Posts Tagged ‘torry martin’

Yesterday, I posted about my dream to write a novel/screenplay. I’ve had this dream as long as I can remember, all the way back to when I was a small child, making up little shows for my sister and my cousins. That dream went away for a long time. It was beaten down by a whole lot of voices, internal and external, that basically all asked the same question. “Who are you to think you an do that?”

What qualifies me to do such a lofty project? Nothing really. I’ve never written fiction to speak of, though I do love to write and tell stories, sort of modern day parables, if you will. I went to a writer’s workshop two years ago with actor, comedian, screenwriter Torry Martin, and it sort of re-lit the spark. Am I qualified to do this? On paper no, but I’ve learned not to get too caught up in earthly qualifications and as a Christian creative, I don’t think you can either. Remember, as the old saying goes, “professionals built the Titanic, amateurs built the Ark.”

Am I belittling education and experience? No. We all owe it to ourselves to work hard at the things God has given us to do. What I am saying is if the Lord is leading you to do something, don’t disqualify yourself as inexperienced. Start doing the work. Make the effort. Show up every day, roll up your sleeves and give it your best. From there it’s in God’s hands.

As I look back over this career of mine, I think of all the cool things I have gotten to do. From writing for a youth ministry resource, to meeting some of my favorite performers, to my work for a licensee of the Teenage Mutant Turtles, to the books that I’ve written, to the opportunities I have had to speak to thousands of people all over this country, they all have one thing in common. I facetiously say “Great things have happened in my life over and over again because I was “too stupid to know I wasn’t qualified.” Now to be clear, I don’t think I’m too stupid to do most things. Rather, I’ve made a conscious decision when I feel led to do something, to assume that I can do what God calls me to do. I start putting forth the effort and I do the work. That’s not to say everything I do is a raging success, but everything has at the very least brought personal growth and experience and so it was worth the experience. I learned this when I wrote my first book. I shopped it around for a publisher, and was rejected over and over again. Finally I was approached by an e-publisher who told me after reading my manuscript, she reconciled a broken relationship. It was at that point, I made a decision, if even one person is touched and/or blessed, the effort was worth my time, because I was doing something I loved and something I feel God led me to. That attitude has led me to some really great places.

God is good, trust Him to know whether or not you’re qualified and do the work.

Okay let me start with a confession. I am a big fan of Torry Martin. I bought his book Of Moose and Men when we were both speaking at the Montrose Christian Writers Conference here in PA last year and I was hooked. This book is a sampler of several of the chapters from that book and his current book Call of the Mild, after reading this book, I can’t wait to pick that one up. Look, Torry is hilarious! He’s also a very interesting person who’s lived an interesting life. These stories are part memoir, part comedy with a little bit of devotional pulled in for good measure. If you’ve never read Torry’s stuff, pick this up, you can read it in an hour or two. After reading these stories you’ll want to pick up both of the full length books. This is great, uplifting material that will put a smile on your face and bless you, and who couldn’t use that?

At the moment I am reading Torry Martin’s great book Of Moose and Men. I’m not ready to give my full review yet. It’s great, but I’m not done reading yet, but I read something today that I had to comment on. I heard him share this thought at the Montrose Christian Writers Conference last week and I was so glad he included it in the book. It really hit home with me and I think it will with you as well.

In the book, Torry relates the story of winning the grand prize in the acting category at Christian Artists in Colorado. Even with this great victory among the elite of Christian creativity, he was still questioning whether or not he had what it takes or whether his win was a fluke. Then he heard a television evangelist say this, “Exercising our gifts is a matter of obedience. Failure to exercise our gifts can adversely affect the body of Christ and the very glory of God.” Those words shook him to the core. They shake me too.

You might want to question that. You may want to say God’s glory does not depend on me. You may be right about that, but consider this, why were you given the gifts you have been given? I think every believer would say to glorify God. Well if that’s the case (and it is!) then you failing to exercise your God-given gift will adversely affect (even if only temporarily) God’s glory going forth in this world. Don’t do that. Your gift is not a fluke, it’s a freely given gift from the One who loves you most and knows you best. Are you the greatest in the world at what you do? Probably not, but you can bring it into the world in a way no one else can, so bring it! Remember the way we get better is to keep doing what we do faithfully, to the best of our abilities, trusting God to bring growth.

You can do what God has given you to do. There is a pretty great chance that He created you to do it, so don’t withhold that gift. Put it to work, develop it and show it to the world. That’s how we give God glory.

Are you adversely affecting the glory of God? Stop it and get to work!