Stories of Faith on Film

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 “Faith goes up the stairs that love has built and  looks out the window which hope has opened” ~ Charles Spurgeon

Easter lily

To many people around the world, preparing for Easter  means more than shopping for Peeps™ candy, jelly beans, chocolate eggs and other confections. Spring is the season of renewal of spirit. For people of faith, that means remembering the Easter story of biblical times – a tale of crucifiction, death, resurrection and life.

On this Film Friday, I have resurrected a list of the top ten Easter movies of all times. Although Easter is several weeks away, perhaps your family would enjoy receiving one of these films in their Easter basket. I am posting this list early so you can add one of these DVDs to your shopping cart. Many of them are considered to be epic productions and can be located, and your order can be fulfilled through the Internet Movie Database www.imdb.com :

    • Passion of Christ (2004)

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    • The Robe (1953)

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    • Ben Hur (1959)

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    • Holiday Inn (1942)

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    • Last Temptation of Christ (1988)

The Last Temptation of Christ

    • King of Kings (1961)

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    • The Easter Parade (1948)

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    • Jesus Christ Superstar (1973)

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    • Jesus of Nazareth (1977)

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    • The Greatest Story Ever Told (1965)

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It’s interesting, as I was doing research for this blog I noticed that most of these films were produced decades ago. Is it true that the American people have fallen out of favor with the one of the cornerstone principles that our country was founded upon, faith? Is that why contemporary filmmakers are not approaching religious subjects? I’d like to think not, and Reelz is offering outstanding programming over the Easter Season.

Barabbas: Where the Bible Left off…His Story of Redemption BeganClick for info & ordering, a Reelz Easter Event,  premiers Monday, March 25 and Tuesday, March 26. Part I  of the mini-series, featuring Billy Zane, will be broadcast on the night of March 30 and Part II on March 31. To find out the times and the channel for Reelz in your viewing area, please visit this link . There is also a trailer on the Reelz website .http://www.reelz.com/barabbas/.

I’d like to end this blog with an audio Chapter from my memoir Gift of a Lifetime – Finding Fulfilling Things in the Unexpected. It is a short Easter story that the entire family can enjoy listening to together. Have a great weekend!

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Praise for Creation

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We often take for granted the very things that most deserve our gratitude.”  ~Cynthia Ozick 

I’ve been drawn back into the church as an adult, in part, by the memories of the beautiful hymns that I sang as a child. Around Thanksgiving time, many of the spiritual songs have words of gratefulness and gratitude for the harvest and for the impending season of darkness. For without winter gloom, there would not be a fulfilling sense of renewal of spirit in spring. 

Composers of yester year have created some of the most eloquent stories, through song, about the change of the seasons and the bounty of the Universe. Many hymns of blessings and praise, written decades ago, are still sung in sanctuaries today, such as – 

  • For the Fruits of the Garden ~  verses by Fred Pratt Green
  • Oh Food to Pilgrims Given ~  words by Maintzich Gesangbuch
  • Come, Ye Thankful People, Come ~ verses by Henry Alford
  • America the Beautiful ~ verses by Katharine Lee Bates
  • For the Beauty of the Earth ~ words by Elliot S Pierpoint
  • In the Bleak Midwinter ~ words by Christina G Rossetti 

Between Thanksgiving and Christmas is the most beautiful time of the year to step inside the doors of a church. Listen to the vocal choirs, tune into the musical instruments, experience the peace and be grateful for the cozy warmth of the shelter for the body and soul. 

A few weeks from now, at the United Methodist Church http://bit.ly/lAT08q  in Steamboat Springs, Colorado and in other places of worship everywhere, choirs will be magnificently singing Handel’s The Messiah. Don’t miss out!

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