YOU ARE NOT A BAD BOY...
The story of your life is a long and sustained assault on your heart by the enemy who knows who you could be and fears you. But it's also the story of the long and mysterious pursuit of your heart by God who knows you truly and loves you deeply. John Eldredge.
I had the chance to spend this weekend in Colorado Springs with 35 of the most honest, broken, hurting and powerful men I've encountered. Spanning the entirety of North America, we gathered together with the team from Restoring the Soul led by Michael Cusick to watch 78 hours of unforgettable pain and transformation flow through the men participating in the intensive weekend program. The takeaway? Men believe they're inherently bad, unworthy and incapable of love. If you take all of their stories and combine them, the one common denominator is that men's hearts are profoundly wounded. And from those wounds, brokenness flows. Men's hearts are the battleground through which the Kingdom of God invades earth.
And what was the takeaway? Did we all learn how to control our behavior? Did we all spend the weekend immersed in spiritual disciplines to eradicate sin in our lives? Did we read books and formulate plans for deeper accountability? Did we cultivate an emotional high? Absolutely not. We allowed God to show up as a Father in our deepest wounds and speak truth in their core. We allowed God to show up as men renounced lifelong lies they've believed. We watched their shame fall off like scales in the light of Jesus Christ. We saw seeds planted by God himself that will result in the fruit of repentance in years to come. And all of it was predicated on the kindness of God who spoke this word over all of us... "You are not a bad boy...you are my boy.”
WHERE ARE YOU GUYS AT WITH THE FILM?
2015 has been the breakthrough year for Hearts of Men, not without several setbacks, financial restrictions and resistance. Despite the tension, we are on the 8th revision of the film's edit. Chiseling away needless excess. Refining. Rephrasing. Moving large sections of story to achieve the maximum levels of clarity and power the film deserves. Our team plans to "lock" or "finish" the edit of the film by the end of January. A locked edit simply means the film’s core message and flow is final. Each day of work since 2013 has been an effort to achieve this locked edit. This is huge. Absolutely the biggest milestone for our team since day 1.
The post production process will begin in early February and last roughly 3 months. This will involve scoring the film (music), color grading (visual aesthetic), sound design, voiceover and self-publishing. Overall, this is the fine-tuning stage of the process that brings every frame, every line of dialogue and every moment to new life. Post-production immerses the viewer in the story and has been the stage of the film I (Tony) have looked forward to with great expectation since I will be personally writing the music for the film.
WHERE WILL WE BE ABLE TO SEE THE FILM WHEN IT RELEASES?
Jason Pamer (Producer) and I are working on tentative plans for a small series of feasts to be held across the United States this spring and summer. These events will be like nothing you've been part of - and they'll actually be the environments in which the film is shown and released in limited format before being released commercially or publicly. We envision a meal prepared by an executive chef using the finest local ingredients. The most skilled local sommeliers and baristas on hand. Artisan cheeses and breads. Good food, good drink and an encounter with the Father. A living experience of grace - and it will precede the viewing of the film. Why? Because we don't think you should show a film about the feast we're all being invited into without immersing yourself in one. We are praying about cities to host these banquets in (5 to start with) and will release information in the coming winter and spring months about where these feasts will take place.
This film needs the next 5 months of finesse and work before it gets out into the wild, and our feasts will be the first place for the film to be seen by our friends, family, supporters, critics and those wanting to know what these last 6 years have all been about. We are elated to begin to see how it affects you all so we can gauge how it needs to be released online, in a public setting and through the church and conference culture.
WHAT DOES UNEARTHED NEED TO FINISH THE FILM?
Intercession and dollars. Committed prayer for the breakthrough of the film is our biggest weakness because it's difficult to constantly ask for help from all of you - especially those who have already given in both areas. Pray for Jason, Eric, Noel and myself - for our wives and children, for our work and for wisdom, revelation and discernment to know the voice of God and respond. We also need an additional $70k so we can actually pay for the post-production of the film. To this point, we've been given (charitably) $830k of the $900k necessary. That's incredible. We are not in debt and we'll owe nothing to anybody once the film releases. Together, let's ask for the Father to release the final amount in his timing so we can move forward - we're as ready as we've ever been. Anticipatory. Anxious. Elated. Thankful. Expectant.