Persecuted is heating up

2014 has already been a big year for faith-based movies. Persecuted — of which I had the honor of writing the novelization — is a different kind of movie. I’d call it a faith-based movie for people who don’t like faith-based movies.

persecuted-iwillnotbesilentPersecuted is a political thriller, a deep-probing drama, and a scathing commentary on public sentiments toward religion and religious freedom — all rolled into one. Where films like God’s Not Dead and Son of God encourage you to think about your beliefs on a personal level, Persecuted is more interested in the state of our nation. It also asks, as the title suggests, how far you’d be willing to go to hold to your convictions.

One thing’s for sure: it’s going to have people talking. In fact, it already does:

“The Movie the Faithful Want You to See”Politico Magazine
Persecuted: The Next Christian Film to Hit Theaters” – Newsmax
Persecuted Not Just a Movie But a Movement”
– CBN News
“New Film Persecuted Warns Against Abuse of Gov’t Power, Religious Persecution”The Christian Post
Persecuted film examines freedom of conscience versus the state”Deseret News
Fred Thompson: “Is the premise of my next movie, Persecuted, really so far-fetched?” – FoxNews

As you can see from what’s been published so far, the media response is largely focusing on the movie’s political commentary. Sure, there’s political stuff in there. It wouldn’t be a “political thriller” if there wasn’t.

But to me, Persecuted is more about the plight of believers being persecuted around the world in nations hostile to their beliefs. What writer/director Daniel Lusko has so cleverly done is find a way to depict that kind of suffering in a setting that’s familiar to us: modern America. Which is pretty much the last place on earth you’d expect to see religious persecution. It’s an allegory. And a cautionary tale. Because what attracted me to the story to begin with is that it presents a scenario that’s all too believable.

Rather than hearing the opinions of people who had nothing to do with making the movie (except for Mr. Thompson, obviously), why not see what the man who made the movie has to say about it.

Persecuted opens nationwide on July 18th — and my novel hits stores on the same day. A great new trailer for the film is embedded above.



The First 26 Pages of Persecuted

Excited for Persecuted? I am! It’s my first-ever novelization, and I can’t wait for everyone to get their hands on it. Bethany House Publishers has posted a 26-page preview of the book, which includes the Forward by filmmaker Daniel Lusko, the Prologue, and the first three chapters. You can read the entire thing below.

By the way, if you haven’t seen it yet, the official website for the movie Persecuted is up and running now, complete with a timely blog covering the persecution of Christians around the world, so be sure and check out this super important resource.

Persecuted by Bethany House Publishers


A Prayer for Today

Oh great God of Creation, be God over all of me.

I am weak, but your strength is without equal.

I am weary, but you never falter, never sleep, never run out of energy, and never make excuses.

This body is broken, but you are the greatest physician of all time.

I am tiny, but you fill every corner of the universe’s vast expanse.

I am poor, but you own all of Creation.

I am flawed, but you are perfection.

I am selfish, but you sacrificed everything you are to come to my rescue.

I am apathetic, but you care about the soul of every person who has ever lived and ever will.

I am dirty, but there’s nothing your blood can’t wash and make pure.

My tongue is wicked, but your words are the source of life.

I am ineffectual, but you are all-seeing, all-knowing, and all-powerful.

I am inconsistent, but you never change.

I am unreliable, but you are faithful beyond the very end of time.

I am pursued by trouble and darkness, but you are my protector, sheltering me under your mighty wing.

Oh great God of Creation, be God over all of me.


Writing Tip: Feed Your Brain

One of the basic tenets of creative writing is that feasting on a regular diet of good literature will help improve your own writing. And I agree that there’s value in this tactic. But that’s not the kind of “brain food” I want to talk about today.

I’m talking about actual food. As in, if you want to write well, if you want to do your best work, then you have to eat.

It sounds like common sense, doesn’t it? But it’s a lesson it took me a while to learn, and it was an eye-opener. When I engage in a fiction writing marathon (usually thanks to a fast-approaching deadline), I find myself getting hungry more frequently than usual. I didn’t understand this at first. Why would writing — which requires almost no physical exertion — make me hungry? It sounds silly.

And yet it happens every time, without fail. I finally came to understand that engaging in the kind of deep concentration required for writing may not be physical exercise, but it’s exercise nonetheless. Your brain is a muscle like any other: use it more than usual, and it needs extra fuel. Fail to provide that fuel, and it won’t be able to function properly. If you’re not eating enough during a period of heavy writing, then what you’re writing won’t be very good. In a worst case scenario, you may not even be able to get the creative side of your brain into gear.

Yes, you run the risk of gaining a little weight by following this tip. But your mind is your body’s engine. And every engine needs fuel to run.