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We have two winners for "The Case for Christ" video giveaway!!
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The hours are counting down for our "The Case for Christ" Giveaway!
The Drawing will be held at 3pm on Sunday, August 27th.
Carmel Communications is giving us TWO DVDs to give away...so don't be afraid to enter! :)
CLICK HERE TO SEE OUR REVIEW AND ENTER:
"THE CASE FOR CHRIST" GIVEAWAY
When I first heard about The Case for Christ, my first reaction was to lump it in with many of the other existing Christian movies that, although wholesome, fall flat in regards to script writing and acting and delivery categories. However, upon realizing the depth of the cast (Mike Vogel, Erika Christensen, Robert Forster, Faye Dunaway, L. Scott Caldwell, Frankie Faison and Jordan Cox), my interest was piqued. It wasn't until I read three pages of reviews by prominent Catholic endorsements, however, that I knew that I couldn't pass this one up.
The Case for Christ is based on the true story of Lee Strobel, an atheist and hard-hitting journalist who finds himself at a crossroads when his wife, also an avowed atheist, suddenly announces her new-found faith in Jesus. Horrified at the thought that he has lost his wife to a cultish and illogical form of thinking that is tearing his marriage apart, he sets out to change her mind.
Using the exceptional investigative skills that had propelled him to his recent promotion to legal editor at the Chicago Tribune, he pursues the biggest story of his life: debunking Christianity. What he eventually finds is not what he expects, resulting in a shake-up to the very core of all he had previously believed.
First, let me begin with echoing the words of Matthew Pinto, Publisher of Ascension Press.
"Conversion can be a challenging road for anyone, as evidenced in our own life experiences and through the characters in The Case for Christ. Balancing very real human emotions with the compelling hard evidence for Christ's resurrection, this movie takes viewers on an emotional odyssey that culminates in beautiful expression of Gods saving grace. Objective minds will be challenged."
For my review, I would love to point out several aspects of this movie truly caught my attention.
Number 1: The acting far exceeded my expectations. In particular, I found the relationship between Lee and his wife Leslie real and refreshing with a depth and feel for the characters that played out very well on screen. Mike Vogel succeeded in bringing the character of Lee Strobel to life, producing a seamless connection between his emotions and those of the viewers. I would, however, have liked to see a little more depth in Leslie's character and spiritual formation (through no fault of Erika Christensen), but with movie length limitations being what they are, it would have been difficult to develop this fully.
Number 2: The Catholic presence in the movie and the weight that the words of Father Jose Maria Marquez (played by Miguel Perez) bore on the transformation of Lee were surprising and refreshing. In today's world it can be challenging to find even an acknowledgment of the Catholic faith in many contemporary Christian films. However, the words of Father Marquez (one word in particular) became an actual pivot point in this film. I also loved the reference to Our Lady through the use of the camera as well as the attention given to the Shroud of Turin. (Although the viewer must remember that recent developments in proof of the shroud's origination were not available in the 1980's.)
Number 3: The climactic scene was delivered perfectly. Without giving anything away, I LOVED this scene for its simplicity, camera work, acting and ability to hone in on emotions necessary for its effectiveness and delivery.
All in all, I would definitely recommend this movie to teens and adults. Some semi-graphic images depicting a crime scene, a dramatic scene in which a child is choking, as well as marital arguments resulting in tears may make the film not suitable for children.
For those script buffs, you will find similar issues to other scripts created from already written works. However, I am pleased to say that these issues had little impact on the effectiveness of the film.
I truly hope you have a chance to check out The Case for Christ. I encourage you to click on the link to the trailer below to get a better idea of what all of the fuss is about!
And, this week only, you have a chance to win a copy of
The Case for Christ !! Just fill out the entry form below.
The winner's name will be randomly drawn on
Sunday, August 27th., 2017.
Enter your information below to win a copy of the DVD!!!
To check out the Case for Christ for yourself, visit its website at
So many of us do it. I mean, really, it's the Christian thing, right? A challenge pops up in our lives and we do what we're supposed to do...run to scripture. Jumping into the Divine Word of God, we hope to find an answer to our quandary by selecting a random verse or chapter in the Bible. If all goes well, we will come away with the guidance that we are seeking, knowing God is speaking directly to us in our situation.
I have done this MANY times.
Sometimes I have been left scratching my head.
Other times, I have come away astonished at how perfectly a verse has spoken to me.
There is beauty in knowing that God is always speaking through His word. However, it is important to be aware that there can be danger in "spinning the wheel."
First of all, why are we going to scripture in the first place? It is because we know we are literally taking in the Words of God - and I do mean the plural form of word. We can't go wrong with His word, because it is never wrong. However, interpretation of it can be.
Scott Hahn speaks famously in a way that makes a great case regarding the danger of interpretation:
A person blindly flips through the Bible and points at a passage.
"Then he went away and hanged himself." Matthew 27:5
The person quickly selects another passage, blindly flipping through and finger pointing to another passage:
"Go now and do the same."
I think the point here is clearly made! :)
If we are coming to scripture to get a good idea of what God is saying to us, it would be much better to approach scripture on a more consistent basis, not just on an "I need it now" basis. Coming to scripture consistently means that I am getting to know God. Just as when I can listen to acquaintances and inaccurately take away the meaning of their words because I don't know them well enough to understand, so as it can be with Bible verses.
In fact, it is even more likely that we will find greater meaning and guidance when those immediate situations occur since we will already know Him well enough to be aware of where to look, understanding each word to an even greater and deeper degree. We might never even have to open the Bible; the perfect verse might appear in our mind's eye, all because we have spent time listening to Him.
As always, it is all about developing that relationship with God. As the relationship grows, it will become easier to hear His voice through His word.
So, am I saying that we need to forego spinning the wheel of Bible Roulette? No.
But I do want to encourage others to NOT be discouraged when we land on verses that recommend that we hang ourselves. God is trying to tell us to keep digging. The more verses we land on, the more time we spend with Him. It really could be that He is purposely confounding our minds to that very end: He wants to work on that relationship with us.
Let's go to scripture every day. Let's get to know Him more and more so that when those challenges that require guidance and direction arise, we are better equipped to hear and understand His voice.
This way, when we land on verses like Job 19:17, "My breath is offensive to my wife; I am loathsome to my own brothers," we won't take it too personally. There is so much more that God is really trying to say!!
Photo attribution: https://www.flickr.com/photos/45378259@N05/6050121954
We couldn't wait to get this song up! Our third installment in the Sacrament Song Series, this song is sure to stick in your head as the kids sing about how the Holy Spirit saved the day 2000 years ago and today in the gifted sacrament of Confirmation! Again, this song is for kids, by kids, and will hopefully become a family favorite!
Enjoy and please pass this on to anyone and everyone! :)
"Ummm....it's a good thing I know your family!"
My friend attempted to hide a smile as she glanced at my eight-year old guy standing next to her in our driveway. She had just dropped him off after a play-date with her son for the day. Her quick look spoke volumes and I knew that my son had put his foot in his mouth...again.
"Uh oh...what did he say?" I asked, nervously.
"Well, we were eating dinner, and for some reason he looked up and said, 'Well, you know we are Nazis.'"
My mouth fell open in horror. "Nazis? What??"
My friend smiled and and chuckled in understanding like only she could.
"I didn't know what to say, so I asked him why he thinks you are Nazis. He said, "Well, we're German, so that means we are Nazis!"
I clapped my hand over my forehead and groaned. "Good grief!" was all I could muster for a minute as I joined in her laughing.
I wasn't expecting to have to explain the differences between evil factions and the history of part of my heritage, but I certainly did that night. I also made sure to cover the Italian and Hungarian side of my husband just to make sure my witty lad wouldn't branch out into these areas someday instead.
Awkwardness aside, our exchange did bring something to mind.
Just because I claim to be Catholic does not really mean that others should assume that I automatically live up to higher Christian moral standards. I may have been baptized into the faith, but if I am not attempting to live it out on a daily basis, I am not setting an example of Christian behavior exemplified by Christ, nor am I being a witness of His great love.
If I am not careful, my little world will stay that way - confined to my own life.
Truly living a Catholic life literally transforms the world, whether I realize it or not. This is true for the young mom raising children at home, the man balancing prayer and service to others in-between corporate meetings, and the elderly senior praying unceasingly for the world as he/she prepares to enter the heavenly kingdom.
Being Catholic Christians requires authenticity.
Let's not just say we are Catholic. Let's live our lives in ways that do not hide the candle of our faith under a bushel. In a time in history when we are often told to "own who we are," let us do just that.
May we constantly strive to be who God made us to be - His head, arms, and feet - to a world longing to be loved and set free.
So what really goes on in the minds of kids when they hear or read Bible passages? Check out our first stop-motion video in our new "Bible Brainstorms" series: I Can Fly!
Cute, short and whimsical, we hope that kids will come away learning a new scripture passage each time.
Enjoy and feel free to send us ideas for more in the series (perhaps based on the ideas of children in your own lives?).
Have a truly blessed day!
There is no doubt about it: I'm a Martha. This fact is apparently so obvious that I was even given the role of Martha of Bethany years ago when I was involved with a Passion musical. Partly attributed to ADHD, I have an innate desire to move, plan, talk, etc. In other words, I am like so many who have a brain that never seems to stop when it should. I operate on setting and fulfilling goals, am a certified list maker, and live by a calendar - usually.
Does this mean I am organized? Sadly, I still leave much to be desired in that area. Does it mean that I don't desire to stop moving? No.
The truth is, I have no problem picturing working beside Martha as she planned, cooked and served dinner for Jesus and her guests. Deep down, I would have greatly desired to listen to all He had to say, but something inside would have driven me to make sure that all of the physical needs were met before I ever would have taken the time to sit at His feet.
One would only need to ask one of my kids to know that I would have probably beat Martha to the punch when she insisted that Jesus command Mary to serve instead of recline to listen to His words, and it has taken maturity into adulthood to truly understand how wrong that would have been.
As a teen, I remember feeling stung personally by Jesus' admonishment towards Martha. I could NOT understand why He claimed that Mary was making the better choice. I really, truly, just couldn't get it. I think that knowing I would have behaved so similarly to Martha made it very personal, almost as if He were speaking directly to me.
He was, of course.
Little did I know just how much I would struggle in my Martha role as I journeyed forward into the future!
As my family has grown, I have been beyond blessed to get know moms who have managed to figure out how to become both Mary and Martha. They've taught me how incredibly important prayer is during daily life. They have taught me that sometimes you have to throw the schedule out the window to take advantage of an unexpected opportunity for quality family time. They have taught me to recognize the "Godincidents" in my life which show that God is guiding me and reminding me of His great love.
They have also taught me a word that my brain doesn't seem to want to acknowledge: STOP.
STOP to pray.
STOP to listen.
STOP to see, hear, and touch.
Mary understood this word well.
Are you a Mary or a Martha? Are you a combination of both? As the Church celebrates St. Martha's feast day, it would be a great time to reflect on these questions.
We are all a work in progress. For those of us who incline to be more like Martha, perhaps we can whisper the word STOP to ourselves once in a while throughout the day. It just may send a message to the brain to transport us, even if for just a moment, to the feet of Jesus.
He can hardly wait to meet us there.
Photo attribution: https://pixabay.com/en/feet-man-feet-foot-male-barefoot-2429438/
So, what do you get when you have 97 Catholic YouTubers register for a first-ever hangout? A recipe for success!
This past Saturday, many Catholic YouTubers from around the globe joined together to listen to talks, enjoy break-out sessions and pray. It was a little like an online mini-retreat/conference for YouTubers!
The session was the brainchild of YouTubers "That Catholic Couple," "Steve the Missionary" and Maria Mitchell, producer of the channel "Ascension Presents." YouTubers from "New Catholic Generation" and others assisted in leading the live break-out sessions as well.
The goal was to bring a variety of content creators on YouTube together to join as a community to support and encourage the Catholic presence online. One of the neat features of the hangout was its focus. A YouTuber's channel didn't need to be specifically Catholic in its delivery. As Daniel Glaze from "That Catholic Couple" explained, even if a channel taught viewers about laundry baskets without saying anything necessarily Catholic, this hangout community was the place for them. Encouraging Catholic channels to provide clean and moral content in whatever area they are called to deliver is the point.
One topic that piqued my interest during the live break-out sessions was the acknowledgement of the very prominent Mormon presence of clean content found on YouTube. My family and I have often discussed this reality, wishing that there was a way to increase the Catholic presence online in a similar way. It would be impossible to deny the appealing affect that the Mormon content has had online, and it seems that trying to attain a similar goal as Catholic Christians would be a huge asset to the Church. As Steve the Missionary stated, "Where people are, so should the Gospel be."
Soooo....if you have a Catholic YouTube Channel, check out this quick video that called all of the YouTubers to join the hangout! It will give you some idea of how the next hangout will be and you can send them a message to sign up (which hasn't been scheduled yet as an FYI).
And...if you don't have a channel, check out the comments on the video below from tons of different Catholic YouTubers who would love to have you check out their channels and support the Catholic Christian presence online!
Sometimes, doing what Jesus asks of us isn't always as clear as it might seem in today's world. Join in our newest video that gives some over-the-top examples - (some obvious and some not!) that remind us that our everyday behavior makes a difference in our lives as followers of Christ!
We would love it if you would like it and subscribe to our channel if you haven't already...we are excited at an upcoming opportunity to join other Catholic YouTubers to create a more prominent Catholic presence online!
Have an amazingly blessed day!
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Be With Us, Holy Spirit!
Enjoy some songs to help us become closer to the Third Person in the Trinity!
If a song's title includes (family recording), please refer to the blog entry on 3/8/16 for info...
Hi! I'm a Catholic mom who loves to encourage and support others in their journey to live the beauty of our Catholic faith in a modern world. It can be a struggle, no doubt, but God has given us the tools we need! Join my family (both immediate and extended!) and me as we take on this incredible journey of our path to holiness.
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