Finding the Christmas Spirit
Call Me Claus is a simple made-for-cable-TV movie starring Whoopi Goldberg and Nigel Hawthorne. Goldberg is Lucy Collins who is a successful TV producer for a shopping network. Lucy is searching for the perfect Santa Claus to bump up the ratings.
Nigel Hawthorne is Santa Claus (Nick). He is forced to search for a Santa Claus replacement. It turns out that every 200 years there is a new Santa Claus, and according to the Elf Board, the current Santa has to find a replacement. Hawthorne’s Nick has exhausted his list of potential new Santas. If he doesn’t find a new Santa by midnight on Christmas Eve, the world will come to an end. (Did I mention this was a made-for-cable-TV movie?) Read More
How often does the true meaning of Christmas get lost in the excitement of the holiday?
In the VeggieTales Christmas tale Saint Nicholas, the Veggies are experiencing this same tension. The kids are concerned about what they will get and how they will spend their money on themselves. The excitement starts to get a little dim when Laura Carrot’s dad is in danger of losing his job because his truck has broken down . . .again. Larry thinks they should write a letter to Santa Claus asking to fix the problem. Bob, however, knows what will really help the situation. He tells the children (and Larry) the story of boy named Nicholas who made a discovery in Bethlehem that changed him (and us) forever. Read More
Since the early 1990’s the musical Rent has inspired and motivated people to see the world around them as they never have before; to see themselves in others.
A few months ago, one of the local high schools performed the rock musical Rent. Megan and I attended the show as a number of students in the musical were in my youth group. They had the audience sit on the stage, to be up close and personal; to be a part of the experience; to live in the story with the actors. It was so well received and popular that the school opened up the balcony at a reduced price to accommodate all the interest.
During the intermission, I overheard two women talking. One of them was expressing amazement that these high school students in 2014 had put together this 1996 Broadway musical about a time and issue that seemed to be so distant from high school students today. I thought to myself, this is what should be happening. Great art – in whatever form it takes – sparks conversation. Read More
It’s the unofficial sequel to Holiday Inn that became a Christmas classic.
Bing Crosby first sang Irving Berlin’s ballad about the holiday in the film Holiday Inn. The song, more so than the film, was well received. It was no surprise that the studio wanted to market the song as much as they could, so they began plans for a new film featuring this poplar song. It took almost a decade before the film became a reality. Fred Astaire, who co-starred with Crosby in Holiday Inn, was slated to join the film as Phil Davis. Astaire turned the role down, and it went to Danny Kaye, perhaps a better choice. Read More
On November 26, Netflix will premiere a new Saturday-morning style series of VeggieTales cartoons.
In the original cartoons, Bob the Tomato and Larry the Cucumber would introduce the shorts from the kitchen counter. I never thought about it much, but obviously they lived in a kitchen. VeggieTales in the House lets the veggies explore the rest of the house. It provides a chance for some creative animation. While the animation has gotten an upgrade, and the setting is beyond the kitchen counter, the new show will continue the tradition of storytelling through music and silliness spiritual truths and themes. Read More
So did they or didn’t they?
A great documentary does two things. It tells a story, sometimes a story that no one else is willing to tell. And it answers a question. Filmmaker Jeff Krulik sets out to tackle both in Led Zeppelin Played Here. Krulik tries to determine if Led Zeppelin actually played at the Wheaton Youth Center on January 20, 1969. While his exploration does not actually answer the question, Krulik takes the audience on a humorous and entertaining journey to get that point.
For many January 20, 1969 was the day in which Richard Nixon was inaugurated as President. However, for many, this cold, cold day was framed in protest. There were alternative inauguration events happening all over the Washington, D. C. area. For others it was a day like all others, where teenagers hung out at the local youth center. And according to some, Led Zeppelin performed to a small crowd at the Wheaton Youth Center in Maryland.
Just in time for Thanksgiving, the gang from VeggieTales is here to share jokes, scripture, and cooking tips.
The creators of VeggieTales are gearing up for the release of the brand new VeggieTales in the House, which is premiering November 26 only on Netflix. Thanks to a brand-new, toll-free Holiday Hotline, the VeggieTales can be in your house sharing jokes, singing songs, sharing scripture, and even providing recipe tips anywhere you are.
Fights, Coffee, and Forgiveness
Olivia and Fitz are fighting behind a door. Jake is outside with secret service, listening. They are fighting because, while they are still lovers, Fitz does not like Liv’s new “fake” boyfriend. “He will try and fight me for you,” he tells Olivia, to which Olivia responds, “I’m not a prize to be won.” This leads to another Fitz loses his temper moment that has me wondering what’s up with Fitz.
The second half of season three, after taking a two and half month break, puts us right in the middle of Fitz’ re-election campaign. But Fitz is not the only character with his eyes on the Oval House.
With the release of the new VeggieTales film, Beauty and the Beet, here are five activity cards that would be great for family time or to use in a preschool or children’s ministry setting.
“I’ve committed a sin.”
Last week’s episode ended with Sally calling Cyrus and uttering those words – “I’ve committed a sin.” This week’s episode takes us back prior to that call to show us what exactly happened. Sally is fighting with her husband, Daniel. Cyrus has pictures of Daniel having sex with his husband James. Sally tells Daniel, “You have released a snake into our garden,” talking about Cyrus, who she knows will not be able to let this go. Daniel tells her that she knew what she was getting into when she married him – aka, “Sally, you knew I was gay.” Then, Daniel tells her that he is done, and that she cannot win without him. Sally can’t handle it. So, she takes a letter opener to his back. And with blood scattered across her face, she calls Cyrus.
“There are some who are hard to love.”
The family musical group The VeggieTones are starting to make it big when they get the invitation to play at Vegtable Square Garden. On the way, the family is forced to pull over due to a fierce snowstorm. They seek shelter at the inn owned by Mr. Beet. However, they have no money. They have to do chores around the hotel, including being the entertainment each evening.
This VeggieTales story is based on the classic Beauty and the Beast story. Here, the Beet, much like the Beast, has walled himself off from other people – uh, veggies. His staff is timid around him, careful not to anger him. His inn has received poor reviews (only one star) because of his lack of hospitality.