Showing posts with label EFREM GRAHAM. Show all posts
Showing posts with label EFREM GRAHAM. Show all posts

Saturday, March 24, 2018

'A Transformative Experience': Why 'Paul, Apostle of Christ' Was a Life-Changer Before It Even Hit Theaters - CBN News Efrem Graham

'A Transformative Experience': Why 'Paul, Apostle of Christ' Was a Life-Changer Before It Even Hit Theaters
CBN News Efrem Graham

DALLAS, Texas – Outside of Jesus, Paul is arguably one of the most important figures of the New Testament, and his story hits the big screen today just as believers prepare to celebrate Palm Sunday and Easter.
Set during a time of Christian persecution in Rome, "Paul, Apostle of Christ" focuses on his final days in prison.
CBN News' Studio 5 had a chance to sit down with the film's director and its stars, including Jim Caviezel, who plays Luke, and James Faulkner, who plays Paul.  
"Extraordinary. That whole story is extraordinary," Faulkner says, referring to Paul's transformation from persecutor to persecuted.
"In a sense, I am prepared to play Paul because I have played so many villains," Faulkner says.
"There is still some love in me and this may reawaken it. And it did," the actor continues. "For me, it was a transformative experience to play Paul."
"You cannot say those words without believing them. You cannot say those words without it changing you," Faulkner says.
For example, Paul states in the film, "You cannot repay evil for evil. Evil can only be overcome with good."
Jim Caviezel plays the role of Luke, the great physician who risks his life to visit Paul in prison.
More than a decade ago, he delivered an unforgettable performance in "The Passion of the Christ." But he has not done a Biblical film or many other big screen performances since portraying Christ.
Caviezel told CBN News agreeing to portray Luke in this new film was about "finding the right story."
"What I am looking for is common sense," Caviezel says. "And there was a common sense to this. It wasn't a film that just beat you over the head. I realize that this movie can for someone who doesn't know who God is, I mean anything about Him, it would have a massive effect on."
Andrew Hyatt wrote and directed the film. But Hyatt's fascination with the Biblical figure began years before he sat down to write the screenplay.
Hyatt says Paul's story is his story.
In a red carpet interview with CBN News, Hyatt shared, "I walked away from the church for about seven years. And then I had a major re-conversion back, very much in the vein of Saint Paul, a Damascus Road type experience."
Paul's story touched many on the set of the film, including Jim Caviezel.
Recalling the nearly month-long shoot, Caviezel said, "I just happened to go through a personal experience that was so rough this last year. My wife lost her brother."
"We were on the precipice of losing one of our best friends," Caviezel continued.
"He was a mentor to me. Every morning we would get up and go swimming and down to the ocean."
That friend had helped Caviezel to get through the tough time he faced professionally, following the 2004 release of "The Passion of the Christ."
Recalling that time, Caviezel said, "Stories like doing 'The Passion' and then not being able to get the jobs that you used to get. I mean here is a film that is that successful and you are treated like a bum on the street in your own industry, you know. And he always was the right kind of person to me because he always got me focused on not being a victim."
"When he died this last year, it was a cross and it hurt. But I was able to expiate my pain, playing this guy. And I was able to see what the story could be. It's really a mentor relationship."   
Caviezel says this latest role is preparing him for the follow up to "The Passion of the Christ."
"That's part of the plan, that's part of the way," Caviezel says.
"And it doesn't mean we are not going to have any crosses along the way. 'The Passion of the Christ' had a cross that was that close to taking my own life. A lightening strike, open heart surgery. It was traumatic. Loss of your Hollywood friends. But would I change that direction? No, it was the greatest thing ever."
Watch video here: Paul Apostle of Christ

Friday, March 16, 2018

MercyMe: 'I Can Only Imagine' Movie Stirs Emotions 'I Spent Most of My Life Trying to Bury' - CBN News Efrem Graham

MercyMe: 'I Can Only Imagine' Movie Stirs Emotions 'I Spent Most of My Life Trying to Bury'
CBN News Efrem Graham

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — While Mercy Me's "I Can Only Imagine" became the most popular Christian songs ever recorded. With more than two million downloads, the song reached double platinum status. And it's the only Christian single to reach that milestone.
Despite the massive success, most listeners do not know the story behind those powerful words.
Painful Life Story Turns Into Hit Christian Song
Band leader Bart Millard turned to his life's most painful pages to write the hit song. And his story is now a major motion picture hitting theaters Friday, March 16, 2018.

Lead singer Bart Millard's life story inspired the lyrics nearly 20 years ago. 
Millard sat down with CBN News is Nashville, following the film's premiere.
"If I'm Talking About It, It's Therapy"
Recalling his life story, Millard said, "When I talk about it, it's five minutes between songs or it's a song." 
"I am not one to sit around and think that my life is so fascinating that I should tell everyone about it. If I am talking about it, it's therapy. I am writing a song about it, trying to work through it. That's about it." 
Bart's therapy plays out well in the major motion picture.
"The first time I saw it, it was really emotional," said Bart. 
"I didn't know what to expect. How do you prepare for that?"
Stirred Emotions "I Spent Most of My Life Trying to Bury"
"I guess they did a good job because they stirred some emotions that I spent most of my life trying to bury." 
Jon Erwin directs the film, alongside his brother Andrew.
CBN News talked with Jon on the red carpet at the film's debut.
Jon shared, "I have never enjoyed watching a movie with an audience more than this movie. I remember asking Bart, 'What is the experience of I can only imagine? Why do people love this song?' And he says, 'It's a rush of hope.' And I think that is what the film delivers."
Bart endured many years of abuse as a child. In the film, Dennis Quaid plays Bart's abusive father.

Quaid told CBN News, "When I got the script, I had never heard the song. They gave me a script and a CD and I put it to the side. I mean I knew it was huge hit, but I didn't know it. What hole was I in?"
"I read the script and it hit me so profoundly in the heart, in a place where I just don't even have words, and that's what the song does. And it grows on you too." 
Everything Works Out 'In the Way It was Meant to Be'
The song's story surprised some of those closest to Bart Millard, even Amy Grant who he originally wanted to sing the song. 
Grant told CBN News, "I had actually recorded the song twice. But I was in a real transition in my own life. And nobody sings that song like Bart. Everything worked out the way it was meant to be."
Home video captured the moment Amy gave the song back to Bart. She invited him to sing it alongside her on stage at her concert.
Bart still remembers that night.
He told CBN News, "It's the scariest thing I have ever done. But it was cool, it was blast. And she's been one of my best friends ever since."

Watch video interview: I Can Only Imagine
I Can Only Imagine opens in theaters nationwide on March 16

Monday, December 18, 2017

Kathie Lee Gifford & Friends Team Up for Re-Imagined Take on the 'Miracle' of David & Goliath - CBN News Efrem Graham

Kathie Lee Gifford & Friends Team Up for Re-Imagined Take on the 'Miracle' of David & Goliath
CBN News Efrem Graham
NEW YORK— Kathie Lee Gifford is an Emmy-Winning co-host of NBC's Today Show. But she's enjoyed a more than 40-year career as a host, actress, playwright, author, singer and songwriter. 
She also has a rich history with CBN. When I sat down to talk with her recently, I brought something to show her – a clip of Kathie Lee singing on The 700 Club, circa 1976. 
"Boy, I used to be able to sing!" she quipped. 
Kathie Lee is making new memories, and new music. Her latest project is called "The Little Giant." It's a musical telling of the story of David and Goliath.
With a Little Help From Her Friends
She enlisted a few familiar friends to help tell it – including her old friend and co-host of ABC's "Regis and Kathie Lee," Regis Philbin.
In the production, Kathie Lee plays the voice of the narrator, "Sheeba the Sheep." I asked her what inspired her to do this musical rendition of this familiar Old Testament Bible story
The Real Miracle of the David & Goliath Story
"This was a very fun project," she said. "When I was in Israel in 2012 with my {late} husband, we went to the Valley of Elah, which is where David historically battled Goliath. And it was Frank's favorite place. He had never been to Israel before. We had a brilliant teaching by Ray Vander Laan about the fact that everybody thinks they know the miracle of David and Goliath is that a little shepherd boy could kill a giant. But the Bible tells us that David had already killed lions and bears. That is what shepherds do. They've been trained for it all of their lives. Also David talks about it in the Psalms how he is 'fearfully and wonderfully made in his mother's womb.'"
"The Little Giant" is a passion project Kathie Lee wants to see performed and shared in churches and synagogues everywhere for adults and children to enjoy – and, she says, to help children to learn their purpose in life.
"We are asking our children the wrong question, from the minute they are born," she said. "We always ask our kids, 'What do you want to be when you grow up?' The much better question I think is to ask them is what has God already prepared you to do in your life for the Kingdom of God?"
What is Your Stone?
"And so, we realize by this teaching that David was doing everything that God had already prepared him to do," she continued. "He was the one willing to go down and pick up five stones in the brook of Elah and throw it at the giant. Everyone else in the Israelite army, including King Saul, cowering in fear on top of the Israelite ridge. The miracle of the story of David and Goliath is that David had a relationship with the living God. The others had religion," she said.
"So, I wrote a song with my friend David Pomerantz about David and Goliath called 'What Is Your Stone?' And it goes, 'what is your stone, where will you throw it? What is your gift, how will you know it? What is the one thing that you can do, that no one else can do but you, what is, what is your stone?'"

Kathie Lee's Stone
I asked Kathie Lee when she recognized what her own stone was. 
"I knew it as soon as I could think. I came out of my mother's womb with a pratfall, Ta-daaaa!", she joked. "I've been a performer my entire life. All my life and probably be performing and writing on the day I die. I want to and I want to be learning something new on that day, too."

Saturday, November 25, 2017

'The Man Who Invented Christmas': A Glimpse Behind Dicken's Classic Holiday Tale - CBN News Alesia Hill, Efrem Graham

The holiday movie season is upon us and filmmakers are giving us a new take on an old favorite with the film "The Man Who Invented Christmas". 
The movie is based on the inspiring true story of how Charles Dickens wrote, "A Christmas Carol." 
"The interesting thing is that on surface it's all fun, and roaring fires, and horse chestnuts, and snow, and dancing and blind man's bluff, but the genius of Dickens is that he transcends all that," Bharat Nalluri, the film's director told CBN News. 
"And it's really about being a human being and finding out what it is to be a human being," he explained. "And how you can share the world a little bit and that's why it resonates -- that's why the book gets sold in its millions around the world."  
Nalluri calls the movie an adventure story. 
"People always forget it's a bit of science fiction. It's "Back to the Future.  It's a man who goes back in time and meets himself and becomes a better person for it," he said. 
"I mean no one had ever done it before, even The Time Machine hadn't been written yet. So for me, it's a great frolicking adventure. It always has been," he added. 
"The Man Who Invented Christmas" is based on Les Standiford's book of the same title. The story introduces viewers to a 32-year-old Charles Dickens, who wrote the literary classic in just six weeks, all in an effort to keep creditors at bay. 
The film is set in Victorian England, at a time when the Christmas holiday had become unpopular. 
Dan Stevens, who is best known for his breakout role as Matthew Crawley in Downton Abbey and the prince in Disney's Live action version of "Beauty and the Beast," plays Dickens. 

Stevens was familiar with the story - but did some digging to learn more about his character. He read an annotated edition of  "A Christmas Carol" by Michael Hern. 
"I read accounts from (Dickens) daughter's diary about finding her dad in the mirror making these weird faces in the mirror and conjuring these characters up, and he really had to make them vivid and alive," he explained. 

Watch interview here: The Man Who Invented Christmas

Saturday, November 18, 2017

'I Live for the King': Christian Rapper NF Makes History as Best-Selling Musician in Entire US - CBN News Efrem Graham,Benjamin Gill

Photo Credit: NFVEVO via YouTube
'I Live for the King': Christian Rapper NF Makes History as Best-Selling Musician in Entire US

CBN News Efrem Graham,
Nathan John Feuerstein is best known by his stage name NF, and the Christian hip-hop artist is making quite a name for himself throughout the music world.
His third studio album "Perception" topped the Billboard Chart for an entire week in October, making him the best-selling musician in the entire country, Christian and secular markets alike.
That acclaim is quite a rarity for a Christian artist. Though, like many Christians in the rap game, NF has pushed back against the label. That's because his music isn't just aimed at the Christian market.
"If you're a Christian and you're a plumber, are you a Christian plumber?" he's quoted as saying in an article in Idolator.
Labels aside, NF's lyrics routinely share his relationship with God.
In one song he proclaims, "I don't live for the world. I live for the king. I live for the king."
The Michigan native uses his music to open up about the pain in his life, from his parents' divorce to the day his mother died from an overdose.
In a freestyle rap called "Rhyme and Reason - Real," NF talks a bit about his faith journey and how God has given him rap to help him along the way.
"I've been through hell in my life though. But I know where heaven is. Father forgive me for I am a sinner, but you gave me music as medicine," he raps.
You can watch that here, and hear him talk a bit about his recent struggles in the hip-hop world:
"I stand behind these words: I'm a Christian but I'm not perfect," NF says.You can sample his music for yourself here:
 Did you know?
CBN is a global nonprofit ministry demonstrating the love of God and sharing the Gospel of Jesus Christ through media evangelism and humanitarian aid. Explore the life-changing work of CBN.

Friday, November 17, 2017

'The Star': Animated Film Shares the Greatest Story Never Told - CBN News Efrem Graham

The Star
The Star
'The Star': Animated Film Shares the Greatest Story Never Told
CBN News Efrem Graham
The holiday movie season begins this weekend with a unique twist on the story of Jesus' Birth. "The Star" is an animated film about the animals in The Nativity story. It hits theaters November 17. 
"It's the story we've heard so many times. And so, if it was going to be worth making a movie about this at all, we had to find a way to present it in a fresh way," said Timothy Reckart, animator of "The Star."
Reckart added, "It was so wonderful to be part of something of bringing a movie into existence that I didn't have as a kid."
Star-Studded Cast
TV icon Oprah Winfrey is a member of the star-studded cast along with other big names like Tyler Perry, Tracey Morgan, Mariah Carey and Patricia Heaton. Winfrey's voice can be heard in the film as Deborah the Camel. "Whoever thought to write this from the point of view of the animals, I think it's another approach that allows us another way in to be inspired by an ageless, timeless story," she said. 
Actress Gina Rodriguez plays the role of Mary and didn't have to look far to do research about her part. "I grew up with The Nativity story," said Rodriguez  
She continued, "I am very aware of the story. It is ingrained in me. I have seen some version of it every Christmas with my mother or my grandmother. The story was second nature, if you will." 
Gina Rodriguez: Pulling from Real Life to Play the Role of Mary
"Playing Mary was playing my mother. Playing my grandmother. Playing my sisters. These women that I see give of themselves every day. So, it was very easy to pull from my real life," added Rodriguez.
Rodriguez' role in "The Star," along with all of her work, is a tribute to her grandmother, a woman whose faith walk has been source of inspiration for the actress. "For my grandmother to be like the last standing matriarch of our family, the only grandparent I have left. It is my gift to her to kind of oversee all that we have done. And she has an opportunity to be with all of us."
Actor Zachary Levi didn't have as much to pull from for the role in "The Star." He plays Joseph. "The source material is pretty much all you have to work with. And even in the source material, there is not much to go on. It's a lot of bullet points," Levi joked. 
Acting Challenge: How to Bring Joseph to Life
He continued, "But that is kind of a fun license to create; it is not like it's a character like Paul where there is a bunch of source material on. And then everyone is going to have their two cents of who they think Paul really was. With Joseph, everyone is like I don't know. He's a guy. He was a carpenter. He was married to Mary. And the baby and the thing."
"We can all still identify with the human level of that frustration, that wrestling with God," added Levi.
"The Star" opens in theaters on November 17.
Did you know?
CBN is a global nonprofit ministry demonstrating the love of God and sharing the Gospel of Jesus Christ through media evangelism and humanitarian aid. Explore the life-changing work of CBN.

Friday, July 28, 2017

'I Accepted Christ': EXCLUSIVE First Look at New Movie on Steve McQueen's Journey to Jesus - CBN News Efrem Graham

'I Accepted Christ': EXCLUSIVE First Look at New Movie on Steve McQueen's Journey to Jesus
CBN News Efrem Graham
There is a new chapter in the salvation story of Hollywood icon Steve McQueen, and CBN News has an exclusive first look.
Pastor Leonard DeWitt is the man who led "the king of cool" to Christ, just months before McQueen lost battle with cancer.
DeWitt shares the story in a new documentary produced by Pastor Greg Laurie.
"And every Sunday, we went to church. I think that was just Steve's way. He wanted to make sure he had all of his questions answered," DeWitt explains.
"I said, 'Each one of us is different. But God has a tailor-made plan for each of us,'" DeWitt recalled. "And he grinned and said, 'You want to know if I am born again, don't you?' And then he said, 'Remember the Sunday that you invited people that wanted to receive Christ. When you gave that invitation, he said that is when I accepted Christ.'"
Watch trailer here: Steve McQueen
"Steve McQueen: American Icon" hits theaters September 28th.
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