Album Review: ‘Shipbuilder’ by Drew Gibson


shipbuilder

by John Ellis

“Nobody knows anything.” William Goldman

As an Oscar winning screenwriter, Goldman, with the quote above, was talking about the mystery of cinema – what makes a movie a success? No one can legitimately say because, “nobody knows anything.” Elaborating further, Goldman added, “Not one person in the entire motion picture field knows for a certainty what’s going to work. Every time out it’s a guess and, if you’re lucky, an educated one.”

You would think that a highly feted screenwriter would know exactly what makes for a successful movie, but Goldman was far more honest than many of his peers hawking “how to be a Hollywood success” books. The writer of All the President’s Men, The Princess Bride, and other highly acclaimed films knew that his success was due as much to being in the right place at the right time as it was to his prodigious talent. In the end, there’s no accounting for why one artist reaches the level of broader cultural consciousness and another worthy artist does not.

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Christians and Coming Out Redux


shunned

by John Ellis

When I wrote “Christians and Coming Out” a little over four years ago, I was writing for a music website and the main thrust of my writing was in a different direction than it is today. Writing and publishing it, though, had a greater impact on my writing (and life) than I realized it would at the time. It ended up being one of those things where I wrote words but without any real understanding of those words import until after the fact. That worked out in two main ways that ultimately converged.

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Thou Shalt Not Pirate Movies Nor Music

copyrightcriminal

by John Ellis

My six-year old heathen heart knew two things: I wanted some candy and an entire wall of candy was spread out before me. So, I took some candy, opened it, and began satisfying the lust of my little, heathen heart.

Later, as we piled into the station wagon, my mom knew two things, too: I hadn’t entered the store with any candy and she hadn’t purchased any for me while we were in the store. So, she marched me back into the store, and under her flashing, stern eyes I admitted to the manager what I had done.

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Review: The Beautiful Biblical Theology of ‘A Home & a Hunger’ by Caroline Cobb


caroline cobb

by John Ellis

This review is long overdue. Released just over a year ago, A Home & a Hunger: Songs of Kingdom Hope by Caroline Cobb has been one of the most oft played albums in my house. And for good reason.

After the beautiful prologue “There Is a Mountain” that calls the listener to come to Jesus and experience the gracious love of a King who humbled himself in order to save sinners, Cobb launches into a musical telling of the Bible’s story, beginning with “Eve’s Lament.”

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Crafting the Perfect Road Trip Playlist

 

driving

by John Ellis

What makes a good road trip playlist?

Over the years, I’ve been asked that question multiple times. Even more frequently, I’ve been asked what songs should be included on a road trip playlist. Well, this summer, I’ve been asking myself those same questions as I compile a road trip playlist for my family. Below are a few general rules that I’ve given myself as I’ve put my nose to the grindstone of the all important task of planning my family’s road trip playlist. After the rules, I’ve included some sample songs from my family’s playlist and my reason(s) for including them.

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Music to Play for Your Baby While She Naps

sleeping-baby-girl

by John Ellis

If you are a new parent, you should be terrified! Raising your new baby is a one-shot deal, and, statistically speaking, you are going to mess that one shot up. Every choice you make from here on out is going to help determine whether your cute baby will end up as a CEO of a Fortune 500 Company or sporting a face tattoo while doing time in a federal penitentiary. Considering that there are far more people sporting face tattoos inside of federal penitentiaries than there are who are CEO’s of Fortune 500 Companies, there is a much, much greater likelihood that your new baby is going to end up a felon rather than a CEO. Thankfully, I’m here to help.

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