What God is Doing in Holywood – 2/13/19

Hello Holywood!

There has been a lot of great news this week. So let’s hop right into it!

Awards season is an opportunity for a lot of prayer and testimony of progress in Hollywood. Unfortunately, the general thought about awards season is that there can only be one winner – but this is simply not true. Artists, by nature, probably deal with rejection more than any other profession on the face of the earth. So this can be a point of prayer.

For instance, the Hollywood Prayer Network released a Bible devotional through the Bible App on the issue of Rejection. This can be really helpful for any artist – but we should especially keep in mind those who are nominated during the award’s season. Luckily, organizations like the Hollywood Prayer Network exist to provide prayer partners, events, and Bible-based materials to help those in the entertainment industry because they view it as the single most important mission field on the face of the earth. And our first piece of news this week? The reversal of rejection! Earlier in the week the Academy of Arts and Sciences announced it would be cutting the presentation of 4 awards during its televised broadcast: editing, cinematography, live-action short film, and make-up and hair styling.

However, in just two days – after I am sure a lot of praying and a lot of protest including a letter signed by some major movers and shakers which can be read here: Open Letter – the Academy reversed its decision and announced it would be celebrating and telecasting all of the awards categories. Although, on the surface, this doesn’t seem directly linked to Holywood and the Kingdom of God, we believe it is. “God is no respecter of persons” (Acts 10:34). So why should we be here on earth? An article announcing the decision – after the Academy fought back against doing so – can be found here in Rollingstones.

Upon review of the website for the Oscars one can discover the hierarchy that exists – a branch executive committee under a Board of Governors where all membership applications are filed.

So, it’s helpful to keep in prayer all of the members of the Academy. They may all have great accomplishments and be very talented in their fields, but none of this excuses them from acts of mercy and justice. Seeing as how the Academy just went through its largest influx of diversity in its entire history, the reversal may be perceived as evidence of changes for the better in the Academy. Let us continue to watch and pray!

Now, in the music world, we have two artists and four different awards to give gratitude for. Tori Kelly and Lauren Daigle both won two Grammy’s each this year – not only for their musical excellence, but for their Christian ambassadorship in the epoch we are living in. Tori Kelly took a leap of faith and got married this year while Lauren Daigle faced tons of backlash for performing on the Ellen show. With a doubt, the presentation of these awards are not only for musical accomplishment, but for the kind of role-models that artists can be and, dare we say, the purity of their hearts. In both cases, we can truly say that we are praying for and blessing both Tori and Lauren through this big step in both of their artistic journeys! They say a picture says a thousand words so we decided to link to this article which has some wonderful pictures from the evening: Premier UK.

Lastly, we have another beautiful award’s night story that actually comes from the United Kingdom. Here’s the video of her acceptance speech which was not scripted at all. She thanks God numerous times and also gives a message of hope to young people struggling with depression. Leticia Wright is known most through her acting in Black Panther, which is also nominated for Best Picture in the Academy Awards. Her speech, “Thank God” is really touching and inspiring not just for people of faith, but for those who have struggled with mental illness, also.

Since we usually close with a prayer, we thought it would be appropriate to directly take scriptures and thoughts out of the Hollywood Prayer Network’s Bible App devotional. Let’s not only pray this for ourselves, but for all those who are in the entertainment industry. Here it is:

Psalms 66: 20: Praise be to God, who has not rejected my prayer or withheld his love from me!

Psalms 94:14: For the LORD will not reject his people; he will never forsake his inheritance.

Luke 10:16: Whoever listens to you listens to me; whoever rejects you rejects me; but whoever rejects me rejects him who sent me.

I Timothy 4:4-5: For everything God created is good, and nothing is to be rejected if it is received with thanksgiving, 5because it is consecrated by the word of God and prayer.

Dear God, I praise You, for You have not rejected my prayer or withheld Your love from me! I know, Lord, that You will not reject Your people and You will never forsake me, who is Your inheritance. I praise Your holy name and embrace You as You have embraced me. Please give me the wisdom to not judge, accept, or reject people by their outward appearance, but to be like You and look at people’s hearts. Thank you that nothing is more important to You than my heart and my intentions. How sobering that You reject people who appear to be great in our eyes but whom You can see as hypocrites, phonies, or liars. Don’t let me reject anyone whom You see as beautiful on the inside! You equipped 72 people and sent them through the land to tell people about You, giving them the power and authority to speak truth to the masses. Your promise to them is the same as it is to me today; that because I represent You, I am empowered to live a Christ-like life with the confidence that if anyone rejects me they will be rejecting You. Please remind me that I can’t take people’s responses personally, as long as I’m living for You.

Jesus, it’s sobering to know that You were rejected by the people You loved and that we can be rejected by people as well. But thank You that I am chosen by You and I’m precious to You. Your children are like living stones being built into a spiritual house to be a holy priesthood. I want to keep offering spiritual sacrifices acceptable to You. Don’t ever let me reject You, Lord, for You have chosen me! I reject every kind of evil in my life. I want to love people but I want to see where the enemy is working and reject His evil deeds and avoid his fiery darts. Please give me wisdom to see evil for what it is and the discernment to know when to turn away and flee and when to stand up against it. Help me to fight the spiritual battles, without fear, in Your name. Thank You for protecting me against evil and showing me how to reject it, but helping me to not fear it so I can stand strong against the spirits and principalities in the heavenly realms.

Oh Lord, teach me how to accept all people, regardless of their color, education, background, attitudes, life styles, or personal choices. Please help me to remember that You have accepted me, just as I am, so, I need Your help to understand that this isn’t about me or other people, but I need to accept others so that it can bring praise to You. I know that everything You have created is good and nothing is to be rejected. I want to receive everything you give me, with thanksgiving, even if it doesn’t appear to be good. I know that everything that happens to me, everything You give me and everything around me, is consecrated by Your word and my prayers. So, let me embrace everything that comes my way as good, or as something that You can turn in to good. Amen.

 

 

What God is Doing in Holywood – 2/6/18

Good morning, Holywood!
As always, there are some great things happening in the Kingdom of God and we are really happy to be able to share them with you today. We’re going to be looking at a few articles here that cover the most widely observed “Christian celebrities” out there right now. Now, we’re not doing this to try to idolize or increase the stress of personality on them, but rather to keep them in our heart of prayer. It has recently been talked about in the Body of Christ that God is definitely doing a “new thing” on earth with his Church and his People. Here is a breakdown of what this is and why it is important to our work in reporting on Holywood.

Traditionally, there have been Church pastors, Church apostles, Church preachers, Church prophets, Church teachers, etc. that the body of Christ has reported on. This is done through wonderful sites such as Christianity Today, the Christian Broadcast Network, Charisma News, and others. However, there has recently been discussion about God doing a new thing as in Acts Chapter 6. Let’s take a quick look at that Scripture:

“And the twelve summoned the full number of the disciples and said, ‘It is not right that we should give up preaching the word of God to serve tables. Therefore, brothers, pick out from among you seven men of good repute, full of the Spirit and of wisdom, whom we will appoint to this duty. But we will devote ourselves to prayer and to the ministry of the word” (Acts 6: 2-4, ESV). That’s for the traditional Bible readers.

We’ll also examine the Message Translation,

“It wouldn’t be right for us to abandon our responsibilities for preaching and teaching the word of God to help with the care of the poor. So, friends, choose seven men from among you whom everyone trusts, men full of the Holy Spirit and good sense, and we’ll assign them this task. Meanwhile, we’ll stick to our assigned tasks of prayer and speaking God’s Word!”

This is happening right now! The traditional teachers, wonderful men like John Piper, John McArthur, T.D. Jakes, Bill Johnson, Francis Chan, and many others, are focused on the flock, focused on the Church and, in the times we are living, very rightly engaged in prayer and speaking God’s word!

However, there is a new function developing in the body of Christ and, for the sake of practicality, we will call it Kingdom Ministry. The Kingdom Ministry is not about supporting the existing Church and its population, but rather bringing the gospel in full force to the many people who are outside of the Church walls and yet still poor in spirit (wiling to receive the teachings of Christ). In this way, we can actually see – most clearly – that God is doing this in a huge way through Christian actors, musicians, and artists that have gained experience and wisdom from Hollywood. Most importantly, these individuals do not avoid or ignore the existing structure of the Church, but participate and reference as is helpful and appropriate.

This will lead to nothing less than exactly what it did in the early Church, “And the word of God continued to increase, and the number of the disciples multiplied greatly in Jerusalem, and a great many of the priests became obedient in the faith” (Acts 6: 7).

Very briefly, we will look at the concept of priesthood in a post-modern and, dare we say, post-Christian world. Levitical priesthood was focused on two main things: care for the tabernacle (later the temple as described in Numbers 1: 48:53)  while the New Covenant priests would become the living temple of God (I Corinthians 3: 16-17). Many scriptures could be used to support this idea, but let it suffice to say that in Christ Jesus all believers are made kings and priests and now have the power to worship in the presence of the Lord wherever they go – including into places sometimes thought of as “unholy” and “evil” by the larger Church community. One last scripture from Isaiah clarifies the type of heart and character these priests should have (in addition to having the character and heart of Christ, of course), “He who is humble and contrite in spirit and trembles at my word” (Isaiah 66: 2).

These are the new priests that God is calling up out of the entertainment spheres of Hollywood and we will get to look at good news from three of them today – very exciting! In the not so distant future, we will also begin to look at examples of the way that God is raising up Kings for Holywood out of the marketplaces of technology and business. But we’ll wait a little while longer before we add that into the mix.

With that said, let’s look at the good news from Chris Pratt, Justin and Hailey Bieber, and Stephen Baldwin.

This video from the Late Show provides excellent detail to this new thing God is doing. The conversation between Chris Pratt and Stephen Colbert shows, very clearly, the three elements previously described: care for the tabernacle, being a living temple of God, and being humble and unashamed of God’s word. Watch this video, “Chris Pratt discusses the Daniel Fast” and at around 3:48 when Stephen Colbert first mentions “The Daniel Fast.” What’s so beautiful in watching this clip is realizing that Mr. Pratt is quite self-aware that he is discussing the Bible and a religious teaching, but he is able to do it in a way that still seems very attractive to people who would otherwise stay away from religion.

Chris also takes a quote from Church pastor and teacher Christine Cane in her sermon, “Be the Light in the Darkness.” The quote is, “If the spotlight that is shining on you is brighter than the light that comes from within you, it will kill you.” Chris later specified the source of the quote on his twitter the next day, “That’s it! Christine Cane…

Christine Cane’s video containing the sermon this quote is from has about 3,000 views while the Chris Pratt interview has over 150,000. The point here is not who can get more hits, but how the message that God wants to communicate is getting to everyone who should hear it regardless of religious identification. As the beautiful comments under the Late Show video shows, atheists and secularists are standing up for Chris Pratt’s right to share his faith against other people who are criticizing him for it. It is bringing the gospel not in a supernatural way, but in a very down to earth and natural way that relates to people who are not religious or self-identifying believers in Christ. This is the purpose and power of the Kingdom which is different then the purpose and power of the Church.  They work beautifully together.

The next is Justin and Hailey Bieber’s cover article from Vogue Magazine, “Justin and Hailey.” This is another perfect example of the Acts 6 paradigm. Here we have two Christians under the age of 30 who are watched and beloved by, literally, millions upon millions on the face of the earth. They are not in careers that involve preaching or teaching The Bible to others, but they clearly study the teachings of Jesus and of Scripture while also modeling and singing. This is the epitome of saltiness in our world today. Literally.

And so when the article mentions two main pastors, Judah Smith and Carl Lentz, it is doing justice to the goodness of God within the Church, also. In fact, a quick on-line search of both pastors lead directly to information about their Church rather than about them personally. This is important in driving people to faith rather than to personality. And it is also integral to the Acts 6 model – the good works that serve the poor [in spirit] by Justin and Hailey in their opening up about their marriage glorifies God, uplifts Jesus, and also points people to the Church which will, inevitably, grow the Church. Do we see how this is working? It is incredible!

As a side note, while writing this I searched Justin Bieber’s “Purpose” on YouTube because it is mentioned in the vogue article and what is fascinating is after one Justin Bieber song plays, the rest of the follow up tracks are all worship music from Bethel and Hillsong Churches. This is without searching any Church or religion related material into YouTube, yet the streams are all connected! “By their fruits you will know them” (Matthew 7:20).

In a time where Christian-faith is being more and more connected to politics (unfortunately or not unfortunately depending on how you see it) there is also a whole stream and connection happening between Christianity and art and entertainment. This is very important for the growth of the Church.

And speaking of Church growth, our last piece of news is connected to Hailey Bieber’s (formerly Baldwin) dad, Stephen Baldwin and his new film, “The Least of These.” This movie is incredibly timely – one reason is because India is now, for the first time in recent history, one of the top ten most dangerous places to practice the Christian Faith according to Open Doors USA. But just as important in the news is a recent Barna survey that shows that “Almost Half of Practicing Christians Believe Evangelism is Wrong.” The plot of the movie deals with a law in India that banned any form of proselytizing or converting to Christianity and an Australian pastor, Graham Staines played by Stephen Baldwin, who dares to preach the gospel to the most vulnerable and detested in Indian society, lepers. The movie comes at a time when Church growth in India is threatened by murder, rape, and coordinated attacks all across the nation. A closer look at this issue can be found in this article in the UK magazine Express titled, “Christianity Crackdown.” Having a cinematic portrayal of missionary history abroad is important for Christians living in America where comfort and religious freedom have seemed to bred not only a lack of urgency in sharing the gospel, but a disdain for it!

******SPOILER ALERT FOR THE MOVIE****

This is a link to an Interview with Pastor Staines’ wife Gladys who tells how her husband and two sons were burnt alive for the missionary work done in India.

*****END SPOILER ALERT****************

Never have we here at the Holywood Blog felt more convicted that God’s plan is at work. We are hopeful that there will continue to be incredible growth in the Church and that every time we post here, we are making a difference in hastening the development of God’s Kingdom on earth.

Bless you all – let’s close it out with a prayer.

Father, we thank you that the blood of the martyrs is the seed of the Church. We thank you that no force on earth can stop your plan, your will, and your glory from breaking through wherever you intend. Thank you for the evangelists, prophets, apostles, pastors, and teachers of the Church, the organized structure of Jesus’ life and love being used to communicate the gospel of his crucifixion, resurrection, and salvation to all the earth. We also thank you for the new generation of Kingdom evangelists, prophets, apostles, pastors, and teachers who are being used in creative ways to communicate the good news of Christ to the world and to help shine your light in a way that brings them into the larger Christian fold. We play for all of the hurting people scouring the internet for peace and truth and that you would use media, music, and cinema and other forms of art  to speak directly to them and bring them consolation and purpose. You are at work and we joyfully acknowledge and praise the work that you are doing. Thank you, Jesus!!! We bless all of those who you have called and anointed for priesthood and ask you to increase the unction of authority, wisdom, and revelation over them. Strengthen the bonds of Christian marriage and bless the children who are just coming into the world. Keep us all from the evil one and purify these streams of media to become living water directly from the heart and belly of Christ. Amen.

 

 

 

 

 

 

What God is Doing in Holywood – 1/24/19

Hello again, Holywood! As always, we’ve got nothing but good news about art, entertainment and media acting under the incredibly merciful and sovereign hand of the Almighty. Fantastic!

We’ll start off today with an inspiring trailer of everyone’s feel good cinematic expressions – Football Movies. Outspoken Christian athlete, Tim Tebow, produced a film that is going to hit theaters on February 22nd of this year called “Run the Race.” In watching the trailer you quickly realize, “Hey, this is just like every other football movie ever (sort of) except God and Jesus seem to be way more prevalent.” Since everyone generally understands that God and Jesus have an incredible passion for football – especially for the Los Angeles Rams (Hollywood included!) who will be making their first Superbowl showing since the year 2000, there is a lot to celebrate in Hollywood this season! It doesn’t hurt that the Rams are one of, a few, NFL teams with Biblical names. What’s the best passage that might describe the Superbowl team this season? “Abraham looked up and there in a thicket he saw a ram caught by its horns. He went over and took the ram and sacrificed it as a burnt offering instead of his son” – Genesis 22:13. Interesting about the potential prophetic connection between this film and the Rams coming into the Superbowl. Could it be that the message that believers are receiving is – “Don’t leave Jesus out of sports! Don’t leave God out of entertainment!” Be willing to sacrifice the NFL team, the sports, the fame, the money, the celebrity, but never sacrifice Jesus? Whatever its prophetic meaning, there will be an incredible opportunity to pray during that game and we invite you to do just that on February 3rd. Ask God, “What is the  significance of this Superbowl and how does it relate to the divine destiny of America and the world? What do the Patriots represent? What do the Rams represent?” When you ask God about sports and entertainment, you’re never disappointed.

In fashion news this week, Christian designer and stylist Natalie Manuel Lee is launching a six-episode television show on the Hillsong Channel that interviews unashamed Christian athletes, musicians and supermodels including Hailey Bieber, Kelly Rowland and Tyson Chandler called “Now With Natalie.” The mission statement of the show is pretty heavy – but most important in our day and age: “To nullify, dismantle, and pull back the veil of counterfeit identities and purposes sold and consumed through popular culture.” The taste-making show’s creator also wrote, “Our worth and value is not in things or job titles…We are complete in Christ. We are chosen. We are FREE in Him. That’s our identity.” What an incredibly important message to be shared via Instagram and social media to a generation of Millennials and those in Generation Z who are yearning for these truths without the traditional religious baggage that sometimes accompanies the words of the message. Bless Natalie Manuel Lee, her family, and the good work she is doing for the Kingdom of God.

Lastly, rather than going to the usual standard fare of Grammy-award nominated Christian musicians for good news, we’re going to actually look at the most hidden – and nefarious – of entertainment expressions: pornography. Now, before you respond violently, we will give glory to God and thank all of the Christian organizations in America that are doing outreach and specific, targeted evangelism on groups of women who are in the adult film world and who are successfully pulling women out from what is not much more than a glamorized sex trafficking industry. By the way, worth over a billion dollars in our world today. Our story today is about Brittni De La Mora, formerly known as Jenna Presley, who was once considered the world’s “hottest” star of pornography. But through the power of vigilant prayer her life was completely turned around and she and her husband, Richard De La Mora, now minister to the broken and hurting out of a church in San Diego, California. You can read more about De La Mora’s journey in this article titled, “World’s Hottest Porn Star Becomes Christian After Voice of God Dissuades Her from Committing Suicide.” There is so much hope and power in her testimony, in the transformation she experienced, and in what it means for anyone struggling with sin in our world. Points to pray about from the article include that 40 million Americans regularly view pornography on the internet and that 47% of Christians report that pornography addiction is a “major problem” in their home. De La Mora says that now her life is dedicated to Christ, her main purpose is ” just to let people know there is a God who loves them no matter what they’ve done.” God’s love is strong enough to break through anything and it is at work in Hollywood and the parts of it that are supporting and producing pornography. The love of God is more satisfying, attractive, and interesting than any carnal desire and the importance of marriage, celibacy before marriage, and self-control and the ruling of the body and mind by moral virtue and the grace of truth of Christ are paramount to the stability of our society. Let’s rejoice in the truth that God has his hand on our lives, on our children’s lives, and that He is reigning over all right now. Most importantly, we can declare that creativity and creation are natural expressions of God’s people and that it is natural to want to create and to openly share the glory of God through his creation rather than consume or give place to sin and shame. This is the truth of the gospel!

Our closing prayer today comes from Jeremiah 29:5, 7 and the 91st Psalm,

“Build houses and dwell in them; plant gardens and eat the fruit of them… Also, seek the peace and prosperity of the city to which I have carried you into exile. Pray to the Lord for it, because if it prospers, you too will prosper.”

Heavenly Father, we thank you for everyone in the city of Los Angeles – and in particular the regions of Hollywood and Burbank where so much creative production is done for the film, television and music industries. God, we declare right now a righteous revival at hand – repentance and resurrection power – in the life and actions of our Savior Jesus Christ impacting not only believing Christians, but all people. We thank you for an acute awareness of your unfailing love within every heart of every man and woman and child in these places. Awaken us all to Your divine creativity working and growing and expressing itself through us all, every moment of every day. Thank you for the provision, resources, joy, wisdom and sense of stewardship of this land of Hollywood and Burbank which is made for your purposes and no other. We receiving the blessings of Psalms 91 over our lives here, “Because you have made the Lord, my refuge, the most High your habitation, no evil will befall you or any plague come nigh your dwelling place…I will deliver and honor you, satisfy you with long life and show you My salvation” (Psalms 91: 9-10, 16).

Parable Tellers: Paramount Studios

Paramount Studios, the only film studio with its base of operations still actually within Hollywood, is a fascinating story of perseverance, diligence, and faith. It begins with Adolph Zukor, a Hungarian Jew, who came to the United States with $40 sewn into his coat after he lost both of his parents in Europe. Through a life of hardship and hustling, Zukor began investing in Nickelodeons at the turn of the 20th century which would eventually give way to “talkie movies” many decades later.

Two soon-to-be famous men, William Goldfish (later Goldwynn) and Cecil B. Demille joined Zukor with another man, Jesse L. Lasky, colliding with film distributor W. W. Hodkinson in 1914, who had a vision of how his “Paramount Distributing Corporation” could entice several independent producers to distribute their films through his corporation on a 65-35  revenue sharing basis.

Just two years later, all of the aforementioned independent producers joined forces to secure a hold on the film production scene in Hollywood and they formed the Famous Players-Lasky Corporation, Zukor was President, Lasky Vice-President, Goldfish chairman of the board, and DeMille in charge of production. With newfound strength in their partnership, the men bought the majority of stocks in the company, ousted Hodkinson from Paramount, and renamed the whole thing, “Paramount Pictures.” These men are largely responsible for creating the film production industry in Southern California.

In 1926 the company purchased “United Studios” and moved to its current home still on Melrose Avenue in Hollywood. The company struggled through the 1930’s, like many cinema studios, and grew stronger and stronger through the next several decades until it released its biggest box office success to date: The Ten Commandments. It also helped produced Ben-Hur and, more recently, the remake of Ben-Hur (2016).

Just on the other side of the wall of Paramount Studios is the Hollywood Forever Cemetery where many of the early movie stars contracted with Paramount are now buried including Mary Pickford, Douglas Fairbanks, and Rudolph Valentino.

As Paul states in Ephesians, “For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places” (Ephesians 6: 12).

Knowing the history of Hollywood studios – particularly Paramount – helps us to understand the kinds of principalities and powers we are wrestling with today – addictions, idolatry, murder, adultery, greed, etc. The history of Hollywood – and of its stars – is rarely pretty. Paramount is no exception. However, important lessons can be gleaned from this studio, especially since it has the longest and still-standing placement and history in Hollywood proper.

Today the Paramount Studios franchise is known for Transformers, Mission Impossible, Dreamworks films, and more. Let’s keep the executives of Paramount, including CEO Jim Gianopulos, President of its Motion Picture Group Wyck Godfrey, President of Production Elizabeth Raposo, Magnate Sumner Redstone of Viacom, and President of Worldwide Marketing David Sameth in prayer as well as everyone who works for the studio. They have a very large library of films considered to be “legacy content” that contains countless hours of moral and cultural messages that are not only valuable for their entertainment, but for their educational worth as American artifacts, as well.

In an age of digital streaming and new-comers into the film and media arena (Amazon, Netflix, Apple, etc.) it is important to remember the capital and power that these more traditional film studios hold and their original rooting in devoutness, religion, and a respect and love for God. Pray for their ability to weather the current sea-change and to come out of it with a stronger faith in God and desire to produce content that honors and glorifies Him.

 

What God is Doing in Hollywood – 1/16/19

Hello Hollywood and the Whole Wide World!

This week, of course, God is doing great things in Hollywood! However, the links and ideas this week are going to look a little different than usual. Rather than turn to Hollywood news sources to see what good stuff God is doing, we thought we would look directly at the Church and trace the lines to understand the larger picture of what God is doing.

First off, let’s have a laugh with the on-fire social media Church commentator John Christ. The #7 trending video on all of YouTube is titled, “If Bible Characters Had iPhones.” It would appear as if these types of videos are proving to be the best vehicle for sharing Biblical knowledge and understanding in our social media heavy world. It doesn’t take a strong stance that offends and builds resistance, but rather brings a wise and wonderful light-hearted chuckle to the body of Christ from the inside. These types of videos are going to prove more and more important as our “culture wars” – especially in America – become more inflammatory.

Secondly, we’ve got another great example of media evangelism through a television show for kids called “Superbook.” Based off of a cartoon that premiered on Japanese television in the 1980’s as a way to introduce the local people to the gospel of Christ – and caught fire really quickly with Japanese tv stations! – Superbook was re-imagined in the 21st century and now watched by over 162 million people in 45 different languages around the world. The end credits theme titled, “Salvation Poem” has been sung by 100 million children and is, truly, beautiful. Take a listen – it’s a powerful tool for sharing the good news of Jesus Christ!

Thirdly, there has been a movie secretly in production about the Roe v. Wade case that legalized abortion in the United States of America. Flying far under the radar because of the intense political opposition within Hollywood to the stance the film takes, this movie starring Hollywood heavy-weight Jon Voight as Justice Warren Berger just had its first trailer released up ahead of the March for Life Rally 2019 in Washington D.C. this weekend. You can sneak a first peak here, “Roe v. Wade Trailer.” Without any commentary on the political positioning of the film, it is worth a mention here because it shows a potential new strategy for film production and release in our culturally sensitive times. Usually, a film does all it can to drum up media attention before its release – but these kinds of projects are actually relying on silence in order to even get made. Whether we will see more of this in the future will be determined on how decentralized we find film-making become outside of the major four studios and any hegemonic agenda dominating the broad-scope of cinema in America.

It’s worth closing here with a Scripture, “Follow after love, and desire spiritual gifts, but most of all that you may prophesy” – I Corinthians 14: 1.

Cinema is a powerful tool of prophesy and it is important that it is not used to influence negatively or control the minds of the viewers of art. Our closing prayer today will be for mercy, justice, and freedom for artists – whether their panoramas are cinema, social media, music, animation or television. Spirit and Truth are necessary to the brilliant vibrant of any art and we are truly entering into an incredible renaissance era of truth-centered, spiritual media that will be used to awaken and empower the masses rather than stupefy and cripple them.

May God continue to bless all those who use art to awaken and inspire!

 

 

What God is Doing in Holywood 1/9/19

Hello Holywood!
God is doing some great things as usual and, although not always the most obvious, we have a lot to be grateful for. Let’s take a look at a few:

If you read our History of Holywood post a while back, you’ll find that there used to be a very amiable relationship between major Hollywood studios and organized Christian religion. For instance, one of the most influential lobbying groups on the studios were a group of media-savvy, prayerfully vigilant nuns who visited with heads of studios to make sure that spiritual and moral values were being upheld in the films and television. And, although there is much to be desired in our current expression of organized religion, anytime that God and those who commit their lives to him are on the big or silver screen, it’s worth paying attention to. A tv show about the Catholic Church, previously called “The Young Pope” is entering into a new season with new actors. Although less than flattering, the show fulfills an important “watch” on organized religion by exposing some of the hypocrisy and worldiness that so many lament in the Church. A nice article about it can be found here, “The New Pope.” Praying for our leaders, including those of the Vatican, is a part of our work as Christians.

Our next news comes with a focus on something we don’t hear that much about these days – The Bible! The book of Job is a timeless literary treasure that helps people cope with stress and tragedy, reveals some of the most scientific methods and teachings in all of the Scripture, and also includes an epic face-off between God and Satan – totally worth a read! But, it’s also super long and, with people’s attention spans pretty short these days, why not whet their appetite with something that gets them engaged in the original text? There was recently a production announcement for “The Book of Job” found on IMDB which would make it one of several contemporary spins on Job including Academy-Award nominated “A Serious Man” by the Coen Brothers and “The Tree of Life” by Terrence McKenna. Let’s take a moment to pray for The Book of Job film, it’s writers and producers, and that it comes to fruition in a way that honors God and the spiritual intent of the text.

And, speaking of Job and, well, the devil, our last piece of great news may seem a little off – but it’s not. Recently, at the Golden Globe Awards, actor Christian Bale gave thanks during his acceptance speech for best Actor in a Comedy to, well, *kind of awkward* satan. In case you are hearing this for the first time, the context is that it was tongue and cheek because he thanked him for inspiration for the role he won for – a former Vice-President. But let’s set politics aside for a second and talk about why this is actualy good news. It’s been known for a long time that occult rituals and satanic worship and abuse can be found throughout Hollywood and those who control the media. A man named Christian, with a last name that also represents an ancient god whose worshipers hated Israel, exposed this satanic worship during his acceptance speech. And while we shouldn’t take it lightly as simply “good news” it is definitely a major call to prayer. Prayer for actors, prayer for studios, prayer for politicians, prayer for Christian Bale, prayer for everybody. Interesting note, the director of the film actually suffered a heart attack while filming the movie which, evidently, has many scenes of heart attacks in them. And here’s where we can bring it all together.

Psychosomatic illness is a well-documented phenomenon that is connected to what we call “the placebo effect.” Except instead of getting better, the “nocebo effect” is when you get hurt or worse. Clearly, thinking and talking about and shooting movies about heart attacks will have an impact on your mind. This is what the director of the film found himself a victim of. Now let’s connect it to satan. Worrying about, focusing on, and obsessing about satan will, in the same manner, lead to encounters and experiences with – you got it, satan! This works for both Christians and satanists! If you think and obsess about how evil satan is and how he is after you as a Christian, you will undoubtedly experience those fears. As the book of Job says, “For the thing I feared has overtaken me” (Job 3:25). And for satanists who spend a lot of time reciting spells and rituals that “conjure” up satan – same thing. They have such convicted beliefs about the devil that they actually begin to see and experience their own beliefs. Is this brushing off the devil lightly here? No. Jesus Christ himself says, “The devil is the father of lies” (John 8:44). So we know that God is real and the devil is a liar. So what can we do here? Focus on God – focus on what is real, focus on good. This is the best antidote to the devil – in Hollywood or anywhere else for that matter.

The prayers were sort of built into our news this week, but that doesn’t mean we can’t have one final prayer here:

“Heavenly Father, we thank you that it is you we worship. We thank you that you are the Lord of all heaven and earth and worthy of our worship. We thank you that we do not worship satan and we have no desire to do so with any of our gifts or talents, time or energy. Since we know the devil was a leader of worship in heaven before the rebellion, and now wanders to and fro looking for who he can devour, we ask you to not only protect and cover us from evil, hide us and keep us immune to all forms of evil, but also give us the spirit of worship for you, Oh God, through our art and our expressions of entertainment. Give this spirit of worship for all who are in Hollywood and in the entertainment industry. Help teach us how to honor you in our work as artists and wisdom and strategy for how to share it in a way that brings you glory. Speak to and interact with the many film and television producers and makers all throughout Hollywood, Los Angeles, and the world and give them inspiration and opportunity to tell the stories YOU care about and YOU want us to watch. In Jesus’ name we pray, amen!”

 

What God is Doing in Holywood – 1/2/2019

Well let’s start off the New Year with a New Song of good news! There are some great things to report when it comes to music streaming and the power of God – let’s take a quick look, ok?

Drake’s song “God Plan” was the number one work-out song on Spotify for all of 2018. It’s awesome that God gets the glory for that! This variety article is a good example of how most modern media plays off the importance of God in musical artists lives, but is still worth a quick read: God’s Plan Dominates the Workout Charts!

In additional music news, we have a nice article about the top Christmas songs streamed on-line for the season. How nice it is to have data backing up proof that God is dominating Hollywood! This TubeFilter article shares the top 10 Christmas songs this year, “Top 10 Christmas Songs of 2018” which gives us ample understanding of the influence of the acapella group Pentatonix which has members that, apparently, love Jesus. Awesome! Their most gospel-centered song on the Top 10 was “Mary Did You Know” which has a really, beautiful video. Oh, and by the way, it has almost 200 million hits. Nice.

Lastly, in news that may not apparently be related to Holywood, but definitely is, is the peacemaking deal between Disney and Verizon which allows Verizon subscribers on the FIOS platform to continue watching Disney properties including ESPN and Disney Channel without blackouts. Why is this important, you say? Because it shows the actions of a Christian company coming from the Walt Disney Company – far from perfect, but still very important to the Kingdom of God. Jesus said, “Blessed are the peacemakers for they will be called the children of God” (Matthew 5: 9). Walt Disney and his brother Roy ran their business with Christian principles for many, many years and it is a miracle that the massive corporation of Disney still retains these threads of Christianity. Thank you, Jesus! Keep up the prayers for Disney! In fact, let’s close this out with one:

Holy Spirit, come to Hollywood! Inhabit the media corporations and production studios and animators and creatives, Oh God and allow whatever they make to be pleasing in your sight! Let all of this media give off a sweet savor to you, Father! May these pieces of moving image and sound become prayers for your Kingdom to come. May artists who are inspired to create pieces that bring glory to you God not be intimidated by the enemy. May justice and mercy and heavenly joy emanate from these pictures! May business people who have the finances and resources to make these projects be paired with pure-hearted and holy minded individuals who love you, Oh Lord. May the watchers and intercessors arise to keep praying specifically for these companies and may we be encouraged to see development and good that comes from you God, each and every week. Thank you for this good! Thank you for the community you are growing who cares about Holywood and is willing to work for its manifestation. We pray for the artists who feel inadequate, insecure, unstable 0 break off all of those lies and let them hear your voice saying, “Well done good and faithful servant! Keep going! You are doing great. I am with you every step of the way. Nothing can stop the destiny I’ve placed on your heart and for your life.”
Yes, Lord. we have ears to hear that voice and no other. In Jesus’ name, Amen.