Archives For Kay Warren

Noah_movie_posterTHE BRIEFING | Meredith Flynn

Director Darren Aranofsky’s controversial “Noah” movie (rated PG-13) grabbed the top spot at the box office over the weekend, grossing $44 million in the U.S. and Canada and almost $100 million worldwide. Many Christians voiced objections to the movie’s content prior to its release, and the debate continued over social media as people went to the theater to see what all the fuss was about. The verdict: Christians are still divided on the film’s value.

“This is not a ‘buy up a block of tickets’ moment for churches…,” National Religious Broadcasters President Jerry Johnson blogged at ChristianityToday.com before the film’s release. “Noah, the film, may be inspired by the biblical character and events – but it is not a straightforward retelling of that story. Churches who are looking for that kind of movie will not find it here.

“However, many people will go to this film and enjoy it. The main events from the Noah story are depicted in a powerful way on the big screen by name brand actors and quality production. Christians should be ready to engage moviegoers in conversation about biblical and cultural themes that are portrayed in this movie.”

Your turn: Have you seen “Noah”? What did you think? Leave us a comment below.

Other news:

Saddleback, Warrens host conference on the church and mental health
Nearly a year after their son, Matthew, committed suicide, Rick and Kay Warren invited experts in the field of mental health to a one-day conference at Saddleback Church. More than 3,300 people attended the meeting March 28, which featured workshops for people and families struggling through mental illness, as well as church leaders who want to be better equipped to handle mental health issues in their churches and communities. “We do this in honor and memory of our son and others lost to mental illness, realizing there is hope for others dealing with this condition,” Kay Warren said, according to a report by The Christian Post.

Judge makes Michigan latest state to take up same-sex marriage issue
Judge Bernard Friedman overturned Michigan’s ban on gay marriage last week, and about 300 couples were married after his decision. The ruling was stayed, and Michigan Governor Rick Snyder has said the state will not recognize those marriages as of now. But U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder said the government will offer federal benefits to the married couples, mirroring the action it took in Utah earlier this year. Click here to read about action in other states and to view the updated marriage map.

Barna researches why 64% of Americans aren’t regular church attenders
Author Donald Miller sparked controversy recently with a blog about why he doesn’t attend church (he feels more connected to God through his work than through a worship service). Research from Barna indicates many people feel the same way. Of the 64% of Americans who don’t attend church regularly, 40% say they find God elsewhere, and 35% say church is not relevant to them personally. Read more, including details about church attendance for the millenial generation, at Barna.org.

Faith, family more important than mirror ball trophy for former ‘Full House’ star
Candace Cameron Bure, who came to fame as DJ Tanner on 90’s TV series “Full House,” is also a contestant on this season of “Dancing with the Stars.” During a recent episode, she explained the modest choices she made when planning her rumba with professional partner Mark Ballas: “My life revolves around my relationship with Jesus Christ so with the overall tone of the dance or the costumes, it’s not going to take a backseat.”

Bure told host Erin Andrews after the dance: “I want to reserve some things for my husband so I think we did the best that we could with the rumba that I still felt comfortable doing.” Read more at ChristianPost.com.

 

Tuesday_BriefingTHE BRIEFING | Meredith Flynn

Shortly after his son Matthew’s suicide April 5, Rick Warren posted a petition on his church’s website to help raise awareness about mental illness. The petition “urges educators, lawmakers, healthcare, and congregations to raise the awareness and lower the stigma of mental illness, and also to support families that are dealing with mental illness on a daily basis,” according to http://www.saddleback.com.

His son was one of more than 11 million Americans suffering from severe mental illness, Warren wrote in the petition. He and his wife Kay also have established The Matthew Warren Fund for Mental Health. Read more at Saddleback’s website, or read Christian Post’s full story here.

Other News

Scouts will vote on allowing gay members, but not leaders
At the Boy Scouts national convention in May, members will vote on whether to allow gay-identifying youth to join the organization, while keeping a ban on homosexual leaders. Earlier this year, Boy Scouts discussed allowing both gay members and leaders, but as a “local option” for sponsoring organizations to decide. The policy up for review in May sets a national standard with no local option, Baptist Press reported.

“Though this resolution is more acceptable to those who hold a biblical form of morality than what was being considered before, we would still prefer no change in the policy,” said Southern Baptist Executive Committee President Frank Page. “A No vote keeps the current policy in place, an outcome we would overwhelmingly support.”

Read the full story at BPNews.net.

George Beverly Shea dies at age 104
The world mourned one of Gospel music’s most beloved and memorable voices last week, when famed soloist and composer George Beverly Shea passed away after a brief illness. Shea was best known for his performances during Billy Graham’s evangelistic crusades, and for songs like “I’d Rather Have Jesus” and “The Wonder of it All.” Read more at BPNews.net.

Movie-making pastors to start new production company
The creators of movies “Courageous,” “Fireproof,” and “Facing the Giants” have announced they will start an independent production company focused on faith-based films. Alex and Stephen Kendrick will remain on staff at Sherwood Baptist Church in Albany, Ga., and use aspiring Christian filmmakers and students to help make their next film, Baptist Press reported. The brothers’ previous movie-making efforts relied largely on actors and volunteer crew members from their church.

“We have such a burden to help the next generation do this from a biblical perspective,” Alex Kendrick told Baptist Press. “We’ve got to reproduce ourselves and duplicate ourselves, and we think this is the way to do it.” Read the full story at BPNews.net.

Tuesday_BriefingTHE BRIEFING | Meredith Flynn

Cindy Winters didn’t set out to write a book. But as she journaled about her grief and pain after her husband’s death four years ago, she realized how healing the writing process could be. And she wanted to share that with others on a similar journey.

Pastor Fred Winters was killed at First Baptist Church, Maryville, Ill., on March 8, 2009, when a gunman entered the Sunday morning worship service and shot him where he stood in the pulpit. Media outlets immediately descended on Maryville, and the story made national headlines. Just days afterward, Cindy Winters extended forgiveness to the shooter on CBS’ Early Show.

“We have been praying for him,” she said. “…We really firmly believe that he can find hope and forgiveness and peace through this, by coming to know Jesus.”

Hope, forgiveness and peace are some of the themes running through Winters’ new book “Reflections from the Pit,” available now on www.amazon.com. Her writing process started simply, when she sat down with pen and paper to express some of the emotions that were overwhelming her.

“I would leave that writing experience with a sense of renewed strength,” Winters said. “Oftentimes, peace would sweep in over me, and then hope. And just a sense of, ‘Ok, you know what, I’m going to be able to make it through the rest of the day.’” Read more at BPNews.net.

Other news:

Rick and Kay Warren grieve son’s suicide
(From Baptist Press) Saddleback Church pastor Rick Warren and his wife Kay lost their son Matthew, 27, on Friday, April 5, to suicide. Rick Warren released an emotional statement to Saddleback’s staff, which has since been broadly published:

“Over the past 33 years we’ve been together through every kind of crisis. Kay and I’ve been privileged to hold your hands as you faced a crisis or loss, stand with you at gravesides, and prayed for you when ill. Today, we need your prayer for us.”

Among those expressing compassion for the Warrens was Frank Page, president of the Southern Baptist Convention’s Executive Committee and a former SBC president.

Page and his wife Dayle lost a 32-year-old daughter, Melissa, to suicide in 2009.

Page stated via Twitter the day after Matthew Warren’s suicide: “My heart is broken as I’ve heard the news about Rick Warren’s son. Please pray. Unfortunately, I understand that which they experience now.” Read more at BPNews.net.

Haircuts and clean feet in New Orlenas
A team of 24 women traveled to New Orleans last week to minister in partnership with the Baptist Friendship House and missionary Kay Bennett. They served the city’s homeless population with a free health fair, where they offered haircuts, feet-washing stations, and listening ears. The day after they returned to Illinois, volunteer Kim Evrard said she woke up with a heavy heart. “This morning, I wake up and realize I barely slept because I can’t stop thinking about the people I met, and tears won’t stop this morning,” Evrard wrote in an email.

“I am so blessed. My heart is so heavy for the people I met.” Read more in the April 15 issue of the Illinois Baptist, online at ibonline.IBSA.org.

Nearly 9 in 10 Americans own Bible
As History Channel wrapped up its well-watched miniseries on the Bible, Barna and American Bible Society released their “State of the Bible” report, which found the book is still a staple in most households. Of the 1,005 American adults surveyed, 88% own a Bible and 80% said the Bible is sacred; 61% said they wish they read it more. Read more at Barna.org.

SBC’s non-Calvinists host ‘John 3:16’
The recent John 3:16 Conference in suburban Atlanta gathered more than 350 people and several prominent Southern Baptist leaders for a discussion of Calvinism in the SBC. The conference speakers, brought together by Jerry Vines Ministries, focused on the differences with those who identify with Reformed theology, but also emphasized cooperation and unity, reported Baptist Press. Steve Gaines, pastor of Bellevue Baptist in Memphis, Tenn., said Calvinists are not his enemy. “I can work with them,” he said. “There is no need for a takeover. We need to live together.” Read more at BPNews.net.