'The Passion has life-changing effect on this Kenai viewer

Posted: Monday, March 08, 2004

My thoughts on the movie "The Passion of the Christ":

On Feb. 25, I saw the opening presentation of this movie. When the movie was over and I left the theater, I was speechless, I was so moved, I couldn't find words to speak. I wept all the way home.

I was not sure at that time how this movie would impact me. It took me into a stage of feeling numb to a stage of grief, as I began to associate with Mary, and what her heart, must have felt as she saw her beloved son, Jesus, crucified so horribly. I am a mother of two grown sons, so I saw a mother's love through Mary's eyes.

Before viewing this movie, in my finite mind, I couldn't understand the scope of the immense love Jesus had for me, a sinner. I have always believed "by faith" that He loved me, I believed "by faith" what the Bible said about his crucifixion, but for the first time ever, I saw in this movie what "birthed" such a great love for me and all mankind.

I was deeply touched and therefore beyond words to speak. It will take the remaining days of my life here on planet Earth for the Holy Spirit to minister the full content of this movie to my spirit. The Scripture says it all in John 3:16: "For God so loved the world, he gave his only begotten son, that whosoever shall believe on him shall not perish, but have everlasting life."

I began to think, how privileged I am that someone, at some appointed time, knelt and prayed for me to be saved. That prayer was heard by my heavenly Father, and he honored that prayer and brought to me the gift of salvation through his son Jesus. I repented of all my sins, and I accepted Jesus into my heart and was born again. Wow! Forever changed.

Many people were worried over the movie's violent content. It wasn't the violence that disturbed me, though it was brutal. It was the gut-wrenching thought, that Jesus, my beloved savior, my best friend was willing to take that violence upon himself for me. It was my beating he took. My sins were nailed to that cross. So was the sins of all mankind throughout the ages. What love and courage and determination he had to do this for me.

If I could personally thank Mel Gibson for making this movie, I would say to him, "Mel, thank you for listening to God and making this movie. I am forever changed in such a deep, deep eternal way."

May God bless each one that reads this, Linda Barnes, Kenai

Community's support gets credit,

raves for outstanding performances

To everyone unable to attend the play "My Favorite Year" by the Kenai Performers, you missed an amazing event. From the director to the cast, the Kenai Peninsula Orchestra, the set design crew and backstage crew to the costume design committee, there was an unbelievable amount of talent shown in this play. Each and everyone of you are very special individuals. It was truly a beautiful performance! Thank you so much and thank you to all the many volunteers who sold tickets, who ushered, helped with our Gala Event, who helped with concessions at intermission and all those who helped in many other ways that I for one probably don't know about.

Many of the volunteers were students from our local high schools. Thank you for our red T-shirts. They are great and I am enjoying wearing mine. The posters were beautiful!

And I do want to applaud the wonderful audiences. We so much appreciate your support. I do know that many returned to see the play more than once.

Thank you so much to Wells Fargo and to Tesoro for their very generous donations. The continued success of the Kenai Performers is dependent on the support and generosity of our local community.

I have said many times and will say one more time that I am blessed to live in such a wonderful community with so many caring, generous and talented people.

Please continue to check in with our Web site to learn about upcoming events and how you can continue to support us with our new facility. The address is www.kenaiperformers.org.

June Harris, president, Kenai Performers

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