Showing posts from August, 2019

Another Sleeper Hit? A Review of “Overcomer”

Alex and Stephen Kendricks are former pastors from Georgia who have gone on to become successful filmmakers. The two brothers have put together six powerful faith-based movies over the past sixteen years. Their 2015 release “War Room” reached number one at the box office. Hopefully, their latest production “ Overcomer ” does likewise. I saw it two days ago. Alex plays John Harrison, a high school basketball coach who loses players due to a local manufacturing plant shutting down and families moving away. Meanwhile, the principal (played by Priscilla Shirer who starred in “War Room”) asks John to oversee the school’s cross-country program. The coach is reluctant but agrees to do so. Only one student shows up for the tryout: a fifteen-year-old girl with asthma. Despite Hannah’s handicap, she gradually improves her running skills.  During a hospital visit with his pastor, John inadvertently meets another patient who had lost his sight and legs due to diabetes. As they get to kn

The Great Apostasy

In recent weeks there have been reports of two well-known Christians drifting away from the faith. The first was a former pastor who wrote the bestseller “I Kissed Dating Goodbye.” Joshua Harris later apologized to those who were negatively impacted by the book. He has since separated from his wife and participated in a gay pride event. The other is Hillsong worship leader Marty Sampson. This past week he wrote an Instagram post saying, “I’m genuinely losing my faith...and it doesn’t bother me.” Marty later deleted that post and clarified he wasn’t renouncing Christianity but admitted “it’s on incredibly shaky ground.” 1 Timothy 4:1-3 and 2 Thessalonians 2:3 warn of great apostasy in the last days. Webster’s 1828 dictionary defines apostasy as “an abandonment of what one has professed; a total desertion, or departure from one's faith or religion.” Heresy hunters falsely label preachers they don’t agree with as “apostates.” An apostate is “one who has forsaken the church, se

Memories of a Former Gamer

As a teenager, I played a lot of video games both at home and in public places. At 14 I bought an Atari Video Pinball console. A year later I saved up my money to purchase an Atari 2600. While in high school I spent close to half my paychecks into coin-operated games. This was back in the days of “Space Invaders” when aliens simply disappeared when you shot them. The games weren’t as graphic as they are now. In the mid-1980s I decided to cut back on video games. Aside from wanting to focus on a music career, many of the newer games required you to spend more money just to get good at them. Nevertheless, there were times when I put chunks of change into “Dr. Mario”, “Klax”, and “Tetris.” I also enjoyed playing games like “John Madden Football” and “Sonic the Hedgehog” when with someone who had a Nintendo or similar system at home.  I was never a fan of violent games. In 1993 while briefly working for a video game dealer, I was shocked to see blood splattering from the charact

Born To Be Alive

If someone were to guess what my all-time favorite song is, one might assume it would be a hymn or inspirational tune. There have been a few that touched me over the years. However, one particular song stands out from the rest. In July 1979, I was fifteen years old and went on vacation with my family. One night in my motel room, I turned on a radio and for the first time heard “Born to Be Alive” by Patrick Hernandez. I already knew about the song since Casey Kasem had announced it was #1 on Billboard’s disco chart. I liked it immediately with its entrancing synthesizer sounds, dreamy strings, and catchy guitar riffs. Two weeks later (and exactly 40 years ago today), “Born to Be Alive” debuted on “American Top 40” at #40. I taped the song off the radio and for the next several days played it over and over (even today it still gives me goosebumps). Soon I bought the Patrick Hernandez album of the same name. Meanwhile, I continued rooting for “Born to Be Alive” to hit #1 on th