Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Selma Pinkard

Selma Pinkard brings a lot of life to the role as the secretary of the First Church of Leonard, TX, in Beyond The Farthest Star! Margaret Collier is a feisty, opinionated, God-fearing, no-nonsense type of woman who is not afraid to speak her mind. When Senator Cutter (Andrew Prine) burns the town's nativity, Margaret is very vocal in her view of him and the attorney (Andrew Sensenig) who represents him...and who she thinks they both represent. If it is the Lord's work, or church business, Margaret believes it is also her business to speak and know the details...much to Adam's (Todd Terry) chagrin.

Selma has appeared in a variety of roles and her talent  and effervescent  personality clearly shines on the screen. Some of the TV & films she has been affiliated with are Space, Creepshow III, State's Evidence, ER, Lost (the movie), The 23rd Psalm, and Vipaka.  Other works include stage and commercials as well as being a casting assistant for movie and music videos.
Click the link to take a look at some of her appearances: Selma Pinkard Demo Reel.

Of course, you must see Selma as the fantastic "Margaret" on BTFS! Also, learn more about this Pathlight Entertainment film at!

Part 21 in a series on the cast of Beyond The Farthest Star.
(*I am NOT affiliated with the film or Pathlight Entertainment. Just an appreciative fan.)

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Outdoor Nativity Set review

Recently I was given the opportunity to review an Outdoor Nativity Set. I wasn't sure how difficult it would be to put this together, but I can assure everyone that is was simple! Keep in mind, that I can't even put together a jigsaw puzzle that has more than 24 pieces (and that is a struggle! My brain in not wired for those things!). In just a matter of less than 5 minutes, though, I had put together this beautiful Nativity set. I have a link to an instructional video, but was excited to do this on my own.

Last night, set against the backdrop of evergreens, with the snow flurries swirling about, I was able to enjoy this simple, but beautiful reminder of why I celebrate Christmas. I really wish the snowflakes had shown up in the photo. :)

This is made from marine grade plastic this is lightweight, but durable. That means it is also easy to move. Assembled it is: 46.5" Wide x 50" Tall x 23" Deep.  My family assembled it on the porch, due to the rain, but took it apart so I could see for myself how easy it is to assemble and maneuver to the best location to showcase my new nativity. So, I can assure you that when it is time to put it away after Christmas, it is very easy to disassemble and store neatly until needed the next year. There is no worrying about finding a space for bulky figures.

For your convenience, here is the website address page links:
Outdoor Nativity Sets website
Outdoor Nativity Sets on Pinterest

Outdoor Nativity Sets on Facebook
Follow @OutdoorNativity

Not only can you order the basic set, but there are additional pieces also available for purchase. They have angels, shepherds, wisemen, a camel, a donkey, and a calf. Check out their page and get started on YOUR collection.

Company Info:

Launched in 2010, Outdoor Nativity Sets builds outdoor holiday decor products that can be shipped UPS and broken down for easy storage for the rest of the year. We offer a high quality AMERICAN MADE product at an affordable price.


Disclosure of Material Connection: I received one or more of the products orservices mentioned above for free in the hope that I would mention it on my blog. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

UPDATE: Dec. 21,2014
This is the 4th year my church has used this display and it still looks fantastic.

Sandy Baumann

Sandy Baumann  is seen in flashback scenes as the mother of the child Adam Wells (Jaren Lewison), the "Miracle Preaching Boy" in Beyond The Farthest Star. Married to a very overbearing man who is determined that his son will be molded in the image of his own making, Mrs. Well is the very quiet type with a loving, gentle influence in Adam's life. Sadly, Mrs. Wells passes away when Adam is still quite young.

Sandy is a bilingual actor, producer, and writer who has appeared in several stage and screen productions. She interned with the DFW Film Commission and later became the first female "cameraman" for the Spanish KUVN TV station on the TV show "Buenos Dias, Dallas, Ft. Worth". She has made appearances on Walker, Texas Ranger and Homicide Hunter: Lt Joe Kenda, as well as other television roles. Her films include The Killer's Reprieve, Justice On The Border, and The Fandango Sisters, Sandy also acted in, wrote, and produced Billy Mean Pipes.

Find out more about Sandy at:
 Sandy Baumann on IMDb
Highland Myst Entertainment
Mystic Pictures
Follow Sandy on Twitter: @SandyBaumann

Beyond The Farthest Star is on IMDb, Facebook, and Twitter.

Part 20 in a series on the cast of Beyond The Farthest Star.
(*I am NOT affiliated with the film or Pathlight Entertainment. Just an appreciative fan.)

Monday, November 28, 2011

Renee' O'Connor

Renee' O'Connor gives a stellar performance in the lead role of Maureen Wells in Beyond The Farthest Star. This film, due to be released theatrically in 2012, is the story of a father desperate to connect with his goth daughter and regain the love of his wife. Renee gives a compelling performance as a wife and mother who loves her family, but feels that she has merely become an extension of her husband's ministry and a mediator between her husband and their troubled daughter, Anne.

Haunted by the secrets and lies of the past and in despair over the current turmoil in her family, Maureen sinks further into a life of quiet desperation. Renee' provides just the right balance of a woman who deeply loves her family, but is also shutting them and the rest of the world out. Maureen Wells feels her role is to be the peacemaker of the family, but no longer feels peace within herself. You will certainly be moved by Renee's portrayal of a woman who is emotionally fragile, yet has the strength and resolve to do what is best for the ones she loves.

Watch this BTFS Cast Interview with Renee' O'Connor: to hear what Renee' has to say about her work on Beyond The Farthest Star.

In a recent interview, Renee described the BTFS story and complex characters who live in it out, "It’s emotionally charged and it’s meant to challenge the people who watch the film." To read the whole Star Scoop interview click here. 

This Texas born actress had several roles on television, but it was her role in Darkman II: The Return of Durant that brought her to the character that made Renee' an international star. As Gabrielle in XENA: Warrior Princess, Renee and Lucy Lawless (Xena) captured the hearts of fans around the world. Millions of fans still adore both the actors themselves and the characters, as evidenced in popular Xena Cons. Unfortunately, 2012 is scheduled to be the final Xena Con, but for more info on how you can be a part click on this link for Creation Entertainment.

Actor/Writer/Producer/Director Renee' O'Connor has gone on to be involved in other TV & film projects, including Alien Apocalypse, Diamonds and Guns, Ark, and is in pre-production of A State Of Hate. Renee' is also actively involved in Awareness seminars. You can learn more about those at iAmAware and on Ms. O'Connor is aso involved in charities: The Alisa Ann Ruch Burn Foundation, The Renee' O'Connor Outreach Fund, and the Richstone Family Center. To find out more about this fascinating, talented, compassionate, family woman, check out the links below:

BTFS producer, Benjamin Dane (pictured on the right with Renee during the filming of Beyond The Farthest Star in Leonard, Texas), had a chance to meet Renee' for lunch several months ago while they were both in Santa Monica, CA. This was the first opportunity the two of them had since filming was complete to discuss their work on this movie that is sure to appeal to many for a myriad of reasons. To watch the video and hear Renee's thoughts on this powerful and poignant film, simply click  Renee and Ben discuss BTFS.
EXCITING NEW DEVELOPMENT!!!!! I just received permission to make this announcement!!
From producer, Benjamin Dane : "Look for the upcoming "TEE CHATS" with the main cast of BTFS. Renee, and the other stars, will chat with the fans in weeks to come... stay tuned to the BTFS FB wall"

Remember to LIKE the BTFS Facebook fan page and, sign up to BRING IT! YOUR local cinema.

Part 19 in a series on the cast of Beyond The Farthest Star.
(*I am NOT affiliated with the film or Pathlight Entertainment. Just an appreciative fan.)

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Lou Beatty Jr

 Lou Beatty Jr.  gives a moving performance in his film role as Joseph Harrison. Pastor Adam Wells (Todd Terry) is embroiled with a legal matter with Senator John Cutter (Andrew Prine) over the burning of the nativity that was set up in the Leonard, Texas town square.  Joseph Harrison, a man who has a uniquely personal and profound connection that reaches back many years in their past, is the lawyer who comes in to represent Wells.  In one of the more powerful moments in Beyond The Farthest Star, Harrison hands over a file to Adam, representing the facts of Adam's life, and shares a heartfelt moment that impacted his own life. As the voice of reason, grace and compassion, this is a performance that will long be remembered.

 Lou Beatty Jr., is a thirty year veteran of movies, stage, TV, commercials, and print ads. Just a few of his television roles have been on popular shows such as Dynasty, Hunter, Boston Legal, and NCIS. I was also delighted to find the following scene from ER.:

Among his many film credits are Fight Club, Van Wilder, and Fast And Furious. Beside BTFS , other current projects include Geezers! and The Black Dove.  Lou has also done stage plays, including, Howlin Blues and Dirty Dogs, North on South Central, and Let Freedom Ring. To find out more of the highlights of this marvelous entertainer, go to the following sites:

Lou Beatty Jr on IMDb:
Lou Beatty Jr at Plaza Noir:
Lou Beatty Jr at Some Guy Who Kills People/cast:
Lou Beatty Jr at Beyond The Farthest Star:
Lou Beatty Jr on Facebook:

Remember to LIKE the BTFS Facebook page for recent updates.
 Part 18 in a series on the cast of Beyond The Farthest Star.
(*I am NOT affiliated with the film or Pathlight Entertainment. Just an appreciative fan.)

Saturday, November 26, 2011

LeeAnne Locken

 Without a line of dialogue, LeeAnne Locken's character of Candace Cutter ignites a firestorm in Beyond The Farthest Star's tiny Texas community which resolves in a visually-unique and inspired portrait of mercy. Originally from Leonard, Texas, the Cutters are the town's most prominent citizens. When the much younger wife of Senator John Cutter (Andrew Prine) makes a life changing decision, this is the catalyst to drive him to extreme measures.

This was a difficult role for any actress as she is the driving force for much discussion in the story and appears at key moments but she actually has no lines. LeeAnne had to embody this character and convey deep emotion to the audience without saying a word. LeAnne's ability to do this is brilliant.

LeeAnne was born and raised in Texas, but moved to Chicago to pursue a modelling career. While living in Los Angeles, she developed an interest in acting and has worked in commercials, hosting and film.
Take a look at her "Anchor Demo" here:

LeeAnne has now settled in Dallas and is very involved with the local chapter of Women In Film. She is also supportive of Paws In The City , a 501C3 all volunteer, no-kill organization. They are committed to ending the overpopulation, abuse, neglect of Dallas area dogs and cats. The goal is that every adoptable dog and cat get a loving home.
For more on the multi-talented LeeAnne, check out the following links:
LeeAnne Locken on IMDb:
LeeAnne Locken resume:
LeeAnne Locken Youtube Channel:
LeeAnne_Locken on Twitter:!/LeeAnne_Locken
LeeAnne Locken on Facebook:

Remember to LIKE Beyond The Farthest Star on Facebook and sign up to BRING IT to your local cinema!

 Part 17 in a series on the cast of Beyond The Farthest Star.
(*I am NOT affiliated with the film or Pathlight Entertainment. Just an appreciative fan.)

LeeAnne Locken Official Site:

Friday, November 25, 2011

Heaven Is For Real DVD Curriculum

The best-selling book about a 4 year old boy's visit to heaven is now a DVD-based conversation kit for churches and small groups. Each of the 5 video session features Todd, Sonja, and Colton Burpo , answering questions asked by Natalie Tysdal, the Denver FOX/CW News reporter.

Features include:
--5 (10- to 18-minute) video sessions featuring Todd, Sonja, and Colton answering frequently asked questions about heaven and their experiences
--A special message of hope from Sonja to women who have experienced miscarriages
--Conversation Guide written for both believers and non-believers in accessible language to help group members discover what the Bible teaches about heaven

I really wanted to like this, but frankly, I got a bit bored with the same predictable questions and answers. I had read the book, and I have to say that I have read others on the same subject that held my interest better. However, I had hopes the dvd would be a great tool for a small discussion group. I enjoyed a radio interview Todd Burpo had with Rick and Bubba (a nationally syndicated radio program headquartered in Birmingham, AL), so  I knew the potential was there for an interesting discussion. I am a Christian and have no doubt that Heaven is for real....and better than anything I can imagine. I do not doubt the veracity of this child in his telling of his experience, but this dvd curriculum appeared to be a hastily cobbled together production. Re-enactments, a bit more enthusiasm with the onscreen participants, indepth research, and better editing would have greatly improved this study. It was good points and it is a conversation starter, so I would rank this 3 out of 5 stars.

 Disclosure: The publisher has provided me with a complimentary copy of this material through BookSneeze in exchange for an honest review.

Lauren Harris

 Lauren Harris was cast in the role of "Britney #2" in the film Beyond The Farthest Star. As part of the 'popular crowd' of Leonard High School, she is not the leader of the group, but is the best friend of Susan (Brooke Peoples). In this small Texas town, someone who dresses all in black, makes no effort to fit in, and is an outsider is naturally treated with suspicion.

Following a scene that convinces the class that Anne (Cherami Leigh) is potentially a domestic terrorist, the  "Britneys" approach Anne. Britney #1 firmly paces a petition on the table and assures Anne that it has been "signed by everyone". In spite of their fears, they want to offer Anne Wells a "big Leonard High School hug". With obvious reluctance, an insincere hug is given to the appalled Anne by Britney #2 (Lauren).

 Read the scene, with images, in the unique BTFS Pages at LINK (and use arrow < on left side to navigate this section):

The cheerleader types, who have been called "Barbies" or "Britneys", or "Heathers" (back in the 80s), are at the top of the social rung in most schools, along with the "jocks". Anne, as the only Goth kid, is like someone from another universe to them. How early do these cliques begin to form? Were you part of one? Are they harmless or do they lead to bullying and violence? Two interesting articles I found about the pressures of being an outsider or fitting in with a certain crowd are "High School Cliques And Teen Peer Pressure" and "How Cliques Make Kids Feel Left Out". To read them, click (no pun intended) on the highlighted words.

You will want to see Lauren Harris as Britney #2 in Beyond The Farthest Star. I suspect we will be seeing much more of her in future films.
  Part 16 in a series on the cast of Beyond The Farthest Star.
(*I am NOT affiliated with the film or Pathlight Entertainment. Just an appreciative fan.)

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Kevin Keating

 Kevin Keating   has the small, but crucial role as the manager of the motel that is part of a powerful scene. In a pivotal plot point, the motel manager reveals the whereabouts of one of the central characters in the story.

Producer, Benjamin Dane, shared some background info with me about the motel scene: "We located this motel actually in the city of Dallas. Shooting for three consecutive weeks in Leonard, we moved the production to this historic motel for three days. Most shooting, including the scene with the actor playing the hotel manager, were shot during all night sessions. It was a complicated shoot and represents some of the most intense scenes in the film."

 To learn more about Dallas, TX actor, Kevin Keating, check him out at:

You can also find Beyond The farthest Star on IMDb at

  Part 15 in a series on the cast of Beyond The Farthest Star.
(*I am NOT affiliated with the film or Pathlight Entertainment. Just an appreciative fan.)

Game Of Your Life

This week I was given the opportunity to preview the next Family Movie Night in the Walmart and P&G Present series. First off, let me give you the official info about the film:
 'Game of Your Life' Synopsis
When industrious high school gamer Zach Taylor lands a prized scholarship to the prestigious Digital Institute of Game Design (DIGD), his future breaks wide open. The opportunity to study under gaming legend Marcus Bentton and alongside the country’s most creative minds will certainly propel him into a successful career as a video game designer. That is, if he can pass the infamous freshman project that eliminates more than half of the class within the first three months.
Paired with brilliant yet socially awkward teammates Phillip and Donald, the trio persuades Sara Ramirez – a determined and striking team leader with whom Zach has a history (and possibly a future) – to join their team. Working off-campus in the teched-out Lincoln Alley loft, the four set out to involve the entire campus in a quirky new social interactive game. But as the group becomes entrenched in the project, Zach learns that his father Billy, a widower, is facing growing financial woes at home. To help out, Zach accepts an opportunity to work directly with Marcus Bentton on a secretive side project that seems too good to be true. The effort requires nearly all of Zach’s time and energy, which he should be devoting to the project. Struggling to keep it together, Zach is torn between his responsibility to his team, his admiration for Bentton and a chance to help his father.
Everything comes to a breaking point when Zach’s team threatens to remove him from the group and the deceptive truth behind Bentton’s project comes to light. With the guidance of Professor Abbie Lambert, Zach must make a decision that not only affects his future, but the lives and livelihoods of the people around him as well. It’s a revealing story that recognizes the magnitude behind the choices we make and the importance loyalty plays in making good decisions.

My Opinion:
This movie was a lot of fun and had just the right mix of humor, conflict, and lessons learned. It will be a delight for fans of Back To The Future to see the fabulous Lea Thompson and the iCarly crowd will love to see "Freddie" (Nathan Kress). Of course I loved the humorous moments, but was also very pleased with the way the group handled Zach when he made a bad choice. He chose to disobey the rules and the group leader enforced the rule that said he was disqualified from group participation. Although Zach felt justified and did have good intentions, he deliberately chose to break clearly stated rules. Consequences, forgiveness (asking for and granting to another), and redemption are clearly demonstrated without being preachy. Loyalty, making the right choice, and being a part of a community of family and friends is a message that we all need to hear. My favorite quote from the movie was advise given to Zach Taylor (Titus Makin Jr.) by his dad, "Home is love and loyalty to the people who care about you and whom you care about." Very true words!

Please check out more about this film by clicking on the links listed below:
Additionally, there are 2 more that you will want to check out!!:
I didn't want to pass up the opportunity to share two great links with you from our friends at Family Movie Night! 

For their movie 'Game of Your Life' which airs on NBC December 2nd at 8/7c they have created a Facebook app that will let you select 6 of your Facebook friends and tell why you are THANKFUL for them!

Also, Family Movie Night is offering you the chance to win $5,000 for your favorite Grade school or High School. Be sure to follow the link below as the sweepstakes ends on 12/2!

You will love the film, and make sure you enter to win $5000 for YOUR favorite grade or high school!!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Jordan Walker Ross

Jordan Walker Ross (pictured sitting on the bed of the truck~ with Tyler Corie/Stephen Miller and Shawn Roe /Tyler Tucker) does a fantastic job as Clifford in Beyond The Farthest Star. Clifford is the drummer in the young country band, The Leonard Bull Riders. As a sweet, naive teen, his character also provides some comic relief in the film. (Side note: Jordan is the real-life grandson of Barry Corbin/Chief Burns).

Jordan has had several roles on television (Walker, Texas Ranger, Reno 911!) and movies (Tin Can Shinny, Rising Stars). An animal lover, Jordan has also appeared as himself on Pets: Part Of The Family, America's Greatest Pets, and Amazing World Of Animals. I admit that I was stunned to see what an amazing impressions Jordan does; see for yourself here!
Also, check out this demo reel of many of his performances:

Look for more on Jordan at the following sites:
Jordan Walker Ross at IMDb:
Jordan Walker Ross at ShareTV:
Jordan Walker Ross on Youtube:
Jordan Walker Ross at IMDb Resume:

Check out the fan page of Beyond The Farthest Star on Facebook!!
Part 14 in a series on the cast of Beyond The Farthest Star.
(*I am NOT affiliated with the film or Pathlight Entertainment. Just an appreciative fan.)

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

John McIntosh

John McIntosh
is the actor I am profiling on today's blog in my  Beyond The Farthest Star series. His role is the principal of Leonard High School. This small town principal is forced to deal with troubled teen, Anne Wells, when her English teacher comes storming into his office with Anne's very dark writing assignment. In this post-Columbine age, the principal is the one that contacts Chief Burns, thinking Anne may cause a school problem. I am looking forward to seeing how the situation is handled in comparison to what is seen in current headlines. Is it just part of the politically correct "zero tolerance level" that is so prevalent in today's society? Is Anne being targeted for being different....... and an outsider? Or, is the principal doing what is in the best interest of the majority of the student body?

John, who is local to Dallas,  is a very talented actor and well known as a commercial spokesperson for a variety of major products. In one of his movie roles, he was cast as the headmaster in the comedy, Mad Money. John also has several television credits including Prison BreakThe Good Guys, and Friday Night Lights.

To learn more about these and other roles, look him up at...
John McIntosh on IMDb:

For more on the film or to pre-order the novel, go to

Part 13 in a series on the cast of Beyond The Farthest Star.
(*I am NOT affiliated with the film or Pathlight Entertainment. Just an appreciative fan.)

Gone To Ground by Brandilyn Collins

I have been a fan of Brandilyn Collins since the first book of hers I ever read. So far, though, I do believe that Gone To Ground is my favorite. The action takes place in the small town of Amaryllis, Mississippi. Normally a quiet little town, it has been rocked by 5 unsolved murders in 3 years. The story opens following the murder of  yet another victim. She was killed in the same method as the first five women, but a common factor is missing.The story is told by 3 different women who each suspect a different person of committing the crimes. All three men have a motive to have murdered the latest victim.

At first Cherrie Mae, Deena, and Tully keep their suspicions to themselves, but eventually team together to try to solve this mystery. The moral dilemma of turning in a loved one or respected leader versus the turning a blind eye to evil and risking the lives of others. Each woman must decide what to do with the info she has and whom she can trust and believe.

Gone To Ground is without a doubt a gripping page-turner. Each woman was able to make a compelling argument for the person they suspected, yet each hoped to be proven wrong. I also loved the way that an entire chapter was written in a style that was suited to her personality and manner of speech. It certainly got me more involved with each character as an individual. This was a very satisfying mystery and I most definitely recommend it to other fans of this genre!

I received a complimentary copy of this book from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Jodie Moore

Jodie Moore is cast in BTFS  as Jackson Tucker, the abusive father of troubled teen, Kyle (Shawn Roe). I want to give an enormous THANK YOU to Jodie for giving me his own insights to the character he portrayed!!

"Things happen to people in life that shape the way they act, see, & do. I think that most people will not like Jackson Tucker as he is immediately misunderstood in his intentions. A tenacious hard man: heartbroken, old school, and ornery come to mind. A heavy-handed disciplinarian who drinks a bit too much, with a talented adolescent son who is much like his father: Confrontational, confused and just trying to work things out the best way they can. Those who see this, hopefully, will realize the importance of counting to 10 before responding with pure emotion because of the power of words. That isn't always easy and we have all been guilty." ~ Jodie Moore

 I also asked Jodie about another project I have been following with interest. Once again, he graciously gave me more than I expected: "I just finished principal photography on a film titled "Suburbanite" with writer-director Andrew Lohrenz and  Ron Gonzalez as DP  (both part of our BTFS crew), and with the very talented Joe Nemmers,  Frank MosleyMax Hartman and Susana Gibb. I play Mack, another troubled individual caught up in the moment of trials and tribulations. Be sure to keep an eye out as the ending comes right out of the blue."

Take a look at photos from the film here and LIKE the Facebook page at Suburbanite Film, and make sure you look for it in 2012. Also, take a look at the Suburbanite trailer!

To learn more about Jodie, go to the following links:
Jodie Moore at IMDb:
Jodie Moore on Facebook:
Jodie Moore on Vimeo:
Jodie Moore

To see Jodie as Jackson Tucker, make sure you go to Beyond The Farthest Star and let them know you want this emotionally charged film at YOUR local theater by signing up to BRING IT!
Part 12 in a series on the cast of Beyond The Farthest Star.
(*I am NOT affiliated with the film or Pathlight Entertainment. Just an appreciative fan.)

UPDATE 5/12: Learn more about what Jodie is working on at Pangaea's Dream ("Bait" -Teaser).

I saw that Jodie was recently at a screening for Bailout, and a role in the film Oldboy so looks like he is staying busy. 

I was also happy to see his name on 2 recent IMDb lists: 20 Rising Star Texas Actors  and 25 Texas Leading Men.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Jaren Lewison

Jaren Lewison  is an amazing young actor who is a standout performer onscreen. In Beyond The Farthest Star, Adam Wells is a pastor who was once a well-known name, but now has a small church in a small town and is relatively obscure. As seen in flashbacks, we learn that he once was following in the footsteps of his father and Adam began preaching when he is still a child. He traveled with his parents with their ministry and was predicted to become a world renowned  preacher. Jaren is seen in this photo as they are filming a huge monologue as he brings to life the character of the young Adam preaching.

Jaren is well known to his younger fans for his participation on several episodes of  Barney and Friends

 Jaren Lewison on IMDb.

Also, go to Beyond The Farthest Star at to learn more. While you are there, see where your metro area is on Bring It!

 Part 11 in a series on the cast of Beyond The Farthest Star.
(*I am NOT affiliated with the film or Pathlight Entertainment. Just an appreciative fan.)

The Grace Effect by Larry Taunton

About The Grace Effect:
"Simply defined, the ‘grace effect’ is an observable phenomenon—that life is demonstrably better where authentic Christianity flourishes.”  (from back cover)
Larry Taunton, founder and Executive Director of Fixed Point Foundation, is a historian and a Christian apologist. He has been a part of several debates with atheists, such as Richard Dawkins and Christopher Hitchens. In fact, The Grace Effect begins with a conversation Taunton, Hitchens, and Christian academic John Lennox, after a debate they had in Birmingham, Alabama. Hitchens agreed that Christianity had been responsible for some  good in the past, but that it was of no use now. Taunton is about to begin a journey where the lesson of common grace is is easily shown by the demonstration of how it is lacking during his family's adoption of their daughter in the Ukraine.
Larry's wife, Lauri, and sons (Michael, Christopher, & Zachary) had met and fallen in love with Sasha while on a short-term mission trip to a Ukrainian orphanage. After prayers, raising funds for the fees, and taking time from their schedules for the long process, the Taunton family (minus Michael due to college) go to the Ukraine to go through the red tape to bring their daughter home. The corruption, the neglect of basic needs of the orphans, the elderly, and the poor and displays of selfishness shows how a nation who has been shaped through an atheistic regime has little concept of grace. The basic idea of grace is simply “non-meritorious or unearned favor, an unearned gift, a favor or blessings bestowed as a gift, freely and never as merit for work performed.”  Just to watch Sasha blossom from beginning to end is a true picture of how grace works.

Hear Larry tell more in his own words:

 To learn more about Larry Taunton, The Grace Effect, and Fixed Point Foundation, click on the links listed below: 
      The Grace Effect
GIVEAWAY: I have left out many highlights in this book, but I know it is one that everyone will want to read for themselves. However, I am going to select one random winner from all entries that are posted by 8:00am CST, on Thursday, Nov. 24th. It will be an added reason to be thankful for one person...on top of the many other blessings God has already bestowed!! :)

 “Disclosure of Material Connection: I received one or more of the products or
services mentioned above for free in the hope that I would mention it 
on my blog. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally 
and believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance 
with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the 
Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Garrett Schenck

Garrett Schenck plays the mayor of Leonard, Texas in Pathlight Entertainment's Beyond The Farthest Star. The mayor is pitted against Adam Wells (Todd Terry) in the event that is bringing the national spotlight on his town. Senator Cutter (Andrew Prine) destroyed the town's nativity and Adam is determined to make sure the senator pays to replace it. The mayor is not pleased with this and is opposed to Adam's campaign. Senator Cutter is restoring main street and pumping a lot of funds into the city. Needless to say, Garrett's character, the mayor, is equally determined to keep Cutter happy.

Garrett Schenck has experience in film, television, and theatre. Not only has he worked as an actor, but has also directed some TV ads and corporate videos. Garrett made several guest appearances in TV programs such as Walker, Texas Ranger and was seen in the film Necessary Roughness. Other roles have included a priest in Crash, a Texas oilman in Limbo, Marcus DeWhitt in Ace Wonder:Message from A Dead Man, and the head judge of a butter carving competition in Butter.

Please check out more on Mr. Schenck at the following sites:
Garrett Schenck at IMDb:
Garrett Schenck at MaryCollinsAgency:

Garrett Schenck at BreakDownServices:
Garrett Schenck at NowCasting:

And, of course, you will want to see Garrett Schenck in his upcoming role as the mayor on Beyond The Farthest Star!!

Part 10 in a series on the cast of Beyond The Farthest Star.
(*I am NOT affiliated with the film or Pathlight Entertainment. Just an appreciative fan.)

Friday, November 18, 2011

Gail Cronauer

  Gail Cronauer is Joycee Jones, the dispatcher of the Leonard, TX Police Department in Beyond The Farthest Star, working with the police chief (Barry Corbin) and the deputy (Benjamin Dane). The dispatcher is the hub of the police department as all communication goes to her and she is responsible for sending aid where needed. Not only does Joycee  have to stay in touch with Chief Burns, she also vigilantly  monitors Kyle (Shawn Roe) as he works at the police department through a juvenile program.

Gail is one of the most credited local actors on the set of BTFS. She is a recipient of the 2007, Dallas Fort Worth Theater Critics Forum award, for her role in the Lyric Stage production, Master Class. She also is an acting coach and has a very esteemed reputation in the Dallas area. Please click on this link for Collin Theatre Center and read more of Gail's amazing background in both teaching and acting! I apologize for not listing some of them individually, but the choices were overwhelming.

Everyone will definitely want to read more about Gail Cronauer on the links listed below:
Gail Cronauer website:
Gail Cronauer on IMDb:
Gail Cronauer-S.T.A.G.E:
Gail Cronauer on Facebook:

For more on BTFS, please go to
Part 9 in a series on the cast of Beyond The Farthest Star.
(*I am NOT affiliated with the film or Pathlight Entertainment. Just an appreciative fan.)

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Emily Stuhler

Emily Stuhler plays the role of Anne Wells as a child during flashbacks moments of Beyond The Farthest Star. We already know that the teenaged Anne is very unhappy and has a strained relationship with her father. In viewing this photo of Adam and Anne during her childhood, it is obvious that they once shared a special bond. Will they get beyond the current circumstances and have restoration?

This is only the second film for Emily. Her first movie role was Abbi in  Adventures Of Bailey: The Lost Puppy. See the Bailey, The Lost Puppy trailer on Vimeo:

And, to learn more about Emily, go to the following links:

Emily Stuhler at IMDb:
Emily Stuhler at NowCasting:

FOLLOW BTFS on Twitter at @beyondmovie so you will know the latest updates on this powerful film!!

 Part 8 in a series on the cast of Beyond The Farthest Star.
(*I am NOT affiliated with the film or Pathlight Entertainment. Just an appreciative fan.)

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

TORN by Jud Wilhite

"When our world comes crashing down, it does more than steal our peace. Something inside us tears. We feel broken, stranded—torn." When I read that on the back cover of the book, I could immediately identify with this statement. Pastor Jud Wilhite has gone through his own moments of being torn and turned to the Bible as he sought comfort and understanding. He also found that rather than asking "Why?", he needed to ask, “Who?”. Who can be trusted to help mend the ripped pieces of your hopes, dreams, life? Can we trust God when the Whys? are not revealed?

What in your life has been TORN?

In Torn: Trusting God When Life Leaves You In Pieces, Jud looks at practical ways to deal with depression, anger, and being robbed of your joy. Sometimes there is a clear reason why someone is going through a valley, but it can also come on for reasons no one can pinpoint. One sentence in the book that caught my attention is, "You can't control what happens to you, but you can control how you react to it."  He also broke down Philippians 4:8 ("One final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise." NASB) in a manner that that I found to be a drink of Living Water as I wander through a dry valley right now. For a Sneak Peek at Torn, click here.

Jud Wilhite serves as Senior Pastor of Central Christian Church. He is a graduate from Dallas Christian College and Lincoln Christian Seminary. Also, he is a frequent conference speaker and the author of several books. You can follow Jud Wilhite on Twitter at @JudWilhite.

“I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review”.

Cherami Leigh

Cherami Leigh is cast as Anne Wells. Her character is the Goth teen daughter who struggles depression and cannot seem to find direction in Pathlight Entertainment's Beyond The Farthest Star. Anne is the narrator of this story of a troubled family that is in the midst of a personal crisis while the national spotlight is on their town. Will Adam Wells  go for personal recognition and glory or will he put his family first? Cherami's portrayal of a teen struggling to find her own identity is sure to strike a chord with many.

JCTV did an interview with Cherami about Beyond The Farthest Star and her role as Anne. Click here to watch.

Cherami began acting at a very young age and has appeared in  television series and movies (Walker, Texas Ranger , Friday Night Lights, Holiday In Your Heart, Temple Grandin). She is also is an accomplished voiceover character actress affiliated with FUNimation and Radio Disney. Voicing such roles for One PieceWitchblade and others, Cherami has a very loyal Anime following. Cherami is currently working on several projects, both on and off camera, including Throwing Stones.

To see Cherami's interview at Animazement 2011 By PD Production, click here.

To learn more, check out the following links:
Cherami Leigh at IMDb:
Cherami Leigh at Anime News Network:
Cherami Leigh on Facebook:
Cherami Leigh on Twitter:!/cheramileigh

You don't want to miss Cherami's stellar performance as Anne Wells, so make sure you LIKE BTFS and tell them to BRING IT!

Part 7 in a series on the cast of Beyond The Farthest Star.
(*I am NOT affiliated with the film or Pathlight Entertainment. Just an appreciative fan.)

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Journey To Christmas

Journey To Christmas is a  new reality DVD series. The premise is to explore the events surrounding Jesus' birth on the actual location. It is a reality type program that follows a group of 5 people: Drew, a professing Christian who is seeking an encounter with God; Kim, a First Nations young woman who is interested in the tribal aspect of early Judaism; Nazareth, a visual artist who is interested in spirituality, artistry, and connecting with her ancestral heritage; Rory, an agnostic who was raised by a Jewish father and a Catholic mother and sees religion as being a divider of people; and Dusty May, an enthusiastic writer/painter/singer who is unabashedly Christian.

Local historian, Nizar Shaheen, guides the group and there is additional on-camera commentary from a team of Bible experts including astronomer Dr. Hugh Ross, ancient history expert Dr. Paul Maier, archeologist and New Testament scholar Dr. Craig Evans, Biblical times culture expert Claire Pfann, and others. Journey to Christmas lets you immerse yourself in the culture, places, and people surrounding the Nativity. Shot on ultra-high-definition film and packaged as a four-part DVD church curriculum, this is a fascinating look at the culture of 1st century Judaism and the birth of Jesus.

See the Journey To Christmas trailer here.

Although I was wary of anything that proclaimed to be a "reality show format", this was pretty good. I had a genuine interest in the thoughts the individuals shared about their experience and how it was affecting them. There was enough background info for me to connect with each person and get an idea of their point of view. The photography was outstanding and the commentary by the experts was extremely useful in helping to understand what was happening during that time. Quite often several explanations were given, usually with one being singled out as the most likely. I did enjoy looking at these Biblical towns now, but the highlight was the demonstrations of how life would have been at the time of Jesus' birth. The Christmas story was brought to life in a way that made it seem much more real. Too often we may have lofty ideas of  the "characters" of the Bible and forget they were flesh and blood people. Drew, Kim, Nazareth, Rory, and Dusty May had the chance to try the ancient garb, foods, and work that was the way of life in 5BC and walked away with a fresh understanding and a new appreciation of life in the Holy Land 2000+ years ago.

To learn more, check out

In compliance with new regulations introduced by the Federal Trade Commission: Tyndale House Publishers provided me with a complimentary copy of this dvd. However, all opinions expressed are my own.