Thursday, June 30, 2005


I was in Tulsa earlier this week to shoot a commercial (I feel quite glamorous saying that)… Okay, I was in Tulsa doing a few voice-overs and lead-ins for some commercial spots that we have purchased to run on selected cable channels in strategic area codes of northwest Houston over the next few months, thanks to Tim Davis’ creative outreach planning. We’ll be showing the spots to WHCC folks over the next few weeks to let you know what we’re airing.

The whole 26-hour trip was interesting for me. Tulsa is a pleasant city; reminds me of a big Abilene – nice people, nothing fancy. My guess is that people who live there love it. I arrived at the studio an hour early because I had given myself extra time to get through the morning rush hour. Ha! I’ve endured more traffic getting out of my subdivision in Houston

So I pull up to the New Millennium office on a quiet street and it’s basically a townhome with a big garage that serves as a studio, or else a big studio room with an apartment above it. What catches my attention are the motorcycles, boat, and sport coupes outside, and the guys (plural) dressed in black with bald heads setting up equipment inside. As I step out of my Chrysler rental car with my Buzz Lightyear haircut and spiffy coat-tie ensemble I can swear I hear alarms go off and a voice boom “Preacher on premises.” Suffice it to say no one mistakes me for Bono.

I found the whole thing very inspiring. The company we contracted with, Faith Highway (they were renting the studio from New Millennium), is a Christian organization which provides media (television, web, and print) services for various Christian ministries. After my shoot was over they were going to film some testimonies for a local church to be aired on the church’s website.

I say I found the whole thing inspiring for a number of reasons. First, I think Christian organizations and churches need to be media savvy and to utilize elements of media as a tool for proclaiming the gospel message. It’s part of the fabric of our lives, a kind of “coin of the realm,” so we should be conversant with it. I am glad WHCC is doing this.

But a deeper reason I felt inspired, and this is harder to put into words, is that everyone in the group doing the shoot was younger (than me) and I felt a palpable sense of mission in what they were doing. One of them led a prayer before we began; he had been a children and youth minister before joining Faith Highway. What I felt from them reinforced something I have read often in the past few years, namely, that the 20’s and 30’s generation of Christians is idealistic and committed to following Jesus, often making economic and vocational sacrifices to pursue a mission for God, even as they grow impatient with the institutional “church as usual.” I guess you could say I was inspired by the entrepreneurial, idealistic, creative and “pioneer” atmosphere I experienced, as well as impressed by the professionalism.

We finished early (yours truly nailed all his lines) so I had a couple of hours to kill at a Borders bookstore before my flight. Tough life, eh? I returned energized; it’s refreshing to see new vistas for sharing the timeless message of Christ. Shoot away.


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