Author Archives: zackfink

5 Tips For Surviving The Holidays

Happy Holidays! Well…happy-ish is a more correct description for some people. For some, the holidays mean joy. Others, it’s stressful. Here are some quick tips so we can get through this season with our sanity.

1. Remember the REAL reason:  Simple enough, right? We’d like to say so, but even for creatives, we sometimes get caught up in new light arrangements or our church’s Christmas program. So take time to read the true Christmas story- the birth of Christ- or take time out of your day to meditate on the fact that Jesus was born for US to die…for US.

2. Find new music: Before you murder me for trying to get you to delete Bing Crosby (or maybe throw out your records?), I’m not. I’m merely saying there are plenty of updated versions of songs that, while not exactly Nat King Cole, are still pretty good. So maybe browse the iTunes store or listen to the Pandora Christmas station. You may fall in love. (See below for some suggestions)

3. Quiet time: This is the season of spending time with family that you may or may not normally see. And although we are excited, take it in moderation. Don’t be afraid to spend some time alone, in God’s word, or just doodling. We may explode if we don’t spend some time to relax every now and then. With all the excitement, some of us could probably use some boredom.

4. Try something new: Whether it be trying a new recipe for fudge (yum!) or trying to sew a Christmas sweater, you’ll be creating new memories that will make the holiday season worth it in the end. This is also a good way to relax 😉

5. Movie time!: Following the vision of Joshua Porter of Showbread, I’ve tried to watch a Christmas movie every day. Now, I haven’t succeeded in watching one every day, but the ones I have watched have been enjoyable. So try a “One-Christmas-A-Day” event and rate the movies. It’s very fun, especially when you watch movies that aren’t necessarily “good”. So grab some friends or family and watch a cheesy Christmas movie. 😉

Music Suggestions

Albums

  • Hawk Nelson- Christmas
  • Relient K- Let It Snow Baby… Let It Reindeer
  • Hillsong- Born Is The King
  • David Crowder* Band- Of for Joy

Songs

  • Coldplay- Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas
  • Jack Johnson- Rudolph
  • She & Him- The Christmas Song, Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas, Rockin’ Around The Christmas Tree
  • Zee Avi- Frosty The Snowman
  • FM Static- Snow Miser
  • Thousand Foot Krutch- Heat Miser
  • House of Heroes- O Come, O Come Emmanuel

-Zack

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Rough Beauty

Thanksgiving! I love it, man: the food, the family, the strife (haha). One thing though that one must always remember is that thanksgiving should always be recognized, even if it is not always given. As American’s especially, our view on beauty is pretty one dimensional. Looking at photography and art though, I find things I used to find normal beautiful. A piece of wood. A piece of paper with marker on it. These things are beautiful not for their sterile, manufactured beauty, but for the work that went into them; the rough “mistakes”. My design professor told us to never NOT bring a piece of art in just because we messed up (ink stains, coffee spills, thumbprints). In fact, some of the best work we saw in that class was full of rough beauty. As Whit George says, “the magic behind the magic”. Seeing the process behind things is sometimes as inspiring as the work itself. Watching a “behind-the-scenes” is inspiring, sometimes more so than the actual movie. So if you are ever feeling uninspired, find a how-to video or a behind-the-scenes video. They can do way more for you than just be entertainment (or torture). They give a great look into how the creative geniuses of our time may not be as omniscient as we think they are. Enjoy your Thanksgiving. Thank God for the beauty of a pile of clothes or a fallen tree. Adieu.

Finally Over

Well… Finals are finally over. Now I’m in Orlando, Florida chilling out, maxing, and relaxing all cool. =) I’ve had an entirely stressful last couple weeks but im totally excited for the next quarter where I can focus more time on the church. We’ve had some pretty big changes the past year and many meetings and surprise changes later, we are still moving. That’s how the church should always be: Move and change, move and change. If there is no change, we build a religion. That is an important aspect to remember in what we do as creatives. Especially in the church. As Christian creatives, our job is not only to make stimulating pieces to our minds, but pieces that impact our minds, but also create an environment where people can worship in. If all we do is create really cool pieces that are fun to look at but distract from the church’s purpose, we may as well be a really trendy art museum (no disrespect to MoMA, you guys rock).

Moral: Change is good. Change is painful. Change is fun.

One thing I’ve been really bugged about lately is how churches are becoming “drive-though ministries”. No, I don’t remember who said that, but many churches today are now getting their messages from the big mega churches and are becoming lazy with their own spiritual journey. Yeah, we all go through days where we don’t read our Bibles, but if we are MINISTERING to people, we HAVE to take the time to do our homework… If the church doesn’t stop being lazy, then we will become even more ineffective than we are now.
Moral: If we love God, let’s prove it instead of relying on someone else to write our sermons.

Anyways… Thought I’d share my drawing and design finals with you guys. Let me know what you think. =)


In Honor of Johnny Depp

So its almost Halloween. In honor of it, I thought it’d be fun to make a list of some of the best “scary” movies of all times. If you agree or disagree, let me know. Add your own in the COMMENT section.

1. Evil Dead

   I tried to avoid it, but I couldn’t. One of the greatest movies of all times. The mixture of slapstick comedy and horrifying hand walking will bring any movie-goer to their knees, although the reasons will be different for everyone. Sam Raimi’s greatest movie….Well, it’s better than Spider-man 3. Starring Bruce Campbell, this film did so “well” that he made sequels. The band Showbread has even written an entire song about the trilogy.

Hail to the King, Baby.

2. Dawn of the Dead (1978)

   The Grandfather of the Zombie, George A. Romero, directed this amazing movie. The remake has nothing on the original. I mean, how could it get better than slow, pasty zombies who enjoy their meals, rather than the gluttonous zombies in the remake? The slow, gimp-y zombies in this movie are much more believable (haha) than the Olympic-worthy zombies in current zombie movies.

Mr.Romero, Come to My Wedding

3. The Crazies (2010)

Yes, notice that I put the remake. Sorry, George, but your original Crazies didn’t do it for me. (The only case an original Romero movie has disappointed me). This movie, starring Timothy Olyphant and the guy from Across the Universe was interesting. Basically the movie is about a virus that sweeps across the town, infecting everyone. The story implies, however, that this is a government virus that got out of control. Sounds pretty basic, but the execution was done well. Watch it.

Maxwell, without the accent.

Apparently, I’m a horrible movie critic because I’m too lazy to do more. But basically, I wouldn’t put any Halloween, Nightmare on Elm Street, OR Jason movies on here. Sorry, not a fan. Those aren’t fun. =) I would put the original Night of the Living Dead (the black and white one) and, don’t kill me, The Number 23. Maybe The Box, too.

Thanks.

-Zack