Well, I’ve been back from Charlotte since Friday. I thought picking a 6:30AM flight would mean that the airport would be emptier (naive, I know!), but of course, it was not. Both flights (I changed planes in Memphis) went well and without incident. Actually, I love flying, and even hanging out in airports between flights doesn’t bother me too much, though I know it can get on some people’s nerves. Like I told Mrs. Ogwyn, perhaps the first time my luggage gets lost I will find it all more annoying, but until then I suspect I will continue to love air travel.
The DVD shoot went very well, and, as usual, my hat is off to the remarkable team at “Tomorrow’s World Studios” for their professionalism and patience with me! It is a remarkable opportunity to be allowed to work with such talented folks who are, at the same time, so passionate about God’s Work. (This year’s “Behind the Work” video at the Feast should introduce you to some of them, for which I am grateful.)
I was a bit more nervous than usual about this particular shoot — not that nervousness is necessarily a bad thing. In high school my theater teacher frequently said that as long as it is not overwhelming nervousness isn’t a bad thing: it’s evidence that you care deeply about your performance and it helps your body to generate a helpful bit of extra adrenaline.
In this case, shooting a possibly hour-long DVD versus the usual half-hour (actually, less) television program was, admittedly, daunting. While I am very happy with how well it went, at the same time I tend to be fairly self-critical and I look back at how I handled certain portions and think to myself that I wish I had done a better job. Still, that’s what we pray about — that God will take our efforts, magnify them, and make them more effective and powerful than they would otherwise be! And I do appreciate how many of you told me that you you were praying about this taping; it makes such a difference, and I can’t thank you, enough.
The topic of my program — the origins of the growing “2012 hysteria” and what the Bible has to say about it — has the potential to be a very helpful topic, I think. Every time I bought books on the topic during my research, the person behind the counter seemed to have an opinion (which they happily expressed, unsolicited). One girl mentioned that she was fascinated by the topic and plans to throw and “end of the world” party on December 20, 2012. Another — a professing Christian who goes on mission trips — said that she has wondered if there was anything to it.
For the record, my involvement with the “2012 hysteria” on behalf of the church was a bit of an accident. A church member and his wife — that would be MS & AS in Arkansas (howdy, guys!) — had gone to the movies and had seen the trailer (or teaser, perhaps) to the upcoming Roland Emmerich 2012 movie and lamented that so many of his acquaintances (not in the church) were caught up in it (that is, the date and the so-called “Mayan prophecies” about it, not the movie) as opposed to actual Bible prophecy, which points to God, the truth, and the need to repent of sin. After MS wrote to me about it, I e-mailed Mr. Ames to say that I was interested in doing a telecast about it and wanted his opinion. He wrote back to tell me that not only did he think it would be a fine idea, but that it just so happened that the next program I was due to tape was already scheduled to open the exact same weekend as the 2012 movie (funny how many things “just so happen”).
So, before you know it, I had one telecast taped, an internet commentary written (“2012: The Hype and the Truth”), and, now, a Tomorrow’s World article, as well (the article should be out in the Nov-Dec 2009 issue). This particular effort, though — the DVD — came out of a dinner discussion with Mr. and Mrs. Meredith. The research I had done on the topic was much more than could be presented on one Tomorrow’s World telecast, and he thought that it might be profitable to take advantage of that research to create a larger presentation.
The DVD is a bit different in some ways than anything we’ve done before, and I must say that making it was a real learning opportunity. If there is a future opportunity to do something along these lines, I suspect that the things we’ve learned with this one will make the next one all the better. And I can say that those who watch the DVD may learn some things about the sources of the 2012 hysteria that should give them pause and help them desire to look to a “more sure word of prophecy” as opposed to what is offered by McKenna, Pinchbeck, Argüelles, Jenkins, and their cohorts in the 2012 “Pantheon of the Pseudomaya.” The truth certainly is so much better than the lie!
And, I must admit, I am delighted to be able to walk into a bookstore and not have to look for another New Age 2012 reference for a while! Walking around the New Age, so-called “Metaphysics” sections of the bookstores around my part of the Show Me state was never the most fun. I remember having to literally step over a couple of teenage girls at a Borders bookstore who had decided to camp out on the floor of the New Age aisle to pour over the occult tomes that had captured their attention. I tried to narrow my attention to those 2012 books that represented the real foundations supporting and popularizing the growing frenzy, but even then ended up buying ten or eleven books over the course of research. And narrowing down was important — the hysteria has grown to the point that Barnes and Noble has entire shelves devoted to nothing but 2012-related topics, even labeling them as such.
In fact, finding actual, scholarly research on the ancient Maya and writings by real Mesoamerican authorities was much more difficult than finding 2012-related stuff. (And this was important, too, because the fact that something is publically called “Mayan” doesn’t mean that it actually is.) I recall one incident a few months ago when I went up to the information desk of a major chain bookstore to ask for some historical works on the Maya — or even other Mesoamerican cultures, such as the Aztecs or the Incas. The poor fellow looked and looked and looked through his database findings, until he finally said, “Well, we don’t seem to have much at all… I’ve got plenty of 2012 books, though!” I kindly informed him that I’ve got more of those than I actually want and thanked him for his efforts.
Thankfully, we did come across some great Maya resources eventually – including a pronunciation guide (thanks BB!) based on Yucatan Mayan, which was very helpful. Believe it or not, as Mr. Ames helps me to see when necessary, the Texan way of saying things is not always the way other people say things! 🙂 (Perhaps in the Kingdom when Zephaniah 3:9 is fulfilled, language will be restored to its original Texan form…)
Well, that about catches everyone up! Again, my many thanks to our awesome team in Charlotte and to those of you who prayed for this filming — it really meant a lot to me and, as we all know, the incredible success we have experienced in recent years on the telecast is not due to anything special in us! Rather, Christ said it plainly, “[W]ithout Me, you can do nothing” (John 15:5). God willing, I will be heading off to Charlotte again in November to tape some new programs.
For now I am excited about finally being able to devote my time and resources more fully to making sure that all is ready for the Feast in Branson! So you if you are a Branson attendee and you are wondering where in the world I have been (and the 100-or-so backlogged e-mails I have tell me that might be many of you), I hope to be in touch very soon.