Christian Living

ChurchWatch 11/16/07

Amazing Stuff: Ministry-Related Items for Your Library and Home

Christmas is on the way and there has been a flurry of excellent Bible and Christian living resource releases in recent weeks. Here are some that stand out:

The Word of Promise New Testament Audio NKJV Bible

The Word of Promise New Testament, a multi-voiced, scripted dramatization of the New King James version, is co-produced by Carl Amari (Madison, Eden Court) and Jim Caviezel (The Passion of the Christ, Deja vu), and distributed by Thomas Nelson. The Word of Promise is presented in a dramatic audio theater format to create an experience that brings the Bible to life.  This is a 20-hour, 20-CD, star-studded (more than 120 actors are featured) audio Bible production of the New Testament that you won't want to miss.

Some of the talented people who make appearances include Jim Caviezel as Jesus, Marisa Tomei as Mary Magdalene (My Cousin Vinny, Alfie), Michael York as the narrator (The Omega Code, Romeo & Juliet), Richard Dreyfuss as Moses (Mr. Holland's Opus, What About Bob), Stacy Keach as Paul (Hemmingway, Prison Break), Louis Gossett, Jr. as John (An Officer and a Gentleman, Roots), Lou Diamond Phillips as Mark (Courage Under Fire, La Bamba), Luke Perry as Judas and Steven (Beverly Hills 90210, Jeremiah), John Schneider as James (Smallville, Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman), Rebecca St. James as the servant girl (Grammy and Dove Award winner), and Kimberly Williams-Paisley as Mary, the Mother of Jesus (According to Jim, Father of the Bride).

Another cool thing about The Word of Promise is that the publishers thought about your needs when they packaged this audio New Testament in a zippered travel case. It also includes a Behind-the-Scenes DVD, which features “The Promise,” an original song by Michael W. Smith, (who, by the way, also plays the part of Cleopas).

Order The Word of Promise Audio New Testament

Also available: The Word of Promise Christmas Story

"Amazing" Amazing Grace Released on DVD

My favorite movie of 2007 is the inspiring story of heroic William Wilberforce's efforts to see the abolishment of the Atlantic slave trade -- Amazing Grace. Fox Home Entertainment has released the unforgettable story of the birth of the anti-slavery movement and one of the most beloved hymns of all time as Amazing Grace debuts on DVD.

Check out CBN.com's in-depth Amazing Grace special section.

Amazing Grace chronicles the “must see” (O, The Oprah Magazine) story of William Wilberforce, the pioneer who maneuvered his way through 18th century politics to abolish the slave trade in the British Empire and changed the world. 

The Amazing Grace DVD includes interactive study guides and discussion tools for a deeper look into this historically-based story. Additional special features on the DVD include:

  • Audio Commentary with Director Michael Apted and Ioan Gruffudd.
  • How Sweet the Sound: The Story of Amazing Grace, a half-hour documentary providing an in-depth look at the making of the film and relevance to today.
  • Finding Freedom, a tour of the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center, providing factual information about modern-day slavery practices.
  • Interactive Discussion Tools and Study Guides. The discussion guides provide thought-provoking questions for use in classrooms or Bible study groups.
  • Music video of Grammy Nominee Chris Tomlin’s version of “Amazing Grace.”

Dubbed an “Indie hit” by Hollywood trades and insiders since its release in theaters, which drew more than $31 million at the worldwide box office, a number of humanitarian movements have gained momentum supporting the movie, including efforts to end modern day slavery.

Amazing Grace has spawned a flurry of activity since its' initial theatrical release:

  • 6,000 churches around the world—from Greece to Grenada, from Norway to Nigeria—joined together worldwide on “Amazing Grace Sunday” to sing the timeless hymn and pray for the end of modern day slavery.
  • After viewing scenes from the movie, 4,000 local, national and international leaders joined renowned singer Whintley Phipps in the singing of “Amazing Grace” at the 2007 National Prayer Breakfast in Washington, D.C.
  • At an Australian Federal Parliamentary screening of Amazing Grace, a letter from Prime Minister John Howard announced that “in the 2007-2008 Budget, the government committed a further $38.3 million over four years to extend and expand the government's strategy to combat people trafficking.”
  • Inspired by the movie, more than 125,000 people—mostly students—signed The Amazing Change petition to end modern day slavery.  The names on the petitions were presented at an October 2007 White House event.

Order your copy of Amazing Grace on DVD

Order Music Inspired by Amazing Grace

The Nativity Story Leader's Discussion DVD

Named the Most Redeeming Film of 2006 by Christianity Today Movies, The Nativity Story has been released on DVD, along with a separate Leader's Resource DVD for churches, schools, and community organizations.

Starring Keisha Castle-Hughes (Whale Rider), Oscar Isaac (Guerrilla) and Academy Award ® nominee Shohreh Aghdashloo (2003, Best Actress in a Supporting Role, House of Sand and Fog), The Nativity Story was awarded the Seal of Approval from The Dove Foundation and has been endorsed by The Parent's Television Council.

With much of the filming done in Matera, Italy, the same location where The Passion of The Christ was shot, The Nativity Story captures the authentic feel of a land and people who lived 2,000 years ago.

Motive Entertainment has pooled a variety of The Nativity Story "teaching and preaching" resources for faith and family leaders -- and for individuals for home use. A resource Web site -- http://www.nativityresources.com/ -- has been developed to include downloadable study guides, sermon outlines, trailers, promotional materials, and additional assets that enable The Nativity Story to be used as a teaching, preaching, and outreach tool.

Order your copy of The Nativity Story

Order The Nativity Story Leader's Resource DVD for churches, schools, and community organizations.

More cool ministry-related releases to come…

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