I just got an email from Bob Liparulo who's about to release his new book which is far different from his last 7 books. It's called The 13th Tribe. I know you'll love it because I have loved every book he's written. It has just got to be good. So I thought I'd share this short question and answer after Bob's first book was published.
Okay, so it's not an in depth interview. But, I had the opportunity to ask questions, so I asked one.
Gina: Bob, I didn’t think I had any questions, but actually, I do. I would like to know what you learned through the process of writing your book. I’m not talking about research… What things did you learn about yourself and about God that are not too personal and that you’d like to share?
Bob: Your question is great. Boy, did I learn a lot about my relationship with God during the writing of Comes a Horseman. It would take a book to cover it all, but here are the two most important things: I need to invite God to sit with me while I write, all the time; and it’s OK to write for the purpose of entertaining readers. These two things are interconnected. For a long time I struggled with using the gifts God gave me to write to entertain. I thought I must be interpreting my feelings wrongly, because I honestly felt that I should focus on giving readers the most entertainment/enjoyment from my writing, and not so much that I needed to evangelize or make sure God was in every scene. It seemed contrary to what I knew of God’s gifts: that they are meant to advance His kingdom. This is true, but I didn’t understand how truly powerful He is, that He could be present in anything He wanted to be in, including entertainment that did not overtly speak His name. He gave me an image of the mountains: They are testament to His greatness, His existence, His majesty, His truths—without His name being carved in letters fifty feet high. Through a number of things, including prayer, the wisdom of friends, and some articles I read, I came to realize that it was OK to say at the end of the day, “Is this entertaining? Will this make readers glad they read it?” He has put on my heart that He will be present in my writing even without my trying to put Him there. And part of that is simply inviting Him to be there while I write and focus on entertainment. For a while, I think (without truly being aware I was doing it) I left my faith at the door when I went to write. This was partly because of what I said above, struggling with the conflict between the desire to write entertainment and the opinion that I should be evangelizing more overtly. Once I settled the issue of entertainment, I found myself actively inviting God to sit with me, be with me. It has lead to much more peace about what I do than I had before. God is great!
I hope this answers your question.
Blessings to you,
Oh, you answered my question, Bob. Thanks! What a great devotional to understand that it's okay to entertain and that God will be with us without our "evangelizing more overtly". Someone once told me that she tried to make sure every person she met, met Jesus through her. Ever since then, I've tried to do the same. Look for God, share God and not just the victory or the miracle for that is what He brings with Him. Selah.