Friday, November 30, 2012

Friday Book Pick: ME, MYSELF, & BOB by Phil Vischer

Most Fridays I reserve this blog post to promote great titles in Christian fiction. Today I want to offer you a story so big, so crazy, it's got to be true.

A bible-college dropout who likes to tinker with computers and animation has a big idea--create a CGI video series for children that will teach Bible-based lessons and counter the amoral (not necessarily immoral) culture they're receiving from standard programming. His company rockets to stardom, selling countless millions of videos starring talking, singing, hopping vegetables. And then it spins out of control...

What happened?

Learn the whole story from Phil Vischer, the creator of VeggieTales and founder of Big Idea, in his biography, Me, Myself, and Bob: A True Story About Dreams, God, and Talking Vegetables.

Phil's journey is fascinating, from geeky college kid to the CEO of a multi-million dollar company is both inspiring and frightening. What happens when good dreams (God-given dreams, even) spiral out-of-control? When ambition supersedes ministry? And why didn't God step in to save Big Idea? Why would God allow this dream to die?

The lessons Phil Vischer learned (can't you just hear the song Bob hated?) from the demise of Big Idea struck at the very core of what God has been trying to teach me lately. It's not about what we DO for God. Christians can get so busy doing ministry, trying to change the world, casting "vision statements," and dreaming big dreams for God (didn't I post about that a few weeks ago? Hmm...) that we lose focus on simply living in God's presence. He is enough. Our relationship with Him is enough. When our ideas and dreams take over and become our identity, they also become idols. I've heard Allen Arnold (formerly of Thomas Nelson) speak about this very topic at two different writing conferences. I wrote down one thing he said that resonated in my heart, "Make sure you spend more time on your heart than you spend on your story." Christians are not immune to idol-worship. And those in ministry might be even more prone to it. At this year's Mount Hermon Christian Writer's Conference (March 22-26, 2013), Allen will be teaching a Major Morning Track about "The Heart of the Writer."

I believe striving and ambition is becoming a disease among Christians today. Everyone in ministry--whether that be church-ministry, missions, music, teaching, or writing--should be reading this book.

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