Quick Film Review: Running the Bases
I recently saw the Christian film “Running the Bases”. I can’t go into the plot without giving it away so this will be short. It’s a nice movie to watch if you’re bored. It’s light but dramatic. It’s family friendly. It was OK. “Running the Bases” was entertaining and watchable the way most Christian films are. However, the movie has some theological issues and has MAGA delusions.
Naomi Raine and Maverick City Music
Maverick City Music is a popular Christian Contemporary band. Christian Contemporary music has fallen off sharply since the early 2000s. It all sounds the same and the singers are interchangeable. Maverick City fits the mold. Their music is typical Christian Contemporary and the singers are talented but their voices all have a similar quality.
I feel like most Christian Contemporary singers are male. They sound similar to a lot of Alternative Rock Bands from the 90s. A few sound like Joe Cocker. I enjoy Joe Cocker’s voice but there is a man who sounds just like that in the American Idol auditions every year.
This describes the men in Maverick City Music. The White men sound like they belong in alternative rock bands and the Black men sound like Joe Cocker and his sound alike American Idol hopefuls. There are a lot of people in Maverick City Music. It’s hard to tell exactly how many.
Maverick City Music ends up trending on occasion because the singers make questionable social media posts. They have made political statements that rile up so called conservatives, one of their wives twerked in a wedding photo, the same newlywed couple took a wedding photo that simulated a sexual position. Recently one of the singers posted photos on a party bus possibly in the nude. That’s not even to mention their affiliation with Kirk Franklin whose family matters have become public.
Then there is Naomi Raine who is the star of Maverick City Music. Her name never comes up in the mish mash and her voice is outstanding. She should leave Maverick City Music where it is and start a solo career. She carries the band on her back publicly and probably in private. I’m sure it’s exhausting.
I really don’t follow MCM very close and that’s how I know who the star is. It’s Naomi. The other people who’s names get circulated on social media are done so in relation to some sort of unnecessary foolishness they posted. I know Naomi because of her performances.
Naomi Raine carries MCM like Christ carried his cross with her beautiful voice. The rest of MCM is a distraction. The latest internet gossip about her band mate’s nude party bus photos would be a great opportunity to launch a solo career.
I don’t really care what happens with MCM because they sound like clowns. All of their problems start because of things they post on social media. It’s hard to tell if the members of Maverick City Music are even Christian because they were put together by entertainment executives the way Menudo and other boy bands were. We’re not dealing with the Mississippi Mass or Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir here.
Naomi deserves better. First of all the paychecks are probably kind of light with so many people in the band. She’s very talented and acts like she has some sense. She’s made a name for herself with her work as opposed to social media attention seeking and subsequent pearl clutching. I think she deserves a chance at a solid career away from the circus her band mates create every few months.
Visual Book Review:. American Patriot Bible
Review: A Year of Biblical Womanhood
I recently read and listened to on audio a book called “A Year of Biblical Womanhood” by Rachel Held Evans. Mrs. Held Evans is a young, married woman with no children who describes herself as an Evangelical Christian and modern woman. She lived for a year under Old Testament law. The book was interesting if you want to learn more about the subject matter. “A Year of Biblical Womanhood” is well researched and informative.
Rachel’s experiment was interesting. She discussed submitting to her husband, focusing on domestic duties, covering her head and not cutting her hair for the year among other thing. I don’t feel like she came to any profound conclusions at the end of the year. She didn’t reveal anything that I found to be particularly enlightening. Rachel seemed glad the year was over. The book is a fine way to pass time and I learned a bit but it wasn’t very meaningful and memorable to me.
Summer Movie Review: American Gospel
I watched the film “American Gospel” over the weekend. I would recommend the film but wouldn’t describe it as good or enjoyable. The film is sad and disappointing but it is informative and eye opening. “American Gospel” is worth the watch.
“American Gospel” does a good job of presenting the gospel. Then it goes into the way the gospel is shared by well known American pastors. There are sharp differences. America’s most well known pastors are sharing a false gospel and their message gets shared around the world.
This movie shows clips from celebrity preacher sermons. The sermons can be described as blasphemous. They can also be described as scams. There are testimonials from people that have followed the teachings of mega church pastors and their regrets. A nephew of so called faith healer, Benny Hinn, who worked in his uncle’s ministry also tells his story in hindsight.
I don’t follow the ministries of celebrity pastors but for the most part I’ve given them the benefit of the doubt and hope that some good comes from their ministry. The exception is Benny Hinn who is obviously a long time charlatan. The revelations by his nephew are worse than I imagined. They are heart breaking.
There were people in “American Gospel” who shared their experiences following mega church teachings. One woman ruined her career and financial standing. I don’t think she worked for the church but she followed the teachings of a popular preacher and quit her job believing she would be miraculously provided for. She wasn’t.
The bottom line of the film is that the popular American Gospel isn’t following scripture at all. They preach a message that is designed to sell books, get clicks and views and garnish donations, not teach the Bible and save souls.
The film also includes the testimony of a family where the wife is terminally ill and their faith and studies of the Bible. Their story isn’t miraculous and wouldn’t make anyone feel like a special snow flake. But they share what God’s word did for them and their family.
I would recommend watching “American Gospel”. It’s well researched and presented. I think it is fair. I think that viewers can learn a lot about the gospel and the difference between what the Bible says and the message being shared by popular preachers.
Christian Contemporary and Gospel Hits of the Early 2000s
A lot of great Christian Contemporary and Gospel music was created and enjoyed in the early to mid 2000s. Here are a few of my favorite songs of that genre and era. I don’t keep up with Gospel and Contemporary Christian as much as I use to.
I miss CDs and CD players in cars. I use to purchase CDs from the WOW! series every year. That and going to church kept me up with all the Christian music. I want to acknowledge that some of these artists have been involved in scandals or questionable behavior.
Here’s my walk down memory lane. This list is not exhaustive but I didn’t want to keep you all day. Enjoy the music.
“Discarded Things”: A Review
Discarded Things is a part of the genre that I will call Christian movies. I enjoy Christian movies. They are the English language equivalent of Mexican soap operas. Christian movies are a bit campy, dramatic, kind of over the top with a limited budget. Yet the are quite entertaining. They always have an inspirational message. God always prevails after all.
I’m going to avoid spoilers because this film has an ending that will knock your socks off. I’ll keep this brief. I enjoyed this movie. It was a bit corny but I enjoyed the acting and it was a good story. The lead actress is named Karen Abercrombrie. She plays Grace Wyatt who is a teacher for trouble children. She’s fifty eight and a real fox. She was foxy in the movie and they styled her down. Check out her IMDB. Karen is fire.
Cameron Arnett plays a pastor named Solomon Grant and the father of Grace. He was in the film briefly but his performance was memorable. He did a great job in this film and played a great villain. I hated him with passion. Cameron did his job. I think he deserves an Oscar.
My criticism of the film is that Grace is a teacher for troubled youth but the youngsters are super sweet and squeaky clean. They aren’t believable as juvenile delinquents. The other criticism is that the film almost feels like it’s two distinct films. I wish the first act that involved Grace’s childhood could have lasted longer. The middle dragged a bit until it picked up at the end.
Check it out if you get the chance. Regardless of your beliefs explore Christian films. They are wholesome albeit a bit corny. They are family friendly and always have an inspirational ending.
RIP Queen: The Death of Cheslie Kryst, Miss USA 2019
It was reported over the weekend that Miss USA 2019 Cheslie Kryst jumped sixty stories to her death from a NYC sky scraper. I am still shocked and dismayed by this grim and disheartening news. I’ve never had a death of a high profile person affect me in such a way. Cheslie was living the dream. She lived in a luxury high rise in NYC, had a glamorous job, was highly accomplished, beautiful and young. Cheslie died at thirty but I’m old enough now that thirty is young.
I did not know Cheslie personally. I’m merely a pageant fan an an admirer. She was an attorney at the time she was crowned Miss USA 2019. She was very fit. I thought she was a great role model for young ladies. I appreciate the soft power of femininity that she and other pageant contestants represent. I think the world needs more of that.
I wish I could have helped her. I wish I knew what was wrong. I have no basis for understanding of a decision to jump to your death from a luxury high rise apartment. This is very hurtful and confusing. I hope Cheslie’s soul is at rest now. It’s unfortunate that she was unable to find peace and fulfillment in her life despite all of her blessings. Her presence will be missed.
I am not a counselor or mental health expert in any form. I’m a person who is trying to make sense of this tragedy as are so many others. I’ve faced discouragement in my life but I’ve never been in such despair that I’ve considered ending my life. I don’t think I’ve experienced such torment.
Here is my advice. I’m not educated as a mental health professional. I encourage anyone to seek help they need through professional mental health services. There is nothing wrong with taking psychiatric medicine if that’s what you need or seeking advice from a therapist. I also encourage people to have a healthy outlet for their feelings. For me writing has been a great way for me to process emotions and to sort out matters in my life.
I strongly encourage everyone to strengthen their spirit and soul with prayer and studying the BIble. Life is very hard for everyone, even promising young women that seem to it all. The world wears everyone down. It’s designed to grind down our spirit.
I’ve always found hope and strength in the Lord. The Bible is one of the few sources of wisdom, inspiration and encouragement in these modern times. When I reflect on my life I know that Jesus Christ helped and guided me through difficult situations and times. He’s always made a way and helped me to make good decisions. I encourage young (or not so young) people to feed their soul and protect themselves by choosing to follow Jesus Christ.
Disclaimer: This is not a judgement against Cheslie in any way. I do not know anything about her spiritual walk. I’m also aware of pastors that have taken their own lives. There are no absolute answers. This is advice to everyone that reads this based on my personal experience in life. We are ignoring our souls and spirits far too much in these modern times. I believe that Christ is the way to feed your spirit, heart and soul.
If you find this post to be offensive please understand that it comes from a place of concern for humanity.