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HISTORY Takes on Jesus’ Story in New TV Series

He's one of history's most controversial personalities. Was he a good man spreading love and peace? A rabble-rouser stirring rebellion? A charlatan deceiving the masses – then and now? Something else?

Easter seasons have spawned numerous Bible-related media projects. In 2013, we saw Mark Burnett's and Roma Downey's blockbuster The Bible series, which drew huge television audiences – 100 million viewers. Their Son of God film hit theaters in 2014. CNN's Finding Jesus investigative documentary series ran in 2015 and 2017.

So, what's different about the History Channel's 2019 project, Jesus: His Life?

This one tells the story through the eyes of eight people intimately involved with him … friends and antagonists:

Joseph, his earthly father, who protected him
John the Baptist, who publicly presented him
Mary, his mother, who raised him
Caiphas, who sought to eliminate him
Judas, who betrayed him
Pilate, who condemned him to die
Mary Magdalene, who supported him
Peter, who died serving him
The series blends dramatic reenactments with commentary from scholars and faith leaders. Some series commentators question the Bible's accuracy. Others support its plausibility.

You're Pregnant by Whom?

The opening episode depicts the challenge Mary's premarital pregnancy created for Joseph. She believed an angel told her she was pregnant by God.

Suppose your fiancé/fiancée exhibited apparent evidence of sexual activity with someone else during your engagement … and said God sanctioned the whole thing. Would you believe that story? Would you cancel the wedding?

Joseph, whom biblical accounts describe as “a righteous man…decided to break the engagement quietly” to avoid disgracing Mary publicly (Matthew 1:19-21). But, the record specifies, an angel appeared to him in a dream, explaining that the child was conceived in her by God, and told him to “name him Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.” Joseph followed instru..

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Run the Race: Movie Review

The buzz started last summer when it was revealed that Heisman Trophy winner, former NFL quarterback, professional baseball player, and best-selling author Tim Tebow would add movie making to his ever-burgeoning resume. Along with brother Robby Tebow, the brothers had signed on to executive produce a new faith-based film called Run the Race.

While it is certainly significant when a well-known figure dabbles in an area that is not traditionally his or her own, it is easy for the narrative to become more about the person than the project. While this has certainly been evident at times for Run the Race, in the end solid filmmaking wins the day.

With high school football serving as the backdrop, in Run the Race, two determined teenage brothers craft a plan to leave their hometown behind for something better. To be clear, this is not a movie about the Tebows. Beyond two brothers who love football, the similarities stop there.

Directed by Chris Dowling (Where Hope Grows), the movie stars Tanner Stine (NCIS), Evan Hofer (Kickin’ It), Kelsey Reinhardt (Transparent), and a group of Hollywood veterans including Frances Fisher (Titanic, Unforgiven), Mario Van Peebles (Ali, Superstition), and Mykelti Williamson (Fences, Forrest Gump).

THE MOVIE IN A MINUTE

Two teenage brothers find themselves facing some incredibly difficult life-altering circumstances. Dave (Hofer) and Zach (Stine) are desperate for better days to overcome their mother’s death and father’s alcohol-infused abandonment. They plan to do so through football. With a ‘guaranteed’ athletic scholarship beckoning for younger brother Zach, their dream comes to an abrupt halt when he seriously injures his knee.

With Zach nursing his injury and a seriously bruised ego, Dave, a former athlete, joins the track team. His goals are two-fold: to earn an athletic scholarship in his own right, but more importantly to restore his brother’s hope.

Facing unbelievable odds, the brothers forge an unbreakable bond despite thei..

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Tebows’ “Run the Race” Not Just Another Sports Movie

Always wanting to be part of something that is encouraging and inspirational, former Heisman Trophy winner Tim Tebow has devoted much of his adult life to helping others. From openly demonstrating his faith on some of the world’s largest athletic stages to spearheading “A Night to Shine”, a program that celebrates people with special needs, Tebow is known far and wide as one of the ‘good guys’. So much so, that is came as a bit of a surprise when he announced recently that he and his brother Robby Tebow would be entering the movie industry as executive producers of the forthcoming film, Run the Race. While filmmaking is not exactly what the Tebows are used to, Tim believes that it is a venture worth pursuing.

“I never had the goal of being in the movie industry,” the former NFL quarterback and current MLB prospect says. “This is storytelling. It is just another avenue to encourage people. It's not an easy place for a lot of young people and I have a heart for that. To be able to tell a story that is a real story, hopefully young people will be encouraged by it.”

“We decided to get involved with this because it really resonated with us,” echoes Robby. “It was just something that in today's media, the platform that it has, I think you can reach a lot of people.”

Watch a trailer for Run the Race

For the Tebows, it was important for them to find a first project that demonstrated many of the faith-based core values in which they strongly believe. Their search led them to Texas-native Jake McEntire, a former seminary student who was working in Hollywood as an actor. The perseverant McEntire, who began writing the script for Run the Race in 2004 as a college student, had been doggedly trying to get the movie made for 12 years before the Tebow brothers came along.

“I just felt like this was a calling that God gave me in my heart to try and to pursue, to tell the story,” McEntire explains. “It literally was a lot of dark nights of the soul praying, “Lord God, ..

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How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World: Movie Review

Dreamworks’ new How to Train Your Dragon movie lives up to the franchise legacy with its third and final installment, The Hidden World. It’s a fun and moving story all about what love looks like, and that feels right, for right now.

In The Hidden World, Hiccup, his beloved dragon, Toothless, and his colorful crew send a group of powerful warlords reeling when they rescue a ship full of their dragon cargo. Determined to eliminate the threat, they turn to a famous dragon slayer, a ruthless tyrant named Grimmel. With such a cunning hunter at their doorstep, Hiccup must decide what’s best for his people even if that means risking everything and everyone.

On so many levels, How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World, just works. Visually, emotionally, this concluding film in Hiccup’s story entertains and enlightens. We watch Hiccup grow into the chief he was destined to become, overcoming enormous obstacles and his personal doubts.

It’s a movie that teaches us the importance of friends and family; the support they can give in trying times can be life-saving. Ultimately, The Hidden World illuminates what real love does. Not wanting to give too much away, let’s just say this: you will be moved to tears (or at the very least watery eyes) by the end of this film.

Rated PG for “adventure action and some mild rude humor”, How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World is appropriate viewing for most ages. Moviegoers should know that this Viking story does include profanity-ish dialogue. Some of the supporting characters say “Gods”, a meant-to-be comedic expression of frustration.

Dreamworks takes us on a great adventure yet again with its final How to Train Your Dragon movie. Beyond it simply being a fun film, it offers audiences a virtuous story packed with loads of meaningful moments that inspire us to love, sacrificially.