Heaven Is For Real

Our very own Joe Rinehart recently had the opportunity to see the new film “Heaven Is For Real”, which tells the story of a 4-year-old boy who has a near-death experience and claims to see some impressive heavenly visions.

You can check out the trailer for the film above, and see the film at Premiere Theatres in Mount Vernon. View showtimes here: http://www.uecmovies.com/theatres/details/1007

Over ten years after the near-death incident, Colton Burpo is still sharing his story and influencing people all over the world. In a recent interview with theblaze.com, Burpo shared some wise words for a 14-year-old: “Well, I’m not scared of death because I know where I’m going,” Burpo told theblaze.com, “And the funny thing is that the worst thing Satan can throw at you is death. So if I get death, I get heaven… If I don’t die I get to keep doing what I’m doing now and I get to help people out.” You can read the rest of the interview with Colton and his parents here:


About this week’s NZ Rewind- Tenth Avenue North’s “You Are More”

Here’s a great interview from Kevin Davis of newreleasetuesday.com with Mike Donehy of Tenth Avenue North. I shared a little bit about the story behind the song during the NZ Top 10. Check out the interview and DEFINITELY check out the music video, it’s awesome! -Josh

Please tell me the personal story behind writing this song.

Maybe this song won’t be a revolutionary thought for you, but it has been for me. Probably for the last two years or so, this is the thing I have felt that God has been teaching me. Or should I say, the thing that He has been beating me over the head with. Truth is a person. Jesus says in John 14:6: “I am the way, the truth, and the life, and no one comes to the Father but by me.” The Gospel started as Good News. It has been passed on that Martin Luther used to preach the same sermon week after week to his congregation and when they asked him why he preached the Gospel every week, he answered, “because you forget it each week.” The Church needs to believe the Gospel. The “choices we make don’t reflect who we are.” Do you remember the scene in Batman Begins when Batman is standing by a window and Katie Holmes is looking at him and she asks him, “Who are you?” Do you remember what he says? With that icy blue stare he looks at her, and in that absurd gravely voice he bellows, “It’s not who I am, it’s what I do that defines me!” That is so sad…and so wrong.

Please tell me about any Bible verses that you used to write the song?

2 Corinthians 5:17-21
“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come…
…For our sake he made Him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in Him we might become the righteousness of God.”

What do you consider to be the takeaway message for listeners?

Not that the promises of God aren’t true all the time, they are. But the thing is, just because we have promises, it doesn’t necessarily mean there’s answers. At least, not the way we’re looking for. And that’s why God tells me to feel it before I try to fix it. “Weep with those who weep. Rejoice with those who rejoice.” That’s what I’m called to do. Before I try to know everything and have a solution for everything and everyone, first I need to learn to sit down and weep with people. Before I try to put a band aid on their wounds, I need to actually feel the wound myself. I mean, isn’t that what Jesus did for us? He felt before He fixed. He hurt before He healed. He became flesh and dwelt among us. And so, this changes things. This means that it doesn’t matter how much Scripture and philosophy I know, what matters is what I do with it. Ironically, having a lot of information about Jesus can often be the very thing that keeps us from Him. We delude ourselves into thinking that Jesus is nothing more than a fact on a page. An idea to comprehend, a moral to ascribe to. And believe me, He’s much more than that. He is our life, our breath, and the pulse within our veins. He is before, behind, and all around. Over. Underneath. Inside. In between. We need to live big for God. That’s what the song is about.

Notes from the Monday show, March 31

Notes from the Monday show, March 31

Josh and Joe talked about a Jr. High student who saved his school over $21,000 with a simple science fair project. Simply changing the font that his school uses for all documents and handouts could save the school over 24% of their ink annually. Read more here: http://tinyurl.com/npu27jz

The Noah movie

Here’s a response from several Christian leaders around the USA to the new film, Noah, from a person I respect, and a Christian working in the mainstream movie industry, Phil Cooke.


Our advice is to discuss within your household, but don’t throw rocks at it or say it’s the best film ever until you’ve seen it. More on this next week!


Knox County Heroes honored!

The Knox County Chapter of the American Red Cross honored local heroes Tuesday morning 3/4 at its 12th annual Heroes Breakfast.  Marcy and I were honored in 2010 with the Humanitarian Hero award, so we know how special it is to be nominated and honored by your peers in the community!

There were ten heroes recognized:

Knox County Career Center ROTC instructors Master Sergeant Craig Cox and Colonel Chris Salvucci were named Armed Forces Heroes.

Local resident Carolyn Thompson was named Community Hero for her volunteer efforts to provide Christmas trees for elderly residents in assisted living facilities.

9-year-old Chloe Crawford is the 2014 Youth Hero for her generous donations to the Toys for Tots Program.

Judy and Alan Snode are this year’s Senior Heroes for their giving nature and gracious hearts.  The Snodes volunteer for several community organizations and their church.

This year’s Workplace Heroes are Nathan Brake and Shaune Wylie from Bob Evans, who helped revive a woman who choked and then collapsed last August while eating breakfast in the restaurant.

The Education Hero for 2014 is Bruce Jacklin, who was honored for his many years teaching in the Mount Vernon City Schools and his work in promoting theatre and art in Knox County.

The 2014 Healthcare Hero is Dr. Robert Atwell, who volunteers tirelessly while maintaining his practice.  He has served Kiwanis, the Chamber of Commerce, the Mount Zion Masonic Lodge, and many others.

The Public Service Hero award was given to seven members of the Fredericktown Police, Fire and EMS Departments for their work to rescue a young man who was pinned under a vehicle in December.  The rescue team included Scott Mast, Dwayne Canter, Jason Whaley, Kyle Johnson, Nathan Gerhart, Kathy Miller and Josh Talbott.

The 2014 Agriculture Hero is Dr. Howard Sacks of Kenyon College, who founded the Rural Life Center and has championed local food efforts.

This year’s Humanitarian Heroes are Richard and Joan Stallard, who have dedicated countless hours to making our community a better place.  Joan has worked with New Directions to promote healthy relationships, and Richard has worked with the Owl Creek Conservancy to help conserve farmland and stream lands.

Congratulations to all our local heroes!


The ‘Son of God’ movie

Five of our MVNU students and I had the opportunity to see a screening of ‘Son of God’ Sunday night 2/23 at the 2014 National Religious Broadcasters convention in Nashville, TN.  On Saturday night, Mark Burnett and Roma Downey spoke briefly at NRB about the film, their inspiration to share what they believe, and the fact it was opening on 3,100 screens nationwide – huge for a faith-based film.  Clearly, their success in producing ‘The Bible’ miniseries got the attention of the entertainment community.

This is my personal response to the film without spoiling too much:

First, it is shot and acted beautifully.  It is of very high quality.  If you are not aware, the movie tells the story from John’s perspective in the Gospel of John.  He narrates the film from the opening scene from his exile at Patmos where he tells us, “in the beginning was the Word…” and away we go.  If you saw ‘The Bible,’ you’ll recognize some of the flashbacks and opening montage.

There is no question the movie takes a few artistic liberties, but that’s to be expected.  The scene with Lazarus is different in the fact that Jesus enters the tomb instead of calling from outside of it.  There is an almost Jedi-like ‘force push’ in one scene that shows this Jesus is no ordinary man.  You’ll find your own subtle differences with the script vs. the actual scripture.

Since I saw ‘Passion of the Christ’ in the theater, ‘Son of God’ was not as emotionally wrenching for me as I thought going in.  ‘Passion’ was such an intense, raw depiction of the arrest, trial and crucifixion of Christ that it would be hard to duplicate that.  Was it emotionally stirring?  Yes.  But the reality is, having seen this play out before on the big screen, it wasn’t as emotional for me.

What sets this film apart from ‘Passion’ is that it goes beyond Calvary to the resurrection, the appearance to Thomas and the others, and the Ascension.  I loved that.

For the people dismissing it because they don’t trust Mark Burnett and Roma Downey…forget that.  The film is not about them!  Yes, Roma plays Mary, Mother of Jesus, but the point is, I didn’t see any mocking or blatant abuse of the biblical story.  It doesn’t advance some crazy theological viewpoint.

Here’s what I keep coming back to:

1- Many of us have children who were too young to see ‘Passion.’ Our Rachel was 5, so she just wasn’t ready.  But she can see this film and I want her to.  There’s a 10-15 year range of our “Millenial or iY” children that haven’t experienced the story of Jesus played out on the big screen.  They need to see this – with their friends and church leaders who can be ready to respond to them.  They VERY LIKELY will be emotionally impacted by the violence of the trial and crucifixion.  Be there for them!

2- As NRB President Dr. Jerry Johnson said this past weekend, we should be thankful that Hollywood wants to make faith-based films and recognizes that there is an audience for them.  I would hope we would support those films.  We, as the body of Christ, in the marketplace and in the work force, must be ready to answer the questions that will inevitably result.  Answering those questions with truth and love, remembering when we discovered the beauty and majesty of Jesus ourselves, should drive us to intersect with those seeking or those who feel compelled to renew or re-ignite their relationship with Him!


Happy Friday!

The sun is shining! I will personally choose to ignore the gale-force winds and melting snow and focus only on the sunshine that has been missing from Ohio for the last month. 

Natalie Grant’s second single from her 7th studio record “Hurricane” is her song “Closer to Your Heart”. You can check out the song at link #1 below. Natalie made a name for herself with her illustrious musical career, but she’s branching out as of late.

She’s hosting a new show on the Game Show Network called It Takes a Church. It features members of a Christian congregation that will play matchmaker to help a single church member find a match through a series of competitions. Natalie had this to say about the show: “I’m so excited to host It Takes a Church and have the opportunity to interact with churches all across America to bring a family friendly show based on Christian faith and values.  Church has been such an anchor and source of hope in my own life, and I look forward to showing the sense of community that can be found in the local church.” (quote taken from broadwayworld.com) 

Grant is taking to the screen again with an appearance in the upcoming film, Persecuted. Releasing this spring, she plays the role of Monica. Here is a brief summary of the film written by Daniel Lusko at IMDb.com:

“Nationally acclaimed evangelist John Luther is the last obstacle in the way of sweeping religious reform in the States. When a U.S. Senator and Luther’s own supporters abduct and frame him in the murder of an innocent teenage girl, an unprecedented era of persecution is unleashed. Out on personal recognizance, Luther escapes police surveillance in search of the truth. And suddenly, a once-normal life is targeted by a team of ex-military operatives who wage a relentless campaign to eliminate the incriminating evidence. As evangelist turned fugitive, Luther vows to expose anyone involved with or profiting from the girl’s murder; a mission that brings him face-to-face with the coming storm of persecution that will threaten the entire Christian community in America.”

You can find more information about the film at link #2 below.

As if being a nationally recognized Christian music star, appearing in a feature film, AND hosting a game show wasn’t enough, Natalie is also the narrator and producer of the documentary film “In Plain Sight: Stories of Hope and Freedom”. The film is part of a three-part campaign to stop sex trafficking in the United States. You can find more information by clicking link #3 below!

Have a fantastic weekend from the Afternoon Drive crew!


1) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8SJ1fvTnzj4

2) http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1761005/?ref_=fn_al_tt_1

3) http://www.storiesoffreedom.com


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.