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Taking a Bold Step of Faith: From Journalism to Screenwriting and Beyond

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him and He shall direct your path.” Proverbs 3:5-6.

That scripture from Proverbs has been a pillar of truth for believers over the millennia, and also for me in my walk of faith. Two years ago, I became convinced that the Lord was leading me to a radical change of profession. So after much prayer and reflection, I turned the page without hesitation on a three-decade career in television journalism that included postings in New York as a producer with Fox News Channel, in Moscow as Bureau Chief for NBC News and finally as CEO of an Istanbul-based international news agency. I was sure He was calling me to write Christian movie scripts, and that is exactly what I have been doing since then.  

    

                                    With God, All Things are Possible...Even Screenwriting

   

Though confident in the Almighty, and fairly sure of myself, I nevertheless read and reread the instance in the ninth chapter of Mark where Jesus heals the demon-possessed boy. Before the healing, the boy’s father asks Jesus to do something to help “if you can.” Jesus replies, “If you can? Everything is possible for him who believes.” Immediately the man responds, “I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief.”  

I find myself identifying with that man, and not for no reason. Something on the order of 70,000 screenplays are written and submitted to the Writers Guild of America annually. And yet, only a few hundred movies are made and shown in theaters every year, meaning the odds of success are long indeed. So like that father of the demon-possessed boy, I often say the words: “I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief.” On my own, this journey would seem impossible; but I am not on my own: I am placing my faith in the Lord.

                                           From Screenwriter to Internet Entrepreneur?

He always works to His glory, and often does so in unexpected ways. That has proven to be the case in my circumstance. Being a journalist by profession, I did a great deal of research about the Christian movie business before I began this writing endeavor. In the process, I was struck by the fragmented nature of the information available about the industry: a snippet in a secular press article here, a bit more on a Christian filmmaker’s website there, maybe something in a movie studio’s press release, etc., etc. But there seemed to be no single go-to source for news about the Christian movie sector, which I found odd since it now consistently generates more than $100 million dollars in box office receipts annually. A niche, yes, but a significant and growing one.

Seeing a hole in the market that needed to be filled, I felt led by the Spirit to launch a website tracking anything and everything worthy of note in Christian cinema. The site is called Chrisitianfilmblog.com. Though still in its infancy, it is taking shape with articles on movies, filmmakers, film festivals, studio deals and the like. I never imagined this turn of events, but the website project has proven a thoroughly enjoyable undertaking, allowing me to combine my new passion for all things related to Christian film with journalism, my trusty old friend of three decades.

                                                         Moving Forward in Faith

Whether it advances my screenwriting career, or perhaps even becomes my primary focus, I do not know. Only our heavenly Father knows. And He, of course, is the only one who needs to know. My aim is to serve and glorify Him, edify the Body and share the Gospel of Jesus Christ by the Holy Spirit in all that I do. How He chooses to use me to that end is for Him alone to decide, so while I hone my skills as a screenwriter and spread the word about Christian cinema via the website, I endeavor to remain open to His guidance and direction, seeking His will, not my own, ever mindful of another scripture from Proverbs 16:9 - “In his heart a man plans his course, but the Lord determines his steps.”

May our heavenly Father bless you as you plan your course and trust in Him to determine which direction He will take you.

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