Jounaling my Ministry Startup

Jumping in With Both Feet

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February 25, 2017

I got myself into a little trouble.  I’ve been trying to learn more about the magazine business and to that end I’ve watched videos, started reading books, and looking at magazines.  Then I decided to jump in with both feet, so last night, I decided to look for trade associations.  I located a couple of websites and went poking around.    They had articles on every facet of the industry.  Things I had never heard of or even considered.  It was overwhelming and I panicked.  [Reminded me of St. Peter trying to walk on water.  Just like him I took a couple of steps, then down I went.] And just as I discovered when writing part two on doubt, my doubts about my abilities instilled doubts about God: whether this was something that was really from God.  I sat down, prayed, and waited.  Nothing . . . then nothing . . . still more of nothing . . . total and absolute confidence in myself.  I’ve got this!  [Just like St. Peter, God pulled me out.] Thanks be to God!

However, that led me to wonder if I’m approaching this the right way. When I was reading The Layers of Magazine Editing by Michael Robert Evans he said there were two ways of starting a magazine: one is to find a niche and nail down the audience, so the style and content of the magazine would always be directed towards them; the other was someone who was basically putting out a type of magazine they wanted and felt was needed.  As I was reading how to approach the first method I started to kick into analytic mode and God kept interrupting.  It was as if He was trying to tell me not that way, go the other way: the inspirational path. 

That makes a lot more sense.  I’ve known what I want the magazine to be about.  It’s going to be about God.  I even have a working title: Godfest.  What I don’t have is the guts of the magazine.  Perhaps, that’s where my focus should be with the technical aspects being secondary.  I have really got to learn to follow God’s lead.

. . .

I did a sit-down to solely think about the insides of the magazine.  That didn’t work, so I ended up asking God for help and He did help.  He said, “Becky.”  [Becky is my childhood nickname.  Rebecca is my birth name and the one I use officially.]  I knew what He was talking about.  He was talking about me making a magazine for other people like me.   What does Becky want to read about?  She wants to read about

  •  The trick way, (some would call it elegant), God has of taking all of these disparate threads and neatly tying them up, so there’s this beautifully packaged airtight solution which all converge on one point.  This is usually Christ. [So much so, that I once thought I could walk into any college anywhere and pass any theological test (without reading a thing) just by writing Christ for every answer, even the spot where you write your name!]
  • How God accomplished His mighty works.  I remember my first few years of being a Christian when I was like a little child constantly badgering God with how’s and why’s.  I was just so fascinated by it all and partly because that’s how my mind works, or more probably because that’s how my mind works.  And many times He told me. 
    • Once, I was reading the passage in Genesis that describes how God separated the waters from the waters and dry land appeared and I asked Him how He did it.  He answered by showing me a mini-vision of it.  It was pretty much how the verse described it.  What it was not was water receding and exposing land that was lying beneath the water.  Instead there was water and, on the right and left of the middle, the waters started pulling back and where there was once water there was now land.  There was this little churning of water at the edge of the water that seemed like the water was undergoing some kind of transformation.  It reminded my of dehydration.  Now, I’m no scientist, but I know there’s more in water besides liquid, says anyone whose ever left a glass of water sitting out long enough for it to dehydrate, and what you’re left with is dirt and it’s rock-hard to boot.  And He must have done a fine job of it, too, because I imagine it would be incredibly hard, if not impossible (except for God) to re-hydrate a rock.
      • I don’t know my magazine lingo yet, but this could be the central feature of the magazine.  That big story they always put in the middle.  I can get artists/illustrators to create stunning visual renderings along with explanations of the science involved to help the reader truly understand the scope of what God has actually accomplished. 
      • The Holy Ghost once showed me that He was both very, very small and incredibly large.  He was so small that He was present even in the tiniest of things, like the electron of an atom and because the physical universes are so vast; the Holy Ghost being present in every single element of that would make Him incredibly huge.  I could use those two views in the article.  First by looking at the single process, then expanding it out to see that process taking place a zillion times over.  Getting back to the separation of the waters, the earth is really large and there is a lot of dirt.  It’s mind-boggling to try to consider how much water went into that work.
  • Conversion stories.  I love reading about conversion stories.  God can take the most hardened, callous person and transform them into a new person.  It’s such an amazing thing to see AND reinforces my point that God can re-hydrate stones.  That is, if they get baptized.
  • Stories of healing or restoration of wounded souls.  I like listening to Joyce Meyers.  Mainly because it always  reminds me of the constant and tender care such a great personage as God gives to us.   Here you have this poor brutalized young woman who was probably scared, mistrustful, and defensive, to name a few, and God gently and patiently coaxes her back to life.  Not back to her old life, but to a new and abundant life. 
    • I imagine it must be on the lines of a doctor and patient.  The doctor proposes/gives a treatment, then waits for the patient to respond.  The patient either responds well or doesn’t.  The doctor gives another treatment and once again waits on the patient for a response.  This is repeated 100, 1,000, or 10,000 times over in a person’s lifetime.  Through all of this a wonderful caring relationship develops.  Not only between the patient and the doctor, but between the patient and those around her.  It’s like bonds that were severed start reaching out to each other and reforming.  It’s a beautiful thing to behold.
  • The ends of arguments.  I remember not along after I became a Christian. I got angry because our wonderful God was being so badly maligned.  I was determined to defend Him and God had my back.  Because of that I was very successful at it. I would like to do that again, but in a bigger way, not apologetic articles on how to argue something.  I’m talking about the Aquinas type of end of arguments.  The type where the fist slams onto the table and he says, “That’s does it for the Manicheans.”  And everyone reading the magazine, understanding the import, jumps off the couch and cheers for God because He just won a great victory for the Church.  The type of argument that shuts people up.

That is the magazine Becky would love to read.  If that is the magazine that Rebecca gets to put together, then that means God will be contributing to it a lot because I cannot do this without Him.  More importantly, that means God will be restoring our relationship to that of our former days when . . . I’m sorry I can’t these last lines out without breaking down in tears.

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