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Here we all are in the beginning of April. Patty and I shared a blessed Easter Celebration and trust yours was also full of meaning and great joy. We love all of you dearly and think of you and pray for you all often.

We are called to minister/work/serve in the media as many of you have been involved in the media as well. Yesterday, we let our thoughts focus on the media. First to define what the media is. A means of communicating thoughts, ideas, messages through print, song, radio, film and television. One thing we have discovered over the years is how crucial the messages. ( A dear director friend once told me,"Every message in media is theological. Can be good or evil, dark or light." The truth of his statement has really been born out in recent years, Amen.

Then we wondered how God has used forms of media over the years. Printed words, acting, singing goes back centuries. Then yesterday in a most unusual way the Lord presented His answer in the following true story:

Frederick emigrated from Germany to America at the age of 4 and the family settled in Iowa. Frederick grew up there and moved off to Illinois to attend college and become a minister. He married Emma and they had 9 children. In 1917 Frederick moved his family to Pasadena, Ca. to pastor a small church. The congregation could not afford to pay a full salary, so Frederick and his young son Blynn took work packing oranges. During work breaks he wrote 2 stanzas and a chorus to a song, yet felt it needed a 3rd stanza because something was missing but words would not come. Then his son heard of someone getting paid money for a song and his mom and dad needed money so he and his sisters tried to write a third stanza but could not. However, weeks later, he picked up a piece of paper that had words printed on it and thought this would make a great 3rd stanza. But a friend told him he would have to get permission to use the poem. That sent Blynn to the address on the paper---oh, My! A mental hospital. The receptionist was kind and told him the hospital used the words to encourage others. She asked the janitor to show Blynn where the words came from. This led to the basement that was divided into cells used in the past to keep mentally insane. On the wall was scribbled the words on the paper. From there the search took Blynn to a Jewish Rabbi who confirmed the words could be found in the book,"A Book of Jewish Thought" by Rabbi Hertz on page 213. (Print media) Rabbi Hertz attributed the words to a poem written in 1050AD by Meir Ben Isaac of the Worms, Germany synagogue to try and explain the Love of God. God preserved the poem even though Meir was slaughtered in a raid in Worms all the way to a hospital wall in Pasadena, Ca. PTL!

Perplexed Blynn wondered how he could get permission to use the poem, to which he was told it is public domain. He added it into the words his dad had written and asked his sister to put it to music. To be a surprise he sent it off to a publisher and received a $125 check for the song rights. Amazing, how God merged the words of a Jewish Rabbi to those of a Christian Pastor...But the story doesn't end there. This hymn was sung in many churches and Christian gatherings and printed in numerous Hymn Books. Then a few years ago, Bill and Gloria Gaither used it on their shows, and recently to speak to a new generation, Mercy Me used it in a concert. Then to carry it another step in the media, a movie was made of the story and song...Glory to God. Let me close with the third stanza. Let the words really sink into your heart.

"Could we with ink the ocean fill, and were the skies of parchment made;
Were every stalk on earth a quill, And every man a scribe by trade.
To write the love of God above would drain the ocean dry, Nor could the scroll contain the whole though stretched from sky to sky."

May God continue to bless and expand His work in the media to touch lives.
Please remember to lift us up in your prayers, and help us with your gifts.

Thank you and God Bless,
Johnny & Patty Probst
Chaplain of Media Focus

To coin a very old term, that is exactly what happened to Hollywood over the weekend. The Hollywood system was indeed knocked off their rockers to see a Faith Based Film 'I Can Only Imagine' take third place in box office receipts. They were stunned having to realize a Christian film on a mere budget of $7 Mill. opening in 1600 screens taking in $17 Mill. (A Producer's Dream) beat out Disney's big film, A Wrinkle in Time, with a whopping budget of $103 Mill. and opening on 3900 screens. We can only Praise God for His favor on this humble but mighty production.

We are so excited because this is yet another answer to our prayers over the years. When Patty and I followed the Lord's call to come to Hollywood to be a Chaplain to people in the Media we found few Christians in the Industry. God immediately opened doors to us onto Studio lots and then opportunities to start Media Focus Meetings in various locations and we had 12 Bible Studies on different lots. During those beginning years We picked up the pulse of the secular market's attitude about Christian movies. To them Christian's media work was a joke to be laughed at and dismissed and laughed at. Unprofessional, hokey, not worth watching, and never worthy of a place on the Big Screen. At some point in all of our meetings began a prayer campaign of raising our few voices in a dark industry, asking God to add to our numbers and talent until we are making film and television product as good as if not even better than what the secular market turns out. We have seen it, Praise God, we have seen it! Thank You Lord!

Years ago, I was interviewed on a radio talk show in SC. The host asked me the question, "Do you see Christians completely changing Hollywood?" To which I answered, "I doubt that, but what we pray for and I see happening is that we will get better and better at shinning the LIght of Christ, while the secular work gets darker." We certainly saw that in the movies out there this weekend.

Oh, a lesser known part about 'I Can Only Imagine.' Amy Grant was supposed to sing the song in the movie. She declined, saying, "It is Bart Millard's and he should sing it, which he did. Bless him and all our brothers and sisters in the Media.

In closing, back to where Hollywood is behind the scenes where we minister. We have been non stop in prayer and counseling to so many hurting struggling people this whole month. The devil attacks in three areas either one at a time or a combination of the three. Health, Finances, Relationships and the enemy has been vicious , relentless, deceptive, and destructive. But Praise God, as we recognize the area of attack-we go there to do battle in Prayer. Oh Victory in Jesus, my Savior Forever.

Please remember us in your prayers, we truly need your covering as we minister on the media mission field. Also, we are very thankful to those who have sent in love gifts this month, you help keep us reaching out. For others, we humbly ask, as the Lord leads you, we really need your support help as well. Ways to give are shown below. Thank you.

God bless and keep each of you. We love you in Christ our Lord,
Johnny & Patty Probst
Chaplain of Media Focus.

We were saddened to learn of beloved actor Jerry Van Dyke passing this past Friday, January 5, 2018. He was 86. Jerry Van Dyke, younger brother of Dick Van Dyke, had a long and successful career with parts in numerous TV shows; however, his most outstanding role was as Luther Van Dam in the TV Series Coach. He won 4 consecutive Emmys for his part in that Series. And that is how we knew him, as Patty and I were privileged to be on that set during shooting of the show numerous times. We laughed at his wit and humor as he prepped the tv audience before each session. We were amazed at the energy he infused into each show. Mostly, we loved the interaction we had with the cast and crew during breaks. Not sure how much impact our words and prayers had on them all, and connections with Jerry were short, but only God knows. We do know that during those times we prayed and walked with a sound tech through a very stressful and difficult time in her life. And there were others we ministered to as their needs surfaced. Thank you Lord for sending us.
And thank you, Partners, for helping make those times possible.

Bless you and we love you.
Johnny & Patty Probst
Chaplain of Media Focus

Your Prayers, along with your tax deductible checks to Media Focus, mailed to P.O.Box 618--Duarte,Ca. 91010 contributions made on www.media-focus.org enables this ministry to continue forward. God Bless!

For information on the other portion of our ministries, please check out the websites:
Book ministry: www.johnpattybooks.com
Zeal for Life: www.pattyprobst.zealforlife.com

Checks to Media Focus or donations made through our web site, www.mediafocusministry.org are tax deductible.

News Notes

I believe it was about 1985, I went to a Media F.O.C.U.S. meeting and met Johnny and Patty Probst. It was the burden in their hearts for the people in the world of entertainment that touched me..........why didn't I think more about praying for and caring about people in the media/entertainment? Chaplain Johnny had access to the studios and to people in the entertainment industry and "walked the walk," not just "talked the talk." More......

Rev.John Powell, a professor at Loyola University in Chicago, writes about a student in his Theology of Faith class named Tommy.

Some twelve years ago, I stood watching my university students file into the classroom for our first session in the Theology of Faith.

That was the day I first saw Tommy. My eyes and my mind both blinked. He was combing his long flaxen hair, which hung six inches below his shoulders. It was the first time I had ever seen a boy with hair that long. I guess it was just coming into fashion then. I know in my mind that it isn't what's on your head but what's in it that counts; but on that day I was unprepared and my emotions flipped. I immediately filed Tommy under "S" for strange... Very strange.

Tommy turned out to be the "atheist in residence" in my Theology of Faith course. He constantly objected to, smirked at, or whined about the possibility of an unconditionally loving Father/God. We lived with each other in relative peace for one semester, although I admit he was for me at times a serious pain in the back pew. More......

Darrell Scott, the father of Rachel Scott, a victim of the Columbine High School shootings in Littleton , Colorado , was invited to address the House Judiciary Committee's subcommittee. What he said to our national leaders during this special session of congress was painfully truthful.. The following is a portion of the transcript:

'Since the dawn of creation there has been both good & evil in the hearts of men and women. We all contain the seeds of kindness or the seeds of violence. The death of my wonderful daughter, Rachel Joy Scott, and the deaths of that heroic teacher, and the other eleven children who died must not be in vain. Their blood cries out for answers.

'The first recorded act of violence was when Cain slew his brother Abel out in the field. The villain was not the club he used.. Neither was it the NCA, the National Club Association. The true killer was Cain, and the reason for the murder could only be found in Cain's heart.
Read Post......
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