RoboDad now available

Light Symphony Productions' "RoboDad" won the Grand Prize for the Fatherhood CoMission contest! I play the lead inventor and voice for . 

You can watch it by clicking the arrow below, or if you got this in an email, you can view it at

The last time I worked with this amazing team I was blessed to win "Best Actor in a Short Film" at the International Christian Film Festival.

I play a lead in Providence, which you can bring to your area.

Paul, Apostle of Christ

Joyce and I got to see an advanced screening of Paul: Apostle of Christ followed by a panel including Andrew Hyatt (writer/director), Eric Groth (executive director), T.J. Berden (producer), and James Faulkner (Paul) moderated by David DiCerto at the Sheen Center.

The story takes place during the Apostle Paul's final days. After his season of house arrest, described in Acts 28, he has been put into the Mamertine Prison in Rome. There his traveling companion and author of the third Gospel, Luke finds him and asks him questions about his journeys in order to write the Book of Acts. It was inspired by 2 Timothy 4:11, which is believed to have been written from the Mamertine Prison: "Luke alone is with me."

The plot revolves around their relationships with each other, those who guard them, and Priscilla and Aquila (played by Joanne Whalley and John Lynch) who are guarding Christians from persecution by the Romans.

The film is a rich banquet of excellence. The writing, acting and cinematography are all top shelf, pulled together by Affirm Films, the Sony company that produced films like Risen, The Grace Card, Heaven is for Real, and War Room.

Often, when films are produced, actors come from far and wide, and day players are only on set for literally one day. Faulkner was overjoyed that they flew all of the key actors to set in Malta for a table reading of the script before film production began. They also utilized acting coach John Kirby, who helped me direct several plays. Those investments paid off in the tight ensemble work.

The acting of Faulkner and Caviezel is fully fleshed out, despite the fact that Faulkner said he was pulled in without a lot of prep time. After four decades of experience, he said, "The conduit of imagination is readily available." Still, his favorite scene was one in which all of his lines were a voiceover he didn't have to memorize! The voiceover comes from one of Paul's epistles, but to say which would be a spoiler!

This is Caviezel's first biblical epic since playing Jesus in The Passion of the Christ, and he has said that he chose to do this one because he saw the humanity of the characters portrayed honestly. Hyatt said while directing Caviezel he often thought he was watching him playing Jesus playing Luke. Certainly the immersive work Caviezel put into playing the Lord has brought depth to his role as the writing doctor, an element of Luke's background which is utilized in a powerful subplot.

Faulkner's first performances were in the choir of the Royal College of Church Music at Addington Palace, but he passed the mic when a question of faith was asked. It seems that playing Paul has stirred up his early beliefs. He said he has a deep respect for Christianity and he hoped that by taking part he could re-engender respect for it. He said, "I'm tired of Christianity being denounced and other faiths being touted, and that's why I did the film." There are brief images of immolation, Christians being burned to light the streets at night, something Faulkner said is still being done to Christians today.

Paul: Apostle of Christ is saturated with Scripture, something that is nicely highlighted by the recurring phrase, "Write that down," which Paul often says to Luke. That phrase was added through improvisation during the filming process.

Unfortunately I went in thinking that the film would include lots of flashbacks from The Acts (which I perform as a one-man play), so I kept waiting for the film to get to those. It does include a few flashbacks, but they're artfully chosen snapshots of Saul's persecution of followers of Christ, leading up to his Damascus Road experience.

When they opened up the mics I was the first one up, asking why they didn't include more miracles. The producers said that they chose to cover a tight timeline, and also, because they had a modest budget, they didn't want them to come across as cheesy. In one case, in order to ratchet up the drama, there was a choice not to show a miraculous healing, and it was quite an effective sequence.

I'm looking forward to seeing it a second time so I can better appreciate it for what it is, rather than waiting for it to become what it is not. Also, we saw an unfinished version before color correction, the final score, and some additional dialogue, which we read as subtitles. So I'm looking forward to the final cut.

There is a subplot in which Priscilla and Aquila are pulled in different directions and imply that the Lord may be calling the married couple to part ways. Thankfully this is only a plot device that is resolved, without implying that the Lord would ever call a couple to divorce.

There is also quite a lot of Roman idol worship depicted, and in one scene a man pours blood over himself. It's a powerful reminder that God has planted eternity in the hearts of all, and that even pagan Roman pantheism had a concept of our need to be covered by the blood of a sacrifice. Still, it could be a disturbing image for some.

It's rated PG-13 for some violent content and disturbing images. For more details (which reveal some spoilers) visit PluggedIn's review.

To watch the trailer and short documentaries about the film's faithfulness to Scripture, click the arrows below, or if you've received this as an email, visit

There are still openings for the 2018 Rocky Mountain Christian Filmmakers Camp.

Two Men Who Would Be King

Joyce teaches on Gideon from Judges 6-8 and the life of King Saul from I Samuel 8-15. Opening by Pastor Jim Warren, who also reads lyrics from Chris Tomlin's "Whom Shall I Fear?" Prayer and announcements by Dr. Linda Warren, who mentions the trailer for I Can Only Imagine, which you can watch below. I perform Jerry Carroll's poem, which you can see below. You can read my review of I Can Only Imagine here.

Click the arrows below to play the audio and videos, or if you're reading this in an email you can visit, to play this service:

This service is available for download free on iTunes, where you can also subscribe to our podcast. Search for "Westchester Chapel" on the iTunes Store.

If you want to more about starting a relationship with Jesus Christ visit

Photo courtesy of

There are still openings for the 2018 Rocky Mountain Christian Filmmakers Camp.

I Can Only Imagine

Wow! I feel like I still have tear stains on my cheeks. It grabbed me from the start and never let go!

It's the story of Bart Millard, of the band MercyMe, writing the best-selling single in Christian music history, "I Can Only Imagine." That log line falls far short of describing what this film really is. It is certainly the best biopic I have ever seen. The artistry that went into it is truly stunning. Long ago I heard a sermon by John Langlois on "The Father Heart of God." Because I have a great father it's been easy for me to see God the Father as loving, kind and encouraging, but for people without a father on the scene or for people with an abusive father that can be more of a challenge. I applaud Millard for letting his story of his journey to greater intimacy with his earthly and heavenly fathers be told in such a transparent way.

In 2013 I heard Stephen Kendrick say that the Christian film industry was still in its infancy, but babies crawl, then walk, then run, then ride bikes, then cars, then planes, then rockets. I Can Only Imagine is a formula 500 race car! The scriptwriting (Alex Cramer's story adapted for screen by Jon Erwin and Brent McCorkle) is precision tuned. The team made all the right decisions when it comes to what to show and what to reference. The actors (cast by our friend Beverly Holloway) pull everything off with a depth of emotion that reaches right out of the screen.

Bev turned her sights to Broadway so they could find someone with the acting/singing combo they needed to represent Millard on screen and found J. Michael Finley. Jon Erwin showed his chops as a director, pulling Finley from Jean Valjean, filling an almost 1500 seat house, to his first film demanding a full range of nuanced emotions from giddy fanboy to wounded boy-man to healed phenom.

Jason Burkey and I
protecting our costumes
on the set of
The Screenwriters.
I was jazzed to see Jason Burkey (who performed with me in For the Glory and The Screenwriters) playing MercyMe guitarist, Michael John Scheuchzer. The son of Jeff Rose (who performed opposite me in The Unexpected Bar Mitzvah) played young Bart Millard beautifully. Cloris Leachman brought spark to her roles as Millard's Memaw and inspiration for the band's name. Madeline Carroll brought a deeply compelling subplot to life playing Millard's sweetheart from childhood. Ethan and Ashley Ledden, who have worked with me on five films, did supervised the special effects. We didn't notice many, which speaks to their consistently great work!

But the real MVP is Dennis Quaid, playing Millard's abusive father, who is transformed through a relationship with Jesus Christ. His baby steps into Scripture reading, prayer and being a good father are at once charming and heart-wrenching. I haven't read any secular reviews yet (though The Hollywood Reporter was "impressed" by it making $1.3M before opening today), but since there are no artistic flaws to be found (The New York Times passed on a review), my guess is that those brave enough to review something of excellence that doesn't fit their worldview will take aim at the life-transformation. How can you explain away someone's true story? My bride was told by a colleague that her changed life was the first miracle the woman had ever seen, so I'm praying the world will receive what Jesus Christ can really do in a life as it is depicted in this wonderful film.

While there is enough violence for Millard's description of his father as a monster to ring true, most of that came through verbal descriptions, and the actual depictions of violence were brief and tastefully done.

Everyone in our theatre on Times Square prayed for the film afterward. One gentleman pointed out that there is no vulgarity. What a refreshing surprise to find a team creative enough to give a full sense of a monster without scarring us.

One of the things that has stayed with me from that "Father Heart of God" sermon I heard over 15 years ago: Whether we have or had a great, absent or abusive earthly father, we can use our perceptions of him to help us imagine a perfect Heavenly Father. He is always there for us, gave us our dreams and callings and will encourage and empower us to live them out for His glory. This film does just that, and I hope people are remembering its impact decades from now.

Parents should know:
It's rated PG for themes of abuse and alcoholism, and recommends it to children 12 and up.

You can click below to watch the trailer, a piece on Dennis Quaid's Christian faith and a brand new music video of the song "I Can Only Imagine." If you got this in an email visit

There are still openings for the 2018 Rocky Mountain Christian Filmmakers Camp.

Courage to Follow God's Plan

The crumbled walls of Jericho and
Mount of Temptation from
our trip in 1999.
I got to open this morning's service at Westchester ChapelPastor Randy Solomon preaches on the fall of the walls of Jericho from Joshua 6Here is an article which discusses the archeological evidence that the fallen and burned walls of Jericho are evidence that the story really happened! I mention the documentary Billy Graham: An Extraordinary Adventure. I also mention Ethan Hill, and you can see our cinematic collaborations by clicking here.

Click the arrow below, or if you're reading this in an email you can click this link, to play the service:

This service is available for download free on iTunes, where you can also subscribe to our podcast. Search for "Westchester Chapel" on the iTunes Store.

If you want to more about starting a relationship with Jesus Christ visit

There are still a few openings at the 2018 Rocky Mountain Christian Filmmakers Camp.

A Boy's War

I got to be a script consultant on this delightful short, which was nominated for Best Animated Film at the International Christian Film Festival, and it won Third Place for the Fatherhood CoMission at the Christian Worldview Film Festival. This team has been nominated at that festival several times, and last year they won for their film "Father Daughter Dance!"

They used the title I suggested, which was inspired by a book written by a gentleman who was interned with Eric Liddell.

Their thank you to me was naming the film family after mine!

You can watch the film below or if you're receiving this via email at (3/10/18).

We have a few spots left at for the 2018 Rocky Mountain Christian Filmmakers Camp.