Thursday, March 8, 2018

POPE: The most Powerful Man in History premiers Sunday, Mar 11 on CNN

Depending on any number of variables, the Pope is either the best loved, or most reviled man in the world. As spiritual Leader for over 1 billion Roman Catholics, he holds an incredible amount of power. The person sitting on the Papal throne has not always been as popular as the incumbent Pope Francis, and over the years there have been abuses of power, but the Pope speaks to the masses, to the elite of the world, and to Presidents and Kings.

Starting Sunday, March 11, 10:00 pm ET/PT a docuseries about this powerful personage premiers on CNN. POPE: The Most Powerful Man in History which takes a closer look at early Christianity, and what it actually means to be Pope. The series explores some of the most impactful moments in history including schisms within the Catholic Church, the creation, commission, and cost of some of the world’s most iconic and beloved religious works of art during the Renaissance, and the Reformation that paved the way for reflection and reform.
And to make this series even more interesting, at least for those of us who like to travel, there is a contest starting this week with the prize being a trip to Rome, a trip which includes a visit to the Vatican, where much of the intrigue of the Papacy happens, and where priceless works of art are on display.

Synopsis:  POPE: The Most Powerful Man in History explores the truth about the one world leader who is neither politician nor general – but commands the attention of both. For more than 2000 years, the head of the Roman Catholic Church has wielded unimaginable influence – shaping the world and our daily lives in surprising ways. Now, combining never-before-seen footage, exclusive interviews, and dramatic recreations, this upcoming six-part television series focuses on the men who have held this unique and complicated position, and reveals the unexpected true stories from the Vatican’s past.  The series also delves into the important historical moments that forever changed the Catholic Church – from the foundations of the Reformation to the origins of a new religious order within Catholicism – the Jesuits.  The series premieres on Sunday, March 11 on CNN.

Read the PRESS RELEASE and enter to win the trip of a lifetime:

LOS ANGELES - March 2, 2018  History buffs, travel enthusiasts, and anyone who has ever dreamed of visiting (or revisiting) one of the most iconic cities in the world will have a chance to win a once-in-a-lifetime trip to Rome.  Inspired by the upcoming television premiere of Pope: The Most Powerful Man In History, contestants can vie for the opportunity to win by visiting the website:  Giveaway begins March 8 and ends on April 15.

The winner of the giveaway will receive the following:
·         Airfare and five nights of hotel accommodations for two in Rome.
·         A $500 gift card.
·         A rare and private tour of The Vatican. 

The Vatican is home to some of the greatest works of art including The Pieta, Raphael’s Transfiguration, Leonardo Da Vinci’s St. Jerome In The Wilderness, the statue of Apollo Belvedere, and a painting of The Last Judgement by Michelangelo, located inside The Sistine Chapel.  The Sistine Chapel is famous throughout the world as the location where The College of Cardinals from The Roman Catholic Church, meet when a new Pope has to be elected.

Narrated by Liam Neeson, Pope: The Most Powerful Man in History, is a six-part CNN Original Series that explores how 12 apostles became 1.2 billion Catholics today, linking recent news events surrounding the Vatican with their unexpected origins. 
“Ever since a man, claiming to be the Son of God, was nailed to a wooden cross over 2000 years ago, the Catholic religion has had a huge and profound influence and impact on our society," said Neeson. "As an amateur scholar myself, I was delighted to learn more about this by narrating a series that sheds a detailed light on how the Popes, past and present, and the Catholic Church came to be a prevailing force through fair means and foul, and along the way inspired some of the world’s greatest works of art.” 
The series’ debut episode, “The Rise of the Pope,” examines the origins of the papacy and how Catholicism, against all odds, spread throughout Europe.  Pope: The Most Powerful Man in History, will premiere Sunday, March 11 on CNN.

Wednesday, March 7, 2018

The Rescue; Seven People, Seven Amazing Stories...

Many of us have been convinced that there were no options, but then got a good night’s sleep, and woke up feeling refreshed, and able to face another day.  That is many, or even most of us. But some people really do fall into a seemingly bottomless pit, and not see a way out—there are no good night’s sleeps. But then just when it seems that there are no options, Jesus shows up, and life turns the corner.  Sometimes when Jesus is all that you have, you finally realize that Jesus is all you really need.
And in The Rescue: Seven People, Seven Amazing Stories (Jim Cymbala with Ann Spangler, Zondervan, 2017) we meet some people whose lives had taken the turn for the worse, and they thought there was no hope, UNTIL they had their own personal encounter with the Living Lord.
For many people miracles are those things that happened back in New Testament times, when Jesus healed the lame, fed the multitudes, and caused the blind to see, but in this book the Doubting Thomases among us see that miracles still do happen.
I enjoyed reading the stories, and the fact that there are names and pictures of the people involved makes this a little more enjoyable, but in many ways the stories are like those in a Guideposts magazine, or in a Chicken Soup for the Soul book.
Still, I’ll give it a C+/B-

Monday, March 5, 2018

The Cross and Christian Ministry

Don Carson is a prolific writer; I like some of his work, the rest of it, not so much. This book,  "The Cross and Christian Ministry (Baker Books, 1993)  falls into the latter category. I found it stilted, and difficult to read, but, having said that, when I read a passage over and over, I can't fault the teaching. It is important to focus on the cross: in preaching, in leadership, in our faith walk, and in life in general.
I believe that if I happened to be a member of the target audience to whom the series of lectures was first presented, it might have been less cumbersome. And like many things, what comes across well in one format, doesn't always work well in another. (I've enjoyed a lot of books, but when I went to see the movie based on the book, I was disappointed).