Tuesday, September 16, 2014

VeggieTales Creator Writes Adult Book

Assuming you are a human being, currently alive in a section of the world influenced by Western entertainment...and by that, I don't mean guys in leather vests riding horses into the sunset...with a basic knowledge of how human beings spend several years as children before becoming adults, you are probably at least aware of the existence of the Christian entertainment phenomenon called VeggieTales(R). It absolutely changed children's videos forever and practically created direct-to-video Christian entertainment.

I recently read a book by the creator of VeggieTales(R), Phil Vischer, titled Me, Myself, & Bob: A True Story About Dreams, God, and Talking Vegetables. It's a very interesting tale of the creation of Big Idea Productions and its rise to near-empire status, rapidly followed by bankruptcy.

Yes...bankruptcy.


Contrary to what The Average Joe Christian might think, the tale of VeggieTales(R) isn't all sunshine and lollipops. Vischer learned some very hard lessons about making plans and striving for success and does a great job at sharing what he learned in the pages of this book. For instance, this quote from the penultimate chapter:

As I write this, I am growing increasingly convinced that if every one of these kids burning with passion to write that hit Christian song or make that hit Christian movie or start that hit Christian ministry to change the world would instead focus their passion on walking with God on a daily basis, the world would change. What is "walking with God?" Simple. Doing what he asks you to do each and every day. Living in active relationship with him. Filling your mind with his Word, and letting that Word penetrate every waking moment.

So why do I believe a thousand kids walking with God will have more impact on the world than one kid making a hit movie? Because the world learns about God not by watching Christian movies, but by watching Christians. We are his hands and feet. What I put in my movies is more or less irrelevant if it isn't coming out in my life. I realized I had become so busy trying to "save the world" with my visionary ministry that I was often too stressed and preoccupied to make eye contact with the girl bagging my groceries at the supermarket. And where does Christianity actually happen? Where does the "rubber meet the road," as it were? Up on the big screen in a movie theater? On TV? No. Across the checkout line at the grocery store, between me and a girl who makes a fraction of what I make and assumes I don't give a rip about her life. That's where it matters. And that's where, I realized, I was blowing it every day.

Truth is...it is far too easy to spend all my time, energy, and emotions on I, me, and mine. How quickly I forget that "I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me...." (Galatians 2:20)

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