February 20, 2009 (LifeSiteNews.com) - Meet Alex Kendrick, a man of unshakeable faith in God, whose incredible success both in filmmaking and publishing can only be described as miraculous. Alex has six children, the eldest age ten and the sixth due to be born in April. He and his brother Stephen have no professional training in film and writing and are in full time ministry at Sherwood Baptist Church in Albany, Georgia.
The pair's third film, "Fireproof," starring Kirk Cameron of Growing Pains fame, was the highest-grossing independent film of 2008, with over $33 million in theatre sales, beating out such films as Woody Allen's "Vicky Cristina Barcelona" (starring Scarlett Johansson and Penelope Cruz), and "Milk," starring Sean Penn.
That success is all the more stunning considering the film was made with an all-volunteer, 1,200-person cast and crew, drawn mostly from Sherwood Baptist church. Fireproof is the third major film venture by the church's volunteer production crew, dubbed Sherwood Pictures. "Flywheel," produced in 2004, has sold 200,000 DVDs. "Facing the Giants," in 2006, earned $10.1 million at the box office and has sold more than 1.6 million DVDs in 58 countries, in 14 languages.
Apart from the films, the Kendrick brothers have produced a book on strengthening marriages, which is currently sitting at number one on the New York Times bestseller list. The Love Dare book, as it's called, now has 2.2 million copies in print, and the book itself was a plot device in the film Fireproof.
But far more than the box office success, Kendrick cherishes the spectacular results of the book and film in terms of lives touched. Thousands of emails and testimonials report relationships restored, marriages saved, love recaptured, and divorces dissolved. The film and book give inspired step by step advice on working to salvage a marriage, even tackling the rampant yet rarely discussed marriage-killer, pornography.
LifeSiteNews.com spoke with Alex Kendrick, finding he was more than willing to share the secret of his success - God. Kendrick, who opened each filming session with prayer, told LifeSiteNews.com that his deep faith came from the example of his parents.
"We have a dad and a mom who have really been consistent in their faith," he said. "My father was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis in 1984, had a brief time when he sank into depression and determined that he was going to praise God either way. That you don't just praise God when He blesses you, you praise Him because He is God. And that was a lesson that I watched him live out. And that has a lot to do with the way we make movies today."
Kendrick's second film, "Facing the Giants," has as its theme just that - praising God in good times and bad.
"We did not have to deal with any of the common issues in families - drinking, drugs or immoral material. We didn't have to deal with any of that," said Kendrick. "My father decided when he was a young man, after seeing those types of things wreck the former generations in my family, he decided he was going to be sold out to the Lord."
"Fireproof" deals with eliminating from family life such harmful items or behaviors, including pornography. The controversial subject was handled in the film for the sake of adults, but in a sensitive fashion so as to leave children virtually oblivious to it. LSN asked Kendrick about taking on that touchy topic.
"Well," he said, "in ministry, you tend to deal with re-occurring problems among your members and even in the community and because of cable television and the internet, men can get away with looking at immoral material by piping it into their homes. They don't have to sneak into a store and buy a magazine any more. ... As we studied and got counsel from professional counselors and as we studied what it did to marriages and families, we just realized how devastating it is and that pornography has become one of the primary reasons that couples get divorced."
The natural question for fans of the films is what's up next. But in answer to that, Kendrick could only respond with his own version of the cliché "God only knows." But for Kendrick it's no cliché, it's just a fact. "I do not have any pre-conceived notions about what all our movies are going to be about," he said. He described the process as going through a "season of prayer" where the brothers ask: "God, what would you have us to do."
As to what the brothers are up to now, the Lord, he says, has told them to, "Get your house in order." With six young children, and his brother's four, the heavenly advice is sensible. He explained we are "just pouring into our children and our families and making sure that physically and spiritually we are the healthiest that we can be."
Kendrick explained that between him and Stephen, and another brother, they have 15 children. Asked about his views on large families and contraception, he replied: "You know what, my wife and I have made all of those decisions seeking God's word and seeking Him in prayer and He has always been very clear. So, for us, He has always lain on our heart what he says in Scripture, 'Be fruitful and multiply' and 'The Children are a blessing of the Lord.' We decided that we wanted a full quiver and it is in His hands. He says very clearly in Scripture that He is the one that opens and closes the womb and so we have rejoiced in the family that He has given us."
also available... Fireproof Your Marriage Couple's Study
This six session in-home study is a great way for you and your spouse to build and strengthen your marriage. The Fireproof Your Marriage study integrates movie clips from FIREPROOF, along with key Scriptures, thought-provoking questions and devotionals, including concepts from The Love Darebook. The Couple’s Kit includes a six-session DVD and two Participant’s Guides.
Learn to appreciate the God-designed differences between men and women, how God's love enables you to love others and how to live a life free from temptations that can destroy your marriage.
They that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint. (Isaiah 40:31)
Did you ever see an eagle? There were once a great many among the rocks and mountains of our own country, but they will not stay where there are many people; so they are seldom seen here now. They like to make their nests in high and rocky places, where nobody can find them; as a verse in the Bible says, "Though thou shouldest make thy nest on high as the eagle, yet will I bring thee down from thence." Their nests are not usually made in trees like those of many other birds, neither are they shaped in the same way: they are nothing but a layer of sticks spread flat upon the rock, and covered with some hay or straw. The care of the eagle for her young is spoken of in Deuteronomy 32:11. "As an eagle stirreth up her nest, fluttereth over her young, spreadeth abroad her wings, taketh them, beareth them on her wings; so the Lord alone did lead him." This beautifully describes God's care over the children of Israel while they were passing through the wilderness; does it not also well express his kindness to us?
The eagle lives a great many years; sometimes more than seventy, I believe. It sheds its feathers every spring, and new ones come out; then it looks like a young bird. This is why David says in the Psalms, "Who satisfieth thy mouth with good things, so that thy youth is renewed, (or comes again,) like the eagle's." There is this beautiful verse in Isaiah, "They that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up on wings as eagles; they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint." How blessed and happy a thing it is to be a Christian indeed! to "wait upon the Lord" every day for the strength we need; and to be always preparing for that world where the inhabitants are for ever young, for ever active, for ever holy, for ever happy.
They that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint. (Isaiah 40:31)
Like an eagle that rouses her chicks and hovers over her young, so he spread his wings to take them up and carried them safely on his pinions. Deut 32:11 (NLT)
Is it at your command that the eagle rises to the heights to make its nest? Job 39:27 (NLT)
He fills my life with good things. My youth is renewed like the eagle’s! Psalms 103:5 (NLT)
In the blink of an eye wealth disappears, for it will sprout wings and fly away like an eagle. Prov 23:5 (NLT)
There are three things that amaze me— no, four things that I don’t understand: how an eagle glides through the sky,how a snake slithers on a rock, how a ship navigates the ocean, how a man loves a woman.
"MARRIAGES UNDER ATTACK!" Includes Article and Prophetic Word by Patricia King Feb 26, 2009
A number of years ago, I had a vision of a demonic counsel in the second heaven. They were conferring with one another and planning a strategic attack on Christian marriages. They were deeply threatened by the potential of such unity – if one can put a thousand to flight, two can put ten thousand to flight. The encounter was very jarring and heavy, catapulting me into a season of intercession in which we saw many marriages rescued and restored.
The Bar Has Been Lowered
Last summer, the Lord revealed that a demonic floodgate had been opened and many marriages would be assaulted and destroyed if we did not rise and fight. He said that many would easily give up on relationships. I was made aware by the Lord that the bar had now been lowered on covenant relationships, specifically marriage relationships. There are many reasons for this that I will not touch on right now, except to say that every individual's choices affect the whole Body and ultimately influences the spiritual climate of the entire world.
We are in a massive battle for marriage and family, and we must win. People are hurting. Children are hurting. The Body is hurting. Marriage failures are love failures and love failures hurt everyone involved. Love is to be our greatest aim. We must fight for love's sake. We must raise the bar again.
I am not suggesting that there are not legitimate terms for separation and divorce. If someone is not safe in a marriage due to the level of abuse and maltreatment or painful marital unfaithfulness, then it is often important for them to find a place of safety in order for healing and alignment to take place. Sometimes such a separation is temporary but, unfortunately, sometimes it requires a permanent decision.
With this in mind, I say, in great sobriety, that too many are jumping ship instead of fighting the love war. Too many are breaking covenant not only in marriage but in family, friendships, and in the Body of Christ. Large battles bring large victories when finally won, and we CAN win if we persist in love and faith. God always leads us in triumph; love never fails (see 2 Corinthians 2:14 and 1 Corinthians 13:8). Love is not selfish but always fights for the freedom and well-being of another. Love lays itself down for others.
Fight with Love as a Weapon
I have seen individuals in very difficult situations in their marriages. These scenarios affected their emotional and sometimes even their physical well-being. Instead of jumping ship, they decided to fight with love as their weapon. They humbled themselves and found a safe place to stand in Christ. In faith and humility, they went to war with LOVE.
Their situation did not change right away, but they did. They were committed to their marriage vows: for better or worse; for richer or poorer; in sickness and in health. They have a depth of character now that I have seen in few others. It is refreshing and rare. They are believing for their spouse to come all the way through, but in the meantime they have their place to stand... to fight... to live.
Recently, I received a prophetic word in prayer when I was interceding for a particular individual who was struggling in their marriage. I believe it might be for many others who are struggling at this time. May it encourage you! Breakthrough is on its way! All things are possible to those who believe. Let us believe for miracles of restoration! I know that God never usurps a person's will, and sometimes you cannot do anything about the choices of another, but there is a place for you to stand that is safe and pure.
For those of you who fought, stood, and kept love and faith in your battle, yet did not see your partner make right choices that provided restoration, I want to bless you and commend you for your walk. A reward of honor is yours. Wear it well. Even though you might not have seen a victorious outcome in the marriage itself, you are victorious in your journey in Christ. Move on and experience the goodness of the Lord as He leads you in new beginnings.
Word From the Lord for Those in Marriage Battles
The word of the Lord is for you to pass all your love tests in this season. This is your time to sow love, and you WILL reap...beyond your wildest dreams. This is your personal opportunity to go deep into understanding "love" as Jesus loved.
This is your time to find your place to stand in Christ and live in the heavenly realm that He pours out around you – the realm that you will be hidden in, the realm that you will be safe in, the realm in which you will find your protection, provision, and covering. This realm IS Christ and He is all you need.
During this season, you will be perfected in love and in faith. Do not allow love or faith to weaken, but strengthen that which remains. Love perfectly now. Sow love bountifully now and you will reap bountifully, and you will be loved perfectly by MANY, not just a few, in the days to come.
Right now you see through a glass dimly, but soon you will see clearly. A day will come when you will fully understand. In that day, you will rejoice in the goodness of your God and thank Him for the way He has led you.
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If you are thinking about homeschooling, or are struggling with a homeschooling curriculum that is difficult to use, let Dr. Ray and Dorothy Moore show you how to make homeschooling an easy-to-live-with family adventure in learning.
I love this book so much!!! I refer to it quite often and use alot of the ideas in it. When I first started homeschooling my son everyone made me feel like I was doing something wrong. But It was the best decision I think I ever made. And the Moores really validate the many feelings homeschool parents have.
This is the very first book I read after I first had thoughts of homeschooling our children. I fell in love with the Moore's! They seem like the sweetest older couple you would ever want to meet. They show you their method (which as many reviewers have already pointed out is no formal education until 10-12 years of age) and tell you how to do it. I came away from reading this book encouraged, and I ordered all the rest of their books, too! Other people have said they don't agree with some of the methods (such as waiting)and I must admit that it is hard to do. Today's society makes it almost impossible to permit your child to not be able to read when he/she is 10-11!! The thing is, though, Dorothy Moore was a successful remedial reading teacher - she knows what she is talking about when it comes to teaching reading! Two things they mention must go hand in hand with homeschooling is service to others and manual labor. They believe it is healthy for a child to have work with his heart and hands as well as his mind. I love that idea - too many adults (let alone children) only think of themselves. This book (and others they've authored) mentions different ways to make these two things happen. In conclusion, there are some things in this book that I would love to follow through on, but as I stated earlier, are almost impossible to do because of societal constraints, such as waiting until between 10-12 to start formal schooling. I do plan on incorporating many of their ideas into my homeschool. Some reviewers have called the authors "arrogant". I would not say that - I felt like they were giving "grandmotherly" advice I could choose to use or not.
A taskmaster's job description included torturing the Jewish people (the Hebrews) with slave-like jobs (slave labor).
Taskmasters tormented Hebrews from morning until night, so they wouldn't have time or strength to have children who might grow up to challenge Pharaoh's leadership.
It was not uncommon for a taskmaster to beat, even to the point of death, a Hebrew who wasn't working hard. These slaves lived with no rights under the cruel taskmasters.
Thankfully, today, if you have faith in Jesus you are a "child of God" and no longer a slave of someone like Pharaoh or even a slave to your sin. You are free and don't have to be a slave to anyone because of Jesus. You are free! That's good news!
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If you find yourself moving a little slower this winter, you’re not alone. Many people experience low energy when the days grow colder and daylight is scarce. While depression can be a serious health condition that requires medical treatment, a case of mild winter blues could benefit from a few of these best practices.
Get moving Numerous studies indicate that regular aerobic exercise such as walking or running can have a significant impact on mild to moderate depression. One theory is that exercise releases chemicals in the body that can promote a sense of well-being. If it’s just too cold for a walk or you can’t get to the gym, try cleaning the house or even dancing to your favorite music.
Lighten up Some experts suggest increasing your daily exposure to sunlight (or natural light) as much as possible to help keep depression at bay. Just 15 minutes of direct sunlight per day gives you your daily requirement of Vitamin D, which is not only a critical nutrient but is also believed to help regulate mood (don’t forget to wear sunscreen). Also, keep blinds and curtains open during the day. Meditate A recent study in the Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology found that mindful meditation exercises were more effective than anti-depressants in preventing a relapse of serious depression. Subjects were given meditation exercises to control negative thoughts and depressed feelings. Resources on simple meditation exercise Eat the right foods Food can affect brain chemistry and mood by elevating levels of the feel-good hormone, serotonin. When you’re feeling down, try eating foods that boost and stabilize serotonin levels, such as lentils, pumpkin and flax seeds, almonds and walnuts. Read more about food and moodMake the most of it Instead of spending the day curled up on the sofa, try to embrace the beauty of winter by doing something you can only do during this time of year. Take up a winter sport such as cross-country skiing (which you can do in the park if there’s enough snow), build an ice house or photograph/study winter wildlife. Who knows? You might enjoy yourself so much that you look forward to the season all year long.
Always consult a doctor if your symptoms of depression do not improve or interfere with your daily life.
http://www.christianscross.com Where do I start? I guess the beginning is good. I have been blessed with miracles of Jesus in my life. When I was born, my parents owned a small resort hotel on the Jersey coast. When I was three years old, I came down with spinal meningitis. At that time, it was considered fatal and highly contagious, causing the hotel to be closed. I survived by prayers of my grandmother at my bed side when all my vital signs were gone. This is one of the miracles of Jesus in my life. As I recovered, I was supposed to be crippled, but again by prayers, I began walking at four years old, this is another one of the miracles of Jesus in my life. At about eight years old, I drowned and had a so called out of body experience. The experience was so wonderful, I did not want to return. The life guard on duty revived me with CPR, another one of the miracles of Jesus in my life. After a failed marriage, I was not interested in another relationship or commitement in my life. Then another one of the miracles of Jesus in my life occured. I always had a picture in my mind of the angel on top of our Chritmas tree as a child. One day I saw that angel. She has been my wife for 31 years now, another one of the miracles of Jesus in my life.
Of course I see miracles of Jesus in my life everyday. All I have to do is look around me. I wonder what's next. I know it will only be better because Jesus is love and the miracles of Jesus in my life just get better everytime. Please take a moment and share some of your experiences or comments on this blog to glorify our Savior Jesus Christ and Helping ordinary people become passionate followers of Jesus Christ
90 Minutes in Heaven, offers a glimpse into a very real dimension of God's reality. Killed by an 18-wheeler, Piper went to heaven. Ninety minutes later, he returned to life. This book tells his experience and road to healing. It encourages those recovering from serious injuries and those dealing with the loss of a loved one. The experience dramatically changed Piper's life, another one of the miracles of Jesus in my life, and it will change yours too.