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America, Look Up

The importance of America returning to Christian principles and Traditional Family Values

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March 2014

Interview with “God’s Not Dead” Actress, Cory Oliver


My Church family attended opening night of “God’s Not Dead,” and I can honestly say it’s one of my favorite movies of all time. I posted a blog about the film, a synopsis and some personal thoughts, but then I decided to contact some of the actors/actresses and see if they’d agree to an email interview for my blog. The first to graciously accept was Paul Kwo, who played “Martin Yip” in the movie.  (For those familiar with the movie, he played the foreign student and the first to stand and proclaim, “God’s Not Dead.”)  Now I’m excited to share with you my second email interview.  This time you’ll be hearing from Cory Oliver who played “Mina,” the Professor’s romantic interest.

Tell us a little about your upbringing.  Where are you originally from?  Married?  Kids? etc.

I was born up North in Redwood City and moved to a small town when my parents divorced at the age of 4. I was raised as a Christian and considered myself a believer, but didn’t understand the meaning of having a relationship with God. I went to church on Sundays, prayed occasionally and alway professed that Jesus was my Savior. It wasn’t until I went through a divorce and became a single mom that I started a heavy dialogue with God.

I realized I needed to understand that although I saw my life going a certain way, God had a different plan.   I pressed in, prayed everyday ( 10 times a day) and got to know God and his Son.  James 4:8 says,

“Draw near to God and He will draw near to you.”

Like any relationship goes, you will get out what you put into it. I can’t go a day without Him and I continue to develop a stronger and deeper understanding of who He is.  And He continues to amaze me with His plan and purpose. I just love Him so….

When did you become a Christian?

I was raised in a Christian home and have believed in God and Jesus my whole life.  It wasn’t until I went through “The Fire” (trials and tribulations), that I developed a relationship with God. Now I don’t do anything without consulting Him first!!!

How did you come to play a part in “God’s Not Dead?”

I was praying in my kitchen one day, crying out to God. I said,

” Lord, your Word says, delight yourself in the Lord and you will give us the desires of our heart. You know my desire. If it’s not from You, then please put another desire in my heart.”

Two weeks later I was presented with the audition for The Book Of Esther ( my favorite character in the Bible-other than Jesus) and from there they asked me to audition for the movie God’s not Dead as the role of “Mina.”

What other roles have you played?

I have been an actress for 22 years. I took a season off to raise my daughter and when I decided to go back to it, I told her and she said, “Well, lets pray about it mommy.” A year later… Prayers were answered. Habakkuk 2:3- Though it tarry, wait for it!!!

How did you enjoy working with the leads, Shane Harper and Kevin Sorbo?

It was a privilege and an honor to work with both.  They are sincerely men of Character and Integrity on and off screen.  True professionals.   And who wouldn’t want to work along side Hercules?  😉

Can you relate to the character you played in the movie?

Indeed, on many levels.  That is why I felt so compelled to do this movie.  I understand the importance of being equally yoked.  Two people can truly love one another, but it is important to realize there will be tough times in any relationship and if both are answering to God, His grace and mercy always persevere.  It is when one chooses his/her own free will and doesn’t believe (isn’t a Believer), things can get rough and sometimes end as a result.

Are you surprised by the support for the film on its opening weekend?

I am both overwhelmed and humbled by the response on opening weekend as well as this last week. It has truly been a blessing to see where God is taking this movie.  He has a Divine plan ( Jeremiah 29:11) that I surrendered to years ago.  It’s just an incredible feeling to know He is in the drivers seat!!!

Do you hope to play other parts in future productions by PureFlix?  

I would LOVE to do more movies with PureFlix. Perhaps a sequel??? :))))

Tell us a bit about your work on Holly wood Pawn.

I was hired as the Hollywood movie memorabilia expert for “The Dina Collection” in Beverly Hills and once again God has used it to glorify Him on a show called Beverly Hills Pawn on the Reelz Channel.  There have been so many divine appointments behind the scenes, from praying with a man that wanted to end his life, to passing out Fireproof movies to couples that wanted to end their marriage, and encouraging the broken hearted.  I just keep asking God, please present me with more opportunities to serve Your Kingdom and they just keep coming.  It is not about me it is about Him.  He will use us all if we allow him to. God is in the details.  We just have to be willing to be still ( Psalm 46:10) and listen, for He will surely be exalted in our daily lives.

What is your favorite faith based film?

Aside from God’s not Dead, I believe The Passion of the Christ brought me to my knees.  It was truly a powerful movie that Inspired so many to establish a relationship with God as well as Jesus. I am praying that will be the same for God’s Not Dead. It is an inspiring movie that has already revealed so many miracles.  I am just so very grateful to God and Pureflix for allowing me to be a part of it.

If you’d like to keep up with Cory, you can follow her @CoryOliverOne on Twitter.  Please share this interview with family and friends and pray that God will open the door for me to interview others from the film.

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Interview with “God’s Not Dead” actor Paul Kwo


My Church family attended opening night of “God’s Not Dead,” and I can honestly say it’s one of my favorite movies of all time. I posted a blog about the film, a synopsis and some personal thoughts, but then I decided to contact some of the actors/actresses and see if they’d agree to an email interview for my blog. The first to graciously accept was Paul Kwo, who played “Martin Yip” in the movie.  For those familiar with the movie, he played the foreign student and the first to stand and proclaim,

“God’s Not Dead.”

The following is the interview I conducted with Mr. Kwo.

When did you become a Christian?

I came to know Christ early in life. I grew up in a Christian home.  My Dad is a Pastor.  Both my parents are Christians.  My grandparents are also Christian.  I know at least one of my great grandmothers was a Christian.  I don’t know about the others.

How did you come to play a part in “God’s Not Dead?”

I mainly auditioned.  I got cast in it through Billy Damota Casting.  That’s pretty much it. There wasn’t anything special that I did…just a simple audition.  I actually auditioned with Jesse who plays my father.

Is this your first experience with acting?  If not, what other roles have you played?

I’ve done other roles.  I have done co-star spots for Scrubs and Knight Rider (the new one that only lasted one season).  I also do a lot of ADR work for big blockbuster movies and TV shows.  Last year, I worked on Pacific Rim, Thor: The Dark World, Disney’s The Lone Ranger, Gangster Squad, Blacklist and many others.

How did you enjoy working with Shane Harper and Kevin Sorbo?

I loved working with them both.  They are both serious actors who take the craft with weight.  The whole cast was just great.  Everyone really wanted to make the acting in the film high in quality.  We definitely didn’t want your typical badly acted Christian film.  I also got to hang out with Shane a lot because we had a similar shooting schedule. He was a lot of fun to be around.

Do you hope to play other parts in future productions?  Is there anything currently in the works?

I’m definitely down for other parts in future productions.  I don’t know what the latest is on the future and if there’s anything planned for me.  Maybe you can convince Pure Flix to keep me around.

Are you surprised by the support for the film on its opening weekend?

I’m not surprised by the support.  But to see the film exceed all our expectations in the box office was amazing.

What is your favorite Christian based film?

I like Passion of the Christ and the Narnia series.  I just like well-made movies.  But there are some foreign small budget Christian films from Hong Kong that I like.

How do you hope “God’s Not Dead” ministers to people?

I think the most important thing God’s Not Dead can do is to get people to start talking. For some, it may directly convert, for others it may not.  But I think the most important thing for us as human beings is to allow ourselves to engage in this conversation. That’s the most important thing. If we stop the discussion and close the book, then there’s a problem. We should over and over re-examine our lives and our Universe and make that determination for ourselves whether we believe God is dead or alive.

Thanks for inviting me to an interview.

I appreciate the opportunity to host this interview with Paul Kwo and hope to post other interviews in the days to come. And remember,

“God’s Not Dead!”

Click below for more information about Paul Kwo.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y3HyO-xq7d8

Movie Review: God’s Not Dead


Movie Overview: God’s Not Dead

College freshman, Josh Wheaton, reported for first day of classes, eyeing a future degree in law.  A committed Christian, Josh expected to receive a higher education, not a tongue lashing, from his atheist philosophy professor about the first year student’s Christianity.

During his first lecture, Professor Radisson chided any professing belief in the antiquated God of the Bible.  To kick-off the semester in Philosophy 101, Professor Radisson instructed the pupils to write “God is Dead” on a sheet of paper and turn it in, signed.  With little or no forethought, the students, eager to please, signed the declaration….Well, all but Josh Wheaton.

The Professor expected absolute obedience, and when Josh refused to sign the statement denying his faith, Radisson assigned Josh the daunting undertaking of proving God’s existence.

The question looms, will Josh stand resolved as Daniel in the Old Testament or compromise his faith to secure a passing grade in the mandatory class?

Brief Review

The movie captures a predicament devout Christians across America are facing.  As the credits rolled, cases argued/defended by the Alliance Defense Fund revealed that “persecution” of Christian students on university campuses is not isolated.  In fact, as our culture continues to embrace a more tolerant view of lifestyles the Bible specifically lists as sinful, the pressure to live wholly committed to Christ will become increasingly difficult.  As Christianity becomes more and more unpopular, the students who dare refuse to participate in spiritually compromising lessons and assignments face potential retribution from professors who see themselves as “god” in their own schools of higher learning.

Josh Wheaton, played by Shane Harper of “Good Luck, Charlie” fame, delivers a powerful and believable performance.  His internal debate over compromising or “swimming upstream” is palpable.  At one point, my wife leaned over and whispered, “I feel so nervous for him.”  My heart raced with the same anxiety.  Fantastic acting in this young man’s fledgling career.

Kevin Sorbo plays the part of Professor Radisson, the atheist.  He, too played his role powerfully, causing me to be nervous whenever an encounter with Josh was imminent.

This film delivers a timely message and definitely deserves a rating of “family friendly.”  I can’t imagine Willie and Korie Robertson (Duck Dynasty) making a cameo appearance in anything but…can you?

Movie Review: “Son of God”


For quite some time, various members of the religious community have urged churchgoers to support films geared for those of the faith community.  One such movie making headlines as of late is “Son of God” based on Mark Burnett and Roma Downey’s 10 hour mini-series, “The Bible.”  Prior to watching this epic motion picture, I read reviews posted by Christians concerned by the diminished message of the gospel.  Wanting to make this determination on my own, I loaded up a group of teenagers from Church and saw the bible based feature last night.

I noticed right away that the writers of the film exercised artistic license to fill in some of the gaps, behind the scene events that could have happened the way they speculated…That aspect was expected.  However, it bothered me when the writers changed the account as described in the Biblical text.  For instance, in the scene with Jesus raising Lazarus from the dead, the movie depiction shows Jesus entering the tomb where Lazarus’ body lay.  From inside the hollowed out grave, viewers watch as Jesus raises Lazarus from the dead.  Lazarus walks out of the tomb to the astonishment of family and friends.  However, in the Bible account, Jesus stands outside the tomb and commands, “Lazarus come forth.”  Lazarus waddles out, or so I speculate, because the Scriptures inform Lazarus walked out bound, his hands and feet wrapped with strips of linen, and a cloth around his face.  Jesus orders spectators to “take off the grave clothes and let him go.”  Call me a stickler, but the artistic license utilized pales in comparison to the reality of the actual event.

The writers also took liberty with at least two very important statements Jesus made in His earthly ministry.  First, the dialogue writers clipped a very important part of John 14:6.  In the “Son of God,” Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life.”  And even though they quoted Christ accurately, they omitted the most important part of that statement.  The Bible reveals in the same breath Jesus said, “No man comes to the Father but by me.”  Christians familiar with the Biblical text can fill in the blank, but people with little knowledge of the Scriptures won’t be challenged to investigate Christ’s claim of being the only bridge between God and man.  I imagine the writers feared a backlash from other religious groups who claim Christianity is intolerant of other belief systems.  No matter the reasoning, leaving off the vital portion of Jesus’ quote is a disservice to people without a personal relationship with Christ.

Secondly, when the “Son of God” actor quoted John 3:16, he neglected to insert “shall not perish.”  Once again I can only speculate the producers didn’t want moviegoers to think that they would experience a spiritual death apart from a relationship with Christ, even though that’s the reality.

On two occasions in the movie Jesus addresses the sin nature in people’s lives.  The first being the paralytic lowered through a thatched roof to the feet of Jesus by four men; the other being the woman caught in adultery.  In both instances, the “Son of God” shares the good news their sins are forgiven.  That’s the reason Christ came.  But that message loses steam the closer Christ gets to the Cross.  In fact, a moviegoer unversed in the Gospel accounts might believe the authorities executed Jesus to curb the Messianic fervor of His followers and prevent Pilate from shuttering the Temple doors to the raucous Jesus sympathizers gathered for a Jewish Festival.  Granted, the Jewish leaders failed to see in Jesus His Messianic reality and saw Christ as nothing more than a rabble rouser and blasphemer worthy of death, but Jesus didn’t bear the agony of the cross because of any wrong He committed or to keep the Temple doors open during Passover.  Jesus bore the cross as a perfect sacrifice for the sin of mankind.

For the movie critics who say, “It’s not worth your time.”  I disagree.  The teenagers I escorted sat glued to the screen for over 2 hours.  Each offered favorable feedback once the lights came back on.  In other words, support those endeavoring to shine a “light” in the movie industry.  It’s desperately needed.  However, if you invite unbelievers, read up on the Gospel account of John and be prepared to discuss the movie’s handling of the Biblical text.  Stand ready to answer any questions triggered by the film’s portrayal and be equipped to fill in any gaps.

SPOILER ALERT:

Jesus Rises from the Dead!

Does God Stress Over Global Warming?


For the last several years, the Obama Administration has found a myriad of issues to blame upon the Bush Administration.  Even after one full term of President Obama holding office, liberal pundits continue to shift the blame of America’s ills upon past President George W. Bush.  Then, if it’s not G.W.’s fault, Democrats cast a scornful eye on global warming.  According to researchers, global warming bears the blame for things like bigger spiders, frogs with additional heads, and teenage prostitution.  If there’s no direct link to the former Administration, the fault lies with the dangerous heating of the Earth.  (Find a plethora of things blamed on global warming here.)

In His State of the Union speech in 2013, President Obama said,

“It’s true that no single event makes a trend. But the fact is, the 12 hottest years on record have all come in the last 15. Heat waves, droughts, wildfires, floods—all are now more frequent and more intense. We can choose to believe that Superstorm Sandy, and the most severe drought in decades, and the worst wildfires some states have ever seen were all just a freak coincidence. Or we can choose to believe in the overwhelming judgment of science—and act before it’s too late.”

The President vowed, if Congress failed to act, to implement policies by executive order.  (You know…with his “pen and phone.”)  According to Dr. Alan White, a contributing scientist to Answers in Genesis,

“These new policies will almost certainly raise the cost of energy. Higher energy costs will lower the standard of living for all, particularly the poorest among us.”

And maybe that’s the ultimate purpose, driving every citizen into poverty, forcing families to become more dependent upon the government.

On April 28th, 1975, Newsweek published an article about the earth’s climate conditions, and the first paragraph began in the following manner,

“There are ominous signs that the earth’s weather patterns have begun to change dramatically and that these changes may portend a drastic decline in food production…. The longer the planners delay, the more difficult they will find it to cope with the climatic change once the results become a grim reality

Thirty plus years ago, environmentalists warned of climate change and pushed for people to ready themselves for pending doom.  Stock up on food.  Have an emergency plan.  Discuss the potential circumstances with loved ones.  Sound familiar?  The same “sky is falling” mentality exists today.  But it’s interesting to note that the article from 1975 spoke of global cooling…and an imminent ice age.

Temperatures of the earth surface have been measured at land-based weather stations since 1880.  Over the past century, data reveals cyclical results.  From 1900-1940 the temperature rose.  From 1940 to 1970 the temperature declined.  From 1980-2000 the temperature increased again.  Some study shorter time frames.  The trend from 1998 – 2012 has been one of cooling.

But what do I know?

In college I majored in Theology, not science.  However, I do believe God’s Word to be true.  And, I believe He addresses the issue in Genesis 8:22 where He promises,

“While the earth remains, Seedtime and harvest,
Cold and heat, Winter and summer,
And day and night Shall not cease.”

Though environmentalists quite possibly cling to the R.E.M. song, “It’s the End of the World as We Know It,” to them I say, “Not so fast.”  No matter how much or how little humanity adversely impacts atmospheric conditions, only God holds the power to bring the “World as We Know It” to a fiery conclusion.

And one day He will.

National Day of Appreciation for Abortion Providers


Americans know how to celebrate.  Taking advantage of peoples’ propensity to party,   party stores sit nestled in strip malls everywhere.  These establishments carry everything from birthday candles and streamers, to larger items like kid popular inflatables.  As a Country, we celebrate holidays such as the Fourth of July, Thanksgiving and Christmas.  Some recognize lesser known days like “National Talk Like a Pirate Day” and “National Pancake Day.”  Sadly, some choose to honor occasions deserving no recognition, days that threaten to trigger God’s Hand of Judgment on America.  One such day is today, March 10, “National Day of Appreciation for Abortion Providers.”

In a speech last year, the President beseeched God to “Bless Planned Parenthood.”  Pro-choice advocates claim abortion providers and organizations like Planned Parenthood administer a service God blesses.  However, pro-life individuals disagree.  They argue,

“How could the God who fashions together life in the womb bless those responsible for destroying it.”

And that’s a good question.  The answer is, He can’t.

According to the Washington Times,

Laws and regulations setting higher standards and operating controls for clinics have forced many abortion providers to shut down in Texas and other states, greatly reducing the availability of abortions in large parts of the country.

In Alabama’s largest city of Birmingham, the last two abortion providers are not operating.  This populous city earns the recognition of being “abortion free.”

This push against abortion rights rattles the pro-choice point of view.  Abortion advocates recognize stricter abortion laws means a curb in abortions administered.  Lives saved.  Common sense teaches that’s a good thing, right?  Even Democrats say abortion should be

“Safe, legal, and rare.”

The efforts to shut down shoddy and unsanitary abortion clinics helps Democrats recognize that goal, right?  Well, fewer abortions does mean lives saved, but also money lost.

In the New Testament in the Book of Acts, Paul casts a demon out of young slave girl.  Instead of her owners rejoicing over her deliverance from this demonic stronghold, they alleged to the authorities that Paul and Silas were advocating customs unlawful for the Romans to practice.  It was actually just a case of sour grapes.  The slave girl earned money for her owners by telling fortunes.  That ability ended when the demon fled from the girl’s life.  The owners cared little about her mental and spiritual health.  Her worth stemmed from the ability to make money, nothing more.  And the same sad reality applies to the abortion industry.  The life of the baby pales in comparison to the almighty dollar.  If that’s not the case why commemorate “National Day of Appreciation for Abortion Providers?”  Why else would the pro-choice crowd commemorate a culture of death?  It’s really not about choice, it’s about cash…at least for entities like Planned Parenthood.

“Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness, who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter.”  Isaiah 5:20

It’s Not Racism, It’s Patriotism


As a child I learned the song “Jesus Loves the Little Children.”  One phrase in particular stands out to this very day:

“Red and yellow, black and white, they are precious in His sight.”

From an early age, I learned God created everyone in His image, and even though I grew up in a small pre-dominantly white town, the thought of treating other people in a demeaning manner because of their skin color never crossed my mind.  Fast forward thirty years.  My attitude towards people of different color has not changed.  In fact, I believe all people exist together as one race…the human race.  Even though that’s my ideology, my view that all are created in God’s image doesn’t stop liberals from tagging Conservatives like myself with the label of “racist.”

If the Left fails to dredge up pictures of Conservatives in white hoods and burning crosses, then they drum up other ways to charge them with being prejudiced.   Today, charges of racism fly when people fail to support President Obama’s agenda.

While promoting “The Butler” in the UK, Oprah Winfrey said that critics of Barack Obama are motivated by racism, and that ultimately, “demographic pruning” would be needed to stamp out racism. (examiner.com)

Oprah told BBC’s Will Gompertz,

“There are still generations of people, older people, who were born and bred and marinated in it, in that prejudice and racism, and they just have to die.”

They just have to die?  Really?  Many whom she wrongly charges with racism made her the media mogul she is today.   Besides that, many of those same folks who adamantly denounce the Obama Administration in one breath, support Mia Love, Dr. Ben Carson, and Herman Cain in the next.  The issue at hand is not the pigment of the skin but the policy of the public servant.

Liberals scoff at the idea Conservatives oppose President Obama because of a desire to keep a clean conscience.  But it’s true.  Many in opposition to Obama frown on abortion and gay marriage.  Still others refuse to support the President because of his penchant for Socialism.  His promise to “fundamentally transform America” may sound attractive when orated from a teleprompter, but its implementation threatens to dismantle American exceptionalism, the driving force that made America great.  Opposing an ideology rife with policies destined to destroy America isn’t racism…it’s patriotism.

George Washington said in his farewell address to the nation,

“Guard against the impostures of pretended patriotism.”

Liberals claim to be patriotic Americans, but when a responsible voter investigates their proposed agendas, one might think their polity more suited for Cuba than the United States of America.  Once again, standing against such destructive policies isn’t racist….it’s patriotic.

May God raise up more Patriots by 2016.

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