November 29, 2011


“Whatsoever we beg of God, let us also work for it.” – Jeremy Taylor

Santa Claus is coming to town.

Forgive me for putting that melody in your head.  Is it the Springsteen version?  It is, isn’t it?

Santa may be coming in a few weeks, but God is already here.  And despite popular sentiment, God and Santa are not one in the same.

Why is it we spend the majority of our prayer time in ‘ask-mode’ and so little in ‘thanksgiving-mode’?  Or am I the only one who finds himself asking far more than thanking?

I’m getting better.  That’s not to pat myself on the back, because I’ve still got a long ways to go, but the more I listen and offer thanksgiving instead of always asking, the more at peace I find myself.  Funny how that works, huh?

These last few weeks I’ve spent plenty of time begging through Facebook, Twitter, radio and television.  At least I assume many have perceived it as begging.  My multiple Facebook posts nearly every day asking friends and acquaintances to donate money to the development funds of my current feature film could be perceived as begging.  They could certainly be perceived as annoying.

Contrary to what many of my Facebook connections likely assume after the last month, self-promotion is not one of my fortes.  I don’t like offering unsolicited updates about my career.  I’ve always said it’s better to let others do the talking.  Put another way:

“Boast not of yourself; if you’re as great as you think you are, others will do the boasting for you.” – J. O.

But this whole Kickstarter campaign has nothing to do with boasting or self-promotion.  It’s really just a project for which I’m passionate.  And it’s a project I sincerely feel is driven by a higher power.  And not a higher power in a red suit flying in a sleigh.

I’ve been begging God to simply guide me through this whole movie project.  He’s been faithful and true to His word, even when I get frustrated and pessimistic.

But in my begging, I have never been passive.  I love Mr. Taylor’s quote above.  Simply praying for God to take action while we sit on our butts is as productive as reading diet books while drinking a super-size Coke and a half-dozen Twinkies.

So that’s why I’ve been so persistent in my – call it what you want – begging, pleading, conjuring, imploring, urging.  I believe this is God’s project, but I also believe He expects a lot of hard work from me in seeing it come to be.  Posting a bunch of status updates is not hard work; that’s not what I’m implying.  But the behind-the-scenes efforts I’ve been making at the expense of sleep and free-time are where I hope to separate myself from the passive beggars.

To my Facebook connections frustrated with my bombardment of repetitious status updates, please forgive me.  I beg of you.

November 16, 2011


“Generosity is not giving me that which I need more than you do, but it is giving me that which you need more than I do.” – Khalil Gibran

Professional athletes, movie stars, business tycoons – we love to see their philanthropic efforts.  And for the most part, I’d like to think abundantly rich folks give a portion of their wealth to charitable causes.  Whether they do it for publicity or out of a genuine desire to help is not our judgment to make.

Ten-percent of one’s wealth is the Biblically accepted baseline for giving back to God what is rightfully His.  Where exactly this 10% should go is debated, but I’m a firm believer that any worthy cause is an acceptable allocation of the 10%, whether it be entirely to your church or charities or simply sharing with a brother or sister in need.

A millionaire’s 10% is incomparable to mine.  A millionaire’s 10% is more than my 100%!  Does that make his/her tithing more important than mine?  Of course not.

It’s all relative, of course.  While the richest among us have the potential to make the biggest individual splashes – and they often do when they donate 7 figures to a particular cause – the cumulative efforts of the middle and lower class can have just as big an impact.

It’s easy to give comfortably.  Once we pay our bills, buy our groceries, fuel our cars, and take advantage of this week’s sales at Target, then it’s relatively easy to squeeze out some remnants for our brothers and sisters.  Once number one is taken care of, then maybe we’ll do what we can to help others.

But as Mr. Gibran states so brilliantly, “generosity… is giving [away] that which you need more than [others].”  What a statement!  And what an idea!  To give to others before taking care of oneself.

Mark 12: 41-44 talks about a poor widow who gives to the offering box a tiny donation in relation to the others who gave before her.  Yet Jesus applauds her above the others because her donation was a bigger sacrifice.

We live in a greedy world where the richest few continue to get richer while the majority of the world continues to live in poverty.  Instead of griping about the rich, maybe if those of us in the middle upped our efforts we could reduce the unnecessary starvation plaguing the world.

We’re called to love one another and to help each other when we are in need.  If my current movie project becomes the success I hope it will become, I will be doing incrementally more to carry my weight in bringing this world back up from the poverty it’s currently in.  I’m already working hard to take care of my brothers and sisters, but I want to do so much more.

Care to join me?  Give money to your church, to your favorite charities, to a friend or family member who is struggling.  Then take $5 or $10 and donate to the movie project I’ve been commissioned to oversee.  I promise to be generous with whatever success the movie finds.  And I will pay everybody back someway, somehow when the movie finds financial success.  I promise.


November 13, 2011

Kickstart My Heart

“In prayer it is better to have a heart without words than words without a heart.” – Ghandi

Motley Crue’s crown achievement, 1989’s Dr. Feelgood, is one of my all-time favorite albums.  The title of this blog entry, the fifth song on the tape – my first copy of it was on cassette tape – recalls a near-death drug overdose for bassist Nikki Sixx in which he needed two adrenaline shots straight into his heart to save his life.

I’ve never done a drug in my life and I’ve never even been drunk, so I can’t personally relate to Nikki Sixx’s physical need for direct adrenaline injections into his heart.  But I feel a serious need for a metaphorical injection into mine.

My heart is strong.  Always has been.  Both physically and metaphysically.  But so much of what my heart truly desires is impossible to accomplish on my own.  I want to do so much more to take care of my family and friends.  I want to take care of underprivileged children, abused children, neglected children.  Adults too.  I want to make an impact.

Granted, all the above desires can be accomplished on a small scale.  But how much more impactful can I be if I’m able to do things on a grander scale?  Not for my own glory, but for the glory of what we’re called here to do – to love each other.

Imagine if the world’s riches were spread amongst the generous instead of the greedy.  Why is it that for every philanthropic millionaire, there seems to be countless hoarders?  Why must it be that way?

I don’t want to be Robin Hood.  I just want to be able to do things to help the world instead of designing million dollar bras (Seriously, a $2.5 million dollar bra… nothing more important to focus on than that?).

Naturally, my Motley Crue, Ghandi, and Victoria’s Secret references are all leading up to a discussion about the Christian feature film I’m developing.  Naturally.

The specific injection my heart needs is a financial push to launch my new project about a disgruntled Christian and an atheist and the faith they conjure up in each other.  For a guy who prides himself on being able to handle most tasks alone, it’s difficult for me to ask for help, but I just don’t have the money to accomplish what I hope to accomplish.  Every dollar raised through my Kickstarter campaign will be dedicated to the development of this project and if things go the way I think they could, I will personally pay back everybody who contributes.  And then some.

It’s not about me.  It never has been and it never will be.  I’m not looking for people to fund my career.  I’m simply asking for support in launching a project that could benefit a world in need of positive, uplifting messages.  The financial and door-opening potential of the project are inconsequential at this stage.  If the project finds success, all those who believe in it will benefit.

I love Ghandi’s quote above because it exemplifies the problem with so many ‘face-value’ Christians who offer rhetorical prayer and passive well-wishes in lieu of action.

“Suppose you see a brother or sister who needs food or clothing, and you say, ‘Well, good-bye and God bless you; stay warm and eat well’ – but then you don’t give that person any food or clothing.  What good does that do?” – James 2: 15 – 16, NLV

Food and clothing are not lacking for my family and me, so I’m not comparing myself to the brother or sister mentioned in the passage from James.  But the point is clear – passivity helps nobody.

One day I hope to be better positioned to provide more food and clothing for those that need it.  I would hope anybody reading this would claim the same.  If you don’t already, please consider donating to Compassion International or Union Gospel Mission or another worthy charitable cause (visit The Better Business Bureau’s charity website for a detailed list of charities).

And please donate to my fundraising campaign for “Away”.  Whether you’re called to give $5.00 or $500.00 I appreciate the support.  If the movie ends up being successful, I will do what I can to pay you back and I will certainly up my contributions to the charities I already support.  Because that’s what it’s all about – taking care of others.