You call that a Christian Film?

Dear 168,

I received an anonymous question about one of the films on the BEST OF 168 DVD (08) entitled "The Visit." It does merit some explanation.

The films shows a nurse making a home visit to a mentally handicapped man and talking with him. She is obviously not a person of faith and in her soliloquy, she imagines what it would be like to be posessed by a spirit like people of faith claim to be. Without knowing it, she is wondering about the presence of the Holy Spirit. Here's the question from the anonymous emailer:


I saw "The Visit"on the (Best Of 168) 2008 DVD...How does that qualify as a Christian Film and get to be a top 20? The woman in it was major worldly and talking about how cool it would be to be possessed by something...

I'm serious, I watched that with a couple of friends and we were all three clueless as to how that film made it into the top 20 AND how that film is considered a Christian film at all. Where was the redemptive value in it? How were people pointed to Scriptural truth in it? We sincerely don't understand...so I am asking.


From the world's point of view, this film is an explanation of an outsider's view of what faith and the Holy Spirit might be like. The film truthfully explores the subject from the point of view of one who does not know anything about the truth of the Christian faith.

The film is an important one and it is on the DVD to be used in this way: 1. To generate discussion for non-Christians who can relate to this point of view with absolutely no hindrance. 2. To provide a view of from the other side for Christians who have so long been in the "Holy Huddle" (so to speak) that they have forgotten how the world thinks of spiritual things.

The film is very well acted and simple, yet profound.


Seeing past the stars in LA-Polar Ring Galaxy and Laminin

Losing sight of God in L.A. is pretty easy. Often we can’t see the stars for the stars who drive cars and private jets. We settle for what can be an extremely disappointing piece of incomplete reality.

Stars and other celestial bodies are unbelievably "hugemongouser" than we can imagine, so big they deserve a new word. But for the lights, and the smog and the hectic pace of our lives, we can’t seem to remember that these things are out there—cradled in the palm of the Almighty.

It makes me feel insignificant. Moreover, it makes me really glad that I am called his friend. He knows my name.

Some perspective: the sun is nearly 865,000 miles in diameter. Earth is not quite 8,000 miles wide. Jupiter, the biggest planet in our solar system, is 88,700 miles wide. A star called Betelgeuse is 500 times bigger than the sun, and the red super giant, VY Canis Majoris is 1950 times the size of our “tiny” star, the Sun.

The distances are so vast that they can’t even be measured in miles. Canis is 5000 light-years away, and it’s brightness is 430, 000 times greater than the Sun.

Proof and comfort is in the living word of God.

Isaiah 40:11-13:
He tends his flock like a shepherd: He gathers the lambs in his arms and carries them close to his heart; he gently leads those that have young. Who has measured the waters in the hollow of his hand, or with the breadth of his hand marked off the heavens? Who has held the dust of the earth in a basket, or weighed the mountains on the scales and the hills in a balance? Who has understood the mind [d] of the LORD, or instructed him as his counselor?


Isaiah 40:25-26 "To whom will you compare me? Or who is my equal?" says the Holy One. Lift your eyes and look to the heavens: Who created all these? He who brings out the starry host one by one, and calls them each by name. Because of his great power and mighty strength, not one of them is missing.

Keeping these things in mind, where does knowledge breakdown? How do we get so wrapped up in our version of reality, i.e. the one that is visible. And how then do we ignore facts that are as close to us as looking up at the sky? And how do we then make such poor choices as to not amplify the Creator of all these things?

We breakdown in many places. In Hollywood, it starts with a bad idea that is excused on behalf of being “edgy” or deferring to someone who is perceived to have all of the power. They could be a hot writer, to whom the director doesn’t want to say no. Maybe the producer likes the script and he can hire and fire, make or break. You may see yourself as just a cog in the machine. And you are!

But you are His cog. And His control of the machine may rest entirely on your shoulders. Your part may simply be to say “no.” Or yes. Whatever the answer, we must be prepared in advance to be able to choose to honor God in all we do.

The opposite of jaded is what? Child-like?

Here’s a relatively new scientific fact:

Laminin is a protein found in the "extracellular matrix", the sheets of protein that form the substrate of all internal organs also called the "basement membrane". It has four arms that can bind to four other molecules. The three shorter arms are particularly good at binding to other laminin molecules, which is what makes it so great at forming sheets. The long arm is capable of binding to cells, which helps anchor the actual organs to the membrane.

The laminin protein is made up of three separate parts that give it a total of six "ends", which accounts for a lot of its flexibility in connecting various kinds of molecules. Laminins are a family of glycoproteins that are an integral part of the structural scaffolding in almost every animal tissue.

Laminin is vital to making sure overall body structures hold together. Improper production of laminin can cause muscles to form improperly, leading to a form of muscular dystrophy. It can also cause progeria. (more on Progeria below)

Laminin looks like this. (Clik the title link above (Seeing past the stars in LA-Polar Ring Galaxy and Laminin) or go to http://originalzchick.com/wp-content/uploads/2008/04/laminin.jpg

(the molecule is in the shape of a cross).

What is this disease caused for the lack of Laminin - Progeria?

Progeria (Greek, "old age") refers specifically to Hutchinson-Gilford Progeria syndrome. Hutchinson-Gilford Progeria syndrome is an extremely rare condition in which physical aspects of aging are greatly accelerated, and few affected children live past age 13. About 1 in 8 million babies are born with this condition. It is a genetic condition, but occurs sporadically and is usually not inherited in families.

And what did Jesus say? Mark 10:13-16
"Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. I tell you the truth, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it."

These cross-shaped molecules bind us together and keep us young (as little children). Did you get a chill?

Finally, consider this passage, which again shows how elegant and simple scripture is, yet how completely it describes the scientific realities as we discover them for ourselves.

Colossians 1:12-17:

Giving thanks unto the Father, which hath made us meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light: Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son: In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins: Who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature:

For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him: And he is before all things, and by him all things consist.

The following link will show you the "Polar Ring Galaxy," one curiously shaped like a cross. The evidence is everywhere. http://www.utahskies.org/report/20011109/HST_NGC4650A.jpg

Keep looking up.


NATPE's LATV Festival-A review

I just covered the 3-day LATV Festival for Indie Slate Magazine. It was held July 30-Aug. 1st at the Highlands (Hollywood and Highland), the Renaissance Hotel, and the House of Blues. The LATV Festival defies classification. It is truly a "how to do Hollywood" manual, encompassing a Digital Day, Content Industry Forum (formerly TV Producers’ Boot Camp) and Pitch Pit.

I was impressed with all of the real opportunities for working and aspiring professionals offered by NATPE.
What a great infusion of Entertainment Industry knowledge.

The panels were dripping with delicious, juicy info both for the newbie and for the jaded veteran. Let's face it, in the internet age, we are made to be newbies every day. The panels ran smoothly and left me wanting more (yet needing time process it all). Topics included such diverse offerings as: "Follow the Money", "Developing Original Content for the Web", and "Think Like a Marketer, Succeed as a Producer."

The "Pitch Pit" was crowded not just with eager pitchers, but also with catchers worth every bit of the wait. ABC, BET, CAA, CBS, BBC, FOX, MTV, NBC, RDF, FremantleMedia (American Idol, America's Got Talent, Celebrity Family Feud, etc.), Talpa, (brainchild of John de Mol - Big Brother, Deal or No Deal and Fear Factor), Lionsgate and more were looking for everything from Hosts to Show Pilots, and Spec Scripts to Television Series. They were not just summer interns either. It was a great coup having the "Tonight's Show" there accepting pitches for a segment where Leno's audience votes on the pitches and on the show.

Finally the "mentoring" event called "Schmoozefest" was also a great success, giving attendees new insights and connection to living, breathing executives and to each other.

For many newbie attendees, the sheer joy of being welcomed inside the studio curtain gave hope to their dreams fueling the fires of courage and creativity.

Predictably, it IS all about money. But there were glimmers of hope amongst the many opinions on the panels.

While the AOL TV/Moviefone.com representative encouraged content producers to deliver R-rated material (because if you don't they will get it somewhere else, she reasoned), others like Blip.tv and YouTube do not and will not accept nudity and certain other prurient material. They don't want to offend their audience. Imagine that!

It's convincing evidence that we must continue to embrace this, the most influential secular industry.