I was pretty exhausted after a full weekend of ministry. Kirk, myself and Duane Barnhart, our producer had flown from LA to Chicago, to Springfield, and then driven to Branson in Missouri for a conference. After the conference we had had the great joy of preaching the gospel (open air style) inside a mall to hundreds of people.
Afterwards, I interviewed a man who was holding a large white duck. As the interview unfolded I found that he was a comedian in Branson. He said, "How would you like to shake hands with a duck?" I immediately reached out and shook hands with the bird. Then he said, "Have you ever shaken hands with a duck before?" I said that I hadn't, to which he replied, "You still haven't. That was his foot."
I was then driven back to Springfield, where I flew to Dallas, then to Houston and then Memphis, and then back to Los Angeles. It was late on Sunday night, I was tired but I couldn't get to sleep because I was in the insomniac row. The very back row in a plane is the row in which the seats don't go back. Besides, the lady next to me had a toddler on her lap and the little cutie tended to scream if I wasn't pulling faces, doing "the light show," or making weird noises.
After three hours of face-pulling and intermittent writing, I decided to get up and give the flight attendant a copy of What Hollywood Believes. She was excited and showed the book to a man who was sitting across the aisle from me. That gave me an opportunity to try and witness to him. As he was fingering through the publication, I passed him a copy of the CD of the same name. He asked what the book and CD were about, so I told him that it was about Hollywood celebrities and what they believed about the afterlife. I then asked him what he thought happens. He didn't answer with much conviction, and as we were talking across the aisle, the sound of the engines tended to kill any meaningful conversation. I decided to change gears a little.
I told him that I co-hosted a TV program with Kirk Cameron--where we go to the streets and ask people questions like that. Then I asked what he did for a living. He said that he was a movie and television producer, so I asked him if he would like me to mail him his own copy of the book. He said that he would, and handed me his business card.
The next day I typed his name and address onto a label. His name was Jim, so I thought that I would sign the book to personalize it. It would say "To Jim, with best wishes. Yours, Ray." Then I would put my personal email address under that (something I rarely give out), in case he wanted to talk further about the possibility of doing a television program based on the book, something I had been praying about.
I walked into our store, grabbed a hard cover copy of the book off a pile. I then walked back to my office, sat down, opened it at the title page. I was about to write "To Jim, with best wishes. Yours, Ray" and then put my email address, when I saw something I could hardly believe. There, written in my own hand-writing were the words "To Jim, with best wishes. Yours, Ray." Underneath it was my personal email address. It was exactly what I was about to write. It was very strange.
A moment later I realized what had happened. Two weeks earlier I had sent three signed copies to Jim Carrey to three different addresses, hoping that at least one would get to him. This particular book had been returned by UPS, and had been mistakenly put back into the store. That was the copy I had picked up.
I thought that perhaps this was God's way of letting me know that He was leading me. It was encouraging, but before I entered into anything with Hollywood, I wanted to know that I really did have God's leading. So I sent the book though the post office. If he actually received it, it would be an obvious miracle.