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Interview: Writer/Producer of “Fireproof” - Father of Six - Has Revitalized Thousands of Marriages

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By John-Henry Westen
 
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."
 
Those interested in the book or films are directed to these websites:
http://www.fireproofthemovie.com
http://www.lovedarebook.com



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Please, enough with the cult of pop stars. Our kids need real heroes.

Jonathon van Maren Jonathon van Maren Follow Jonathon

April 29, 2016 (LifeSiteNews) – Two things happen each time a significant pop culture figure dies: Christians attempt to dredge up some moderately conservative or traditional thing that figure said at some point during his long career, and mainstream media attempts to convince a society thoroughly bored with such things that the person in question was a ground-breaking radical. The two most recent examples are the androgynous David Bowie—a cringe-worthy and possibly blasphemous video of him dropping to his knees during a rock performance and uttering the Lord’s Prayer circulated just following his death--and the pop star Prince.

I’ve had to suppress my gag reflexes many times as I saw my Facebook newsfeed fill up with memes sporting quotes from Prince about his faith and articles announcing that the musician who “embraced gender fluidity before his time,” according to Slate and “will always be a gay icon” according to The Atlantic, was against gay marriage. Sure, maybe he was. But only a Christian community so shell-shocked by the rapid spread of the rainbow blitzkrieg and the catastrophic erosion of religious liberty would find this remarkable. After all, Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton said the same thing barely one election cycle ago. As one obituary celebrating Prince’s paradigm-smashing sexual performances written by Dodai Stewart put it:

Dig, if you will, a picture: The year is 1980. Many states still have sodomy laws. The radio is playing feel-good ear candy like Captain and Tennille and KC and the Sunshine Band. TV hits include the sunny, toothy blond shows Three’s Company and Happy Days. There’s no real word for “gender non-conforming.” But here’s what you see: A man. Clearly a man. Hairy, mostly naked body…a satiny bikini bottom. But those eyes. Rimmed in black, like a fantasy belly dancer. The full, pouty lips of a pin-up girl. Long hair. A tiny, svelte thing. Ethnically ambiguous, radiating lust. What is this? A man. Clearly a man. No. Not just a man. A Prince.

Right. So let’s not get too carried away, shall we? I know Christians are desperate to justify their addictions to the pop culture trash that did so much to sweep away Christian values in the first place and I know that latching on to the occasional stray conservative belief that may manifest itself in pop culture figures makes many feel as if perhaps we are not so weird and countercultural, but this bad habit we have of claiming these figures upon their passing is downright damaging.

After all, parents should be teaching their children about real heroes, titans of the faith who changed the world. Heroes of the early church who stood down tyrants, halted gladiatorial combat, and crusaded against injustice in a world where death was all the rage. These men and women were real rebels who stood for real values. If we want to point our children to people they should emulate, we should be handing them books like Seven Men: And the Secret of Their Greatness by the brilliant writer Eric Metaxas rather than the pop albums Purple Rain or Lovesexy by Prince. If parents spend their time glorifying the predecessors of Lady Gaga and Miley Cyrus instead of highlighting heroes like William Wilberforce, they can hardly be surprised when their children choose to emulate the former rather than the latter.

The mainstream media’s adulation of these pop stars is equally irritating. The unspoken truth of these obituaries is that the flamboyant antics of Prince and the rest of the so-called rebellious drag queens populating the rock n’ roll scene have been mainstream for a long time already. Want to see dozens of bizarre body piercings? Weird hairdos? Purple mohawks? Dudes with nail polish? Strange tattoos? Easy. Just go onto any university campus, or any public high school without a dress code. With headphones wedged firmly in their ear canals, they can pump the cleverly commercialized “counterculture” straight into their skulls 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

More than that, some of these courageous rebels have actually sued their employers to ensure that they can let their establishment-smashing freak flag fly at work, too. An Edmonton woman with 22 visible body piercings complained that her employer was unfair because apparently she was being discriminated against “based on body modifications.” Yeah! The Man must be told, after all. And if he doesn’t agree, we will lawyer up. I wonder what the shrieking rebels of the early days would think about the snivelling children of the current grievance culture.

So these days, the media’s eulogizing about aging culture warriors who went mainstream a long time ago rings a bit hollow. After all, most rock n’ roll stars these days look tame compared to what shows up in the children’s section at Pride Week. Freaky is normal now. Normal is radical. Welcome to 2016.

When Christians are posting nostalgic tributes to the rebels who helped inoculate their children against the radical views of Christianity in the first place, you know that the victories of the counterculture are complete and Stockholm syndrome has set in.



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Target boycott climbs to over 1 million

Claire Chretien Claire Chretien

April 29, 2016 (LifeSiteNews) – Over 1 million people have signed a pledge to boycott Target over its new policy allowing men to access women’s bathrooms. 

The American Family Association’s Boycott Target petition gained traction immediately, reaching the one million mark in only nine days.

“Corporate America must stop bullying people who disagree with the radical left agenda to remake society into their progressive image,” said AFA President Tim Wildmon. “#BoycottTarget has resonated with Americans.  Target’s harmful policy poses a danger to women and children; nearly everyone has a mother, wife, daughter or friend who is put in jeopardy by this policy.  Predators and voyeurs would take advantage of the policy to prey on those who are vulnerable.  And it’s clear now that over one million customers agree.”

Target defended its policy in a statement saying that it believes everyone “deserves to be protected from discrimination, and treated equally” and earlier this week, a Target spokeswoman defended the policy as “inclusive.” 

The AFA said that unisex bathrooms are a common-sense alternative to allowing men unfettered access to women’s bathrooms.

“Target should keep separate facilities for men and women, but for the trans community and for those who simply like using the bathroom alone, a single occupancy unisex option should be provided,” the petition says. 

The AFA warned that Target’s new policy benefits sexual predators and poses a danger to women and children. 

“With Target publicly boasting that men can enter women's bathrooms, where do you think predators are going to go?” the petition asked. 

There have been numerous instances of predatory men accessing women’s bathrooms and intimate facilities in the wake of “transgender” bathroom policies allowing them to do so. 

“We want to make it very clear that AFA does not believe the transgender community poses this danger to the wider public,” said Wildmon. “Rather, this misguided and reckless policy provides a possible gateway for predators who are out there.”



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News,

Amazing new video captures the flash of light the moment life begins

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CHICAGO, April 29, 2016 (LifeSiteNews) – Life begins with a spark – literally.

Researchers at Northwestern University have documented the striking event in a new video that accompanies a study published this week.

At the moment of conception, the egg releases massive amounts of zinc, which creates a spark that can be seen with the aid of a microscope.

“It was remarkable,” said Teresa Woodruff, a professor of obstetrics and gynecology at Northwestern University's medical school. “To see the zinc radiate out in a burst from each human egg was breathtaking.”

The research team had noted the zinc sparks before in mice eggs but had never observed the process in human beings.

“All of biology starts at the time of fertilization,” Woodruff said, “yet we know next to nothing about the events that occur in the human.”

One of the researchers, Northwestern chemistry professor Thomas O'Halloran, explained the science behind the process in 2014.

“The egg first has to stockpile zinc and then must release some of the zinc to successfully navigate maturation, fertilization and the start of embryogenesis,” he said. “On cue, at the time of fertilization, we see the egg release thousands of packages, each dumping a million zinc atoms, and then it's quiet.”

“Each egg has four or five of these periodic sparks,” O'Halloran said. “It is beautiful to see, orchestrated much like a symphony.”

Since the amount of zinc in an egg correlates with successful implantation and birth, the Northwestern researchers are highlighting that their research may be used to assist in vitro fertilization.

But that raises concerns given the grave moral issues with IVF, which involves creating numerous embryos that are either killed or frozen. Moral theologians also emphasize that IVF is an injustice even for the children who are born as a result, as they are created in a lab rather than in the union of man and woman.

The study may have far-reaching consequences the research team did not intend, such as strengthening public belief in the longstanding scientific consensus that life begins at the moment of conception/fertilization.

Many of those who saw the Northwestern video said it testifies to the beauty of life and the shallow lies that buttress the argument of abortion-on-demand.

“I saw this, and I was blown away by it,” said Rush Limbaugh on his nationally syndicated radio program Thursday afternoon. “For anybody in the mainstream media to openly admit that life begins at conception” defies arguments that an unborn child is only “tissue mass.”

Researchers released a separate video of the zinc spark taking place in a mammalian egg more than a year ago:

The paper, which is entitled “The Zinc Spark is an Inorganic Signature of Human Egg Activation,” was published by Scientific Reports on April 26.



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