For the Glory of the Lord Jesus Christ

Entertainment

‘The Young Messiah’ – the Movie


2016-03-12_21-37-18_284The movie, ‘The Young Messiah’ opened March 11, 2016 in most theaters.  The movie plot is about Jesus of Nazareth as a young boy and as the trailers depict, it opens our imaginations about what the young Jesus might have been like.  At the age of 7, Jesus is living in Alexandria, Egypt with his parents, Joseph and Mary, who fled Nazareth when the government edict was issued by Ki2016-03-12_19-56-59_210ng Herod, to slaughter all children under the age of 2. When they finally hear that Herod has died, the young couple set out with their 7 year old son to return to Nazareth.

The novel ‘Christ the Lord – Out of Egypt,’ was written by Ann Rice, who is not a newcomer to the writing industry.  She has published novels such as ‘The Vampire Chronicles,’ ‘Blood Canticle,’ and many others which can be found at http://annerice.com. She also made a splash several years ago in 2010 when she announced that she was quitting Christianity (read my article :http://www.examiner.com/article/quitting-christianity-the-ann-rice-way.)

The screenplay was written by Betsy Giffen Nowrasteh and Cyrus Nowrasteh.  Some of the major characters in the mo2016-03-12_19-58-17_967vie are:

Jesus – Adam Greaves-Neal

Mary – Sara Lazzaro

Joseph – Vincent Walsh

Herod – Jonathan Bailey

Cleopas – Chri2016-03-12_19-54-38_373stian McKay

James – Finn Ireland

the demon – Rory Keenan

The movie uses imagery garnered from stories from legends that cropped up about the Messiah, the Lord Jesus Christ; namely, bringing a bird back to life, etc. and that he was already engaged in performing miracles when he was still a boy.   Whether these things really happened or not, we will not know for sure until He returns as King of King and Lord of Lords, at which time, we can ask Him if these things really happened.  The movie definitely has2016-03-12_19-58-48_292 a Roman Catholic background, for instance Ann Rice writes about James, the half brother of Jesus, but states that James was adopted.  This being done in order to preserve the eternal virginity of Jesus’ mother, Mary.  Mary and Joseph went on after Jesus’ birth to have four more sons: James, Joseph, Judas and Simon, and at least two daughters.

However, the movie was well done and well directed despite those issues and this writer definitely recommends going to see this movie.  This is not like some of the other Hollywood movies that have recently come to the big screen that are simply unbelievable and quite clearly written by people who have no true knowledge about the Holy Scriptures.

2016-03-12_19-56-34_862This movie does have some violence but you really never see it graphically displayed.  There are some blood spatters when the slaying of the infants was ordered by Herod the Great in an attempt to kill the Messiah when he was still a very young child, after the Magi had inquired about where they could find the new-born King. This is why Herod ordered that males under the age of 2 were to be put to death.  The violence that is depicted is not the main point of the movie and is therefore nominal in nature, since this was not the focus.  It is a movie well worth the price and very enjoyable to see an attempt to open up a window on the life of Christ as a boy, even if it is all from the imagination of the author.

 

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Annie McRae, Southern Gospel Singer/Songwriter


The last two nights have been spent at “Jesus is the Gate” church revival in Glenarm, Illinois which was held on August 1-2, 2015 with special Southern Gospel artist, Annie McRae belting out her praise and worship songs for the Lord Jesus Christ.  As one fan noted, “She blew the roof off!”  Annie grew up around Souther2015-08-01_16-38-58_408n Gospel music and began touring at age 15 along with her sister, Kelly for about 12 years.  According to Annie, she sang her first solo in church at the age of 6 and she continued to learn how to sing by standing by the altos so that she could learn how to sing harmony.  She and her sister recorded their first album titled, Annie & Kelly McRae, produced by Jeff and Sheri Easter when she was 15 years old and her sister was only 13.  Both sisters have performed with Bill and Gloria Gaither with their song titled Walk on the Water.

One of her first tours was with Mark Lowry at Notre Dame University before thousands of people in 2001.  She was also nominated for a Dove award in 2006 for Country Album of the Year with her album Perfect Love, and she was nominated for Bluegrass Recorded Song of the Year with the song Low and Down.  Her sister continued to tour until she got married and then went off the road. Annie continued to tour with her other groups she formed until 2010 at which time she decided to take some rest for herself.  She had been residing in Nashville, TN but has since returned to her family roots in Mississippi.

Her latest album is titled Purpose and Passion, which she performed some of the songs during her concert at Jesus is the Gate.  She learned well from one of her mentors Gloria Gaither, when Gloria instructed her to not just fill up an album with music because you needed to, but to wait until you had at least ten songs you were just dying to share with the world.

Annie McRae’s songs are available for purchase at Itunes, Amazon, Spotify and other online music retailers.  She is also out on YouTube with the Spirit and Truth Ministries.  She also writes her own blog called, Remedy Girl on WordPress.


A letter to Bruce Jenner


Dear Bruce:

This letter is to you, Bruce.  I watched your latest interview with Diane Sawyer on Fridayth, April 24, 2015, in the which you continually spoke of how you had spent almost your entire life living with confusion as to who you are, and what you want to become for the remainder of your life.  I marvelled when you spoke of the Lord God and how you yourself acknowledged that God had placed the “soul of a woman” inside of you, with God saying, “now let’s see what you do with that.” You are right!  God did place those emotions within you, however, it is not truly the “soul of a woman” inside of you.  God did give you tender emotions…maybe more so than He has given to other men…however, they are the roots of a larger-than-life emotion called compassion.

However, Bruce, God would absolutely never break His own laws and put a “woman’s soul” inside of you, a man.  But you are not the only man who has ever had more tender emotions; I think of the Jewish king, King David….just read the Book of Psalms…jam-packed with David’s emotions written down for everyone to read for the last four thousand years approximately.

Psalm 6:8

Depart from me, all ye workers of iniquity; for the Lord hath heard the voice of my weeping.

David was not ashamed of his tenderness and his compassionate heart for God and for others as well.  David could have killed Saul several times, however, because of his love for God and the fact that Saul had been anointed king by God Himself, he refused to lay his hands upon him to take his life.  Yet, David was a man’s man even though he had a tender heart.

I think next of the Lord Jesus Christ, Himself.  He wept over Jerusalem and stated:

Matthew 23:37

O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that killest the prophets, and stonest them which are sent unto thee, how often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not!

In this passage, the Lord Jesus Christ does take on the attributes of a feminine quality by aligning Himself with a mother hen who gathers her chickens under her wings in order to protect them. Yet, the Lord Jesus Christ was most definitely a man’s man.  It took enormous strength to withstand those cruel beatings and the torture that He endured for our sakes.  It took a great compassionate heart and a merciful soul to lay His life down and hang on that cross so that we could receive forgiveness for our sins, transgressions and iniquities.

Bruce, we have an enemy who wants nothing more than to “steal, kill, and destroy” us….US…God’s creation.  When the enemy saw God placing within you the tenderness and the compassion, he began a campaign of lies against you, to distort, pervert and warp the truth of what God had given to you; by telling lies into your ears that you really had a “woman’s soul” trapped within you so that you would be uncomfortable in your own skin.  His design has been to lead you down roads of confusion to the end that you now find yourself facing…an end of your own choosing, of ending or changing the athletic body….the body of a man’s man….that God Himself gave to you.  For what?  So that you can form on the outside what you have always thought you were feeling on the inside?

Even back when I was ten years old, my uncle who was an alcoholic, jumped out of his chair as if he was going to hit my mother; I also jumped up and stood between him and my mother and told him that he would have to go through me first.  I was also a single mother and on two distinct occasions, I had to act very aggressively in order to protect my daughter.  First, I had to stand toe-to-toe against a drunken and enraged man and the next one, a few years later, I had to jump into the fray against a girl gang who was beating up my daughter.  You can better believe that I got very aggressive….just like a man.  Yet, I could have believed the lies the enemy might have told me…that really, I had the “soul of a man” inside….after all, look how aggressive I became. Wow, just like a man….  Thankfully, I am very much a woman of God.

James 3:16

For where envying and strife is, there is confusion and every evil work.

Bruce, as you yourself have said during your interview last Friday, you mentioned your confusion and that is simply because you have always felt internal strife….this has produced the confusion…and now finally you will begin to experience every evil work.  The evil work is the fruit of the seeds of the many lies that the enemy began telling you when you were a young boy.

I’m pretty sure that you have always wondered why God seems to have put all of these gentle emotions within you, yet formed a man’s body to house them.  As I see it, God did this perhaps to make you to be as a sign and a symbol to other men that it’s perfectly okay to feel tenderness and/or compassion.

1 Corinthians 14:33

For God is not the author of confusion, but of peace, as in all churches of the saints.

After all, here is Bruce Jenner, winner of the decathlon….no mean feat to win such a title…and then to be called the “greatest athlete ever”…and this is what you want to change?

Our culture tries to dictate what makes a man a man, and a woman a woman.  Sometimes, however, God sees things totally different and He calls those things that be not as though they are.

Bruce, you need to seek the face of the Lord God and His Son, the Lord Jesus…you know the man’s man…the one who had such tender compassion for you that He died for you.  The Lord Jesus knows what it is like to have these emotions and He alone can cause you to finally feel comfortable in your skin, which is that of a man’s skin.

1 Chronicles 16:11

Seek the Lord and his strength, seek his face continually.

and

Isaiah 55:6

Seek ye the Lord while he may be found, call ye upon him while he is near.

Bruce, please re-think what you are about to do.

Sincerely Yours

 


David and Goliath movie release, in theatres this April 3, 2015


20150223211056-DavidAndGoliath_Poster_2764x4096-2

A new Christian movie is set for release in a limited amount of cities, coming this April 3, 2015.  The movie was rejected by Hollywood with the hard-to-believe excuse that it is too biblical.  Huh? After all, it is a CHRISTIAN movie, so exactly what does Hollywood expect?  Well apparently, the director, Tim Chey has put too much Christianity into his movie and this movie is expected to be far more biblical than either “Exodus” or “Noah.”  Both of these movies were approved and released by Hollywood and both of these movies were outlandishly far removed from their original Scripture-based accounts as recorded in the Holy Bible.  According to Carol Edwards, writing for Breaking Christian News, in an interview with Tim Chey:

Chey refers to the backlash of the film ‘Noah’ which many Christian pastors and leaders shunned. The film still was a box office hit at $120 million, but Christians stayed away in droves.

“There are no rock monsters helping David unfortunately,” Chey jokes to the laughter of the reporters. “But kidding aside, I wanted to make a film that will reinvigorate the kind of faith the future King of Israel had, namely fighting a giant with a zero percent chance of defeating hi20150219013402-D_G_Still_3m outside of God.”

The story of David and Goliath is an oft-told Bible story that is told to youngsters in Sunday school as young as 3 or 4 years of age and is also loved by all other ages in the Church.  So this movie will be refreshing since Tim Chey states that his ministry is one of an evangelist and therefore his movie will be Biblically accurate.  The following Scripture is the key statement made by David, the soon-to-be King of Israel, spoken to Goliath when the Philistine giant mocks him.

1 Samuel 17:45David and Goliath movie scene

David said to the Philistine, “You come against me with sword and spear and javelin, but I come against you in the name of the Lord Almighty, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied.

Because this movie is being released independently, Tim Chey has been raising funds through Indiegogo.com, with the first campaign Chey has raised $19,673.  In order for this movie to be  able to play in any city, the production company must pay $1000.00 to the theatre.  The first campaign has closed, but they have opened up another campaign and if you would like to donate to this Christian cause, you can donate here.  So far, this second campaign has already raised $1,672.00, plus if you donate at least $15.00 you will receive a DVD copy of Tim Chey’s last movie, “Final.” If you donate $25.00 you will receive the DVD’s of Final and David and Goliath when it is released to DVD this July, 2015.  Plus there are other incentives depending on how much you donate.

The following is a current list of the cities that this movie will be playing in so far:

  • Atlanta, Anchorage, Austin, Albuquerque, Cleveland, Dallas, El Paso,
  • Ft. Lauderdale, Ft. Myers, Houston, Honolulu, Knoxville, Orlando, Miami,
  • Phoenix, Philadelphia, Portland, San Diego, Seattle, Tukwila, Vancouver.

If people want to see this movie come to their area, help these independent Christian producers get this film out to the public.  Tim Chey has stated that his movie is biblically accurate and so there shouldn’t be any backlash from this film.  So help support this Biblically accurate and family friendly film so that more movies of this caliber will hopefully be made in the future.

 


‘Killing Jesus’ the TV series to be released in Spring 2015


The newest Hollywood attempt at presenting a Christian-based TV series, which wmuslim-actor-defends-his-casting-in-killing-jesus-by-quoting-christ-teachingsill portray the life of Jesus Christ, not from the viewpoint of Jesus the man, or the divinity of the Lord Jesus Christ, as the Messiah, but from his contemporaries, will be released in the Spring of this year. The book written by Bill O’Reilly and Martin Dugard has taken the position of looking at the life of Jesus strictly from a historical viewpoint and not at all religious. This aspect alone has already riled up the Christian segment, especially those who take the Scriptures in a literal sense.  Biblical Scholars such as Dr. Darrell Bock have applauded the book as far as the historical insights are concerned and he discusses O’Reilly’s book as readable.

The writers, Bill O’Reilly and Martin Dugard have written the book from the viewpoint of Jesus’ contemporaries according to Jessika Walsten writing for B&C who states:

Green explained that the point of view in ‘Killing Jesus’ is from Jesus’ contemporaries as opposed to Jesus himself.  ”This is like the behind-the-scenes story of the life and death of Jesus Christ,” added Green.

Walon Green who wrote the screenplay for the TV series also remarked that even non-Christians would like this series, as reported by Lisa de Moraes, writing for MSN:

A non Christian viewer will really like this film because they can immerse themselves in the human story of this phenomenal guy Jesus and what he is, and what he comes from — his roots,” Green responded patiently. The “dynamics of the period” also are interesting, he suggested: “The Romans are occupying [the land]. it. They are a threat. They will not tolerate disorder. The Jews have had other messianic figures, and as a result the Romans have slaughtered people and decimated villages. They don’t want this to happen again” and so on.

It would seem that O’Reilly’s book and now the TV series will have mixed reviews, even some that may be vitriolic, especially by the Christian community, with some giving credence to the historical aspects while others are deploring the idea that someone like Bill O’Reilly has even dared to write about the life of Jesus Christ outside of the context of Jesus’ Messianic purpose; for which His entire life was given over to for the completion of man’s salvation and the restored relationship between God and man.  It is to be hoped that the non-Christian community, who may watch the series, will be affected not only by the historical aim of the series, but perhaps might want to learn more about this ‘Jesus-guy,’ as Walon Green refers to Him, perhaps even coming to a moment of acceptance and faith.

The series has cast a Muslim, Haaz Sleiman, in the leading role of Jesus which has also caused some controversy, since the religion of Islam does not believe that the Lord Jesus Christ is the Son of God.  According to the religion of Islam, they believe that Jesus is a prophet and honor Him. According to Haaz Sleiman:

…he’s honored to play Jesus. “In Islam, we believe Jesus is a prophet and respect him and follow his teachings and put him beside the Prophet Muhammad – a lot of people don’t know that,” he said. “As a person who was raised Muslim, it’s an honor to play that…Personally, I’ve been heavily shaped by his teachings” (Ace Showbiz.com).

The TV series is scheduled to air sometime this Spring on the National Geographic Channel; with this being the third in the ‘killing’ series; the first two being, ‘Killing Lincoln’ and ‘Killing Kennedy.’  The cast includes: Emmanuelle Chriqui; John Rhys-Davies; Kelsey Grammer; Rufus Sewell; Stephen Moyer; Eoin Macken; Haaz Sleiman; Klára Issová; Aneurin Barnard; Dimitri Leonidas and a host of other actors and actresses.

 

 

 

 


Movie review: Exodus-Gods and Kings


5ac78eb0e2c3b7a0ab0bb3a1d14c089dThe newest Biblically based Hollywood movie to come to the silver screen is the account of Moses, who led the children of Israel out of the 400 year bondage to Egypt and its Pharaohs to freedom. Some of the other critics have lambasted director, Ridley Scott, for failing to have Jewish or Egyptian actors play these parts; but he has had his come-back, so to speak, by replying that Egypt would have been a very multi-national cosmopolitan country at that time.  Other critics writing about this movie have declared that they wouldn’t “pay to see the movie.”  Hmmm.  Then how were they able to critique the movie?

This writer did pay to see the movie on the big screen and it was a bit disappointing that the writers did not remain faithful to the Scriptural accounts of this particular event.  For example, the Scriptures make the account in which God turned the Nile into blood; however the writers depicted this event utilizing monster-sized crocodiles that attack an Egyptian boat, thus killing all of the inhabitants, and so their blood contaminates the Nile.  Though the writers show about 5-6 men being graphically torn apart, realistically, their bodies do not contain enough blood to contaminate the entire Nile River, nor even just the area where the Pharaoh is living either.  Then we must deal with the idea that these crocodiles are the writer’s fantasy, because there was no such plague. Regarding the plague of blood, the writer has attempted to normalize and reduce the enormity of it as well as give a natural cause for its existence, thus highlighting the writer’s own faithlessness in an awesome and totally all-consuming God, better known as the Great I am.

However, the cinematic rendering of the other plagues, was very well done.  This writer especially liked the plague of darkness and then the final plague in which every firstborn child died, if they had not been covered by the blood of the lamb.  It was shown as being a great shadow that fell over the land and as it passed over the houses, the first-born children simply stopped breathing. The 1957 version depicted it as a green phantasm in the shape of a bony hand of death.

Then there is a particular character that shows up in this movie, i.e. is it God? is it Jesus? or perhaps a messenger angel?  The writer failed egregiously with this, in that, if this is the Great I Am, why the image of a child? If this is supposed to be a pre-incarnate Jesus, with the hinting around of Isaiah 11:6  “….and a little child shall lead them,” then we have some major issues that abound here, especially, since Moses lived thousands of years before Isaiah prophesied about the child.  It leaves the viewer totally confused and even more so when Moses blatantly tells this ‘child’ he didn’t want to deal with a messenger.

The Scriptures also do not recount that Moses tried to carry out the overthrow of the Pharaoh with his own methods; with the (God) child finally telling him, almost as if he was about to say, ‘tsk, tsk, tsk…okay….just stand back and watch this!’  Seriously?  This whole scene fell flat.

The writer has also attempted to downplay other major events contained within the whole scope of the story, such as: very little coverage concerning the making of the golden calf; or the reception of the stone tablets with God’s very own laws thusly written upon them; Miriam is left back in Egypt when clearly she sang and danced with her timbrels when Pharaoh’s chariots were cast into the sea.

Finally, other critics have mentioned that the Red Sea crossing was done all wrong.  It was if you were expecting another Cecil B. DeMille rendition.  Let’s face it shall we?  Charlton Heston raising his arms along with his special staff over the waters and the wind picking up and dividing the sea with the very breath of God is one movie scene that would be hard to outdo.  But here is the point that this writer would like to make; is there anyone living or ever lived that wrote down the exact way in which God divided the waters?  We know the answer to that one, don’t we? Since this writer attended seminary, and has entertained many schools of religious streams of thought; it would appear that what the writer was attempting to do was to lay the groundwork for a liberal theologian’s ideas, in which Moses really crossed the Red Sea at a point where the deepest part was approximately ten inches. But here is the biblically conservative come-back to that idea: how did Pharaoh’s army drown in ten inches of water?  So the writer has attempted to give credence to the idea that the children of Israel crossed in shallow water; however, this idea totally leaves God out of the picture.  Plus, as they are crossing the Red Sea, the writer attempts to blend in the traditional view and pretty soon they are crossing on almost dry land.  The cinematography of the water sweeping back, plus the giant waterspouts forming, which presumably has been the force to draw the water back, still has an incredible realism that doesn’t displease the viewer.

Overall, it still rates 4/5 stars from this critic, even with the writer not remaining faithful to the Scriptures.  This writer definitely says: Go see it for yourself.  It is good that Hollywood has finally decided to make Biblically based movies at long last.  This writer has heard many complaints about the fact that there is nothing ‘decent’ to see at the movie houses, and this writer has made plenty of complaints also.  Should Christians just not rather rejoice that at the very least, we are being given movies to see and enjoy?  Plus, opportunities to speak the truth about the real Scriptural events and how our God deserves all the glory is laid out like a red carpet before us.

 


The irony of ‘Social’ media


courtesy of Stephen MarcheWhen you read the title of this article, you should immediatey understand the premise of this article. People of every stripe, ethnic group, social strata, gender class and any other social ranking that ever existed or could exist that regularly uses or is engaged with some form of social media should know that the ‘social’ in social media is almost non-existent. Oh, people connect all right, but for how long and how meaningful is this ‘connection’ along telephone cables that house fiber optics as thin as a human hair? We tweet, we post pics on Facebook, share other pics, recipes and gossip (if we dare), we Stumble upon stories and post there as well. We pin it to Pinterest in the hopes someone will notice and re-pin it to their boards, but did anyone ‘feel’ anything? Did they share with you on a personal level, or one-to-one that your recipe turned out great for their Friday evening dinner? Or were you just notified that someone ‘liked’ your post and shared it with their ‘friends’?

While we have named this technology ‘social media,’ it is truly far from ‘social.’ Do you really know where all of your so-called ‘friends’ live? Do you have their telephone numbers? Do you call them or do you text them? When this writer turned off the texting part of her phone plan, it was plain that the service representative thought I should really rethink my decision. But she was informed that it was because this writer was old-fashioned and just plain preferred to ‘call’ people and actually hear their human voices, instead of reading, “Hi hru 2da…i fin, doin 0, sitn, bord 0 1 2c & 0 ppl 2phn, U?” It’s rather difficult to get into that type of conversation except to text back, “Y bord 2” “K gd 2 tk 2u.” Then we wonder why so many people are suffering from lonliness and even sometimes depression.

In the silence of connection, people are comforted by being in touch with a lot of people — carefully kept at bay. We can’t get enough of one another if we can use technology to keep one another at distances we can control: not too close, not too far, just right. I think of it as a Goldilocks effect (Turkle).

Despite all of our connections on our social media sites, there is truly no replacement for our connection with the Lord Jesus Christ. There is a saying in Christian circles, “Have a little talk with Jesus.” It is often used in connection with evangelism, but in truth it is a truth that He can be accessed every day and all day if we so desire. The Lord Jesus promised that He would be with us to the end of the age in Matthew 28:20.

We are tempted to think that our little “sips” of online connection add up to a big gulp of real conversation. But they don’t. E-mail, Twitter, Facebook, all of these have their places — in politics, commerce, romance and friendship. But no matter how valuable, they do not substitute for conversation (Turkle).

This writer is reminded of an old Barbra Streisand song, “People…people who need people, are the luckiest people in the world, we’re children, needing other children, and yet, letting a grown-up pride, hide all the need inside…”

Yet, the Lord Jesus Christ promised us that He would be our friend…and yes…He doesn’t have an I-pad or an I-phone, so just start talking to Him and talk to Him just as if He was sitting right next to you…because in all probability He probably is sitting right next to you, listening to everything you have to say. If you listen closely, you might actually hear His voice in your spirit. Ssshhhh!