly what you’re talking about. Awesome. Um, this is where Presbyterianism is a funky little dog because you went from the Baptist side. Yeah. To the Episcopal side of church government. Right. This is Episcopalian government in the Orthodox Church. And so the the funny thing with Presbyterians is that they they actually unlike the Baptist kind of situation, is they have higher courts. Right, but those are actually a structure to it. Right? And those higher courts have have jurisdiction over what they have until they don’t there is actually an endpoint to these human courts where it has to be split. There is an actual, like a jurisdictional split that can take place within the system itself, which is a whole other idea. Yeah. No. Like it’s it’s an actual legal split. If you go before the presbytery and or General Assembly, and you still disagree with that, you see what I’m saying? Like, and that’s, that’s one of those really interesting things in and of itself. And I love the submission because that’s, that’s one of the big things that’s pressed in a good way. In a lot of my circles anyway, in in Presbyterianism is like, to be sure about submit, be not submitting in this this particular situation. There’s, there’s there’s good and right pressure from the elders upon the congregants.

Jaymes O’Pheron 1:00:57
I think that’s incredibly necessary. Yeah, it is incredibly necessary. Yeah. Oh, yeah. A lot of one was running around and everyone to doctrine results. Right. Yeah. The one thing that kind of wrapping up my story there in a bit is one yes. stuck with me was the OG path, which is the comic book of ours. And I pray through and it carried me through a lot in prison, because there’s a depth of humility and repentance, through those prayers that was so rich, and so powerful. That was like, Okay, I may not agree with them, but they have the spirit in a very real and practical way. And it carried me through a lot. And then since then I you know, studying the history, and, you know, tracing back like, Okay, this is, this is what happened, this is interesting, like tracing back and exploring and because like, you know, this no, this I do from the woods, this is the historic church, right? This is the, this is the apostolic succession. Right? This is the people that the people that are the body of the Christ that I already owe allegiance to. And so entering into that fold is just natural, to my allegiance to Christ and that size. And so now moving to Fargo, joining a parish here becoming a catechumen. And the richness of Divine Liturgy and vespers and attending and entering into the regular spiritual life of prayer, and fasting, and all these different parts of this is walking into a whole life that is full of spiritual creativity. Yeah, really a culture that has heroes that has a participatory myth that has this community with a story, an epic story, with these deep meaningful connections to God to each other, that has preserved and lasted not just, you know, for one generation, but for you for 2000 years. And part of that is, it’s a continuity from Adam, the way through really, you know, the people of God, and having that continuity, that connection and entering into that just enriches everything in life. And that’s what really the culture is all about. And so that’s what I subject everything I do to that. When I I’m not just like, oh, this is a cool marketing gimmick to draw from, you know, ancient Desert Fathers to help people with Zoom was like, No, this is the real transcendent truth that transcends time. And technology may seem new. But it really isn’t. No. We need to embrace it and submit it, baptise it to Christ, right. And that’s my passion.

Joshua Ling 1:03:48
Yeah. So I’ll speak directly to my to my audience, and you really quickly and then I want to hear where we can find you. And then then we’ll then we’ll go into the after me and you talking. Basically, just everyone listening. My whole thing on this is, even if I don’t agree directly with certain things that he says the best part is, you know, all those other sorts of things that differentiate us. The fact is that there is something missing in 99.9% of churches right now, even in Orthodox churches, and that thing I find more than anything else is beauty. The thing that we are as a Western culture, neglecting more than truth, and goodness, is in fact, beauty. We have, you know, completely given over our creation of art and myth and culture, to you know, basically babysitting the kids. That’s that’s what we have now. We have Hollywood babysitting the kids. And my exhortation to everyone listening is to like James is doing and I know he’s doing it because I keep up with it on social media. And I know A few guys that are doing it and some people go Why do you have a Catholic when your first episode you recorded in an orthodox on the next and the press bees are coming okay. So some of my Presby friends are a little higher higher ticket right now for me to get so anyway, but but here’s the deal be your families barred be your families barred because the your sincerity the sincerity of your faith will be demonstrated by the beauty that you can present before them. And so where can we find you online? James? Yeah, yeah, yes.

Jaymes O’Pheron 1:05:37
So Oh ferran.com is my home online. So Oh, p h e r o n.com. And you can look up catalytic conversations is actually a book written by somebody by that title. That’s not me yet. I probably will write a book called Cat conversations just to try and compete off of that namespace but my web my Facebook group and my page and LinkedIn is all callala conversations is my company, which you can find me at Oh ferran.com

Joshua Ling 1:06:07
Awesome. Thank you so much, James. I really appreciate you everyone. Keep fighting the culture war, keep pushing forward some victories. God All right, Ciao. Ciao

PAW4 – Ian Wilson

Joshua Ling 0:05
Today on poets at war, it is a manly episode with Ian Thomas Wilson, talking about the importance of Western archetypes, taking responsibility and martial arts, you are now entering the war zone. This is Oh at that wall

Joshua Ling 0:34
I’m not sure if we’ll do the show or not, of course, I record the whole thing and then decide what I put in. So it’s one of those things, it’s like, okay, whatever, you know, I’m basically an NF T is it’s called non fungible token. And it can be attached to a digital file. And basically, like, if you try to replicate that digital file, you can but the NFT does not go along with it. So essentially, it’s it’s certifying that this one is the original or this particular one, etc. And you’re actually able to sell it as a collectible. Does that make sense? Sure. It’s, it’s a form of crypto. It’s a form of cryptocurrency, that essentially when you create a digital file, if you do it with creative with an NF t, it will allow you to sell it as this is this file. It’s not a copy of a copy of a copy, right? Oh, okay, you see what I’m saying? And so a lot of art people are creating just like random pictures of cats and junk and selling them for 1000s of dollars. It’s it’s kind of ridiculous. But like the the art world, it’s a big thing right now, for obvious reasons. Like it’s you can own digital art, as opposed to just owning a copy of digital art, right? You can own the original export of someone’s art, you know what I’m saying? So, yeah, so yeah, okay, I

Ian Wilson 2:16
guess that makes

Joshua Ling 2:17
sense. Yeah, it does take a little bit of money up front for like processing and stuff like that, you can look up how to make an NFT. And you’ll find all kinds of answers, but it’s basically cryptocurrency. If the currency is a product a good you know, what I’m saying? Like a digital product or a good? So? Yeah, it’s a, it’s interesting that way, I’ve been looking into him a little bit, but haven’t made any concrete decisions. And it’s still very much in its infancy. One of the really cool things that I found out about it is the you can set your NFT so that every time it is sold, you get a royalty for as the or the originator of it. So basically, if someone sold a piece of your art, resold it for $100, and you set it to 10%, you would get 10 bucks out of that transaction. Oh, super. Yep. So but anyway, yeah. The, the podcasts we’re doing is very wide, open, casual, like, I record the whole thing and then just decide where I’m gonna start basically. And the, the main stuff we’re going to be getting into is kind of the at least the general theme of what we’re getting into is the idea of where what you do are with art, truth, beauty, etc, and how that all fits into the culture war. And, and that sort of thing. So why don’t you introduce yourself and just talk about what it is you do.

Ian Wilson 4:10
Alright, my name is Ian Wilson and I am a chronic I guess you’d call it like, you’d say I didn’t know what to do with my life. I’m a comic artist and writer. I’ve done Bible illustrations I’ve done I have an ongoing comic book project called legend at the sword Bear WHAT webcomic project. I written a couple of novellas. First one being a song of amorous and the second one is the sort of amorous which is that’s going that’s in the process of being rewritten right now. Because I realised, after a couple people had read it and said, you know, you made some mistakes here and there. So I had to go and basically reword everything from the ground up. And so it’s getting Greek. That’s getting re released. The first of October.

Joshua Ling 5:24
Cool. So what are your stories about? Like, what’s the what’s the theme? You know, sort of a thing that you’re going with all those?

Ian Wilson 5:35
Well, the amorous stories are about King amorous who was a, he was a historical king, he actually existed, as far as anyone can tell. In the fifth century, he was the uncle of King Arthur. And he was the first high Kingdom of England. And he had has these adventures that nobody actually talks about. Nobody wrote hardly anything about him. So I’m basically making up mythology as I go along. Because there’s there’s nothing there. I mean, he fought some battles against the Saxons, they did some cool magic tricks. And then that’s, that’s it, he disappears

Ian Wilson 6:20
from the record. Yeah, that’s interesting. And I,

Ian Wilson 6:23
I thought, you know, it’d be nice. If there were more stories

Joshua Ling 6:27
about him. For sure. Yeah. The thing that I really like about those, you know, I’m going through and recording the audio books for you. The, the thing that was that really struck me with these is they feel very, very fast paced, they feel adventurous, they remind me of like, if if a King Arthur sort of thing met sort of an Indiana Jones, sort of vibe, some of the humour in Bertoia reminded me a lot of Indiana Jones. Very action based humour, so I really appreciate that.

Ian Wilson 7:04
Oh, yeah, yeah. I was pretty heavily influenced by Indiana Jones and things like that as a kid. So that was, that was one of the things I wanted there.

Joshua Ling 7:18
Yeah, totally. So what are some of the other projects you’re involved with? I know, logo. Sophia. Sarah mentioned you in the podcast. Want to tell people what you do for logo Sophia?

Ian Wilson 7:34
Um, it’s hard to describe. Well, I do I did. For logo Sophia. I’m the assistant editor. I don’t think of the word there for a minute. I’m the Assistant Editor of logo, Sophia, I run the Twitter. For logo, Sophia, I pretty much run the Facebook page. I don’t. Sarah still does a lot of things with that. But I’m basically in charge of making sure that the posts go out when they should. As far as the website goes, I don’t really do much for the website. Aside from contributing the odd short story here in there, that’s the other project I’m working on. I’ll get to that later. I gotcha. But that’s what I do for logos via

Joshua Ling 8:27
Yeah. So um, what what do you see? You know, I’ve basically like, why do you write these works? Why do you draw the comics? You know, you mentioned kind of this idea of, you’ve always been looking for something to do. But like, what, what are some of the things that make you think that this is a worthwhile adventure, adventure and investment and what you do? And and what generally speaking, like, tell, tell them about like your plans? Where’s where is this all going? What’s the purpose?

Ian Wilson 9:06
So my plans right now, as it stands, part of the reason I do this is because we’re in an age where there are so many so many, so many books being produced by people really don’t know what they’re doing. And I’m not going to claim that no one doing reading read, obviously, I had to rewrite the entire novella from the ground up. And there are all these books being produced. And they all have basically the same sorts of themes. Now I have no problem with the hero’s journey. I think it’s a great archetype to work off of. But once you’ve done it a few 100 million different times, and is all just very variations on a theme. The way I look at it, people are thirsting for adventure, and they’re drowning in all this content. That may or may not be what they’re looking for, you know, you have these people that are, quote, unquote, subverting tropes. Well, tropes exist for a reason. tropes have a cultural purpose to serve. So, you know, one of the tropes I that I like the best is that the idea of a ideal King, somebody who is not necessarily perfect, but someone who’s going to do what’s necessary to save the kingdom. So you have characters like King Arthur, they’re highly important culturally, especially in Western culture, but to a lesser extent in the east. It’s really, really important to keep those traditions alive. And well, a lot of fantasy authors. Nowadays, I don’t see a lot of them doing that. They’re too busy trying to be original, rather than actually producing good art that people actually want to read. So I went back and I looked at, I read John Carter of Mars, I read Conan the Barbarian, I read all of the old pulp heroes that were really popular in the 1920s, and 1930s. And they all seem to have these certain features in common. We have these men that are not necessarily like buff jocks, but are men of action and adventure, who are going to do what’s necessary to protect the people they love. And they’re always they’re always gentlemen, they’re always kind to women. And they take care of the people that they love. And sometimes they do things out of selfish ambition, and sometimes to do things to help people. And I wanted to bring back that type of hero. Now there, I found out from Twitter that there are other authors out there who are basically doing the same thing that I’m doing. But they’re not as well known as I think that they should be. Ideally, I would like to do a four part series with amorous and then I’m going to move on to Luther, and do probably a three part series with him. And then not sure exactly what I’m going to do after that with the Camelot idea. I don’t know if I’m going to produce more Camelot theme books after that. I don’t know if I’m going to do more legend of the sword bearer stuff. I may move into something different. But we’ll see.

Joshua Ling 13:10
Yeah, that sounds great. So one of the things that that really kind of stuck with me there what you were talking about the idea of the person who does what it takes who takes care of his people who isn’t perfect, but tries his hardest all the time? And, yeah, yeah, the the whole Shades of Grey thing I remember you mentioning something like that on Facebook, people talking about writing in shades of grey, and always trying to have a very flawed hero as opposed to a partially flawed hero or something of that nature. I think that that’s one of the reasons, you know, there was such a, you know, there’s a certain group of people who want this. And a lot of people downplay that group, because they believe that group is dying out when in fact, they’re actually slowly growing again. Yeah, but that’s one of the reasons I think so many people latched on to Captain America in the Marvel movies. He is very anachronistic and specific in his philosophy of fighting. And I think that, you know, I think some people latched on to it too much and didn’t give enough credence to another hero who was that way in the beginning and that was Thor. Um, but, but yeah, it’s, it’s, it’s interesting to me how certain people at the right times find these not necessarily tropes, but these patterns that have been slowly dying from fiction, and how they begin to bring them back the one that I’m particularly fond of I have found out through a lot of searching is is the idea of essentially, a, an imperfect. And this one’s resonating a lot with people my age right now, an imperfect father figure who still very, very, very much loved his kids. And the, the damage that has been done is undone by the good that was done in the first place that the kid didn’t even know about. I find that trope to be something particularly strong and even though it’s overused in a lot of cases currently. I think there’s more there that people aren’t delving into. What, in your opinion, is the epitome of this kind of hero you’re talking about that you’re talking about specifically in? In, you know, you mentioned some of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, if I remember correctly, and John Carter of Mars and things of that nature, what is like this is this is exactly what I’m going for, like the closest thing you can say to the epitome.

Ian Wilson 16:13
Oh, boy, it would either be John Carter of Mars, or called the conqueror. Hmm.

Joshua Ling 16:21
I’m not as familiar with cold. People want to go to go into him.

Ian Wilson 16:27
None of the people are familiar with him. I mean, he was he’s primarily associated with Kevin Sorbo movie in the 90s. But he was actually Robert E. Howard, who created Conan the Barbarian he created called the Conqueror first. And Cole was this character. I don’t know a whole lot about his backstory, but he was a barbarian, like Conan the Barbarian. Basically, Atlantis fell, and the survivors returned to barbarism. And Carl is one of those people, one of the surviving Atlanteans, who worked his way up from literally nothing, and became the king of the empire. He became the emperor. And he was incredibly savage in battle. But when somebody was in danger, you know, he was right there. He was gonna do whatever it took, there was a slave girl who had fallen in love with this noble, this nobleman, and they couldn’t get married because the law said they couldn’t get married. And Cole was so irritated by the fact that he lived in a reality where he was restricted by ancient laws written by fools in his opinion, that he just took the tablets of the law and hit them with an axe and shattered them to pieces.

Joshua Ling 18:09
That, yeah, I can see that that is. It’s a very specific kind of person who kind of says, a screw through the tradition, we need to do what’s right. That seems to be kind of what you’re getting at with that. Yeah. And I can see that in your work. So what is your hope to accomplish with this work, obviously selling it and making money and I even want to go into a discount that I really don’t. You laugh, but like so many people discount that as a noble goal. The fact is, it is noble if you’re trying to take care of eating, eating is a noble goal. Exactly. It’s extremely noble. So I don’t want to discount that. And I want I want people to support folks like you and the other people have on this podcast, and especially if they sent they think this works. Sounds interesting. But like, what, showing this person in a story showing this archetype in a story, what does what are you hoping for it to accomplish within the culture war that we see going on today?

Ian Wilson 19:18
Well, I want to give young men in particular positive role models. You know, my grandfather’s generation, they had Tarzan and my grandfather was a big fan. Tarzan, my dad was a big fan of Tarzan. And that gave them a positive role model. Because he, despite the fact that he was raised by apes, he treated people with respect. You know, he was always respectful to ladies and but if you crossed him, you know, haven’t helped you. And I want young men who are Zoomers and the next generation coming up to have male role models. Whether they can say, you know, I’m not going to treat women like that. I’m not going to be a savage to women. I’m going to defend my family. I’m going to put food on the table of so that I can, you know, and just be masculine without being a muscle head. You know what I mean? Yeah, definitely.

Joshua Ling 20:27
I think that there’s, you know, so many people equate. I even saw a tweet. Recently, someone had said, and someone refuted them. The idea that some some literary person was saying to a commenting on some fitness guy’s picture, that, Oh, every single one of those veins on your arm is 10 is 100 books you haven’t read or something like that. And I’m like, that’s a really reductionist idea of times stupid, extremely stupid. And the guy got refuted big time. But yeah, that’s something that I really see as people want to, especially in the culture war, especially from the Marxist circles and things of that nature, people. We even see it in our fiction, people want to be put into factions people want to associate with this faction, or that faction in this faction is my idea. Yeah. Right. And what you’re advocating for really is a mould breaker. Someone who uses the hand that he’s dealt, like a, like a great western trope, you know, whatever hand he’s dealt, he’s still the fastest gun in the West. Right? Like, that’s, that’s kind of the thing. So I, I think that comes correct me if I’m wrong from a little bit of who you are, and the way you’ve been brought up, do you want to go into that a little bit, and just kind of give people a background on who you are? Sure.

Ian Wilson 22:03
Yeah. So my dad, my dad is one of those people who was physically extremely strong. I mean, I’ve seen him move some really heavy stuff. And you know, you look at him, and he’s got arms like a gorilla. I’m not even kidding. So he re just finished. Just finished Dracula, and now he’s about halfway through Frankenstein. He’s read more books than I ever have. Granted, he’s my father. So he’s significantly older. You know, by the time he was my he had written or read hundreds and hundreds of books. And you can, you can be intellectual, and still be physically strong, you can be intellectual and still be physically fit. And a lot of the people that I run to run into at Comic Cons and whatnot. They don’t do that. For whatever reason, they think that if you’re a nerd, then you have to be nerdly. You can’t go to the gym. You can’t do this. You can’t you can’t be a jock. And I’m just like, No, you can read comic books and still play football. You can read comic books and still still do karate? I certainly do. I’ve been doing karate for seven years. So he instilled in me a love of high action literature. And a love of fitness. Yeah, teenager I was that was that was a bit more difficult because I was strong headed and I wanted to do my own thing. He just kind of said, Okay, fine, do whatever you want. But you know, it caught on later. Pardon me? Yeah, definitely. So you know, I turned when I turned 21 And I just got fired from my first real nine to five job at the YMCA. I’m not going to get into that because that’s that’s water under the bridge now. Actually, no, I am going to get it. Let’s go. So as I look back now, this is seven years since I’ve been fired from the why they look back now I realised that there were hundreds of situations that were I put in them again, I will handle completely differently. I had no idea what I was doing. Nobody trained me. I didn’t know what exactly they expected. Me expect me to do what was your job and there were a lot of times, I was just basically glorified home monitor. I gotcha. I was just there to make sure that the kids didn’t do anything dangerous, and that they were entertained. I was a high paid babysitter, basically, I’m following Yeah. There were lots of lots of times when I just went, why? Why are they allowed to do this? And, you know, they, if they had a sob story, sob story bad enough, then the director would just get let them get away with murder, essentially. And there were a lot of things that I did that I look back and think, Ooh, boy, I would not do that again. And I could have gotten in a lot of trouble for doing that. You know, nothing criminal. Right. You know what I mean? But I understand why they fired me now, because I was not cut out for that job at all.

Joshua Ling 26:08
You had to learn German archetype you were looking for?

Ian Wilson 26:12
Yeah, exactly. I was fired. And I was mad. And Dad said, why don’t you go to karate class? And I said, No. And Dad said, Fine. I’ll I’ll take you to the karate class. And you can look, you can watch and decide if you want to do it. So I watched, and I decided, okay, yeah, I’ll do this. And that’s how I got involved with martial arts. I gotcha. I’ve been doing that. I’ve been doing that week in week out. Almost non stop for seven years. I mean, the last last year, there was no crime class. So because the world is

Joshua Ling 26:53
fantastic. I know. There’s Yeah, I know, there’s I know, there’s been, there’s there’s different, you know, groups and variants and whatever else and I don’t know near enough about karate to understand it. But what level belt? Are you and how does that fit into your hierarchy? Well, if you do belts,

Ian Wilson 27:18
we do we do do belts. In my previous school now, I changed schools a couple years ago. That’s another story that I’m definitely not going to get into. You’re not gonna have time.

Joshua Ling 27:28
I’ve had my own martial arts. There’s so much drama there.

Ian Wilson 27:33
Yeah, well, okay. So there was some drama, I ended up leaving that school. And that school, it went white, yellow, orange, green, blue, brown, black. And that’s how it is in the school that I’m currently in. I’m a black belt. First Degree. I have to train for a while in my current school, and then I’m going to test in, in which case, I’ll be a black belt first degree again. I gotcha. Because I had to, I have to become part of their hierarchy. And there’s a process for become going for a black belt in one school, to a black belt in another school that makes my black belt, fortunately, but I just I have to test in.

Joshua Ling 28:20
That makes sense. That makes sense.

Ian Wilson 28:22
That’s gonna be a nightmare.

Joshua Ling 28:24
Yeah, yeah. I can imagine. I can imagine. Yep. That might as well tell you you because this is a conversation, you’d be interested in this. I did. I did jiu jitsu for a short while because I was fascinated by both professional wrestling and the older form catch wrestling, which is professional wrestling back before you know when it was real. And so, which I’m not saying that pro wrestling isn’t real in that it’s very severe on the body, obviously. But because like I actually I actually trained in both the the jujitsu was out of necessity, because the only way I could learn any catch wrestling was the internet and my brothers and jujitsu was the next closest thing. So okay. So I go and I do jujitsu. And we had a whole issue where essentially, I was sort of kind of pressured out, in a way out of out of coming to class, because I was framed as a bully, because of the way that I wrestle, you know, the way that I that I grappled, particularly the use of leg locks at all in any beginners situations. Now, keep in mind, I had been trained by training, self trained in catch wrestling and trained in pro wrestling quite a bit. For about three, four or five Here’s something like that. And I knew how to hurt person and not hurt a person, especially because of the pro wrestling, you know? And they, they kind of know that they kind of don’t care. You know, it’s one of those things because they’re their own group of fighter, you know, they do their own style. And so, yeah, the couple times I tried to like lock one time, it was on someone much smaller because we didn’t have enough people to roll. And I had a parent as well as the teacher. Just like immediately jump on me like physically, because I was going for a very benign Yeah. And this was like, the first time it wasn’t like a second time or something like that, you know, but yeah,

Ian Wilson 30:51
yeah. It’s not unlike what happened to me. I, we were supposed to be doing. I don’t know how to explain this kata in karate is. Yeah, you can can explain. Well, yeah, you know, yeah. Explain. Kata is, is a sequence of movements that simulate combat. We train in kata for a lot of different reasons. I’m not going to get into all all that you can look it up yourself for why people do kata their people do kata for their own reasons. Anyway, we were supposed to be doing kata, the we being the black belts. And the Sensei, his wife kept stopping and talking to one of her best friends. I was getting exasperated, you know, and I was already kind of in a poor mood that day. And she finally had, and she chewed me out in front of all the black belts. Okay, yeah. And basically, I decided that I wasn’t going to go back because I was so yes. Utterly humiliated. Yeah. And so I switched dojos. And this one, this one has more of a professional atmosphere, I guess I would say there’s a greater sense of professionalism.

Joshua Ling 32:26
Right. Well, that’s, that’s one of those things, you know, they’re there. I think people have value safety so much in our society today. Or at least the illusion of safety, that they don’t have a strong idea of why they’ve valued the thing beyond the safety, like the thing that is kept safe. You know,

Ian Wilson 33:00
that’s an interesting thought. Yeah,

Joshua Ling 33:02
basically, the idea that, like, I’m more concerned about the safe in which I put my gold than I am about the gold itself. It’s, it’s these procedures and things that we do in life, especially in things like the combat, you know, like I’m talking about, we’re so afraid of mass crazy, scary injuries, that we don’t even come anywhere close to seeing where those could happen. You know, we want to stay absolutely as far away as possible, the way our society has dealt with, you know, justice in the justice system, you can sue for slipping on the floor at Walmart, and things of that nature. It’s like, there’s no response, personal responsibility, you know what I’m saying?

Ian Wilson 33:56
Yeah, yeah, that’s, that’s the other thing. Taking responsibility for yourself. Is you know, don’t make me Don’t ask me to take responsibility for other people. I’m not about that.

Joshua Ling 34:09
And then taking responsibility. It’s sorry, I didn’t mean to interrupt. I was just saying and taking responsibility for everything that like, doesn’t even have hasn’t even happened. Something that could have happened like that’s what they want. They want you to take responsibility for things that haven’t even happened. But like,

Ian Wilson 34:29
thought crime, yeah, cry.

Joshua Ling 34:30
It’s crazy. You

Ian Wilson 34:31
better take responsibility for yourself. You know, I’m certainly not gonna do it for you.

Joshua Ling 34:37

Ian Wilson 34:38
Right. That’s that’s why I like oh, let me think this name. It’s completely gone. Now. I can see his face in my head. He’s a he has a radio show.

Joshua Ling 35:00
Does the conservative talk radio or don’t go like? Okay, gotcha.

Ian Wilson 35:04
Giacobbe. I think that’s what I like him because he’s about radical responsibility. If some if somebody on your team screws up that’s on you, because you didn’t communicate clearly,

Joshua Ling 35:17

Ian Wilson 35:18
Yep. And he was, he was a seal. So yeah, he knows all about that.

Joshua Ling 35:23
And this connects to everything you’re saying about this? This archetype, right? Like this archetype of a man. Yes. Take responsibility for his people, you.

Ian Wilson 35:33
You take responsibility for yourself.

Joshua Ling 35:39
So you and your sister have done I mean, not as many lately, but you you go to cons, you do all sorts of things. Why don’t you give us a brief introduction to your sister and what you guys partner on? The I know that I’m gonna have her on later. And I’ll let her do more of the explaining on her stuff. But like, you both kind of grew up doing art together, right? You want to go into that a little bit?

Ian Wilson 36:07
Pretty much pretty much. My sister writes. I guess you call them urban fantasy stories, where she has modern, you know, modern American normal people alongside elves and dwarves and other magical creatures. And they all sort of live together in the same environment. And I find it fairly interesting myself. And what I do for her is I basically do the illustrations for it. Her stories are illustrated, I do that. And that’s pretty much all I have to say.

Joshua Ling 36:54
Well leave the rest for her. Her name is TK. Tamra, right. And, yeah, she’s pretty awesome at what she does, too. You guys are a talented family. I’m so if people are, you know, wanting to get a hold of your art I know a podcast is especially audio podcast isn’t going to be able to show what kind of art you have. But like, if people want to see or where can they go to? And can you describe your art a little bit just to give you like your approach to what you do, artistically.

Ian Wilson 37:32
So as far as my art is concerned, I pull from a lot of artistic influence. My main influence would probably be Jack Kirby, who was the main artists for Marvel Comics in the 60s and early 70s. Another other influences include John schema, I hope I’m pronouncing that name right. Couple of other artists from the Silver and Gold Age comics, Eric J, I get a lot of my ideas from LJ Mobius, I really liked Mobius his artwork, just some of the way that he was able to portray shapes so that they look, they look three dimensional, they look round, like you could touch them and feel them and they would almost look like you could reach into his illustrations and feel them. Yeah. And I try. I’m trying to kind of do that with my own artwork. And so I’m learning a lot from him. But my art is, my art is sort of a combination of all of those things. It’s kind of evolving right now. Because I I’ve been learning more about comic art and how to make shapes look for three dimensional.

Joshua Ling 39:07
Gotcha. Yep, that’s from what I hear one of the hardest parts I do is weird digital painting thing. And it’s like, okay, well, I’m just gonna get it as good as it gets. But go ahead.

Ian Wilson 39:21
Yeah, is is very difficult. It’s something that I’ve struggled with for years of my life. And I look at some of my older artwork for like, Legend of the sword bear stuff that I have already published. And think, you know, I could have done that a lot better. But that was five years ago when I started that project. Exactly. I’ve learned a lot in five years.

Joshua Ling 39:46
Yeah, definitely. Um, we didn’t touch a lot on this on faith. I know you consider yourself reformed Catholic, and have a few interesting You know, you’re not Roman, but you’re Protestant, to the extent but you’re also, you know, kind of all over the place. You’ve always been somewhat of a searcher from what I understand, you know, reading the Scripture, figuring things out, you want to go back into your background and how your faith has affected the way you look at art and that sort of thing.

Ian Wilson 40:22
Well, I started out as a Southern Baptist, and they don’t really do art work, just in general, is not a thing for them. If you not visual artwork, if you’re if you play guitar, or piano or organ or something, you know, they are all over you. But if you draw pictures, you know, they just kind of put you in a corner and give you a crayon. That’s pretty much how they treat that. And I’m not mad at them. I’m not bitter about it. It just it is what it is. Right? So I went, I went from there, and we started going to Congregational Church. Now a congregational church, for a lot of people don’t realise what that is. I’m finding out that there are so many people out there that don’t know what congregational means, right? They were started in Britain, by people that didn’t agree with the Church of England, but also weren’t necessarily Presbyterian. They were known as non conformists, right. And they moved to the United States on board the Mayflower and those famous ships that we read about, and they started the Massachusetts Bay Colony and places like that. And that’s where puritanism came out of now. They they were started, they were congregational churches started all over New England,

Joshua Ling 42:02
American Platonism. Anyway,

Ian Wilson 42:04
American American puritanism all over New England, they started these these congregational churches, a lot of them are unfortunately Unitarian Universalists now, because of some stuff that happened in I don’t know, the 19th century,

Joshua Ling 42:24
the spiritual ism.

Ian Wilson 42:27
Yeah, the spiritual ism movement that that took place there. I’m not sure exactly what all happened. But they kind of became disillusioned with Congregationalism they, they became disillusioned with reformed Christianity. The base basically, they gave, they gave up on on God, essentially. So they started worshipping a God of their own making, for all intents and purposes, and so that’s where I go to church and they had a building, the building is absolutely gorgeous. Inside and out, it is a huge stone building. You go inside, it’s got stained glass windows with pictures of the apostles and Jesus Christ, and Mary and other people from the history of Christianity in in the windows, and you just feel like you’re in a little bit of heaven on earth. And finally, my artistic abilities seem to be respected.

Joshua Ling 43:38
Hmm, yeah. So that’s, you go to a cotton creationist Russia are there and I’m not trying to get you in any any weirdness with them in any kind of way. But like, what are the big tenants of you your faith doctrinally that have driven your art and where you are now? theologically, etc.

Ian Wilson 44:01
So by Congregational Church, he’s really, really old. And a lot of the people that are that go there now, we’re going there in the 1940s. And the 50s. It’s kind of it’s kind of ageing out, unfortunately,

Joshua Ling 44:18
not so many churches now. Yeah, that’s,

Ian Wilson 44:21
that’s a discussion for another time. But the the issue is, technically speaking, our church holds to the Westminster Confession of Faith. That’s what it says in our Constitution. That’s what it says in our founding documents. Unfortunately, a lot of people that go to the church don’t believe in that. Right. So that kind of informs my my own faith and practice. I went through a, a wandering period over the past, I don’t know three years, where I was looking at different church traditions. You know what? These people are interesting. What do they believe? Oh, look, they got big long beards, what do they believe? And just doing lots of research on different church backgrounds. I I flirted with Catholicism for a while, I was very, very interested in Lutheranism. Eventually, I came back to First Congregational, even though I never actually left. Right. I, I started came back to that. Because I felt like I didn’t have anywhere else to go. Like, God was saying, you know, I put you in this church for a reason. Yes. And I want you to do as much good here as you can, and don’t go looking around anywhere else right now.

Joshua Ling 45:53
Yes, definitely. So what is I mean, not from a CRT perspective, where the victim gets to say all they want to say, but but but what are your thoughts and opinions on how elders in particular have churches, you know, people who are actually in control and power and authority over the, the congregation? How should they be dealing with a crazy weird artists person, not just visual art, but someone who is constantly, you know, I’m joking and being hyperbolic here, but here’s the voices and follows them.

Ian Wilson 46:42
Um, be patient. You have to be patient with artistic people, you have to, you have to kind of let them have their own head. And they have ideas, they have lots of ideas, they have ideas flowing in their, into their head every day. And you they can give you those ideas, but you have to ask, because they’re not just going to blurt them out, because in a lot of cases, when they did, blurt out those ideas, they were kind of shouted down or told that they were irrelevant. But they were bad ideas and what have you. So you have to take advantage of that brain. Because they artistic people have great brains. Take advantage of that. Ask them questions about what they want to do. In the church, or if your church is trying to start a ministry, you have to go to the artistic person, the weird, wild haired guy, and say, Do you have any opinions about this? Do you have any ideas of about how you want? How you think we should go about this? Or do you think that this is this ministry is a terrible idea. And encourage them to speak their mind, because a lot of times artists are very polite, and they aren’t necessarily not polite. Nice, they aren’t necessarily going to tell you exactly what they think. Because they don’t want to hurt your feelings. They’re looking for acceptance. And a lot of times they moved around from congregation to congregation not finding the acceptance that they’re looking for. So you have to be sensitive to that. And listen, and know and don’t interrupt them. And don’t try to tell them that’s a terrible idea or, or what have you. And don’t, don’t give artistic people suggestions on what they should do. I was told over and over again, that I should do gospel tracks to do illustrations for gospel tracks. And the more they told me to do illustrations for gospel tracks, the less I wanted to do it. Yeah, just don’t don’t give them suggestions. Let them come up with their own ideas, because that’s what they’re good at.

Joshua Ling 49:31
Yep. I think I’ll add to that, too. If you don’t like their ideas, you’re the one who’s the elder. You don’t have to use them. You know, I think it’s less for an artist about having themselves utilised or their ideas utilised, even though that’s a part of it. That’s something that they eventually want to get to. Just knowing, loving and trying to understand. Just like most humans That’s the first foremost thing. And I’m not trying to put people in different camps here, like we were talking about at the beginning, I think everyone has an artistic quality to them, no matter what level they’re at. Everyone has ideas, like you were saying everyone has these sorts of things. It’s just, you know, we don’t need to be putting someone in an elite category. But at the same time, we do need to acknowledge that this is a person with ideas and thoughts and stories or songs or whatever that they have, and, and try to utilise them to the glory of the kingdom of God. You know, my pastor uses the term making and maturing disciples. That’s, that’s his job. And yeah, never

Ian Wilson 50:45
sometimes, yeah, go ahead. Some, and sometimes they need a little encouragement to do what, what the Lord has for them to do, because a lot of times, people writers, in particular, are very good at writing, sermons, for example. And they might be looking for somebody to tell them, hey, you should become you should get some theological education. And then you could be a, I don’t know.

Ian Wilson 51:26
You’re in your church, you have elders. Right. Right. And they’re, and they’re the ones that are allowed to preach.

Joshua Ling 51:33
Not exactly there is a day, there is a difference between a ruling and a preaching elder. And that is just basically like a preaching elder is definitely 100% paid. And they are given over to the work. Some elders or ruling elders are paid to, but like a preaching elder has to be paid. And he has to be like, his primary job is being in the word, as opposed to the shepherding, and that sorts of other thing, that doesn’t mean that they don’t do that, too. And it doesn’t mean that a ruling elder never teaches, but preaching is teaching the word with passion. And with with, you know, definite purpose toward the word, so.

Ian Wilson 52:19
Okay, yeah, well, in Congregationalism, were a bit more open with that, basically, anyone who is who has some form of theological education is allowed to preach, right? And that’s at the discretion of the pastor and the deacons who gets to preach and who doesn’t, right. So we can we can elect someone to be a preacher.

Joshua Ling 52:47
Well, we’re, like I said, that can happen, that can happen. But there’s a there’s a distinction made between like, this is the guy whose job it is to do this, versus here’s the guy filling in, you know what I’m saying?

Ian Wilson 53:00
Yeah, so, with writers in particular, you can make use of that you can walk up to them and say, Hey, you have you have a lot of theological insight I want you to preach on us and such a date. I’m going to be out of town. That’s basically what my pastor said to me, not that long ago.

Joshua Ling 53:24
Right? Right. And even if it’s not preaching, teaching Sunday school, there, you know, there’s so many different places where these things could happen. And it doesn’t even have to be in the realm of teaching, but people who are already creative, there’s so many things outside of the standard sort of thing. I’m actually working currently with my pastor on pre production for an audio drama that we’re going to be chopping around to various radio stations and that sort of thing to just have our name connected to it, you know, just as a as a, a public relations. Here’s, here’s a story. It has, you know, good Christian morals in it, but it’s, you know, it’s a good story. And, you know, that’s, that’s what we’re working on. So it doesn’t even have to be something directly connected with liturgy. There’s so many things that the church can do, you know, all of Christ for all of life, as Abraham Kuyper would say, right, like, there’s, there’s so much work that an artist can do. And I don’t want anyone who’s listening to think that this guy’s really good, but like he’s kind of weird. How can I fit him now to worry about fitting him in working work on finding where he fits in the world and help him with that. And then the rest will make itself work out. You know, if he’s in the world, and in the church, there’s going to be connection there and you can find that that connective tissue pretty easily. Honestly, you know, I think people just don’t know Think outside the box. They don’t want to listen to other folks that think outside the box. And so it’s like, okay, well, you know. But anyway, we’ve rambled on a good bit, I want to know where people can find you on the internet, especially if they want to connect and become friends and all that stuff, but also just you know, where they can find your work. And, guys, he’s a really great artist, and he needs commissions. So listen up closely. Go ahead.

Ian Wilson 55:31
Yep, definitely the money. Oh, the primary place where you can contact me is on my wonderful website that Joshua made for me and Thomas Wilson calm. And there’s my Twitter. The Great Scott great with an eight gr eight Scott on Twitter, Facebook, I’m Great Scott with an exclamation point productions and they have another website. I can’t remember off the top of my

Joshua Ling 56:09
legends and song was not we believe

Ian Wilson 56:11
that song.weebly.com That’s it. So those are the places where you can contact me and see my artwork and buy my books, buy my books, please.

Joshua Ling 56:23
His books are really awesome, y’all. I’m telling you. And the audio book. I’m hoping to have out for the Christmas season for sure. Completely and totally ready. So if you’re looking for a good novella, length audio book, that’s our collaboration together with the song a song of amorous so and thanks and everybody who’s listening. Remember Christians you’re a part of the culture wars, whether you like it or not, you are part of God’s army, whether you like it or not time to stand up and to draw right and sing for God’s glory. Let’s march into battle.

Joshua Ling 57:07
tradie once Ciao ciao.

AA1 GOA1 – The Long Summer

For unique individuals with unique abilities, or whether controller, an illusionist, a knight, and a power copier unite to protect the jewel of the South Atlanta, Georgia, this is guardians of Atlanta. These audio adventures are supported by listeners like you. Without your help these stories can’t be produced. If these stories feed your imagination, please consider helping me feed my family by visiting Joshua David link comm slash support and becoming a monthly contributor and guardians of Atlanta, episode one, the law summer. One the prophecy read Jones was a farmer, just north of Atlanta. His wife laid sick in bed. Just picture it Kancha a baby in her womb. A storm raging outside the lightning lock them in. The storm poured from the sky it’s the wind and rain battered their tiny Georgia town. The Hales and Gail’s tore power lines down. The back window had been knocked out by flying debris and there was no help that either of them could see Emily Reed’s wife her complexion was shoddy nausea, pain and cold racked all of her body. She moaned and cried and prayed that it was just the flu but Reed Jones had no clue what to do. He set a candle on the nightstand and tucked in his ailing wife and slammed his knees down to the floor to beg God for her life. Please, Lord, please got saved my wife and child. The wind started blowing and there came something wild. The wind that calm the rain it stopped. But what came was a storm in need, like Crinkle that the edges of the walls golden as wrapping wheat and fading in as the room became light was a figure about eight feet tall. his stature not only dwarfed the Joneses, but seemed to stretch their walls. He wore a tan leather duster with black pants, shirt and boots beneath. The Duster looked dirty and worn and tassels hung from the sleeves. On top of his head was a black cowboy hat, obscuring his eyes and nose. A smirk on his lips surrounded by a goatee stood frozen in a rye pose. Before the figure open that mouth. Read Joan stared blankly and knew he was in the presence of an angel. And there was nothing he could do. The voice was richer than honey and brighter than those flecks of gold light deeper than the deepest part of the Chattahoochee and it spoke a prophecy that night. Re Jones good and faithful servant, your wife will be saved from death the dark current. Your daughter is well but she’ll be born with power. Oh whether before arise will cower. And with God’s help, she will withstand great adversity. She will lose everything. But she will learn this homily. If Christ is with us, who can be against us. Your daughter Reed Jones will stand for justice. And just like that the angel was gone. Before Reed could say a word. He jumped back up to his precious wife by love and worry, he was spurred by his wife Lee. They’re asleep and warm. Her colour. Now rosy red, and her breathing was as calm and relaxed as the baby that laid within her in that bed. Read Jones cried with utter relief, as the sky above turned red to praising God Almighty and heaven. For there was nothing he could do. A few weeks after that, Emily birth from brittle bones, a daughter with brown hair and they named her

Cirrus Joan to the headband. Five years later in Alpharetta, the Jones is home in town at Canaan Baptist church Sunday school had come in from the playground. It was time for the parents to come and pick up all of their young kids. Reed rolled into pickup Cirrus and was met with a hug and a kiss. But then her spastic little girl demeanour turned sour In a flash, or chin jetted out in a frown and into a complaint. She did splash Can you believe it, daddy? Five Year Old serious wind. They said Our Angels not in the Bible, but I told them You saw him shine, read side and thought about how to explain why they couldn’t just go spreading that tail. But anyway, he thought to explain it turned out to be a big fat fail. And Ezekiel is even a book in the Bible. Yes, but that one was a prophet. And I told you the angel didn’t tell me his name Cirrus. You should probably drop it. Just because we call him that. Because I have a feeling that’s his name, doesn’t mean you should go telling everyone about it. They’ll think it’s just a game. Just because I know what I saw. Doesn’t mean it makes sense. And it doesn’t matter if other people believe it. You don’t have to be so intense. Serious his tiny mind was going a mile a minute. She suddenly reached up and touched your hair and felt no headband in it. Little serious full of fright, screamed and cried and moaned. That is my favourite headband. We just can’t go home. Serious you’ve lost these things before. They always turn up again. Just then a little head peeked around the Sunday School doorways Ben. The little boy hunched his back and his mom behind him said I think Connor has something for you serious and he won’t ever take it again. The little boy inched his way toward the prissy girl. He held up the missing headband. Cirrus took it and twirled. She exclaimed as she spun around. But why did you take it Connor? Tell me Tell me now. You were playing with all the kids and that just felt left out. I was too scared to talk to you. So I took your head band out. All you had to do was ask if I would be your friend. Connor asked that very day and their friendship had no end. Three, the baseball game. The old blue black door swung open into the Jones’s farmhouse, serious looked into the kitchen. There was no one about lightning flashed and thunder roared in her soaked and shivering form, stepped inside and drove to the floor hoping to get warm. Serious. came a voice from the other room. Is that you darlin? He said, a dirty looking man walked in from the kitchen with a Braves cap on his head. He wore a red flannel shirt with blue overalls on top, and the car bar he’d been carrying he quickly did drop for the sight of his daughter crying was alarming indeed. He hugged his crying teenage girl as they slipped down to their knees. Serious What’s the matter? I thought you were at Connors game. But the games mention the weather grew less tame. A Cirrus coughed and spluttered. The rain grew more intense. Read took her aside into the living room and quietly let her vent. Once she had released the bulk of her inner turmoil, she looked up at her dad and anger at herself roiled dad, I ruined the game. I was sitting in the dugout next to Connor like Coach McFarlane lets me and I tried, she began to pout. It was stupid, but I tried to hold his hand and as soon as I did, he had to go get ready to bat and serious closed her eyelids. I couldn’t help it I started crying in serious loss that again, reach broke his daughter’s hair. They lost the game when it was called due to weather. They were in the ninth down by four and they had the bases loaded encounter on deck

now read saw what she was crying for. And the rain was your fault serious. Are you kidding? Of course it was. Read took a moment to process at all and they relaxed during that

pause. I’m sorry, serious. But you can’t let this keep you from living your life. I’ve told you before and I’ll tell you again. You don’t have to keep secrets and lie. You can tell Connor about your gift if you want. There’s no way he believed me daddy. That was always her response. Why did God give me this gift? Why isn’t that stupid Angel you. Breed saw the pain in his daughter’s face. And even then he knew he had to balance his firmness and comfort in his reply. God made you the way he made you. He gave you control over the sky and it won’t do nothing but hurt you to be cursing his mess. Since you’re on high, I know things are hard for you harder than most girls in fact, but it will get better serious. God’s angel promised us that suicide and curled up into her daddy’s arms, and the raindrops lightened into a sprinkle as they stayed safe and warm inside their beautiful farmhouse, and there was no more need for talk. Just the tapping of the rain and the ticking of the clock for telling Conner the boat shifted Creek involved in the wind on Lake Lanier but Connor and Cirrus both enjoyed it. They didn’t have any fear. Connor love to sit and fish and Cirrus love the spray, and they love to be with one another on any given day. The baseball game was two years ago, Cirrus was now 15. She felt much more confident in herself and she was bursting at the seams to tell Conor her one secret her best friend had to know. And she figured now was the best time is any. She took deep breaths as they rode. The spot they settled on the lake was hidden among the trees. A great spot for catching catfish, but they were tossed about by the breeze. It wasn’t a very great day to fish, but they enjoyed it anyway. The overcast guy and high winds made their canoe rock

and sway. Connor Sirius began to speak. I have something to tell you. Jane Biden Anyway, go ahead. So I was new. It’s a story about when I was born. That only me and my parents know. But it’s time that I told my best friend about Ziggs visit years ago.

Z Connor asked with a laugh that boy on the wrestling team. Now stupid not him my guardian angel. She screamed what? Connor said with amazement and turned his full attention to her. My parents were both in the farmhouse and Mama was sick and so her daddy prayed and asked God to save her and have mercy and save me. Then an angel appeared to my dad and the angel told him about me. He said I would control the weather as far as my eye can see. And that I would know love and loss but through I would see Whoa that’s a good one serious your story’s been getting good is not a story it really happened. Serious is anger sword. When I control the weather it it’s like my body quakes. I feel a release and then let the rain go and then I feel tap the brakes serious. A really want to believe you but I just heard you say this. Your guardian angel made you make it rain, and somehow it feels like bliss. It sounds like you’re just using the bathroom. The feeling is very close. Connor couldn’t help but laugh. And Cirrus said the same joke. Suddenly lightning bolt shattered the clouds and struck a tree on the bank. Connor stared at the Burning Tree and his mind went completely blank. Now do you believe me Connor? Yes Cirrus I do. And that is the tale of how Cirrus Jones told Connor Murdoch of her powers in that canoe. He had many questions still to ask. But Cirrus was elated to find. It didn’t change the relationship one bit, where the path of Connor’s mind if anything, they grew closer. When Cirrus took the step to lay her soul before her soul mate and trust God for the rest. Five Home is where the heart remains. Fast forward on through time to several years later, Cirrus was in college at UGA and celebration was in the air. The night before the last day of school Cirrus had a party invite. She would meet her friend Cindy had a club called Top Dog and they would party into the night. Cirrus didn’t do clubs very often, but Cindy had been close to her at least in recent weeks, but she still wasn’t sure. Regardless, she got dressed to the nines and put on her best leather boots. And as she walked into that club called Top Dog she felt her senses uproot. The music was so very loud. Her heart muscles struggled to beat. She couldn’t see Cindy anywhere the darkness was so complete. Then as her ears adjusted to the sounds, she heard a million cuss words. She quickly decided that this place was simply for the birds. A drunken man grabbed her by the arm and said to her, let’s dance. Serious angrily wrenched her arm away in the man fell drunk in trance. She left top Dog as quickly as she came and a tear rolled down her cheek, the feeling that she had of being misplaced, and finally reached its peak. The hope of summer hovered over her, and the thought of returning home to a place where she was understood where she’d never be alone. Fast forward about 12 hours later, Cirrus was in class zoning out with a blank stare. Summer break just a few minutes away. She stared at that clock for what seemed like days. And even in that crazy little town of Athens, the pressure was too much on a girl who raised chickens, horses, cows and crops. That bell rang and there were no more stops. The quicker she get there, quicker she be back among the Pine Creek, some peach trees no matter what happened. No matter what Shay. One thing never did. Because Home is where the heart remains. And as she went home, she saw her whole world to change and every time she stepped out, new construction was a blazing It was amazing. All the shops and malls and offices and streets and they got Gaul Cirrus thought every time her mind would drift. When the winds of progress would shift. they’d leave a bigger mess than ever before the south been dying slowly since the Civil War.

Quicker she get there, the quicker she’d be. Back among the pine, creeks and peach trees no matter what happened, no matter what changed. One thing never did. Because Home is where the heart remains. And even though the borders of the Jones’s home were surrounded by the aforementioned stores and chrome, their 20 acres of land were glorious. Cirrus ran inside, feeling victorious. The minute she opened the door to her home, she knew that she was no longer alone of everything she’d been feeling melted away. In the arms of her parents tonight, she’d stay in country roads, take her home, to a place where she belongs up berbeda lads her hometown to Kuru home, country rule. Six, progress is knocking. Dinner time came for the happy Jones family. They sat down to enjoy their meal. But something cold still lingered in the air. And all three of them could feel the relentless spirit now climbing their steps, a monotonous drone in his heart. And soon that drone would collide with their happiness and trouble truly start. Progress moves can’t be stopped, trees cut down and then they’re chopped. Progress will never be dropped till this whole culture is swapped. During dinner time with the Jones and not came to the door and everyone froze. Father Reed went to the door to open on the other side was a man who was hoping to take their farm take their land and turn it into a strip mall. He reached out to shake Reid’s hand, but he wasn’t getting know how to yell. In fact, he wasn’t even getting a no sir. But against this man. Nothing would deter. My name is Philip Keller. Don’t worry, Phil, I know you. You’ve been sending your vultures off and on since 2002. Well, you’ll be happy to know the offer tripled in price. It doesn’t matter now get off our porch. Gee, aren’t you nice? I’m telling you. You’re sitting on a goldmine. This land is a big budget deal. Didn’t you hear me I said get gone. You should know the drill. Read close the door sharply and Philip Keller smiled. His plans for their land going longer than miles. He took one more glance at their yard and said looks like Mr. Nice Guy is finally dead. Reed Jones has said no. There was nothing he could do. He slammed the door on his Corvette and stewed. But still Philip plotted. But still Philip planned to one day put it in to the southern strand. He then drove off but inside Reed was asked by his wife Emily, who was that passed by our door during dinner. She happily chimed Philip Keller himself guess what he wanted this time to still come in around? Serious asked in dismay. Him and his cronies come by every day. At least that’s how How it feels most of the time. That’s enough about that. Then, would y’all like some wine and as the Joneses enjoyed their dinner, and Philip Keller drove away, the drone and Philip Keller’s heart drone to louder with wild decay. Progress moves can’t be stopped. trees cut down and the nurture progress will never be dropped. Till this whole culture is swapped. Seven small town romance. As Phillip killers Corvette headed back to 400 and the Joneses began dinner and sat there and wondered why Philip Keller wanted their land so badly. A different sports car pulled up, and Cirrus squealed gladly. The black trans-am was so much love and were put inside it varied her favourite person in the world. Oh, man. Was she excited? I’m sorry, mom, dad. I forgot. Connor wants to take me out. No problem, sweetie. See you soon. Thanks, Cirrus said with a shout. She ran out. Without a single doubt.

This is what love song really sing in bout. There has never any hate, and never any doubt. This is the person natural men full. It’s not by chance is nothing but a small, small town romance. Years ago, when Cirrus was young a boy came to her Sunday school class. He stole her headband to get her attention. He said sorry, and they became friends bats. Love stories like this only come in small towns where people don’t leave each other. They stick around. And even one day their parents knew they’d find both of them married. They were that entwined. This is what love songs really mean at the heart. It begins the second you meet right from the very start your best friends forward forever. Even at first glance, it’s nothing but a small, small town romance. So that night, when Connor came in his trans-am he picked up Cirrus and drove somewhere grand. He planned on taking her to Stone Mountain. But a ghastly kept all of that from happening. So instead, he drove to a much smaller place, a little neighbourhood that survived by God’s grace, a cul de sac on top of a large mound and you could see all of Atlanta from on top looking down. They had a picnic right there with fried chicken and sweet tea. But then all of a sudden, Connor said Sears, will you marry me? Even down the road when you’re talking about forever, you really can’t remember a time you were never together. So it’s really not that hope to maintain that stance. It’s not the mode, a small, small town Romans eight electric shock and they arrived back. The stars shine brightly unconcealed. They stared through the black at something gleaming in the nearby field. Cirrus went to check it out. But it floated up off the ground. Connor gave a shout out and Cirrus ran at the sound. The Chase began they ran and ran but Cirrus fell and gave a yell. Connor turned back and jumped in the way but that shiny machine took his life away. With one electric shock, his heart began to slow to a stop. Cirrus held him for a few and He told her love you. Connor slipped away. In a storm came that a from Cirrus eyes alone came the thunder is loud grow and the rain drops wailed in the mound to see series Jones was Hello. This may seem quick but I tell it that way to make you feel what Cirrus felt that day. The adversity that the angel had promised of her was beginning. All in a blur. And that’s how life tends to go. It doesn’t doddle. It’s not slow. Make sure you’re ready like Connor was. That’s the end of this poll. And now we Paul. Thanks for listening to Episode One of Guardians of Atlanta the long summer. Episode two will be the White Night. Once again, if your imagination was fed by this story, I pray that you’ll consider becoming a monthly supporter at Joshua David ling.com/support. Until next time, keep adventuring

PAW5 – TK Wilson

Joshua Ling 0:00
Hey, it’s your general Joshua David Lang. Just letting you know before this podcast begins that TK and I were working on Discord and for whatever reason it was extremely laggy compared to some of the other podcasts I’ve done, but we worked through it and I was able to edit it down to where a lot of the awkward pauses are taken out. As a result, it might sound a little disjointed at times, but just go with it because I think there’s a lot of really good value in this episode. Also, if you’d like to sponsor poets at war in exchange for an audio advertisement, you can get in contact with me at Joshua David lang.com. Today’s episode is sponsored by the following. Imagine countless worlds before you fantasy and science fiction tales, heroes charging gallantly into battle heedless of win or fail upon the ancient steps of glory. A battle for time must be one. Join the characters from every realm as they seek the words. Well done. Audio adventures podcast by Joshua David Ling, full of epic poetry sure to make your heart sing. If you like listening to rob Inglis, read the Lord of the Rings or Andrew Peterson read his wingfeather saga. You’ll love audio adventures by Joshua David link. Visit Joshua David lang.com/audio adventures to listen

Joshua Ling 1:35
to date on post that wall we talked to author and all around geek T K. Wilson, about Disney redeemed nature and many more things including the homeschool siblings. You are now entering the walls Oh no. This is poet’s.

TK Wilson 2:05
Church was yesterday. Yes had like a multi church. Look thing and pastor was flying. He condensed about an hour long sermon into about 10 or 15 minutes.

Joshua Ling 2:18
That sounds about right. What was it?

TK Wilson 2:22
It was on prayer and he had a little you know, prayer across the outline thingy. The the old I’ve never heard of before. I guess it’s been around for a while the rice prayer set up.

Joshua Ling 2:36
Okay. I have not heard of that either.

TK Wilson 2:40
Might have been more of a bigger church thing? Or might be south of us? They south of New York anyway, because he was in Long Island. He’s from Long Island. He’s got the most hilarious accent. Oh, yeah. And then he moved to Florida, and had a church there. Then he moved back here to take over our church. One time, he came over to our house to pick up something and he might have snow later. He goes get outta here. And I’m like he actually said it. He said, Yeah,

Joshua Ling 3:14
I have some folks around here that I am confounded and amazed by their southern accent depending on the situation. But there’s such a and I know there is New York too. There’s a myriad of Southern accents. But then there are certain things that people say that you’re like, Oh, my goodness, one that immediately jumps to mind is my old football coach. He was actually the guitarist for Jerry Lee Lewis like that. Yes, that Great Balls of Fire here. Jerry Lewis. Yeah, he’s since passed on, but he was our football coach, and he homeschool high school team. And he he had all kinds of ridiculous phrases, but one of the number one phrase you know, your little southern isms, right? All these goofy little Irish phrases that came down to the Scots Irish, you know, into the Appalachian way of talking. The the one that always hit me hit hardest and just made the team just straight up roll. Is he one of our guys dropped the ball and he said, Boy take them gloves off them too slippery and rabbits not.

Joshua Ling 4:28
We were rolling it was it was spectacular. So yeah, why don’t you go ahead, introduce yourself to the listeners of poets of war and just just give it give it give them a little background of your many different talents and areas of expertise and even just hobby.

TK Wilson 4:45
Okay, so Hi there. My name is Tamra Wilson. I am writing under the handle of TK Wilson and I am a writer of fantasy and urban fantasy and a lot of nonfiction as well I was homeschooled all my life graduated college before online college was cool. So yeah, pre COVID people Oh, yeah. And I write I so I crochet, collected repair dolls. Collecting repair books were my big, minor hobbies right now is collecting up various books, children’s books and movies and other media that might be cancelled at some point. So yeah, leaving my doc on the Dr. Seuss market.

Joshua Ling 5:36
Hmm. Yeah, that’s a good idea. That’s an interesting area, because people don’t tend to think about intellectual property in terms of market value and stock market and that sort of thing. And various copies being worth anything that’s kind of just like, oh, yeah, like, whatever. That’s one of the reasons why, you know, what, with my writing and the things that I do, even if I’m not publishing, the thing that I’m telling people is I’m laying up intellectual property for my children. on down the line, I will publish, I am working toward all of that, you know, and everything else and in publishing is always something that I do online, always. But it’s just one of those things. People don’t think of intellectual property as property. Yeah,

TK Wilson 6:17
exactly. That’s another big thing is that grasp on my big hobbyhorses is keeping artists keeping their rights because of a certain incident that happened back in 2008. Nobody really knew about it until 2019, where there was a massive fire at Universal Studios or Hollywood, then completely destroyed a backlog of artists work. We’re talking like Ella Fitzgerald and Louis Armstrong, Boris Karloff. Everything went up, everything was gone.

Joshua Ling 6:52
Was that also the Muppet fire? Because I know that the Muppets had a had a giant fire destroyed basically everything from Muppet Treasure Island and most of the 90s movies puppets?

TK Wilson 7:02
No, I don’t think so. But that explains a couple things. I never heard that before. So that’s on Disney right there with a big mouse. And nobody knew they didn’t say anything. They tried to cover it up until somebody at the New York Times got wind of it. And I’m actually in contact with Sarah Karloff, Boris Karloff daughter. And I wrote to her, he had no idea. She had no clue that her father’s work had been destroyed.

Joshua Ling 7:35
Wow. That’s crazy. That’s crazy.

TK Wilson 7:39
So that is one thing that I am dead on is that artists keep ahold of everything, every scrap of paper, every lyric, even if you don’t use it, put it away somewhere. Because you never know what’s gonna happen.

Joshua Ling 7:52
That’s one of the reasons you know, you don’t depend on cloud. But Cloud as a backup is extremely valuable and helpful. In many cases for this sort of thing. You know, I have most of my stuff backed up on multiple clouds, you know, it’s like, let’s go.

TK Wilson 8:06
Absolutely. I have all my stuff and the IP of artists that I respect, it’s in the public domain backed up on thumb drives. And I keep that right by my bed in case something happens. And I seem to just grab it and go hmm, yeah, we had we had a fire when I was 10. And I’m like, okay, everything important needs to be kept within reach in case of fire.

Joshua Ling 8:31
We brought up Universal Studios, we brought up Disney a little bit there. Um, I know you and I are huge fans of old school Disney, particularly of Renaissance and the Golden Age and things of that nature. One of the things that people constantly go out with Disney is obviously the Follow your heart we talked about that with Sarah Lovak a little bit and the sequence is sanctification then follow your heart because it’s been sanctified. And that’s that’s what it should be for the Christian that’s something that a lot of people don’t look into how has Disney affected you just not not just in like an entertainment value kind of way but how has it influenced your work? How has it influenced the way you think? You know, that sort of thing? Just just the I guess the philosophy of Disney and where it’s wrong, where it’s right and how it’s affected your your life in your work?

TK Wilson 9:25
An excellent question. Well, first off, I was like, I like you know, already. I was a huge Disney kid. I mean, I still have a lot of Disney memorabilia in my room despite how I feel about them now, but Disney affected me affected my work. huge, a huge amount. Even little like piddly things they threw in there TV shows like wrote on from tree Manor roses, was inspired by this one to throw away a character that never talked about again in the Aladdin TV show. I ran across a fan art of him and like oh Holy cow, I forgot he existed and they’re like, hey, huh? So that got me started with that. And that’s how we met. So you can say that we met through Disney.

Joshua Ling 10:11
Yeah, that’s true. We did. We did. We were talking about stuff on fellowship and fairy dust. Right. That’s where we first met.

TK Wilson 10:18
Yep, that’s where we first met. Yeah, Disney in the Disney princesses were a huge influence on my life. I mean, for a long time when I was a teenager, I and before that, I was very weird kid. I was very much into that whole follow your heart and chanted thing, and then everything was gonna work out perfectly because smiling a song and it just, it doesn’t work that way, the real world doesn’t work that way. And for a while there, I really I really disliked a lot of the Disney princesses. Number one because I felt sort of betrayed. But also because I absorbed a lot of feminist lies about who they are and what they’re like, you know, like Snow White, you know, she’s the past, blah, blah, blah. But I realised when I got older, how tough she actually was to maintain her optimism throughout being, you know, a slave being driven from her house being driven into the woods depend on the kindness of some strange little men, she had to be pretty tough. So it’s just not the same kind of tough as like, say Esmeralda or jasmine. So I took all of that anger. And for a while I’ve, in my writing, I felt like I need to be a bit more serious, you know, serious, like Harry Potter. And I’m like, after a while I was like, This isn’t me. I really need I really want to write something more whimsical, something more like what I grew up on these these stories of Disney and Don Bluth, and all those like animated musical type things, only better because I’m not focusing on the Follow Your Heart thing. Because that’s the part that really bothers me is that even after your sanctified after you become a Christian, you still have sinful tendencies. You still have to be careful about what you how much you listen to what your own feelings tell you.

Joshua Ling 12:39
Yeah, I was, uh, I was listening to actually, I believe it was cross politic. They, they did a show in which they were talking about this. And one of the, one of the big points that was brought up by I believe it was actually it wasn’t cross politic. It was Bigfoot revival. Another another show entirely. Anyway, they, they were talking about this idea that the same thing we’re talking about the Follow your heart being flawed, all that kind of thing. And one of the things that was really pointed out to me was this idea that they they kind of take the comfortable lie song, which is, is one of those things that doesn’t get talked about a lot. But essentially, it’s a Guna, Matata, it’s let it go. It’s a lot of the songs that you know, even Bare Necessities would fit into this category, they take the, the comfortable lie, the simple, you know, lie that you don’t have to be on your quest, doing your thing, and being vigilant and growing up and all these other ideas. And they make that the most fun song and the thing that when you cut it out of the entire narrative, if you start to think of it as something that is actually good in and of itself, and it’s not within the context of the story. And I think that’s one of the biggest flaws, even artistically in a Disney movie, usually, is this idea that this comfortable lie comes out of context, and people start experiencing it as a positive instead of a negative even though it’s a negative within the construct of the story.

TK Wilson 14:22

Joshua Ling 14:23
I have a tough Disney lyrics quiz that I actually put together for you. It’s only seven questions you want to you want to go for it. I will. Okay, cool. So there are seven questions here and we’re gonna start with these are lyrics from a movie and you have to guess the movie. They are multiple choice. Okay. All right. All right. First one, you dousing yourself rubbing your scrub, you sputter and splash all over the tub. Is it Snow White, Cinderella, The Rescuers are the Great Mouse Detective.

TK Wilson 15:00
That was Snow White.

Joshua Ling 15:02
Well done next. A wax moustache and a beaver coat a pony cart and a billy goat. The Great Mouse Detective Oliver and company Pinocchio or melody time

TK Wilson 15:15
I’m gonna go with Pinocchio on that one.

Joshua Ling 15:18
That is correct. I’m lost at sea without a friend that this journey will it ever end. Bambi Pinocchio The Rescuers are The Rescuers Down Under rescuers. Okay, you are three for three. A warm handshake or two good friends always do the Three Caballeros Saludos Amigos Kobata Mr Toad, or Oliver and company.

TK Wilson 15:42
I’m gonna go with Three Caballeros

Joshua Ling 15:47
Okay, we’ll do Three Caballeros I think it tells us at the end actually on those Okay, so you followed me I followed you. We were like each other shadows for a while now as you see this game is through so although it hurts I’ll try to smile. Is that Peter Pan make my music The Great Mouse Detective or the rescuers.

TK Wilson 16:06
Great Mouse Detective.

Joshua Ling 16:08
Okay. unrivalled unruffled. I’m beauty unleashed. Oliver and Company. Melody time The Rescuers Bedknobs and Broomsticks. Oliver and Company. Okay, last one where life is twice as easy where the Crickets? Crickets you don’t hear in the city? Keep a humming in your ear. Oh, so pretty. Is it fun and fancy free? Ibadan Mr. Toad princess in the frog or Robin Hood?

TK Wilson 16:37
I’m gonna go with the purchase on the frog. I really haven’t seen princess in the frog.

Joshua Ling 16:44
You missed two. I know that. I’m going to look up specifically which ones are what? But I know you missed Three Caballeros and I’m pretty sure the last one you missed. So let me see here. Then. Okay, that was actually Fun and Fancy Free. The last one.

TK Wilson 17:01
Ah, okay. Never seen other fancy free. So.

Joshua Ling 17:04
Okay, well, there you go. And then the other one was yes. Instead of Three Caballeros. It was Saludos Amigos. So you were real close. But yeah, that’s

TK Wilson 17:17
Oh, yes. That was the compilation film. They were all in together.

Joshua Ling 17:20
That’s the hardest one that I’ve been able to come up with. I love this super obscure. Yep, I love that. Those obscure, super obscure Disney, lyric quizzes and things and every time I do one, they’re never obscure enough. So I’m the one that you heard was specifically Fun and Fancy Free. That was from the lazy countryside from the short Bongo. Ah, okay. But anyway, so yeah, that was fun. That was a little different. I just thought I thought I’d try it since we both love Disney you you’re one of the only people who I could even hope would get a majority of them. And you did. So yeah, we’re dealing with a a major Disney queen right here, ladies and gentlemen. So what is it you want to talk about? I mean, you’ve got so many different things that you can talk about. With with your work, I want to hear about what you want to talk about. We’ve got treatment of roses, which I know you’ve been working on, we’ve got your doll business, we’ve got you know, your basically all your different resale, and restore businesses that you that you run. You’re just a busy little bee and I just I’m always intrigued by everything you’re doing and I really want people to go check out your stuff. So like talk about what you do and and why you’re into it.

TK Wilson 18:49
Okay, so as far as my writing goes, there were a whole tonne of problems that I was working out with treatment roses, that I was like, Okay, I need to take a break and do something different. So what I ended up doing was, I ended I actually ended up rewriting it in a short story form. Rather than an entire novel, I decided to pare it start, kind of paring it down and doing it in instalments on a website called Read Z. And that ended up giving me the little creative boost I needed to get through editing and paring it down and and getting back to know my characters again, because it all got kind of lost in what I wanted to do with them. Because I had so many ideas I was bouncing from here to there from project to project and it just got very overwhelming even though I was excited for all of them. I was like I can’t do the work on This, I have to finish this one first and this one first. And I was like, Oh, just, I’m just tired, my brain was tired. And then doing it, in short form really helped. To remind me what exactly I’m doing here. What exactly I want to do here, what exactly my purpose was. And it wasn’t, you know, to compete with JK Rowling or anybody else, because that was a thing that I had in my mind. That was one thing that had always been in my mind is I want to compete with JK Rowling because she doesn’t deserve what she’s gotten, admittedly stupid. She worked just as hard as anybody else. I may not like her purse as a person, but she’s worked just as hard as anyone else. But I lost sight of what God had put these stories in my life for he stories, and these characters are there for a reason. It’s not for competing with anyone else. It’s for His glory, and not mine, and not to compete with anyone else. So I’m currently in the process of editing my original short stories from Reed Z. I chose five to start out with, and I hope to have the four for sale on Amazon, no later than the 12th day of Christmas. 2022.

Joshua Ling 21:32
Sweet. That sounds great. So with that being said, how are your How are your stories bringing honour to God, as far as you’re hoping, I mean, obviously, one of the big things and I do not want people to lose sight of this is the idea that your stories are if they bring you money, they are actually as a Christian you are that that gives you more ability to build even other things for the kingdom of Christ, build your own business, feed your family, you know, all that other kind of stuff. So like, I don’t want to put any, you know, lower emphasis on that. I think that’s one of the greatest reasons to create art in the first place. But in your themes, and your tones and all that other kind of stuff. What are you attacking with these stories? Or defending with these stories? What how are you? perpetuating beauty in the world through your themes and your characters? And such?

TK Wilson 22:26
Is that is one thing that I do love to think about is that I want people to understand the value and beauty of nature as part of God’s creation. That’s why the dryads are there is that they represent a sort of redeemed nature like the song she waits from. Is it the Grey Havens?

Joshua Ling 22:54
It is the Grey Havens.

TK Wilson 22:56
Okay, good. Cute. I once was, I almost said Mumford and signs,

Joshua Ling 23:01
definitely not Mumford. But

TK Wilson 23:05
I want them to be a picture of redeemed nature. And that’s why witches and wizards hate them so much is because they represent the loss of nature in that they could control it, but they can’t anymore. And when it comes to the elves, and the Pixies and other creatures like that, they are also part of the redeem nature. Their purpose is to protect and defend nature in particular, and humans that come into their pads as their friends from evil.

Joshua Ling 23:46
I gotcha. That makes sense. So what about them dolls? What about like the what’s so great about fixing dolls and selling them?

TK Wilson 23:59
Well, it started out when I was a kid, actually. I mean, I had friends who were not talking about said here. We’re not talking about kids like said that were blowing up there. They were blowing up crap. My mother wouldn’t have let us interact with kids who did sell. But they kind of treated their toys like they were, you know, like, nothing. They would leave them outside to get mouldy and crap and stuff like that. And I’m like, if I’m if my mom thought I did that, she kicked my butt. Yeah, because one thing that our parents taught us was to respect each other, respect each other’s belongings respect other people’s belongings, including their property. I would see people you know, throwing out like American Girl dolls. And I’m like, Are you kidding me? Are you freaking kidding me? So what I what I do is I grab it If they’re missing limbs or something like that, I can’t fix that. But I grab what I can, if they’re just dirty, or their hair is a mess, or they’re in some way flawed, but other people could use them, other kids could play with them. Because there’s no sense to me in throwing out something that could still be enjoyed by other people, even if you don’t want it. So I grabbed them, and I fixed them up, and I resell them, or give them away.

Joshua Ling 25:33
Now you and your brother also work together on various things I know that you’ve, he’s drawn for you, and you’ve helped with his writing as well, you guys are sort of, I don’t know how to say it. In my particular Facebook group that most of us in these first couple episodes know each other from, you’re almost like the Laurel and Hardy of a group, I don’t know who to. But it’s, there’s this constant back and forth, sibling thing, which I’m always a huge fan of. And just like, I guess, creatively, you know, and kindly speak to how, you know, you guys with two very different personalities, work together to create art. And just compare that to how God you know, like, uses this sort of thing in in our this kind of friction between people that love each other to make something beautiful.

TK Wilson 26:26
Well, that also started out when we were kids. Well, you see, he and I really only homeschoolers in the neighbourhood. So most of the day we didn’t have anybody else to play with. And even then we only had a couple of friends in the neighbourhood because it wasn’t exactly a very nice town. At that time. It’s better now. We’ve driven through their various trips, and it’s hugely improved. And I’m like, Where was this, you know, 10 years ago. But we were also really the only kids in town who are in, in our area of town. Anyway, our street who were interested in actually creating the books and cartoons and whatnot. And I’m not, I’m not throwing any stones on anybody else. So these kids, I hadn’t even seen it, since they moved out to they moved out of town. But we were the only people we only had really each other. It also our dad was in the military. So that also made us weird, because we could be gone anytime really, it was the 90s. So anytime there was any kind of conflict, there was always you know, in Haiti, Bosnia, you know, there was some kind of debacle across the sea going on at all the time in the 90s. So anytime there was that there was a possibility that we could be stationed somewhere else. My parents bought a house to make sure we’d have somewhere to go back to when that was done.

Joshua Ling 28:02
Yep. My Casey, my wife’s father, I’m not Casey’s my wife, her father was in army, during Gulf War, all that other kind of stuff. And similar kind of situation for her, I find that military families tend to almost be like homeschooled families almost by default, because there’s a certain amount of isolation, there’s definitely kids that have, they tend to develop slightly deeper relationships with within their family as compared to the rest of the world, and their friends and the people around them because they could just up and go. And that’s something that I’ve always found interesting about military families and homeschool families, especially when they go together. Um, with that being said, you know, I think I totally understand your relationship that way. I always did things with my siblings. And you actually remember, because you used to watch me and my siblings, the sibling sibling productions on YouTube. You were watching the sissy reviews back in the day. It’s so funny. We found out years later when we when we met each other and fellowship and fairy dust that you were a fan of me and my sisters YouTube channel, you know, back, you know, we were doing this probably, I’d say about 2008 through 2012 or so. And you were a huge fan of us there.

TK Wilson 29:35
I know. That was crazy. Small world.

Joshua Ling 29:39
Do you remember like how you found our YouTube channel?

TK Wilson 29:42
I do not. I think it might have had something to do with My Little Pony Friendship is Magic or the movie Bartok magnificent, because I remember there were references to both of those things in the in the one video that I remember seeing it clearly enough.

Joshua Ling 29:58
Yep, some of those are still needed. If anyone wants to look up sissy review, go ahead. I don’t have access to that channel anymore. It just kind of floats now.

TK Wilson 30:07
That’s probably okay. Considering the changes YouTube has had to make, though. Some of them were a long time and coming and I approve of them hardly. Like the whole capa thing. As much as I realise it is a pain. It also protects kids and I’m all for that.

Joshua Ling 30:24
Yeah, capa is a weird thing. You know, I think it’s implemented and executed horribly on YouTube. I do think something needed to be done. But it’s it’s just a whole other weird thing, because like some of the stuff that I do being rhyming, Oh, yeah. Thankfully, they haven’t implemented a whole lot of automatic flagging. But basically, you know, if they ever decided to do it, my stuff would almost immediately come under review because it rhymes. But that does not mean that Beowulf Oh, yeah, no, and things of that nature and that violence level are anywhere near kid friendly.

TK Wilson 31:03
Exactly. Yeah, they need to make sure that if and when they implement automatic flagging, it’s a little bit more sensitive than just, you know, flagging something because it’s a animated or, because it’s this that the other thing because, you know, as well as I do that not all animation is for children?

Joshua Ling 31:21
Oh, definitely not. Yeah, animation is. That’s a funny business in and of itself. I’m actually going to have on in a couple in a couple days or weeks or something. I haven’t booked a guy who is making a Disney Style animated movie. His name’s Chad Lewis. And he’s doing some really cool stuff with that. Doing a well let him talk about it when he gets to it. But it’s a Hans Christian Andersen related thing. Also, yours truly might be doing some voices for it. So that would be really cool. Oh, um, so we’ll see how that goes. And yeah, so that would be really cool. What else do you want to talk about? This is pretty much open for you to preach your gun, whoa, whatever. And whatever else, you know, I’ve written I’ve gone through most of my questions and ideas I had for topics. So what do you have? Well, I

TK Wilson 32:15
didn’t finish talking about my collaboration with Ian. So get to it. So another thing about that was that mom and dad taught us that when it comes right down to it, all we have is each other. And that’s not a net that is used sometimes in some families as, like a negative thing to to incur guilt. But in our case, it was the simple fact of the matter is that when it came right down to the wire, all we had was one another. So that is a philosophy that he and I have carried forward into adulthood. And we, when we were kids, we were worked together on various you know, little fan comics and whatnot. That did most of them. We still have around the house someplace. And we just grow working together like was normal. And sometimes we drive each other absolutely insane. Yeah, absolutely. freaking nuts. Oh, yes.

Joshua Ling 33:18
Variants. I know how that goes.

TK Wilson 33:22
You have more than one sibling. So

Joshua Ling 33:25
yes, I have. I’m the old the oldest of five. So I’m very much there. And I think I drove a lot of the creativity out of all of the others in their adult life. Which is, which is unfortunate that they have their own creativity or whatever else and I’m not saying that they aren’t creative at all. But I was always the one kind of bringing them all together to you know, Avengers Assemble, and it you know, after a while, they found their own thing, which is awesome, which is really awesome. I’m really proud of all of them, honestly. And they’re all creative in their own amazing way. I’m very proud of my family for that for that reason, so, okay, sounds good. Where can people find you online?

TK Wilson 34:11
Even find my business at love rose rouge, vintage toys and repair. Right now I have a picture of a bunch of Disney Princess dolls in front of a fold out Disney princess castle you can’t miss it. I do not have a Facebook page for my writing as yet. I should probably do that. But you can find me on Twitter as at TK Wilson author one. And my Twitter handle is white rose princess.

Joshua Ling 34:42
Well everyone. Remember you if you are a Christian, you are part of this culture war. You are a soldier in God’s army and you need to go out and fight to return truth, beauty and goodness to this world. We appreciate you listening and we’ll talk to you soon. Back

Joshua Ling 35:00
God said hard speech Ray Charles died one shot