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Close, But No Cigar – Pt. 2

If you haven’t read Pt. 1 yet – catch up by clicking here!

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Surrender is super tough. Especially when other people are brought into the story. I took a chance by posting something on Facebook about it—something I never do when it comes to stuff like this.

It was difficult to do anything productive the rest of the day. For some reason, this experience felt different than any I’d ever had. Was it the involvement of my Facebook friends? Was it the outpouring of love and prayers of my family and close friends who were so excited, and maybe even a little convinced that I would get the part? I felt very vulnerable. Exposed. Not that I’d let anybody down if I don’t get it, but how does it affect people’s view of God when they, heck…when I…pray for something, and it doesn’t happen? I also thought about how smart God would be to make this happen, because of the residual benefit it’d provide to my music ministry. Come on, God…right?

While the texts kept coming into my phone: How did it go? I laid sideways on my bed, trying to process some of these thoughts in my journal. I had just read Matthew 17 that morning where Jesus says, “If you had a mere kernel of faith, a poppy seed, say, you would tell this mountain, ‘Move!’ and it would move. There is nothing you wouldn’t be able to tackle.”

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Close, But No Cigar – Pt. 1

Well, it’s official that I have not been cast in the pilot of TV show I auditioned for. I thought it’d be interesting to share what my experience over the past couple weeks has been like…let you see some of the craziness I call normal life. Parts 2 & 3 will post over the next couple of days.

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On a dime. The way I’m choosing to live my life, it can all turn 180 degrees in a moment’s notice. An unexpected phone call or email could send me around the world or onto the television screen in a matter of hours. It’s an exciting way to live. But it comes with more than a fair share of unsettledness—enough uncertainty to choke a horse…if I was a horse.

Wed 2/29/12 – I just came home from a really important audition. A “this could change my life” kind of audition. I’m trying to think ahead to someone reading this and already knowing the outcome, and the subsequent cancellation of the production. Or it could be the opposite: You mean, you had a shot at being on that show! Wow…

I’m incredibly optimistic about it. But I have felt this way before, so I’m slightly cynical, as well. I have felt hopeful about the possibility of getting a valuable, mortgage-paying gig in the past (I don’t mean completely paying off the mortgage, just helping to make the monthly payment!), and having it not work out. But now I’m kind of a jumble of emotions. I’m excited and tempted to dive into the fantasy of how great life could be if this worked out, then I feel guilty for that fantasy, and assume that I’m sabotaging the job by thinking too highly of it. Most actors would agree that you usually get the gigs you don’t care about, the auditions you work on in the car as you drive to them.

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How Robert Schuller Changed My Life

I don’t know why I did it. I would sit in my beanbag chair in front of the television and watch Robert Schuller’s “Hour of Power” and be transfixed. He was an unassuming and approachable, charismatic and positive thinking preacher—kind of like if Mister Rogers ran a church. He spoke in a way that my elementary school mind could process, and millions of others, as well, since his show was the most popular hour-long church service in the world.

At its peak the church had over 10,000 members. Schuller was the Joel Osteen of his day. He wrote dozens of books, selling millions with titles like Way To The Good Life (1963), Move Ahead With Possibility Thinking (1967), Self-Love (1975), You Can Be The Person You Want To Be (1976), Toughminded Faith for Tenderhearted People (1979), Self-Esteem: The New Reformation (1982), Tough Times Never Last but Tough People Do (1983), Living Positively One Day At A Time (1986).

Schuller opened Garden Grove Community Church in 1955 at an old drive-in movie theater, allowing people to sit in their cars and hear the sermon. He then built a facility where he could preach to 500 cars as well as people sitting inside the church. This eventually turned into the famous Crystal Cathedral, which is everything you’d think it’d be—a grand and glorious testimony to the goodness of God. And I helped build it.

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When God Doesn’t Show Up

You might know we are in the beginning days of Lent—the 40 days prior to Easter. Some people give up certain things, in order to experience “lack,” to identify with Jesus, to know His desire to fill up those empty places. Others take on a new discipline. I decided to read the red letters—the words of Jesus (I personally favor Eugene Peterson’s Message translation)…to really listen and find new truths and direction for my life. I wanted to encourage you with something that surprised me. In Matthew 11, John the Baptist is in prison for a really stupid reason…and he has no clue that he’s about to…ahem, get his head chopped off. He’s feeling confused about who Jesus is…and what he’s actually going to do while here. He’s certainly not doing what everyone had expected him to do.

In verse 3, John sent his disciples to ask Jesus, “Are you the One we’ve been expecting, or are we still waiting?” Jesus, of course, had a great answer, which you can read for yourself. But I’m blown away that John…after all he’d be through with Jesus…heck, they were even related! (Their mothers were cousins!)…would question for even a second if Jesus was the Messiah! This is the same John who made a name for himself by baptizing people, and telling them of the One greater, Jesus, who is coming!

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