Why Christian Movies Suck.

This is my writing assignment from this morning on the Marketing Seminar with Seth Godin.

Most of my life is spent working with Christians who are somewhere on the professional spectrum in the arts. It’s amazing how much of this course has brought me back to theological reflection, and reminded me why I decided to cut a very different path 12 years ago.

Most Christians in the arts confuse brand marketing with direct marketing. Or to rephrase this in “Christianese:” Rather than communicating the culture of heaven and building connection, they interrupt telling their story and stop creating relationships by forcing the audience to hear a quick sermon and “make a decision.”

This was the money quote from Seth in this lesson:

“If you’re going to do direct marketing, do direct marketing. Test and measure. If you’re going to do brand advertising, do brand advertising. Don’t distract yourself (or interrupt the storytelling and experience you’re creating) by trying to get an immediate, measurable response.”

Most Christians in the arts that I know relegate the story and the experience they are creating trying to get an immediate measurable response–getting someone to recite a cliche prayer.

In the end they fail on both points–the experience is subpar (a friend in Scotland calls it “ignorant cheese”) and you have burned your audience because they paid to have an experience or be told a story. And since you burned your audience, you have hurt the brand–the Christian Gospel. The Gospel is about a culture, not about the “Sinner’s Prayer.”

Prophetic Conversations concerning Britain and America

It is has been some time since the Lord has released me to share public prophetic words.  Over the summer I was living in Scotland and God spoke to me quite a bit about what He is doing in the earth right now.  I found it very encouraging.

June 19 2017

From Lindisfarne.

This is the root. All English speaking Christianity comes from this place. Let these roots nourish you. Nothing Ancient ever gets old. Let the life in these roots flow through you and give you life.

It is time to reconvert England so that she can convert the world. England is central to my end-time plan.

I love England. England has been my friend. I never give up on my friends.

I am raising up new leadership for the U.K. and the direction of the country will be changing in the next year. That wind is already blowing in Westminster.

June 28, 2017 Stirling Castle

I have given Britain a splendor that I want to renew and restore. Remember in London when you asked me about church ruins? My reply to you was “I didn’t build that.”

Here across Britain are the ruins of castles that I did build.

Just as Stirling Castle was a ruin that has been restored, so is my kingdom in the earth. Many are beginning to understand the “power” side of the kingdom: this kingdom is a kingdom of power, not of talk. This is only part of what I am restoring. It is also a kingdom of glory. This is a kingdom whose glory will cover the whole earth. You (Belonging House) understand this is a kingdom of glory–of color, of sound, of light, and of regality.

I am establishing governmental centers thoughout the earth that connect the power and the glory.

14 August 2017

The election of Donald Trump was a cataclysm. His election is the clash between the government of God and the governments of man. I chose a bombastic instrument because I needed to blow up the structures that many believed were settled conclusions.

I am coming soon! Open your eyes and see the salvation of the Lord. There is a global shift happening. What worked in the last seasons will not work now. This is an urgent time and the Holy Spirit is brooding as things begin to birth. Prepare for a conflagration.

3 September 2017, National Day of Prayer for Hurricane Harvey

America’s best days are ahead not behind.

America is about to enter a golden age and it will be a time marked by joy and prosperity. As dark as these days seem, so the next season is going to be marked by light. Ignore the false end-time teaching. This is designed to make you afraid or rejoice at evil. I am doing something much more profound in the earth.

Over the next few weeks be prepared for an unprecedented exposition of evil. The light is coming to the media, government, and business systems. Watch for the downfall of structures established in the 1960’s to establish satan’s empire in the earth. There is going to be a sovereign move of God in the gay community as lies get exposed.

As more and more turn to God they are going to look for a place to belong. As they turn to me, they will not turn to the church. But the church is a real thing, and a new church is about to form. This is going to create a true apostolic reformation unlike anything in history. Do not look back in this season to old structures and answers.

Britain and America are about to form a new alliance based on kinship, identity, and values. The Holy Spirit is about to use the network of English speakers around the world to bring the Great Harvest. Rejoice! Rejoice!

Get excited because I am putting the right people in the right place for the right time.

I am about to establish new cultural centers in the earth. London, Boston, and Edinburgh are all important. There will be a new Anglo-American Alliance that will not be a new empire. Instead it will be a challenge to Marx, Nietzche, and Mohammed. Watch as the United Kingdom begins to voluntarily re-unite. Even Ireland will want to reconnect with Britain as the waters rise. Watch as the Tsunami erupts out of England.

America is about to discover her need for Britain. Britain is the mother of America. And Britain is about to regain her lost love for America.

My Recommended Reading List

I was recently asked to put out a recommended reading list for warrior-artists.  I thought this list was online, but I was wrong.  Here is my short list.  Books in bold are essential.  Sorry that time did not allow me to hot link all the books to Amazon.

My top two recommended books are The War of Art by Stephen Pressfield and The Career Guide for Creative and Unconventional People By Carol Eikleberry (I prefer the older editions to the current one).   If you read nothing else, read these two books.  They will revolutionize your life.

Finding Divine Inspiration J. Scott Mc Elroy,

The Creative Call: An Artists Response to the Way of the Spirit,  Janice Elsheimer

Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell.  This book is invaluable for those who are struggling to figure out why they are not successful.  

David and Goliath by Malcolm Gladwell.

The Tipping Point by Malcolm Gladwell.

Restoring the Christian Soul through Healing Prayer and The Healing Presence by Leanne Payne.  Both of these books are essential to understanding the symbol and the Christian symbolic worldview.

Healing for Damaged Emotions by David Seamands.

New Seeds of Contemplation by Thomas Merton.

Bezalel: Redeeming a Renegade Creation.  Yes, I know this is my book.  This is the only book ever written in English on Bezalel.  It is also the only thorough Biblical study of Bezalel ever written.  This is essential material for all Christian artists.  No one else did it, so I spent three years doing it myself.

Tribes: We Need You to Lead Us by Seth Godin.

The Dip by Seth Godin.

How to Read a Book By Mortimer Adler.

Ideas have Consequences by Richard Weaver.

If you are a visual artist I highly recommend all the Andrew Loomis drawing books, but especially Fun with a Pencil and Figure Drawing for All Its Worth.

Then there are a few books that I think you need to read because great literature and art inspires artists:

Til We Have Faces by C.S. Lewis.

A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle.

A Fire in the Earth by David Whyte.

The House of Belonging by David Whyte.

The Book of Virtues by William Bennett.

The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkein.

The Liturgy Sourcebook from Liturgy Training Publications.

You need to be well read, so go find some Shakespeare, Tennyson, T.S. Eliot, Shirley Jackson, Flannery O’Connor, and Annie Dillard.

 

 

The Rock in the Road

Last summer I spent an afternoon listening to a woman who wants to start a major initiative in the U.K. She has lots of professional experience and has had success integrating the arts into child and family therapy. She has done all her homework, and she is beginning to successfully share her vision with others. And then she told me about the rock in the road.

“I can’t get to the next step unless I have 2000 pounds.”

Suddenly, this vision that seemed very real deflated because of this insurmountable hurdle. Mind you, this person had experience managing a million dollar budget. Often times people miss God’s voice because they become fixated on the rock in the road that this keeping them from their destiny. For some it’s a job (“If I only had a job I could do thus and such”). For others it’s a person (“If I didn’t have this rotten boss I could do thus and such”). And of course, no one can do anything because they haven’t got the money.

The best part about the rock in the road is how it keeps us from any responsibility. We don’t have to move forward and act in faith because the rock is in the way. And we do not have to listen to God, because He is going to tell us something contrary to our received knowledge about how things are. Knowledge can be a kind of false faith. It’s really a form of pride that says “I know better than God.”

So I challenged my friend about her need for 2000 pounds. I told her she already had the wealth–she had the idea, the story about her idea, and the intended outcome. And when you have wealth, the money follows. You see, people have money because they are wealthy, not the other way round. When you come to a rock in the road, all you need to do is step to the side and walk past it. You don’t need to keep banging up against it.

There are several ways to walk past the rock.

You can do the last thing God told you to do.
You can do what you can with what you have (My weekly emails and this blog began with a gmail account at the public library).
You can tell one person about your idea.

So my friend and I had a great conversation. We prayed. At the end of it a young woman came over to our table.

“Excuse me,” she said, “I have been listening to what you are birthing and I want help make it happen. I am artist, here is my card, please call me so I can contribute to your vision.” Then off she went.

My friend was as they say here, was “gobsmacked.”

Nothing is impossible with God. Really. But impossible things only happen when we take manageable steps of faith. Big miracles come from little tiny ones.