Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Kinnear and Reilly Bring Realism to 'Heaven' Movie

Greg Kinnear and Connor Corum star in "Heaven is for Real." (Sony Pictures)
When the book, “Heaven is for Real” came out in 2010 it was practically an overnight success and a lightning bolt for controversy. Written by Pastor Todd Burpo and father of the boy who visited heaven, the book has sold millions of copies and has become so popular that Heaven is for Real Ministries was established in May of 2011. It is then no surprise that a movie has been made about the experience.

The simple storyline is that 4-year-old Colton was rushed to the hospital and had a near-death experience where he went to heaven for a short visit and then told everyone about it.  The previews of the movie suggest that the story would be treated with a heavy dose of saccharine and for the first ten minutes or so, it is.

The Burpo family is a model for society. In addition to his preaching duties, Todd Burpo (Greg Kinnear) runs his own business, volunteers for the fire department and coaches Little League. His wife Sonja (Kelly Reilly) is a stay-at-home mom and leads the church’s choir. Their children are little angels. They are well-liked in their small town and even though the Burpo’s struggle financially, Todd doesn’t ask for help in fear that if he does so, people would think that he is just another money-grabbing preacher. Everything is perfect, so it seems. However, stick with it as the story gets better.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Video of the Day: How "Frozen" Should Have Ended



So, I'm a huge fan of "Frozen," but this is pretty awesome too.

This Day in Pop Culture: April 15, 2013

Boston Marathon Targeted for Terrorists
The 117th Boston Marathon was more eventful  than previous runs due to the fact that on this day in 2013, two bombs went off near the finish line. More than 260 people were wounded but thankfully, only three were killed. Four days later, a large manhunt for the bombers and a city shutdown was held. Police were able to capture 19-year-old Dzhohkar Tsarnaev, but his older brother and fellow suspect, 26-year-old Tamerlan Tsarnaev, died following a shootout with police earlier that morning. Although, no one knows for sure, Investigators believe that the Tsarnaevs were motivated by extremist Islamic beliefs but were not connected to any terrorist organizations. In July 2013, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev pleaded not guilty to the 30 federal charges against him. He is scheduled to stand trial in November 2014, and federal prosecutors have announced they will seek the death penalty against him if he is convicted.

Monday, April 14, 2014

This Day in Pop Culture: April 14, 1912

The RMS Titanic Hits an Iceberg

The inspiration for James Cameron’s 1997 epic, Titanic began on this day in 1912. The British passenger liner, the RMS Titanic, was only on her maiden voyage from Southampton, UK to New York City when it smacked into an iceberg. Within a few short hours it sank on April 15th causing the death of more than 1,500 people (2,224 passengers were on board). At the time, it was the largest ship afloat with the most advanced safety features but only carried enough lifeboats for 1,178 people. Many of those who survived, lost all of their money and possessions including their primary bread-winners. Men who survived were accused of cowardice and were treated poorly.

Kari Jobe's 'Majestic' Is a Quiet Tribute to Our God

Everything seemed to just come together for Kari Jobe and her new album and DVD, Majestic. The live album was recorded at the end of last November at the aptly named Majestic Theater in Dallas, Texas. The album also features the song, “How Majestic,” which was originally started by Matt Redman and Chris Tomlin. The story goes that Jobe’s manager had just booked the Majestic Theater for the live recording when she got a call from the songwriting duo. They explained that they had been working on a new song, but kept thinking of Jobe and asked if she wanted to be a part of it.

The song sits in the middle of the album like an anchor holding everything else together. Jobe wanted to emphasize that God’s majesty is like nothing else by creating a song that builds with anticipation. In the end, the lyrics are simple but powerful:
Without a word, the mountains speak - The song that all creation singsThe painted skies, the sun and stars - The heavens tell how great You areThe heavens tell how great You are How majestic is Your name - How majestic is Your nameJesus, wonderful, powerful - You’re the Lord of allHow majestic is Your name A rugged cross, a humble King - How beautiful the mysteryThat love would bleed from majesty - All rise, all rise in highest praiseYour name will reign through all eternity - Our hope, our strength, our victoryWe bow down, down at Your feet

Sunday, April 13, 2014

This Day in Pop Culture: April 13, 1902

J. C.  Penny Opens its First Store

James Cash Penney, Jr. opened his first store, the third in the small chain of Golden Rule store on this day in 1902. By 1907, the owners who took Penny in, dissolved their partnership in 1907 and Penny took them over. By 1913, the stores were renamed the J. C. Penney Company and in 1916, the stores starting appearing nationwide. In 1929, the total number of stores rose to 1,400 but the stock market crash during the Great Depression left Penney in personal financial ruin doing everything he could to pay his employees. The stress was so great, that he checked himself in at the Battle Creek Sanitarium. It is said that after hearing the hymn “God Will Take Care of You” during a chapel service there, he became a born again Christian.

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