Friday, April 13, 2018

Lutherans Answer Call For MI Movie Shoot
by Kristen Collier

Wednesday was my first time as a movie extra, but not my first TV involvement. I was very apprehensive, as, being a life-long Lutheran, we generally don't seek those sorts of missions.

But, when I saw that this fledgling Christian film production company, Generation Courage, was not only very open to volunteers, but that they indeed needed MANY extras for the church scene, I put out the call to everyone I could in the MI District and the local Ann Arbor LCMS churches, many of which I'd been to as a Concordia, Ann Arbor, grad.

"Karen, Lutherans don't do this sort of thing!" I said to Karen Covell, founder of the Hollywood Prayer Network, yesterday. "We generally eschew the spotlight. But we do heed the call to help, we are duty bound, so if God needs us to serve as movie extras, most of us don't want to do it, but we will!"

I told Karen I was overwhelmed by the response from area Lutherans, and how even one of the most well-known and highly respected video producers in the Lutheran Church, Seth Hinz, "just happened to be the one who picked Dean Cain up" after a punch scene. Which is so funny, again, because the people from the district office, wanting, as Lutherans, to avoid the spotlight, just happened to have a very visible role for presumably his first time as a movie extra. In fact, Seth was the only extra who had an action scene, lol, in getting out of the pew and helping Dean to his feet! A star is born!

Karen said this made her day, and she said last week that HPN was sending Dean a Bible (she is beloved in Hollywood for her dedication to praying for those there).

Below, Seth is seated next to Debby Fall, Laurie Brown and Jennifer Rumberger, all from the District Office (President Maier was at the sem, so unable to attend, but he is a wonderful preacher, he spoke at Pastor Haupt's retirement, so I hope he can attend upcoming shoots). 
Seth Hinz, Debby Fall, Laurie Brown, Jennifer Rumberger
Debby, in the Office of the President, can LITERALLY get important news and announcements to millions around the world in an instant, so I am so thankful she had a great time to and is willing to help Melissa and Joel for next month's shoots. Debby also said her daughter, in college studying graphic arts, would have loved to have been there and hopefully can help in May, when the bulk of the shoots are scheduled.

LEFT: Richard Shuta, me, Nadege
Since I live in Grand Haven, 2.5 hours away from the May shoots in Northville, but Ann Arbor is just minutes away, it is SUCH a comfort for me to know that people like Seth, Debby and the legendary Richard Shuta (right), Professor Emeritus of New Testament Theology and Christian Doctrine, who also helped and who owns a video production company, to know that these good Lutherans are nearby to help Melissa and Joel does my heart good.

Jamie, Dean, Melissa
And to see that the AWESOME Jamie Hope (right), from East Lansing, an author friend of mine, has also heeded the call to help in a BIG WAY. Words cannot express my gratitude to her, because Jamie is one FEARLESS Christian chick. She totally rocks. Because Jamie has also been involved with several movies, she was Chief of Staff at the MI State House, very experienced with media production and promotion, and just a real go-getter.

"Jamie," I told her Wednesday, "When you get old, like me - I turn 49 next month," I said to her, "you feel a real responsibility to help the next generation."

And when you see Melissa and Joel, you can't NOT want to help them, they're such sweet young people.

Melissa Kerley is the owner of Generation Courage and is a Plymouth native. Joel Paul Reisig, below, with my niece, Nadege Mellinger, is a Hope College grad, and has worked with Dean Cain and Kevin Sorbo, among others.

Nadege and Joel
"He is such a nice kid, he does such a great job!" my sister, Amy Mellinger, who drove all the way from Cleveland to help, said, during the shoot.

And that brings me back to my starting thoughts. Kevin and I had some involvement with Christian TV years ago, and it wasn't good. So, I was nervous - would this producer, a former Golden Globe boxer, would this producer be like one of the directors we'd worked with years ago?

Joel and Dean
I was on guard to see if it would be the stereotypical film shoot shown on TV with the prima donna director yelling and storming off the set.

Joel Paul Reisig was the best director I've ever seen. He is worth his weight in gold, that one. Amy and I were thrilled to see Joel and his camera crew at work (Amy's son is in music production, so she could also appreciate their professionalism). He was so low-key, and relaxed, I was amazed. And he knew exactly what he was doing, and was completely in charge of the large, talkative, church group, actors, and crew.

The cameraman, Daniel Knudsen (left), he had a smile on his face the entire time! In fact, this picture of him he seemed to be in his element so much that you could see this was what he was created for. What an adorable kid! It brought Amy and I such joy to see these great young professionals at work. In fact, I was in another room, and when I returned to the sanctuary Amy told me that Joel said something like, "Michigan crews are the best. The most hard-working!" And I could see that! They ALL were so professional and efficient. And Daniel, the cameraman, made funny quips, was so happy, I thought to myself, This is probably when he is happiest, at moments like this.

And Joel, the director/producer, he was the epitome of a professional. He was self-effacing and humorous when dismissing extras who needed to leave the set. He was organized, poised, humble. And I couldn't believe it, we literally finished on-time (which is REALLY hard to do when managing so many people, scenes, equipment, location, etc.).

I said to Kevin when I got home, "Joel is AMAZING. I would absolutely hire him for any project we would ever be involved with."

LEFT: My fav picture, because I got to take it with Jamie, Joel, and Greg Morrison, a MI film producer also helping!

What a great blessing for so many, on so many levels.

God bless everyone involved, for heeding the call to help Melissa and Joel.


NOTE: Author Cathy Brakefield (bottom left, behind my precious niece Nadege), is president of the MI American Christian Fiction Writers group, and drove 2 hours to be there, along with her husband, after barely sleeping the night before!

To Cathy's left are: Darlla Burtley, my sister, Amy Mellinger, Nadege's mom, and her friend, Cara Allen.

Below: Cyle Young, one of the top Christian literary agents, and also a pastor, was there to help, along with his kids!

BELOW: Jamie, and Dean's assistant, Terri:

BELOW: Joel with award-winning author Deb Gardner Allard, who is helping with PR, and Nick Vlassoupoulos, who plays the lead opposite Dean Cain.

BELOW: Dean in the hospital scene. Dean Cain plays a pastor ministering to a widower fireman whose daughter is diagnosed with a rare form of cancer:

Saturday, April 7, 2018

Once Upon a Prince Review
by Kristen Collier

Hallmark Channel just upped the ante with Once Upon a Prince. It is a game-changer on every level.

The characterization was the best I've ever seen from them, thanks to New York Times best-selling author, Rachel Hauck (right).

It was so good, to quote Sheeba Jacob from the previous blog, "...even though my eyes are pleading with me to go to sleep," and I actually DID go to bed but couldn't sleep, I kept thinking about this, and had to get up again and write this.

Here are just a few reasons why Rachel and Hallmark have just upped the ante with this:

1. EXCELLENT characterization.

2. Suzanne was a MUCH WELCOMED departure from their usual protagonists, in many ways.

3. Nate had a more developed personality than their usual antagonists, as well.

4. Suzanne, rather than the usual angst-filled, snarky types, was gentle AND strong. And professional. AND she showed the value of true love.


Because Rachel shrewdly (Mt. 10:16) showed at the beginning that Suzanne was not the typical protagonist who claimed "love," but then was wishy-washy when a "once-in-a-lifetime" career op came her way, not knowing what to do, then the usual break-up, then realizing that they really DO love that person after all, as most Hallmark movies end.

I'm not knocking career women (or men). If you want that opportunity, go for it. But don't pretend your love for another is real if you put a job op before that person.

No, Suzanne's dilemma at the beginning is that she's waiting for her long-term boyfriend to propose before she starts her landscape architecture business. She's showing what she TRULY values. And while she enjoys what she does, and helps the family garden center, she REALLY wants to find her soul mate, as we all do.

And she is highly accomplished, having a landscape architecture degree and as a former high school valedictorian. She is not the usual hapless businesswoman that they portray, trying to keep some niche coffee or cupcake shop open when the market doesn't bear it, with subsequent rescue from the rich man who loves her and saves her business.

After she's continually kept him emotionally at arms' length, acted like a juvenile middle-schooler around him (which shows what most writers of these, how immature they are), pushed him away, not giving him ANY reason to desire her, but yet expecting him to come back begging.


Rachel creates characters with depth. Maturity. Selflessness. A king who teases the girl he loves. A girl who is smart enough to be gentle.

A king who says, "I am blessed."

A secondary character, the king's guard, with shrewd wisdom.

And a likeable challenger to the love interest (Ginny, I believe).

We, as women, are tired of the emotionally stunted career women who push men away, make them to be the enemy. And of seeing the men come running back to such women as if they are all that and a slice of pie. They're not.

We're tired of seeing selfish ambition portrayed as love.

We're tired of seeing advice like in one a few weeks ago, "How do I know what to do?" the pro ball player asked his dad. 

"You make a pro and con column on a piece of paper." Then, "In the pro column was one word. Your mother's name."

We're tired of seeing that portrayed as "true love."

We're tired of Hallmark casting mean women in roles that have the male lead chasing after them like puppies, instead of, as my husband says, the reality, that the men would RUN the other way after one interaction with these emotionally stunted women.

We're tired of hearing lines like, "You follow my lead. I'm in complete control. You just do what I say," from the female wedding planner lead to the male event planner lead, but then she immediately knows not what to do.

You want to lead?


But make up your mind.

Do you want to be a leader?
Or do you want love.

Because, yes, you CAN have both. But Rachel knows the difference in how these are displayed, in REAL, successful lives.

And if you don't know. I'm not telling you.

Just ask Rachel. She'll point you to the Truth.

Friday, April 6, 2018

Blind Faith Ends Reader's Block!
by Kristen Collier

Christian movie producer, Sheeba Jacob, had "reader's block" for decades. Until she read Blind Faith last night.

"...I can't put it down.... It's almost 2 A.M. and I want to keep reading, even though my eyes are pleading with me to go to sleep...."

As the co-author (and a fellow reader who has stayed up all night reading books), this does my heart good. But imagine my surprise when told this was the first book she's read in DECADES.

"I'm an avid reader of love and [historical romance] novels from a very young age," Sheeba said. "I used to read 6-7 books a week, until I was 23, when I had my child. After that, life got really, really busy and my life got really complicated. And so I had 'reader's block,' so to speak, from age 24 'til now."

Sheeba's child is now college-bound.

"I've had many opportunities to see, and want to read but never did."

She hasn't read anything in DECADES:

"Until you sent [Blind Faith]. I started to read it, and it was like [the teenager in me] coming out again...and my imagination running [wild]."

Please pray for Sheeba Jacob, a strong woman of God, who "only [does] FAITH-based [productions], to honor GOD."

Also, please pray for surgeon Dr. Pawan Grover, being interviewed by Sheeba, below.

Dr. Grover, a medical correspondent on FOX, CNN, Discovery Channel, and all the major networks, debated Jack Kevorkian on Larry King Live.


Because he held his beloved brother and best friend, Sandeep, one year younger, in his arms when he died in the hospital.

But Dr. Grover learned about using his pain to comfort others, "...with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God" (II Cor. 1:4). He began to write. Created movies. And now helps others with his medical and creative skills.

Sheeba Jacob is a Women Empowerment model/speaker, and FAITH-based movie executive producer/actress. Visit Sheeba Jacob on IMDb.

Dr. Pawan Grover is a spine surgeon, medical correspondent, and movie producer/actor. Visit Dr. Grover on IMDb.

Kristen Collier is a church secretary and author in Spring Lake, MI. She is also the Hollywood Prayer Network MI Chapter Director, currently doing volunteer PR for a Dean Cain movie in production, FAITH UNDER FIRE. All proceeds from this movie go to cancer research. Friend Kristen Collier on Facebook.

LIKE the Michigan-based FAITH UNDER FIRE production company, Generation Courage on Facebook.

Thursday, March 22, 2018

New sitcom isn't playing by the Good Book.
Living "UNBiblically" is More Like It
by Kristen Collier

Like Pontius Pilate's wife, I "suffered much in a dream" because of the TV show "Living Biblically" last night. I just woke up, my heart's racing, I'm all sweaty, and I have to get ready for work soon, so this will be short, but Kevin wanted me to write this.

In a nutshell, the show promoted incest last night by having the main characters promote another show, "Game of Thrones," that actually shows sibling incest. I've seen clips, I don't recommend checking out for yourself, unless you want to know how vile the media truly is, for research purposes.

The comment the wife on the show said yesterday was, "Siblings that bang," and I said to Kevin, "Yes, she really means that. She's talking about 'Game of Thrones,' where they actually show that."

He couldn't believe it.

The rabbi and the priest who are the main character's spiritual mentors also watch "Game of Thrones." The whole episode was about stealing, and so since the guy on the show is trying to live by the Bible, says they can't steal cable anymore, so can't watch "Game of Thrones." His wife cries, so he gives in by getting a subcription to the cable station so they can happily watch "Game of Thrones" at the end.

So, stealing office supplies = bad.
Watching a TV show that visually shows siblings molesting each other = okay.
"Living Biblically" = done.

I just woke up from HORRIBLE "Game of Thrones"-esque dreams, and my heart is STILL racing, and now I have to go to work exhausted. Thank God for Excedrin.

"Living Biblically" is just one more show we've thrown under the bus, including "The Flash" and "Timeless," which just came back for season 2, but which had the heroine shoot an innocent American soldier begging for his life, right in the face, "because if I didn't do it, someone else would have." Hmmm...a bit different than "Do not murder."

So, we watch ALL TV shows now in these End Times with an eye for agenda. We watch them all waiting, knowing any show we like most likely HAS an antichrist agenda, and that, like "The Flash," which now openly promotes homosexuality, we'll have to stop watching. That's okay. At least The Hallmark Channel's safe, if not interesting.

Saturday, January 27, 2018

Kristen and Kevin Collier, circled, on the Science Channel TV program, "Uncovering Aliens," 2014.

The Paranormal from a Biblical Viewpoint

It was four years ago this week that my wife and I appeared on a paranormal TV show. We weren't asked a question on camera, but you could see us seated in the audience panel. The program was titled, Uncovering Aliens, the “Alien Invasion" episode. The series had a brief broadcast life on the Science Channel. 

In the photo above, she and I are highlighted inside the circles. The crew had come to town to do a feature on U.F.O. sightings over Lake Michigan.

What were we—Christians—doing there? It is because the paranormal is linked to the biblical supernatural. It is the Devil's playground of deception.

I have written about the paranormal for years. I published a local book about it a few years back, concerning strange occurrences in our Michigan county's history. People often ask me, "Do you believe in ghosts?" or "Do you think U.F.O.'s are real?" I rephrase the question to answer it.

I have interviewed nearly 300 eyewitnesses concerning sightings of U.F.O.'s, ghosts, and strange creatures over the past decade. The question isn't whether I believe in U.F.O.'s, ghosts, or Bigfoot, the question is, "Do I believe the person I am interviewing believes he, or she, has seen this?" In most cases, I do.

So, if I believe they are telling me the truth, why don't I think flying saucers and aliens from outer space are real? It's because I see everything from a biblical viewpoint. What these people are seeing are demonic deceptions.

Even popular paranormal television programs such as the Travel Channel's Ghost Adventures, hosted by Zak Bagans, is recognizing this. What used to be an entertaining quest to find the ghost of Uncle Louis is now being called "demonic." When things get a little too hot during their investigations, they call in a priest. When you address it as demonic, like it or not, you are presenting it in a biblical, supernatural context.

Ancient Aliens on the History Channel is a favorite show of mine. I am attracted to the archeological aspect of the series, as it often focuses on biblical locations. They treat things biblical as legends or myth, but I dismiss that and focus on what they are presenting, and in their context. The show aims to provide a convincing narrative that aliens visited us in the past. They contend much of our history has been influenced by them.

The only "alien" that influenced human history is God. That is if you want to refer to God Almighty as an "alien."

The fact that the show has to keep presenting a biblical narrative acknowledges something. And I see it as recognition of the deceptions of the Devil again, making something into something else.

The Devil is all about deception, which goes to the core of the demonic, lies in motion. Anything to distract us away from God is useful to the opposition. That's why spiritual warriors need to look at the paranormal. It's a big part of the Devil's deception.

Encouraging people to believe in anything supernatural but God is to drive them away from God. Remember, the Devil's objective is to create distance between God and us. 

I recently was a guest on a paranormal podcast and just spelled it out to the host and audience that I look at everything from a biblical viewpoint. It's where the truth is, and the truth behind Satan's web of lies.

As a Christian, having an interest in the paranormal from a biblical viewpoint is an asset in spiritual warfare (Eph. 6:12). 

"Why are we so afraid to talk about the devil, or expose him, or even talk about spiritual warfare?" John Ramirez writes, in Armed and Dangerous. "We act like we are committing blasphemy against the Holy Spirit and walk on eggshells, as if we, the Church, have committed the ultimate sin."

Knowing the tricks of the enemy advances the frontline for Jesus. I compare it to going to a magic show, where you are in the audience, but had once been a magician. The audience is amazed at the seemingly impossible feats performed by the performer. 

"How did he do that?" 
But you know. 
For you, it's, "I know exactly how he did that." 

The lesson earns you a higher rank in the military of God. When you know the secret to the tricks, there's nothing magical about it. It's just an act to deceive and make you believe something untrue.


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