Film-Making Friday

It's been such a fun week! On the heels of Tuesday's blog post, where I shared my love for movies, I was overjoyed to receive the official trailer for the upcoming Same Kind of Different As Me film as well as the 48-hour countdown for the release of Ben-Hur, produced by my cherished friends, Roma Downey and Mark Burnett. Today marks the official release of Ben-Hur, which is such a special movie to me, foremost for its message of mercy, redemption, freedom and hope in Christ, and secondly because it's being presented to the world by such a special couple. It was just two spring breaks ago that my oldest daughter Blakely and I went to California and spent a wonderful afternoon in the home of Roma and Mark. We had connected, of course, because of our work with Angels (who didn't grow up watching "Touched By an Angel"?). Besides a timeless story and talented cast, Roma and Mark are helping the lead way to shine God's light in an industry that has often shied away from presenting the Gospel. Through their production company, Lightworkers Media, a division of MGM focused on creating inspirational content, they are constantly striving to create faith-filled excellence on film and television. I am so proud to know such strong faith leaders, and I cannot wait to see Ben-Hur. I encourage you to grab your friends, family, and a jumbo popcorn and enjoy it together this weekend. Click HERE to learn more about the Ben-Hur movie and where to follow along on social media! And of course, what a coincidence (or, well not a coincidence, since I know how God weaves events together) that the Same Kind of Different As Me long-awaited trailer would be released and begin showing in theaters this week! In 2007, I had the utmost pleasure of meeting Ron Hall and Denver Moore, the central characters in the true story of Same Kind of Different As Me. Over the years, Ron, an international art dealer, has become a confidant and champion of the work I'm doing. In fact, his name may sound familiar if you have read Angels In Our Midst, as he wrote the foreword. Although he has since passed away, it was such an honor to have met Denver in Knoxville, TN, as I stood between him and Ron signing prints and being amazed at the people God was bringing into my life. As you watch the trailer, and when you get to see the full movie, know that Djimon Hounsou, who plays Denver, sounds exactly like Denver did in our time together. I can clearly remember 2012 like it was yesterday. I had just released Angels In Our Midst, and Ron was staying with us during our launch event. He came down the stairs with the script to the movie version of his beloved book, and we placed our hands on it and I prayed over it, knowing that God had big plans for this movie. Almost exactly one year to the date, I received a call from Ron while I was in Dallas, and he excitedly told me that my painting was going to be in the movie... I hurriedly asked him which movie, and he just as enthusiastically confirmed that Same Kind of Different As Me was being produced. What?! One of my first questions was who was playing who, and I have been blown away by the cast, which includes Greg Kinnear, Renee Zellweger, Djimon Hounsou, Olivia Holt, Jon Voigt and more gifted actors. That December, some of my team flew to Jackson, MS to see the behind-the-scenes of a movie set in action. We spent the entire day on set as they shot scene after scene. The excitement was palpable! And now, the trailer is here! I urge you to share this trailer with your friends and can promise you that like Ben-Hur, this will be a great movie. It's such a joy to see two films preparing to make an impact for the Kingdom the way these two are! Our team has given out hundreds of copies of the powerful book Same Kind of Different as me and will continue to spread its message. Have you read it? Our team would love to hear how it has impacted you! Click HERE to learn more about the Same Kind of Different as me movie and how to follow along on social media! In November, we are releasing our third - and largest - coffee table book titled Angels - The Collector's Edition. This limited edition book will feature content from the original Angels In Our Midst, including Ron's foreword, and more than 200 pages of new content from music artists Amy Grant, Steven Curtis Chapman and Audio Adrenaline. Our main goal of Angels - The Collector's Edition is to give back to organizations who are committed to fighting homelessness and poverty across our nation. We can't wait to share more details with you in September! Until then, you have plenty to watch thanks to Roma, Mark and Ron.