Kenny Saylors on Hearing the Still Small Voice


It’s my privilege to introduce you to the faith and work of Kenny Saylors today. I came to know Kenny through his brother and sister-in-law, Kyle Saylors and singer-songwriter Erica Lane. Together, these two gentleman are successfully using quality films to tell purposeful and powerful stories, many that feature the redemptive work of God. This is a talented and inspiring family folks!

The Saylors Brothers are the creative force behind more than 18 years of industry success with award-winning national and international hit music videos, motion pictures, television series and critically-acclaimed documentary films. Their works have been featured on and in Fox News, Newsweek, BBC, Time Magazine, NY Times, LA Times, Variety, Hollywood Reporter, Forbes, Huffington Post, Indie Wire, Charisma, Christianity Today, among many others.  Last fall, the Saylors Brothers produced and directed the successful FOX Sports Television Docu-Series “The Gamebreaker” featuring NFL stars like Reggie Bush and DeMarcus Ware. You will definitely want to see their latest project, Veil of Tears, which hits theaters next month. But more on that in a moment.

First, I want you to hear something important and inspiring Kenny has to say about how we can experience God’s voice in our lives.

Sadly, I hear many Christians say that they’ve never heard God speak to them. More commonly, I hear “it’s been a long time” or something to that effect. After a few minutes of conversation, I find out that they spend maybe 5 or 10 minutes reading the Bible in a day, or even in an week. Many say they don’t really read the Bible at all. It is the same with prayer. The time they spend with God is so minimal that it’s difficult for them to recall the last time they spent more than a few minutes in prayer. And most of those minutes were spent in ‘request mode’ or times of desperation.

It’s no wonder so many who say they believe in the Almighty God are bound by so much adversity in their lives and live in a state of perpetual worry and fear. How can one expect to live victoriously in Christ without hearing from Him? How can we know that we are where our place is in His will? How can we follow someone we never hear? How can we successfully attain our purpose for His Kingdom if we do not even hear His voice to know where He is leading?

You see, the Bible is the gateway to hearing from the Lord.  It’s not called the Word of God in title only.  It still speaks to you and I today where we are. IT IS HIS WORD. Once you learn to hear the Lord through His words, then can you begin to hear Him more clearly with your heart. The Bible says in John 10:27 that “My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me.” 

Following Jesus Christ is MORE than just knowing who Jesus is. It is HIM knowing each and every one of us in an intimate relationship—hearing His voice, knowing.

I am reminded of an incredible passage in 1 Kings:
“Then He said, ‘Go out, and stand on the mountain before the Lord.’ And behold, the Lord passed by, and a great and strong wind tore into the mountains and broke the rocks in pieces before the Lord, but the Lord was not in the wind; and after the wind an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake; and after the earthquake a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire; and after the fire a still small voice.”  1 Kings 19:11-12  

As believers in Jesus, we often look for God in the thunder, in the lightening, in the fantastic and extraordinary circumstances. But it is often by these things we are distracted from hearing the true voice of the Lord. It is in the silence—alone, in the Word, in His presence—that He speaks in that still small voice to us.

My friend, don’t expect to hear from the Lord if you’re unwilling to “study to show yourself approved unto God” (2 Timothy 2:15) or unwilling to bow before Him—not with your requests but in denial of self to completely lay before Him your will in exchange for His.

My prayer today is that each of us reflect upon ourselves. If you have neglected your first love, I implore you to dust off that Bible and set aside time each day, not just to read a book but to experience a God who desperately wants to talk to you. He won’t take the step to you until you make the first move and you’ll never hear Him until you quiet your world to hear his precious voice. 

Thank you, Kenny, for urging us to be intentional about stillness with God and drawing near to Him through His Word.  Word of God, speak!

Now don’t miss the opportunity to see the Saylor Brothers’ gripping new documentary film, Veil of Tears.  It shares the untold story of millions of women in India who are culturally persecuted for no other reason than the fact that they are women. Narrated by Grammy-Nominated Recording Artist Natalie Grant, this film journeys where few outsiders have gone before to tell personal stories of tragedy, triumph and the resiliance of the human spirit.

“Veil of Tears” Official Movie Trailer 


Visit SEATZY to find out where Veil of Tears can be seen in a theatre near you and reserve your seats today!

Glory Stories from “The Hand of God”

I want to thank Regina Steiger for giving us permission to share this video message with you today. Regina is a television and video producer of The Hand of God as well as The View from Here.  
The Hand of God is like a half hour long news broadcast — but with a difference. Each episode tells stories from folks around the country who are encountering Jesus in their lives.  If you only have time for a taste of this encouragement today, watch the first 8 minutes which shares the beautiful story of an art teacher whose classroom project triggered unexpected, powerful connections with God for both the students and their teacher.

Click for Episode 2 here if the video below isn’t functioning properly.

NOTE:
How I met Regina and learned about her ministry is a humbling and exciting Glory Story in itself. Almost a year ago, I read a message from a LinkedIn group. (It’s important to note that I almost never read my alerts from those groups.) Regina’s post to the group caught my eye because she was asking a question so close to my heart.  She wanted to hear from other women who feel a calling to tell women’s stories in film. I wrote a quick note back telling her about our Glory Story ministry and referring her to the Gideon Media Arts Conference and Film Festival.  Regina and her daughter attended the 2013 Gideon Film Festival last July and that has led to multiple new and fruitful connections in ministry and life including the privilege for me of sharing these stories with you today.  Now that’s the hand of God!

The Glory Story Unfolding with “One More Song”

 “Maybe you have to lose everything you really want, to find out what you really need. Maybe a song can change the world…or at least a small corner of it. Maybe life really is more beautiful than any of us could ever imagine, and in rare moments, God pulls back the curtain and whispers in your ear, ‘See…It’s all going to be ok…’”  —Regie Hamm

Normally, I would not use this venue so specifically for the promotion of a product, service, organization or person. But, today I’m making an exception for some dear friends and a project I believe God is already using for very important purposes on many levels.
I’m so excited to tell you about One More Song and the Regie and Yolanda Hamm family.  Believe it or not, it is highly probable that you already know Regie’s work even if you don’t recognize his name. Regie Hamm is a songwriter with more than twenty #1 hits. He is also an extraordinary recording artist, producer and author. Regie has been named SESAC’s Songwriter of the Year four times and has had over 400 songs recorded by various artists. That more-than-impressive list includes Clay Aiken, Kenny Loggins, Maxi Priest, Bob Carlisle, Jaci Valeasquez, Clay Crosse, Russ Taff, Mark Schultz, Point of Grace, MercyMe and the Backstreet Boys. He has been nominated three times for Dove Awards.
But one of Regie’s most recognized career moments came in 2008 when David Cook won American Idol and sang Regie’s song Time of My Life. An instant smash hit, Time of My Life rose to #1 and became the longest running Billboard Adult Contemporary chart topper of all time. 
The song Time of My Life also galvanized the AngelmanSyndrome community. I will never forget the night of the 2008 American Idol finale. It was a beautiful evening and I was sitting in a lawn chair watching our daughter Alex play soccer with my cell phone pressed up to my ear. Just a few days earlier, we had learned that the winner would sing Regie’s song that night. I waited anxiously to hear it live over my cell phone as our daughter Erin held our house phone up to the TV for me. Tears streamed down my face while soccer fans cheered obliviously around me.
In that moment, and even more in the weeks and years to come, it was a song that represented deep things for our family. First it established a public kinship between us and families like ours who were wrestling mightily with something few had ever heard of—a rare disorder called Angelman Syndrome. Regie was inspired to write the song out of his experiences raising his daughter Bella who has Angelman Syndrome like our daughter Carly. It wasn’t long after hearing that song when Larry and I first met the Regie and his wife, Yolanda. That friendship is today among the most precious relationships Larry and I enjoy. This is a family we highly respect, resonate deeply with, pray often with, have a lot of fun with, change diapers with, cry with, dream with and learn more than we ever thought we could learn with.
Two weeks ago, a Kick Starter campaign was launched to raise some additional funds for the documentary One More Song that Regie and Devin Pense are producing. (Devin’s experience includes work with the Discovery Channel and serving as Director of Production for the Oprah Winfrey Network.)
As Regie has described, the film chronicles his family’s journey “from the precipice of super stardom in the music world, through the adoption of a Chinese orphan with a rare genetic disorder, into the low lands of dealing with her disorder and the loss of a career; from the re-invention of a marriage to the heights of winning an arbitrary song contest and having that song become an almost Divine source of redemption for a beleaguered family, as well as it becoming a focal point for many other families around the world. The story—as stories go—is a really good one. I couldn’t have written it. I wouldn’t have written it. Instead, I was chosen (in some weird way) to live it.” (Read Regie’s full blog post.)
Few people have the kind of compelling story, artistic genius and networking resources to create a project like this documentary will be. Even fewer have the funding resources to do it. With all of those connections and successes, you might wonder why these people need backers like you and me. Well, I’ve hinted at that in other blog posts (see my “Movie Nights with Purpose” post if you want an example) and it’s a complex answer. The plain and simple of it is that this project, like any new venture, needs investors to spur it on with physical, emotional and spiritual resources.  Larry and I are coming alongside this project in prayer, finances, encouragement and promotional support. We hope you will too.
Listen to Regie’s heart as he describes the vision for this film:

“We want to present a compelling story on screen that takes people on a journey of emotion and leaves them feeling connected to the triumph of the human spirit and closer to the mystery of (dare I say) God. This story is about music and drama and dreams lost and new ones revealed and love re-born and worlds colliding and geopolitical monoliths intertwining and the depths of the human condition and the recesses of the human genome. It’s about TV shows and emergency rooms and whiskey and Jesus. It’s about Chinese orphans and American rock stars. It’s about one-level houses and the opening ceremonies of the Olympic games. It takes you around the world and makes you look unflinchingly into the eyes of love …and it has a happy ending (of sorts). Through that story, we also want people to walk away knowing what Angelman Syndrome is.”

The broader vision for this project is actually a feature film. And there are folks in some wonderful places (like Ryan Seacrest Productions) who are anxiously hoping for that project to fall into place. But a project of that scope requires massive amounts of money. So until all those “moving parts” are in place, it has been suggested that the story first be introduced as a documentary. Regie could have waited it out and bided his time for a full feature. But this is a man who knows that every day he waits is another day when a child goes undiagnosed and a family struggles for hope and help. 
Regie believes (and I agree) that beginning with the One More Song documentary “helps us (folks promoting Angelman Syndrome awareness) stay on the radar. It’s my opinion that awareness is the most important thing we can achieve in the quest for cures and therapies. Until the masses know about this syndrome and have some compelling reason to get behind it, we will continue to be relegated to the fringes.”
AngelmanSyndrome is the severe genetic disorder. Regie and Yolanda’s daughter, Bella, has it. Our daughter Carly has it. Over half of children who have it are wrongly diagnosed before they finally learn the truth and are able to access the specific medical care and therapies they need.
There are only two weeks left before the Kick Starter deadline and I’m praying with passion that this story will reach a large audience and soon! Two weeks, friends. That’s what we have to help make this happen. Every contributor gets something too, depending on your level of investment — signed books or DVDs, digital downloads, tickets for the premier in Franklin, Tennessee. Beyond the “giveaways” though, all of us coming alongside the producers of this project will get to experience the joy and satisfaction of knowing we’ve been part of telling a powerful Glory Story (a contemporary encounter with the ever-present, ageless God who is always near, compassionate, powerful and purposeful in His ways). It’s an easy gift to give when you know it has God’s hand all over it and you’re giving something back to the world that you couldn’t give all by yourself!
Please follow this link to make a contribution of any size and to read more about this very exciting project!
If you want to support research of Angelman Syndrome, please go to http://www.angelman.org/or http://www.cureangelman.org/.
And if you want see more of the heart and beauty of this family, just watch how they said “thank you” last week to everyone who has joined them on this journey so far:
Thank you so much for reading all the way to the end! I know it’s a lot to expect that you would give me your attention for this. Your willingness to follow this story and consider backing the project is a precious gift and very encouraging—to the Hamms and to the Jamiesons. I hope you will also pray for the project and tell others about it (and talk about Angelman Syndrome). Even as we all enjoy the entertainment this great story will be, God will be working to change lives—with one more song and one big dream.

Movie Nights with Purpose

Walk Right In Ministries hosts “Movie Nights with Purpose”

Attending our first Gideon Film Festival two years ago spawned a vision for Walk Right In Ministries to use movies as another of our tools to help people connect and grow through Christ-centered community. We are always looking for ways to help people facing challenges to experience the hope and fellowship of Christ — especially when they are feeling overwhelmed, lonely or confused in their faith. 

At the Gideon, it was very fun to preview several movies over the course of just one week and discover the preponderance of quality films with valuable, family-friendly messages. Learning about the tremendous financial and marketing challenges facing Christian film industry was eye-opening and discouraging but seeing the wonderful vision behind the scenes inspired us and served to fuel our interest in sharing movies for ministry purposes.  

Our second year at the Gideon Film Festival (held every summer) provided opportunity to screen two films that touched us personally because each celebrated life and relationships where disability was involved — October Baby and Jimmy. Being parents of a child with special needs and appreciating any ministry that promotes God’s goodness in disability, it was especially gratifying for us to have conversations with filmmakers who shared our heart to tell stories that honor people with special needs and highlight God’s sovereign goodness in suffering. Later, our own daughter Erin Jamieson was privileged to have one of her songs used in the movie Season of Miracles which features a boy with autism.

Now in the past 12 months, Walk Right In Ministries has had the opportunity to host public showings of four wonderful films:

OCTOBER BABY — This is a story of healing and forgiveness about a college-aged girl who responds to the revelation that she is an adopted abortion survivor. Bewildered, angered, and confused, she embarks with her oldest friend on a journey to understand her hidden past. 

BEWARE OF CHRISTIANS — This is a documentary about four college friends who grew up as Bible-believing Christians in America and did all the “right” things. They soon realized that their biases and allegiances to worldly things had determined their views on Christianity. So, they travel throughout Europe examining what Jesus says about topics like materialism, sexuality, alcohol and entertainment.

JIMMY — Ian Colletti delivers the performance of a lifetime in this heartfelt family drama based on the best-selling novel by Robert Whitlow. Colletti stars as Jimmy Mitchell, a young man whose world is a place where a boy can be a man, even if he’s “special”.

SEASON OF MIRACLES — This family drama features a group of twelve year olds, their friendship with a boy who has autism and their 1974 championship little league baseball season. It is a life-inspiring story about sportsmanship, friendship, and courage in the face of adversity.  

Christian filmmakers desperately need our collective support!  It’s a little known fact that filmmakers must themselves pay thousands of dollars to get their movies in the theaters.  

“It costs about $1,500 to print one copy of a movie on 35 mm film and ship it to theaters in its heavy metal canister. Multiply that by 4,000 copies — one for each movie on each screen in each multiplex around the country — and the numbers start to get ugly.” (LA Weekly – April 12, 2012) 

This is why, with increasing frequency, faith-based filmmakers are utilizing a marketing strategy that offers licensing programs to churches who will use their own screens to bring their movies to Christian audiences.

We can support faith-based films with our prayers, by attending or hosting any public screening of quality films and by purchasing the DVDs for our private use.  Consider gifting a faith-based film this Christmas or put some on your own wish list. 


If you’re in the Minneapolis area and have interest in attending one of our Movie Night with Purpose, we hope you’ll get on our mailing list at info@walkrightin.org for the latest news.  If you have interest in learning how you can host a Movie Night with Purpose in your area, please contact us.  

If you are someone wanting to develop your talents and explore opportunities in Christian media, consider attending the next Gideon Media Arts Conference and Film Festival in Orlando, Florida July 11-15, 2014. You’ll enjoy workshops galore by day and movie screenings by night. There are contests for feature films, documentaries, short films, screenplays, acting and more as well as a student intern program. In years past, we’ve enjoyed early screenings of films like The Grace Card, October BabyThe ShunningMilltown Pride, Not Today and many more. The atmosphere is electric with experts and “newbies” alike mingling and praying together as family learning together how to grow and share in their crafts from production, acting and screenwriting to music.  It’s quite an unusual and marvelous experience where you’ll make friends for life.

I’m so thankful God led our family to a peek behind the scenes of Christian filmmaking. Movie Nights with Purpose have given us the opportunity to introduce some very special stories to a lot of people who are appreciating the quality entertainment, enjoying casual Christ-centered fellowship and sharing in post-show discussions (optional to our audience guests).

Some great films we’re considering as features for 2014 include Not Today, Veil of Tears, Unstoppable and One More Song. Tell us which film(s) you’d like to see! 

Some additional online Christian film resources:

God Packs Power in A Movie

Here’s a Glory Story about how God recently brought a new layer of outreach to Walk Right In Ministries…

I always get excited seeing the arts used to draw people to Jesus.  The theatrical stage has a special intrigue for me personally but movies provide a very satisfying and more accessible option.  The challenge: movie theaters and DVD shelves have not historically or widely been a welcoming place for Christians.  So when I first had the opportunity to attend the Gideon Media Arts Conference & Film Festival (formerly sponsored by Lifeway Christian Stores) in 2011, I was very excited to begin discovering some wonderful films produced by very gifted people who were pursuing quality stories and seeking top production values in the name of Jesus.

God seemed to start stirring ideas about how Walk Right In Ministries might use movies to bring people together for encouraging fellowship where Christ is central to the conversation. Then, by no coincidence, we attended the Gideon in August 2012 where several films were shared on themes related to our mission (e.g., disability, addiction, redemption).  We also began experiencing unique and unexpected opportunities to connect with key producers.

We had dinner one night with Jon Erwin, producer of October Baby, along with his wife Beth and kids.  The night before, we’d been captivated by his film inspired by a woman with cerebral palsy. It is one of the best and most meaningful movies I’ve seen in many years — maybe ever.  My heart was racing wondering how in the world our little ministry could use this profound movie that had shocked the industry earlier in the year when it opened No. 8 in theaters.  Little did I know at the time how God would continue to refine that vision and open doors for us to get a license to show the film multiple times over the next year.

We also saw Jimmy and had the opportunity to talk with producer Gary Wheeler. Jimmy tells a neat story about a teen with cognitive disabilities. It focuses on relationships like the very special one he has with his grandfather. The public release of this film cannot come soon enough for my taste!

Our friend and producer Dave Moody is in post-production right now wrapping A Season of Miracles about a boy with autism, based on the screenplay by Rusty Whitener and starring John Schneider.

There were more stories and my movie list was growing. If you are among those people always on the lookout for wholesome if not Gospel-proclaiming entertainment, check out the largest list of Christian movies at Christian Film Database!

After the long ride home from North Carolina, I investigated using our church theatre to host Movie Night Fellowship & Discussion events.  Walk Right In Ministries hosted the first of these events in October featuring the film October Baby and over 60 people showed up from around the Twin Cities!  Though the stories are confidential, I can tell you from the prayer requests received that evening that God is using the film to release healing and begin a new work in hearts and lives.  How humbling and exciting!

This weekend we’re showing October Baby once again.  This time we are hosting the Lupino Family Adoption Benefit.  Please pray that God works mightily through the fellowship, movie, prayers, and donations to prepare this family for new beginnings!

Our next Movie Night Fellowship & Discussion event will be Thursday, December 27th, 2012 featuring the film Beware of Christians.  This is a documentary featuring four college students who grew up “Bible-believing Christians who did all the right things.” As they grew older, they soon realized that their biases and allegiances to worldly things had determined their views on Christianity. They decide to leave the US for a while and reexamine what Jesus says about topics like materialism, sexuality, alcohol and entertainment. Come see what new understanding their European adventure unfolds.

I wish I’d had the stamina to stay up late for more of the screenings at the Gideon this year.  It’s a privilege to see projects of quality, vision and artistic genius from passionate, Christ-loving people trying to use their resources for Kingdom work.  I hope Walk Right In Ministries can play some part in promoting these films, helping bring them to larger audiences.

We’re anticipating the surprises of God’s coming blessings as the Christian film industry is growing and improving and gaining new respect!

A Shout-Out for “The Grace Card”

Tonight at The Gideon we got to see a screening of The Grace Card (inspired by and modeled after the folks who produced Fireproof). This wonderful film opened in theaters in April and will be available next week on DVD (August 16).
Erin and I have met the star, Michael Joiner, here at The Gideon and got to hear some of his very funny clean comedy during the keynote at tonight’s Awards Banquet. This guy is top notch on and off the stage. His performance in The Grace Card is gripping. It leaves you wondering whether you’d have the grace to love someone who wronged you, especially in the face of horrific consequences of sin. Michael plays a police officer whose heart and life spiral into bitterness and anger towards God after his young son is tragically killed.
Watch the trailer and then order your own DVD. Our support of films like this sends a strong message to Hollywood and is a valuable encouragement to Christian film-makers who are trying to influence the culture for positive values and Biblical messages.
By the way, if you haven’t already heard from Facebook, our daughter Erin was the Grand Prize winner tonight in both the Songwriter category and Music Artist Talent Search. Her song Hope for the Broken will be one of the songs she’ll record in Nashville in the next few months. As the winner in these categories, she’s earned both songwriting and recording contracts. Some time later this year (or early 2012), she will head to Nashville to produce a 4 song EP produced by Grammy nominated and Dove Award winning producer Dave Moody.
There are too many stories to tell now and it’s very late but I promise you’ll hear more soon. God is being magnified here! It’s been a tremendous privilege to see so much talent along with passion to share the Gospel message with excellence in culturally relevant and compelling ways. Pray for these artists, please. They need support, encouragement, resources, clarity of vision and AUDIENCES.