Many years ago while in my early twenties (And, yes, that was many years ago.) and still a young Christian my Air Force buddy, Chris, and I were traveling by train through Great Britain. One particular day we were heading south from Scotland to Wales. Chris sat opposite me reading with his feet resting upon the seat to my left, as I sat gazing out the window with my feet resting on the seat to his left.
It was a November morning. Sheep grazed upon the lush rolling hillsides as the train rumbled past some of the most beautiful scenery on the planet Earth. Off in the distance sunlight and rain shower conspired to create a rainbow. I sat there transfixed to the wonder before me, unable to turn away from what I perceived to be a great blessing. It truly was a beautiful sight!
In a split second, without a warning, the glory before me was suddenly thrust into complete darkness as we entered a tunnel. Gone! Yet it occurred to me that I shouldn’t move my eyes. My gaze remained glued to the same spot as it was the moment before we entered the darkness. Don’t turn away from what I have seen, I said to myself. And from deep within my conscience I “heard” a voice say to me, “This is how I want you to live your life.” It remains one of the very few times in my life I believe I actually heard the Lord speak to me.
Moments later, just as suddenly as it was gone, it all reappeared as the train emerged from the tunnel. The hills, the sheep, the rainbow; it all returned. And I frequently recall those words He spoke to me in the dark.
“This is how I want you to live your life.”
In every Christian’s life comes a time when we must move forward in the darkness, trusting that the vision we once beheld, or the work we feel called to, will one day become reality. We surely do walk by faith, not by sight. And what is faith other than simply believing God and the promises He has made to us?
Assuming that you are convinced of your calling, that is to say, you know that you know that you know how the Lord wants you to spend your life and where to devote your talents and energies, then continue on as you believe you are being led. Are you tasked to act? Then keep auditioning. To write? Keep writing. Direct? Produce? Design? Then with discernment take advantage of every good opportunity presented to you. But it’s not going so well right now? Be patient. Just because you may be having a tough time does not mean you are going in the wrong direction. Tunnels tend to be dark.
“…what the righteous desire will be granted.” Proverbs 10.24
Charles Lindbergh was a quiet, introspective man. (Much like myself, but taller.) How much uncertainty there was leading up to his flight to Paris! Several others had died attempting the same flight, yet he knew it was his destiny and he persevered. His youth and his perceived inexperience did not sway him. He lived his dream, while others merely dreamed. Mr. Lindbergh said, “We actually live today in our dreams of yesterday, and in living those dreams we dream again.” He was a man with a passionate vision and determined perseverance. That’s how I want to be.
“…the desires of the diligent are fully satisfied.” Proverbs 13.4
I am not your conscience. I’m just your coach. Only you know what the Lord has asked of you. Only you know the deepest desires which grow in your heart and whether or not those desires were planted by your Maker. When you know that you know that you know what your life’s calling is, keep at it. Never give up. Forget the economy. Forget what your agent said. Never mind the naysayers in your life. What has God asked of you? What He has asked of you He will fulfill. This He has promised.
See you on the set!
By Jake Gentry, former associate director of HPN San Francisco
Dear Entertainment/Media Community:
The Bible begins with these words, “In the beginning, God created…,” (Hebrew: Bereshit bara Elohim…,”) God is a Creative God. In creation, He established His order and ordained man to “…have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, an over every living thing that moves on earth.
“(Genesis 1:28 b) He clearly gave each man/woman creative abilities, and the authority to use the gifts that would bring forth the evidence of His imprint in our lives. Along with the creative gifts, He gave man the power to have authority over all creation, as he/she partners with the Word of God and the order that is set forth in it!
You are creative! You are gifted! You have been given authority to use your gifts for God’s purposes; to shine as jewels that reflect the beauty and creativity of the Lord!
I am a minister of the gospel of the Lord, Jesus, the Christ (Messiah) and I am asking you, Hollywood, and all those who are involved with entertainment and media, to forgive the Body of Christ, the Church of the Living God, for refusing your creative gifts, for misunderstanding the God-intended influence that you are meant to have in Hollywood (and all related venues) and for not loving you with God’s extravagant love!
You are an exceptional group of people that have outstanding gifts and you use them! Instead of encouraging you and teaching you to be a divine influence for God and His kingdom, the Church has, most often, maligned you, rejected you, tried to stripe you of your giftings and discouraged you from being in the “mission field” (Hollywood) that has been forgotten for so many years!
Perhaps, many of you have even left the Church because you felt unwanted, unloved and misunderstood!
Would you forgive us, the people who proclaim to be His children, for our lack of wisdom, sensitiviity, for rejecting you or causing you to feel rejected and most of all, for not showing you the love that God has for you, which is infinite and eternal!
You are God’s precious children and He wants to make Himself known to you in great measure so that you can affect nations, people groups and individuals, throughout the world, impacting all for good and for the gospel that says, “Jesus saves and God is Love!” The temporal love that the world portrays is fleeting, but God’s love for you, is infinite and
Father, thank You for Your heart toward Hollywood and all that are intricately involved with this community! Lord, forgive us, Your people who have been blinded and have acted out of judgmentalism and criticism, instead of loving these beloved ones with Your generous heart of love! Show each individual who works in the media/entertainment and related venues, Your great love for them and meet each one of these precious and gifted people, as they give their lives to you, for Your purposes to be fulfilled in and through them! Manifest blessings untold to all these precious ones, as they learn of You and come to know the goodness of Your saving grace, in Jesus’ Name, Amen!
In His Love & Service,
Rev. Lorraine D. Coconato
Leaves of Healing Ministries
A missions trip was organized for a small group consisting of students and faculty of Regent University, hosted in Hollywood by Karen Covell and Caren Bream of HPN. The trip lasted from March 2-7 and involved the students in activities such as prayer walks/gatherings, attending TV show tapings, and interacting with/hearing from Christian ministry leaders and Christians in the industry.
Hollywood Prayer Network L.A. and D.C. sponsored “Affecting Culture Through Prayer: A Powerful Prayer Gathering Professionals in Government and Entertainment”, an event held in Washington D.C. A discussion and prayer was led by Karen Covell followed by a Q&A.
Act One also hosted a 4-week screenwriting intensive class (Act One: Writing for Hollywood) at George Washington University.
Karen Covell was a guest for “Shakin’ the Salt With Dr. Debra Peppers” on the KJSL radio station in St. Louis, MO. There she talked about her upcoming book, The Day I Met God, which was released July 30, 2001.