Beliefnet
Idol Chatter

CelebritiesFoundGod3Chris Pratt continues to be one of the most sought after actors in Hollywood. We have seen his celebrity status soar in the years since we were introduced to him on the small screen on the NBC sitcom “Parks and Recreation.”

Pratt has since become a bankable leading man due to his breakout success in Guardians of the Galaxy and Jurassic World. While many fans know that Pratt is a Christian, many don’t know that he came from humble beginnings or the remarkable story of how he was led to Christ. Pratt recently opened up to Vanity Fair about the moment he turned to Jesus and was saved.

It all began when a man named Henry came up to him and said, “Jesus told me to talk to you.’

During this period in his life, Pratt was in his early 20’s, working at a Bubba Gump Shrimp Co. in Hawaii  and living out of his van. At the time, he was homeless and in survival mode.

“I was sitting outside a grocery store. We’d convinced someone to go in and buy us beer,” Pratt said. “This is Maui, and a guy came up and recognized something in me that needed to be saved.”

He asked Pratt what he was doing that night. He replied, “My friend’s inside buying me alcohol.”

He then asked Pratt if he had plans on drinking, doing drugs and fornicating and Pratt admitted that he hoped so. Though this man was a complete stranger and asking him some pretty personal questions, the man didn’t make Pratt nervous. In fact, he felt a sense of calm around him.

Curious about the man’s intentions, Pratt said, “Why are you asking?”

The man replied, “Jesus told me to talk to you.”

At that very moment, Pratt knew he needed to go with this man. Henry took him to church. Pratt’s friends were completely caught off guard when he declared that he was going to change his life.

Not long after the encountering, Pratt was cast in Cursed Part 3, the movie that got his foot in the door of acting, which eventually led to Hollywood success. The rest is history.

Since then, his faith has really shaped his life. He and his wife, actress Anna Faris, relied on their trust in the Lord when their son was in the intensive care unit for the first month of his life after being born nine weeks premature.

“We were scared for a long time. We prayed a lot,” Pratt said. “It restored my faith in God, not that it needed to be restored, but it really redefined it…”

Even though doctors said their son, Jack, would live with disabilities due to premature birth, God healed him in the NICU.

Pratt is also very vocal about his Christian faith on his social media accounts. He frequently quotes Bible verses and shares bits of his testimony. Last year, he posted a picture on Instagram of him and his friends building a giant steel cross and mounting it on a hill. He recently shared this powerful verse on social media:

“Anyone who loves their brother and sister lives in the light, and there is nothing in them to make them stumble. But anyone who hates a brother or sister is in the darkness and walks around in the darkness. They do not know where they are going, because the darkness blinded them.” -1 John 2:10-11.

It’s incredible to see that fame and the spotlight have not uprooted Pratt from his faith. In fact, it only seems to be growing stronger. In an industry scare in devout Christians, Pratt is refreshing.

 

The way a culture chooses to entertain itself speaks volumes. Our art is a mirror held up before us, and the reflections we choose to highlight show much about current mood of the nation. The 74th annual Golden Globes, hosted by Jimmy Fallon, was no different.

The annual ceremony in which the Golden Globe Awards are presented is one of the staples of the film industry’s award season, awarding the best of television and film, as chosen by the 93 members of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association.

This year’s Globes ceremony, held on January 8th, began, tellingly, with Fallon taking a stab at Donald Trump’s controversial presidential victory, proclaiming, “Welcome to the Golden Globes—one of the few places left where America still honors the popular vote.”

Damien Chazelle’s romantic musical comedy-drama, “La La Land,” stole the show, winning Best Motion Picture—Musical or Comedy, and providing the theme for the Golden Globes intro sequence and continuing to be referenced throughout the show.

The musical, with its starry nights, sense of innocence, and old-movie feel transport viewers into an enchantingly romantic musical world, despite that melancholy ending.

In the context of the Fallon’s opening joke about Trump, the ubiquitous praise for “La La Land” reflects a hunger for joy and hope. 2016 was a difficult year for many Americans as the contentious nature of the presidential election drained the nation of happiness and frivolity.

But then along came a film that transported viewers into the feel of another age, giving them a glimpse of bittersweet happiness, lifting their emotions upward on the wings of music. And after such a tumultuous year, marked by divisiveness, call-outs, and ever-present social media rage, this is exactly what we needed.

Further, the emergence of a superhero film—a first— into the Globes in the form of 2 “Deadpool” nominations for Best Motion Picture reinforces this theme. Audiences want to escape into a world where evil is clearly defined and easily fought, as was the case in the Western films of old.

It was actress Meryl Streep, though, who simultaneously captured the anxiety of the old year and the desire for hope and joy for the new, in a moving speech as she accepted the annual Cecil B. DeMille Award. She challenged callous, divisive behavior and highlighted the value of the arts as an exercise in empathy, saying that “An actor’s only job is to enter the lives of people who are different than us, and let you feel what that feels like.”

She ended with a call to action, asking her fellow actors and actresses to remember the privileges and responsibilities that come along with their profession—audiences across the world are, for better or worse, inspired and bedazzled by them.

Her speech was a cry for unity, for empathy, and for the return of joy through peace—a desire felt by all on both sides of the political spectrum. It’s likely that the rest of the awards season, culminating in the Academy Awards on February 26th, will continue to reflect the nation’s desire to escape from what is currently a harsh reality.

Beth Moore is a popular Christian teacher, author and an all-around great a gal from Texas. She is warm, inviting and talking with her is akin to having coffee with a good friend. It is no wonder she’s beloved best-selling author and mentor for women. The wordsmith does the same in her first fictional book, the Undoing of St. Silvanus where she beautifully orchestrates her humor and enticing characters who all will hit a nerve. The story is based on Jillian Slater and her family. When Slater learned that her estranged father died, she reluctantly returns to New Orleans to rejoin her shattered family.

This is a huge change from Moore’s other books that teach people how spiritually grow. When you are a writer at heart since a child, you need to be open to growing in different areas.

“My mom was a big reader and my father ran movies theaters, so the whole concept of [storytelling] whether it was on the page or whether it was on the screen, it was huge to me.”
Giving the amount of time needed to write a fictional piece was something that never was on the radar. Most of Moore’s time is devoted to her ministry and to her Bible teachings. She brushed it off as something that she could peruse eventually. When God wants to move he usually doesn’t ask questions and He started nudging Moore to write the Undoing of Saint Silvanus. It all became thematic as no matter she couldn’t shake the idea. Then it happened, she started writing on the side and the chapters started evolving. For Moore, it was an invitation to investigate the undiscovered in fictional work. She decided it was time to sow into the unknown.

What came out of it was pretty enchanting. If she didn’t trust God to branch out we wouldn’t be introduced to characters like the cold-hearted grandmother Olivia and sweet Adella. They are all complicated people and their relationships are linked to generational curses that families pass down through the generations.

“We take on the patterns of our parents and our grandparents. It’s the anger, short tempers, leaning towards addiction and it is believed that it partially could be genetic. I can’t give the evidence for all that,” she explained. “I do know that we can see throughout time, that patterns do take place in families–and they need breaking. Jesus does that through the power of the cross.”

Jillian Slater will help readers navigate through corrupt patterns that destroy people. She also helps readers find a peace that they are not alone.

“This family has been off course. The broken relationships within it have been so messed up and so destroyed for so long that they don’t even try. It is coming into the knowledge that Christ is there in the heat of brokenness with us and in that extremely flawed home environment. He can set us free.”

The Undoing of Saint Silvanus is not only a book to entertain but to enlighten. Women will be drawn to the colorful characters and lessons that will speak to them.

This doesn’t need to end with this blog. You can join Beth’s Big Book Club live from the Big Easy for free on Jan. 20 at 7 pm ET, 6 pm CT with the delayed start for the Mountain and Pacific time zones.

When preparing for the role of Father Sebastiao Rodrigues in Martin Scorsese’s film “Silence,” Andrew Garfield unearthed something far greater than his character.

It evolved into something grander than himself as he investigated Christian theology and spent time with Jesuit priests for a year.

“What was really easy was falling in love with this person, was falling in love with Jesus Christ. That was the most surprising thing,” he said in an interview with American magazine. Garfield spent time with Father James Martin, a Jesuit priest, who taught him more about spiritual life.

“It’s almost like a 12-step program,” he explained. “In fact, it’s the basis for a lot of 12-step programs, a long-form meditation and prayer spent imagining the life of Christ, story by story, Gospel by Gospel, and sitting with his teachings, sitting with Him as He discovers who He is in the wilderness, and really meditating upon His life and even crucifixion.”

The experience radically changed Garfield by encouraging him to be a service to a greater good, to a greater service of love and to a greater service of the Divine. “I feel like this is what God is showing me. And it hurts when I feel misunderstood or not seen…but I’m longing for it to hurt less so that I can keep offering myself vulnerably,” he said.

The experience was quite humbling for Garfield, who devoted a year to spiritual conversion for the role. In the interim, a relationship with God was conceived. “You make all these sacrifices in service of God, in service of what you believe God is calling you into, and even after all of that heart and soul, that humble offering…that humility…even after all of that someone is going to throw a stone and dismiss it. It’s a wonderful, wonderful grace to be given, to be shown,” he said.