A Hardcore Gamer Must Survive a Real-World Crisis in New Young Adult Novel

A Hardcore Gamer Must Survive a Real-World Crisis in New Young Adult Novel

A Hardcore Gamer Must Survive a Real-World Crisis in New Young Adult Novel

In my new book, Why Save Alexander, seventeen-year-old Alex Brooks is obsessed with going pro until he suddenly goes missing. He must face a life or death struggle in a foreign culture that doesn’t have a power grid. His digital world didn’t prepare him for these challenges. Alex also hides a deep secret, the cavernous void in his life that nothing seems to fill. He gains a new perspective on what it means to become a man and what it takes to be a hero.

I was inspired to write this story after two significant moments left a deep impression on me. The first happened years ago when speaking to a youth group about making wise media and entertainment choices. After my presentation a twelve-year-old approached me to share how the message that evening had a positive impact on him. He confessed to being addicted to playing video games but he also described his broken home and his greatest challenge, “I am lonely, I don’t know what to do with myself.” This insightful and heartfelt statement became the seed for Why Save Alexander.

The second moment watered that seed while listening to a seminar on the importance of storytelling.  The speaker encouraged Christians to learn the craft and get better at communicating stories to our generation. It made me think about my ministry to teens and motivated me to try and write a creative and compelling novel.

The result is this coming-of-age story that follows Alex as he is forced to grow up the hard way through extraordinary circumstances, which cause him to reevaluate what’s important in life, his need for God, and the positive influence of older mentors.

This book has been over seven years in the making and I’m excited to announce that it is available now for pre-order on Amazon and will be ready to ship on December 17, 2019 in hardcover, paperback, and Kindle. I look forward to announcing the release of the audio book as soon as the publisher confirms the date (presently 1/14/2020).

Pre-order Now

“Teens and young adult men and women will enjoy and benefit from this book. It’s full of action vividly described. It moves quickly and will engage the reader. This gripping story is full of much truth. In clever and creative ways, Phillip causes readers to think about and evaluate their lives, relationships, goals, purposes, and passions. They may not even realize they’re thinking about these things while enjoying the book, but it will be good for them. I expect some readers will make changes in their lives because of Phillip’s important story. I don’t read much fiction because it doesn’t move me, but I could not put this book down.”

—Kathy Koch, PhD

Founder and President, Celebrate Kids, Inc., and author of Screens and Teens: Connecting with Our Kids in a Wireless World

“Phillip Telfer is a master story-teller, drawing the reader into a tale that is both epic and intimate. This book is an unexpected reading adventure with an irresistible plot line, curious characters, and exotic cinematic backdrops. Why Save Alexander showcases Telfer’s rare knack for supplying pithy and profound cultural insight. He blends high stakes drama and winsome fun with a deeply thought-provoking message to produce a delightfully soul-stirring tale.”

—Eric Ludy

bestselling author and past

“Phillip Telfer is a dear friend and a wise and engaging communicator whose heart for Christ and the gospel is evident in all that he does. This book is embedded with an important and timely theme for our generation.”

—Stephen Kendrick

Film Producer and Bestselling Author

“An entertaining story driven by values you can feel good about.”

—Craig Brian Larson

Author and Blogger

“There was a time in my life—many moons ago—that I read for fun. Give me a Hardy Boys mystery or Nancy Drew novel (not just for girls!) and I would be transported into a world of adventure and intrigue where the good ‘guys’ accomplished something daring and noble. That was then. Now? Two of my last books have been about theology and religious criticism. I just don’t take the time for mystery and adventure. But I should.  Why Save Alexander started out as a read as a favor for a friend, but morphed into a nostalgic throwback—only with a Christian underpinning that came naturally in this story. And left me wanting to read the next book in this series—if one should be written.” 

—Bob Waliszewski

Former Director of Focus on the Family’s Plugged In

“Phillip Teller tells a good story here that is sure to engage the young teen as well as adult reader. Why Save Alexander walks the fine line between the real world and the metaphoric, but leaves the reader with a firmer grasp on reality—God’s reality—real reality. The message could not be more powerful and important for the post-modern, thoughtful reader.” 

—Kevin Swanson

Author, Speaker, and Host of Generations Radio Broadcast

Who is Phillip Telfer? What is the core of my identity? I’m a child of God and a disciple of Jesus Christ. What you do is not as important as who you are. But in case you’re wondering about what I do, here you go…

Husband & Father: Mary and I have been married for 28 years and blessed with 4 children, one fantastic son-in-law, and a precious grand-daughter.

Minister: I serve as a pastor by day (and night) and I’m the founder and director of the nonprofit ministry Media Talk 101

Coffee Nut: When I’m not serving the flock, I’m serving good, home roasted coffee to family and friends.

Woodworker: Another hobby that has “turned” into a small family business is woodturning. Working with wood a little bit each week keeps me sane in this big world of personalities.

Film Festival Director: Since that didn’t seem like enough on my plate I also started the annual Christian Worldview Film Festival and Filmmakers Guild.

Author: When there’s time to spare, I love to take  a Pilot G2 gel pen and a pad of paper and write! I used to pour a lot of creative writing energy into music, and now that has shifted to the fun of writing a novel.

 

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Juggling or Orbits?

Juggling or Orbits?

Juggling or Orbits?

How often have you said or heard someone say something like, “I’m having trouble juggling all the different things in my life”? It’s even more notable when I hear it from a young adult who is single without the responsibilities of children, or home ownership, or leading a team for a business or ministry. I truly believe they mean what they say, as much as I have meant it when I’ve said it myself.

Yet it eventually occurred to me that the metaphor of juggling sets us up for failure and discouragement when a ball gets dropped along the way. There are many things in our lives that we should always take responsibility for on an ongoing basis, to our spouse and children, to our particular vocation, to our weekly gathering as believers in church, to personal care and well-being.

It may help to rethink the metaphor and consider the concept of a solar system with planets orbiting around the sun at various distances. Many of these important things in life are not going away and instead of trying to merely juggle them, how about getting them into proper orbits around the Son.

“When I consider Your heavens, the work of Your fingers, The moon and the stars, which You have ordained, What is man that You are mindful of him, And the son of man that You visit him?” Psalms 8:3-4

 

 

 

“For by Him all things were created, both in the heavens and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities–all things have been created through Him and for Him. He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together.” Colossians 1:16-17

The important things in life need to orbit around Christ who is able to keep them in motion. But not all areas of life should have equal attention. Some things need to have longer orbits.

For instance, Mars takes 687 days to orbit the sun, almost twice the amount of time for the Earth. Jupiter takes a whopping 4,333 days to orbit the sun. Saturn is 10,759 days. Neptune? 60,190 days compared with Mercury’s 88-day orbit.

So what is the Mercury in your life? I want to encourage you to have your personal relationship with Jesus be the closest orbit. Your spiritual well-being is going to affect all the other orbits and if you don’t have this one right then the rest are going to struggle and you will find yourself reverting back to juggling life.

If you are married then your spouse is your Venus, and though the planet Venus has no moons, if you have children, then your Venus has one or more that will orbit together.

What should orbit next? What is the Earth in your planetary system? Some would say your vocation, but I would suggest involvement in your local church. I’m not saying that because I’m a pastor of a local church but because Jesus taught, “Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you” Matthew 6:33. The congregation of Christians is the invention of Christ and has been foundational for His kingdom for over 2000 years.

You’ll have to determine what is your Mars, Jupiter, and Saturn. The most important point I hope to make is that they all need to orbit around the Son, Jesus Christ.

So stop all the juggling and attempting to keep all the various things in your life in motion. Instead, submit each of them to God and ask for His help and guidance to keep them in the proper orbit.

Who is Phillip Telfer? What is the core of my identity? I’m a child of God and a disciple of Jesus Christ. What you do is not as important as who you are. But in case you’re wondering about what I do, here you go…

Husband & Father: Mary and I have been married for 28 years and blessed with 4 children, one fantastic son-in-law, and a precious grand-daughter.

Minister: I serve as a pastor by day (and night) and I’m the founder and director of the nonprofit ministry Media Talk 101

Coffee Nut: When I’m not serving the flock, I’m serving good, home roasted coffee to family and friends.

Woodworker: Another hobby that has “turned” into a small family business is woodturning. Working with wood a little bit each week keeps me sane in this big world of personalities.

Film Festival Director: Since that didn’t seem like enough on my plate I also started the annual Christian Worldview Film Festival and Filmmakers Guild.

Author: When there’s time to spare, I love to take  a Pilot G2 gel pen and a pad of paper and write! I used to pour a lot of creative writing energy into music, and now that has shifted to the fun of writing a novel.

 

Overcomer Movie August 23

Overcomer Movie August 23

Overcomer Movie August 23

Last summer I had the privilege of being on set for the new Kendrick Bros. film Overcomer. My son CJ and I attended their boot camp before the first day of filming and helped for a couple days in the art department building sets and working on some set dressing. A few weeks later my wife Mary and I were back on set and were able to sit in as background extras for the opening scene. The scene took most of the day to film but I had a blast sitting and standing then sitting and standing next to Eric Ludy, an author and teacher that I’ve respected for many years.

Recently Mary and I attended the red carpet premiere of Overcomer in Columbus, GA and in my opinion, it is the best Kendrick film yet, and I’ve liked them all since their first film Flywheel. Be sure to take you family to go see this on opening weekend. The film is in theaters starting August 23rd. Be sure to look for Mary and I in the opening seen and let me know what you think of our debut.

Who is Phillip Telfer? What is the core of my identity? I’m a child of God and a disciple of Jesus Christ. What you do is not as important as who you are. But in case you’re wondering about what I do, here you go…

Husband & Father: Mary and I have been married for 28 years and blessed with 4 children, one fantastic son-in-law, and a precious grand-daughter.

Minister: I serve as a pastor by day (and night) and I’m the founder and director of the nonprofit ministry Media Talk 101

Coffee Nut: When I’m not serving the flock, I’m serving good, home roasted coffee to family and friends.

Woodworker: Another hobby that has “turned” into a small family business is woodturning. Working with wood a little bit each week keeps me sane in this big world of personalities.

Film Festival Director: Since that didn’t seem like enough on my plate I also started the annual Christian Worldview Film Festival and Filmmakers Guild.

Author: When there’s time to spare, I love to take  a Pilot G2 gel pen and a pad of paper and write! I used to pour a lot of creative writing energy into music, and now that has shifted to the fun of writing a novel.

 

2019 Filmmakers Guild

2019 Filmmakers Guild

2019 Filmmakers Guild

CWVFF Filmmakers Guild 2019 recap #CWVFF19 What topics would you like to see covered? Who would you like to see come speak?Make plans to come in 2020!

Posted by Christian Worldview Film Festival on Thursday, March 14, 2019

In November of 2013 I began planning an outreach to Christian filmmakers that I called the Christian Worldview Film Festival and Filmmakers Guild. I wanted to provide training in addition to establishing a film festival so I invited around 30 speakers to give over 50 workshops during the first three days of this week long event. That first conference was held in March 2014. For anyone considering running a large event I don’t recommend trying to pull it off in only four months, but by God’s grace, my small team and I were able to host the first annual event. Now six years later we are planning for our 7th annual Christian Worldview Film Festival in 2020. Our small staff and a bunch of amazing volunteers are helping to cultivate a movement of Christians who desire to create and disseminate visual media that honors God, brings Him glory, and is effective to impact the church and the world for Christ and His kingdom. Here are a few pictures from our first year and some highlight videos from the last seven years.

 

CWVFF 2014

7 Years of CWVFF Highlights

Who is Phillip Telfer? What is the core of my identity? I’m a child of God and a disciple of Jesus Christ. What you do is not as important as who you are. But in case you’re wondering about what I do, here you go…

Husband & Father: Mary and I have been married for 28 years and blessed with 4 children, one fantastic son-in-law, and a precious grand-daughter.

Minister: I serve as a pastor by day (and night) and I’m the founder and director of the nonprofit ministry Media Talk 101

Coffee Nut: When I’m not serving the flock, I’m serving good, home roasted coffee to family and friends.

Woodworker: Another hobby that has “turned” into a small family business is woodturning. Working with wood a little bit each week keeps me sane in this big world of personalities.

Film Festival Director: Since that didn’t seem like enough on my plate I also started the annual Christian Worldview Film Festival and Filmmakers Guild.

Author: When there’s time to spare, I love to take  a Pilot G2 gel pen and a pad of paper and write! I used to pour a lot of creative writing energy into music, and now that has shifted to the fun of writing a novel.

 

Sunnyside Skate Church, Chicago 1991

Sunnyside Skate Church, Chicago 1991

Sunnyside Skate Church, Chicago 1991

I wish I had a copy of this original picture, all I have is a poor photocopy that was recently found folded up in a box of miscellaneous items. On the first row you can find a picture of Phillip Telfer at the age of 18. My wife Mary is also in this picture (this was taken before we were married). I had moved to Chicago from my home state of Oregon to work with an inner-city church. I helped the youth pastor, Dirk Currier, launch an outreach to skateboarders. We built a small skate park in the basement of the church.  At the time, it was the only public skate park in the city of Chicago so we didn’t have to beg any skaters to come to church. We passed out a few flyers at some local skate shops and within months we were hosting over a hundred skateboarders packed into our little basement skate church. We called it Sunnyside Skate Church because the cross streets of the church, Sunnyside and Paulina. The skaters were required to attend a short church service where we presented the gospel each week.

My background with riding freestyle bmx and skateboarding gave me a opportunity to connect with so many young people in Chicago that I would have otherwise not crossed paths with. I still ride freestyle on occasion, the most recent at our church 4th of July picnic. I don’t have the stamina I had over 30 years ago when I started riding but I’m glad a can still “bust a move” or two. The picture below is me riding circa 1990 in Corvallis, OR.

Sunnyside Skate Church would not be the last skate ministry I became involved in. I moved out of Chicago to the small town of Mt. Carroll, IL in 1998 and served as a youth pastor for several years at a local church. I built a skatepark in the church parking lot. I remember a church board member asking me how many skaters I thought there were in a small town of only 1700 people. My reply, “I don’t know but I guarantee that everyone of them will be coming to our church.” I was right. I wouldn’t trade those amazing years for anything. One of those young punk skaters was a Jr. High student, Rhett Simkins. Rhett is a pastor now in Mt. Carroll and is my office director for the ministry Media Talk 101. Our youth group didn’t just attract skateboarders because the skateboarders attracted spectators and we experienced an unusual momentum that resulted in a youth group of up to 80 students attending our Wednesday evening youth service. When I began to keep track of attendance I was shocked to discover that we actually had around 120 students in our youth ministry over the course of a month of meetings, they just didn’t show up all at once. Whatever your unique interests and talents are, they can be used for Christ and His kingdom. 

Who is Phillip Telfer? What is the core of my identity? I’m a child of God and a disciple of Jesus Christ. What you do is not as important as who you are. But in case you’re wondering about what I do, here you go…

Husband & Father: Mary and I have been married for 28 years and blessed with 4 children, one fantastic son-in-law, and a precious grand-daughter.

Minister: I serve as a pastor by day (and night) and I’m the founder and director of the nonprofit ministry Media Talk 101

Coffee Nut: When I’m not serving the flock, I’m serving good, home roasted coffee to family and friends.

Woodworker: Another hobby that has “turned” into a small family business is woodturning. Working with wood a little bit each week keeps me sane in this big world of personalities.

Film Festival Director: Since that didn’t seem like enough on my plate I also started the annual Christian Worldview Film Festival and Filmmakers Guild.

Author: When there’s time to spare, I love to take  a Pilot G2 gel pen and a pad of paper and write! I used to pour a lot of creative writing energy into music, and now that has shifted to the fun of writing a novel.

 

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Why Save Alexander – Coming 2019

Why Save Alexander – Coming 2019

Why Save Alexander – Coming 2019

Can a hardcore gamer survive a real-world crisis? Seventeen-year-old Alex Brooks is obsessed with becoming an e-athlete. What teen wouldn’t want to make a million dollars playing video games professionally? Especially if you’ve got a real shot at it like Alex. His mom, a television producer in Hollywood, casts her son in a reality show about young gaming hopefuls seeking fame and fortune. This gives him great exposure in the industry. On top of that, His dad owns an up-and-coming tech business that is about to launch a revolutionary product. Life couldn’t be better—or could it?

Truth be told, Alex doesn’t need to go pro as bad as he needs to grow up, and what teen really wants to do that? He’s popular with other gamers but his over-inflated ego makes him obnoxious to almost everyone else. He hides a deep secret—the cavernous void in his life that nothing seems to fill. He thrives on a false sense of accomplishment but is haunted by an inescapable sense of loneliness. He has lived in the shadow of his dad’s relentless pursuit of building a tech empire while watching him fail to keep his family from falling apart. What will it take for Alex to gain a new perspective on what it means to become a man and what it takes to be a hero?

Everything changes when Alex goes missing. He must face a life or death struggle in a foreign culture that doesn’t have a power grid. Man or computer mouse? His digital world didn’t prepare him for the challenges that are about to confront him. Alex is not ready to rescue anyone, he needs to be rescued. For those who really know Alexander, why would anyone want to save him? This coming-of-age story follows Alex as he is forced to grow up the hard way through extraordinary circumstances, which cause him to re-evaluate what’s important in life, his need for God, and the positive influence of older mentors. Adventure, danger, romance, survival, despair and Providence are the ingredients that help remake his life.

“Teens and young adult men and women will enjoy and benefit from this book. It’s full of action vividly described. It moves quickly and will engage the reader. This gripping story is full of much truth. In clever and creative ways, Phillip causes readers to think about and evaluate their lives, relationships, goals, purposes, and passions. They may not even realize they’re thinking about these things while enjoying the book, but it will be good for them. I expect some readers will make changes in their lives because of Phillip’s important story. I don’t read much fiction because it doesn’t move me, but I could not put this book down.”

—Kathy Koch, PhD

Founder and President, Celebrate Kids, Inc., and author of Screens and Teens: Connecting with Our Kids in a Wireless World

“Phillip Telfer is a master story-teller, drawing the reader into a tale that is both epic and intimate. This book is an unexpected reading adventure with an irresistible plot line, curious characters, and exotic cinematic backdrops. Why Save Alexander showcases Telfer’s rare knack for supplying pithy and profound cultural insight. He blends high stakes drama and winsome fun with a deeply thought-provoking message to produce a delightfully soul-stirring tale.”

—Eric Ludy

bestselling author and past

“Phillip Telfer is a dear friend and a wise and engaging communicator whose heart for Christ and the gospel is evident in all that he does. This book is embedded with an important and timely theme for our generation.”

—Stephen Kendrick

Film Producer and Bestselling Author

“An entertaining story driven by values you can feel good about.”

—Craig Brian Larson

Author and Blogger

“There was a time in my life—many moons ago—that I read for fun. Give me a Hardy Boys mystery or Nancy Drew novel (not just for girls!) and I would be transported into a world of adventure and intrigue where the good ‘guys’ accomplished something daring and noble. That was then. Now? Two of my last books have been about theology and religious criticism. I just don’t take the time for mystery and adventure. But I should.  Why Save Alexander started out as a read as a favor for a friend, but morphed into a nostalgic throwback—only with a Christian underpinning that came naturally in this story. And left me wanting to read the next book in this series—if one should be written.” 

—Bob Waliszewski

Former Director of Focus on the Family’s Plugged In

“Phillip Teller tells a good story here that is sure to engage the young teen as well as adult reader. Why Save Alexander walks the fine line between the real world and the metaphoric, but leaves the reader with a firmer grasp on reality—God’s reality—real reality. The message could not be more powerful and important for the post-modern, thoughtful reader.” 

—Kevin Swanson

Author, Speaker, and Host of Generations Radio Broadcast

Who is Phillip Telfer? What is the core of my identity? I’m a child of God and a disciple of Jesus Christ. What you do is not as important as who you are. But in case you’re wondering about what I do, here you go…

Husband & Father: Mary and I have been married for 28 years and blessed with 4 children, one fantastic son-in-law, and a precious grand-daughter.

Minister: I serve as a pastor by day (and night) and I’m the founder and director of the nonprofit ministry Media Talk 101

Coffee Nut: When I’m not serving the flock, I’m serving good, home roasted coffee to family and friends.

Woodworker: Another hobby that has “turned” into a small family business is woodturning. Working with wood a little bit each week keeps me sane in this big world of personalities.

Film Festival Director: Since that didn’t seem like enough on my plate I also started the annual Christian Worldview Film Festival and Filmmakers Guild.

Author: When there’s time to spare, I love to take  a Pilot G2 gel pen and a pad of paper and write! I used to pour a lot of creative writing energy into music, and now that has shifted to the fun of writing a novel.

 

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