Celebrity Interviews

When God Confirms We're On the Right Course: My Interview with Singer Jordan Feliz

(This article originally appeared on RockinGodsHouse.com)

Jordan Feliz and I have something in common: we're both from the Central Valley in California -- he from Fresno, me from Shafter. Even many people in the Central Valley haven't heard of my small town where I grew up, but Jordan, to my shock, new Shafter.

So it was easy for me to imagine the beginning of his journey from California to Nashville: speeding down the road with the wide panorama of the mythic, John Steinbeck-ian Central Valley looming behind -- an adventurous drive across the country that he and his wife made completely by faith. They only had enough money to get to Phoenix, AZ, and yet they both felt without a doubt that God was calling them to move to Nashville so that Jordan could put his musical talents to work in the Christian music industry.

And when I heard the rest of the story -- how God actually got them to Nashville -- my jaw dropped. (And you'll have to read the interview below to find out why.) The story will be deeply encouraging for anyone in the midst of a scary faith journey.

It's a great example of how God uses events in our lives to confirm we're on the right course.

And the way that God has provided for Jordan and his family, even during the leanest of times, reminds me of Abraham's journey of faith and the journeys that many of us take when God calls us to leave behind the familiar and jump headfirst into the unknown. An awareness of this miraculous provision and of the true riches of Christ permeate Jordan's music. And thanks to the success of his smash-hit single "The River," which reached No. 1 on Billboard’s Hot AC/CHR Chart, millions of people are getting exposed to those riches of faith that Jordan has found in Christ.

Jordan and I spoke recently over the phone about his new album Beloved that is turning a lot of heads in the music industry, his new single "The River" and the meaning behind it, and, most importantly, his inspiring faith journey:

In your bio I noticed you're from Central California. I'm from a town called Shafter, near Bakersfield. So I just had to ask.

Yeah, I know Shafter!

You do? Wow that's crazy. So what is Nashville like compared to our neck of the woods in Central California.

Man. It's better. (laughs) 

I bet! [And I said that because we Central Valley dwellers are known for being self-effacing about some of the less than desirable qualities of the Central Valley -- like its soul-crushing heat in the summer.]

Yeah, it's better. It's really green which is something I never used to see. It's also just a totally different dynamic with the people. It's almost like you have to get used to it. The people of Nashville are just so welcoming and very communal. Everybody wants to be your friend and hang out. It's just awesome, really great.

That makes me want to visit Nashville. Though I do get kinda homesick when I'm away from Central California. You kinda get used to John Steinback-like vast plain of agriculture.

Oh, totally dude. There are definitely things I miss. But the "miss" doesn't outweight the things we have out here. But I completely agree. I find myself every time I think about a restaurant over there or my coffee place I get a little homesick.

I love the imagery of the song "The River," and I was curious what inspired you to use that imagery?

This song stems from John 7:38 and the verse says, "Whoever believes in Me will have rivers of living water flow from within them." So the imagery got kinda drawn out of that verse. The song is an invitation. That's what it's written to be -- an invitation to everyone, maybe someone who feels like they've lived their entire life by the books or someone who is maybe on the opposite side of that who feels like they have so much baggage that they're just too ashamed to bring that to the Cross. More than anything it's the opportunity to go down in amazing grace and rise up being made new.

That's awesome. It just has that communal feel. "Let's all go down to the river." It has a warmth to it besides that powerful theology. Very cool.

It's funny because some people have taken it as a baptismal kind of vibe. Essentially it's kinda like that, but really the song is -- those rivers of living water -- that is the Holy Spirit. That's what the verse is talking about. So let's go down. It's almost funny, so yes, it's about the river but it's about the river inside of you. It's about the Spirit flowing inside of you and going down into that and being made new from that.

Reading your bio I was really inspired by your journey of faith. It kinda reminded me about how God called Abraham out -- a calling to go into the scary unknown -- because of how God called you out on this crazy trip to Nashville. I was just curious; what gave you the sense that God was moving you to Nashville? Or how did God help you make that decision?

I took a job as a worship leader for a year after the band I was in broke up, and in that year I had a really, really close friend of mine (who actually is now my manager), but he reached out to me. He used to be in a band that played with my band. He was talking to me about how he would love for me to come to Nashville. Around that time I was really feeling like God kept giving me revelations and ideas for songs. So I was just like, wow, that's weird that Adam calls me, and then God is giving me these song ideas. That's weird. So I felt like I wanted to explore it.

So I flew out to Nashville. I just felt like God's hand was over the entire trip like, "this is something you need to pursue." I came back home, talked to my wife about it. We prayed about it for about a year. We both felt like we had made a couple trips to Nashville. We both felt that every time we left it felt like home. It felt like we were going back somewhere that wasn't our home. We just really felt like God was just "go."

It's really interesting because sometimes you want to know, and it's really hard, there's so much wondering in your journey as a human being. You're like, "Am I just saying this to myself? Am I the one speaking this into my life or is this God?" Our journey w
as just a testament to God's abundance in our lives. It was really amazing to see Him and His hand over us in our journey.

That's incredible. I think it is awesome how God will confirm things with external signs that you know you couldn't have invented on your own. And that brings me to my next question about your amazing story of how you actually made it across the country, somehow getting shows along the way. Could you fill us in on how that happened?

In that year of planning and praying I started putting together some kind of tour so that we would basically not have to feel the financial weight of the move and the costs and the gas to get to Nashville because my wife -- I mean, I'm a musician and a worship leader; it's not like we're really rolling in it. [laughs] It was kinda one of these things where I put all these things together. I've always been that way, just a planner and I want to take control of things and just kinda do it.

Two weeks before we decided to move everything fell apart. Everything fell apart. All the shows got canceled. I was just like, "oh my gosh how are we going to make it?" My wife and I were both kinda looking at each other like, "Is this God saying don't go?" Is this Him saying you've been misinterpreting this the whole time? There was much confusion. We just really, we prayed together every night for the next two weeks. We really felt like God was still telling us to go. So we hopped in my van and trailer that had everything we owned, and I just starting calling. I mean the day we left, the first day, I didn't have a show, so I called and ended up getting a show in San Bernadino, California. That show paid to get us to Phoenix, which is where my wife's family is from. So we stayed there as a home base for a couple days while we tried to get a couple more things kinda figured out.

Basically that became the trend: calling, just cold calling people I've never met before like "hey, do you need a worship leader today? or for anything?" It was crazy because all of a sudden we're making like literally just enough money to get us to the next place, and it's just like "oh my gosh God you're providing." I'm seeing all these things, and then we're driving through Texas, and I'll never forget it because I felt like all of a sudden we're running out. We're just not going to make it. There's just no way. I'm calling everyone, like can I get a show in Oklahoma City? I don't know anyone there. We have nothing else. I've called hundreds of people in a matter of like seven days.

I end up calling a friend from Dallas, and I say, "Dude, by any chance do you have any connection in Oklahoma City?" And he says, "Actually, yeah, I do. Let me text you his number and see if you can work something out." So I call him, and the guy goes, "Oh man that church doesn't even exist anymore." I'm like great, great, that's awesome. Thanks. He goes, "But honestly though, I have a buddy of mine who just started a church in his backyard in a barn. I'm thinking, yeah that sounds about right. Yeah, send me his phone number.

So I called this guy, his name is Tony, he's amazing. A super awesome guy. We end up going there. He's like, "I can pay you a hundred bucks if you want to come in." I'm all, "Hey, it's better than nothing." So I go in and this is just total proof that God is way bigger than anything we could ever imagine. So I go in on the day of the Oklahoma City Bombing Marathon, and so their entire church is participating in it, so I played to 26 people in two services. So I don't know how, but I ended up making like $1,500 from a church with 26 people. There was a guy who literally wrote me a check for $300 and just told me, "I don't know why, but when you were up there God told me to give this to you." [Jordan pauses on the phone for a moment] Dude, I have goosebumps right now. Everytime I talk about it, it's just crazy. The only answer to it is just the fact that God's provision is such that He wants much more for us than we even want for ourselves. Because I was striving just to get to Nashville, and I ended up making money moving to Nashville. It's just proof that His ideas for us are much bigger than we even have for ourselves. 

Incredible. I knew there was a story in there, but I didn't know it was that awesome. [laughs] Thank you for sharing that. Just hearing that story is going to keep me encouraged for the rest of the week. Wow. My next question ties into all of that. What advice would you give to a Christian who feels God is calling them to do something big and scary but they're really not sure they can pull it off?

Man. Even though it's terrifying and I've been there, done that legitimately the thing is is that if God is calling you to do it no matter what comes out of it because even when we've been in Nashville there have been things that God has asked me to do that have not ended up in the moment really being a good idea. You're like why am I doing this? And all of a sudden three months later you're like, oh that's why I did that. So I say, go, jump headfirst. You know what I mean? Dive into it. Ever since that move my wife and I have been living our lives like that. Of just saying, "God we trust You. Do what you have to do." I mean we have been provided for in moments that you would have though how are they going to make it there's no way that's going to happen and we have. The moment you abandon all your earthly fears and all these things that weigh you down and that is a lot harder than you think it is, I still struggle with it. But the moment that you run from them is the moment that you see God doing some amazing things in your life that you would have never though you would have happened because it's totally true that He wants so much more for you than you want for yourself.

Wow. [pauses] Yeah, I'm just kinda absorbing that right now. That's really awesome, thank you so much for that, it's really encouraging. Are there any tour plans or anything you want people to know about that's coming up?

I'm going to be home all fall. Being a family man, being a dad. Being a husband. I'm writing for my next record. But in the spring I'm starting, well, I guess it's late winter in January, I'm starting a tour with Big Daddy Weave and Plumb. It's called the "Beautiful Offerings Tour." So keep your eyes pealed and hopefully we will be able to hang out.

***

Check out the official Jordan Feliz website to learn more about his music and to stay up-to-date with the latest news.

For Valentine's Day: My Interview with Author Nicholas Sparks On Relationships

(This article originally appeared on RockinGodsHouse.com. I interviewed Nicholas Sparks as he was promoting his film "The Choice," and the interview is being republished here on my blog to commemorate Valentine's Day.)

Nicholas Sparks Talks God, Broken Relationships, and 'The Choice'

"I think that most people go into long-term relationships really committed to the idea that they would be together for a long period of time and sometimes it just doesn't work. Sometimes it just doesn't work, and that can be sad, and yet it doesn't deny that initial feeling in that couple, that, hey, they were willing to take a risk that it would last forever. There's something noble in that." -Nicholas Sparks

With the release of The Choice (@TheChoiceFilm, #TheChoice) Nicholas Sparks's 11th book-to-movie production, the media is once again abuzz with themes of true love, hardship, and what I'd label "grace under pressure," using the Lost Generation's words--my description/interpretation of how Sparks deftly blends bitter tragedies of this world with fiery incarnations of Eros (i.e. really intense romantic love).

"The Choice" is no exception. In fact, I felt it was one of his best movies. (You can read my review of it to find out why.)

I had the chance to speak with Nicholas Sparks (@NicholasSparks) over the phone about "The Choice" and other topics--God, broken relationships, and the nobleness of being "willing to take a risk that it would last forever," as he put it so well:

[Warningthis interview contains one SPOILER (during my fifth question) about the plot of the film]

Were you pleased with how the book translated into the screen?

I was very pleased. I thought it captured the spirit and the intent of the story. I thought it captured the spirit and intent of the characters. I thought that in the end it was just a wonderful film.

That's about everything you could ask for in that case. That's great. I believe you wrote the story around 10 years ago, but where did you get the story idea?

Early on, right after I got out of college I got married, had babies right away. Meanwhile, I had an older brother who was just great at being a bachelor. He had weekends full of water skiing and mountain biking and whitewater rafting and meanwhile I'm changing diapers, getting puked on, wondering what does it take for a man like him to settle down? So the story began germinating around those years, and then finally in 2006 or so I was ready to start writing it. 

I really enjoyed the film's inclusion of deeper theological questions and I am just curious to hear your perspective on the whole God topic. Are you more on the Gabby side of the things or closer to the Travis side of things? I'm referring to the scene [where they discuss their beliefs about God] under the stars.

I'm more on Gabby's side, there's no question. I believe in God, I was raised Catholic, and I would probably be regarded more as a nominal Catholic at the present time. I've always been of the belief that there's something greater out there, that Jesus is the Son of God and that we're supposed to love God and our neighbors as ourselves. Right? I think those are the lessons I've tried to live my own life by.

That's wonderful. I also love how the movie just asks really good questions. It didn't try too hard to preach; it just asked really good questions. I was also impressed with how fiercely Travis fought for Gabby in both parts of the story. Do you think couples in America today could maybe learn a little bit about Travis's fighting spirit?

I think that obviously there are those couples that perhaps give in too early, that could have perhaps salvaged the relationship with a little more effort, and at the same time I think there are those relationships that are better off ending where they are--those relationships that just work until they don't work anymore. I think that God offers all sorts of choices in our lives, and I think those choices are endless reminders of the choices we make with regards to our own faith, and they are the choices we make not only with faith but with our lives, and that's the way it was all planned out. Because in the end I think God wants people to choose to love Him. I think that most people go into long-term relationships really committed to the idea that they would be together for a long period of time and sometimes it just doesn't work. Sometimes it just doesn't work, and that can be sad, and yet it doesn't deny that initial feeling in that couple, that, hey, they were willing to take a risk that it would last forever. There's something noble in that.

[spoiler] Noble is a great word for it. I really felt that nobility in Travis. Even if the story ended up differently and he didn't get Gabby, I still like that he fought and tried for it. I really love the cast. I wish Tom Wilkerson's character was a real person because he would be a really cool guy to go to church with.

[Laughs] Absolutely.

He's one of my favorite actors. Did you get a chance to hang out with the cast members very much or spend some time with them?

I was with them on the set; it's just about 10 minutes from where I was living so it was quite easy to get to the set. At the same time, at that point in the production, it's very important to me to allow the director and the actors to do what they do best. So I'm a guy who might be seen in between the scenes and things like that. 

How do you hope this movie will inspire audiences when they go see "The Choice"?

What I want is for people to have enjoyed the film and tell other people to go see the film. Because, look, it's a film that is very hard to have made in Hollywood these days. There are so many tent pole films, and I'm the first one to go see dinosaurs raging loose on an island with an action hero, but there are moments where I just love good old fashioned dramas that tell real human stories that everyone can relate to, and I just love "The Choice," and I know that people who take a chance on it and go see it will love it as well. 

 

My Interview with Christian Band 'For King and Country'

(This article originally reappeared on RockingGodsHouse.com)

After living in Brisbane, Australia for a summer, I've always been a fan of Aussies in general--everything from their awesome accent to their laid-back culture (which suits me to a tee). So recently, when my phone rang and I heard the relaxed and friendly Aussie voice of Luke Smallbone from the band For King and Country, I had to smile. We had a great conversation about how he made the leap from music to film and about the amazing true story that inspired "Priceless." He and his family have made a lasting contribution to the music world, and now the Smallbone brothers--Ben, Luke, and Joel--are making a splash in the film industry with their new feature film "Priceless" that has all the thrills and drama of a legit major studio Hollywood feature.

Of course, your first thought might be, "Wait, some rock and roll guys made a movie? Did they shoot it on their phone and make one of those found-footage movies? Is this a 'real' movie or is it an amateurish indie film?"

Nope, "Priceless" is the real deal. It was bought by major Hollywood distributor Roadside Attractions--a company that has distributed everything from the recent Tom Hanks film "A Hologram for the King" to the critically acclaimed Beach Boys biopic "Love & Mercy" to the sleeper hit "Mr. Holmes" starring Ian McKellen. As "Variety" reported in August, "Priceless" has some notable names attached to the project:

Roadside Attractions has acquired U.S. distribution rights to the Smallbone brothers drama “Priceless” and set an Oct. 14 release date, Variety has learned exclusively.

It’s the feature debut for Joel and Luke Smallbone, who comprise the Christian band For King and Country....Ben Smallbone directs from the script by Chris Dowling and Tyler Poelle. The film was produced by Steve Barnett (“300”). David Smallbone and Luke Smallbone serve as executive producers, and Jacob “Cubbie” Fink is a co-producer.

The story centers on a man who finds himself at a crossroads following the tragic death of his wife and losing custody of his little girl. Unable to hold down a steady job, he agrees to drive a box truck on a one-time trip cross country for cash — no questions asked — but when he discovers what he is delivering, he is faced with a life-changing choice.

Before I share my interview with Luke Smallbone, who was one of the film's producers, let me share my quick one-paragraph, mini-review of the film:

"Priceless" impressed me with its painstaking production quality, its careful, thoughtful pacing, and its sobering, moving glimpse of a frightening underside of America. It really was the real deal--a high quality feature film with a production value that stands its ground with any major studio Hollywood release. It's a compelling story that sucks you in from the opening frames as it begins with a troubled soul driving a beat up moving truck through the New Mexico landscape along the I-40 (a stretch of road that any road warrior who enjoys traveling America will know well and be happy to see on the big screen); and from there it plunges head-first into the desperate world of poor souls caught in the nightmare of human trafficking. Star Joel Smallbone and the supporting cast--Bianca Santos (“The Duff”), Amber Midthunder (“Longmire”), Jim Parrack (“True Blood”), and David Koechner (“The Goldbergs”)--all delivered plenty of believable tension and intrigue to the story. Movie fans will recognize actor David Koechner immediately. He has been in many high profile projects, including a major role in the "Anchorman" films. It was nice to see David Koechner display a different side of his impressive acting chops. In "Priceless" he plays a gritty, serious, noble character--a striking contrast to the raucous comedies he's been known to do. Whenever actors become stamped as "comedy" actors, I always suspect there is a serious, tragic, Shakespearean side to their acting skills hiding beneath the easy sheen of mainstream comedies. Koechner's performance in "Priceless" is a classic example. He brings a real gravity to his performance, and it adds a lot of salt and flavor to the story--a nice complement to Joel Smallbone's skilled performance.

Best of all (in my book), "Priceless" is a deeply edifying film. Yes, it is intense in some places and shows some gun violence worthy of its PG-13 rating, but there's nothing gratuitous in this movie like you see in so many other PG-13 movies that push the limits of that rating as far as it can go. I recommend this film to any teenager and adult. It will inspire and move you.

Without any further delay, my interview with Luke Smallbone:

You're known for your band For King and Country and your music. How did you get into the film industry?

One of the things that we strive to do is to make the best art possible. And one of the things you realize is that today's generation is being discipled by two things: they are discipled by what they hear in their headphones and also by what they see on-screen--their mobile phone's screen or computer screen or movie theater screen, whatever it might be. So we want to be in those spaces. My brother Ben is a film director, and we've been talking about this Priceless movement for a number of years, and so about two years ago we said to Ben, "Hey man, we're just scratching the surface of this, what would you think about directing a film?" And he loved the idea, and so we started working on that part about two years ago and here we are today. Not sure if we should've entered the film world just because of how much work it is [laughs]--I don't think any of us had any idea how much work it would be. But we're so thrilled with how it came together, it's a film we're really proud of, and so far the response we've been getting has been overwhelming--something we're very thrilled about.

Can you tell us a little bit about the Priceless movement and why it's important to you?

We started about five, six years ago saying to women, "Hey, the culture says that you're cheap, but we believe that there's a God who says that you're priceless, and hey guys it's time for us to treat ladies with respect and honor, time for us to stand up and stand out and be different in this world, not just going with the status flow," and it was all such a big deal when we started talking about it. Before our music hit the radio or anything that's what people were talking about. They were like, "You know, that message that you said in the middle of your concert that, that resurrected me..."

Wow.

That's kind of how we got to this thought of even doing a film [because] of how powerful that had become [the cheapening of women in culture] and how we were seeing it. It was kind of an epidemic and people needed to be reminded of their value.

How did you stumble upon the story of James Stevens and what made you want to make this story into a movie?

My brother Ben was working on a documentary about seven or eight years ago, and he stumbled upon a dude that is in Brazil and he had been working at one point in his life kind of on the other side of the law. He was a criminal, and he radically changed and he decided to start on the things that he knew, [saying] "Hey, how can I work against the system and take everything I learned from being a criminal and use it for good," and we were really inspired by that. And so we kind of interjected those stories and those things into our film and what's crazy is that man, we don't even know his name, we never saw his face. Even the documentary that my brother Ben did hid his face, and it's kind of cool because we never got to interview him yet this guy that we don't even know, he inspired a whole movement and, in a roundabout way, is coming out in this film. So this guy's not going to know that, in fact, he is having a worldwide impact.

Wow. That's incredible. If you ever actually do meet this guy, what would you say to him if you ran into him in the street one day?

Man, I'd say thank you for being bold enough to change, that you've actually been bold enough to have your life radically changed, and then saying, "Yeah, I've been a part of a problem for so long. I need to do something to help solve these problems." I mean, that takes a lot of courage. Not many people that I know do that and obviously this guy has helped inspire this film of ours--so just being able to thank him for the creativity that he has inspired that he never even knew he was a part of.

A large part of the story deals with human trafficking, which is obviously becoming an epidemic in our nation and in other places. Why did you include this element in the plot?

When I look at us talking about a female life in particular being priceless--and honestly I believe that all lives are priceless, but in this story it's particularly about female lives--I look at what is the opposite of a priceless life. The antithesis of that is somebody whose life can be bought. And so that's how we feel we can best illustrate this story, and so we put [human trafficking] in there and the other thing is this: the human trafficking side of things is a dark dark world and one of the best ways to bring about change is to shine a really really bright light on it, and a film is one way that you can do that. And I think people are now finally becoming aware of it and not so scared of something that is so dark so that they're actually starting to say, "What can I actually do about it?" rather than just turning a blind eye to it.

It really is kind of a freaky thing to think about, the idea of just being abducted one day, and then suddenly you're a slave.

Yeah, yeah, it's not comfortable, but I think God does some special things in uncomfortable places, and if we always did everything that was easy and comfortable I don't think we would ever have what it takes. And we want to be people who are highlighting real issues, real topics and actually doing something--not necessarily making a film about how we think life should be but actually making a film about life as it really is.

I definitely think that's important to not sugar coat things, so that's awesome you're doing that. What could you tell us about the movie without giving too much away?

The film follows a character whose name is James Stevens. He's kind of a down and out character who's lost his wife to a tragic accident, and then he ends up losing his daughter as he goes through this kind of grieving and mourning period. He lost his job, he doesn't have any way to provide, [and he needs] kind of a way out, so he takes on a transportation job saying, "Hey, no questions asked, go from here to there and you get paid really well," and he says to himself, "I just want to figure out a way to break this cycle of life that I've gotten into," and he does it, and then on the way he opens up the back of his truck realizing it's not what he's carrying but who he is carrying back there.

Wow.

The rest of the story is about what he's going to do with that situation--is he going to do anything? Is he not going to do anything?--what that's going to look like.

How can men show the women in their lives their priceless worth? What kind of advice would you give to men about that?

I think talk is cheap, so you've got to actually show it. There's got to be actions that actually show how valuable we think the women are in our lives, so I actually think it's real simple. If you really love your wife and you want to show her respect, then you're going to turn off the football game and really talk to her and ask, "How was your day? What was it like?" And whether or not it's your daughter or your sister or your girlfriend or whatever, we have to be people who [value them] not when we think, "Oh you know what, I'm going to put this on display and show everybody else a show." It takes place when you don't want to get up in the middle of the night and go change a diaper so your wife [doesn't have to]. That's what actually making change. Talk is cheap.

Right, we need to take action, even if it gets messy. [laughs]

Yeah, my parents always say, "Actions speak louder than words," and so I can say that I love my wife all the time, but if I'm not doing anything to invest in that relationship or, you know, saying it in an interview but not living it, then I actually don't really love my wife.

Right, exactly. It's easy just spitting out some words. I'm married, so this is a good reminder to hear these things!

Yeah, man, yeah.

"Priceless" hits theaters October 14. Where can people go to find out more information or to purchase tickets?

Go to pricelessthemovie.com and you got everything: you got the trailer there, all the information, what theater it's going to be at and what that looks like. It also has some of our social--"Priceless the Movie" Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. We really want people to rally behind us--especially talk about the film and help us get the word out. That's one of the most cost-effective ways that we could do that, and obviously in our world we have limited amount of resources, so word-of-mouth is the greatest way that we can spread information.

To close, I just want to say thank you for being a voice in our culture. It is the kind of voice that I've been praying God would raise up. God's definitely been raising up some voices in awesome ways to speak life to our culture, and it's great to hear your voice, so I hope you keep speaking!

Thank you very much for saying that and taking the time to hang out with us, we really appreciate it!

***

Check out the film at pricelessthemovie.com or dive into the film's social media stream at any of these locations and hashtags:

Facebook: /pricelessthemovie

Twitter: @PricelessMovie @4kingandcountry @JoelSmallbone @LukeSmallbone @Bianca00Alexa @Parrack120 @DavidKoechner

Instagram: #PricelessTheMovie

Youtube Channel for Priceless

My Interview with 'Moana' Supervising Animator Mark Henn about Faith, Gratitude, and Disney's New Animated Epic

I had the chance to chat with Mark Henn, supervising animator of "Moana," about faith, gratitude, and what amazing things are in "Moana." I was surprised by his answer to this question:

"Is there a song in 'Moana' that will finally stop kids from singing 'Let It Go' from "Frozen?"

Read the whole thing here at RockinGodsHouse.com: http://bit.ly/2geRtr0 

My Interview with Rodrigo García, Director of Ewan McGregor Film 'Last Days in the Desert'

My Interview with Rodrigo García, Director of Ewan McGregor Film 'Last Days in the Desert'

This is just a quick update to let you all know that I recently interviewed Rodrigo García, the director of 'Last Days in the Desert.' Fun factoid: he is the son of Gabriel García Márquez, the Nobel prize-winning author of "Love in the Time of Cholera" and "One Hundred Years of Solitude." Rodrigo's new film starring Ewan McGregor, which tells an imagined chapter during Jesus' 40 days in the wilderness, is a stunning cinematic experience. It's certainly the most beautiful desert photography I've ever seen.

Podcast: My Interview with Producer James Younger from 'Story of God' Starring Morgan Freeman

Podcast: My Interview with Producer James Younger from 'Story of God' Starring Morgan Freeman

The National Geographic Channel’s new mini-series, called The Story of God, starring actor Morgan Freeman, premiers Sunday, April 3, 9/8c. Morgan Freeman and the crew who traveled with him, including producer James Younger, wanted to dive headfirst into the various religions found on earth (including Christianity) and try to put themselves in the shoes of other people. I had the chance to speak with James about the mini-series, and we had an interesting chat about Jesus and what “The Story of God” is aiming for in its globetrotting exploration of religion.

Now You Can Listen to the Audio from My Red Carpet Interviews with Cast of New Film "Saints & Strangers"

Now You Can Listen to the Audio from My Red Carpet Interviews with Cast of New Film "Saints & Strangers"

The film "Saints & Strangers," which airs on National Geographic in two parts beginning Sunday, Nov. 22 9/8c, tells the true faith-themed story behind Thanksgiving, and it features actors like Ron Livingston ("Office Space"), Anna Camp ("The Help"), and Raoul Truillo ("Apocalypto"). Now, in my latest podcast episode, you can listen to my audio from the red carpet as if you were there by my side at the world premiere in Beverly Hills.