What God is Doing in Hollywood 12/7/18

Hello Holywood Family!
We had a very exciting week with a lot of really rich media content to share with you all. We waited until today so we would have specific links to share. So here we go!

A week ago we published news of a Steph Curry produced film called “Breakthrough.” And now we have a trailer to accompany it! It tells the story of a mom who prays for her son to come back to life and, well, let’s just say the results are Biblical in proportion. You can watch the trailer here: “Breakthrough Trailer.”

We’ve also shared in the past about those in Hollywood who are laboring for the Kingdom of God and mentioned an event called “Hollywood Arise.” Well, some of those same people behind Arise are also instrumental in a record label that just released it’s first single through artist Michelle Williams formerly from “Destiny’s Child.” She triumphs issues like mental health, freedom from depression, and her love for Christ in a way that is palatable for current Hollywood standards. Let’s support and pray for her and those supporting her as she moves forward to champion heaven’s plan in Holywood! You can listen to the single here, “Fearless.”

And, last but not least, is a performance from the television show “The Voice” featuring a creative version of the well-known song “Amazing Grace” performed by Sarah Grace. There has been a lot of talk about this on the internet – some saying it’s a wonderful example of worship music, others deriding it for its “unholy” mix of auld lang syne and a praise song. Regardless, the importance here for the Holywood Blog is to acknowledge how the principles of God’s kingdom are received and appreciated by contemporary culture with expectation and hope that they will be all the more rapidly adopted to reveal the Kingdom of Heaven right here on earth. With that said, here it is: “Amazing Grace.”

Now, let’s close with a prayer we can all unite in:

“Now if we be dead with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with him: knowing that Christ being raised from the dead dies no more; death has no more dominion over him” (Romans 6: 8-9).

In Jesus’ name, we declare the Life and Light of Christ in Hollywood and Los Angeles right now! We break off and annul all covenants made with death and darkness and we lift up Christ as the righteous example of the wholeness and fullness of life that we have been given as an inheritance. Thank you, Father that these artists and artistic works reflect only that light and life of Christ! Every messenger of death is cut off, blocked off, and the shield of faith and the fire of the Holy Spirit would burn around every godly and pure-hearted artist so that their art would find its necessary roots and grow into the great beautiful trees bearing good fruit and having leaves for the healing of the nations.

What God is Doing in Hollywood 11/29/18

As always, God is on the move in the wonderful city of Hollywood and His angels are making a splash in Los Angeles, the city of Angels! We wanted to highlight a few stories here that give a balanced picture of the continued revival breaking through the world of entertainment and media. We hope you are encouraged and excited about all that God is doing!

Our first comes from a month back but is worth revisiting even if it wasn’t broadcast too much in the mainstream media. Basketball star Steph Curry’s production company, “Unanimous” is teaming up with DeVon Franklin to produce a film called “Breakthrough” based on the true story of a young man who fell through ice and, after being declared legally dead, was brought back to life through the power of prayer. Pretty good content, right? You can read more about it in this Hollywood Reporter article about the film here: Breakthrough.

Speaking of breakthrough, our next piece of good news comes from the music industry where we continually see huge breakthroughs for the kingdom of God. Recently on the television show, “Dancing with the Stars” two kingdom artists had their worship songs featured live on the seasons finale. The article about the show’s Holy Ghost explosion and its faith-focused stars, Avril Lavigne and Lauren Daigle, can be found here: Worshiping God in Prime Time.

And, lastly, there is even light to be found in the darkness! This article from The Atlantic monthly highlights the growing trend and importance of exorcisms in our modern United States. Although heavily focused on the Catholic tradition, it brings up the importance of major Hollywood films such as The Exorcist and The Rite in a way that, to be honest, helps us to see the value in even horror movies that draw from the power of Christ. As we know, the kingdom of God does not come with talk but with power (I Corinthians 4:20). The article on the rise of exorcisms in America can be read here: Casting out Demons.

We’ll close with a prayer that, if you feel led to, you can pray aloud yourself with humble trust that God’s purpose is being carried out in Hollywood:

“Heavenly Father, thank you so much for what you are doing in Hollywood. Thank you that you are restoring the promised inheritances and blessings of your children in this city. We thank you that you are opening up doors for the gospel to be preached to all nations and that the healing and delivering powers of your Son Jesus will be felt and made manifest even more powerfully throughout this city and the films, productions and ideas that emanate from it would reflect you, O God. Thank you for the art and act and love of worship coursing through us as your offspring and that there would be more bold and blatant, unashamed and unapologetic worship of you throughout all aspects of mainstream media. Cover and protect all of your chosen vessels who are positioned as influencers in Hollywood and continue to raise up your bold and humble servants to do your will and declare the kingdom of heaven is, indeed, at hand. In Jesus’ name, amen!”

Thanks for supporting the spread of the good news in Hollywood – our feet truly are on holy ground!

Solving some of Hollywood’s Problems – 11/14/18

Although God is continuing to do incredible things in Hollywood, it is important every now and then to examine what isn’t working so well so as to provide solutions. One of the problems that has existed since, well, the concept of celebrity, has been burnout. This is not a problem confined to Hollywood. Pastors of Christian Churches experience some of the worst burnout rates of any profession in the world – this article from Christianity Today sheds some scientific light and research on the subject.

But back to Hollywood. The recent news of the planet’s most popular YouTuber taking an extended “break” from the platform is important for us to pay attention to. Lilly Singh has over 16,000,000 subscribers between her multiple channels – making her, literally, the most popular media person on the planet. No blockbuster actor has this type direct access to fans or the analytics that go with it. But unless you are steeped in digital media culture, you may have never heard of her. But you can’t really argue with numbers and the statement she makes in this recent Verge article is why this is worth talking about, “You know, the thing about YouTube is that, in all of its glory, it kind of is a machine. And it makes creators believe that we have to pump out content consistently, even at the cost of our life and our mental health and our happiness because if you don’t, then you’ll become irrelevant.”

This is, effectively, how the studio system has worked since the beginning of Hollywood. However, what we see now is a mutated, accelerated version of this same system played out on these YouTube stars. And so what is the moral of the lesson? Celebrity culture is unhealthy culture. And, Biblically, it is actually Anti-Holy Spirit. The only man who could take on complete “Superstar” status – briefly enjoy this clip from Jesus Christ Superstar for posterity’s sake: Jesus Crucified.

So, if Jesus couldn’t take the crushing kind of celebrity that humanity adulates – how could any one else? The Holy Spirit in Acts 2:4 broke out so that everyone could participate, everyone could hop into the ring, and this is the point of Christianity – to equalize and empower through signs, wonders, and God glorifying talents. And this is supposed to be the legacy of Pentecostal Christianity. So why do we still continue to lift up people to celebrity status? And, if we aren’t able to stop it, why don’t we all as fellow Christians spend more time praying for people who are in these positions?

I found myself thinking today – who are the best of the best on our planet representing Jesus? Whether they are in entertainment or media, they are still facing these challenges. And so here is my conclusion: Can we please pray for those who are out in the public square naming the name of Christ? And can we humbly cherish the privilege of these prayers? Here are a few people who come to mind:

Mike Pence

Lauren Daigle

LeBron James

Tim Tebow

Mel Gibson

Betsy DeVos

Lynsi Snider (CEO of In N’ Out)

There are others, for sure, but maybe just taking a moment today and praying for some of our brothers and sisters is a good use of our time investing in the future of Holywood? What could it hurt?

More importantly, outside of praying specifically for these few individuals, how can we pray about the offices and talents these people have been gifted with? How can we pray to see their gifts and talents multiplied outside of their own personal brand and productions? And, perhaps most importantly, how can we see these incredible gifts and talents magnified in our own lives for the glory of God?

The solution to Hollywood’s celebrity problem is not more celebrities. It is in increasing the spiritual awareness, confidence, and connection with each and every individual follower of Jesus world-wide.

More importantly, what about all the no-name nobodies who have done incredible things for God’s kingdom? Can’t we just ask that our prayers reach them, too? In all of the rebuilding and blessing still to be done here on earth for God’s kingdom, one passage stands out at this time for all of us:

This service that you perform is not only supplying the needs of the Lord’s people but is also overflowing in many expressions of thanks to God. Because of the service by which you have proved yourselves, others will praise God for the obedience that accompanies your confession of the gospel of Christ, and for your generosity in sharing with them and with everyone else” – II Corinthians 9:12-13

Holy Spirit, come. We need you now more than ever – because the hope and promise of God is greater now than ever.

What God is Doing in Holywood – 11/7/18

We’ve got some great testimonies of faith coming through Hollywood which is always proof of the power of prayer AND the power of testimony to touch people’s hearts wherever they are on the spectrum.

Our first piece of good news comes from Leticia Wright who played “Shuri” in Black Panther. This article here: How Faith Saved Me  totally proves the efficacy of the scripture, “Now they have conquered him through the blood of the Lamb, and through the Word to which they bore witness” (Revelation 12: 11). This article proves not only the power of Christ to beat depression and suicide, but it also shows the interest and desire that audiences have to hear the power of God to heal and transform our lives for the better.

The next piece of news comes from a local Los Angeles artist and Pastor named Charles Taylor who has recently released his first music video for his single, “My Father’s Love.” The beauty behind this is the importance of more artists who truly have Father’s hearts getting out into the mainstream. The passage from Malachi 4:6 says it all about why Hollywood has so many problems, “And he will turn the heart of the fathers to the children, and the heart of the children to their fathers, lest I come and smite the earth with a curse.”

Lastly, we turn to another local artist who brings a new perspective to the #metoo movement which continues to rage through Hollywood with pronounced impacts from top echelons of power. The single, “My Name is Cindy.” The beauty of this song is that it plays in such a real way between the distorted concepts of masculinity and femininity that haunt our society. But the artist here rides them to the word until the turn comes that reminds us that, in fact, we all are Cindy.

Thanks for turning in for this week’s round of good news. We are going to start closing our posts with prayers for Holywood that, if you feel inspired to, you can pray yourself:

Heavenly Father, we thank you so much for all of the creative artists in the United States of America and world who get brought to Hollywood. We thank you for supporting their creative journeys, providing all that they need, and introducing them and helping them to walk faithfully with your Son Jesus. We thank you for the creative talents and joy that break down people’s boundaries and borders and bring unity to people rather than division. We ask you to empower more screenwriters, musical writers, and kid’s programming producers to really shift the whole conversation within media from the world to your Kingdom. Send us, oh God, into this mission field and give us boldness and wisdom for what choices we need to make to move forward in this battle for the hearts and minds of the next generation: In Jesus’ name.

What God is doing in Hollywood 10/31/18

Greetings! The good news continues in Hollywood. Here are some updates:

Theater is making a comeback in Hollywood and there is plenty to give gratitude for. Theaters from North Hollywood to the Sunset Strip are engaging with Biblical and Christ-centered content with gusto. Recently, a play about angels received critical acclaim as it dealt directly with the questions and hesitations of agnostics and atheists which opened up conversations after the play that led to prayer and physical healing and deliverance for one of the audience members! God is at work!

eSports, often sitting in the shadow of more “conventional” arts and media, are getting BIG. The industry has grown over a 1,000% for two years in a row now and is on track to be worth 1.4 billion come 2020. Read more about the trends here: eSports Surge. More recently, Activision owned “Cloud9” raised over 50 million in VC funding which points to a pattern in gaming investment for VC firms, get ready! Cloud9. This is important to the Kingdom because it not only touches on the activities of literally hundreds of millions of young people, but it reveals an important platform for God to receive glory just as traditional sports stars still stand strong in pointing to Jesus after a victory.

Lastly, a revolution is also happening in the music industry – watch for trends in how digital streaming and digital platforms continue to turn conventional wisdom upside-down. But what has not changed is the importance of live performances – especially on talk shows! Lauren Daigle, unapologetically a worship artist who loves Jesus, is fresh from her performance of “Still Rolling Stones” on the Ellen show which you can watch here: Still Rolling Stones. Now, she has been invited to perform on the Jimmy Kimmel Live Show on November 7th and will have an opportunity for a more lengthy interview with the talk show host. Keep her in your prayers – and keep all Christian artists in your prayers.

Shalom and peace to you all!

Holywood Arise

This past week there was a huge event in the heart of Hollywood called, Hollywood Arise. It was amazing. You can learn more about the event’s premise at the website of its sponsor, Radiance International. Basically, for 72 hours people gathered under a tent by the Hollywood Bowl and worshiped and praised and prayed to the God of Israel and Jesus. Different musicians and preachers took one hour intervals to focus on different subjects including pornography, addiction, and poverty. I showed up around 4AM and stayed until 8AM and had some amazing experiences. I came back the next night and again encountered the presence of the Spirit of God. Hollywood will never be the same! The premise of the event comes from a movement called The Call. The initiative specifically is called “Tent America.” You can find other similar events across California through their Facebook page, “Awaken the Dawn: California.”

Speaking of California, last week I attended an event I believe constitutes Holywood although it was not in LA. This is an important expansion of the concept of Holywood which, unlike Hollywood, is not necessarily bound to a physical geography. Holywood is synonymous to the Kingdom of God in relation to media, entertainment and education. So we experienced Holywood at an incredible conference called 100x up north. The first of its kind for Kingdom business people and entrepreneurs. You can learn more here: 100X.

Bottom line: The Northern California mobilization was for Christians who feel inspired to start businesses that are on-line. It commits to breaking off poverty mindsets and orphan spirits which hinder fruitfulness and major kingdom impacts for the individual on the cultures they are called to. I am so happy to be a part of this amazing community and see a future-model for “preaching the gospel” which will take place outside of the four walls of Church.

At its essence, this is a major purpose of Holywood. To bring the core message of Jesus to those who are outside of religious institutions.

Our prayers make an incredible difference and can ignite and inspire celebrities, influencers, and business people to actually work for God’s plan to bring heaven to earth – without getting the glory for ourselves! This is also a major principle of Holywood. Those in Holywood do not strive for their own fame or aggrandizement, but instead seek to sincerely lift up the Son of Man – in doing so – God honors them and reveals their most holy and beautiful destinies as accessible here and now.

In closing, I give testimony of this via an Avril Lavigne video. For those of you who grew up in the 90s and watched music videos in the early 2000s, there is probably no one better known as a “music video star.” Every video of hers, all billion plus views of them on YouTube, feature her front and center singing with angst and teenage rebellion. Until, of course, she was diagnosed with a life-threatening disease 5 years ago and her whole life changed. After years of not releasing any music, she just came out with this video for her song, “Head Above Water” which is, basically, a worship song. Her audience, incredibly international and majorly dedicated to her brand, is now getting a dose of the Holy Ghost. Unapologetically, she explains her new art as an expression of her struggle with the illness and a change of heart in many ways.

This is Holywood. It impacts artists and scientists across the board – believers and unbelievers alike – and brings them all closer to Our Heavenly Father.

The winds of change are blowing – God has an amazing plan and we can rejoice in knowing all of His promises will be fulfilled.

Cinema, Music, Digital Media – it all belongs to Heaven. And with Jesus living in us, we are inheritors of all of it. If it belongs to God, it belongs to us as His children. Isn’t that amazing? So, now we know that, what is holding us back from doing majorly wonderful things within these fields? That’s right. Nothing.