The Back Story: What's a Mama to do? Prodigal Son Movie


"Mama, I think God wants me to invest my life in the entertainment industry and be an actor or something!"

After raising my "out of the box" son, having him push against me, knowing he was bigger than life since he was born, I knew I had some battles ahead.

"He who is faithful in small things, will be faithful in much," I quipped. You need to be faithful right where you are and we will pray about it and see if God opens doors for you." Buying a little time, I was sure his "dream" would go away.

But next, he won a talent competition, a small scholarship to New York Film Academy, moved to New York City, at 19, (with our blessing, I must say--he was faithful in small arenas, after all! But I was on my knees and the phone with him almost every day.) and then, "Mom and Dad, I want to move to Hollywood."

"Mama, what would it be like for an athlete to train his whole life and never get into the ring to compete?!"

"You trained us our whole life to live by faith, to believe in God's dreams for our lives, to work hard and to make an impact for the kingdom. That is what I am trying to do."

Here we go again! Boy oh boy, have I earned my gray hairs! And depended a lot on prayer and faith.

Nate moved to Hollywood, moved from temporary job to job, then began securing his own jobs doing extras work, joined a church, lived with 5 boys in a tiny apartment, and pushed all of my mom buttons.

I was sitting in my quiet time chair, praying my heart out, asking God to just get him a job that would pay his bills--please, God, provide for my son.

When you are a Christian in Hollywood, you have to say "no" to more opportunities than yes, if you maintain your boundaries as a believer.

As I was praying, he was praying, too. God impressed on his heart, "Write the kind of story that you think would bring light and my message to the screen."

"I wrote a screenplay and am getting some help with the editing and I think I will produce it into a movie," he told me in a phone call.  (From my son who has never been able to spell.)

"Where will you get the money for such a venture?"

"I will try to raise it."

And so he began, and as loyal parents, we prayed and tried to help him get the word out. He gathered a crew from amongst friends, most of whom did their work for free, asked Kevin Sorbo to play the father, and Kevin graciously said he would. Nathan and Rachael put out some messages to actors in Hollywood they did not even know.

"Want to have a credit in a film? Come be in a crowd scene, no pay, just a movie credit."

People showed up. Cafe owners volunteered their places to be filmed, for free! Lots of free footage in a park. A home of a friend for some scenes. Friends played parts, Nathan and Rachael played the main roles, (they came cheap! :)) and friends filmed it, all in 9 days, no make up, no costumes, just raw, lots of good heart and first time tries.

God has big plans for our little Davids when they face their giants by faith. After it was all finished, great friends on the editing crew made it look its best, and out of the blue, a distributor picked the film up!

Miracles--low budget, first timer, no previous experience at writing a script, producing, raising money, gathering a crew or assigning actors, taking a risk of faith, praying every day, shooting in the dark--and God showed up.

And that is part of the back story.

Now Nathan says, "I learned a lot, and hope I can even do better the next time. I already have a story in mind."

God gets all the glory for how far this work of faith has come. And Nathan's prayer? That somehow, someway, many prodigals will want to go home, and find the open arms of their loving heavenly Father.

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