Wednesday, February 27, 2019

THE LONG GOODBYE: The Kara Tippetts Story – Available on DVD and Digital Platforms March 22.

Film shares powerful story of a wife, mother, and friend sharing her long goodbye after a cancer diagnosis.
Film to release on the 4th anniversary of Kara’s 

Los Angeles, CA – In 2014 and 2015, one young woman in Colorado dared to explore the raw edges of dying with grace and dignity in real time, and, in the process, unknowingly impacted tens of thousands around the world. Now, her powerful story is being shared in the documentary THE LONG GOODBYE: The Kara Tippetts Story, distributed through Ocean Avenue Entertainment and available on DVD and digital channels, on the 4th anniversary of her passing, March 22. 
A new trailer for the film has just been released:
Kara was a 38-year old pastor’s wife and mother of four young children who had begun a mommy blog titled “Mundane Faithfulness”, sharing the concept of parenting with kindness. The website already had a successful following when she began facing and processing a cancer diagnosis on the site. The site became a sacred space, as people around the world were touched by Kara’s faith, honesty, and candor. She allowed the world to walk with her as she chronicled first what it meant to be a young wife and mother battling a disease, and then ultimately what it means to live and die, with love and dignity.
Kara was thrust into the spotlight with her letter to Brittany Maynard going viral.  Kara’s vulnerability had an incredible impact on thousands of people around the world, and grew that community of support in surprising ways.  Faith influencers from around the globe began to find ways to assist Kara by sharing her posts, sending personal messages, serving the family’s needs, as well as just becoming her friend.  A few of these friends have reflected on her life:
“I want more of what Kara Tippetts had.” - Ann Voskamp, Kara’s writing mentor
“I think Kara and I both understand that deep suffering stretches the capacity of the soul.” -Joni Eareckson Tada
“The impact of her life was huge. I’m blessed to know her.” - Joanna Gaines 
During her journey with cancer, Kara was able to write and publish three books, including Just Show Up: The Dance of Walking Through Suffering Together and And It was Beautiful: Celebrating Life in the Midst of the Long Good-Bye.  Her third book, The Hardest Peace: Expecting Grace in the Midst of Life’s Hard, won the 2015 ECPA Inspirational Book of the Year award. The award was announced after Kara’s passing, but she had been informed of the win in her final days.
Kara’s story came to the attention of filmmakers Jay and Sofia Lyons early after her diagnosis, and the couple felt led to do something for her. Sofia states how God led them down a path to create the film by a series of ‘breadcrumbs’: “First, we just wanted to do something special for Kara and her family. This evolved into creating a 7-minute video about her life, which ultimately opened up a conversation about fully documenting her last few months on earth.
“Sharing this time with her family was nothing short of a holy experience.” 
One of the unique views of THE LONG GOODBYE is experiencing their local community that gathered to help the family in their time of need. “Their impact in Kara’s story is remarkable. These friends walked alongside the Tippetts through every aspect of her diagnosis, and truly show us how to love and honor someone who is at the end of their journey.”
“We know that Kara’s story will continue to have an incredible impact,” continues Jay. “Cancer and other similar diseases are impossibly prevalent in our society. If we aren’t personally facing any number of health crises, we know someone who is. Kara helps us understand what it means to be facing an impossible health battle. She helps us understand how God walks with us in our pain. She helps us understand what it means to say goodbye with grace and an abundance of love.”
In association with Freely, LLC, THE LONG GOODBYE: The Kara Tippetts Story will be available March 22 on DVD and Digital formats.
About Ocean Avenue Entertainment: 
Ocean Avenue Entertainment, Inc. is the destination for productions that offer hope to audiences looking for inspiration in entertainment. Ocean Avenue is committed to releasing inspiring and redemptive films and television programming. Its distribution strategy optimizes each release platform to find the widest possible audience theatrically on VOD, DVD and ultimately on streaming sites like Netflix and Amazon Prime. For more information, please visit
About Freely:
Freely specializes in projects that touch the human spirit.  Freely is building content across all platforms including film, TV, live events, digital media, and has recently launched a talent management division.

Friday, February 8, 2019



LOS ANGELES (February 8, 2019) — Multi-platinum selling Hillsong UNITED announces the release of their brand new single “As You Find Me.” Out today with accompanying live performance video, the track features lead vocals from UNITED’s Tulele Faletolu, who joins with Taya’s accompanying vocals in a declaration of God’s unrelenting love and grace for all humanity. You can listen to and watch the song here.

“As You Find Me” releases on the heels of the group’s most recent singles “Good Grace” and “Whole Heart.” Debuting in December, “Good Grace” set the record as UNITED’s highest streaming street week career single, which “Whole Heart” subsequently broke by an increase of 12% upon its release in January. Collectively, “Whole Heart” and “Good Grace” have already amassed over 17.5 million global streams (including YouTube views) to date.

In support of their new music, the Australian-based worship collective will return to the United States for the first time in nearly three years for their highly anticipated USA Tour 2019. The arena circuit will kick off on April 25 in Austin, TX and include stops in major markets across the nation before culminating at New York City’s Madison Square Garden on July 2. Tickets are on sale now at

Comprised of an evolving, eclectic mix of musicians and songwriters, Hillsong UNITED is undisputedly one of the genre’s most influential artists in the history of contemporary Christian music. The group has sold more than 4.7 million albums globally and garnered over 3 billion worldwide career streams to date. Their most recent album “Wonder” (2017) rocketed to No. 1 on Billboard’s Top Christian Albums chart and No. 21 on the Billboard Top 200 and set the record for the most streamed album in Christian music history (U.S.) during street week with over 4.6 million streams. Hillsong UNITED remains the No. 1 Christian artist on all social media platforms with over 10 million fans combined.

For more information, visit or @hillsongunited on all social platforms. 

About Hillsong UNITED: 
Hillsong UNITED is a multi-award-winning, platinum-selling artist whose chart successes (repeatedly no. 1 on Billboard’s Christian charts and up to #5 on Billboard 200) are only bested by the millions of lives they’ve impacted across the globe. Reporting over 50 million people singing from the Hillsong catalogue songs every Sunday, the modest band born from a youth ministry out of Hillsong Church in Australia, touts a reach of over 10 million across all major social network platforms to date, including 2.1 billion minutes garnered from YouTube viewers. Comprised of an evolving, eclectic mix of musicians and songwriters, the band is led by Joel Houston and Taya, names that have become synonymous with Christian radio, dominating airwaves with every new release. Their last four studio albums have each topped the USA Christian chart, with "Zion" and "Empires" charting no. 1 ("Zion" recently also went Gold in the US); “Oceans,” written by Houston and band member Matt Crocker recently went triple platinum in the States, counting 200+ million streams and reigning on top of the Christian songs chart for a record 54 weeks. In studio, on tour or at home, Hillsong UNITED is committed to writing songs that speak truth, create a unique sound and connect people everywhere with God, evident by the success they’ve seen globally. With over 50 countries and six continents visited, Hillsong UNITED continues to sell out arenas and stadiums around the world, including sold-out nights at the Forum, STAPLES Center and The Hollywood Bowl in Los Angeles, The Toyota Center, Oracle Arena, Air Canada Arena, American Airlines Arena (Miami and Dallas), and Red Rocks to scratch the surface. Hillsong UNITED functions from the deep understanding that everything they do is an expression of a really extraordinary God doing what only He can do, through really ordinary people.

Tuesday, February 5, 2019

We Hope for Better Things by Erin Bartels

About the Book:

The past is never as past as we'd like to thinkWhen journalist Elizabeth Balsam is asked to deliver a box of old photos to a relative she didn't know she had, the strange request seems like it isn't worth her time. But as she explores her great-aunt's farmhouse with its locked doors and hidden graves, she soon discovers just how dramatically some of the most newsworthy events of the previous two centuries shaped her own family. As she searches for answers to the riddles around her, the remarkable stories of two women who lived in this very house emerge as testaments to love, resilience, and courage in the face of war, racism, and misunderstanding.

Take an emotional journey through time--from the volatile streets of 1960s Detroit to Michigan's Underground Railroad during the Civil War--to uncover the past, confront the seeds of hatred, and discover where love goes to hide.

My Thoughts:
"I'd always had mixed feelings about maples.  While others pointed them out as happy harbingers of the cozy season to come, they had always seemed to me to be reckless- the first small flames of fall, each dropping leaf a burning ember that spread the fire until every tree was bare and dead and the November snows came like ash."  (p. 163-164)

This book!!  What a phenomenal way for me to re-enter the blogosphere!  This is a first novel, folks, and every bit of it is rich with beautiful language, multi-layered characters that linger in your heart, and a social taboo that covers generations!  WOW!!  I am blown away!

Bouncing back and forth between three different eras with varying scenarios in each generation of relationships - specifically relationships with romantic intent - between white women and black men. I'm hesitant to know if I can even use colors. Perhaps Caucasian and African American is more accurate.  Either way, this is a complex scenario, that, sadly, remains unimproved after all this time.

Bartels candidly addresses each scenario with historic accuracy - painfully so - and the way she ties all of it together will BLOW YOUR MIND!  This is brilliant!  Considering the climate around race relations these days, this book opens the door to some very rich conversations that need to be held among people of all racial groups.  Clearly, loving one another as Christ loved us is still a concept that escapes many.

I cannot wait to read everything this author produces!  She is a very talented writer indeed!  BRAVO!

About the Author:

Erin Bartels has been a publishing professional for more than 15 years. Her short story "This Elegant Ruin" was a finalist in The Saturday Evening Post 2014 Great American Fiction Contest. A freelance writer and editor, she is a member of Capital City Writers and the Women's Fiction Writers Association and is former features editor of WFWA's Write On! magazine. She lives in Lansing, Michigan, with her husband, Zachary, and their son, Calvin, and can be found online at We Hope for Better Things is her first novel.