Category Archives: Torry Martin

Men of God

by Francine Locke

“He was the Heartbeat of our family..We enjoyed choir practice and prayer meeting together on this earth for the last time last night..but today He is enjoying Heavens Jubilee…He was the greatest husband. dad. friend my world has ever known.”        Jackie Carpenter

What a legacy for a father to leave behind, having touched his daughter so deeply. My friend, Jackie Carpenter, lost her father last night, and when I learned that, I cried. I cried not so much for her loss, but for the realization that I, and so many others, would never experience the wonderful memories, closeness and feelings she shared with her father.  Men, this one’s for you!

I grew up with out my dad being around much, he had a territory he traveled, and frankly, we were not unhappy when he was away. Life was much more peaceful in his absence, no late nights, no drinking, no arguments. I eventually married a man so similar to my own father, that when I look back I’m amazed. I learned from what I was surrounded by in my childhood, and many of those lessons were far from positive.

I became fiercely independent after my divorce when my son was 1 year old. I knew I could raise him better alone than with the influence his father would provide. After all, I also had the past experiences of my own father. For 12 years I was a single parent, but the friends I naturally gravitated towards were those who had healthy, secure marriages. Even in my singleness I knew I wanted better for my son. And eventually, I realized God wanted better for both of us.

A father’s impact has been so downplayed by our society, dads and men in general, are regularly dumbed down on tv and in film or made into pretty undesirable characters. Is it any wonder men who may not have had the gift themselves of a loving, supportive male role model, have no idea how to be the father they should be?

How does this tie in to the Gideon? At the Gideon I have found relationships; true, authentic relationships with all sorts of real people. Not the cookie cutter perfect Christians who may be portrayed in the media, or even hyped in church. But people with  joy, pain, difficulties, divorce, abuse. People like you and me, who have lived through life & survived to tell about it.

There are some people here that will remind me of Jackies father, Jack. Strong, gentle, laughing, loving family men of God. There are also men here who may not realize the impact they can have on the lives of others. There are men to mentor, and men who need mentoring.  I’m guessing you are one or the other, or maybe one who can just benefit from the exposure to right relationships. I’m thinking of Denny, Rodney, Torry, Kyle, and so many others who will share their experiences with you. Not all positive, but all with the potential to help you see another perspective, to learn how to be more the man God created you to be. And yes, more the woman too!

Any way you look at it, going to the Gideon is a win win situation. I treasure the relationships I have made here with both men and women. It’s a safe environment, you will be brought in to the fold & held as close as you need to be. I truly hope to see you there, amazing long term relationships can happen in a week! And how incredible that it’s all tied in to a visual, dramatic, artistic, musical arts conference! See you there!

Small Town Girl Going To New York City

by Donna Lynn Davis

That was how I felt when I booked my first Gideon Media Arts Conference. After all, what do I know about making movies? Sure, I’ve written a few church dramas, directed them, and have written some stories—both short and long. But, movies? Toto, I don’t think we’re in Kansas anymore.

                I read the Gideon website information front to back, and realized I’d missed the contests deadlines. Whew! I had nothing to submit anyway; no screenplays, no comic artwork, and I didn’t think they’d need my singing on any stage. But, researching the site began to open my eyes to possibilities; possibilities of how God could use this small town girl—well, old girl, to His glory.

I packed my bags and headed to the conference—prayers in heart, proverbial hat in hand—asking God to open the doors He wanted me to walk through.  I thought I might have to knock a lot before any door would actually crack open a sliver, however, I was truly amazed when I got there to see there were no doors! Let me clarify: Every door was wide open, as the people at Gideon are different than any other venue for creative outlet. They are listening, willing, friendly, excited, accepting, helpful, encouraging people—a shock in today’s world.

The first person I met was Dr. Jayce O’Neal. I didn’t know who he was then, but he most graciously sat with me in the lobby and I was amazed when he asked what I was working on. He cared? Wow!  He explained a few things and helped settle the butterflies. I was ready to move forward.

I chose my classes; a tough job, as there was so many great offerings.  I can’t begin to tell how much I learned and grew in that few days. The lectures I attended, the movies I saw, the people I met were a rich experience. I’d like to share a few of my take-away moments with you:  I saw Torry Martin tear up while teaching, sharing how grateful he was to God for blessing him in so many ways. I was encouraged by Todd Starnes in my private battle with weight; a subject he speaks to in one of his books. I viewed Not Today, a movie on sex trafficking in India; it made me weep. I was moved by Carol and Jim Anderson’s stage portrayal of Cory Ten Boom and the German soldier who had abused her, I witnessed conferees being encouraged and schooled as actors read their work and professionals critiqued them, and I saw a teen run to her dad, wrap her arms around his neck, and say, “Thanks for bringing me here Dad, I love you.”

I connected with first-timers just like me, and seasoned veterans, all answering the call of the Savior to their lives. As I sat in solitude one evening, I asked God what He wanted to do with my talent. I didn’t know before I came, but I was sure after I left that an old girl from a small town had something God could use. And with my life-long yearning for learning, I could step out and sing, well, maybe just shout my new song:

 Start spreadin’ the news.  Believin’ today.

I want to be a part of it, His Work, His Work…

I’m returning to Gideon this year. I’d like to be the encourager now; Come to Gideon. Whether you’ve got it all together, or it’s your first visit to the ‘big city’, thank God, you’ll never ever leave the same.

Why God Led Me To The Gideon

by Dave Trouten

I was a Gideon pioneer; God led me to the very first conference.

A web-search took me to the web-site of Ridgecrest.  Curiosity took me to their upcoming events page.  Gideon resonated with me and I felt God wanted me there.  Why?  Initially I had no idea, but the directive remained clear.

I teach literature of Film at Kingswood University.  I do not create film.  I critique it and explain it when it falls in the category of the basic literary elements.  Nor am I in the media arts field, but I use it all the time and teach a generation emerged in it.

Why Gideon?

1) Knowledge base: I mention substance I learned from Gideon all the time in my classes.

2) Networking: I have met key people who have helped me in my profession of teaching, my secondary profession of writing, and, as an added bonus, are my spiritual mentors.

Much to my surprise I had networking value as well.  I have been a connection person to Gideon talent by promoting films and authors from the Gideon group.  My Gideon time has led directly to the promotion of Christian media to a generation who has been slowly abandoning it.  My Gideon networking also led to a Maritime tour for humorist Torry Martin.  Upcoming projects are in the works.

3) Family: Gideon is a family.  The Gideon conference is a family reunion.  I have not been able to attend for the last few years and I have missed it greatly.  It is a rare occurrence a day will go by without me being in contact (via Facebook, phone, e-mail, etc.) with my Gideon family.

Whether you need to learn, be encouraged, or be adopted into a great family; Gideon is a life-changer.

The Gideon Experience? Priceless!

by Michelle Cox

Have you been wondering why YOU should attend the Gideon Media Arts Conference & Film Festival this year? There was an awesome discussion about Gideon last week on Facebook and I wanted to pass some of the comments along because I think they might help some of you who haven’t attended the conference and film festival yet to understand why the Gideon Conference & Film Festival experience is something you don’t want to miss.

When asked about how the cost of Gideon compares to other film festivals, Lori Marett (Gideon co-director) replied “The Gideon is 1/3 film festival and 2/3 conference. Unlike other film festivals that screen films from morning til evening, we offer workshops from 9:15 am – 5:15 pm, and then screen our films in the evening and have a Q&A following with cast and/or crew. Compare our rates with any other Christian or secular conferences and you will find we are comparable with their fees.”

So what do you get for your money from the Gideon experience? Co-director Rodney Marett says, “Well, let me tell you some stories. Have you seen October Baby? The writers for this story met at the first Gideon. They didn’t know each other before then. The film Meant to Be, it just came out, is written by my wife, Lori. She got the gig from meeting one of our faculty members the first year of Gideon. His name is Torry Martin. He in turn introduced her to another writer, Marshal Younger. When a director from LA wanted Marshal to write his next film, Marshal couldn’t do it, so, he and Torry talked about it and introduced the director to Lori. These are just a couple examples of what goes on at Gideon and I could go on with many other examples but I think you get the point. Hope that clears some things up for you.

th

Gideon attendee Jurgen Beck shares, “I want to chime in on what Rodney and Lori have stated, but from the perspective of having attended the Gideon. Depending on your location and how well-connected you are, the Gideon’s main focus as an individual involved in filmmaking or media is not the festival, as wonderful as it is. The true gem lies in the networking opportunities and the ability to start lasting relationships with folks in the industry. As you know, in our industry it truly matters who you know, and especially who you click with. Gideon is an opportunity to do this over the course of several days with a chance to get to know some of the people that may be influential in your career either now, or down the road. And of course, vice versa is the case as well. There may be people who can learn from your experience and expertise.”

In the vein of the MasterCard commercials: “Participating at the Gideon? Priceless!”

From my own perspective as both an attendee and a faculty member, I think you’ll discover that Gideon is unusual on many levels. I’ve never been around people who are more loving and giving. Often in this industry, people are super protective of contacts and information, but at Gideon there’s such a sweet spirit of helping and you’ll often see people who are tops in the world of screenwriting and making films who will sit with a newbie sharing their knowledge and skills. Or you’ll overhear comments like, “Oh, I need to connect you with __________. I think they could help you.” You’ll discover that Gideon isn’t just a conference, it’s a family.

The faculty is phenomenal and the classes are so informational and presented from a faith-based perspective. It’s a wonderful opportunity to see many of the faith-based films before they release. I’ve seen some amazing networking take place at the conference and seen results that are literally touching the nation and the world.

312038_4317653977457_389852150_n

Gideon pulls in some impressive instructors, including Dr. Ted Baehr – media critic, publisher and Editor-in-Chief of Movieguide and Chairman of the Christian Film and Television Commission; Brian Bird – writer, producer, Touched By An Angel, The Shunning, Saving Sarah Cain; Michael Catt – Sr. Pastor, Sherwood Baptist Church, Executive Producer, Facing the Giants, Fireproof, Courageous; Dr. Linda Seger, writer, author, one of the top script consultants for Hollywood; Todd Starnes, radio host, news personality, author, host of Fox News & Commentary on Fox Radio; Phil Vischer, voice actor, writer, songwriter, director, puppeteer, producer, creator of VeggieTales; Ken Wales, actor, producer, executive producer, Amazing Grace, Christy, Revenge of the Pink Panther; Muse Watson, actor, NCIS, Prison Break, End of the Spear; and the list goes on and on.

John William Doryk says, “I’ve attended and taught at many world class secular and Christian conferences and film festivals and have found the folks at Gideon to be warm, welcoming, and have a great spirit of sharing and teaching while keeping both their doctrinal standards and caliber of production quality in teaching and screening high.”

For Lori and Rodney Marett, the Gideon Conference is a labor of love. They direct the Gideon year after year because “the body of Christ tells us this type of venue is so desperately needed.”

Jenny Cote shares, “In addition to all the above, you will find a bastion of supporters who will rally behind your work. In this industry, what a rarity to find a group of fellow soldiers who seek to partner with excellence to lift fellow soldiers up. And we have a ball together – it’s not just work, but a lot of fun play!”

mcoap_phototour39

Now, seriously, don’t you want to be there with us in Orlando this July? Register for the conference through the website and then get ready to watch God do big and amazing things at the Gideon Media Arts Conference & Film Festival.

“For I Know the Plans I Have for You…” in 2013 (Jeremiah 29:11)

Blog written by Gideon Director, Lori Marett

With each New Year, most of us take the opportunity to look ahead, consider plans, set goals, and make resolutions. Personally, I have a list of things I’d like to accomplish in 2013. But I have to be careful with all those well laid plans – I need to leave room for God to intervene and to bless me with projects and opportunities I could never imagine, because this happened to me in 2012 and continues to spill over into 2013.

Those of you who attended Gideon 2012 were blessed to hear our Banquet & Awards Night keynote speaker, Jon Erwin, producer/director/ writer for the movie October Baby.  Jon shared how he was inspired to write the script after he had heard a woman speak about her life as an abortion survivor. Many of us have seen the movie and know what a powerful and inspiring film October Baby is, but what you may not be aware of is that this film is having a resurgence as pro-life groups and churches celebrate January as “Sanctity of Human Life” month.

October Baby Resources

*October Baby resources* 

Consider community outreach, a Bible study, or a women’s small group session with these resources http://octoberbabymovie.net/ministryresources/octoberbabyresources 

“Sanctity of Human Life” Sunday is held on the closest Sunday to the anniversary of the Jan. 22, 1973 decision by the U.S. Supreme Court to legalize abortion in the Roe v. Wade case. During the month of January, pro-life advocates will be promoting the sanctity of life through sermons, Bible studies, music, film, television, and offering information on adoption to women who are considering abortion.

While October Baby may speak to women who are considering abortion, a new television series, “Surrender the Secret” will speak to the hundreds of thousands of women who are struggling with the guilt and shame of having had an abortion. This ground-breaking television series was created by Cecil Stokes, a producer with October Baby, and can be found on KnockTV, an emerging leader in the Christian television marketplace.

Surrender the Secret

KnockTV programming is currently available on-demand, 24/7, on the Internet. www.knocktv.com

MTB

Interestingly, at the time that Jon and Cecil were considering making a movie about abortion, I had been approached by producer Bradley Dorsey because God had also given him a vision to create a movie tackling the topic of abortion. At the time, I did not know that Jon and Cecil were creating October Baby, nor did they know about our film, Meant To Be. While our projects were completed independently of each other, I am humbled and honored that God is now using our works to promote the message that ALL life is precious. God has plans for each of us, a set of blue prints if you will, even for the unborn.

So as we move through 2013, know that God has a set of plans for each of us. “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” It’s okay to draw up our lists, set our goals, and make our resolutions. We just have to leave some space for God to bless us in ways that we could never have imagined!

Happy 2013 and God bless!

Lori

*Gideon Networking Notes: As Jon Erwin shared during his keynote at the Gideon 2012 Banquet & Awards night, he did not know Cecil Stokes until they met at Gideon 2008. Subsequently, they became friends and felt God leading them to come together for October Baby. I would not have met Jon or Cecil if it weren’t for Gideon 2008, and now here we are in the same pro-life camp with our projects. But Meant To Be would not have been possible if Torry Martin, whom I also met at G2008, had not recommended me to screenwriter Marshal Younger, who was tied up with another script and could not write this for Bradley Dorsey. But because of Marshall’s generosity, God blessed Marshall by freeing him up to lend his talents to the script a week before MTB went into production. This is a perfect example of the body of Christ exhorting and uplifting each other and allowing God to use us to glorify Him! I’m so looking forward to the people I’ll meet at G2013!