Peanuts and Popcorn

Peanuts and Popcorn

Creation vs. Science Guy: The Debate Happens Feb. 4

posted by jtotey
Ken Ham takes on Bill Nye the Science Guy in a debate on for February 4, 2014.

Ken Ham takes on Bill Nye the Science Guy in a debated scheduled for February 4, 2014.

UPDATE: The debate will now be available live and online, and FREE of charge, at The live stream will be powered by Google+ Hangouts On Air, through YouTube. This live and unedited presentation will be available in HD for large-screen viewing in schools, churches, or other public venues, at no cost.

Those in the greater Seattle area remember when the most controversial thing Bill Nye the Science Guy  ever did was play the role of Speed Walker on the local comedy show, Almost Live. Well, the science entertainer may have gotten a little too big for his britches in the last year or so.

Since his stint on the Seattle show, Nye was giving the chance to create his own syndicated TV show for children simply named, Bill Nye the Science Guy. Disney saw the show and swooped up the rights to show it on PBS during the 1990’s. He has become a well-respected voice of science with a great sense of humor. Most recently, he competed on ABC’s Dancing With the Stars program, but was voted out early in the season. But what really gave the man headlines was his claim in August 2012 that Creationism should not be taught to children which he stated in a video. “I say to the grownups, ‘If you want to deny evolution and live in your world that’s completely inconsistent with everything we’ve observed in the universe that’s fine,” Nye says in the video. “But don’t make your kids do it.’”

YouTube Preview Image

The statement didn’t go over well with many parents and certainly not Ken Ham, creator of the 70,000 square foot Creation Museum located in Petersburg, KY. The apologist has challenged Nye to duel of words to be held at the Museum on February 4, 2014 from 7:00-9:30 PM ET. When the news first broke of this story, tickets to the debate were sold out within two minutes!

Held at the 900 seat Legacy Hall at the Museum, the event is not expected to be televised but arrangements have been made to have the event streamed live on the web. For $4.99, you can reserve your video stream by clicking here or get the live video stream free with your preorder of a DVD or digital download.

Independent ‘My Son’ is Surprisingly Realistic

posted by jtotey
Jess (Kate Randall) and Cadon (Restin Burk)

Jess (Kate Randall) and Cadon (Restin Burk)

Not too long ago I received some flak from a promoter of a faith-based film that I gave a fairly negative review. As a fellow Christian, I want to be supportive of other believer’s projects, but as a reviewer, I want to critique art for what it is. He tried to reason with me saying that film’s production had a limited budget and that I shouldn’t expect a Christian film to be Oscar-worthy. In response, I told him that I believe in doing the best you can with what you got. The film he presented me was not the best it could be. The writing was poor. The acting was poor. The music was poor. The film meant well, but it wasn’t a well-made movie.

Contrast that experience to one I just had watching the film, My Son. It too featured actors who have never acted before and was put together on a shoe-string budget, but this film (and others like it) proves that low budget Christian films can be made well. Much can be done with a good story.

Grandma Sharri (Paige Easterling) comforts little Austin.

Grandma Sharri (Paige Easterling) comforts little Austin.

Produced by Retta Vision Motion Pictures (a ministry of Retta Baptist Church in Rendon, TX.) and FlyRock Media, My Son is unlike many Christian films before it. For one, it’s rated “R.” This is due to scenes of violence and drug use, but probably should have a rating a PG or PG-13. Most of the violence is off-screen and isn’t gratuitous.

Jess (Kate Randall) is a single mother doing her best to care for her young son Austin. She lives with new boyfriend, Cadon (Restin Burk) who is barely making ends meet for just himself let alone a family. Their questionable living arrangement causes concern for Jess’ parents James and Sharri Clarke (Chuck Kitchens and Paige Easterling) who fight for custody of Austin and win. Desperate to get their son back, Jess and Cadon go to extreme measures which lead to a shooting at a local church.


Two women flee the shooter.

My Son isn’t a perfect movie, but it is a good film. With some additional editing and perhaps a few reshoots, it has the potential of becoming a great one. The story was written by Michelle Dietrich, Melanie Gardner and Matt Ward and is surprisingly good. The authors shy away from trite, tidy dialogue. It features characters that are not perfect which is something that is much-needed in Christian films. Jess’ parents want nothing more than reconciliation with their daughter and to protect their grandson. Jess’ mother says, “I know that we are doing the right thing, but I’m not sure if it is the best thing.” However, it becomes obvious that she is to be part of the blame for the rift between her and her daughter. My Son is directed by Jarod O’ Flaherty whose cinematography is well done and the sets look very realistic.

Watch the trailer below:

YouTube Preview ImageOn the downside, at times, the film doesn’t seem to know what it wants to be. Is it a family drama, an action flick or a character study? As the film goes on, numerous side characters, storylines and plot holes are added. Because of this confusion, it runs about a half hour longer than it needs to. The film opens with a well-shot, but unnecessary flashback scene that loosely fits the main story line. Later on, the action scenes would be more thrilling if some of the extraneous scenes were cut out. As for the acting, there are few less-than- stellar performances, but those can be forgiven since the lead actors carry the movie.

What makes this film stand out among other faith-based films is that the ending doesn’t tie up everything in neat little bows. There is a salvation message presented, but it doesn’t feel forced as in some other flicks (however, the timing of the scene is a little odd) and the ending is more realistic than some would hope for. Perhaps the best line in the whole film is from a sweet prayer warrior of a lady who shouts at the gunman, “God is in control of this room – not you –and I’m not afraid of dying.” I love that lady.

Jamie Grace is ‘Ready to Fly’

posted by jtotey

Jamie Grace’s “Ready to Fly” album will be released on January 28, 2014.

Some people are just full of surprises. Take singer Jamie Grace for instance. She already has a lifetime of experiences during her 21 years on this earth and she is just getting started. The GRAMMY® nominee and Best New Artist Dove Award winner will be releasing her second album, “Ready to Fly” on January 28 while her new single, “Beautiful Day” is already doing fine on the air thank you very much. None of this would have seemed possible ten years ago.

When Jamie was just nine years old, she began twitching here and there occasionally. The strange symptoms would affect her eyes, neck, arms and legs. She began to stutter. Her situation progressively got worse and by the age of 11, Jamie was diagnosed with Tourette Syndrome, a situation that she still struggles with today, but to a lesser degree.

In an interview with the Christian Post back in September, Jamie opened up about her health and her healthy perspective about it: “I do thank God, not specifically for Tourette’s, but I know that He has taught me a lot through this illness. So the irony of Tourette’s syndrome is that it’s based on something that we can’t control and everyone in life has something that they can’t control. So whether it’s Tourette’s, or family or school stuff, or something else medical, we’re all going to have something big in our lives that that we can’t control, but we can control to choose to go to the Father during those times and even though it’s hard and difficult, He does love us He does have a plan for us and He will make everything work out for His glory in the end.”

In 2006, this preacher’s daughter created her first YouTube video of her singing. By 2010 she was “discovered” by TobyMac and signed to his Gotee Records label later that year. In 2011, she released her first album, “One Song at a Time” while attending college and touring the country.  Almost half of her songs off that album have received radio play, making her a household name.

After a busy year of touring and taking an acting role in the faith-based film Grace Unplugged, she is ready to reveal her latest work. The album reunites Jamie with producers Christopher Stevens (TobyMac), David Garcia (Britt Nicole) and for the first time with Chuck Butler (Royal Tailor).

“The entire concept of ‘Ready To Fly’ is being ready even when you don’t know what the Lord has planned for your future,” says Jamie in a recent press release. “I wrote the title track the night before I turned 18. I was crying out, wondering what God’s plan for me was. I started to doubt so many things but as I randomly began singing the lyrics to ‘Ready to Fly,’ I realized I don’t have to have my whole life figured out to start my journey. This record is about being in the waiting with God, yet while you’re waiting being ready to move – ready to fly – when the timing is right.”

The new album features appearances from Manwell of Group 1 Crew, her sister Morgan Harper Nichols and Jason Crabb on the digital only bonus track version of “Fighter.” Since its release this summer, the single “Beautiful Day” has enjoyed a steady rise to the top and a strong footing in the Top 20 on the Billboard Christian Songs Chart as well as the Top 5 of the iTunes® Christian & Gospel songs chart.

2013′s Most Popular Pop Culture

posted by jtotey

For better or for worse, pop culture is all around us and is shaping our ever-changing world daily. Whether you agree with the following or not, here were the top changers of 2013:


NY1     NY2     NY3NY4





Highest Grossing:
Iron Man 3
Making $409,013,994

Highest Grossing Animated:
Descpicable Me 2
Making $367,766,870

Highest Grossing Faith-Based:
Grace Unplugged

Biggest Flop:
The Lone Ranger
Lost nearly $200 million

*=Domestic sales









Top-Selling Single:
Blurred Lines” by Robin Thicke

Best Selling Album:
This is Us” by New Direction

Best-Selling Christian Album on iTunes:
Campfire” by Rend Collective Experiment









Most-Watched TV Show:
The Walking Dead (AMC)
Rating: 8.6
Total viewers: 16.48 million

First Cancelled Fall Show:
Lucky 7 (ABC)










Most Popular Website:

1,000,000,000 – Estimated Unique Monthly Visitors

Most popular searches on Google for 2013:

Top Event – Boston Marathon Bombing
People – Nelson Mandela
Athletes – Oscar Pistorius

Man ofCory2UnderWhat






Movies – “Man of Steel”
Performing Arts – Cory Monteith
TV Shows – “Under the Dome”
YouTube – Ylvis – “What Does the Fox Say?”

Most Watched Youtube Video







Miley Cyrus – Wrecking Ball

Most Re-Tweeted Tweets from Twitter:







 “Glee” star, Lea Michele tribute to Cory Monteith

“Thank you all for helping me through this time with your enormous love & support. Cory will forever be in my heart.”

Most Popular Facebook Page:
Sandy the Elephant
2,6000 comments and likes

Most popular Pinterest Pins:
Home Décor









Best Selling Books from Barnes & Noble:

Inferno” by Dan Brown

Lean In” by Sheryl Sandberg

Children’s Book:
The Third Wheel” (Diary of a Wimpy Kid Series #7) by Jeff Kinney

Faith-Based Book:
Proof of Heaven” by Eben Alexander

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