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Inside this Issue: Katy Christian Magazine’s 2014 Summer Camp Guide

Faithfully Serving West Houston and Katy

K AT Y

Fa m i l y Fr i e n d l y Ne w s w i t h a n E t e r n a l Pu r p o s e April / May 2014 • Complimentary

Our Interview with Roma Downey Easter: The Miracle 2014 Voter’s Guide School Board & Runoff Elections

Faith-Based Film Reviews www.KatyChristianMagazine.com • For Advertising Information, Call (281) 741-8317 April / May 2014

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Letter From The Publisher

K AT Y Volume X, Issue 3 4

Letter From The Publisher & Editor

7

Christian Business Profile: Club Etiquette Takes Kids from Alarming to Charming!

10

Dear Doctor: Torn Meniscus in the Knee

13

A Chat with Roma Downey

22

Mother’s Day Matriarchs

26

Pastor Profile: Pastor Oliver Lee of Next Level Ministries

31

2014 Voter’s Guide

32

2014 Christian Summer Camp Guide

36

The Miracle at Faith West Academy

41

Kingdom Racing Brings Miles of Smiles

43

The Buzz About Katy

46

Local Christian Student Highlights

48

Katy Christian Magazine Calendar of Events

53

God’s Critters in Katy

55

The Noah Movie: An Op-Ed Review

61

Heaven is for Real: The Movie

67

God’s Not Dead: The Movie

Our Mission Statement:

“Our mission is to have a magazine devoted to His glory, provide cutting-edge stories important to today’s Christian, promote Christian-Judeo values we find important, and editorial content that your entire family can enjoy.” President/Publisher Joseph Menslage joseph@katychristianmagazine.com Editor Melanie Saxton melanie@katychristianmagazine.com

For advertising information, contact Joseph Menslage at (281) 741-8317 or email joseph@katychristianmagazine.com

© 2014 KATY CHRISTIAN MAGAZINE. All rights reserved. No part of this publication or website may be distributed or reproduced without prior written consent of the publisher. Advertisements and or editorial content published in Katy Christian Magazine does not necessarily reflect the views of Katy Christian Magazine. To SUBSCRIBE: send a check or money order for 30.00 for a 12-month subscription to Katy Christian Magazine, 650 West Bough, Suite 150-170, Houston, TX 77024. For EDITORIAL or calendar submissions, please mail them to Katy Christian Magazine, 650 West Bough, Suite 150170, Houston, TX 77024. CUSTOMER SERVICE

For 24/7 service, please visit our website: www.KatyChristianMagazine.com. You can also call

Greetings to the Christian community! We are thrilled to share our April-May issue, especially with Easter approaching. What better time for family-friendly news with an eternal purpose! Our focus is on events that celebrate the Easter holidays, including a Faith West production, The Miracle. If you have the opportunity, take your family… it is a profound reenactment of Jesus’ sacrifice for us all. This is also a great time to visit a church on Easter, especially if you are new to the area. Pastor Oliver Lee of Next Level Ministries invites families to his Easter service at Stephens Elementary on April 20th at 10:30. Read his amazing testimony in our Pastor Profile. As we celebrate the women in our lives this coming May, Katy Christian Magazine extends a “Happy Mother’s Day” greeting to all moms, grandmothers and special role models who impact our families. Consider treating Mom to a Mother’s Day outing at one or all of the Christian films now on the big screen. You’ll find that we’ve covered several in this edition. This issue we debut our “Critters in Katy” column, which is filled with helpful information (especially if you have lost a pet). We also feature Kingdom Racing, an INDYCAR organization that exists to blend faith with fast cars. Kingdom Racing witnesses to fans on the track and beyond. What a wonderful endeavor, especially their Miles of Smiles outreach to disadvantaged and struggling fans. You’ll also find our business and student profiles, Dear Doctor column, and much more. In fact, our Christian camp directory is now available. It’s a great time to plan ahead for summer — which doesn’t have to be boring! As we wrap up a long school year, our kids can look forward to many fun outings and entertainment — from the great outdoors to swimming to historical adventures. Check out what these wholesome camps have to offer! May You Be Richly Blessed, Joseph R. Menslage President/Publisher Katy Christian Magazine www.KatyChristianMagazine.com joseph@katychristianmagazine.com | (281) 741-8317

Letter From The Editor Wow! Now more than ever, the entertainment industry is listening to Christians and creating value-driven films that are appropriate for families. We are happy to feature an interview with Roma Downey, who co-produced and stars as Mary in “Son of God.” This is a big screen adaptation of “The Bible” (from the History Channel). You may remember Roma from the television series Touched by an Angel, and can expect more faith-based projects from her and her husband Mark Burnett in the future. We also follow up on an interview with Todd Burpo published a few years back. His book, “Heaven is for Real,” chronicled the near death experience of his little boy Colton. The book has been made into a feature length movie starring Greg Kinnear, and depicts four-year-old Colton’s journey to heaven and

back. If you haven’t yet seen “God’s Not Dead,” this is another opportunity to support films of faith. This particular movie covers the fictional, but plausible, challenge faced by a college student named Josh. His atheist professor (portrayed by Kevin Sorbo of Hercules and Soul Surfer) demanded his students declare in writing that “God is Dead.” Only Josh refused… and what happened next will have you biting your fingernails! We also include a critical and unvarnished review of the movie Noah, which seems to have “hijacked” a Biblical story to exploit the current trend of faith-based films. Many Christians are upset with the premise of the film. Read ahead and see if you agree. Treat Mom to a day at the movies, and consider buying the DVDs when they become available for your collection. Rarely have we seen such interest in Christian movies since “The Passion of the Christ” 10 years ago! Have a blessed Easter and Mother’s Day, and enjoy the magazine. It truly is written for Christians, by Christians, and is supported by local business owners of faith. Melanie Saxton Editor Katy Christian Magazine www.KatyChristianMagazine.com melanie@katychristianmagazine.com

(281) 741-8317 or write to us at

650 West Bough, Suite 150-170, Houston, TX 77024.

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Christian Business Profile: Club Etiquette Takes Kids from Alarming to Charming! By Ann Baker Yes, your children can grow from alarming to charming this summer with helpful tips from America’s Etiquette Expert, GiGi Lewis. If you are you looking for empowering and fun things to do with your children, read ahead! Kindness, sportsmanship, selflessness and cheerfulness are great qualities to teach, and the point is to “notice kids doing something good” — with the Bible as inspiration. Kindness in Scripture Bible verses play a big part in teaching character traits. In Club Etiquette summer camps, Lewis tells members that the Manners Police will be looking to see who is following the Bible verse of the week. Children are asked to read the verse and also repeat it back as it is read to them. For Week One, the focus, for example, might be on Ephesians 4:32: “Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another.” When exploring this verse, possible questions to ask include: What does this Bible verse mean? What is an example of someone being kind to another?

What is an example that you can think of when you had to forgive someone, or someone had to forgive you? What does tenderhearted mean? Sportsmanship in Scripture The point is to train children to think not only of themselves, but what is best for others — the theme of Corinthians 10:24. “If you have more than one child,” says Lewis, “I would encourage them to show good sportsmanship by congratulating their siblings who win an award, but I would see to it that each child is a winner at some point.” The idea is to catch children doing something right instead of something wrong, and give them a big pat on the back for it. Possible questions to ask are: Will we pout if we don’t win? What are other things that we can tell the winner? How about, “Good job,” “Great way to go,” and “Try hard, and maybe you will win the next time!” Selflessness in Scripture Philippians 2:3 says, “Do nothing from rivalry or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves.” To teach children to be less selfish, possible questions are, “What is an example of someone thinking more about another person than them-

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selves?” and “What is an example of someone being selfish, or a time when you might have been selfish yourself ?” For younger groups, you can ask, “What does selfish mean? If your child needs a prompt, perhaps share an analogy. For instance, if you were at your home and were hungry, would it be okay to go to the refrigerator and get something to eat without offering food to your visitor? Or if there is only one serving — say one cupcake — what should you do? Not only do these questions teach thoughtfulness, but also introduces children to host manners. According to Lewis, parents should “reward, reward, reward” positive behavior. Cheerfulness in Scripture According to Proverbs 17:22, “A cheerful heart does good like medicine.” Parents can ask, “What does this Bible verse mean?” If kids need an explanation, parents can say, “When you are happy and cheerful, it makes you feel better like medicine does.” Then the rest of the day can be spent focusing on a cheerful attitude… and children may notice that things are better when we smile! This also teaches that when things go wrong at home or away, people can still choose to have a happy attitude. For example, if a child’s best friend is playing with someone else more than her, the lesson is that it’s okay to have lots of friends. It shows that you are growing up when you make more friends yourself, and befriend someone else who doesn’t have many friends. This is yet another opportunity to teach children how deal with life’s disappointments in a positive manner.

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About GiGi Lewis and Club Etiquette “To feel comfortable with the world, you must first feel comfortable with yourself,” says Lewis. “At Club Etiquette, we will help you to carry yourself properly in social situations, business settings, and a variety of daily activities. We want you to enjoy life to the fullest, whether you are a beginner or proficient.” Club Etiquette has the resources to help people of all ages improve themselves. Lewis grew up in a typical south Louisiana small town in a home where courtesy, dignity and respect were reinforced. She completed her education in Art History and Interior Design at Southeastern Louisiana University and Louisiana State University. She is an educator, lecturer and active community volunteer, and quietly founded Club Etiquette in 1995. She developed and refined the Club Etiquette method and curriculum and now teaches etiquette, personal development and Cotillion at over 20 Houston locations. Mom to Christopher and Blake, Lewis is an adult Girl Scout, an Associate Member of Houston Jr. Women’s Club, and has been a Sunday school teacher. She also sat on the Board of Directors for H.J.W.C., a local charitable organization which in 1999 was honored by the award of Outstanding Community Service Organization by the National Society of Fund Raising Executives. She also served as the Awards Chairman on Executive Board of Spring Branch ISD Council of PTA’s for a two year period. Check out Club Etiquette online at www.clubetiquette.com. Email GiGi Lewis at etiquettechick@gmail.com, or call 281-589KIDS (5437).

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Dear Doctor: Torn Meniscus in the Knee By Dr. Timothy M. Noonan Who hasn’t had an injury… but what about injuries to the knee? I was recently asked the following question: Dear Doctor, What is a torn meniscus? How is that different from arthritis of the knee? My answer: The medial and lateral menisci of the knee are two crescent shaped discs of tough cartilage tissue that lie between the ends of the upper leg bone and lower leg bone that form the knee joint. Meniscus tears commonly occur during sports when the knee is twisted while the foot is planted firmly on the ground. In people over the age of 40 whose menisci are worn down, a tear might occur with minimal trauma or normal movements. A meniscus tear can cause pain typically worse with certain movements. It can also cause swelling and mechanical locking or popping. The treatment of a meniscus tear is usually operative arthroscopic

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debridement, although non-operative options do exist. Arthroscopic surgery is an outpatient procedure that lasts about 30 minutes. The inside of the knee joint is visualized through a small camera. Special small instruments are used to debride the tear. In contrast, arthritis is a wear and tear of the cartilage of the knee joint over years. Joints contain cartilage, a rubbery material that cushions the end of the bones. The most common form of arthritis is osteoarthritis. Over time the cartilage wears away and the bones of the joint rub together. Bone spurs may form and the knee may become stiff. Treatment options are numerous with a knee replacement as a last option. A knee replacement is a resurfacing procedure where any remaining cartilage and a small portion of bone are resected from the ends of the bones and are replaced with an artificial metal cap. Dr. Timothy M. Noonan is an Orthopaedic Surgeon for the UT Health Science Center at Houston and provides patient care at UT Physicians at Cinco Ranch located at 23923 Cinco Ranch Blvd., Katy, TX 77494. To schedule an appointment, please call 713-486-5300.

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Westlake Prep is a private Christian school where your child is more than just a number. We believe that each student is special and unique, and most of all, a beloved child of God.

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A Chat with Roma Downey By Melanie Saxton You may recognize her as Monica from the nine-season television series “Touched by an Angel.” Very likely, you watched her in the role of Mary in “The Bible,” a groundbreaking television mini-series that she produced for The History Channel. But Roma Downey is also a co-producer of a stand-alone cinematic adaptation derived from that show — a major motion picture entitled “Son of God.” While “The Bible” covered the entire span of the Old and New Testament, “Son of God” focuses on the story of Jesus. The two-hour film depicts his birth and expands to his ministry, miracles, trial, arrest, crucifixion, resurrection and ascension. For believers, it is an homage to their Lord in local theaters and around the world. For Downey, it is an opportunity to share the greatest story ever told — the narrative of Jesus for a whole new generation. Downey Visits Houston This past Valentine’s Day (and following weekend), Downey, an Emmy and Golden Globe nominated actress, visited Houston to at-

tend pre-screenings of “Son of God.” Gospel music advocate Carl Davis, who is chairman of the Gospel Music Heritage Month Foundation, invited Houston area pastors and Christian news organizations (including Katy Christian Magazine) to meet and interview Downey. Governor Rick Perry traveled to Houston on February 15 for a prescreening, while church leaders nationwide rallied to fill theaters for the official opening February 28, just prior to the beginning of Lent. Joel and Victoria Osteen, who are friends with Downey and Burnett, had spent time on the movie set and were profoundly impressed with the project. An anonymous Lakewood Church donor picked up the tab for 200 tickets per showing for opening weekend at Edwards Greenway Palace 24, Edwards Marq’e 23 IMAX and the Regal

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at West Oaks Mall, which totaled 8,800 seats. Advanced ticket sales are nothing short of phenomenal. Other Houston area churches also bought out shows on single screens and in conjunction with multiplexes in 10 cities across the country. In total, “Son of God” debuted in 3,000 theaters on opening day and had a miraculous $26.5 million at the box office on Oscar weekend, coming in second after the action thriller “NonStop.” It was the second-biggest opening weekend ever for a Christian film, behind Mel Gibson’s “The Passion of the Christ” and remained in the top five for its second weekend. “We do not have the ability to rally so many diverse people of faith to a single cause, but the subject of our movie does,” says Downey. “God is, after all, a miracle-worker, and we know this is a testament not to us, but to Him.” Made by Christians As an Irish-born Catholic, Downey has loved Jesus her whole life and feels compelled to share Christ’s message. She and her husband Mark Burnett (producer of “Survivor,” “The Apprentice,” “The Voice” and “Shark Tank”) were astounded when “The Bible” mini-series debuted to 13.1 million television viewers, and later 11.7 million fans for the Easter finale last year. In total, 100 million people watched the series in its entirety around

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MAY 27

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life, became a huge commercial hit in 2004. So the Hollywood couple, who are outspoken Christians in a secular industry, relied on God to lead them. “We wanted to tell Jesus’ story in an exciting and dynamic way,” says Downey. “But also reveal it for the love story that it is.” Rather than an “R” rating like “The Passion of the Christ,” Downey wanted the film to be accessible to families, which the PG-13 rating allows. Adventures on Set The task of creating “Son of God” was daunting. Downey and Burnett combined footage from “The Bible” miniseries and shot additional footage solely for “Son of God,” At first, Downey and Burnett had no idea how it would be distributed… until Twentieth Century Fox stepped in. This, plus the international stir caused by “The Bible,” ensured that the “Son of God” movie would reach men, women and children all over the world. The cast returned to Morocco to shoot the film, and the whole crew frequently prayed together. “The spirit just wove itself through everybody,” says Downey. “There was such camaraderie as we sat around on rocks in the desert and read the scriptures leading up to each scene.” Every day they had to clear away a few snakes and scorpions, and Downey feels that a spiritual warfare waged during the making of the film, especially on the day of the crucifixion scene, where 40 live snakes had to be removed from the set before they could safely film. It took a year to figure out how to edit the scope of the production, the sweeping locale, the powerfully riveting performances, the visual effects and the musical scores into a two hour movie.

April / May 2014

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Jesus, Mary and the Ultimate “Mother’s Day” The casting of Jesus was a top consideration in both “The Bible” television series and the “Son of God” movie. Downey sought an actor who was a mixture of qualities, both “the lion and the lamb,” and once again asked Diogo Morgado to play the role of Jesus. The actor (from Portugal) speaks Portuguese, Spanish and English, and is humble about his good looks. When interviewed on the Oprah Winfrey show, he nearly broke down in tears as he explained what it was to portray Christ during the crucifixion scene, which took three days to film. The challenge was to put an actor up on a cross and make sure it was securely bolted to the ground, even in high winds. The production crew had to figure out how to get Morgado on and off the cross, and how long to keep him on the cross, especially in the intense sun on the second day of filming. Morgado and Downey were inspired by the extraordinary relationship between Jesus and Mary. Mary’s character had only a few lines, yet spoke volumes. “What a teacher Mary is,” says Downey. “She had unshakable trust in God even while her son was being brutally murdered.” Needless to say, it was an emotional few days while they filmed those scenes. Prospective audiences who haven’t yet seen the film may want to view it on Mother’s Day as a tribute to Mary’s journey as Jesus’ mother. Downey wanted all of the focus to be on Jesus, how it felt to be his mother, and also how it felt to be his disciple. For instance, it must have been paralyzing to the other disciples when Jesus summoned Peter to walk on water, for fear he would drown. She and Burnett made

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sure Pontius Pilate, Caiaphus and the Roman forces were also more than just a one-dimensional characters. Music Trivia As “The Bible” series was in production, lyrics from the song, “Mary did you Know” became an inspiration: “Mary, did you know that your baby boy would one day walk on water? Mary, did you know that he would come and save our sons and daughters?” Burnett enlisted CeeLo from “The Voice” to sing a rendition of the song for “The Bible,” which has received over 3.5 million hits on You Tube. The song was also included in the closing credits of “Son of God.” What’s Next? Downey and Burnett are working on a four-hour special event mini-series based on the historical novel “Dovekeepers” by Alice Hoffman. It will air in spring of 2015 on CBS. They also have a twelve-hour commitment from NBC to make “AD: Beyond the Bible,” which is a sequel to “The Bible” mini-series and will follow the Biblical accounts of Acts through Revelations, and perhaps beyond. The couple absolutely love dramatizing Biblical times, and their prayer is that these television series and motion pictures will drive viewers to study and connect with the the Bible. After months of traveling to promote “Son of God,” they are happy to be back home in with their blended family of children.

Has Something gone terribly wrong in America? “Well researched and scripturally based” Heather Randal, CEO of Christian Women Affiliate “An important review of our nation’s social policies from a Scriptural point of view that should capture every Christian’s attention.” CBM Christian Book Reviews “Every legislator and believer, apologetic, preacher and evangelist needs this resource on their shelves” Delores Liesner, CWA Reviewer

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April / May 2014


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Mother’s Day Matriarchs By Ann Baker “Her children arise and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her.” - Proverbs 31:28 There is nothing more important than the role of a mother. Mother’s Day is a wonderful opportunity to thank the role models in our lives who have dried our tears, taught us lessons, shared wisdom, cooked countless meals and bandaged scraped knees. But most of all, this Mother’s Day we can remember how fervently and faithfully our mothers and grandmothers prayed for us - and that those prayers are a blessing beyond measure. In short, our mothers are the “rock stars” of the home front. With this in mind, and because we cover a lot of movies in this magazine edition, we wanted to highlight some high profile matriarchs of stage and screen. The number of vocal Christian women in Hollywood can be counted on, perhaps, two hands... we just don’t hear that much about faith and Christianity coming out of Tinsel Town. But we found four interesting Christian actresses who are not ashamed of their faith, and that’s noteworthy. Their names might be familiar, but what you may not know is that Patricia Heaton, Angela Bassett, Candace Cameron Bure and Chynna Phillips share common denominators with the rest of us: wifehood, motherhood and Christianity. Enjoy these short snippets of their lives, faith, kids and passions.

Everybody Loves… Patricia! We particularly love Patricia Heaston for her outspoken conservative views. She made her Broadway debut in the gospel musical “Don’t Get God Started,” but is best known for her role in “Everybody Loves Raymond,” which earned her two Emmys. Born Catholic, she attends a Protestant (Presbyterian) church and is a vocal supporter of the antiabortion group, Feminists for Life. She married British actor David Hunt in 1990 and is the mother of their four sons: Joseph, Daniel, Samuel and John. She now stars in ABC’s “The Middle,” and her book, Motherhood and Hollywood: How to Get a Job Like Mine chronicles her adventures in Tinsel Town. The Blessing of Twins

Angela Bassett is known for her roles as Rosa Parks and Tina Turner, and has won a Golden Globe amidst nominations for an Oscar and an Emmy. After a seven-year struggle with infertility, she and husband Courtney B. Vance welcomed twins — a son Slater and a daughter Bronwyn. She (along with Denzel Washington) attend the West Angeles Church of God in Christ. Her quote in the L.A. Times sums up her beliefs:

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April / May 2014


“When you realize that every breath is a gift from God. When you realize how small you are, but how much he loved you. That he, Jesus, would die, the son of God himself on earth, then you... you just weep.” Her Own “Full House”

Who can forget Candace Cameron Bure from the hit series “Full House,” in which she played D.J. Tanner. Like her brother, Kirk Cameron, Candace is a devout Christian — an ethic that guides her both on and off the set. She is the author of “Balancing It All: My Story of Juggling Priorities and Purpose” — a book that was criticized by the secular media for Candace’s traditional views on marriage. She is happily married to retired NHL hockey player Valeri Bure (born in Russia). Together they are raising sons Lev and Maksim, and daughter Natasha. Notably, Candace is now appearing on Dancing with the Stars. Mama and Papa Baldwin Chynna Phillips is well known as a singer and member of Wilson Phillips. She was raised by John and Michelle Phillips of The Mamas & the Papas band members and is the half-sister of Mackenzie Phillips. She also performed as a contestant during the 13th season of Dancing with the Stars. But her defining role is wife to Billy Baldwin (who calls himself the “white sheep” of the Baldwin brothers). They have been married since 1995 and are parents to daughters Jamison and

April / May 2014

Brooke, and son Vance. Chynna is a born again Christian and released a Christian album, One Reason, in 2009. The family supports several charities, including the Creative Coalition and the Carol M. Baldwin Breast Cancer Research Fund. Happy Mother’s Day With Mother’s Day approaching on May 11, we wish these ladies — and everyone who is a mom, grandmother, or special role model — a blessed celebration. It is an honor and a privilege to be a Christian influence, and a mother’s prayers and actions are especially powerful. So we thank the women in our lives who have been so profoundly instrumental in our faith journeys. Indeed, Happy Mother’s Day!

For Advertising Information, Call (281) 741-8317 • www.KatyChristianMagazine.com • 25


Pastor Profile: Pastor Oliver Lee of Next Level Ministries By Brenda Carmichael As a husband, father and pastor, Oliver Lee has been preaching since 1992 on the streets of New Jersey. In 1995 he married an amazing woman, Susan, and in 1997 they decided to enroll in Christ For the Nations Bible School in Dallas, Texas. Together they received their ministerial degrees, and from 1997 to 2005 served as youth pastors at a Hispanic church. They witnessed God doing amazing things — a literal revival in their youth program as it grew from 15 to over 700 in 70+ small groups all over the Dallas-Fort worth area. In 2006 the Lee family located in Katy to serve on a ministry team, and again saw their youth program swell from 40+ to over 300 youth and college students in over 40 small groups. They successfully opened school clubs in seven Katy ISD schools. Then in 2010 they received the green light from God to open their living room as hosts of the

first Next Level Ministries service. “We are part of GMN ( Global Ministers Network ) and are associated with the Four Square Movement,” says Pastor Lee.

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Integrity • Strength • Kids First “I will continue to fight to ensure that every child in Katy ISD has an opportunity to succeed in life and accomplish his or her goals. We need strong leadership to continue the high standards of academic excellence established by Katy ISD.”

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Next Level Ministries at KatyTxChurch.com Next Level Ministries exists to see people saved, healed, set free, discipled, equipped, empowered and serving in the church and community. The mission is to fulfill the Great commission and the Great Commandment. “We have a men’s ministry, Aftershock (our Youth ministry), marriage date nights to strengthen marriages, and small groups throughout the week,” says Lee. “Our ministry team is amazing and I know that though our beginnings are small, we will see God through Next Level reach the multitudes.” Personal Testimony Pastor Lee grew up in church his whole life but, at 16 years old wanted to know why. Until that time he lived with his parents’ religion, but realized he truly didn’t know what he believed. “I began to study the validity of the Bible and the whole Christian faith,” he says. The outcome of this investigation was that no man could have conjured up or made up the Bible. It had to be God inspired, and If the Bible was God inspired and every book in it spoke of Jesus Christ, then his choice concerning Jesus was to not only accept Him, but to give his whole life to Him. When Lee realized that Jesus is Lord, died for us all, and is coming back again… but not until the whole world knows about His love. From the age of 16 onward, everything he did in life was out of devotion to the Lord. So his personal testimony is not one of drugs, violence or alcohol. “I don’t know what it is to get drunk, I’ve never taken drugs, I’ve never been in jail, I’ve always loved my parents, and they are amazing,” notes Lee. “I came to the marriage altar a virgin. I was a good boy!”

Happily married for 18 years with two amazing kids ages 14 and 12, his testimony has to do with religiosity and the church. He had experienced and was victimized by dead religion, church abuse, power-and-money-hungry pastors… and empty belief systems. “I have seen enough things in church to turn away from it, but I still hold on to one fact: pastors are merely men, just as frail and temptation prone as any other man,” Lee explains. “If we look to them for hope, we will get eventually let down, but if we look to Jesus, He never fails!” The number one thing that burns in Lee’s heart is for people to know Jesus, to know who they are in Him, and to know who He is in them. Just as he longed to discover his purpose, calling and destiny in God, and just as he longed to know why he was put on earth, Lee now knows that many, many people, no matter what age, are still looking for identity and purpose. Many are still looking for truth. “I would love the opportunity to present them to Jesus,” he adds. Easter at The Next Level April 20th 10:30 a.m. Come join Next Level Ministries for Easter Service at Stephens Elementary, 2715 N. Fry Road. The congregation will celebrate Easter at a special family service which will include refreshments, bounce houses, and an Easter egg hunt for all the children. Also visit www.katytxchurch.com, the fully interactive website with audio and video messages, great blogs, and information that will inspire you and help you live at the Next Level!

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April / May 2014


Katy Christian Magazine’s 2014 Voter’s Guide Katy ISD Board of Trustees - May 10 | Harris County Republic Primary Runoff Election - May 27

Katy ISD Board of Trustees Election May 10, 2014

Harris County Republican Primary Runoff Election May 27, 2014

State Representative Dist. 132 Ann Hodge

Place 3 Ashley Vann

Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick

District Judge 247th District John Schmude

Place 4 Courtney Doyle

Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller

Place 5 Henrey Dibrell

Railroad Commissioner Ryan Sitton

County Criminal Court at Law No. 10 Tonya Rolland McLaughlin

Family District Judge 311th District Alicia Franklin

FA I R • E F F I C I E N T • C O N S E R VAT I V E EDUCATION • J.D., St. Mary’s School of Law • BBA, Mount Mercy College, summa cum laude PROFESSIONAL EXPERIENCE • Law Offices of Alicia K. Franklin, P.C., focusing primarily on family law • Special Magistrate, Harris County Family Courts • Featured in 2006 Texas Lawyer for a jury trial victory • Houston Bar Association (Family Law Section)

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Katy Christian Magazine’s 2014 Christian Summer Camp Guide We’ve put together a list of the top Christian summer camps of 2014. Visit our website at www.KatyChristianMagazine.com for additional information. Active Learning Camps (281) 257-0078 www.activelearningcamps.com

Active Learning camps are the most unique camp experiences in Northwest Houston and Katy. The USA Chess camp features professional chess instructors teaching children 5-16 of all abilities. Small class sizes and lessons directed to the abilities of the class are highlights of this exciting learning experience. Children get plenty of time to play against other campers and the instructors! At the Gamebuilder Video Game Creation camps children create their very own video game. What a great week of learning! Custom curriculum is used as kids are taught step by step to build one of a variety of games in each half-day camp. Children can learn two different games if they elect the full day option. They have a great time designing, building, testing and playing their completed game. Each child gets a trophy and t-shirt to remember their camp experience. Chess campers also get a chess set and notation book of their own, while gamemaker campers get instructions to download their game from our website. Learn more at www.activelearningcamps.com!

Coram Deo Preparatory Academy 1225 West Grand Parkway S Katy, TX 77494 (832) 607-1526 www.CoramDeoKaty.org

Coram Deo Preparatory Academy presents Film and Faith. Movies with topics on Biblical Worldview, Christianity, Apologetics, Intelligent Design, Parenting and more will be shown on various Tuesday nights at 6:30 p.m. throughout the summer at Church of the Holy Apostles located off the Grand Parkway. Guided open discussions follow afterwards. Suitable for students 12 and up; adults are encouraged to attend. Refreshments will be served. Please visit the website for more for movie times. In addition please visit the website (below) for wonderful God-centered, parent influenced and student focused prep and educational resources. Coram Deo Preparatory Academy is a K – 8 Christian Classical University-Model School affiliated with the National Association of UniversityModel Schools (NAUMS). Learn more at www. CoramDeoKaty.org.

Camp West - Faith West Academy 2225 Porter Road Katy, TX 77493 (281) 391-LOVE (5683) www.faithwest.org

Camp West is a week of summer day camp, jam-packed with fun and excitement and located in Katy, Texas! Camp West is open to all children entering preschool - 6th grade! Preschool and kindergarten campers will be separated from 1st – 6th grade campers. Campers begin each day with a high-energy, interactive performance followed by worship,

games, and live character skits. Then campers participate in sporting activities, like climbing the rock wall! After lunch, it’s time to break out the sun block and race to the lake! Campers will zoom down the zip-line and whiz down the waterslide. Fishing is always an option! Parents can pick-up pleasantly exhausted campers by 4 pm. Extended care options are available. Camp West by the NUMBERS: • 1 archery range • 1 auditorium for assemblies • 1 sandy beach lake • 2 lighted athletic fields • 2 stocked fishing lakes • 2 - 20’ water trampolines • 2 zip-lines over the lake • 4 acres of nature trails • 800 HAPPY CAMPERS each year • 10:1 counselor to camper ratio • 6 lifeguards • 6 acres of lake and park • 25’ indoor rock wall • 2 air conditioned full-size gymnasiums • 42 acres of camp facility • 75’ water slide Camp dates for 2014 are; session 1 - June 23-27, session 2 - July 7-11, and session 3 - July 14-18. Register online www.faithwest.org/camps/245 and pay before April 1 and save $25. Camp West is located at 2225 Porter Road.

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April / May 2014


Club Etiquette

Grandma’s House Child Development Center

www.clubetiquette.com Manners can be fun! Your child will enjoy the creative, interactive, and character building enrichment activities at Club Etiquette, home of SophistiKids and “Alarming to Charming!” Founder GiGi Lewis guides children through social situations and gives them tools to develop into self assured young leaders. The goal is to arm them with knowledge and skills to handle a variety of social situations, including peer pressure, with ease and grace. If your church or organization wants to conduct a summer camp for a group, please contact us Club Etiquette at summercamps@clubetiquette. com. Visit the website at www.clubetiquette.com.

14840 Branch Forest Dr. Houston, Texas 77082 (281) 496-3105 www.westoaksprivate.com

Grandma’s House Child Care Center and West Oaks Private School has been West Houston’s premier child care center for over 25 years. We are situated on three beautiful acres and also have our own gymnasium. We are conveniently located off of Highway 6 near West Oaks Mall with easy access from Katy, Richmond, Sugarland and West Houston.

Fort Bend Tae-Kwon-Do 6840 S. Mason Rd. Katy, TX 77450 (281) 599-3331 www.FortBendTkd.com

Summer Fun with a Kick! If you’re looking for something different to keep your kids active this summer, then look no further than Fort Bend TaeKwonDo! We have classes all summer long for preschoolers, kids, teens and adults that develop focus, strength and confidence in a fun, positive environment. Classes are divided by ages and by ranks in order to meet the needs of all students, and students enjoy personalized attention from the nationally-certified instructors. Students can attend an unlimited number of classes as well! We’re open 6 days a week and have every level of class every day. Toward the end of summer, most students will be ready to test for the next belt rank. More importantly, though, they’ll learn courtesy, integrity, perseverance, self control and indomitable spirit while having a great time all summer. For more information, please visit our website at FortBendTkd.com, call us at 281-599-3331 or e-mail us at info@FortBendTkd.com.

Family of Faith

16710 FM 529 Road Houston, Texas, 77095 (281) 855-2950 www.thefamilyoffaith.org Summertime can be joyous! Join our summer camps and have a GREAT time learning about a variety of topics in a Christ-centered environment. Meeting old friends and making new ones is a great benefit that extends beyond summer, because some of our campers return year after year! Thanks to our wonderful staff, your child will love activities, games and projects that keep them entertained and engaged. Be prepared to be enriched in a wholesome atmosphere. It’s time to enjoy a break from school and just be kids!

April / May 2014

Hands-On History Hour – George Ranch Historical Park

10215 FM 762 Road Richmond, TX (281) 343-0218 www.georgeranch.org This summer, embark on an adventure through the immersive living history environment at the George Ranch Historical Park. Experience more than 100 years of Texas history as you follow the story of an incredible Texas family, guided by costumed interpreters. Get a taste of what life was like in 1830s colonial Texas, the 1860s Civil War era, 1890s Victorian splendor, and the cowboy way of the 1930s. Visit the Park during Hands-on History Hour summer programs, June 10 – August 30, to participate in hands-on historical activities at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. each day, and enjoy a different subject and time period each week. “Though the Park always invites visitors to engage with their surroundings at each historical site, the Hands-on History Hour offers new and exciting ways to get your hands on Texas history,” said Krystal Willeby, Director of Programs. Travel back in time to learn the skills that early Texans needed to survive, thrive, and have a little fun, including: pressing sugar cane, branding, planting in the greenhouse, cooking on the wood-

burning stove, pioneer fire-starting, latch hooking, making rawhide glue, wood working, and more! Admission is just $10 for adults, $9 for seniors 62+, $5 for children ages 5-15, and children 4 and under are always FREE! Enjoy a historic lunch for an additional fee. The park is open Tuesday – Saturday, 9 a.m. – 5 p.m., and Hands-On History Hour activities are held at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. Visit www.georgeranch.org for more details on Handson History Hour and historic lunches.

Memorial Lutheran School 5800 Westheimer Houston, TX 77057 (713) 782.4022 www.mlchouston.org/mls

Memorial Lutheran School hosts an annual summer camp with weekly themes. Summer Camp begins June 3 and ends August 9. Weeks include food around the world, drama week, Vacation Bible School (week of June 11), science, writing, reading and more! The program’s activities for K to 6th grade are from 9:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. each day and include swimming Monday through Thursday at the Trotter Family Y on Augusta, field trips on Fridays, and arts/crafts/games each day. A special summer program is also offered to children in Pre-K 3 and 4. Memorial Lutheran School offers a year-round program for Infants and Toddlers. Extended day hours: 6:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. Contact Admissions at 713-782-4022 for more information or to schedule a tour. Visit the school’s website at www.memoriallutheranschool.org

Mission Bend Christian Academy 3710 Hwy 6 South Houston, TX 77082 (281) 497-4057 www.missionbendchristianacademy.org

Mission Bend Christian Academy has planned an exciting, fun-filled summer program! The MBCA summer program will be made up of 5 – two-week sessions. Each two-week session will be tied to a thematic unit that will be fun, entertaining and educational, too. Students may attend ½ day (8:00 – 2:00) or full day (7:00 – 6:00). Two-week sessions cannot be split. Students 13 months through those entering 5th grade are eligible to attend. Session 1: June 2nd – June 13th Frontier Life…Then and Now Session 2: June 16th – June 27th And the Winner is…Sports and Games Session 3: June 30th – July 11th Capture the Moment…Art and Photo Journalism Session 4: July 14th – July 25th If You Build It…Construction

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Session 5: July 28th – August 8th It Came From Nowhere…Natural Disasters Summer registration begins April 1. Register early to assure availability!

Pinot’s Palette

2910 Commercial Center Blvd. Ste: 102 Katy, TX 77494 katy@pinotspalette.com www.pinotspalette.com/Katy Release your inner artist! What can be more fun than art? Our summer campers enjoy all sorts of creative projects in a delightful atmosphere. Kids learn artistic skills under the guidance of a supportive and encouraging staff. They learn to express themselves and enjoy the creativity of new, exciting challenges. Everyone loves Pinot’s Palette, and so will your child! Join us for artistic adventures this summer and be prepared for some amazing artwork!

Westlake Preparatory Lutheran Academy 23300 Bellaire Blvd Richmond, TX 77406 (281) 341-9910 www.westlakeprep.org

There’s nothing like summer camp at Westlake Prep! Kids can wind down from a long school year and open themselves to new summertime adventures. Hands-on learning, projects, arts, and much more await our campers. Kids learn, explore, play and create in a wonderful learning environment with an experienced, compassionate and fun-loving staff. They won’t want summer to end! Join us for spectacular summer camps that build memories and bring smiles!

YMCA Camps

22807 Westheimer Pkwy Katy, TX 77494 (281) 392-5055 www.ymcahouston.org/katy When school lets out, parents want to ensure their children are safe, supervised and engaged in activities that keep their minds and bodies active. The Katy YMCA offers many options for parents who are looking for a safe and fun place for their kids to build healthy mind, body and spirit this summer. In YMCA camps, children have the opportunity to play and participate in character building activities, arts and crafts, sports, games and so much more under the watchful eyes of caring role models. This summer the Katy YMCA is offering a variety of exciting options to choose from! Financial assistance is available for all summer programs. Day Camp: Held at YMCA’s 220 acre Camp Cinco nestled amongst huge oak trees, our unique outdoor day camp features a rock wall, ropes courses,

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hiking trails, archery range, sports fields, covered basketball pavilion, old west town façade, misting stations, a ranch house and more. Drop off as early as 7 am and pick up as late as 6:30 pm. Youth Camp – ages 6-12; Teen Camp – ages 13-15. Sports and Specialty Camps: These camps provide the opportunity for your child to learn specific skills based on their individual interest. Offerings range from basketball, soccer, tennis and volleyball to Theatre Arts, Cheer, Dance, Photography, Jump Rope and more. Classes offered various weeks throughout the summer for ages 5-14. Sleepover (or Resident Camps): Kids will have YMCA summer fun at Camp Cullen located along the shores of Lake Livingston. Sleepover camp activities include a wide range of water sports, horseback riding, canoeing, archery, rock climbing, crafts and fun! Swim Lessons: The YMCA has been teaching swim lessons for over 100 years. Ages 6 months to adult. Group and private morning, afternoon and Saturday sessions available. Childhood obesity has reached an epidemic level. YMCA camps provide an opportunity for kids to get active through play. YMCA Camps and summer youth activities reinforce the Y’s core values of respect, responsibility, honesty, caring and faith. Visit www.ymcahouston.org or call 281-3925055.

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The Miracle at Faith West Academy By Ann Baker Enjoy something spectacular this Easter season! Faith West Academy’s third bi-annual production of The Miracle, with new scenes, will be held on April 14, 16 and 18. As the audience walks among biblical characters, they will view replicas of settings from over 2000 years ago. All will witness over 75 actors and nearly 200 extras portray the final week of Christ’s life. Katy and the surrounding communities are invited to witness the portrayal of The Miracle. The Meaning of Easter The Miracle follows the story of Jesus in narration and live performances. The re-enactment of certain events demonstrates how Jesus continues to touch the lives of people today. The meaning of Easter becomes especially poignant with His final entry into

to Jerusalem, the Last Supper, His arrest and the mock trials as He stood alone. The climactic events surrounding the crucifixion, death, burial and resurrection bring a joyful message: “He is risen!” “Churches and schools traditionally have performances at Christmastime, but rarely do you see a production of this magnitude during the time we observe the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ,” says Allen Strickland, School Chaplain. The Community is Invited Viewers will gather in the gymnasium for registration, then enjoy special entertainment before the production (as a prologue). A shepherd will guide and narrate each step of the journey starting with Christ’s triumphant entry into Jerusalem. In a series of short scenes, the story of The Miracle is presented as a one-hour performance.

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at 6:00 pm. Friday performances begin at noon. Special presentations on Wednesday, April 16 will be kidfriendly with activities. Admission is free, but reservations are required by calling 281-391-5433. For additional information, visit www.faithwest.org/outreach/miracle. Faith West Academy is located at 2225 Porter Road, Katy, TX.

A cast of teachers and students will perform amid elaborate stage settings, bringing to life the incredible story of the man who changed the world forever. In addition to colorful sets there will be stunning costumes (handmade by volunteers), sound and lighting effects, and music to create the experience of The Miracle. Times and Location The audience can choose from one of 32 performances that begin every 15 minutes. Monday and Wednesday performances start

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April / May 2014


Kingdom Racing Brings Miles of Smiles By Brenda Carmichael If you are a fan of fast cars and racing, you may have heard of Kingdom Racing, a Katybased non-denominational Christian organization that believes the Bible is the irrefutable word of God. This INDYCAR racing team has a unique mission: To deliver God’s word through motorsports. In 2008, Kingdom Racing made history as the first faith-vision team to ever compete in the vaunted Indianapolis 500 mile race. Last year their trackside fan festival featured the Christian rock band Building 429, which performed and led praise and worship at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. The goal is to reach as many race fans for Christ as possible. “Let us run with patience the race that is set before us” With Hebrews 12:1 as their inspiration, founder George Del Canto began Kingdom Racing with the blessing of his wife Marichu. Previously she had stood by him when he sold his company to Enron and lost everything when Enron went bankrupt in 2001. It was during this time that Del Canto turned his life over to Christ with the help of sermons by Pastor Ed Young of Second Baptist. In 2008, shortly after launching Kingdom Racing, Marichu was diagnosed with a malignant brain tumor that eventually took her

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to build Kingdom Racing, which he did as a tribute to her legacy as a wife, mother, friend and devoted Christian (and, as always, will be remembered by her loved with joy this upcoming Mother’s Day). Kingdom Racing participated in consecutive Indianapolis 500

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races with Davey Hamilton behind the wheel and partner with Davey and Wagner Racing to put Brandon Wagner on the track in the Indy Lights Series in 2009. Since then, the team has never looked back and now also include Simon Pagenaud and Martin Plowman as drivers.

Miles of Smiles Kingdom Racing has two races scheduled in April (Long Beach and Alabama). One major event of the year is the Indy 500 on May 25th. “Our driver this year, Simon Pagnaud, will be competing in all these races in the #77 car,” says Communications Director Cristina del Canto. Also on the roster is the Shell and Pennzoil Grand Prix of

Houston on Jun 27th. During each race Kingdom Racing will be hosting Miles of Smiles, a program that invites special guests to the Grand Prix. These guests are church nominated individuals or families who have gone through or are going through hardships (spiritual, emotional, financial, etc). Guests are given VIP access to the race, including credentials, and spend the day with the Kingdom racing team, race car drivers and celebrities. “We pray with them and listen to their stories. We also continue to stay in touch with them throughout the year,” says Del Canto. On Track in God’s Kingdom The word of God forms the basis of relationships as the race team operates, collaborates with sponsors and communicates with their fan base. Kingdom Racing collaborates with national organizations that share these core values and offer on and off track related outreach programs that will build disciples of men, women and children. Kingdom Racing has established relationships with key national partners and ministries such as Man in the Mirror, Creation Museum, Fiesta Mart Inc., Athletes in Action, Fellowship of Christian Athletes, INDYCAR Ministry and Campus Crusade for Christ. With six years of race performance and six consecutive Indy 500 mile races, Kingdom Racing concluded their second full season of INDYCAR competition in 2013. The Lord has given us the INDYCAR field to sow, and we intend to do so in a manner worthy of His name,” Del Canto says. Visit www.kingdomracing.net to learn more about INDYCAR and read the testimonies of many racecar drivers who have found Christ.

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The Buzz About Katy Enjoy the Buzz About Katy! Our April/My Social Column is brought to you by SuburbanBuzz, a website development and online marketing company. Contact them at info@suburbanbuzz.com, 281-615-9032, or visit www.suburbanbuzzmarketing.com.

Ashley Diehl Van, an active PTA mom, community volunteer and Katy ISD graduate, announces her candidacy for the Katy ISD Board of Trustees, Position 3. She is pictured with her husband, J Scot Vann, and their children Carter, Campbell and Jensen.

Behind the Badge Charities provides much needed financial support to Fort Bend first responders who are injured, ill or suffer other tragedies. Geraldine Whitt, Teresa Cox Reading, Sgt . David Schultz, Russelle Waldorf, Sugar Land City Council Member Amy Mitchell, and Evelyn Traylor were all proud to support this worthwhile organization.

Responsible pet owner Vincent Leonida visited Woof Gang Bakery & Grooming with his dear little dog “Penny,” who received a microchip through the Katy Community ‘Chip Clinic on March 22.

The Fort Bend County Women’s Center helped raise funds and awareness for survivors of domestic violence with their Boogie 2014, themed on the popular TV series M*A*S*H and nostalgia from the ‘70s. Back row left to right: Cassie Oppman, Himesh Gandhi, Dorine Craig, Don Kerstetter. Front row: Lizzie Dragon.

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The Buzz About Katy (continued) Our social column is brought to you by SuburbanBuzz, a website development and online marketing company. Contact them at info@suburbanbuzz.com, call 281-615-9032 or visit www.suburbanbuzzmarketing.com

Kurtis Gross, 38, a Katy High graduate, was paralyzed in a car accident at the age of 19. He is participating in a contest that could win him a free wheelchair-accessible van from the National Mobility Equipment Dealers Association (NMEDA). Visit www.mobilityawarenessmonth.com/local-heroes and search for Kurtis Gross. You can vote once every day until May 9, 2014.

Pope John XXIII High School swimmers headed to the state championship in February. Students who swam: freshmen Isaiah Hamlyn, David Lloyd, and Ben Rehfeld; sophomores Grace Duhon, Shelby Langdon, Jennifer Lines, and Jon Schulz; junior Delia Weber; and seniors Emily Doyle, Carter Garrelts, Kendall Henry, Ryan Hermes, Ashley Kopf, Cameron McHugh, Elizabeth Roach, Samantha Schulz.

Dennis Urech, Joycelyn Williams Urech and Yvonne Arceneaux joined a record crowd at the Texas Safari Ballroom to celebrate the annual Katy Chamber Gala on February 17.

Roma Downey fans converged on February 14th at the Edwards Greenway Palace 24 from all over Houston for the prescreening of the movie Son of God, which is a cinematic version of hit television series, The Bible. Everyone enjoyed a question and answer session with Roma Downey, who stars as Jesus’ mother.

Unite for Health at Seven Lakes High School hosted the Color in Action 5k to benefit Operation Smile, a worldwide medical charity that performs free cleft lip and cleft palate surgeries for children in need. L-R: Josh Relton, Rachel Litong, Santiago Avila, Mrs. Cristi Rodenberg, Cad Willeford, Emilia Gonzalez, Gabby Dean, Daniela Marcano, Luiza Souza.

Ernest Walker, Katy Christian Magazine editor Melanie Saxton, Gospel Music Heritage Month Foundation Chairman Carl Davis, Sue Warde of Twentieth Century Fox, and Paige Holsapple met actress Roma Downey at the prescreening of the movie Son of God on February 14th at the Edwards Greenway Palace 24 in Houston.

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April / May 2014


A Passion for Justice. A Passion for Public Service.

“The team at Katy Christian Magazine has grown this publication through hard work, faith and commitment. I strive every day to operate with these same principles in the pursuit of justice. Thank you for your support.” – Judge Linda Storey

www.JudgeLindaStorey.com www.JudgeStorey.com Pd. Pol. Ad Judge Linda Storey Campaign in compliance with the voluntary limits of the Judicial Campaign Fairness Act, Itze Soliz-Matthews, Treasurer.

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Local Christian Student Highlights Andrew Nelson

Emily Rolfes

Classification: Senior Faith West Academy

Classification: 6th Grade Faith West Academy

If you have been to a play at Faith West Academy in the last 3 years you probably have seen thespian Andrew Nelson. He has been cast in The Miracle, Red, Harvey, Seussification of Romeo and Juliet, and most notably for his lead role in A Christmas Carol Experience as Ebenezer Scrooge. He said it was never difficult to learn the lines and get into character, but admitted that Scrooge was the most challenging. “I had to speak with somewhat of a British accent with lower pitch causing me to lose my voice twice,” he said. Fortunately, he was able to regain his voice and deliver flawless performances. Audiences will be able to see Andrew in his last two performances for FWA in 2014. He will play Dr. Charles Elliot in the Texas premiere of Jam Jar Sonnets, January 17-19, and a lead role in The Miracle, April 14, 16, & 18. Actors Mel Gibson, Johnny Depp, and Benedict Cumberbatch have inspired Andrew to work in the craft and take on challenges of each character presents. Favorite thing to do after school: Relax and do homework. Favorite class or subject: History from the period between the American Revolution to the Civil War, AP Government, and AP English Literature. What are your ambitions after high school? “I would love to go to one of the big three military schools (U. S. Military Academy at West Point, Naval Academy in Annapolis and U. S. Air Force Academy). I like political science, (but) if Gods wants me to go into politics, I will. If He wants me to be an actor, I will. I have been given special gifts and I want to use them to glorify Him.”

Finishing 2nd runner-up in the Pre-Teen Division of the 2014 Miss Teen for the Houston area, Emily is now eligible to compete at Nationals in Orlando, Florida. At the National Miss Jr. Pre-Teen division, one of four divisions that will have young ladies ages from 7 thru 19, Emily will compete in modeling routines, which include casual wear and formal wear. She will display her personality and interviewing skills while interviewing with the pageant judging panel. Over $30,000 in prizes and awards will be presented at the National Competition. Emily enjoys the pageants because it is an opportunity to make new friends and help build her confidence. This aspiring marine biologist plays the flute and enjoys playing volleyball. She is a member of National League Junior Cotillion, which teaches common rules in becoming a lady and thorough training in standard ballroom dance. Emily is the daughter of Sonja and Rolfes of Katy. Her favorite thing to do after school is practicing the flute. She is also a member of Second Baptist Church. Favorite class or subject: History, because she can learn so much from the country’s ancestors. What are your ambitions after high school “I want to go to Texas A&M to become a Marine Biologist, specializing in researching sharks.” Favorite Bible verse and why: Psalm 116:1-2. “Because the Lord has done so many things for me, even though I am not deserving.”

Katy Christian Magazine will be highlighting local Christian students each issue and we need your help! We’re currently accepting nominations for outstanding elementary, middle school, and high school students to be featured in Katy Christian Magazine. To nominate yourself or someone else, please send an email to joseph@houstonchristianmagazine.com with a short bio and photo. The students bio should include their name, school, grade, church, and life goals. If applicable, please include information about sports, hobbies, and activities as well.

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Calendar of Events April Katy SummerFest April 12 | 10:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. The Villagio Town Center 22756 Westheimer Parkway Katy, TX 77450 What will your children do this summer? Explore the options. Enjoy the fun. FREE admission and FREE activities. Bounce House, Snakes & Reptiles, Dino Man, Video Gaming, Photo Booth, Live Entertainment, Prizes, Face Painting & Balloons, Gifts, Giveaways. Parents ask your questions face to face with the camp experts & plan out your children’s summer! Get discounts on camps and classes offered only at Summerfest! Chick-fil-A will be on-site selling your favorite food items in the courtyard. Plus, get your picture taken with the Chick-fil-A cow and

play a game to win a coupon or prize. For more information, visit http:// www.allaboutkaty.net/summerfest/. Fashion Show Luncheon April 17 | 11:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m. Golf Club at Cinco Ranch 23030 Cinco Ranch Blvd Katy, TX 77494 Sneak a peek at the latest fashions and trends. La Centerra’s will be presenting a fabulous Fashion Show! Our Speaker will be Deborah Cerkovnik. She is a Distinguished Toastmaster, choral singer (loves duets), mother of 4 adult children, originally from Oklahoma but has lived in Katy 11 years. Deb tells how the 3 C’s of Curiosity, Crisis and Control can affect and change our lives! Deb led a sheltered life as the youngest of 4 with alcoholic parents. Her father died suddenly when she was young and her

prayers seemingly went unanswered… she felt she wasn’t good enough for God to love. She came back to Christ in her 40′s through a neighbor’s Bible Study. Reservations: Deadline for reservations is noon on Monday, April 14th. RSVP by calling 281-232-8338 or emailing KatyCWC@gmail.com. Easter Breakfast and Egg Hunt April 20 | 9:00 a.m. Christ’s Mercy 3506 Porter Road Katy, Texas 77493 281.391.2273 www.christsmercy.org Easter Breakfast and Easter Egg Hunt – Potluck Breakfast @ 9am followed by Church Service. Service ends around 11:15 and we will have an Easter Egg Hunt for Children. Come join the fun and invite friends and family!!

May National Day of Prayer May 1 | 7:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m. The Merrell Center 6301 S. Stadium Ln Katy, TX 77494 www.katyprays.org Churches from all denominations and backgrounds will join together in ONE VOICE as we pray for our nation. Worship will be led by “The Afters” and Pastors from throughout the community will lead us in prayer. Fire on the Altar! May 1-3 | 8:00 p.m. - 9:00 p.m. The Epi Center at Grace Fellowship, UMC 2655 South Mason Road Katy, TX 77494

to sustain 50 hours of nonstop prayer and worship! We believe that as we pray (as you pray) God moves. We will pray for healing, unity, revival, and much more. Come join us and find rest for your soul.

June Vacation Bible School 2014 at First Baptist Church of Katy June 9 - 12 | 9:00 a.m. - Noon First Baptist Church of Katy 600 Pin Oak Rd Katy, TX 77494 Join us on our SPACE EXPEDITION 2014 as we journey through an adventure learning about the world’s creation, our separation, the solution, and further exploration.

Churches from throughout the Katy community will join together

Feature Your Event in Katy Christian Magazine To feature your community calendar listings in Katy Christian Magazine, visit www.katychristianmagazine.com/calendar and submit your event using our convenient web form. Please keep all listings to under 50 words and include date, cost, times, location, etc.

Serving Infants-12 years old Serving Katy for 20+ years Providing before and after school care to Faith West Academy and West Houston Charter School in addition to these KISD elementary schools: Katy • Hutsell • King • Wood Creek • Winborn 5315 E. 5th St. • Katy, Texas 77493 281.391.8750 • www.TigerLandPreschool.com 48 • For Advertising Information, Call (281) 741-8317 • www.KatyChristianMagazine.com

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It’s All In Your Head Women should feel healthy, vibrant and strong throughout their adult lives. If you've been told, “it's all in your head” or “learn to live with it,” read on.

Maggie's story Maggie came to Hotze Health & Wellness Center after suffering for seven years from depression and fatigue, which developed after giving birth to her second child. She also had a lifelong history of cold hands and feet and sensitivity to cold. She was experiencing significant hair loss, was constipated and had severe muscle aches. Even after sleep, Maggie never felt rested.

Maggie's treatment

Maggie had experienced recurrent sinus infections and headaches over the past seven years, for which she had taken antibiotics. She also complained of recurrent abdominal cramping and bloating associated with the ingestion of sugar and bread products, which she craved. Since her last pregnancy, Maggie's menstrual cycles had been irregular. She had gained 30 pounds over the past seven years and had difficulty losing weight. She had lost all sexual desire, and felt that she was in a “brain fog.”

Maggie's name could easily be erased from her chart and replaced with the names of thousands of other women in midlife whom we have evaluated. Maggie's doctor made her feel that she was a hypochondriac and emotionally inadequate. We explained to her that her symptoms were very common to women in her age group and were easily treated.

Maggie had sought the care of numerous physicians. They told her that she was “depressed” and prescribed antidepressants. A friend of hers, who was a patient at Hotze Health & Wellness Center, told her that there was a natural alternative treatment for her problems, so Maggie came to us for an evaluation.

She had an imbalance in her female hormones that adversely affected her body's ability to use thyroid hormones. It was the change in her hormones that triggered her allergy disorder, which in turn led to recurrent sinus infections. The antibiotics that she had taken for her infections also killed normal bacteria in her body and allowed yeast problems to occur.

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Maggie was prescribed natural bioidentical hormones, natural thyroid supplementation, and was treated for allergies with sublingual immunizing drops given under the tongue daily. Within two months, Maggie's depression and fatigue had disappeared. She was able to discontinue her antidepressants. She told us, “I have not felt this good in years. Thank you for giving me my life back!” April / May 2014

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April / May 2014


God’s Critters in Katy By Paige Holsapple Hopefully you love your pets as much as I love mine! This column is devoted to caring for God’s creation and sparing dogs, cats and other animals from neglect, abandonment and abuse. After all, God has entrusted the stewardship of our pets to us. We as Christians have a duty and privilege to care for “every creeping thing that creeps upon the earth” (Genesis 1:26). What Happens to Lost Pets? As pet owners in the tri-county area of Harris, Fort Bend and Waller counties, many of us see animals who have wandered outside of their own homes and away from their yards. They often cross busy streets and roam wherever their curious noses lead them, even into an adjacent county different far from their family’s residence. If a dog or cat are picked up (or called into animal control by an impatient neighbor), they can end up in another county’s animal shelter—where they have an 80% or more of being euthanized. Their only hope is to be adopted or promptly reclaimed by their owner. Once impound occurs at a shelter, the owner will have a to track their pet and sometimes go to lengthy and expensive measures (in time and money) to locate them before they are “cleared” and end up being killed. Under Texas state law, the “72 hour Stray Hold” begins upon impound of a found pet and the owner is given the brief window to locate and reclaim their pet. It may seem overwhelming, but you can join the Facebook group Cinco Ranch Area Lost & Found Pet Network to stay current on Lost and Found pets in the Katy area.

On the group page, and under the “files” tab, there are several documents with the details of what to do should you lose or find a pet in the complicated tri-county area of Katy, and other pet-related issues. Why Chipping Matters Why should you microchip your pet? In order to protect your pet and give you peace of mind, a microchip registers them with permanent information. If you move, updated info can be made by your vet or yourself online after you’ve registered. • 1 in 3 pets will get lost. Without ID, 90% won’t return home. • Less than 2% of cats are ever returned to original owners. • If your pet is found by a good neighbor, they will likely take your pet to local vet to check for chip for a quick return. • Collars and tags can fall off or be removed. • 10,000 pets a day are euthanized in Texas shelters every day and 90% are adoptable…or just lost. Microchip clinics are hosted in our area at a significant discount through the Katy Community ‘Chip Clinic—A Mobile Effort in association with participating vet clinics or suppliers. Microchips can also be obtained through your local veterinarian. Don’t let your beloved pet become a statistic of poor stewardship… please microchip, and spay/neuter your pets for a long, happy life! Paige Holsapple is one of Katy’s well-known animal advocates, often helping owners locate missing pets. She is also a graphic designer and photographer. You can connect with her on Facebook at just about any animal or shelter group. Pictured is her husband Randy with Yorkies Reggi and Piper, who are looking over the applewood smoked bones and treats from Woof Gang Bakery & Grooming.

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April / May 2014


The Noah Movie: An Op-Ed Review By Holly Chervnsik “By faith Noah, being warned of God of things not seen as yet, moved with fear, prepared an ark to the saving of his house; by the which he condemned the world, and became heir of the righteousness which is by faith.” Hebrews 11:7 With a wealth of good Christian film choices available, do we really need to buy tickets to a completely twisted and atheistic interpretation of the Noah story? Hollywood wants us to do just that, and I regret “falling” for it. The big name stars, including Russell Crowe, Jennifer Connelly and Emma Watson, were a lure. The title, itself, was a lure. Here’s the problem… this movie is packaged, camouflaged and exploited to appeal to Christian audiences. But it is the furthest thing from a faith-based film. Hoopla and Heresy? Perhaps you saw the movie, either unaware of the horrendous skewing of holy scripture or curious about the hoopla. The problem is, Hollywood has hijacked the name “Noah” to dupe people into seeing a “value-driven” film… that is anything but value-driven. It’s big and bold and cinematically thrilling, but it is also a money-making ruse that preys upon the current popularity of faith-based movies. Unfortunately, the agenda is to completely misrepresent

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God’s intention in Genesis. The absence of God’s love throughout the movie is glaring. Noah is far from a “blameless and righteous man,” and the integrity of the Bible story is shredded. The scriptures are specific about who was rescued aboard the ark from the flood, but don’t hold your breath for accuracy. In my opinion, this perverted version is disingenuous at best, and heretical at worst. The only positive is that families who have seen the film have an opportunity to correct the enormous flaws and revisit Genesis at home — through the lens of faith rather than atheism. But how sad that we actually paid to see this controversial environmental propaganda in the first place, and then have to deprogram our kids… who are now confused about the “real” Noah. Now that precautionary reviews have rolled in, those who haven’t yet seen the movie can avoid it. Why line the pockets of creative forces like Paramount and director Darren Aronofsky, who managed to create a $135 million cinematic blockbuster that is anything but faith-based? In fact, Aronofsky (an avowed atheist) bragged about the unbiblical nature of the film, as if that is something to celebrate. The Least Biblical Film Ever Made Having the account of Noah chronicled by an atheist filmmaker is a lot like having your house cleaned by a slob… there is something lacking. The wonderful relationship between God and Noah isn’t portrayed at all. In fact, God is not mentioned — not once. Instead, there are references to a “creator” and a veiled reference to a pagan god. Am I disgusted at this stealthy use of religion, not to mention Hollywood’s “reframing” of Noah’s story into something resembling

a Mad Max film? In one word — yes. Artistic license is one thing, but disrespectful nonsense is another. Fallen angels are portrayed as ridiculous rock giants, who help build the ark then ascend into heaven. Noah is a mentally unbalanced environmentalist vegetarian who threatens to kill his female grandchildren. Men are doomed to perish not because of sexual deviancy and wickedness, but because they mine, plunder and abuse Mother Nature. Does this sound even remotely close to Genesis 6:1-22 to you? Pressure to “See” the Movie I wish I had known about the insidious deception of “Noah” before I spent my money, like so many other gullible people. Even now, even after the reviews, why is it that Christians are urged by Hollywood-blinded free thinkers to “pipe down, relax and just buy a ticket?” The bottom line, as always, is the almighty dollar. Those who question the intentions of the film are “guilted” by scoldings of “don’t judge a movie before you see it.” Of course, this only benefits the film distributors, who make money when people unwittingly attend screenings, only to be hit in the face with a disrespectful portrayal of one of the greatest Bible stories in the Old Testament. And don’t expect a refund after sitting through this bizarre abomination. Todd Starnes sums it up nicely his own op-ed: “I just wish the Christian film snobs would lay off the guilt trip. To the best of my knowledge there is no biblical mandate to support a film that takes great liberties with the Bible.” A quote in Breitbart sums up the darker nuances of “Noah” in no uncertain terms: “When atheist director and co-writer Darren

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Aronofsky promised that his epic ‘Noah’ would be ‘the least biblical film ever made,’ that was not hyperbole. ‘Noah’ is a brilliant, compelling, beautifully-mounted, beautifully-acted piece of storytelling conceived for the sinister purpose of leading people to believe that Christianity and Judaism are something they are not.” The following reading and reviews are especially helpful as people peel back the layers: • Genesis 6:1-22 • http://themattwalshblog.com/2014/03/29/im-a-christianand-i-think-noah-deserves-a-four-star-review/ • www.foxnews.com/opinion/2014/03/28/hey-noah-supporters-enough-with-guilt-trip-already/ • www.breitbart.com/Big-Hollywood/2014/03/28/Noahreview-brilliantly-sinister-anti-christian-filmmaking • www.washingtonpost.com/national/religion/a-conversationwith-noah-director-darren-aronofsky/2014/03/28/8c469388b46d-11e3-b899-20667de76985_story.html Why it Matters In a world turned upside down, and in a society where “wrong” is increasingly construed as “right,” it really is time to demand films that accurately portray what Christians believe, which is the word of God interpreted through the lens of belief. Twisting an Old Testament account and casting a religious hero in a false light is hardly praise-worthy in any religion. Come to think of it, I can’t imagine that any Christian, Muslim or Jew would call this movie remotely accurate, or even semi-reverent, or anything but an altered mockery or Hollywood spoof — if only it were that innocent. Supporting genuine faith-based movies is preferable to buying

tickets to films that confuse, deceive and patronize. I can’t help but wonder what someone new to the faith, or someone who is young and impressionable, will learn from “Noah” — other than that Noah is a maniac and that God is some horrible, vindictive force. I’m sad that some moviegoers may never know the real story… the heartbreaking backstory… the love story… between God and his creation. A true depiction of Noah would reverently orchestrate an understanding of God’s plan, which is the polar opposite of this made-for-cinema horror story. I’m happy and relieved, however, to see that other films of faith have hit the big screen. “Son of God” was soul-stirring. “God’s Not Dead” had me clapping. And I look forward to seeing “Heaven is for Real” over the Easter weekend. So enjoy the fellowship (and popcorn) at these recommended movies, and reward indie films that risk it all to bring the message of truth to theaters. Holly Chervnsik is the owner of SuburbanBuzz, a web development and marketing firm. She is a busy wife and mother who loves movies — especially those she can attend with her family. Connect with her at www.suburbanbuzz.com.

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Heaven is for Real: The Movie By Melanie Saxton Well over two years ago, we interviewed Todd Burpo about his book, Heaven is for Real. In March of 2003, this Nebraska pastor and father nearly lost his four-year-old son Colton to a life-threatening infection caused by a burst appendix. For Burpo and his wife Sonja, it was a living nightmare. Emergency surgery was Colton’s only option. He barely survived to share his remarkable journey from unconsciousness to heaven. The Book Burpo wrote about Colton’s experiences, including the boy’s meeting with a great grandfather who had died 30 years earlier. Colton also met the sister who was lost through a miscarriage (a revelation that is later shared in the movie)… and Jesus, Himself. Glimpsing into heaven through the eyes of their young son was startling for Colton’s parents. The family didn’t know what to believe, but soon the evidence was clear. Published in 2010, the book became a New York Times bestselling Christian book. It topped several domestic best seller lists such as USA Today, Publisher’s Weekly, National Public Radio, and the Evangelical Christian Publishers Association, and was also published for foreign audiences. “It has been incredible to watch the

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sales are happening now with the advent of a major motion picture adaptation.

contagious enthusiasm of readers drive the success of Heaven is for Real,” said Michael Hyatt, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Thomas Nelson Publishers. “Colton’s story gives a wonderful glimpse into what lies ahead for believers, and encourages us to embrace our childlike faith.” By April 2012, over one million ebooks had been sold, and more

The Movie When we asked Burpo, “How has life changed for your family since you went public with Colton’s story?” he answered, “The book took off and suddenly we were in the media. When ABC Nightly news put Colton up against Stephen Hawking, Dianne Sawyer said, ‘Who are you going to believe, the scientist or the child?’ I thought this was a profound question and loved it when she said, ‘We’ll go with the 12 year old.’” That interview occurred in 2011, setting the groundwork for even bigger media exposure — a movie based on Colton’s near death brush with heaven. Today, Colton is a teenager and unwavering in his belief that he visited heaven. He simply learned things in heaven that he had no knowledge of on earth. The movie includes lines such as: “Mommy…” “Yes, Colton?” “Did you know I have a sister?” “You didn’t know that Cassie’s your sister?”

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“No, I have two sisters. You had a baby die in your tummy, didn’t you?” “Honey, who told you I had a baby die in my tummy?” “In heaven, this little girl came up to me. She told me she died in your tummy.” This Easter weekend, many Katyites will flock to theaters and travel back in time to see Colton as the little boy with the amazing tale, reenacted on the big screen. The movie version is targeted to both skeptics and believers alike. Pastor Burpo notes the outreach opportunities that come with a Christian film, and that although friends may not go with you to church, they will go with you to this movie. “God just knew the world needed a kid to talk about heaven, and it’s only God who could come up with this, and He did,” he adds. This is an excellent family-friendly film that is uncompromising, but not preachy. It filled with riveting dialogue and scenes depicting Colton’s astounding story of his trip to heaven and back.

Actors, Writers, Producers and Photographers Sony Pictures acquired film rights, and producers T.D. Jakes, Joe Roth of Roth Films, Screen Gems and TriStar Pictures collaborated on the movie. Randall Wallace (the awardwinning creative force behind Braveheart, Pearl Harbor and Secretariet) directed the film. Starring Greg Kinnear, who is masterful in his role as Todd Burpo, the cast also includes Kelly Reilly as Sonja Burpo and Connor Corum as Colton Burpo. Margo Martindale and Thomas Haden Church also have roles. Watch and Be Blessed This widely anticipated movie will be in theaters throughout the remainder of the school year and well into summer. Watch for showtimes at the AMC, Cinemark, Santikos Palladium and other local venues. Youth groups, church groups and families will be moved by the innocence of young Colton, the reaction of his parents, and the truth of the statement: “Heaven is for Real.”

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God’s Not Dead: The Movie By Melanie Saxton How far would you go…to defend your belief in God? This powerful question is the premise of the movie “God’s Not Dead,” a Christian-based film that has earned the Dove “Family-Approved” Seal for ages twelve and up. Now playing in local theaters, it is set in present day America and explores the plight of a college freshman whose faith is put to the test — literally. Spoiler alert! We share insights and highlights below. Disavowing God On the first day of philosophy class, a notoriously opinionated professor lectures his students about the superiority of atheism. The professor’s character, Radisson, is superbly portrayed by Kevin Sorbo (formerly of the Hercules TV series and Soul Surfer). Like a narcissistic dictator, Radisson instructs his students to deny

the existence of God — in writing and with a signature. They write “God is dead” on their papers, as instructed… with the exception of one student. Josh Wheaton (played by Shane Harper) is a devout Christian who finds himself at a defining moment. He needs to pass the class in order to pursue a degree in law… but he refuses the professor’s demand. He simply can’t deny his beliefs and upbringing. Radisson retaliates by giving an alternate assignment to Josh: prove God’s existence with intellectually sound and evidence-based presentations during the next three classes. It will be up to Josh’s classmates to decide if God is dead… or not. The pressure is on as Josh faces the most difficult challenge of his young life. It would be so much easier just to agree that “God is dead” and dodge the dilemma… but instead, he opts to risk his future as well as his relationship with his girlfriend Kara (played by Cassidy Gifford, daughter of Kathy Lee Gifford), while seeking a way

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to convince his peers that God’s not dead. Box Office Amidst the opinions of talking heads and film critics, you’ll find many “thumbs up” on this movie. As an indie Christian-centered film, it shocked Hollywood by coming in at #3 its opening weekend and has remained strong through subsequent weekends. But with over one million Facebook fans, the movie has been overwhelmingly embraced by the faith-based community, and even some mainstream media. Why? The answer has a lot to do with backlash against the war on traditional values. Christians welcome refreshing family-friendly projects with open arms — especially those that defend and articulate their beliefs. Moviegoers know that every ticket sale is a poke in the eye at entertainment elitists who demean the faith-based community. Believers are happy to flock to a feel-good movie that is worth seeing twice, and some adults are returning to theaters with their kids in tow. Proving an Intangible Audiences are reminded that the protagonist is a teenager (not a Bible scholar or mature intellect) who does his best to change hearts and minds. He pours many hours into his research. Views from renowned atheists such as Stephen Hawking are countered, and theories such as Big Bang and evolution are dissected. The elusive “problem of evil” and concept of “free will” are also referenced. But perhaps the most compelling element is Josh’s perseverance, even after the professor threatens him. After all, what would we do

if we were in his shoes? Josh’s task is to prove an intangible that can’t be defined easily by science or mathematical equations. Belief isn’t measurable, nor is it rational… it’s something felt in the inner core. Josh must explain faith in God to those who haven’t had the experience and can’t quite understand it. But as believers know, planting a seed can make all the difference, and Josh successfully blends reason and apologetics to define an abstract… and make it real. A Good God Wouldn’t Allow “Bad” The movie helps counter the atheistic argument that a “good” God wouldn’t allow suffering in the world. Believers are unique in that they don’t perceive hardships as the world does, because we believe God is in control regardless of the suffering or circumstances. In other words, we are in the world but not of the world, and our treasure lies in heaven (not on earth) — a concept that nonbelievers find easy to mock… until they experience faith. The truth is, Christians believe the journey of the immortal soul trumps the challenges we face on earth. Many Christians view suffering through the lens of 1 Thessalonians 4:13: “Brothers and sisters, we do not want you to be uninformed about those who sleep in death, so that you do not grieve like the rest of mankind, who have no hope.” Our faith gives us precisely that — hope — in the face of life’s crises, unlike those who face struggles without such comfort. A Famous Cast The film challenges moviegoers to explore what they truly believe about God. The mission is to ignite important conversations and change lives. David A.R. White (the film’s producer) plays

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a pastor who helps and counsels many of the characters as various subplots intertwine in surprising ways. Willie and Korie Robertson (of Duck Dynasty) appear as themselves and are rudely interviewed by a cancer-stricken journalist (portrayed by Trisha LaFache). The journalist is bent on dishing out the same treatment to Christian music group The News Boys (playing themselves). Dean Cain (formerly Superman in the Lois and Clark television series) plays Mark, a completely self-centered businessman who is cruelly insensitive to those around him, including his girlfriend and mother. Cory Oliver (as the character Mina), portrays an unequally yoked Christian at a crossroads in her relationship. A Muslim girl, Ayisha (played by Hadeel Sittu), is ostracized by her father for believing in Jesus. Don’t be surprised if the audience erupts in hand clapping, because much of the plot and dialogue is utterly inspiring, including the verbal and intellectual sparring between Josh and the professor. In a Theater Near You This film will remain on screens throughout Easter and beyond, so consider treating mom to “God’s Not Dead” on Mother’s Day. Check local listings for showtimes and visit www.godsnotdeadthemovie.com to learn more. C

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