Wednesday, June 15, 2016

A Tale of Two Authors: A Reflection

Every person sees a different facet of the world. Others see things which I cannot; and conversely, I see things others do not. Working as a vendor with Through All Ages LLC* allows me to see people in a way that customers are not able to.

Now in the merry month of May, Through All Ages was attending the annual Information Network for Christian Homes (abbreviated INCH) Convention. As I am the company president—actually the only employee at Through All Ages—I went to INCH.

When I arrived, I set up my booth and took stock of my neighbors. To my right was the end of an aisle and to my left was a well-known educational book supplier. It was staffed by three friendly ladies who spent most of their off-duty time chatting with each other. They were very friendly to me when we met.

Across the aisle, facing my booth, was an author who will be referred to as Mr. A. Next to him was an association to teach young children about God’s Word. Beyond them was another author, Miss B. Next to Miss B. were some of my friends, selling lotions and soaps. This was as far down the aisle as I could see, although there were other booths.

As the conference began, few people came through the vendor hall. Traffic was sporadic and the rest of my family were attending lectures. This left me plenty of time to think, to observe, and to read. Unfortunately, the book I had brought was busy supporting a display of products. Bother.

Now INCH is a two-day conference, and I arrived bright and early for the second day. Because I was a vendor, I could enter the vendor hall earlier than the shoppers. I scrutinized my booth, making certain it displayed my products in a visually appealing way. When I was satisfied, I sat down and waited for customers when the doors opened at 9:00 AM. With no customers inside, the vendor hall was quiet and any sound would carry a long way.

While I waited, Mr. A’s daughters entered the hall. He began barking at them because they had not arrived earlier. One of his daughters offered that her mother was overworked and unable to arrive sooner. After hearing this, Mr. A growled that if his messages had been followed, everything would have worked out smoothly.

In a few minutes, the vendor hall opened and everyone looked out eagerly for customers. No one was shopping for my paper soldiers, and as I glanced down the hall, I saw Mr. A asking a passerby if she had anyone interested in novels. He was smiling as though he was good-nature itself, and looked polite as she answered in the negative. I was repulsed—no, to be more accurate, I was sickened. Here was a man whom I had seen angrily barking at his daughters fifteen minutes earlier, now looking pleasant and gentlemanly to the customers. He was a man with two faces: one for his family and one for his customers. Yet I daresay that few of his customers ever suspected he had been berating his daughters not a quarter-hour earlier.

Now there was another author I watched: Miss B. She had no family at her booth; yet whenever I saw her in a lull between customers, she had a pleasant and amiable face. I talked with her and she seemed a kind lady. What a contrast between these two authors!

I came away from INCH thinking about what I had seen. How often are we kinder to strangers, whom we have not seen before, than to our families, who love us? I am not speaking from an ivory tower; I too am a fellow-struggler in this area. Hopefully this tale of two authors will cause us all to be kinder--both to our families and strangers.

“If a man say, I love God, and hateth his brother, he is a liar: for he that loveth not his brother whom he hath seen, how can he love God whom he hath not seen? And this commandment have we from him, That he who loveth God love his brother also.”—1 John 4:20-21

*More information about Through All Ages LLC can be found at

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Review of Pendragon: Behind the Scenes

Pendragon: Behind the Scenes
By Sara and Shannon Burns
Published 2009 
106 pages, paperback
Before Beyond the Mask, Burns Family Studios produced another movie. Called Pendragon: Sword of His Father, this movie was an exciting journey into the world of 4th Century Britain. As the Roman legions evacuate Britain, the British people are left alone to face the onslaught of Saxon barbarians invading their country. In this darkness, a hero rises to defend the British from their Saxon oppressors.
This is the basic plot of the movie, and this book details the process of making it. This book’s table of contents lists 7 sections of varying lengths:
  1. Journey’s Beginning
  2. The Story
  3. Creating the World
  4. Extras on Set
  5. The Team
  6. Journey’s End
  7. The Journey Continues
Journey’s Beginning is a preface to the book, and the first chapter is entitled The Story. This chapter tells the basic plot of Pendragon and introduces the characters, major and minor. It is lavishly illustrated with pictures: concept sketches, movie stills and “making-of” photos.
The next section “Creating the World” describes each major set and scene along with some of the work that went into it. For example, the village of Dubrinium was built in their parents’ backyard!* In addition to sets, this section also shows how various props were made. The spear heads are made from paper, the catapult could only fire 50 feet and the bows were made from PVC pipe.
No period movie would be complete without extras—people dressed in costume to populate the historic world. Pendragon is full of extras, and this section “Extras on Set” details some of their adventures and misadventures. A hilarious poem about the disasters an extra can run into ends this section. In the poem, the narrator is baked in summer, frozen in winter, wades through swamps and gets hit by an axe—only to find out that all his scenes were cut from the movie!
Chapter 4 “The Team” interviews some of the technical crew (cameraman, composer, etc.) who worked on Pendragon. Many of these crew members were also a part of Beyond the Mask.
This section is filled with fun facts about recording fire sounds, camera work, visual effects, and many other details that make up a movie.
At last, Pendragon was finished and the book ends with a word from the director Chad Burns and the producer Aaron Burns. The last word I’ll leave to Pendragon, who says in the movie, “The One who gave the vision still calls.”
This book is worth getting for the hilarious poem alone, but the additional information is both interesting and entertaining. I highly recommend it. 5/5 stars.
This book is available at
*The village of Dubrinium was re-used in Beyond the Mask. Do you know which scene it is in?

Friday, June 3, 2016

Yorktown Speech Update

A little while ago, I mentioned that I would be giving a speech on the Battle of Yorktown at the Information Network for Christian Homes convention. (To read it, go to

While at INCH, before I was to speak, I was very nervous when I thought about it.  When it came time for me to give my speech, God took away all my fears.  My dominant thought was that I was talking to friends about a subject I love and am passionate about.

My brother counted the audience and stated that there were about 50 people in attendance.  This, again, was God's blessing, for I had only expected 6-12 people.  Afterwards, a few people said they learned something new about Yorktown.

This speech was recorded and is now available for purchase at:  In the interest of full disclosure, I make no money if you order this MP3.

This is a description of my workshop, taken from INCH's website. (

A Providential View of the Battle of Yorktown The 1781 Battle of Yorktown ultimately decided American independence from Great Britain.  In this lecture, homeschool graduate and history lover Jordan Jachim will show how God was working to bring all the pieces together at a little-known port named Yorktown.  See how the plans of Benedict Arnold, Lord Charles Cornwallis, General Rochambeau and George Washington worked to bring about this battle.  Discover heroes in the American, British, and French armies.  And learn how God directed even the wind and tides to bring about His purpose.