Life is a bit dizzying as we juggle back and forth between script marketing/writing and keeping "Train Yourself Ministry" stretching its muscles.
Both have hefty to-do lists attached to them. Speaking of scripts, I reached out to the production team behind the smash film, "I Can Only Imagine", and one of the producers asked to look at "A Sparrow Could Fall".
I also dropped a line to the two screenwriters behind the smash hit, "A Quiet Place". They happen to be from Iowa (the Quad Cities), fellow Hawkeyes from the University of Iowa. I hear there's a sizable Iowa contingent in Los Angeles which would be both worthwhile and fun to tap into. A famous actress from back-in-the-day once famously said, "In Hollywood, it's not who you know...but whom."
Most of my work this past month has been in redesigning Train Yourself Ministry. My interactions with churches since the winter revealed a gaping hole in my approach. Though I am building the ministry and website around the broad idea of encouraging Christians in the pursuit of spiritual and personal discipline, my book "Train Yourself To Be Godly: A 40 Day Journey Toward Sexual Wholeness" had a limiting flaw.
The first sentence of my back cover revealed it: "Porn addiction is laying waste to an entire generation of men and women."
A number of readers pointed out to me that the book is about far more than porn. It teaches a wholistic "theology of sexuality" that would help anyone struggling with any variety of sexual temptations.
The other problem I was uncovering was that in bringing porn struggles toward the front of the line, I was inadvertently limiting my audience. Churches would be more inclined to host a "purity" seminar ("Come and find ways to walk in holiness in this crazy culture of ours"), than one which headlined the P-word. Everyone can admit to being vulnerable to sexual temptation, but no one will admit the other (even though half of most churches struggle with that-which-shall-not-be-named.
So...all this to say, the past month has been spent giving the book a complete scouring, and with it I've thoroughly redesigned all the advertising materials with which I'm approaching churches.
The back cover now begins, "Sexual temptation and confusion is laying waste to an entire generation of men and women."
And though someone who struggles with porn will find ample encouragement to bring them to freedom, so will the engaged couple looking to keep themselves pure till their wedding day, or the single person doing their best to hold the line, or the married couple dealing with sexual issues.
I'm very pleased with how it's turned out, and I'm now beginning a major push to connect with EVERY church in my home denomination as well as reach out to as many local churches as I can.
I've also begun to reach out to agents and publishers with the new emphasis highlighted in my queries and calls.
So thanks for your feedback, your support, your prayers. It's still such a longshot, but I'm doing things now that I only dreamed of before we made this leap to California now more than a year-and-a-half ago.
Because we took this step, two books and three scripts, and a TV pilot exist on paper that never existed before. Two websites are up and running, receiving traffic, however light at present. Eighteen months ago, I could only talk about these projects as whispy dreams that were only in my head. Now they're breathing and alive. And possibilities exist - albeit small ones - that never existed before at all.
This couldn't have happened without each of you.
For that, we are so incredibly humbled, and grateful to God.