Here’s the latest from the crossroads of faith, media & culture: 11/06/20

Take heart (and have faith), America! If 2020 –  and the current election battle – has you feeling a little down (trending toward hopeless), the Grammy Award-winning, multi-platinum selling Christian music group Hillsong Worship wants you to know that, in fact, there is hope. They themselves hope that this week’s drop of their latest album Take Heart (Again) strikes the right chord. The Capitol Records release, a collaboration featuring members from Hillsong Worship, Hillsong UNITED, and Hillsong Young & Free, is described as a continuation of the faith-filled messages that the group was built on – and a reminder that “taking heart” is not a one-time occurrence. Consisting of both timeless and more recent songs from the group’s extensive catalogue, many of the tracks take on a new meaning in a year of COVID, racial unrest, political division and questions about the political process itself.

“This album encapsulates our prayer that we would take heart in this season,” says Hillsong Worship’s Brooke Ligertwood, “…that as we read the next headline, or receive the next report, whether good or bad, we would take heart again, put our hope in Jesus again, confess his Lordship again. He has been faithful in the past and He will be faithful again…As we pray again, lament again, rejoice again, declare again, love mercy again, praise again – we do so in absolute faith that we will see God’s goodness again, experience His presence again and see Him keep His promises again…We will take heart, again, and God will be faithful again, because faithfulness is not just what He does – it’s who He is.” Amen to that.

The 12-track Take Heart (Again) compilation features some of the group’s most beloved praise and worship songs including Hillsong classics Hosanna, Eagle’s Wings and Broken Vessels (Amazing Grace) / Life, as well as more recent favorites like Who You Say I Am and New Wine.

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Christmas cheer from Netflix. Jingle Jangle: A Christmas Journey is the streamer’s attempt to get an original Christmas classic under its belt.

Jingle Jangle: A Christmas Journey, starring Forest Whitaker and Keegan-Michael Key, is set to drop via Netflix on November 13, 2020.  

Synopsis: Set in the gloriously vibrant town of Cobbleton, the film follows the story of legendary toymaker Jeronicus Jangle (Whitaker) whose fanciful inventions burst with whimsy and wonder. When his trusted apprentice (Key) steals his most prized creation, it’s up to his equally bright and inventive granddaughter (newcomer Madalen Mills) — and a long-forgotten invention — to heal old wounds and reawaken the magic within.

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Overlooked media stories of the week:

From The NY Post: “I’m sure that my character in ‘Notting Hill’ and Julia Roberts’ character have been through the ugliest imaginable divorce with really expensive, nasty lawyers,” (‘Notting’ star Hugh) Grant told Collider, while also noting that his other rom-com relationships were, in his opinion, “all disasters,” too. “Those films were all lies,” he said, dissing the cheesy film category. He added that he thought a genre of sequels taking down romantic comedies would be “a brilliant idea.”
IMHO: Grant pretty much encapsulates here what’s wrong with the smug and sneering so-called entertainment industry.

From Deadline: When Anna Faris surprisingly exited Mom back in September, viewers wondered how the show would explain Christy’s absence. However, with (last night’s) season 8 premiere, Mom provided a clear, yet sudden answer.

IMHO: Of course, the article begins with Spoiler Alert. I’m a big fan of the show and actually watched last night. Unfortunately, I found the episode to be a bit off. Maybe the show will regain its footing as the season goes on but I do kinda think my idea for how to handle Faris’ departure was better.

Encourage one another and build each other up – 1 Thessalonians 5:11

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