I was was borne and raised in west-central Michigan. After high school, I attended the Moody Bible Institute in Chicago. All four years of college I volunteered in a Quakers church in Cabrini-Green, which was my first real life exposure to the fact that we are all unique, yet similar.
After college, I spent six years driving to different fellowships in the Body of Christ to understand Christians. It’s not easy because of the degree to which many congregational leaders will accuse us of not loving God if we don’t give them money every week, but not all leaders like that. We can’t learn about each other merely through books. Most critiques of Rob Bell, for instance, are about his literature, not addressing real issues that people in Grandville, Michigan know first hand. So, I’m one of the few people with long-term first-hand experience with everyone from Baptists to Pentecostals, from the Moody Bible Institute to the International House of Prayer.
My favorite authors are informative and provocative, like CS Lewis, Robert Kiyosaki, and Malcolm Gladwell. Everyone’s a Tolkien fan these days. Though I’ve been accused of being “well-read” I don’t pick up books too often. I prefer to be “well-talked”, having first hand dialog with people about their ideas. Because of those talks, I foresaw the trouble with Bell—and I’ve still not seen anyone mention a viable solution to the disagreement that’s arisen, though people love to throw eggs at him. I’ll probably share my personal thoughts with him, if we ever get the chance. Though most of my opinions are well-informed by academics, for the most part, they are based on personal encounter. One time in college, I read all my assignments on time and the doctor ordered me to stop because the stress was too much.. ?? So, though I read, I’m not much of an egg head. I find it more profitable and educational to spend time with people.
In America, I often drop-in to visit friends for coffee and a few hours of banter about trends in music, business, politics, to pontificate about the latest ministry “strategery” of Bill Hybels, talk about what Rush said the day before, or digest recent sermons from Mike Bickle. In Asia I like to dabble in Chinese calligraphy, visit friends, study Wing Chun (Kung Fu,) visit locals, frequent the traditional market, and ride my bicycle to buy organic fair trade coffee from a local merchant. I hold a long-standing reputation among friends for talking endlessly. Of course, if I ever did figure out why, I’d never admit it.
As for sports: individual. Maybe it’s because one of my oldest friends was a skater kid.. ya know, the guy who wore the expensive Airwalks in high school that no one knew where to buy? Yeah, we had a quiet connection. His suicide affected me, making me less tolerant of the religious leaders who refused to do what it took for him to understand Christ.
After ten years of working to understand Christians in our various sub-cultures and denominations, I went to Asia and Obama went to the White House. We need more people in business and politics with real international experience. And I don’t mean classroom “experience” or a six month internship—I mean actual life in the field.
Traveling the States had already broadened my perspective. China and East Asia took that experience from good to great. We don’t know about ourselves until we learn about others. My first English school boss tried to take my passport. The second boss refused to give me my work permit, but then got mad for “no reason” and told the government that I up and vanished. The officer involved with that “situation” let me keep the letter making those false claims as a “souvenir”. Yes, I was the first foreigner to conclude peace with an employer in that region of China, without pressing charges nor getting deported on false claims. Believe me, it took a lot of wild faith—as in, the kind of stuff that makes everyone angry at you until after the fact.
China probably needed that victory more than I did. We don’t know what’s possible until we see it for ourselves—every one of us. Maybe God sent me to show their government how much can be done with foreigners who appreciate the Chinese for who they are. Maybe all that time my dad spent taking me to government meetings was intended for bigger stuff than any of us would have guessed. Either way, I’d had enough of lying bosses who wanted to stamp “deported” on my passport because of their prejudices, but I was quite happy with myself for having survived two of them. With all these experiences I wanted to read, but you already know how that goes.
So, I took to writing.
After a short time I got into the world of blogging and eBooks and blogs… And here we are. My favorite eBook publisher is Smashwords because they make everything simple and provide distribution to major eBook stores.
The first two books, the Crossroads series, were simple scripts, like a theater drama. Christians in different parts of the Body of Christ rarely talk to each other. This is a what some good conversations might look like, if they ever happened. It was written after 14 years of long-term visits to different parts of the worldwide Body of Christ. How did all those travels happen? I guess I’m been like a leaf borne by the wind—no one knows where I came from or where I’m going next. Get a glimpse of what I gleaned from that 14-year journey in the Crossroads series. Since no one charged me for the adventure, these eBooks are completely free.
The third book, Memoirs of Ophannin, is a geek-niche genre, much like The Silmarillion from Tolkien. This novel, with Angelic characters, starts a few thousand years before Genesis 1, weaves Angelic Fiction through Bible stories, and offers a perspective on some deeper theological questions. Here’s a secret: the main character is the Book of Life, even though it’s technically an inanimate object. That’s how I laid-out the impact character grid, anyhow. I kept it simple enough so that other authors, including myself, could build on it if they wanted.
Tolkien felt that there really wasn’t a good mythology for English-speaking culture, unlike nearly every other culture in the world. I think Christian Fiction lacks some heritage where Angels are concerned. Frank Peretti did us all a favor, but there’s more to be done. Angelic background can’t be just anything, however. It must have heavy consideration for Scripture. Typically, Creative Writing and Biblical Theology rarely find their ways into the same books. CS Lewis may be our only example. Those are big shoes to fill, but at least I’ll write one story, just so I’m not a bench warmer.
I wrote this “Angelic Biblical mythology” in hopes of enriching Christian Fantasy Fiction (if I’m allowed to use the words “mythology” and “Bible” together.) There’s more about all this in the Introduction and Conclusion. The eBook ships in early 2013 for $4.99.
I launched Taiwan for Israel to help raise awareness. Most people don’t understand how much the two countries have in common. Both are republics. They are small, yet strong, standing against great enemies who want to harm the free world. They are even shaped very similarly. Both are prosperous and rich in beauty and natural resources. Both Taiwanese and Jews are strong-minded, earthy, and delightful. There are many more good things that could be said about both nations. For now, they need to know about each other and we all need to learn about both of them.
My deep passion is to see God’s Kingdom known in the earth as it already is in Heaven. Psalm 69:9 puts it well, “Zeal for Your House has consumed me…” The Kingdom of God is not an earthly government or organization we can join nor is it achieved by transforming laws on the earth. It’s from Jesus Christ and resides, for now, in our hearts, until He returns in person. In the meanwhile, our laws and daily lives ought to reflect justice and fairness for everyone, regardless of whether they agree with us. This is the Kingdom of God.
But passion for the Lord has it’s costs. No one can please everyone and God doesn’t make sense to most of us. Christians must follow their own principals without compromise. Non-Christians would find us much more tolerable if we did—and we might even learn to tolerate each other.
The road stretches onward. We’re not perfect, but we want to be—at least I hope so. And though I haven’t arrived, I won’t get discouraged by the mere fact that journeys take time.
Whether we’re talking Social Media, Mass Media, News Media, Podcasting, Television, YouTube, Talk Radio, Book Publishing, Public Speaking … media is about relationships. It’s not about the author making a name for himself—it’s about sharing valuable ideas with real people. That’s something that every DJ, radio host, columnist, pundit, businessman, and author have to learn. And, whether you’re trying to get people to “Like” your posts on Facebook or follow your new Twitter account, the same rules apply. We’re all in the media business, whether we admit it or not. It’s just that some of us know it and others are better at it than some.
This website was created as a resource for writing, blogging, podcasting, cartooning, and putting my social media all in one place. But I also hope to encourage other aspiring authors, journalists, and creative writers. We need a new direction for individual media in the digital information age.
Bushisms like “strategery” carry a meaning of their own and readers want to know whether an author means a “small group” (a group that is small) or a “smallgroup” (the people who attend Bible study together). It’s okay to update spelling and punctuation, such as “email” instead of the archaic “e-mail” and format digital editing standards for copy-paste-friendly punctuation (“. vs .” depending on the situation). And we can eliminate periods in known abbreviations for rss/atom-feeding into news tickers and text messages.
From a “tone” perspective, and as Christians, we must not to fall into the run-of-the-mill, uncreative, boring culture-bashing with the “someone has to be wrong before I can have a good point” style that defines too many Christian periodicals. We can deliver the message to the world while being both kind and effective. Take Ronald Reagan for instance. To help along these lines, some articles, style guides, and resource are listed on this page in the center column under “Reference”. Using a “sweet and strong” style of expressing ourselves, along with standardizing the spellings we all use anyway, will eventually prove marketable. So, if you’re a write,r feel free to jump on board. As a tip to beginners: Schools and academic institutions cultivate a paradigm of “word minimums” while the world of readers and syndicates want “word maximums”. Break the mold. Get to the point.
The subject of the Body of Christ begs for input from the whole Christian community. So, I started contributing Church-focused articles at PrayerProject.us in hopes of doing my small part with others to help the American Church get back on track. You can read more at prayerproject.us/about-us/prayer-at-the-center.
I contribute to PUBLICi, where I write about more international issues that span beyond the US and China, including international shifts, social movements, possible coming changes, which can involve anything from East Asia to Israel and Islamic nations, among many others.
I’m also a contributor at China Daily Mail, mainly for articles that relate to US-China topics, including business, trade, culture, the greater East Asia region, lessons to learn, government, and the Church.
I encourage people to rebolog my work.
All of my articles syndicated at JesseSteele.com come with a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.
Blogging at JesseSteele.com
JesseSteele.com carries different forms of content, including articles specific to Christianity, social-political blurbs, art, and random thoughts. All content relates to Bible, Business, Culture, and Politics.
The featured blog series is The Point. It’s flow is more scenic than didactic and the tone, more pithy than nasal. It illustrates ideas with informative word-pictures and addresses an artistic-minded audience of social-religious-politically-minded trendsetters. Publications of The Point may have an audio version, which you can subscribe to in iTunes.
The Denialist is a simple comic series, exploring daily absurdity. Some might say, It’s too true to be good. All of us have moments of Denialism—getting ourselves in a state of denial. For these cartoon characters, Denialism is chronic… or more of a religion. Frank, with the big chin, sees everything in terms of optics and marketing. Jimmy shelters himself—and confuses himself—with coolness. Joyce is excessively positive, to a point of ignoring everyone around her. And Reynald, the dog, who only ever thinks about food, is the pragmatist in touch with reality.
The Podcast is informal banter between myself, George (the official Podcast Observer,) voice messages sent in by listeners, YouTube, and whatever else there may be to banter with. Imagine a business world without MBA’s, a Church without clergy, and politics without politics… The Podcast must continue to podcast until culture conforms to wisdom!
About Twitter… Different Tweets for different birds…
If you’d like to follow ONLY The Podcast and The Point via Twitter, follow this special Twitter account, which only Tweets these two forms of content, syndicated only at JesseSteele.com:
To follow ONLY The Denialist cartoons via Twitter, as part of the cartooning community, follow The Denialist on Twitter:
To follow EVERYTHING… The Point, The Podcast, The Denialist, and everything else on Twitter, use my main Twitter account:
My articles at other websites can be accessed under “Blog” at the top menu and a linked summary appears in the homepage stack. Or, if it suits your fancy, you can feed, read, view, follow, listen, subscribe, and stay up to speed right here at JesseSteele.com.
I prefer blogging, rather than publishing on a strict schedule. It’s best to say something only when something needs to be said, not just because it’s time to say something. Articles have better quality when a written upon inspiration and need. Relevance strengthens reader trust. Perhaps, this week, there’s no news to report.
Social media connections…