An Invitation To Home Run

            Exactly a year ago today, I was trying to figure out what in the world I was going to do for 2012. I was talking to a variety of people and publishers about potential projects. I was in the usual boat of waiting to hear back from them. I was still working on my big series idea, yet wasn’t sure when I could publish it. I’d already said no to a publisher who wanted to put me in a cage and feed me bananas while working on it.
          So a year ago, I was pretty nervous.
          I had sent Don Pape, the publisher at David C. Cook, an email asking about something. His reply came quick.
          Were your ears burning?
            He certainly had my attention. When I asked why, he sent me a long email detailing some things related to The Solitary Tales, which Cook publishes. But also in this email he wrote the following comment:
            I also can't tell you more but we may be acquiring a project where we need a writer and today we discussed your name several times over. It would be a novelization project of a film screenplay. 
            I emailed him to tell me more, but didn’t get a reply. On my way home that night, Don called me on my cell and gave me the scoop.
            It turned out David C. Cook was one of several publishers bidding on a project called Home Run. It was a movie about a baseball player who goes back to his home town and goes into recovery while coaching a little league baseball team. It was affiliated with something called Celebrate Recovery, a ministry started by Saddleback Church (Rick Warren’s church).
            Don asked me how my schedule looked.
            "Uh, pretty clear."
            And whether or not I was interested.
            "Yeah, a little."
            He wasn’t sure Cook would acquire the book, but he felt they might. There were other big publishers bidding for it, so they wouldn’t know until the following week.
            Well, I started to pray. And I got my family praying too.
            A year later, I can’t imagine not getting that project. Of course, it was an answer to prayer. It turns out a couple different publishers suggested my name to the producers. I was fortunate they listened to them and eventually chose me to put their movie into a novelization.
            The best part of all of this wasn’t getting that contract. Yes, I needed it, but that wasn’t the best part. If the movie and book are both huge hits, that won’t be the best part, either.
            The best part has been meeting the people involved with making Home Run. And seeing the impact Celebrate Recovery is having on so many lives across this country. I feel like the team behind Home Run and the leaders in Celebrate Recovery are part of my family. They adopted a poor orphan child named Travis Thrasher who likes to make up stories. It turns out I fit in well with all of them.
            As I look to 2013 with similar uncertainty, I know God has a plan. It’s never my plan. Never. But usually His plan is far better than the one I’m thinking about.
            I’m thankful David C. Cook thought of me, and Carol Mathews and Tom Newman chose me. I’m thankful for Home Run and the heart behind it. I’m thankful that I know about Celebrate Recovery.
            Most of all, I’m thankful I’m still able to do the thing I dearly love. And as I do it, God continues to remind me that it should never be about me.
            The novelization for Home Run releases March 1, giving you a taste of what’s to come when the movie releases April 19th. Please go see it. It really is a special film. 

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