What does your spirit say about who you are? Do you find yourself to be a critical person, do you feel the need to police others, do you have an angst against one group who doesn't believe what you believe so much, that you say things against them? Would you describe yourself as bitter, a failure and not valued? Do you have discipline in your life, except when someone cuts directly in front of your car when you are driving and then you "lash out"?
Pastor Craig Groeschel said something huge this week and I want to expand on it a bit. He said, "We all have the ability to walk lines of spiritual depth and truth in one minute and in the next minute, do something wrong, something hugely wrong or horribly punitive in a way that absolutely compromises everything we are and what we stand for in life.". He made the statement he can go a whole year living in discipline without having pizza, burgers, candy and pop and in a moment if someone on the road while driving cuts him off, he can change his spirit, sin and become another person of anger.
When the Bible says "All have sinned and come short of the glory of God", it means we all have an innate sin nature which is part of who we are, whether we want to admit this, or not. We can transition from Dr. Jekyl to Mr.Hyde in zero to sixty seconds and we can foolishly do things which are self inflicted spiritual wounding. By making decisions which are wrong, we can crater our lives! This has been true in my life, has it yours?
Remember this truth when these things happen. NEVER SAY ITS OVER... Just because things did not go right.
The real lesson here is... just because we have failed doesn't mean it's all over. In fact, this might be the beginning of turning your failures into real success and the decision is yours. You don't end your statements with God in a "period", but with a "comma". Your future is not decided for you because you have gone through something bad so you throw in the towel and quit. You are not pre-judged and life is not over if you find your life full of mistakes you wish you could "do over", because you can begin again in your life.
This is a huge lesson isn't it? The ability to forgive is not something we know or even understand in the natural, but I thank God in the supernatural He does forgive us when we do fail. Some people love to be policeman. You know, they enjoy showing you when you are doing something wrong, but they never see the world from their perspective do they? Its a blind side and we are all much easier known by helping others, than even ourselves sometimes.
Our facts are simple, we make mistakes but we don't have to live in those mistakes and we can rise above the issues into a life of victory. it starts with admitting we have a problem, talking to people who can help us, going to the Lord in a prayer of true repentance and walking a new direction. We all know the song, "Don't stop...believing". We have to keep believing, continue to encourage each other and know a future can be changed.
WHAT IS GOING ON IN VERITAS
VERITAS ARTS UPDATE
Each of you every week remember our V team in prayer. VERITAS ARTS is our future and as we work with the ARTIST OF HOPE - RON DICIANNI we are beginning to refine, market and promote THE DICIANNI COLLECTION to the world! We are thrilled at this opportunity to tell our story to the nations about how you can find yourself in the paintings of The Bible from THE DICIANNI COLLECTION. Please remember to pray for our entire V team as we embrace the marketing, financial and promotional challenges ahead. Using art to impact our culture with the Good News is what we are about!
THE SULTANTA DOCUMENTARY
Monday, April 27 in Memphis, Tennessee, we are honored to attend the premiere of a small documentary film we contributed to help via the Kick Starter program. It is brought to you by Sean Astin (Rudy, Lord of the Rings) and Mark Marshall (Goonies, Raiders) and you will find this Civil War story to be moving and impactful. Please remember to pray for these wonderful people as this story accurately portrays the lives of the soldiers lost in the worst maritime fire of the Civil War.
A.D. THE BIBLE CONTINUES
Mark Burnett and Roma Downey continue telling their famous story of truth from the Book Of Acts each and every Sunday night on NBC! Now, the largest network television series in history running ten weeks is continuing to impact so many others. Thank you so much for watching, telling your friends and continuing to promote this wonderful epic series for audiences everywhere. Use this opportunity to invite a friend over and watch it together.
We have some prayer requests here at VERITAS we want to share. Our hearts are burdened by the earthquake now killing over 1200 reported in Nepal. This tragedy is so very tough on so many wonderful people. Please pray for those like Samaritan's Purse and others who are reaching out to help with Aid and Resources.
Many Veritas 300 members need our prayers in a myriad of health crisis and more. Our V team is working each day of every week to respond to your requests when you write email@example.com, pray for your individual needs, pass it along and more. Our FB page VERITAS MISSION FILMS group allows each of you to write your personal prayer requests you would like shared publicly. Please use this vital resource.
ILLUMINATIONS UPDATE - 13 Week Series
ILLUMINATIONS had a most important strategy meeting last week in Grove with Rabbi Landry, Paul Marcellino and the entire family. We need you to pray for the doors to open for us to take this epic Israel Based 13 week series to network television via cable. Looking for the right partner, preparing the right materials and asking for God's favor is huge to us, so please put this on your prayer list and you can find out more about House of David on their website and even donate to this wonderful series where VERITAS is partnering.
Recently we were asked when we do we start our next film for VERITAS ENTERTAINMENT or even one of our non commercial films like documentaries and Jesus based projects for VERITAS MISSION FILM ASSOCIATION? Thank you for this important question and allow me to help you understand our process.
We don't start any film for either organization until we have all the finances in the bank to complete the project. Even then, we ask for prayer and that God would protect us, station His angels about us as we embark on this journey. Then, we carefully consider the optimal placement for the property so as many people can see it as possible.
VERITAS ENTERTAINMENT (VE) is our film production company which makes the movies in the for profit world and has the brand and reputation from LAST OUNCE OF COURAGE and THROUGH THE VALLEY.
VERITAS FILM ASSOCIATION is the apostolic prayer network and non profit covering for all we do. There are a few films which VMFA will contract VE which are Christ centered, faith based films with educational contact which are in VMFA, but the non profit engages VERITAS to make the movies in order to impact culture with truth.
Here are the films we are praying for financing as I write this blog, so please pray for these important stories to be told. Which ever story has the right Executive Producer, we will create first.
Rockhead Johnson - A leader of the Compton gang whose life was transformed
My Journey To Paradise - Dr. Heng Lim's amazing story of rescue and restoration
Hero The Rock Opera - Eddie DeGarmo's fabulous music journey into the life of Christ in an allegory
Jesus The Last Supper - Jim Gromer's epic tale of His last days
Swords Of Fire - Two brothers fighting on different sides of the Civil War in the Battle of Franklin
Treason - A Jag officer faces the greatest danger of his life standing up for truth
Memory Road - An American Graffiti style film between a father and son
The Director - The redemption based comedy set in a pursuit of Broadway
Lord Have Mercer - True story of the epic run of Mercer beating Duke and winning an ESPY!
OUR ONLINE STORE UPDATE
If you would like to have your personal copy of some of the films I have been on the team which created, you can get them here online in our store. Here they are:
THROUGH THE VALLEY - Coming out in September
BEYOND THE GATES OF SPLENDOR
END OF THE SPEAR
LAST OUNCE OF COURAGE (VCI)
LAST OUNCE OF COURAGE SHOWING & MEMORIAL DAY VETERAN'S PARADE - PIGEON FORGE
In a few weeks, Marshall Teague will be bringing LAST OUNCE OF COURAGE to the people of Pigeon Forge in their Veteran's Biker Memorial Day Parade on May 23! Marshall is the grand marshall and they will be showing LAST OUNCE OF COURAGE later that evening. If you are in the area, please make a note to attend this wonderful tribute to our veterans, our real heroes and for their sacrifice!
It sounds crazy and if you have never stopped for a moment to realize the impact of your own immortality. As we get older, so many of us have stared death in the face, and we have changed. When I was growing up, people would talk about getting old, but we were so blessed in our family and so very few times in life would people would actually expire. Family members just kept living and living and periodically, we would suffer a tragedy, but not often.
In recent days, I have met so many tragic lives where the story is so completely different. The loss of innocence took place so very young, childhood was never fully understood as a result. This week, I spoke with a friend who was put in prison in elementary school for "life" for putting five people in a coma, who ran prison systems and was one of the most violent gang members who ever lived. He had eight brothers and sisters all who had different dads and he never knew his father. These are the kinds of people who "have" seen their own funeral, many times.
My life was different tho, and so only later in my life would I begin to understand truth. When utopia has a tendency to set in to a format we believe equals our destiny, the surreal and powerful impact of loss awakens us to something more. Lessons learned are many but being able to articulate those truths and move to a higher level in life just isn't easy, in fact its very hard.
Our question today is simple....Have you ever attended your own funeral?
This means taking the time to visualize and experience the end of what your own life would be. Did you see the ramifications of your life, the legacy you are going to leave and the truth in what you are facing being imminent. Sure all of us have heard, "One out of one dies" but I don't think we think about this very often and many of us go into denial and don't even want to discuss the reality. Family members of mine don't even go to funerals so how could they consider this?
When I went through my stroke in January having understood what was truly happening the overall impact was profound. However, this is truly just now becoming more "present". In fact, losing my mother had a greater and more negative impact than even my own stroke. Losing her dwarfed my own illness, but it brought about a truth regarding loss, bereavement and more. While I had gone through a tragedy, I had not faced my pending death.
Trying to "analyze" and figure out where someone goes when they die, why we had to say goodbye to soon and how do we cope in the loss of a parent, spouse or even child is one of the most devastating realities there is I do believe.
Its been said if six people die, its a tragedy, but if 6000 people die, its just a statistic. Do you see how dangerous it is in our world to realize loss, mourn and intercede for those who are in pain?
I remember a memorial service in a home of family members remembering the love shared by a beautiful woman who had lived an amazing life. A grandmother whose legacy lives on today and through the tears, there was a calm, a joy and a happiness in the middle of sorrow. It is surreal now to consider. Equally I remember the total devastation I was not prepared to accept in the loss of my mother and while others were able to have joy, I had none. One woman was expected to leave a full journey realized while another was more unexpected.
Different funerals bring about different emotions don't they? However there is one truth which all funerals I have attended, and this is the key emotive word...GRACE. We all need grace when we lose someone close to us but there are times our anger, our bitterness or our state of mind might impede this and even thwart the results. Its not easy accepting grace when we are struggling, even when it is all around us.
So I saw my funeral before me and realized there were so many things left undone. There were many words I had wanted to share, but hadn't. Finding work which needed to be done, logistics when needed to be planned and the future so uncertain was concerning. The rush of urgency had filled my mind and heart and then, there was a stark realization. Because of this, I am trying to be different and more attentive, communicative and sensitive.
What I had to remember was this...God still loved me, He still knew my pain and was sending comfort to my broken heart. God cared for me and for every family member and friend in my life and it was more apparent, His love. I misjudged my own funeral's real impact because without Jesus Christ in my life, I would not be able to even go on and move forward. Suddenly, it was not about religion, it was about relationship. All those silly things that I deemed important were not.
Please stop today and consider the future, the relationship you truly have with Him, not just for "presentation" but for your inner most heart. Remember to pray for those in need, for those in pain and for those who are hurting because the future is filled with fear. Get together in community and be with other people who love you. Your life matters more each and every day. Never underestimate the power of your words and continue to live in love, even when those around you may not be in the same place.
I love you more than you know,
Dear Veritas 300
Prayer has been such an essential element to the success of everything we do. its not "a thing" but everything. There are many people I have to thank for this too. People I trust and believe in who laid a foundation of prayer in my own personal life. Have you ever thought about people who prayed before you who are now gone to heaven, but they interceded for you. From great grandparents, to even great great grandparents long before you were born, who believed in God's protection. The same power of prayer is being sent for you this very hour.
Today, I am praying for each of you, for your family and for your future. I am praying for my children, my children's children and their children's children. Why? its really simple because I believe in what prayer can do, the power of prayer and the ramifications of prayer when we don't pray. I often think one of the greatest sins of omission is not asking those who are closest to us, to really pray and bring things to the Lord which are important. When your direct report is Him, there is power and a peace in this. Jesus Christ is my one and only direct report.
Coming up this week are several major items in our lives I would like for you to pray about regarding our future and I wanted to take an entire blog to lay them out there and as you "think on the future" would you mind lifting up these requests to the Lord for us? Some prayer requests will take us through May.
RON DICIANNI - Ron, Grant and Warren have become dear friends of mine since last August when I had the chance to share with them THROUGH THE VALLEY. We are moving into a new strategic relationship where the future will be in the hands of VERITAS ARTS. We are asking for your monthly interceding for us in this new venture. This week is a turning point so thank you in advance for praying even now.
MICHAEL BECKMANN - Michael has become a dear friend through a major motion picture film fund where he serves on a board with "called" people. He invited me to attend a special 3 pm Thursday West Coast Meeting with filmmakers and financiers. Please pray for wisdom, for a special time together as we consider the future. We are inviting over two dozen influential people, some believers and some not to attend.
TIM MINER - Tim and Hope Miner have been like family to us and we have a strategic meeting to discuss Green Nation, HERO THE ROCK OPERA and a future in building and creating impact together for VERITAS. These precious friends are cornerstones to our future and when I was in need the most, they came running. Pray our time together is the best to give us the minds and hearts of Him.
LARRY JONES - He shared with us recently the dire need our world is in regarding feeding children and our heart is breaking for many reasons. Over 25,000 kids are starving to death every single day and nobody is doing anything about the food crisis. Please remember these precious children in your prayer and a future where they CAN be fed. I know him personally and vouch for his real testimony in caring for children. This is his life.
JORDAN BARNETT - Jordan Barnett came to our home last week to talk about putting together a short documentary called DEALING WITH GRIEF and producing a music video for TIME WAITS. This is an important assignment in class, but I believe an even more important part of life, dealing with the loss of loved ones and more. We need your prayers over this area because we see a huge future ahead filled with obedience in serving
MARSHALL TEAGUE - I have talked about this favorite actor thanks to Darrell Campbell for years and I believe Marshall is an incredible hero. He served our nation, has been involved in motion pictures and is speaking in May at a huge festival in Tennessee where they are showing LAST OUNCE OF COURAGE. Please ask the Lord to touch him in a special way on May 23 as he is in front of thousands along with Johnny Hodges.
MARK BURNETT & ROMA DOWNEY - Thank the Lord for these filmmakers who are making noise in the market for truth. I am so honored to be part of their promotions team in a tiny tiny way. Please pray a hedge of protection over them as we know what happened to Mel Gibson after his bravery in launching PASSION OF THE CHRIST. I believe in this family and their burden to reach the world. Thank you especially for staying TRUE to scripture.
ROCKHEAD JOHNSON - Brad Hirou introduced me to the ROCK in LA as one of the most violent and cruel leaders of the gang wars in Compton ever. He changed and transformed his life because of Jim Brown the famous NFL player who began to love the unlovable. I am going to be calling on him in LA to talk about the future. Ask the Lord to touch this important and strategic meeting on behalf of LONETREE ENTERTAINMENT.
FUTURE FILMS - Obviously the greatest request we have is for "strategic direction" on our next film, the slate of films and the screenplays. Both in the feature documentary to feature film genre, we want to be exactly where God is working most. Darrel and I are finishing TREASON for Don Brown and we need your prayers for this. We continue to believe in MY JOURNEY TO PARADISE for our mission trip to Cambodia. HERO THE ROCK OPERA is heavy on our hearts and believe is key to sharing hope with the world. JESUS THE LAST SUPPER is Jim Gromer's story I believe is going to be part of the future.
Thank you for praying. Thank you for believing in the power of an apostolic network of champions who gather to say a word of prayer over people who matter. Hopefully, as you have read this prayer overview you have in your spirit been praying. If not, try this....
LORD, WE ASK FOR YOU TO INTERCEDE IN ALL OF THESE PRAYER REQUESTS FOR VERITAS. LET EVERY MEETING BE LED BY YOU, THE WORDS SHARED, DREAMS DREAMED AND FUTURE BE ALL YOURS. THANK YOU FOR LOVING US AND ITS IN YOUR NAME WE PRAY OVER THIS LIST, AMEN.
I believe prayer changes everything.
I love you,
All week long, passing through the forty days of Lent I have been consumed with one story. Uniquely the very age we live and the time I write this on Good Friday, the Holy Week being observed is coming to the end, I have been thinking about Jesus Christ and what He did for us. The Bible study I chose to "take on" and read /'for this season from YOU VERSION has been both challenging and reflective. Never would I have dreamed during this time of the year and in this season of my life so many things would change in my world.
Reading the account of God's word as it relates to His son has always been fascinating to me. As a young man, I remember hearing someone say something about this time of the year. They shared, "There will only be one thing which is not perfect in heaven, it will be the nail prints in Jesus hands.". I will never forget this statement as we use this day to "symbolically represent" the day of His crucifixion.
Because my chosen "calling" and profession which has been in film and using the visual language to communicate the good news of Jesus Christ and all He represents, I am humbled by the enormous amount of believers in Hollywood who continue to make programming depicting the most cruel and incredible story of the ages. A special thanks in my heart goes to Dr. Bill Bright, the real visionary which began this entire process.
THE JESUS FILM a project created by Campus Crusade for Christ has been the benchmark where all filmmakers pointed for decades since the movie was made about fifty years ago. At that time, the film production cost was 20 million dollars and it was financed by Bunker Hunt. Bill told me before he passed to remember one thing in my plight of making films, "Kevin, never compromise on how much money you spend to make a movie, because we have to do things right if we are going to make an impact on culture".
Do you realize how much money it was to fund a picture fifty years ago at 20 million? It would be like a major theatrical feature today! No matter what the financial costs were would be involved in Killing Jesus from the NATGEO channel, to NBC on A.D. THE BIBLE CONTINUES or the History Channel on THE BIBLE MINI-SERIES or other great projects to tell the story of all stories, it pales in comparison to the cost of what He did for us.
I want us all to stop and think of the miracle of Easter.
What began as a man who changed the world with His teachings of loving God and loving others was brutally attacked and created the worst execution of all. This man named Jesus was the revolutionary and he was all man, but He was also all God. He was interrupted to create miracles, He didn't grandstand to please the masses. He did not use God's power which calmed the sea to even save Himself from His accusers.
The Passion Play in Eureka Springs called me this week to talk with me about helping them and the director Randall Christy had been in my home thanks to Arch Bonnema from Texas to see LAST OUNCE OF COURAGE. He is looking for robes and Biblical costumes to continue to improve the outdoor experience he is trying to convey and he is under grave spiritual attack. The community around him has witchcraft, sorcery and sexual prevision and they all hate him and they hate the story of Jesus.
Eddie DeGarmo and I have a dream to make HERO THE ROCK OPERA into a feature film. Its the musical of Jesus told in an allegory where if Jesus had never been born and he was raised in Harlem how different the world would have been today. The concept of this incredible allegory which I began praying about over six years ago is absolutely powerful. Eddie told me, "If Jesus had been here today, he would have quietly gone to hospitals where patients were dying with AIDS and healed them, just like He did the lepers". I wish the world could see this kind of love. If God sees it well, I plan to make this dream a reality with some of the finest musicians anywhere.
Jim Gromer looked over a decade to find me and talk about his screenplay JESUS THE LAST SUPPER because he spent five years writing a story about the last week of Christ and how Jesus would wash the feet of the disciples to begin this epic Biblical adventure for feature films. When I read his screenplay, I wept and Jim donated this screenplay to our non profit VERITAS MISSION FILMS ASSOCIATION because he and his wife believed in our approach and humility toward sharing the gospel.
These dreams are incredible, but they dwarf the amazing story of His love for us when He willingly agreed to be taken, to be tried in a court system which was corrupt and through betrayal from a friend was scourged, whipped almost to death and then crucified on a cruel cross. Its such an amazing story no man could have created this kind of adventure in writing. No screenwriter or filmmaker could ever possibly epic the power of what truly happened.
Mel Gibson felt the attacks when he developed THE PASSION OF THE CHRIST. His twelve years of vigil to make this movie would forever change His life. When he came to our company EVERY TRIBE ENTERTAINMENT, i suggested we fund the P&A for the picture, but the owners did not feel this was a good idea. So often, when an idea is not yours, there is an underpinning to pass. However, I could not have picked a more powerful picture to fund.
Here is the reality. Most people don't have the stomach to want to portray something so horrific as what happened on Good Friday, during the final week of His life or anything Biblical. Only the greatest champions would dare to get behind a HERO THE ROCK OPERA or a JESUS THE LAST SUPPER. Plus, if you try to attempt to tell the story of the miracle of Easter or the aftermath of the Savior, your entire "reputation" is forever scarred by Hollywood's elite.
What Christ did for me this week would pale in comparison of anything I could ever do for Him. I don't deserve His grace and His love, but I am so forever thankful He loved me enough to do this horrible thing. I have accepted Him into my life and call Him my Master. I have chosen to follow His red letter teachings and am not just enchanted by His words, but moved to change my life because of Him. I may not always do the right thing, but I am totally accepting He is alive today, He is with my mother and our family, friends and people I have lost who know His love.
Today, I celebrate He is risen and He is risen indeed! The miracle of Easter lives. It does not need a movie, a song or another book to convince me. May our lives be a reflection of His love more than any property we ever create. May we have the courage to do more for Him than we could ever imagine or believe through His power alone. May we never take credit for anything, but give ALL the credit to a Savior who loved us so completely.
This story of the miracle of Easter is living. Make it part of your life and let it live in you...forever.
Kevin McAfee is a filmmaker who writes for the purpose of inspiring others to make a difference in the world through faith in God and using the visual language of film. His blog shares the hopes of impacting culture, because his heart is in media missions and the church.