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Posted 7/24/14 at 4:54 PM | Audra Jennings

Odyssey Adventure Club Offers Interactive Online Experience for Families

An Interview with Christi Lynn,

Marketing Director for the Odyssey Adventure Club

Christi Lynn

As media use continues to explode among children and teens, parents’ concerns about what their children could be uncovering while online increases. On average, children get their first smartphone at age 12, and research suggests kids and teens are spending more than 7.5 hours a day with their electronic devices — and often without a safety net. That’s exactly why Focus on the Family is launching the Odyssey Adventure Club, a safe and fun environment where children can explore, create and imagine, all while developing their faith and learning biblical truth.

Q: How is Focus on the Family and the new Odyssey Adventure Club addressing parental concerns about their children’s media use?

Media is a way of life for kids today, and we understand that. That’s why we created the Odyssey Adventure Club: to provide online, on-the-go delivery of more than 300 hours of safe, biblically-based audio entertainment. For more than 25 years, Adventures in Odyssey has been fostering spiritual and character growth in listeners. Many parents have come to trust us for solid lessons brought to life by fun characters. While we can’t monitor how many episodes a child hears, we can guarantee it’s an investment into their life every time.

Q: Some research shows that kids from age 8 to 18 spend more than 7.5 hours a day with electronic devices like a computer, phone or TV — why should this be a concern to parents?

We believe kids should be using their imagination and interacting with their family and friends. Many times media today tends to isolate. While the Odyssey Adventure Club is consumed through a computer or mobile device, it doesn’t require a child to sit and stare at a screen. Kids can listen to episodes while doing other activities, like coloring, playing with their toys or outside, riding in the car or exercising. The Odyssey Adventure Club also provides activities and devotions meant to be done as a family, encouraging that important interaction. Through the audio dramas, imagination is brought to life for kids within the theatre of the mind.

Q: How can parents leverage media to build a solid Christian worldview in their children?

There are a number of ways in everyday routines that parents can use media to teach their children. For instance, if you’re listening to Christian music, you can ask them, “What do you think the lyrics of this song mean?” Or if you’re watching a movie or TV show, you can talk with your child about the plotline and how it relates to morality, God and truth.

As parents, we have to equip our children with the knowledge and wisdom to face various situations in life, whether it’s something like bullying or lying, or understanding relationships. Adventures in Odyssey has episodes that touch on all of these issues and many, many more. With the Odyssey Adventure Club platform, you can even search for episodes on a subject matter and use it as a teaching tool.

Q: How does the Odyssey Adventure Club help moms and dads make spiritual investments into the lives of their children?

Through the power of story and imagination, Adventures in Odyssey teaches life lessons through the lens of a biblical worldview. This helps a child grow and develop spiritually. All of our episodes with the Odyssey Adventure Club are also connected to a devotional, which will give parents the ability to tie together easily the program to a scripture and a spiritual lesson. Additionally, parents will find a daily devotional on the website that will take their children and their family deeper on their spiritual walk.

Q: What is available to families through membership in the Odyssey Adventure Club?

Families will have access to more than 740 Adventures in Odyssey episodes and videos that highlight some of the real-life stories on which some of the dramas were based. The Web Quests feature hands-on learning and fun activities that enhance the audio dramas. Plus, with the member e-newsletter, parents can engage their child on a deeper level and use daily devotions for family time. They’ll also get exclusive new episodes each month, a subscription to Clubhouse magazine and a “behind-the-scenes” blog.

Q: How will this online club be kept safe for kids to explore on their own?

We require a parent to sign their child up, which helps to ensure that parents are aware of their kids’ involvement. All comments on the website are pre-moderated, and we do not allow any personally identifiable information to appear on the site.

Q: A portion of the monthly membership fee is being donated to Focus on the Family alliance organizations — why is this an important feature of the Odyssey Adventure Club?

We want to teach our members about giving and enlighten them to great social causes. Through our combined giving, the club can truly impact other ministries. We also hope to spread the word to our members about other great ministries that are doing God’s work around the world.

Q: The Adventures in Odyssey program has been sparking the imagination of children for 25 years. Share a few examples of how parents have used these award-winning radio dramas to disciple their children.

There are so many stories I could share of road trips, bedtime stories and devotional times. I remember one story about a boy who challenged his parents to listen to Adventures in Odyssey before bed instead of watching TV. The dad was so convicted that they started turning off the TV 30 minutes before bed and turning on Adventures in Odyssey instead. He wanted his family to start and end their day thinking about Jesus (Phil. 4:8). We have also heard numerous stories of how children were led to begin a relationship with Christ through listening to Adventures in Odyssey. We are blown away by these examples and feel humbled to play a small part in God’s larger story.

To learn more about the Odyssey Adventure Club, visit www.oaclub.org, Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest.

Posted 7/23/14 at 12:57 PM | Erma Byrd

One Sound Entertainment Artist Kevin LeVar Is Destined for Success


One Sound Entertainment and Central South Distribution Preps for Big Summer Release of  Destiny! Live at the Dream Center and More… In StoresAugust 12!

Los Angeles, CA (July 23, 2014) - Allowing a heart of conviction to sing about forgiveness paved the way for the breakout out hit, “A Heart That Forgives” for gospel singer, Kevin LeVar. His songs demonstrate a rare combination of worship and great musicianship that has won over fans, musicians and artists in and outside the gospel world. LeVar’s latest single, “Your Destiny” picks up where “A Heart That Forgives” left off. Forgiveness is the step that frees you to pursue your ultimate purpose in life, your destiny. FULL POST

Posted 7/23/14 at 9:45 AM | Karen Farris

Black Jesus on Cartoon Network

Adult Swim Bing Images

Premiering August 7th at 11:00 pm, Black Jesus is about a “black guy living in the hood”. Yes, it’s about Jesus, the Son of God, but the producers are mocking our Lord. The Cartoon Network has a late night theme, called Adult Swim, and it is during this time frame Black Jesus will air.

The show’s trailer features foul language, using the Lord’s name in vain, and inappropriate gestures that are a total affront to the character of Jesus. Arguably due to the late hour, children won’t be exposed to the blasphemous treatment of our Lord, but allowing a show that openly disdains Christianity and God should not air without complaint and objections.

One Million Moms has prepared an email letter directly to Adult Swim, which is owned by Turner Broadcasting System, Inc (a Time Warner company) to cancel this program that is blatantly anti-Christian (Click Here to complain). In a time of increasing hostility to Christians, this show, besides offering highly offensive entertainment, adds to the abuse and misrepresentation Christians face in our nation and around the world.

Posted 7/22/14 at 2:06 PM | Alex Murashko

'Heaven Is For Real' $90 Million Box Office Smash Available on DVD


$90 Million Box Office Smash;
Inspiring Faith/Family Film; Blu-ray™/DVD July 22
Featuring Oscar Nominees Greg Kinnear, Thomas Haden Church
Bonus Materials Include Deleted Scenes, 3 Featurettes


WHAT: An inspiring story of family and faith, HEAVEN IS FOR REAL debuts on Blu-ray™ Combo Pack, DVD and Digital HD July 22 from Sony Pictures Home Entertainment. HEAVEN IS FOR REAL tells the true story of Todd Burpo, a small-town businessman whose young son, Colton (Connor Corum), miraculously recovers from a near-death experience with vivid memories of his visit to Heaven.

WHO: HEAVEN IS FOR REAL is based on the No. 1 New York Times best-selling book by Todd Burpo and Lynn Vincent. Directed by Randall Wallace (SECRETARIAT), the film stars Academy Award® nominees Greg Kinnear (Best Supporting Actor, AS GOOD AS IT GETS, 1997) and Thomas Haden Church (Best Supporting Actor, SIDEWAYS, 2004). Also starring Kelly Reilly (FLIGHT, SHERLOCK HOLMES) and Emmy® Award winner Margo Martindale (Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series, Justified, 2010, MILLION DOLLAR BABY, AUGUST: OSAGE COUNTY). FULL POST

Posted 7/21/14 at 3:13 PM | Prayer Concerns

Praying for Shakira

Photo: Flickr/oouinouin - Creative Commons
Shakira performing in Paris in 2010.

In 2001 Colombian singer Shakira released her first English language album Laundry Service. The single "Underneath Your Clothes" got my attention. The sultry love song starts with the words, "You're a song written by the hands of God."

Soon I started praying for this talented singer to use her talents for God. Since 2001 Shakira has become one of the most famous singers in the world. Last week People Magazine reported, "On Friday, the Grammy-winning Colombian singer became the first person ever to reach 100 million likes on Facebook."

Shakira has spoken publicly about her faith and her doubts. Her 2005 song "How Do You Do" accuses God of making mistakes. (Complete lyrics available here.) FULL POST

Posted 7/18/14 at 12:53 PM | Alex Murashko

Jeremy Lin's Twitter Profile Page as a New Laker Says It All

Jeremy Lin's Twitter profile page (@JLin7) says it all doesn't it?

On Friday, he tweeted: Thanks Taiwan for the insaneee airport reception!! Last leg of the Asia trip then off to LA!… http://instagram.com/p/qkr9JlOP1R/

Last week, the Houston Rockets traded Lin and a future first-round pick to the Los Angeles Lakers, ESPN reported.

The Lakers were willing to make this deal because Lin is under contract for only one more season, therefore preserving the team's cap space next summer, according to league source. ESPN reports that the Lakers also covet draft picks, "after trading away their first-round picks in 2015 and 2017 to Phoenix and Orlando as part of the Steve Nash and Dwight Howard trades, respectively."

FULL STORY: Jeremy Lin Is a Los Angeles Laker; Ticket Brokers Ask: Will 'Linsanity' Hit So Cal?

Posted 7/18/14 at 9:21 AM | Phil Cooke

Does God Need a Better Publicist at the Oscars?

Photo: Flickr/ Davidlohr Bueso Creative Commons
Oscar award.

Recently, Dr. Larry Poland, founder of Mastermedia International showed me some interesting figures first published in Slate on the number of times God gets thanks at the Oscars. As Dr. Poland put it: ”Nathaniel Rogers and Chris Kirk crunched the numbers on who gets thanked in Oscar acceptances speeches. The title of their piece says it all: “Meryl Streep Gets Thanked More Than God.” Rogers and Kirk note that over the past twelve years, 47 actors have given acceptance speeches at the Oscar ceremony. Analyzing who got thanked in each speech, they discovered that God was number 15 out of 17 categories, beating out only “Cast and Crew” and the “Role Portrayed.” FULL POST

Posted 7/16/14 at 2:22 PM | Christian Post Guest Voices

Could I End Up Selling Meth?

By Stephen Altrogge

Unlike most of my friends, I did not rabidly watch every episode of “Breaking Bad” as soon as it aired. Only recently have I started making my way through the series, and I’m currently about halfway through season two (if you want to know, Walt just got his good diagnosis). Now, let me just say up front that this post is neither an endorsement of or condemnation of the show. If you watch the show or abstain from watching, that’s between you and the Lord. There is certainly some objectionable content in the show, given the fact that most of the show centers around meth.

One of the things that makes the show so brilliant, is how perfectly it captures a man’s slow descent into absolute destruction. As the show progresses, Walter White makes a series of small choices which have exponential consequences. One lie leads to another, bigger lie. One act of intimidation leads to another, bigger act of intimidation. A small act of violence leads to a much bigger act of violence. Almost every show contains a perfect, poignant moment, in which Walt is perched on the edge of decision. He can choose good or he can choose evil, and as time goes on he increasingly chooses evil. FULL POST

Posted 7/14/14 at 4:45 PM | Prayer Concerns

Prayer List: Franklin Graham - Birthdays for July 14

(Photo: Billy Graham Evangelistic Association)
Franklin Graham

The following celebrities, entertainers and politicians have birthdays today. Please pray for them to be guided by the Holy Spirit and to serve God with a pure heart. Pray that their actions will glorify God and that Christ's love will flow from their lives into their families, friends, neighbors and coworkers lives.

  • Harry Dean Stanton - actor in the movie The Green Mile - 88
  • Yoshirō Mori - former Japanese Prime Minister - 77
  • Maulana Karenga - founder of the Kwanzaa holiday - 73
  • Vincent Pastore - actor in the TV series The Sopranos - 68
  • Tommy Mottola - record producer - 65
  • Franklin Graham - CEO of Samaritan's Purse - 62
  • Susana Martinez - Republican Governor of New Mexico - 55
  • Jane Lynch - actress in the TV series Glee - 54
  • Matthew Fox - actor in the TV series Lost - 48
  • Candela Peña - actress in the Spanish movie Princesas - 41
  • Tameka Cottle - R&B singer in the group Xscape - 39
  • Victoria, Crown Princess of Sweden - could become Sweden's next queen - 37
  • Sara Canning - actress in the TV series The Vampire Diaries - 27
  • Sean Flynn - actor in the TV series Zoey 101 - 25

Postscript: If you have any friends on Facebook with birthdays today, consider praying for them on their birthday. FULL POST

Posted 7/14/14 at 10:13 AM | Karen Farris |


No Sex on MTV’s Virgin Territory

MTV-Virgin Territory

MTV is notable for its raunchy reality shows and sexually themed music videos, but they are premiering, Virgin Territory Wednesday at 11 PM EDT.

The show highlights virgin Millennials as they cope with a sex-saturated culture and determine how long they should wait for sex.

Luke Conger, who appears on the show, states, “The first relationship is the most important, and that’s my relationship with God.” He also believes that sex is something you save for your wife.

MTV-Virgin Territory

Twenty-two year old, Dominque Sullivan is proud of her virginity. She shares that virgins get lots of “flak” but that those who choose to save sex for marriage still have fun. Also featured on the show is a newly married young woman who saved sex for her husband. Her reason for being on a reality show was to have young people see that it is possible to make this choice. FULL POST

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