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Doug's Blog: January 2012 Archives

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January 2012 Archives

Friday, January 27, 2012

Learn How To Tell Stories Well and Write Winning Screenplays:

Your movie is all about the story you are telling. Most films fail because their stories are poorly conceived and written. Now you can join master storyteller and accomplished script writer John Fornof at the Christian Filmmakers Academy. John is known for his work at Focus on the Family crafting the Adventures in Odyssey, has directed legendary film stars like John Rhys-Davies (of Indiana Jones), and is currently producer of Lamplighter Theater.

Sign up today for the Christian Filmmakers Academy

Thursday, January 26, 2012

For Rent: The Acropolis

Greek officials recently announced that several ancient historic sites would be rented out for advertising space, beginning with the Acropolis in Athens. This comes in the wake of pressing economic concerns, as state agencies in Greece say they no longer have the funds to maintain and repair the ancient sites. State officials are hoping to raise enough revenue through advertising fees to pay for the upkeep of the properties, a move archeologists have “slammed . . . as sacrilege.”

It is ironic that these monuments stand in ruins in large part for the same reasons the modern government of Greece is also threatened with ruin. For years, Greece has embraced the statist ideas of their ancient forebears like Plato and Aristotle — the belief in a paternalistic state.

These ancient sites hang over the city of Athens as a reminder of the best that man has to offer apart from God. In the minds of proud Westerners, these pillars from the past stand as a testimony to man’s achievement. Yet these homages to statism represent something far more significant — the failure and destruction of men who reject God and His law. The results are real, and the crumbling Greek economy is but one tell-tale sign of the bankrupt worldview reflected in these centuries-old edifices which are now being peddled for rent.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Evaluating Candidates for Office

The biblical principle for evaluating candidate responses on specific issues is that we are not to be respecters of persons. This means that we evaluate specific statements and public positions objectively, not emotionally. We do not allow loyalties to cloud our judgment. We treat all men fairly, kindly and with the same standard. This does not necessarily diminish from our appreciation or disregard for them as candidates. It means that when Democrats do well we say so, and when Republicans do not, we say so as well. It means that the standard transcends the individual. Only then can we be faithful and honest as citizens of Heaven first, and the United States second.

A Weekend of Antithesis: February 24 and 25!

The weekend of February 25 and 26 will be a time of radical antithesis as two award ceremonies representing two competing world views will go back to back—the Hollywood Oscars and the San Antonio Jubilee Awards.

May God help the SAICFF judges to make wise decisions from among many noteworthy projects. Hollywood clearly is confused and agenda-driven when choosing their own Oscar nominee. (Note that Steven Spielberg was almost completely snubbed. Tin Tin was not even included and the masterpiece Warhorse received only one nomination.)

Will somebody please boldly and clearly fight for life? Please!

Last night the presidential candidates each flunked one of the most important questions of our generation. For many commentators, the question was a throw-away. But from my perspective it was defining. I will put in my own words—-in an age of abortion, contraceptive abortifacients, quality of life arguments, euthanasia and biomedical ethical nightmares WILL OUR ELECTED OFFICIALS ENTRUSTED BY GOD WITH THE DUTY OF PROTECTING THE INNOCENT STAND FOR LIFE?

The context of the debate question was the murder of Terri Schiavo by deprivation of food and water.

Senator Santorum sounded reasonable and technical reducing the question to a judicial proceeding to be weighed by the court, but did not explain the problem or say clearly—it is wrong for a husband to kill his conscious, but injured wife. Period! Former Speaker Gingrich misrepresented the facts of the case, offered a generally helpful comment about the judicial process, and then appeared to implicitly legitimize euthanasia. Ron Paul completely flunked the question by indicating that the actions against Terri would have been solved by legitimizing them with a living will. Each of these answers were in their own way unimpressive.

I want to hear the candidates boldly fight for life DURING THE DEBATE, not in carefully crafted statements afterwards. The facts of the Terri Schiavo case are known to each of them. She was alive. She was a person. She responded to communication. She was starved to death and denied water by her husband who facilitated the murder of this woman. No living will is relevant when it comes to murder. There are many duties which do not belong to the state, but defending the innocent against an ongoing attempted murder is the duty of the magistrate.

Girl in pink dress takes down enormous wild beast!

This report is rated PG-13 for bloodshed.

Girl in pink dress takes down enormous wild beast! from Douglas Phillips on Vimeo.

You know you are not a Texan if this troubles you.

Reason # 37 for Watching D-Day and the Providence of God

Visit our website and sign-up today for this amazing home education experience in the history the Second World War and God’s providence, or purchase the boxed set available on this website.

www.afinalfarewell.org

Monday, January 23, 2012

Waiting List only for The 2012 Christian Filmmakers Academy

An Exciting Time to be Engaged in the World's Oldest Profession: Taxonomy

One of the most important areas of science for the creationist is taxonomy—-the classification and naming of animals. The domination of taxonomy by evolutionists has contributed to widespread misinformation and confusion about the relationship of various animals to each other. As we move into the 21st century it will be the responsibility of Christians engaged in science to help rename and classify animal groups consistent with the biblical principles of “kinds” and the available scientific information including DNA evidence. Creationists call the new approach to taxonomy—“baraminology”, which is the scientific attempt to find the boundaries of God’s created kinds.

But one thing is for sure, this is an area of dominion full of potential. Explorers responsible for the identification of previously undiscovered animal groups are often presented with new additions to the portfolio of God’s creation. In the last month, reports have been made of the discovery of predatory starfish, large spiral-shelled snails, and hairy-chested yeti crabs in the deep sea vents of Antarctica; as well as the discovery of the smallest-known frogs in the forests of Papua New Guinea, and a new snub-nosed monkey that sneezes uncontrollably in the rain in the jungles of Myanmar.

This should excite Christians since “taxonomy” is the world’s oldest profession and first work Adam pursued after he was created — to “name” the animals (Gen. 2:19). Following this initial task, God gave Adam further directions to “subdue” the earth and “have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth” (Gen. 1:28). The Dominion Mandate called on Adam to gain mastery over the vast and diverse animal kingdom.

In view of this God-given mission to man, Vision Forum has made it a point to engage in various expeditions across the world to showcase the wonders of God’s creation, declaring His Glory and carrying the power of the gospel to the far regions of the earth. Over the last several years, we’ve led excursions to the islands of the Galápagos, to the Mayan ruins in Mexico, to the mountains of Peru, and deep into the Amazon Rainforest. In each place we’ve explored, we’ve sought to explain the strange and unusual animals found there in light of God’s order and purpose.

Those who join us at the Film Festival this February 23-25 will be introduced to yet another new and exciting project that advances God’s great charge to Adam.

We hope to see you there!

Take a Moment and Travel Back to the World of The Mysterious Islands

The Mysterious Islands: Watch the Trailer from Vision Forum on Vimeo.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Exciting Announcements Continue on the The San Antonio Independent Christian Film Festival - Join the Facebook Page!

Stay posted on special announcements for the San Antonio Independent Christian Film Festiva — join the Facebook page.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Please join our SAICFF Facebook page for updates on the Christian Filmmakers Academy and Festival

Go to

http://www.facebook.com/SAICFF

Friday, January 13, 2012

A Glorious Victory on the Second Anniversary of the Great Haitian Earthquake

A Special Report From Doug Phillips,
Founder Rescue Haiti’s Children

On this day two years ago, the world awoke to the mind-numbing reality of the greatest earthquake of our generation.

Do you remember? Do you remember the stories that were beginning to populate the news of thousands of men, women, and children trapped beneath the rubble and crying for help, of children wandering through the cities, of tens of thousands of bodies accumulating in the streets, and the news that would eventually emerge that more than 300,000 had lost their lives.

One of those who woke up this morning two years ago under the rubble, barely alive, was a fourteen-year-old boy named Rood who found himself trapped with his mother under thousands of pounds of concrete in what was once his home in Haiti.

While visiting a devastated township with my team, I found Rood — the boy with a bright smile and praises to God on his lips. A local relief worker brought him to me and asked if I could help him. Several weeks had passed since the earthquake had struck, and his arm had been amputated. He had no where to go and no one to look after him. He was one of tens of thousands of orphans living alone and scrounging food to stay alive. His story is told in the video clip below. Please take a moment and watch it.

Rescue Haiti’s Children: The Rescue of an Orphan from Douglas Phillips on Vimeo.

That night we brought Rood to the orphanage where he was loved and treated by one of the great heroes of the 2010 disaster, Dr. John Leininger. It was hard — very hard — listening to Rood cry and call for his mother that night as he lay on the floor on a blanket in the completely overcrowded orphanage. There were many tears that night; every child there had their own story.

On my next trip to Haiti, I was reunited with Rood. God was blessing him. He was getting stronger, and his smile was as wide as ever. Our reunion was a moment I shall never forget.

In a nation of death and destruction where everyone you meet has lost a member of their family, it is difficult for a child to mourn or to find closure. There is just too much death and sorrow to go around. None of these children get to bury their brothers and sisters, much less their parents. They have to deal with the reality that yesterday they had a family and a home, but today they have nothing.

They have to mourn in silence and hope that there will be food to keep them alive.

That is why Rescue Haiti’s Children decided that we needed to help the children have closure and give them an opportunity to honor their fallen family members. We took them away from the city and gave them a mountain-top memorial, the story of which is told in this video. Please watch it. It is one of the most significant stories we have ever been able to share with others.

Rescue Haiti’s Children: Haiti’s Orphans Get a Mountain-Top Memorial Service for Their Parents from Douglas Phillips on Vimeo.

But there was one more mission that needed to be accomplished to help bring closure to this very special boy named Rood. It was a hard mission, and one I did not relish completing. Rood wanted to go back to the rubble that once was his home. He wanted to show me where he lived. He wanted to say goodbye. Below is the story of what happened. Prepare yourself — it is a tear-jerker.

Rescue Haiti’s Children: The Return of Rood. from Douglas Phillips on Vimeo.

Haiti Two Years Later

The tent cities are still there. A million people still live in the streets. Disease is still rampant. Cholera continues to wipe out large numbers of communities, even though simple medical treatment could resolve the sickness for many. The United Nations and organizations like UNICEF continue to meddle in the relief work of Christian organizations. Billions have been given and spent — but where has the money gone? Haiti is still in shambles. The country has yet to be rebuilt.

But there are victories. Real victories. And some of these victories are because families like yours prayed — you prayed very, very hard for the children of Haiti. There are victories because you gave to Christian organizations that sought to make a difference in the lives of handfuls by promoting the message of American adoptions and supporting the work of those heroes who have been laboring in Haiti for years by getting these children out of the country and into the loving arms or adoptive American families.

It has been a real battle getting the government to allow these children out of Haiti, but one by one, and sometimes a dozen at a time, they have been released to American Christian families. And today we can give thanks to God because one of those victories can be seen on the smile of a little boy named Rood who lost his arm and every member of his immediate family. It is a victory because today Rood is a joyful member of a first-rate, Christ-exalting, home school family living near San Antonio, Texas.

A Great Victory for the Kingdom of God in the Life of a Boy Named Rood

In December of 2011, Rood and his new family appeared at the San Antonio court house, just a few blocks from our great Texas symbol of freedom, the Alamo. My family and I were outside the court building that day waiting for Rood when we got a call from his mother — the judge had granted Roods adoption.

It was official: Rood was now Rood Ferguson, the son of John and Karen Ferguson.

Praises be to the living God! Rood has a family. He has a mother and a father who love him. And he loves them. And they are happy. Yes, God sets the solitary in families. Yes, true religion is caring for the widows and orphans in their distress.

And if that were not enough, consider the glory and mercy and wisdom of the Creator, because this little boy who lost his arm and so very, very much will never have to worry that his arm will go untreated — his new father is not merely a physician, but the head of prosthetics at a major hospital.

To God be the Glory!

And that is how Jesus Christ turns beauty from ashes. Welcome home, Rood. We love you!

Human Zoos and the Noble Savage: The Great Commission Answer

If you have been following the work of Vision Forum Ministries over the last several years, then you know that we believe that the doctrine of Creation, the Great Commission, and the Dominion Mandate have significant implications for the strength of the Christian family in America. You also now that through our work with projects like Into the Amazon and The Mysterious Islands, we are attempting to equip the next generation to have a strong apologetic witness to the anti-Christian and evolutionary humanism of the radical environmentalist movement. Today we offer you another example of the challenge of modern pantheism from the pages of this week’s news:

A video captured of a Jarawa tribal woman by tourists on the Andaman Islands has sparked an outrage among Indian government officials and tribal rights groups, as locals and tourist agencies have been accused of conducting “human safari tours,” taking tourists to visit “human zoos” of the Jarawa people.

Yet even as these alleged abuses have been condemned, the defense given of the tribal groups points to a critical worldview error. Many evolutionist anthropologists attribute great value to the preservation of tribal cultures in their unadulterated state. India, among other nations, has passed laws that are intended to bar these tribes from outside influences. In addressing the video controversy, state anthropologist A. Justin, who works on the Andaman Islands and who shares this mindset, stated that “a policy of maximum autonomy [for these tribes] with minimum intervention has been put in place.”

Anthropologists such as Justin attribute to these tribes the status of noble savage: the idea that, in their primitive state, they represent the true nature of man, stripped bare of the influence of centuries of oppressive Western social conventions dominated by Christianity. Yet this misses the mark. Even as caging and exploiting tribal people for exhibition is wrong (as was famously done in 1904 at the Bronx Zoo to a Congolese pygmy named Ota Benga), so too is elevating their backwards pagan culture as superior to more developed civilizations that owe their advancements to Christian ideals.

A true restoration of dignity for these tribes can only be achieved by affirming the Creation order: that all men are created in the image of God and are to take dominion of the earth and conform their lives to His precepts. Christianity does not exploit any people groups as “less than human,” but neither does Christianity speak of tribal groups as they would an endangered animal species to be preserved and revered in their primitive, godless state. Christians are commanded to minister to pagan tribes as part of the Great Commission (Matthew 28:18-20), calling them out of the darkness of paganism to glorify God, to observe all His commandments, and to enjoy the benefits the Gospel brings.

Both “human zoos” and the myth of the “noble savage” must be rejected for the transforming power of the Gospel. Only then will the Jarawa tribe and other pagan peoples find hope.

Amazing Message from Dr. Joe Morecraft in Rome at the Arch of Titus on Revelation and the Fall of the Temple of Jerusalem

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Announcing the Semi-Finalist Winners for 2012 SAICFF: Special Comments

Two hundred films were submitted for review to this years SAICFF. Today our judges are announcing three of the categories semi-finalist winners. Tomorrow we will announce more. This year we have added a new category called Great Commission which centers on films that focus on the discipleship of the nations, especially as it relates to the issue of international Gospel outreach. Again, we are pleased to feature a category in defense of the biblical account of origins called Creation. All films that qualify for Great Commission are also included in our documentary category. Creation films may include documentaries or film shorts.

There are a few observations I want to offer this year as founder of the SAICFF and one of the judging panel.

  1. The quality of the documentaries is dramatically improving each year. This year we have the largest number of high production quality independent Christian documentaries.

  2. The subject matter and content of the documentaries and Great Commission documentaries are hard hitting, timely, and effect a growing maturity in the thinking of independent Christian filmmakers. Consider that we have films that address

a. The destructive influence of government schools on the American culture, and the need to rethink how we are educating our children.

b. The manipulation of public policy decisions by radical environmentalists.

c. The battle for the mind and spirit in light of the overwhelming influence of media on our thought life.

d. The truth about abortion is presented on one documentary which tells the amazing story of a woman who was aborted by saline solution and yet survived, and another documentary which details the transformation of a former director of Planned Parenthood from accomplice to murder to defender of life.

e. The truth about the efforts of the United States government to force Japanese American citizens into concentration camps in the name of safety, and the long term implications for the safety of freedom and constitutional liberties when fear-driven public policy results in the suspension of biblical and constitutional due process rights.

f. The great debate over proper methodology in evangelism in the context of differences between the school of thought represented by Charles Finney and that of Jonathan Edwards.

and so much more...

Congratulations to all our winners.

Announcing Semi-Finalists in Documentary category for the 2012 SAICFF

180

Using a few carefully selected questions and years of experience in the field of apologetics, Ray comfort goes to the streets with probing enquiries and piercing responses refuting modern compromise. Join Ray and witness people change their position on controversial subjects after only moments of confrontation.

A Voice for Life

In 1977, Melissa Ohden survived a saline induced abortion procedure and miraculously suffered no physical or mental damage. She returned to the hospital where the abortion attempt was made in 2008 and gave birth to her daughter, Olivia. Melissa is now a wife and mother who shares her story around the world and is having a positive impact on the lives of those who have been touched by abortion. She presents a message of hope, healing and forgiveness. Pro-Life Advocates featured in this film are John C. Wilkie MD, Fr. Frank Pavon, Fr. Jonathan Morris, Alveda C. King, Dr. Theresa Burke, Michael Clancy.

Captivated

Everywhere we go we are surrounded by screens. Have we entered a techno utopia or a virtual prison? Should we be celebrating unreservedly or should we be cautious and skeptical? Is it the greatest leap in productivity or the biggest setback from the things most meaningful in life? Has today’s connectivity drawn us closer to one another or strangely more disjointed? Is our social experience richer and deeper or more shallow and artificial? Is it all of these things or none of them? Discover insightful answers to these questions from media experts, church leaders, and inspiring individuals and families from across the country. Most importantly you’ll discover how God’s word addresses the unique media challenges we face today.

Detained

Detained follows a man’s journey as he investigates the Japanese American internment camps that occurred in America after the attack on Pearl Harbor. As he interviews people who were once detained in these camps, as well as legal and historical experts, he discovers the implications that this detainment carries for America’s present and future.

Divorcing God

Historically, republics have gone through distinct stages of development, eventually ending in moral and economic chaos. Tyranny inevitably follows the collapse of democratic systems. Is that happening to America? Are we nearing the end of our greatness, or is there hope for a renewal of the foundational principles that made that greatness possible?

Our founding fathers intended religion and morality to be the pillars of the new republic, providing the restraint that would allow maximum liberty for the citizenry. Today, this delicate balance of religion and the state has been eroded by a secularist push to isolate Christianity in our culture and render it irrelevant. The choice in our day is a stark one: As a people we either return to our Christian roots or we divorce God altogether. Returning to the principles established by our founders is the way to restore moral sanity and rebuild the foundations that made our nation great.

Flame On

Filmed just months after the loss of a child, this DVD follows the Jasper family through the heart-wrenching and faith-stretching question of “Why does God allow bad things to happen to good people?” Watch how a strong Christian family deals biblically with the emotions of shock, loss and grief.

Forever Family

“God has a plan. I can’t always know His plan, but I can always trust God’s heart.” These are the words of convicted child-murderer, Hannah Overton. She is currently serving a life sentence for the death of Andrew Bird, the son she and her husband LARRY were in the process of adopting and adding to their family of six.

Though she’s been convicted, Hannah, Larry and those who know her maintain her innocence. In fact the conviction was so controversial that 20/20 did an expose on their case. Despite this, Hannah sits in prison today.

Forever Family is the story of the events that lead to Andrew’s adoption, as well as the days leading up to his death and Hannah’s conviction, as told through the eyes of Larry, Hannah and their Pastor, Rod Carver. More importantly, this is the story of how God is turning this tragedy into triumph by using their trial to reach the women of the Gatesville Penitentiary.

Freedom Fighter

Majed El Shafie, an Egyptian man was arrested, beaten, tortured and sentenced to die because of his faith. Escaping to Israel, and eventually finding his way to Canada this 33-year-old man now fights for those who live under severe persecution. Traveling to Afghanistan and Pakistan, Majed encounters a 4 year old girl named Neha in 2007, who, with her family must live in hiding after she was raped at the age of 2 in an attempt to force convert the family to Islam. Freedom Fighter reveals the horrors of persecution, and shows just how much one man can do in the fight for freedom.

Indoctrination

School buses. They’re everywhere. We hear 480,000 of them rattle up and down our streets as they shuttle twenty-six million impressionable minds to our public schools every day. America’s future is being shifted and remolded through our public school system. Tomorrow’s voters and leaders are being guided and instructed in today’s classrooms. But whose doctrine is being taught? The bus represents a story that has everything to do with where our nation came from and where it is going. This is a story about our children. This is the story of the Big Yellow Bus. This is the story of IndoctriNation.

Join filmmaker and homeschool father Colin Gunn (2007 best of festival Jubilee winner) and family as they travel in a school bus all over America on a quest to uncover the origins and social impact of our modern public education system and gauge it against God’s Word.

Rescued

Today, over 130 million children have lost one or both parents, and every 18 seconds, another child in the world becomes an orphan. In America, 114,000 children in the foster care system are currently waiting to be adopted, and an estimated 65,500 of those children have been adopted by homosexuals. These staggering statistics should cause Christians to ask some probing questions. What would Christ’s church look like if we acted upon James 1:27 which states that “Pure and undefiled religion before God and the Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their trouble, and to keep oneself unspotted from the world.” Why is it that the church at large doesn’t talk much about adoption? How can the church come alongside families who have chosen to adopt? Do adoption and missions have a common thread? This film will attempt to answer those questions. The battle for the hearts and minds of these children is a battle against the forces of darkness. Adoption isn’t charity, it’s war.

Sforzando

Every summer at Sforzando String Camp (hosted by Marquette Manor Baptist Church in Downers Grove, IL), five solid days are spent in providing a strong focus on music (and it’s purpose) for musicians of all ages. It emphasizes helping young people learn how to focus their skills, while bringing glory to God and blessing others. In this documentary, you’ll get a tiny taste of the special atmosphere of Sforzando String Camp and find out why families say it’s the highlight of their year. Be prepared to learn and be inspired to use your talents to glorify our Creator!

Two Hats

One of the greatest presentations of multigenerational faithfulness in pursuit of the great commission,Two Hats addresses the subject of foreign missions, highlighting the ministry of Brad and Deborah Wells, along with their 7 children in Papua New Guinea. Brad started the country’s first Christian radio station in 2000 and is now reaching 50,000+ listeners per day.

Unplanned

Unplanned unfolds a fascinating transformation in the life of Abby Johnson, examining her journey from Planned Parenthood clinic director to becoming a leading advocate for life and women in crisis. Unplanned reveals the challenges confronting Abby as she walked away from her job at a key Texas Planned Parenthood clinic and walked into the Coalition for Life office down the street. The film unveils that this incredible turning point was preceded by years of misguided hopes, searching — and a moment of pure awakening. Abby recounts her journey as an idealistic and impressionable college student that led to her position as a director of a Planned Parenthood clinic. She describes the dramatic moments in that clinic that changed her life forever and set her on a new path.

Weighing the Evidence

Revival: a hot topic with varying philosophies and orthopraxies. Two of America’s most influential theologians, Jonathan Edwards and Charles Finney, have greatly impacted America’s current view of revival. With barely a century spanning them their theologies could not be more diverse. Charles Finney and Jonathan Edwards may look similar outwardly, but they had dynamic doctrinal differences which led them to vastly different conclusions. The doctrine of original sin, justification by faith alone, and God’s sovereignty versus man’s freewill are all controversial topics which Finney and Edwards fought hard to defend—their side of the argument. Which one held to the biblical position? Join five brothers, the Allen boys, as they interview great men of the Christian faith including Dr. Joseph Morecraft, Scott Brown, Dr. Andy Davis and many more! The antagonistic positions of Edwards and Finney will be presented in a conversational tone as the evidence is weighed in light of God’s Holy Word.

Your Backyard: The Life and Journey

Join siblings Taylor, Samuel and Grace, along with special guest Professor Solomon on an incredible creation journey of discovery, exploring the life and journey of God’s amazing monarch butterfly. Enjoy vivid, detailed images of the 30-day transformation from egg to butterfly—from watching a tiny monarch caterpillar eat its way out of its egg to the completion of metamorphosis, when the Monarch carefully emerges from its beautifully adorned chrysalis.

Sprinkled with colorful animation, you’ll discover details of the Monarch’s incredible 3,000 mile round-trip migration journey to a place they’ve never seen, overwintering high in the Oyamel Fir Forests of Mexico.

From learning of the monarch’s very special host plant, milkweed, to meeting 87-year young creation scientist Jules Poirier (a navigation design specialist who took part in the Apollo moon missions), you’ll explore the remarkable world of the Monarch butterfly, continually looking at God’s divine order in creation.

Announcing Semi-Finalists in Great Commission category for the 2012 SAICFF

Please note that all films that qualify in the Great Commission category are also qualified in the documentary category.

Breath Life

Dr. Stephen W. Linton (Korean name: Yinsae Ban), who has visited North Korea since 1997 to help tuberculosis patients. As the 4th generation descendant of missionary EugeneBell, who came to Korea during the latter era of Chosun Dynasty, he was born and spent his early childhood in Korea. Happening to visit North Korea on a tour in 1979, he began to take interest in North Korea, and after witnessing the reality of tuberculosis patients in North Korea, he founded the EugeneBell Foundation, named after his great-grandfather, and has been visiting 2-3 times annually to deliver medicine to tuberculosis patients. Dr. Linton has laid down his life and serves the tuberculosis patients in North Korea. He stresses that he is an errand man, not a missionary. Because Dr. Linton and the sponsors know God’s heart towards each soul in North Korea, their prayers and hearts for North Korea are incessant, even today.

Church Planting

This film examines the necessity and practicalities of gospel evangelism to the Mormon communities in Utah and Idaho.

Freedom Fighter

Majed El Shafie, an Egyptian man was arrested, beaten, tortured and sentenced to die because of his faith. Escaping to Israel, and eventually finding his way to Canada this 33 year old man now fights for those who live under severe persecution. Traveling to Afghanistan and Pakistan, Majed encounters a 4 year old girl named Neha in 2007, who, with her family must live in hiding after she was raped at the age of 2 in an attempt to force convert the family to Islam. Freedom Fighter reveals the horrors of persecution, and shows just how much one man can do in the fight for freedom.

Karen: Forgotten But Not Forsaken

This film documents the testimony of the Karen people, the largest and oldest indigenous tribe in Burma (Myanmar). The Karen and other ethnic tribes are being systematically exterminated in a merciless 50-year campaign of ethnic cleansing by a brutal military dictatorship intent on seizing their tribal lands. Over 500,000 Karen civilians have died during this conflict, and millions have been burned out of their villages, forced to flee into the jungle and across the river to Thailand. The recent “elections” in Burma have only intensified government attacks against them, bringing a new flood of refugees into already overcrowded camps just over the Thai border. Director Michael Jones traveled to Southeast Asia with Patrick Klein, founder of Vision Beyond Borders, a Christian relief ministry helping the Karen refugees who have escaped to Thailand. He shot this heartbreaking story, edited by Suzanne Smith, and featuring actor Kirk Cameron as host and narrator.

Only One Life

Only One Life documents the life and devotion of Phyllis Rine. A young talented musician, Phyllis planned to become a concert pianist. However, one service at a christian youth camp forever changed her life. Feeling called to the ministry, Phyllis attended a local Bible college. Following graduation, she obtained her Secondary Education teaching certification. She then taught for a brief time in Cincinnati, Ohio. Her heart’s desire, however, was to minister in the Congo. As soon as the opportunity opened and the international unrest in the African region appeared stable, Phyllis traveled to Africa. In “Only One Life,” Phyllis’ brother, classmates and friends remember her unwavering desire to follow God’s call.

Two Hats

Two Hats addresses the subject of foreign missions, highlighting the ministry of Brad and Deborah Wells, along with their 7 children in Papua New Guinea. Brad started the country’s first Christian radio station in 2000 and is now reaching 50,000+ listeners per day.

Uganda Man

Uganda Man is a documentary about what Christ is doing in Uganda through providing clean water through the local churches. This is the real life story of Gerald Kitiibwa. Gerald is a pastor of a small church on borrowed land in a little village in Uganda. In the face of overwhelming opposition and troubles, erald fights to bring water to his community ending an era full with sickness and drought. Experience Gerald’s journey from a man whom everyone doubted to the mighty man of faith everyone now respects.

Announcing Semi-Finalists in Creation category for the 2012 SAICFF

Awesome Science

Awesome Science is a new DVD series aimed at teens. The series is hosted by Noah Justice, who travels throughout the world, using the Bible as his as his history guide book. He’ll show that scientific evidence and the Bible agree, that it can be trusted and empirical science falls in line with Creation, the Fall, and the Flood. In the first episode Noah travels to The Grand Canyon to show evidence for the forty layers being laid down rapidly during the Flood, then cut after the Flood in just days, not millions of years. He presents supporting evidence from Glenn Canyon Dam and Mount St. Helens.

Bugs that Bug Us

A humorous documentary about the bugs we can’t stand. Insects are often thought of as pest but they were designed for a reason. It can not help but be noticed, as we will show, that bugs are intricately and amazingly designed. However, how do we reconcile this fact with the suffering and even death that they cause? We take a close look at their remarkable abilities given them by their Creator, and biblically how they can be so harmful.

Check This Out

Six animated video shorts on a single DVD, each one covering a different key topic in the modern Creation/Evolution debate. People respond to different things differently. Many people of virtually all ages love to attend (or view on DVD) AiG’s popular seminars and conferences, and they can’t get enough of the information once they start to see how it makes the Bible truly come to life. Still others prefer very succinct summaries. With that in mind, AiG teamed up with award-winning video producer Bub Kuns to create a DVD loaded with the fastest and most succinct presentations we’ve ever released! This DVD covers six different topics using an extremely creative combination of animation, text, and humor—each squeezed into roughly three minutes of “warp speed” teaching. The mini-videos on this DVD address each subject with the latest information, making them perfect to show the family, and amazing as a way to spice up sermons, Sunday school lessons, small group studies, and more

Crying Wolf

18 year old Jeffrey D. King had no idea what he was getting himself into. Two years of searching, questioning, and many eye-opening interviews later, what was going to be a film about wolves turned into to something much bigger: An exposé of one of the most covered up big-government and environmental frauds of his generation. This film is about exposing the lies and proclaiming the truth about what the movement to bring back wolves to Yellowstone - and the rest of America - was, and is, really about.

I Dig Dinosaurs

Real-life dinosaur researcher and entertainer Buddy Davis inspires kids with his solid young-earth creation teaching and infectious passion for the Gospel. Best known for his work in sculpting many of the dinosaurs at the Answers in Genesis Creation Museum, in this fast-paced DVD Buddy discovers a BIG dinosaur bone, and in the process shows the effects of Noah’s Flood on the Montana landscape. Kids see a remote part of the USA where the floodwaters scoured the earth and left a mangled graveyard of dinosaurs, fish, plants, and more—a treasure trove of fossils! This creative educational DVD overflows with fun Bible-based dinosaur information and “factoids” that kids love. Plus there’s a ton of bonus features, including a look inside Buddy’s dinosaur design studio, a peek at the mechanics that power the animatronic beasts at the Creation Museum near Cincinnati, extra teaching about the creatures in the Creation Museum’s “Dinosaur Den,” and much more!

One Blood One Race

Millions of Christians have decided that the Bible is out of date. They’ve decided that the words of Jesus aren’t always true. The Foundations reveals the alarming state of Christianity today. It was twelve years ago that Ken Ham was last filmed for a major video series. A lot has changed since then. Today, possibly more than at any time in America’s history, a culture detached from God and willingly ignorant of His hand in creation and world events needs Jesus. But the church is not nearly as effective in reaching the lost as it was only a generation ago. There is a foundational reason. In this hard-hitting yet often humorous new DVD series, popular Australian-born author and biblical apologist Ken Ham uses modern events as the backdrop for the most important messages of his life. By combining his signature talks with cutting edge new graphics and current events headlines, Ham connects with viewers as never before!

Your Backyard: The Life and Journey

Join siblings Taylor, Samuel and Grace, along with special guest Professor Solomon on an incredible creation journey of discovery, exploring the life and journey of God’s amazing monarch butterfly. Enjoy vivid, detailed images of the 30-day transformation from egg to butterfly—from watching a tiny monarch caterpillar eat its way out of its egg to the completion of metamorphosis, when the Monarch carefully emerges from its beautifully adorned chrysalis. Sprinkled with colorful animation, you’ll discover details of the Monarch’s incredible 3,000 mile round-trip migration journey to a place they’ve never seen, overwintering high in the Oyamel Fir Forests of Mexico. From learning of the monarch’s very special host plant, milkweed, to meeting 87-year young creation scientist Jules Poirier (a navigation design specialist who took part in the Apollo moon missions), you’ll explore the remarkable world of the Monarch butterfly, continually looking at God’s divine order in creation.

Just How Constitutional is Paul? Romney? Santorum? Perry? You know the results of New Hampshire, but have you evaluated the candidates' last debate based on fidelity to the Constitution?

A Constitutional Report Card for the CBS/ Yahoo New Hampshire GOP Presidential Debate

Over the last few months, Vision Forum Ministries has made it a point to publish a series of in-depth report cards on the Republican Primary debates in we’ve evaluated each of the candidates on how their statements made during the debates measured up to the U.S. Constitution. The goal of this exercise has been to provide Christian families with a resource to aid them in gauging the commitment (or lack thereof) that each candidate would have in upholding their oath of office if they were elected President, an oath which binds them to abide by the Constitution.

View the full report or download the PDF of our latest report card on the CBS / Yahoo New Hampshire Republican Debate held on January 7, 2012.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

North Carolina Revisits the Legacy of One of the Great Horror Stories of American History: Eugenics and the Forced Sterilization of Women

In 2010 Vision Forum Ministries held a national conference entitled ‘“The Baby Conference” which examined past, present, and future trends in eugenics and the battle for the future of childbirth, life, and the family in America. One of the key issues on the table was the ongoing influence of evolutionary thinking and its horrific consequences for life and death, both as to public policy decisions and the decision-making of modern Americans. The legacy of forced sterilization and the vision of Planned Parenthood founder Margaret Sanger continues and is reflective in the issues behind the following report from today’s news.

The State of North Carolina is reportedly the first state of the union to offer financial reparations for forcibly sterilizing women, which in the case of the Tar Heel State, consisted of 7,500 individuals, between 1929 and 1979, whom the state deemed too inferior to reproduce.

North Carolina was not the only state to target social undesirables, individuals with disabilities, and racial minorities with the intent of increasing the birth rate among “superior” populations while eliminating populations whom the state thought to be “inferior.” The eugenics movement was widespread in the U.S. throughout the 20th century, with more than 30 states enacting laws allowing surgical sterilization for certain people groups. Being “liberated” from the yoke of Christianity, which had been shrugged off as an outdated superstition, 20th century man embarked on a quest to create a brave new world by following the natural presupposition of evolution: “The survival of the fittest.”

In 1927, a challenge to these sterilization laws reached the United States Supreme Court in the case of Buck v. Bell. The high court upheld the constitutionality of the sterilization laws. Supreme Court Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes, still considered a hero among secular humanists today, argued this in the court’s decision:

It would be strange if it [the State] could not call upon those who already sap the strength of the State for these lesser sacrifices . . . in order to prevent our being swamped with incompetence. It is better for all the world, if instead of waiting to execute degenerate offspring for crime, or to let them starve for their imbecility, society can prevent those who are manifestly unfit from continuing their kind. . . . Three generations of imbeciles are enough.

It’s important to note that while the Supreme Court’s ruling in Buck v. Bell has been questioned, to this day it has not been overturned. Nonetheless, North Carolina’s attempt to address the abuses resulting from the state’s relentless dedication to the religious presuppositions of evolution, though insufficient, is the first of a kind, and it reminds us that ideas have consequences.

To learn more about how to understand and refute the modern eugenic worldview, pick up our conference album for The Baby Conference here or download the messages from bluebehemoth.com.

Big Announcement Coming Later Today: Semi-Finalist Documentary category for the 2012 SAICFF

A Pro-Life Victory Defined

The Fifth Circuit Court of appeals has lifted an injunction on a Texas law that would require doctors to provide informed consent to a mother before taking the life of her unborn child. Doctors would be required to provide the mother with a sonogram of her child, show her the beating heart of the child, and provide the “epitome of truthful non-misleading information” about the child’s physical development.

Of course, the ability to make informed decisions about the medical treatment you receive is a good thing. The hypocrisy of the Center for Reproductive Rights which claims to be “Pro-Choice” but is opposed to this kind of information because it may help a mother make up her mind is self-evident. However, those engaged in the battle to defend the sanctity of life should be honest about the nature of what has been achieved in the Fifth Circuit Court’s decision before a decisive victory is declared.

The Texas law in fact adopts a “pro-choice” position. The presupposition is this—as long as a woman is informed, she has the right to choose to ask a physician to kill her unborn baby. The law only requires that a mother should receive information that would help her to make a final decision on whether to allow her child to live or condemn her child to die. Additionally, the law makes exceptions for mothers who carry children who are conceived as a result of rape or incest, or who suffer from a severe disability.

Before we too loudly proclaim the Fifth Circuit’s decision to be a victory for those who defend the sanctity of life, as some pro-life activists have done, we should rather give a moment of silence for the children who will perish as a result of pregnant mothers’ independent, albeit newly-informed, choice. Even more so, we should grieve the deaths of those children who were not privileged enough to be considered under the new Texas law because either their circumstances of conception or quality of life was deemed deficient.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Branding, Branding Branding: National Expert Tryg Jacobson Joins the 2012 CFA Faculty

Even if you are not a budding or present day professional filmmaker, the lectures presented at this years’ Christian Filmmakers’ Academy by national branding expert Tryg Jacobson will be worth the price of admission. If you have ever sought to build a competitive company or product line then you know that branding is fundamental to customer loyalty and corporate success. This is true for film companies and it is true for businesses of every shape and size. This year the CFA focuses on the business success of our filmmakers. But the principles are universal.

Who Is Tryg Jacobsen:

Tryg Jacobson is a nationally-recognized expert on branding and the founder of the Jake’s Café, a Wisconsin-based creative community. Prior to Jake’s Café, he was the chairman of Jacobson Rost, a national consumer package goods advertising agency. Tryg has produced work for Culver’s Restaurants, First Alert, Fisher Nuts, Carl Buddig, Sargento Cheese, Kimberly Clark, Mercury Marine, Bemis, Kohler Co., Trek Bicycles, and the Green Bay Packers! Jacobson is also the father of three daughters, and has been happily married to his wife Ann Marie for 26 years. He has been a brand specialist/speaker for The Executive Committee (TEC) for 17 years and has taught his branding methodology to businesses throughout the U.S. and Canada.

Keynote: Branding for Filmmakers
In this message Tryg introduces the science and philosophy of branding to filmmakers, including how to build your brand as a filmmaker, brand discipline, brand positioning and the power of mental real estate. There are hundreds of thousands of films to watch. Why should anyone watch yours? It takes more than just a fancy logo and slogan to build a brand. It takes courage and discipline. And then there is the question of mental real estate: How many films have you watched with a scene, a character or a message so powerful, you never forgot it? It became permanently etched in your brain! That’s the power of “mental real estate”. Disney understands the power, and they use it to build their brand and expand their product line and customer base everyday. What are you feeding your followers?

Workshop: Building a Brand Identification Model for Your Film Company
Learn how to use a proven consumer packaged good branding model to help you find the driving force of your brand. Then use it to define your brand’s frame of reference, target audience, promise and proof of delivery. And this is just the beginning.

Register to Attend the 2012 Christian Filmmakers Academy!

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Press Release: Curtis Bowers Joins the Judging Panel for this Year's San Antonio Independant Christian Film Festival

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

SAN ANTONIO, TX — January 7, 2012 — Vision Forum Ministries and the San Antonio Independent Christian Film Festival (SAICFF) announced today that Curtis Bowers will join the panel of judges for the 2012 festival, to be held February 23-25 in the Alamo City. In serving as a judge for the SAICFF, Bowers will play a part in selecting Jubilee winners in multiple categories and awarding the largest single cash prize for an American film festival: the grand prize of $101,000 for Best of Festival.

Mr. Bowers is a former Idaho state representative, businessman, husband to Lauren, and father of six precious children, as well as the producer and director of Agenda: Grinding America Down, the 2010 SAICFF $101,000 Grand Prize winner.

“By selecting Curtis Bowers as a judge for the 2012 SAICFF, we hope to send a message of encouragement to the community of independent Christian filmmakers that excellence pays off,” remarked Doug Phillips, president of Vision Forum Ministries and founder of the SAICFF. “Curtis is a distinguished leader and first-time filmmaker who swept the 2010 festival by storm with his outstanding documentary accomplishment, his personal character, and hid family commitment. He will make an excellent and fair judge.”

Mr. Bowers’ 2010 independent Christian film Agenda traces the alive-and-well socialist agenda from its roots established by Karl Marx and other radical revolutionaries to the present day, demonstrating how Communist ideals have largely captured America and uprooted the once-great foundation of our nation. Representative Bowers, an alumnus of the Christian Filmmakers Academy, resides in Idaho with his family. Agenda has sold more than 85,000 units since winning Best of Festival.

Mr. Bowers will also serve as a guest speaker at the Christian Filmmakers Academy (CFA), America’s premiere training institute for equipping the next generation of independent Christian filmmakers. His message will be “How a First-time Filmmaker Sold More than 85,000 Copies of his Documentary in One Year.” The CFA will be held in San Antonio on February 20-22.

“For three reasons, this year’s festival is shaping up to be the most dynamic and culture-challenging to date,” Phillips stated. “First, our films represent the best quality in the history of independent Christian filmmaking. Second, the films are substantial, meaning that they cover a broad range of provocative and timely subjects of concern to the family, to freedom loving Americans, and to all who want to help rescue art and culture from the morass of darkness and negativity which dominates the Hollywood landscape. Finally, this year it will be clear that the independent Christian filmmaking has come of age.”

Approximately 200 films were submitted to this year’s SAICFF. To register for the Christian Filmmakers Academy and the San Antonio Independent Christian Film Festival visit, www.independentchristianfilms.com.

For press inquiries, contact Wesley Strackbein by e-mail at wesley@visionforum.com or by phone at (210) 340-5250, ext. 222.

The Bowers Family, winners of the ‘Best of Festival’ for the 2010 SAICFF.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

This Year, Carve Out A Special Weekend for Your Daughter

There is going to be a lot on the plate this year. There are going to be many things pressing for your time. The tyranny of the urgent will no doubt wage war on your good intentions. That is why now is the time to make your decision to commit a special weekend to focus on your daughters. They need it. You need it. So much is at stake. There are many ways to make a weekend meaningful with your daughter. Find one. And for those who would like to take advantage of a special father and daughter weekend which for close to a decade has a proven track record of success as a God-blessed tool for knitting the hearts of fathers and daughters, and casting a vision of unity and love between them, please consider the 2012 Vision Forum Ministries Father and Daughter Retreat at the Calloway Gardens, this March 23-25.

Sign up for the retreat now.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

"My husband, the perfect mom."

But speak thou the things which become sound doctrine: that the aged men be sober, grave, temperate, sound in faith, in charity, in patience. The aged women likewise, that they be in behavior as becometh holiness, not false accusers, not given to much wine, teachers of good things; that they may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children, to be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God be not blasphemed. Titus 2: 1-5

Hatred for God-appointed distinctions between men and women has been a central theme of media and education for close to a half a century now. From time to time there is a backlash against the feminist lobotomy of our once Christian culture, but rarely is a nuanced, thoughtful, biblical perspective presented. Offering such a perspective is part of the mission of this generation of Christians as we aspire to rescue the doctrine of the family, both in terms of its orthodoxy and orthopraxy, from the morass of egalitarianism. One thing is clear, decades of feminism has not helped women figure out their role in the family and society, and this article entitled “My husband, the perfect mom” on CNN today is one of sundry manifestations of the problem.

Our Creative Media Director Austin Collins on a Father and Son Adventure Assignment for Vision Forum Ministries

Learn more this February at the San Antonio Independent Christian Film Festival for the release of our three new film shorts from Vision Forum Ministries.

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