Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Interview with Luke Zamperini Son of Louis Zamerini, The Power Of God Featured In Unbroken



www.thevirtualpew.comI recently had the opportunity to talk with Luke Zamperini, the son of Louis Zamperini, the subject of the movie Unbroken directed by Angelina Jolie. I wanted to find out a few things about his father and the father son relationship among a few other things. This wonderful movie represents a man who in the end was a man of strong faith and faith convictions. The following is the transcript from the time with Luke Zamperini.  

Luke Zamberini (LZ) - Hey Mike

Mike Furches (MF) - Hey Luke, how are you doing?

LZ - I'm doing well, how are you?

MF - I'm doing wonderful. I saw the movie several weeks ago and to be honest didn't know the story. Your dad was an incredible man.

LZ - Well thank you very much.

MF - What kinds of lessons and things did he teach the kids as you were growing up?

LZ - Well, first of all he didn't have a hard time talking about his story with us. Those stories were my bedtime stories growing up. Of course my dad was my hero because he was my dad and as I begin to learn more about his story it just became more and more evident that he was a different kind of dad than the dad of my friends. The things he would pass down to us was primarily an attitude having a cheerful continence at all times, always looking at the bright side and never giving up or giving in. To always perceiver to achieve your goal. Most importantly what he taught me was a love for our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. That changed his life and eventually changed mine as well.

www.thevirtualpew.comMF - I noticed in some of the press materials that you are a musician as well.

LZ - Yeah I dabble in some music. I made the decision for Jesus as a child but I grew up in the 1960's in Hollywood California and so that presented some challenges so I just kind of got lost in the world of Rock N Roll and played the guitar and did all of that but eventually when I was 29 I kind of threw off the desire to be a part of that culture and returned to my Christian roots. I was blessed with a wonderful family, a wife and a great job. I do still play music but just as a hobby.

MF - I'm a musician as well so had to ask that. I have a lot of friends in Southern California who are musicians as well. One of the things I wanted to ask about though, and I don't know if a lot of folks have is about the camp that was started in honor and recognition of your dad. I am assuming the camp is still in existence. can you tell us some about it?

LZ -  Sure, Victory Boys Camp was established by my father in 1954. It started out with a physical location in the mountains north of Los Angeles. He would take kids from reform schools up there and teach them mountaineering skills and outdoor skills. He would try to win their confidence to better influence them in their lives. The camp has changed over the decades and it eventually ended up being wherever Louie Zamperini was with kids and where he could help him, that was Victory Boys Camp. We actually lost the physical location and he would sometimes use Mammoth Mountain or Squaw Valley or some other resort would offer their facilities. So for Victory Boys Camp we figured would go away when my father died and that was the plan, that we would just discontinue the camp. However, a year ago we had found a young man who really needed some help so we took him to see my dad and Victory Boys Camp was able to finance this young mans journey to Australia to go to a youth mission camp down there. That helped to turn him around. He was a Christian boy who had gotten involved in drugs. They turned him around though and sent him on a mission. We thought, this is too wonderful of an opportunity to pass up, we need to keep Victory Boys Camp going. What's happened is that my 28 year old son Clay has decided to take the camp over so he is now the CEO of Victory Boys Camp. We are now trying to raise the money to get another facility and to continue the work that my dad did over the last seven decades of helping others find a better way in life through Christian teachings.

www.thevirtualpew.comMF - The film shows the power to overcome and beyond resilient. Where do you think that power came from for your dad? Whether overcoming the issues of his youth, making the Olympic team, being lost at sea or overcoming what he went through as a POW?

LZ -  My dad was a very resourceful and very defiant individual growing up. He turned himself around by getting into sports as a 15-year-old but he still kept that defiant spirit in him as he competed. That defiance and resourcefulness got him through the ordeal at sea, the prison camps but it couldn't get him through the post traumatic stress disorder that he was suffering from after the war. It wasn't until he walked into a tent meeting in downtown Los Angeles in 1949 that was being conducted by a new evangelist at the time, a guy named Billy Graham that he made a decision for Christ. That actually changed his heart and his defiance turned to joy and his revenge turned to love. That's what really turned him around. Up to that point, it was really just being resourceful defiant and clever, the Torrance Tornado from Torrance California.

MF - The concept of forgiveness is touched on in the movie towards the end of the film. The ability to forgive is a powerful illustration, especially towards The Bird. What would your dad say was the importance of forgiving others?

LZ - Well, he had hatred in his heart for the prison guard who was nicknamed The Bird because The Bird had singled him out and was on him daily for 27 months. His hatred for The Bird though wasn't hurting The Bird, it was hurting him, literally. It was destroying him. After he realized that God could forgive him for all of the rotten things that he had done then he realized that he needed to be able to forgive his guards and The Bird in particular as well. Having to forgive him was hard but it literally lifted him free from the destruction he was doing to himself by harboring that hatred. It was really a cathartic thing, it was good for Louie as well as a love and gesture of good for his fellow man.

MF - In my book and short movie I mention that it was me that was set free when I was able to forgive those who had done me wrong. It sounds like the same concept here.

LZ - Yeah, exactly.

MF - The film has been heavily promoted, what are your hopes that comes about for the movie?

LZ - I hope people take home from the film the power of faith and forgiveness. The film demonstrates the amount of suffering a person can endure. It also points towards the end that what really saved him was the ability to forgive those who had done him wrong. What I am really hoping is that this film will impact generations of people to consider their own situations and to look to forgive others. When they do that, it is also a way of helping themselves out.

www.thevirtualpew.comMF - Your dad saw the film before his death. Do you think this is a part of what he wanted for it as well?

LZ - Oh, absolutely! He expressed from the very beginning that whatever shape the film took it had to include him making his promise in the life raft that if God would get him home from this ordeal that he would seek him and serve him and that he had gone back and forgiven his guards. Those two things were essential to him and Angeline did a marvelous job at getting them into the film.

MF - I appreciate it very much sir.

LZ - You're welcome and I do have a side note just for you.  The guy who played The Bird in the movie, Miyavi, he is a guitar player. This is his first attempt at acting but he is a great Japanese Guitarist.

MF - I didn't know that, I did say in my review that I thought he deserved an Academy Award nomination for his acting.

LZ - Yeah, he is really good, but look him up. You will really appreciate the way he plays guitar.

MF - I will, I am a bass player and have worked with a lot of really good guitarist over the years so I really appreciate good guitar players.

LZ - Wow, great, you can find a lot of videos of him, (Miyavi) on youtube, but thanks a lot again for having me and I appreciate it.

MF - Thanks to you as well Luke, blessings to you.

LZ - You as well Mike. 

The following is a video from CBS that remembers the Unbroken Spirit of Louis Zamperini, to see the video just click on the video, if the video doesn't appear, just click on the following link:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wyhFPqRZE9c



The Virtual Pew and our other work is supported solely by the kind contributions of others. You can click on the donate button below to give any amount to this work that does so much more than just post articles on the net; I draw no ongoing salary from the church I pastor, Mosaic Wichita which is predominantly a homeless church; I am grateful for any small amount you can contribute to help with this ministry.  Believe me there is much more going on than most realize. I will also provide information to verify the ministry and income that comes into this ministry and work.  Thanks and feel free to share any material from The Virtual Pew, I only ask that appropriate credit is given and a link to the original site with the materials provided.


Click here to read about, and order the book, The Keystone Kid 

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There are hundreds of postings so make sure to check out the archives. You can also contact me for a free audio book link of The Keystone Kid at mike@furches.org You can visit http://www.thevirtualpew.com/.

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Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Unbroken

www.thekeystonekid.orgI love movies, so much so that on occasion I will drive 3 hours through rush hour traffic in a major city to see one. Such was the case recently when I drove to Kansas City for an advance screening of Unbroken, a film meant to inspire and reflect the power of forgiveness. A wonderful concept if you will, especially when considering the film is to be released on Christmas day.

Unbroken follows through the use of flashbacks and narrative filming to tell the story of Louis Silvie “Louie” Zamperini. An Italian American growing up in California during the 1920's and 30's. He escaped his troubled youth through track and field distance running where he went on to run in the German, (Hitler) hosted Olympics of 1936. He later joined the U.S. Air Corps where the plane he was in crashed in the Pacific Ocean where he would spend 47 days at sea prior to being 'rescued' by Japanese forces. He remained a prisoner for the duration of the war.

Unbroken is directed by Angelina Jolie and the script is written by the Coen Brothers, Joel and Ethan. I must give kudos to Jolie for a well crafted effort that uses little dialog, especially from the principal actors and weaves the story together rather nicely. One of the things I was not certain of though was the way the story was weaved together by what appears to be the script. I am going to say something I hope others don't take wrong, but a huge part, if not the primary part of Zamperini's life and the thing that gave him the ability to endure the difficulties he went through was his faith, while there is brief mention of this, we never hear much dialog about it in the film. Instead the movie depends largely on images to present his ability to remain Unbroken. I have to wonder if the script writers and direction in the film truly understood the importance of this in Zamperini's life as it isn't evident to the viewer until the closing scenes where we see written narration on screen? This doesn't mean there aren't impressive qualities about the film, there absolutely is and in many ways the movie comes across as a reminder to the human ability to overcome. It shows the strength of a man, in an alluded way, through faith in a kind of Passion of the Christ movie kind of way without the bloody violence as displayed in The Passion of the Christ. It isn't to say Unbroken isn't emotional though, there was one lady during one particular scene in the theater I was in that had to literally run out of the theater weeping because she could not deal with what she was seeing on screen. There is brutality expressed in a haunting, and if you will, from a filmmaking perspective beautiful way. I would have just liked to have seen the character dealing with his faith through the process as it was a part of what made the man in real life who he was.

www.thekeystonekid.orgThe two primary leads in the film do a surprisingly good job since they are not well known in film
circles as lead actors. Jack O'Connell does a very nice job in the lead roll of Zamperini. He actually has very little dialog and has to tell his story primarily through narration and living out the scenes on screen. His facial expressions and what times he does use dialog are very impressive though. The other example of little dialog from the actor is Takamasa Ishihara who plays the part of Mutsushiro Watanabe, known to the prisoners of war as The Bird, the overseer of the prisons where Zamperini spent his time during incarceration. Ishihara is so good I will be surprised if he doesn't receive an Academy Award nomination. The Bird was a brutal man who literally had Zamperini live through Hell on earth. The acting, all the way around, with no major movie stars is very good. Unbroken based on the quality of filmmaking alone, complete with cinematography, sound, etc... is worth seeing. I have to wonder though, will a story of this type, released on Christmas day, be well received?

www.thevirtualpew.comZamperini was a deeply spiritual man who made it very clear in his life that his faith and commitment specifically to Jesus Christ was what enabled him to remain unbroken during his time at sea and while imprisoned in Japan. Yet, while we see glimpses of this, allusion if you will, we don't have clarity as to that in the film. The imagery is definitely there though, from the struggles of a young man growing up in a deeply religious family, attending church, losing focus during church to ultimately being inspired by those around him through their faith in God. We even see him in a desperate situation, which resonates with the way it was for him to make a commitment to God while in a dangerous place. Here, he isn't just asking for spiritual salvation, he is asking for salvation from the situation he is in. We also see Zamperini in an almost supernatural way have the strength to endure and overcome situations that most of us watching wonder how could he overcome?

While a prisoner of war movie, Unbroken resonates with what I believe is the greatest illustration of the power of Christianity and faith in a movie I have seen on the topic, the 2001 movie, To End All Wars, starring Kiefer Sutherland. I have to compare these films because they seem to be so close in intent. To surmise the two; one, To End All Wars, is a great movie, Unbroken is a very good movie. I personally appreciated the intentional, and clear reminder of the importance and struggle with faith in To End All Wars much more as it seems a a more honest approach to the struggle one may go through in these situations.

www.mosaicwichita.comUnbroken is however a powerful reminder of the need to overcome, especially for people who profess to believe in a God that gives the ability to overcome. It is a powerful reminder of the need to love, without retaliation and the powerful witness that can display for others. While watching the film one quickly sees what a hero is. Zamperini was undoubtedly a hero who was given strength by God to endure and overcome. In his ability to endure, there is no doubt of his witness to the strength and power of God but also the inspiration it gave others who witnessed what he went through. Unbroken, clearly on the topic of inspiration, gives clear witness to the ability of God to change a human life. From a young boy who wouldn't give up the fight, to a man dedicated to God who in the end, refused to fight in order that he may save lives, Zamperini was clearly a man who experienced God in his life, whether the film clearly speaks to that point or not.

www.thekeystonekid.orgMany from reading my review may think I didn't think highly of Unbroken, that is a mistake. It is a worthy film and one I believe that if thinking of the attributes of faith and what gives the strength to maintain that faith. If reminded of these concepts prior to seeing the movie one can clearly see the inspiration the movie can provide, even on Christmas day. Otherwise, as good as it is, it is also a message that could be overlooked by those seeing the film. I suspect the diehard, gun toting, blow the hell out of them 'christians' will take issue with the concepts of peace and nonviolence portrayed in the film, especially the efforts of Zamperini after the war but it is what it is. The mans life inspired multitudes, not by the act of war but the willingness to love and respond to violence with non violence. A concept many Christians have forgotten about, but an example once again, portrayed in a powerful way on screen. It is hard to forget about the sacrifices of men of this era, especially men like Zamperini, a true hero, who in the end, practiced forgiveness and love, not retaliation, certainly not in his personal life. While he understood the role of governments if you will, he also showed, by his actions and words, that he also understood the role of loving others and forgiveness as a bi-product of his faith. That is also a reminder for each person to consider, on the release of the film on Christmas day which celebrates the birth of the one called, The Prince of Peace.

I do feel compelled to make a closing comment, apparently according to the book, and comments by Zamperin, his conversion to Christ did not come until after WW2 via a Billy Graham Crusade. That said, the review is from the presentation of the film, but I think appropriate to get that concept worth mentioning to give the man the respect he deserves for the things he went through. I still think the review is appropriate though as to impression this reviewer felt and experienced from the movie. 

While not perfect and falling just short of To End All Wars in my humble opinion, this is a very good, well worth watching, confrontation of faith in action movie. For that reason, for the number of letters in Zamperini, I give a very deserved 9 on a scale of 1 - 10

The following is a short documentary on the Real Louis Zamperini, to see the video simply click on the video, if that doesn't work, click on the following link:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aEGL-wyz1yk



The Virtual Pew and our other work is supported solely by the kind contributions of others. You can click on the donate button below to give any amount to this work that does so much more than just post articles on the net; I draw no ongoing salary from the church I pastor, Mosaic Wichita which is predominantly a homeless church; I am grateful for any small amount you can contribute to help with this ministry.  Believe me there is much more going on than most realize. I will also provide information to verify the ministry and income that comes into this ministry and work.  Thanks and feel free to share any material from The Virtual Pew, I only ask that appropriate credit is given and a link to the original site with the materials provided.


Click here to read about, and order the book, The Keystone Kid 

http://www.mosaicwichita.com/#!store
Click here to visit the web page The Virtual Pew

Click here to follow The Virtual Pew on Twitter

Mike Furches on Faceboook.

Click here to visit Mosaic Church where Mike is Pastor

The Keystone Kid/Virtual Pew Message Boards

Click to subscribe to my blog

There are hundreds of postings so make sure to check out the archives. You can also contact me for a free audio book link of The Keystone Kid at mike@furches.org You can visit http://www.thevirtualpew.com/.

Hopefully you will consider a gift to The Virtual Pew.

Now I get asked this quite often, Can we repost your blogs or articles? The short answer to that is, what an honor that you would ask, and by all means, spread the word. Here is our contact information

The Virtual Pew
1249 N. St. Francis
Wichita Kansas, 67214
Email: mike@furches.org

Click on the following links to learn more about The Virtual Pew

Donations to The Virtual Pew

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Hollywood Jesus

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Thursday, October 16, 2014

Tallgrass Film Festival, 2014, Arts on the Plains

www.thevirtualpew.com
Over the last 4 or 5 years I have had the honor of covering The Tallgrass Film Festival in Wichita Kansas. It is according to some, one of the top 10 film festivals in the country and some say one of the top 2 or 3 in the Midwest. Let me tell you from personal experience, as both a reporter and filmmaker who has attended and had films shown at Film Festivals, from North Carolina to California; Tallgrass is at the top on my list of festivals I have attended as both a reporter and more importantly, a filmmaker. To put it bluntly Tallgrass has a volunteer organization that is among the top in the country with over 200 volunteers and a Board of Directors and Executive Director that are also among the tops, bar none.  They are not only good at what they do, they are passionately in love with film. What they have done in my opinion is nothing short of miraculous. This year Tallgrass which runs from October 15 - October 19, has partnered with Vimeo and numerous other sponsors and had submissions go from around 600 last year to over 1,200 this year. They have over 200 films showing this year and each year during October Tallgrass brings to Wichita one of Kansas premiere events. 

Last nigh as I watched Life Itself, the documentary about Roger Ebert, I was reminded of the blessings I have as a film reviewer and filmmaker to be able to take part, once again, with this terrific festival, this year as a reviewer of film. I was reminded by a movie about the life of Roger Ebert as to the role of film, especially independent film. A Concept Tallgrass uses in its press, "Stubbornly Independent," gives credence to the support this terrific festival gives the independent filmmaker, offering not just accommodations and support for those coming from out of town but also classes on making and understanding film for the attendees to the festival. It also says something about a mid sized Midwestern Plains town and their respect for film. Wichita has among the top theaters in the country, including a weekly top 5 grossing theater with one of the largest IMAX screens in the world and a blossoming arts community that continues to grow despite idiotic cuts in funding to the Arts by those in our political system.  A confusing cut this reviewer and fan of film hasn't forgotten about that had the arts bringing in additional revenues to Kansas above and beyond the financial support. In other words, the arts in Kansas didn't just use tax revenues for support, they returned what was given and then more for a profit. Wichita is a community which clearly loves film, and comes out in groves to support film. Film by independent filmmakers is something Roger Ebert supported throughout his career and the recognition of that last night with a large crowd of supporters on hand, along with the Producer of the film Life Itself, Zak Piper was a reminder of that support. Not to mention a packed house at the Old Depot in Wichita for the after party Gala. 

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Today I am ready to get busy to check out 3 more films, Down and Dirty the documentary feature about Johnny Winter, Fight Church a documentary about churches using MMA to promote the Gospel and Mad as Hell a documentary regarding Cenk Uygur a controversial talk radio show host who had his hands tied once moving to MSNBC for a television program. There is one thing I know for certain, there is no way I will be able to see all 200+ films but I will do my best to see what I can. An opportunity on the Plains of Kansas where I am honored to check out and report on the movies. Roger Ebert inspired me in that regards, I love what I do and I  have to give thanks to all of those wonderful people behind the festival that have blessed me and literally, thousands of others through this incredible, blessed event called Tallgrass.

To see Rod Pocowatchit take on the following video, just click on the video, if the vid doesn't work, click on the following link:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RPhZft9b2wg




Photos from the opening night at The Orpheum

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The Virtual Pew and our other work is supported solely by the kind contributions of others. You can click on the donate button below to give any amount to this work that does so much more than just post articles on the net; I draw no ongoing salary from the church I pastor, Mosaic Wichita which is predominantly a homeless church; I am grateful for any small amount you can contribute to help with this ministry.  Believe me there is much more going on than most realize. I will also provide information to verify the ministry and income that comes into this ministry and work.  Thanks and feel free to share any material from The Virtual Pew, I only ask that appropriate credit is given and a link to the original site with the materials provided.


Click here to read about, and order the book, The Keystone Kid 

http://www.mosaicwichita.com/#!store
Click here to visit the web page The Virtual Pew

Click here to follow The Virtual Pew on Twitter

Mike Furches on Faceboook.

Click here to visit Mosaic Church where Mike is Pastor

The Keystone Kid/Virtual Pew Message Boards

Click to subscribe to my blog

There are hundreds of postings so make sure to check out the archives. You can also contact me for a free audio book link of The Keystone Kid at mike@furches.org You can visit http://www.thevirtualpew.com/.

Hopefully you will consider a gift to The Virtual Pew.

Now I get asked this quite often, Can we repost your blogs or articles? The short answer to that is, what an honor that you would ask, and by all means, spread the word. Here is our contact information

The Virtual Pew
1249 N. St. Francis
Wichita Kansas, 67214
Email: mike@furches.org

Click on the following links to learn more about The Virtual Pew

Donations to The Virtual Pew

The Virtual Pew Blog

Personal Furches Web Site

Hollywood Jesus

Reviews With Mike

The Virtual Pew Sermons





Monday, October 13, 2014

The Judge

www.thevirtualpew.com
The Judge is a movie you expect from the outset, due to the advance trailers to be good.  It is the story of a son, Hank Palmer played by Robert Downy Junior who is a defense attorney in a large city and has no qualms about defending guilty clients, "they pay well because they are guilty." He is estranged from of his father, Joseph Palmer played by Robert Duval. The Judge is a judge whose integrity is of tantamount importance to him as he understand the value and importance of his job. Judge Palmer has reason to be upset with his son Hank and he has been upset for many years. He has two other sons, one with developmental disabilities who has a fascination with video and another who had a promising career in baseball snatched from him as the result of a car accident while in high school. 

When Judge Palmer's wife dies, Hank comes home to the small town he grew up in. He is going through a divorce with his wife who slept with another man, he also has a daughter he loves and wants so much to be the father to he thinks he never had.  While back where he grew up at the moments between Hank and The Judge (as Hank calls his father) is awkward at best and it is clear the two don't want to be around each other. After a tragic event where someone is killed Joseph Palmer is charged with murder and due to various events, Hank takes on the case to defend his father against the state prosecutor played by Billy Bob Thornton. Hank is going through conflicts related to his dad and the impeding divorce, his love for his daughter and rediscovering a relationship with his former girlfriend from high school played by Vera Farmiga known for her role in the television series Psycho and the hit horror film The Conjuring.

The direction of The Judge is nothing short of brilliant. The film, directed by David Dobkin shows that one can make an intelligent, entertaining movie without the explosions, violence, sex, language and other forms many have come to associate with entertainment. There is no doubt the story and script drive this story. Dobkin does an incredible job at allowing that to happen while using a bevy of talent in his acting troupe. Everything about the film is 1st class, from the editing, sound, music selections, cinematography and especially, the acting. 

www.thevirtualpew.comI have seen many movies with Robert Duval and I honestly love and appreciate this mans talent. While I wouldn't go so far as to say this is the best acting I have seen him do, I will say it holds up among the best. Robert Downy Jr. on the other hand is nothing short of phenomenal. On his behalf, for me, this is the best acting I have ever seen him do. If he can be nominated and win awards for other films, it would be a shame to not be considered and at this point, be the front runner for the upcoming Oscar season. There are scenes where he isn't saying anything with words but saying and doing a brilliant job with his expressions. If great acting is being believable in the role you are performing, Downy and Duval together may be among the top acting forces on screen together in the history of movies. I can't think of a better duo in any movie and I have seen a lot of movies.

One of the things I like about The Judge is its use of trailers in kindling interest, that initial start of interest though doesn't describe the blaze that comes about after seeing the movie. While my interest was peaked from the trailers, the film on screen projected so much more than I expected. For over 2 hours, I was enthralled, entertained and provoked to thought.  

www.thevirtualpew.comThe Judge in many ways is a father son story. There are two seemingly distant characters and their relationship has much to be desired. The father blames the son and the son is a proud man, yet, so he desperately wants the love and recognition of his father. I don't know if a better father son story has been made since Field of Dreams. This movie is that good and in some ways, better. We see conflict and sacrifice but we also see a hurting father and son. Both are at fault. They both have way too much pride. The father believes the son is responsible for a tragic event and the son wants to be recognized for his own accomplishments which the father refuses to do. The son is to stubborn to try and make amends. It takes some time and an understanding of what his father is facing before he gives in. A side note here. The film is so good that it has the viewer even contemplating what it was that caused the rift between the two to be so strong. I may be out on a limb but I think part of it is there is the possibility, and my wife and I who saw the film together agree, the that Hank takes the blame for a tragic accident that his brother Glen, the baseball player, may have been responsible for. We don't know, the answer isn't given but the direction and script are so brilliantly portrayed that one may think about things like this during and after the  movie.

www.mosaicwichita.comIn my own life, I never knew a father it is one of the reasons the film is so powerful. I see what is transpired on screen portrayed in real life all of the time and as a father, know that at times, I have crossed the boundaries and been unrealistic in how I see my own children. It is a powerful attributes of movies, they allow one to think and reflect on their own life. There is even a discussion of God in the film as the father and son realize there may be more to life than the life we live on this earth. We see them come to an understanding that our present may have an impact on our eternal. I also reflected on the reminder of the strength of family and love family should have. It is when sacrificially showing love for his father that things start to find some resolution. There is an acceptance that comes about because of a willingness to love, even in the most disgusting ways but that is a part of what love is and it is through those horrid experiences that one begins to experience love, not in a superficial way but in a real lasting way. It was and is a reminder for me of the love God had and continues to have for me. His own son was sacrificed for the wrongs I have committed and he loves me as I am despite my own frailties and weaknesses. 

I honestly can't think of a single thing about The Judge I didn't like. Last year there was Nebraska but in many ways, while this is more commercial, it is just as good if not better and that is saying something. I highly suspect that I will go back to see this movie again, preferably on the big screen but it is also a must purchase when it comes out on DVD or is available for purchase with extras via streaming formats. Duvall is at the top of this game, Downy has never been better and the supporting cast is excellent. I can't think of a better, more thought provoking movie that I have seen this year than The Judge. 

On a scale of 1 - 10, for the 10 letters in excellence, I give a rare, well deserved , 10. 


To see the interview with Robert Downy Jr. with Jimmy Fallon, click on the video below, if the video doesn't work, click on the following link:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b4M4I6FPiwU


 

The Virtual Pew and our other work is supported solely by the kind contributions of others. You can click on the donate button below to give any amount to this work that does so much more than just post articles on the net; I draw no ongoing salary from the church I pastor, Mosaic Wichita which is predominantly a homeless church; I am grateful for any small amount you can contribute to help with this ministry.  Believe me there is much more going on than most realize. I will also provide information to verify the ministry and income that comes into this ministry and work.  Thanks and feel free to share any material from The Virtual Pew, I only ask that appropriate credit is given and a link to the original site with the materials provided.


Click here to read about, and order the book, The Keystone Kid 

http://www.mosaicwichita.com/#!store
Click here to visit the web page The Virtual Pew

Click here to follow The Virtual Pew on Twitter

Mike Furches on Faceboook.

Click here to visit Mosaic Church where Mike is Pastor

The Keystone Kid/Virtual Pew Message Boards

Click to subscribe to my blog

There are hundreds of postings so make sure to check out the archives. You can also contact me for a free audio book link of The Keystone Kid at mike@furches.org You can visit http://www.thevirtualpew.com/.

Hopefully you will consider a gift to The Virtual Pew.

Now I get asked this quite often, Can we repost your blogs or articles? The short answer to that is, what an honor that you would ask, and by all means, spread the word. Here is our contact information

The Virtual Pew
1249 N. St. Francis
Wichita Kansas, 67214
Email: mike@furches.org

Click on the following links to learn more about The Virtual Pew

Donations to The Virtual Pew

The Virtual Pew Blog

Personal Furches Web Site

Hollywood Jesus

Reviews With Mike

The Virtual Pew Sermons




Thursday, September 4, 2014

The Identical, Interview with Blake Rayne and Erin Cottrell

www.thevirtualpew.com
I recently had the opportunity to interview Blake Rayne and Erin Cottrell, stars of the new movie The Identical.  Blake Rayne a former Elvis impersonator was discovered prior to being cast in this film.  He plays the part of Ryan Wade the identical twin of popular performer and singer Drexel Hemsley.  While a newcomer Rayne (aka Ryan Pelton) does a terrific job in this role, in fact, as mentioned in my review, while this actor looks, sounds like and performs much like Elvis, Elvis would be envious over  Rayne's own abilities.

An unexpected pleasure in the brief time I had during the interview was the presence of Erin Cottrell.  Erin is noted for the many roles she has been in, most prominently The Hallmark series featuring the books of Janet Oke.  Cotrell plays the part of girlfriend, and ultimate wife of Ryan Wade in the movie, Jenny O'Brien, she also serves as narrator of the film as if the story is being told through her eyes.

I had the opportunity to interview both of these individuals prior to seeing the film and the following is a transcript of our conversation.

Mike Furches, (MF):  Erin I had the opportunity to interview Michael Landon JR some time ago and I know you have done some work with him.

Erin Cottrell, (EC):  Yeah I have, he is a great guy.

MF:  Janet Oke was also one that years ago encouraged me in some of my own writings.  What was your work like with the two of them in the past?

www.thevirtualpew.comEC:  Oh the work was fantastic although I really only met Janette once and that was at an awards show where she was lovely and so so kind. Now Michael Landon JR. I have done several friends with.  He was the producer and director and he was great, really really great. Especially so because when I came into work with him on the Love Comes Softly series I had just finished the Little House on the Prairie mini-series. He had mixed feelings about ABC redoing his fathers series and his legacy but he was incredibly gracious and a lovely human. He was a great guy to work for and super encouraging and was interested in doing all of the Love Comes Softly shows. I had only signed on for two but he said to get Erin in as many of them as possible so I was very grateful for him.

MF - Blake can you tell us about how you got this role?  Your background is really quite unique and if not mistaken this is your first feature film?  Tell us some about how you got the role and what life has been like for you after this?

Blake Rayne, (BR): Well its really quite interesting. I have a band and we were rehearsing in a rehearsal studio in Nashville. As coincidence would have it, the Executive Producer Yochanan Marcellino was visiting and walked in as he was looking for a place to work on some of the music for the film. That's how we ran into each other. To make a long story short, he called me into a couple of meetings and he sat me down one day and said, "I've got a film and I'm interested in casting you in the lead role but I don't know if you can act but we're going to find out." So I did a couple of screen tests and what not and that was a great experience for me across the board.

As far as how it's changed my life, I wouldn't say it's really changed it at all. I am looking forward to being more involved in film projects down the line but I'll always be involved in music.  I enjoy playing music, performing music writing music and I just hope I'll be able to call myself an actor as well.  So I have been very blessed and very lucky.

MF: One of the things I noticed on your Facebook page is I couldn't help but notice you have been involved in some race car circuit lately, ARCA races and all.  How did you get involved in that?

www.thevirtualpew.comBR: A lot of it has been a part of the promotion of the movie. One of the companies has been supportive of The Identical.  They have four cars and one of the owners of one of the cars is Zaxby's Corporation and if you are from the South you'll know.  I have been a race fan all of my life, through the  Richard Petty Driving Experience and more. So its really been exciting to be involved with the guys involved in Motor Sports. To be with the drivers, pit crews and what not.  To go to the races, helping promote the movie, singing the National Anthem and so forth. That's the kind of situation where you don't have to pay me to be involved in any of that, it is for sure just a lot of fun. I have really enjoyed it, all of the guys, the drivers and everyone else has just been fabulous. I am out there and a total geek when it comes to stuff like this. I am just trying to learn everything, talk up the owner of the motorsports company, trying to force them to let me drive, and it's just all been a lot of fun man. (laughter through later part of Blake's comments.)

MF: I have a question where I want to be a little sensitive in how I ask it, but while I haven't seen the film yet, there seems to be a Christian or Spiritual theme in the movie from what I have seen and read.  Does that scare you at all?  I think the truth of it is that at least in my opinion is there are a lot of Christian films that have come out that are horrible. While this one seems to have a quality cast, and parts of it look good, does the association and thoughts from the public regarding "Christian" movies bother you at all?

EC: I'll go first on that one.  It really doesn't bother me because I honestly feel that first and foremost, this is a family film about families, but not just about families, but for families. It's about family and its about music. So I feel like that is the overarching theme.  It's that and there are redemptive qualities. It's also about following your dreams and that's beautiful. I feel like positioning of the religious element is so important to the character. Ray Liotta is a minister so it has some themes but I don't think the audience is being preached to.  People will understand the religious aspects because they will realize the people in the movie are religious.  I don't think they are specifically trying to proselytize to the audience. Because of that, I'm not worried at all. I think the movie is lovely and just because they are doing things that are faith based and family friendly it will be a warm welcome audience of those people. That's really fantastic so one certainly doesn't want to shy away from that. I think the movie will reach far more people than just the religious based audience. I think it is so relateable that there is really nothing to worry about.

www.mosaicwichita.comMF: Blake, your thoughts?

BR: You know Erin said it very well. I think the thing to remember is this isn't a faith based movie, it is a faith friendly movie.  That is something to differentiate. If you sit back and look at this razy world, that is a question that that has value, that's why I think this is a great question. It doesn't matter what religion you are talking about, what is a part of all religions? Love, love, is a part of those religions. So it's a movie about love, is it a religious movie?  Not necessarily. I think that in this movie it is safe to say, these characters, just like in any movie, it is tough to have a movie where the characters don't follow some type of religion. In this one, one of the main characters is a preacher, trying to make his son follow his path of becoming a pastor. So yeah, the elements are going to be in there but the movie itself is not about that.  What the movie is about in my opinion is the relationship between a father and a son and that conflict is there, it is about how they come together, about following your own dreams, following your path in life and staying true to it despite diversity. There are times that even a parent may want you to do what they want instead of doing what you want. People need to follow their heart. That's what the movie is about to me. I don't really think there is anything in there that will offend others, it is a good movie and families are going to enjoy it. One doesn't have to be of a religious mindset to go to the theater and watch this movie, but if you are of a religious mindset, maybe you pull out specific maybe based on your own ideology. That's great but if you are going to just watch a good movie, you're still going to enjoy it. That's what I think.

MF: Can you give a brief response of what it was like to play alongside two incredible actors like Ray Liotta or Ashley Judd?

BR: From my standpoint, being a first time actor, it was just amazing. I didn't know what to expect from such big names. You just don't know what to expect. I can truthfully say that Ray Liotta, Ashley Judd, Seth Green, Erin Cottrell, (Erin breaks in laughing as Blake continues) everyone of them showed support of me and were so helpful with me being a first time actor. I certainly owe so much to them and just give them all the credit as they were just amazing.

www.mosaicwichita.com
EC: Yeah, Ray and Ashley were great. Ashley was just so incredibly kind to me. There was one night she couldn't use her Grand Ole Opry Tickets so she gave them to me. So I got the Judd family seats to the Grand Ole Opry. She was just super generous and very kind.  Ray was also fantastic and super focused. He was inspiring to work with and what he did with his character.  He was so committed and I just loved working with them and Seth Green. They were all so kind and like everything we did was so good. I had a great experience.

MF: Last comment, Blake, it was a year ago this month when I was with my sister in law at her bed along with my wife when my sister in law died of ALS.  I know you have done the Ice Bucket Challenge and I just wanted to say thank you. Now make sure you follow through to have Ashley Judd to take the challenge.

BR: I know I challenged her, I don't even know if she has seen the challenge but I am going to follow through to make sure she gets the challenge. I'll definitely talk to her.

MF: Thanks Erin and Blake for your time I really appreciate it.

BR: Thank you Mike we really enjoyed it.

EC: Same for me Mike, have a great day. 

The following is a clip from the movie The Identical.  It features the character of Ryan Wade singing to his girlfriend Jenny.  To see the video, click on the video below, if there is trouble, click on the following link:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FDCggwDjsI0



The Virtual Pew and our other work is supported solely by the kind contributions of others. You can click on the donate button below to give any amount to this work that does so much more than just post articles on the net; I draw no ongoing salary from the church I pastor, Mosaic Wichita which is predominantly a homeless church; I am grateful for any small amount you can contribute to help with this ministry.  Believe me there is much more going on than most realize. I will also provide information to verify the ministry and income that comes into this ministry and work.  Thanks and feel free to share any material from The Virtual Pew, I only ask that appropriate credit is given and a link to the original site with the materials provided.


Click here to read about, and order the book, The Keystone Kid 

http://www.mosaicwichita.com/#!store
Click here to visit the web page The Virtual Pew

Click here to follow The Virtual Pew on Twitter

Mike Furches on Faceboook.

Click here to visit Mosaic Church where Mike is Pastor

The Keystone Kid/Virtual Pew Message Boards

Click to subscribe to my blog

There are hundreds of postings so make sure to check out the archives. You can also contact me for a free audio book link of The Keystone Kid at mike@furches.org You can visit http://www.thevirtualpew.com/.

Hopefully you will consider a gift to The Virtual Pew.

Now I get asked this quite often, Can we repost your blogs or articles? The short answer to that is, what an honor that you would ask, and by all means, spread the word. Here is our contact information

The Virtual Pew
1249 N. St. Francis
Wichita Kansas, 67214
Email: mike@furches.org

Click on the following links to learn more about The Virtual Pew

Donations to The Virtual Pew

The Virtual Pew Blog

Personal Furches Web Site

Hollywood Jesus

Reviews With Mike

The Virtual Pew Sermons



The Identical, Starring Ray Liotta and Ashley Judd



www.thevirtualpew.com
We often hear that first impressions are not always the best. So was the case when I first saw the trailer and preliminary advertising for the movie The Identical. It looked like most every other "Christian" film I had seen, poorly made, acted, and just flat out horrible. As much as I hate to say it, the advances and preliminary bits I had seen on this movie reinforced that opinion, they looked so bad that I wanted nothing to do with it. Then something miraculous happened, I had an epiphany moment, I had fallen into the same thing I had accused others of. I made a judgment about a movie before seeing it.

I had an opportunity to see The Identical prior to its release and my moment of prejudgment quickly changed. This movie, with a strong emphasis on faith as a backdrop wasn't only better than most of the "Christian" films I had seen, I quickly realized, the trailer doesn't even come close to how good the movie is. I will point out to the movie going audience, don't be fooled by the trailer, it may be the first one I have seen that may hurt the movie more than it helps. A rare suggestion I know, but overlook the advances for this movie, it is better than they are.

www.thevirtualpew.comThe Identical starts off during the depression in the 1930's, a couple gives birth to identical twins and can't afford to keep both children. While attending a revival by Reece Wade, played brilliantly by Ray Liotta, the father of the children, two sons, decides it is in the child's best interest to give the child to Reverend Wade and his wife, Louise played by Ashley Judd. Reverend Wade is the pastor of a church and they raise their son to pursue his dreams, of course Reverend Wade is quick to point out that the boy will go into the ministry just like him. Unfortunately, the boy has a love for music that he can't explain and he wants to pursue his own dreams. As the boy grows older we see him following his dream of music, the son, played very nicely by Blake Rayne is a new comer who was discovered as an Elvis impersonator under the name Ryan Pelton, is exceptional. On this point, let's get the elephant out of the room, Rayne, as Ryan Wade looks a lot like Elvis, sings like Elvis and performs like Elvis. What one could see as a cheap imitation is quickly transformed by the quality of Rayne's performance. The performance by Rayne is so good that Elvis would be jealous because Rayne is not only a quality performer but a quality actor in a very good and thought provoking movie that Elvis would have loved to have played in.
 
www.mosaicwichta.comThe Identical is surprising in other ways, from the great acting to wonderful music, (all original to the film,) costuming, editing and direction is nearly flawless. These are elements I didn't expect and seemed to be extinct from most faith based driven movies. I was pleasantly surprised at the well crafted story that ultimately becomes so emotional towards the end that you have to wonder, if one doesn't shed a tear or two you wonder if the person not touched has a heart. This will certainly be true for the family that has stuck it out, loved, and supported each other through adulthood. There is never any doubt that the Wade family loved their son just as much as if they had given birth to him. This adoptive family has a special bond with their son, it is presented in a wonderful, realistic way from the point of adoption to later in his life well into adulthood.

One of the things I loved about this movie is the strong family bond and love. While the character played by Ray Liotta is a pastor, at times coming across as harsh, it is done with a measure of respect that it is clear he loves his wife and son. It was refreshing to see a pastor portrayed in a realistic way, full of faith, love and yes, even faults. He isn't perfect, none of us are but he represents a measure of love I greatly appreciated. As many involved in various ministry work will understand, his character is presented in a way that  many will relate to. We see a mother and father played as most seem to be, at times living through their children but this family ultimately realizes a child's dreams may not be the same as the dreams of the parents. While it takes one a little longer to realize this point, they ultimately both do. The viewer also ultimately sees why the character of Ryan Wade has reasons to love music the way he does. We question, that maybe just maybe, God planted those dreams and abilities in Wade just like he does all of us our own specific dreams and abilities. We see this especially later on in the movie when Ryan discovers the secret about his identical twin which he never realized he had until he, (Ryan) is older pursuing his own dreams.

www.mosaicwichta.comMake plans now to go see this toe tapping, faith affirming wonderful movie that will encourage you to not give up on your dreams. It could have been overly preachy but it isn't.  It is instead a movie that people of faith will enjoy alongside friends who aren't religious. It presents life lessons in a non preachy way that resembles the non confrontational, yet serious thought provoking parables of Jesus. I suspect many will be just like me, surprised at how good this movie actually is. For fans of Ray Liotta, Ashley Judd, Seth Green or even Joe Pantoliano you may be surprised at how good their performances are. I would go so far to say to fans of Ray Liotta, they will appreciate that he was the Executive Producer for the film and, in my opinion, this is the best all round job as an actor he has been in. Unique I know for an actor who normally plays the bad guy but that isn't the case here, he is a loving father we see age and develop, even admitting to his faults in a beautiful way as he gets older. His character is an example for many a father, especially those in ministry.

The Identical is a surprisingly good film that will entertain those who love good story, a strong affirmation of family, with life lessons and faith along with a ton of good toe tapping music. For that reason, this is among the top scores I have ever given any faith driven film, on a scale of 1 - 10, for the 9 letters in Identical, I give The Identical a very strong, convicting 9


 To see the trailer for The Identical click on the video, if the video doesn't work, click on the following link:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kbJX8ZN8GPQ





The Virtual Pew and our other work is supported solely by the kind contributions of others. You can click on the donate button below to give any amount to this work that does so much more than just post articles on the net; I draw no ongoing salary from the church I pastor, Mosaic Wichita which is predominantly a homeless church; I am grateful for any small amount you can contribute to help with this ministry.  Believe me there is much more going on than most realize. I will also provide information to verify the ministry and income that comes into this ministry and work.  Thanks and feel free to share any material from The Virtual Pew, I only ask that appropriate credit is given and a link to the original site with the materials provided.


Click here to read about, and order the book, The Keystone Kid 

http://www.mosaicwichita.com/#!store
Click here to visit the web page The Virtual Pew

Click here to follow The Virtual Pew on Twitter

Mike Furches on Faceboook.

Click here to visit Mosaic Church where Mike is Pastor

The Keystone Kid/Virtual Pew Message Boards

Click to subscribe to my blog

There are hundreds of postings so make sure to check out the archives. You can also contact me for a free audio book link of The Keystone Kid at mike@furches.org You can visit http://www.thevirtualpew.com/.

Hopefully you will consider a gift to The Virtual Pew.

Now I get asked this quite often, Can we repost your blogs or articles? The short answer to that is, what an honor that you would ask, and by all means, spread the word. Here is our contact information

The Virtual Pew
1249 N. St. Francis
Wichita Kansas, 67214
Email: mike@furches.org

Click on the following links to learn more about The Virtual Pew

Donations to The Virtual Pew

The Virtual Pew Blog

Personal Furches Web Site

Hollywood Jesus

Reviews With Mike

The Virtual Pew Sermons


Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Doctor Who Episodes 801. 802

www.thevirtualpew.com
In Doctor Who's Season 8 Episode 1 (801), titled Deep Breath the setting is in Victorian-era London. The episode opens with a T-Rex Dinosaur roaming next to The British Parliament. The episode includes additional oddities such as spontaneous combustion, the return of previous characters known as the Paternoster Gang and Clara struggling to know the man the Doctor has become. The new Doctor, the 12th over a 50 year+ span is played by Peter Capaldi who also played as various characters, most notably as Caecilius in the episode The Fires of Pompeii, the second episode of Season 4 of the reincarnation series on BBC.

In this first episode of Season 8 we also see The Doctor struggling to discover himself. The backdrop of the story has half human and half robot creatures who are working at becoming fully human. There is one in particular who is seeking to discover the "promised land" (aka Heaven). In this struggle we see, as has been the case in many a episode over the years, the continual battles of science, (the doctor) and faith. While at times the series seems to take the side of science, via the Doctor, it is at least open to the possibilities and challenges the viewing audience to think on its own. The Doctor in one revealing scene is challenging the leader of the half robot, half humans, a half-faced man, to look at himself through a reflection as he has made himself out of various parts from various humans. The half-faced man sees his own reflection and realizes his own need to discover who he is. The Doctor sees his image on the reverse side of the reflection and realizes, he also has been influenced by other things and has also changed. The question is how has he changed, has it been in appearance only, or also within in his spirit? In typical Doctor Who series form, it is an attempt to get the viewer to also think about changes in their own life. It is one of the things that keeps the Doctor Who series so compelling and falling within the definition of Science Fiction. The series continues to test the boundaries of looking at the reality around us and incorporating thought as to our own realities and surroundings, including political and societal commentary.

www.thevirtualpew.comIn the end of episode 801 we presumably see one seeking faith, the half-faced man, looking for paradise die. Whether he is pushed by the Doctor or something else, the power of science over faith is not answered. We see the half-faced man impaled on a cross that is a steeple on a church, giving the image that faith ends in death and is not as powerful as science. Later on at the conclusion of the episode though we see a challenging image, the Doctor is still searching to discover himself and the half-faced man who was impaled is in fact in what is presented as Heaven. He is confronted by one in Heaven who says they are friends with the Doctor. What the detail or impact of that relationship with the Doctor is we don't know. I suspect that as in previous seasons the story will continue to develop in a terrific way that with the conclusion of the series wo;; be answers our questions.

My thoughts on the new Doctor are at present mixed. Capaldi is the oldest person playing the Doctor since the origin of the series back in 1963. He does a good job but seems like a more appropriate follow up Doctor to one of my favorites over the years, David Tennant, as opposed to Matt Smith. Tennant was the Doctor prior to Smith and Capaldi looks like an older Tennant. That is just me though, one of the things I have learned about the Doctor is the ability of the new Doctors to grow on you. I learned to like Smith, I expect to also learn to like Capaldi.

www.thevirtualpew.comMany who are not fans of Science Fiction, or some conservative Fundamentalist's may have issues with the questions asked in Doctor Who. I don't, in fact the questions it raised specific to the challenges of Faith Vs. Science is one of the things I appreciate about the show. It challenges the viewers to ask themselves questions and the show largely does not take sides, neither though does it ignore the questions that many have. I appreciate that and expect those seeking their own answers, if looking far enough and long enough to find answers. It is clear. Doctor Who has questions regarding himself and like many others in our world, while they may pretend to know the answers, there are moments and times where one who is questioning the realities of God and faith must admit, they don't really know. For those looking or just interested in looking in on issues and questions such as this, sit back, buckle in, and enjoy what appears to be another season of thought provoking episodes in typical Doctor Who fashion. I know I am.

In the Season 8 Episode 2 (802)  episode Into The Dalek we see one of Doctor Who's most hated, if not the most hated enemy, the one who seeks to destroy the whole of humanity return. The Dalek's, a robot type of creature, with an alien controlled brain and body who live inside a metallic body make a return in this early season episode but what will be a surprise to many a viewer, it isn't in typical Dalek fashion. We don't initially see an all out war between humans with the Dalek's as in the past. Instead, we see Doctor Who exploring the inner workings of the Dalek's by literally going inside the body of a damaged Dalek and trying to discover what is wrong with it as it seeks to befriend humans and destroy other Dalek's. This Dalek has for some reason turned good and this seems impossible to the Doctor.

www.mosaicwichita.comThe episode in some ways resembles the classic Science Fiction story, The Fantastic Voyage written by Jules Verne. In this episode though, once inside the Dalek, after being reduced in size, the Doctor, Clara and several soldiers from the resistance movement go in to explore the workings of Dalek's and to figure out what is wrong with this one. What happens, as is the case in many Dr. Who episodes, is the exploration of self and obtaining awareness into ones own life. There is another reoccurring theme that has occurred already in this season. There is the death of a soldier who sacrificially gives up her life to save the Doctor and those on the ship she is based on. There is another hint regarding Heaven in this sequence. What that hint is isn't clear yet but in the tradition of Dr Who there is the ongoing exploration debate between faith and science.

Also in the episode towards the end is an event during a time the Doctor continues to search for his own identity. There is a phone call to Clara from the previous Doctor, played by Matt Smith. It is an unexpected, but appreciated cameo with some revealing questions. Questions that will likely continue and ultimately be answered. 

www.mosaicwichita.comDoctor Who is a terrific series, a series I have seen most every episode available over the 50+ years the show has been airing and every episode of the current reincarnation of the series. The show has a world-wide fan base for a very good reason. It is a Science Fiction Geek's reward that airs through the week on BBC America and BBC Worldwide. In the United States the show airs its first run episodes on Saturday nights with reruns through the week. I can imagine the fans of such writers as CS Lewis and JRR Tolkien would love and appreciate this series but then again, that is likely one of the reasons Peter Jackson has offered to direct an episode or two for the payment of a Dalek. The questions are there and while The Dalek's in some ways represent pure evil, there are also times of thought, that just as in this episode, one can be challenged with the potential of change, while at the same time, facing their own evil desires that may include such things as hatred, even of an enemy. Seems consistent to me of the challenge made by Jesus and other New Testament authors, that is, to love, even our enemies.  

To see a video regarding the round the world tour to introduce Doctor Who Season 8, The Twelfth Doctor , click on the video below, if the video doesn't work, try the following link: 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UTJxI6bNqUs&list=UUcOkA2Xmk1valTOWSyKyp4g



The Virtual Pew and our other work is supported solely by the kind contributions of others. You can click on the donate button below to give any amount to this work that does so much more than just post articles on the net; I draw no ongoing salary from the church I pastor, Mosaic Wichita which is predominantly a homeless church; I am grateful for any small amount you can contribute to help with this ministry.  Believe me there is much more going on than most realize. I will also provide information to verify the ministry and income that comes into this ministry and work.  Thanks and feel free to share any material from The Virtual Pew, I only ask that appropriate credit is given and a link to the original site with the materials provided.


Click here to read about, and order the book, The Keystone Kid 

http://www.mosaicwichita.com/#!store
Click here to visit the web page The Virtual Pew

Click here to follow The Virtual Pew on Twitter

Mike Furches on Faceboook.

Click here to visit Mosaic Church where Mike is Pastor

The Keystone Kid/Virtual Pew Message Boards

Click to subscribe to my blog

There are hundreds of postings so make sure to check out the archives. You can also contact me for a free audio book link of The Keystone Kid at mike@furches.org You can visit http://www.thevirtualpew.com/.

Hopefully you will consider a gift to The Virtual Pew.

Now I get asked this quite often, Can we repost your blogs or articles? The short answer to that is, what an honor that you would ask, and by all means, spread the word. Here is our contact information

The Virtual Pew
1249 N. St. Francis
Wichita Kansas, 67214
Email: mike@furches.org

Click on the following links to learn more about The Virtual Pew

Donations to The Virtual Pew

The Virtual Pew Blog

Personal Furches Web Site

Hollywood Jesus

Reviews With Mike

The Virtual Pew Sermons