Monday, March 08, 2010

A Very Good, Very Long Day

The last 24 hours have been amazing...in an exhausting sort of way. Between Two Kingdoms released at The Vineyard this weekend. It was my first book signing - which is fun for an author but more than a little intimidating for an introvert. If I said something dumb to you while signing your book, I apologize.

I was about ten times more exhausted after signing books than when I teach on the weekend. But it was worth it. I can't even remember all the compliments and words of encouragement from my tribe at VCC. I'm so glad that the first public event was there - at my home.

That was just the beginning of the day yesterday. Last night we had our first meeting for potential investors in our next feature film, tentatively titled The Balloonier. The event was amazing - nothing in the world excites me more than seeing a team come together for a creative endeavor. Nothing at all. This is stacking up to be a dream team for the ages. I'm so grateful to be able to do all that I was created to do in the context of my church. I've never been more personally or professionally fulfilled than I am now. And to be honest, coming home to the greatest wife and kids in the world is better than all of it.

It was great to meet Rebecca St. James and her dad, David Smallbone, in person last night after several phone calls. Rebecca is the real deal and exactly the right person to star in this movie. Our new friend and business advisor, Jim Derose, spoke about faith and filmmaking. Jim has been the president of companies like Hanes, Mattel Toys and Dreamworks/PDI. His experience and wisdom have been invaluable to us. Brad and I are on a plane right now heading to LA to meet with him and some other industry folks about the movie. (This is my first time having wi-fi on a plane. Living in the future is good.)

My lifelong friend and business partner at Rebel Pilgrim Productions, Jim Nyberg, flew in from Las Vegas for the meeting. For me, last night was the moment I saw with my eyes what I've been sensing in my heart for a while - that the chapters of my life are starting to intersect and make a little more sense. Kind of like the third act of a good Seinfeld episode.

My life hasn't been hard like so many others. I think I have had less than my share of tragedy and heartbreak. That said, it hasn't been particularly easy. There were long years and seasons that seemed fruitless. Times when my "dreams" didn't make sense to anyone including me. Times when it just wasn't working. Times of failure.

I told a friend yesterday that I find it harder to accept blessings from God than the challenges. There is no doubt that God is blessing me now - or at least allowing me to share in how He is blessing the whole of my community. I'm grateful. It's not about me...at all.

Brad and I will be moving from meeting to meeting in LA over the next week. Keep us in your prayers and thoughts as we go. We want to not just meet people of influence, but kindred spirits who share the heart of our mission, which we stated last night at the meeting:

"We tell stories of faith, hope and redemption on film and video that entertain while changing the landscape of American popular culture."

5 comments:

Sandy Maudlin said...

Have a wonderful time!

workinprogress said...

my guess is, you two will meet someone in passing and will rekindle their "God dream". Something that was whispered to them a long time ago... you two are changing the future.

love ya guys and I'm proud to call you both friends.

Jennifer said...

Joe, This was an awesome post! It is really awesome to see what God is doing through your life. We have had fun sharing your books with others ~it's our gift to all this year ;) Anyway, thanks for keeping it real and sharing it all. We are so thankful for you and your family!!!

debgraafsma said...

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Jim said...

Rebecca St james - I still remember reading her comments about suicide, she said it was selfish, and showed no compassion. It was on one of her CDs, Just a comment with no heart, hope she has changed.