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AMTC’s Winter SHINE 2013 recently concluded. It’s year 31 for AMTC, but only year two as a Christian non-profit. A ministry called Actors, Models & Talent for Christ seems like an incongruity. Most actors, models and talent seem pretty far removed from Christ. Isn’t that an impossible combination?
No! We serve a God Who specializes in missions impossible. Right now, He has His Eye on the mission field of arts and entertainment. It’s AMTC’s job to prepare His performers to rise and SHINE. At the recent SHINE convention, dozens (over 60) kings of film, fashion, music, and theater converged on the Gaylord Hotel in Orlando. They were looking for new talent, and they found it!
Throughout the week, we had lots of stars, star-makers, and amazing performances to keep us enthralled. But if anyone thinks AMTC might forget its true mission of serving God, let’s praise Him for the Saturday morning baptism of nine performers. Hundreds of people surrounded Gaylord’s heated mega-pool—which was good, because the air was unusually cool. But the Spirit was unusually warm.
People committed and recommitted their lives to Christ that week. Nine took the Baptism plunge. Isn’t that what SHINING really is?
Read Justin Trisler’s first-hand account of the experience, and how listening to the Spirit’s urging led to a SHINE milestone.
The tragic shootings in Connecticut turned Christmas a different shade of red—a color no one wants to see. The world cries in outrage, shame, and sorrow. Families mourn. Reporters dig. Psychologists speculate. And media grows. Former Governor Mike Huckabee hit the truth when he said, ‘We ask why there’s violence… but we’ve systematically removed God from our schools.’
Here’s another truth no reporter wants to write: media plays a starring role in this tragedy. From the non-stop violence on film to its non-stop coverage on news, kids are flooded with bad examples. Movie Guide’s Ted Baehr says the average U.S. kid is glued to a media screen 75 hours per week. No wonder fame is now the #1 goal of children. The internet has extended the carrot of celebrity to more people than ever before.
Violently troubled teens want their own fifteen minutes. Copying what they see, some dream of desperate glory. They don’t know God. Nor do they understand He is the Sole Proprietor of glory. When the ‘L’ord is removed from the word, only four letters remain. They spell gory: the evil remnant of glory gone wrong.
Fifteen minutes of fame is like holding on to a handlebar while dangling over a cliff. It’s sensational, but a fall is coming. Newtown was a big one. So was Columbine. In between 1999 and 2012, one list recalls 179 school shooting incidents.
God offers His stars a slower rise to a lasting fame. I encourage actors, models and talent for Christ to continue their movement into media. I encourage reporters to track it. I encourage the world to watch it. In the mean time: pray, pray, pray for the children. Then show and tell them something better than they’ve ever seen before.
“Whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in Me to sin, it would be better for him if a millstone were hung around his neck, and he were drowned in the depth of the sea.” (Matthew 18:6)
Alma Connock left this earth on November 15, 2012. She was 43.
Alma Connock was a hero to me. Although fragile in appearance, her strength was unequalled. Although confined to a chair, she soared to great heights. What she could not grip with her hands, she gripped with her heart.
For Alma, disability was just a word to conquer. And conquer it she did—showing the world her wit, power, and purpose with a smile.
Alma was one of those exceptional stars we read about in wonder: stars who achieve amazing success in spite of conditions that would send most of us into reclusion or self-pity. She never settled for a limited life.
Through X-Posure International, Alma and Scott traveled the world. So did their talent—signing with major agents and living out their dreams. Alma is now living out her dream in Heaven: the place where her body matches her heart. She is enjoying the company of The King. She is looking down on her legacy which will not end. And she is in total delight.
I ask God to bless Alma’s family that I know; Scott is a hero, too. Brianna is their beauty. I ask God to bless her family that I did not know. I pray that their great loss is filled with His great love. In Jesus’ name.
(written by Carey Lewis)
Caleb Medley is an AMTC grad. He was shot in the face at the Denver theater massacre and is in stable but critical condition today. AMTC is making a callout for prayer and donations for the young comedian. In the midst of a big comedy competition in Denver, Caleb and his wife decided to treat themselves to one more night out before their baby came (due date July 22).
Please visit Caleb’s website to find out more—to add your prayers and donations as you are led. Caleb’s site.
I believe God will use this tragedy to good because it is written, ‘All things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose’ (Romans 8:28). Even this. Even now.
This Denver tragedy calls to mind the 1999 Columbine massacre. 13 years have passed between Columbine and today, but they drip blood from similar shootings—an unprecedented form of youth violence.
A July 24 L.A. Times article says of James Holmes, the attacker: ‘It’s a tale of a shy and intelligent young graduate student who spun his own violent Batman screenplay until, authorities say, he shot 70 people in a darkened theater, killing 12 of them.’ And of his background: He ‘joined a circle of youths who got together once a week to play fantasy role-playing games such as “World of Warcraft.” ‘
The bloody thread tying all these massacres together is media influence: the promotion of dark fantasies and the glorifying of evil. No one can deny it. No other common denominator exists. We are surrounded by a massive propaganda campaign such as the world has never known.
Its message is simple: ‘Bad is good.’
Vampires are cool. Witches are pretty. Violence is fun. Joy comes from popularity—and nothing should stand in the way of partying—including the giving away of innocence. And what of this pandemic loss of innocence? The one that carries with it bondage to men, unwanted pregnancy, runaway fathers, venereal disease, human trafficking, lost dreams, stolen hearts and death?
These personal tragedies are so common they are no longer newsworthy—except in the aggregate. But who in media wants to admit his or her own culpability? Glorifying evil has a terrible price tag.
Yet in all of this tragedy, God is still God, and good will come. I point actors, models and talent for Christ to three verses of ancient scripture that include a description of today’s events, a call to action from our Lord, and its result.
Arise, shine; for your light has come,
And the glory of the Lord has risen upon you.
For behold, darkness will cover the earth
And deep darkness the peoples;
But the Lord will rise upon you
And His glory will appear upon you.
Nations will come to your light,
And kings to the brightness of your rising.
Isaiah 60:1-3 (NAS)
UPDATE: Please see the Christian Post Article
AMTC was heavily vested in Season 2 of NBC’s hit show, The Voice. Two AMTC grads made it to national television: Eric Macek and Sharon Mathai. Sharon made it all the way to #12. We are thankful for both amazing singers. But this article is not focusing as much on them or even Jermaine, but God!
Here’s the good news for Christian performers: God is lifting His people. Three top shows in the last two years (American Idol, The Voice, and the new Majors and Minors) have been won by Christians who are vocal about their faith! AMTC grads made the finals of all of them!
We are also thankful for the 2012 surprise winner of The Voice, Jermaine Paul. Jermaine beat out some vocal heavyweights, including a front-running rock star.
Jermaine’s first words in front of over 10,000,000 people?
Actors, models and talent for Christ are experiencing supernatural favor in the entertainment industry.
Why? The world needs role models. The world needs truth. God’s stars are standing in for The King.
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