Sunday, October 24, 2010

Blue Like Jazz

Image source.
I've mentioned author and speaker Don Miller on this blog before, mostly to link to posts of his that I find particularly enjoyable or relevant.  But I haven't said much about him or his books.  So you're probably wondering who this Don Miller guy is.

In trying to sum what I know about Don Miller up . . . I found that I couldn't do it.  At least not well.  But I really like how Wikipedia describes Miller:

Miller is recognized for his feelings that Christian faith should be a relationship, rather than a formula. He writes in Searching for God Knows What that too many Christians act like the Bible is a sort of math textbook, rather than a long story of God's involvement with people through friendships with Biblical figures like Adam, Abraham, and Moses.

And I also like what Amazon has to say about Blue Like Jazz, the book that really boosted Don Miller into the public eye (at least the eyes of those who are interested in spirituality):

In Donald Miller's early years, he was vaguely familiar with a distant God. But when he came to know Jesus Christ, he pursued the Christian life with great zeal. Within a few years he had a successful ministry that ultimately left him feeling empty, burned out, and, once again, far away from God. In this intimate, soul-searching account, Miller describes his remarkable journey back to a culturally relevant, infinitely loving God.

I first read Blue Like Jazz in 2006, when I had just moved to the western Montana city that has since become my home.  At the time I felt displaced, root-less, and wondering how to connect with God and other people in a relevant way.  Miller's book helped.  A lot.

So when I heard that Blue Like Jazz was going to be made into a movie, I was psyched.  And then, as I read on through Miller's blog posts, I learned that the movie had been scrapped.  Sigh. 

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But the film didn't die an early death, as Miller (and, subsequently, I) expected.  Instead fans, associated actors, movie industry folks, and more rallied and raised enough money to pay for the making of a Blue Like Jazz film.  And, as I'm sure you've already guessed, making a box office-release movie is not cheap.  They needed $125,000 to enter into production on October 25 (that's tomorrow!) . . . and they did.  They got the money.

But the amazingness of the story doesn't end there.  Folks contributed more than the necessary $125,000 dollars.  Right now they have nearly $240,000 pledged (that's donated dollars), making the Blue Like Jazz film the largest crowd-sourced project in America ever. 

Why I am writing all this?  Because, first and foremost, I think it's an awesome story.  It's a real-life adventure tale with God leading the way, holding the center, and bringing up the rear all at the same time.  And because I think it's a worthy cause.  I loved the Blue Like Jazz book, and in fact started rereading it again this morning.  I also really enjoy Don Miller's other books.  I think he rocks, and he's a master of words, one that inspires and informs my own writing, not to mention my life, faith, and thoughts about God.  And I'm blogging about this because I think the Blue Like Jazz movie will rock, and that it will be powerful and relevant for today's establishment-jaded population. 

If you want to learn more about Don Miller, the film, and the Save Blue Like Jazz movement, check out the following links:
Blue Like Jazz (the book) opens with the following observation on jazz music, which is just as true for me about hooping.  And, I think, that honest expression of the soul is where God meets us so willingly:

In America, the first generation out of slavery invented jazz music.  It is a free-form expression.  It comes from the soul, and it is true.  


Have you read anything by Don Miller?  What are your thoughts on all this, regardless?

3 comments:

  1. I am ridiculously eager for his new book A Million Miles in a Thousand Years to come out in paperback. Have you read it yet? Want to read it with me if not?

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  2. Lindsay and James CoOctober 26, 2010 at 3:49 AM

    oh this makes me smile so big. i am thrilled! Thank you for sharing all the details. I am amazed how God uses people sometimes. He is good!LC

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  3. I've read Blue Like Jazz and Searching for God Knows What (which I reviewed in Tracings a while back), and I found both books to be poetically written and thought-provoking. Miller asks questions of himself and his reader we all should ask ourselves. It will be interesting to see how the movie interprets the book.

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― J.R.R. Tolkien, The Return of the King