Here’s a little familial shout-out this morning…my Cousin, Jon Acuff, has recently published his first book through Zondervan (woohoo, our family beach trips are back on like donkey kong!). And while it hasn’t hit the New York Times Best Seller list (yet), I have it on good authority that “Stuff Christians Like” is at the top of God’s Book Club list, which is second only to Oprah’s.
But I don’t know if Cousin Jon realizes this, but that New York Times goal is just…well, I just gotta be honest…it’s small thinking.
See, my personal goal (cue inspirational orchestral music and a covey of worship eagles) is to see “Stuff Christians Like” replace every Reader’s Digest in every bathroom across America!
For years our bowels have been soothed by “Quotable Quotes” and “Laughter the Best Medicine.” How many times have our rear-ends gone numb while we sit there sobbing like a baby through the “Dramas in Real Life.” Let’s face it, while we concentrated on #2, the #1 choice of bathroom lit has been the Digest. Bar none. But no longer.
Reader’s Digest, you’ve been served.
I know that all bathroom readers are not created equal. Some individuals tend to camp out in there for an entire afternoon. Perhaps they feel that if the wall-paper hasn’t peeled off, they haven’t done their jobs. While others swoop in somehow like an aircraft touch-n-go and lapse it right in (see graphic picture to the left).
Either way, “Stuff Christians Like” is written in small, bite-sized pieces so you can go through a whole chapter, or take it one clever List point at a time. And just so you’ve been warned, those SCL Lists are actually when Cousin Jon is in rarest form. (Gentlemen, I would not advise reading those standing up!)
Anywho…in honor of the SCL list, Wired4Film has devised our own. So without further ado…
The Top 3 List of Stuff Christian Filmmakers Like:
1. Blaming our bad scripts on God
“My fingers were just floating across the keyboard. It was as if heaven opened in a gigantic funnel into my medula oblongata and an entire script just poured forth.” And that’s the end of it. A single draft. We stop at one draft of the script because everyone knows you’re going to hell if you dare to edit God! Who’s gonna do that? Rewrite the Almighty? Not me! Not Cousin Jon! Just ask him. You just know the SCL manuscript poured out in one draft onto rock tablets he hauled down from Stone Mountain…which Google tells me is somewhere outside of Atlanta.
2. Hiring the Holy Spirit as Our Cinematographer and/or Camera Op
I mean, if you’re prayed up, the sort of prayed up where you’re almost certain you could have walked on water in the bathtub this morning, then you don’t need to spend all that money on a Professional Director of Photography.
No, you let Gerald the Quickbooks expert take care of it cause he’s not only got a “calling” for it, but his friend’s dad’s sister’s got a couple of Lowell lights. So while you rehearse your actors, Gerald walks around the set, light stand in hand, like Inigo Montoya from Princess Bride with his eyes closed trying to feeeeeel out the right path to the light path.
3. Heaping High Praise on Mediocre Films
I get it. I do. When you don’t have the financing and Studio backing that the big Hollywood pix have, you are stuck MacGrubering your film together with Bubblegum and Tinfoil and Gary Busey. But that’s all Robert Rodriguez had for “El Mariachi” (minus the Gary Busey part) and his $7K film not only launched his Hollywood career, but it still holds up almost 20 years later. And that was before Mini-DV and Final Cut Pro. He had to edit that film on 3/4″ decks…in the snow, uphill, both ways. Anyway, I’ve heard a lot of film pitches that included the words “the next Fireproof” and — how do I say this as delicately as possible — I just don’t think Honda got to where it is today with the Accord by wanting to build the next Ford Pinto. But then again, if Ford had released a companion book called “The Pinto Dare” listing 40 ways to show love to your Pinto in 40 days, history might have been rewritten and we’d all be driving explosive Civics.
Well, how’d I do, Cousin Jon? I’m gonna be honest here. These lists are not easy, dude. In fact, what started as an overly ambitious Top-20 list got whittled down to a Top 10, then a more Godly Top 7 but eventually petered out at Top 3….also pretty Holy.
So go right out, order your copy of “Stuff Christians Like” and place it proudly in the magazine rack beside your commode. Unless you’ve got a Kohler, which is worthy enough porcelain to place this golden book right on the flushy back part. Right beside your Hummels.
And if not, well, you just need to get prayed up.