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Media Focus is a 501c3 Non-Profit Ministry. All Donations are Tax Deductible

Telephone: 626-482-7140 or 562-907-9119

June 2009 Newsletter

Dear Friends,

Twenty-four years of reflective memories flooded across my mind as I prayed over this newsletter. People we have met and known over the course of serving as chaplain to those working in the media. Many have become dear and long time friends and associates. So many episodes of life and ministry.

And what changes we have seen, not only in the Industry, but in the lives of people we come in contact with. These changes continue to cause us to adjust some of our methods of outreach. For instance, as the atmosphere in some studios becomes increasingly more hostile to Christians, we are beginning to increase meetings in restaurants and homes. Media Focus partners are open to using their homes to invite non christian co workers and friends for discussing the Bible and prayer. (Please let us know if you are interested in doing this).

A great and rapid area of change is in the area of technology. Advancement here is happening so fast my head spins! I must admit that we have resisted some of this change in Media Focus. Ministry partners and dear friends, including our daughters have encouraged us to “keep up with the time.” We have been asked over and over, “Do you have a web site?“ I confess, I was so into the ministry my rapid response to that request has been at a snail’s pace. Thanks to a couple who have been dear friends for years that recently decided to add rockets to our snail's shell, we now have a web site under construction, up and running. (How you can take part is explained later in this newsletter).

Just think of other changes in the industry technology. Newspapers, radio, television and movies are moving onto the Internet. And talk about movies, I read yesterday where there is a rush by the theaters to add 3-D digital projectors. One chain which operates 2,300 screens now has 500 with 3-D technology. Regal plans to install 3-D in 1,500 theaters.

Are all these changes good? Not always. Gone are the days of a family atmosphere on studio lots, and retirement after years of loyal service. Pay is not always that good for the younger ones, and the hours are hectic and long. Special effects in films are great, but story quality poor, filled with disturbing images. Some projects are so dark even non christians have trouble working on them.

Years ago, I was asked by a radio station in South Carolina what I saw as the future in Hollywood. I said then, ”I see a parallel. Some secular product will continue to get worse, while the christians will become more professional making in-roads into the market in a competitive professionalism.” Thank God, we are seeing that happen after years of fervent prayers!

In the fast paced rush of tech achievements, what concerns us is a matter spoken of by D. Elton Trueblood years ago, “Most grievous of man’s ills is the failure of his spiritual growth to parallel his technical progress.” Amen!

What hasn’t changed in this Industry is its ability to suck people in, grind them to shreds, and trash them in piles of wrecked lives in the dark alley ways of a glamorous city.

I’m thinking of a talented young couple who came to Hollywood three years ago with big and exciting dreams. A talent agent saw them in a show case back east and picked them up, insisting they must move to Los Angeles. The young man’s parents contacted us to ask if we would help and encourage them. We did, picking them up at the airport, letting them stay in our home, use our car to get to some auditions. Everything pointed to a future of success in music and acting. One night they shared how determined they were to be a strong and powerful witness for Christ. Patty and I encouraged them in their walk and pursuit of career, but warned that the enemy comes to hinder, discourage, and destroy. We prayed with them and maintained contact.

First came disappointment in churches they attended. Next their agent sent them to auditions that requested compromise. Before long, work opportunities played out, they stopped returning our calls or e-mails. Their lives became entangled, they struggled, and left Los Angeles in bitter defeat.

For a Christian to work in the Entertainment Industry it has to be a calling of God on their life. At the recent Biola Media Conference, writer and actress Susan Issacs stated; “So many people are called to Hollywood, but what if God called you there for only three good years out of thirty? What if you had to struggle 27 of the 30 years? Would you still go?” Patty and I would have to answer yes! God has surrounded us with people who are creative, committed beyond measure, driven and many of whom have become our dearest friends.

You can help us with the Media Focus website: www.media-focus.org. We are asking for Media Focus partners to submit via e-mail to: chaplain@media-focus.org short articles pertaining to the media, newsy things, personal experiences etc. We also need photos, especially shots of studios for our home page. Other photos to build a gallery.

Now, as promised in our e-mail, here is a brief financial report for 2008:
Total Receipts $34,505.
Ministry Expense $22,911.
Chaplain’s remuneration $11,594.

Thank you all for your prayers and support that has helped sustain us these 24 years. We endeavor to walk worthy of the vocation where with we are called. (Eph. 4:11) Thank you for walking with us. Please contact us. We are eager to hear from you.

We love you in Christ,
John and Patty
Chaplain of Media Focus

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Media Focus is a 501c3 non-profit Ministry and all donations are tax deductible.

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