Jesse Carey is the Interactive Media Producer for CBN.com . With a background in entertainment and pop-culture writing, he offers his insight on music, movies, TV, trends and current events from a unique perspective that examines what implications the latest news has on Christians.
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Read recent articles from Jesse Carey:
Johnny Cash's Last Words
When Life Doesn’t Go as Planned
The Business of Redeeming
Fame's Fleeting Promise
Part of a Bigger Plan
The God of Second Chances
The Soloist: Love Conquers All
Angels and Demons: A Sublime Detective Story
Kings: Can NBC Do the Bible?
The Twitter Manifestation
No Country for 'Slumdog Millionaire'
Michael Phelps and Ted Haggard: The Connection
Kurt Warner: Beyond the Field
24: Jack Bauer's Moral Dilemma
Godless Advertising Rolls On
The "Mean" Side of Jesus
John Lennon: One of Jesus' "Biggest Fans"
Vigilance Through the Fire
John Lasseter: Stories that Live Forever
Confessions of a Swing Voter
When Hollywood Attacks
A Non-Religulous Response
Unshaken Faith in Shaky Times
The Hope of the Olympics
Church Conflict: Can We Agree to Disagree
Back to School: You've Been Left Behind
Saved by a Basic Instinct
Don't Be Religulous!
Bolt's Retreat to Simple Truths
WALL*E-Mart: What Are We Teaching Kids?
House: Hollywood's R-Rated Faith
5 Favorite Inspirational Films
Movie Review: Disney's Bolt
Kirk Cameron Talks Fireproof
The War on Christmas: Sound Off!
The Secret of the Magi
Batman: This Present Darkness
The Tipping Point of Faith 2.0
The Emerging Church Explained
The Evangelical Identity Crisis
Grace for This American Life
Hollywood Heroics and Blockbuster Faith
Grand Theft Auto: Choose Your Battles
Brian Williams' Unintentional Theology
Five Books of Great Spiritual Journeys
A New Kind of American Idol
The Enlightenment of Ted Turner
The Unlikely Success of Tyler Perry
Sorry for the delay in blog posts. I just returned from a trip to LA to attend the press a junket for the new Disney film Bolt
, which releases on Friday (my review will be up Friday morning). And even though getting a tour of the Disney Animation Studios was amazing and getting to interview animation guru John Lasseter is every fanboys’ dream, the highlight of the trip came after the junket had ended.
My flight out of Los Angeles wasn’t until 10:30 that evening, so I had most of the afternoon to kill. I ended up connecting with a friend from college is now working for the Los Angeles Dream Center
, a massive community outreach project that seeks to meet the needs of local urban neighborhoods. I had previously heard about the Dream Center, and had even heard Matthew Barnett (the local pastor who founded the Dream Center) speak when I was in college. But visiting the campus and touring the facility was deeply impacting—and even after spending a few hours there, I realized I was only just getting a glimpse at the difference they are making.
As I walked from the gym (which charges just $5 a month for people in the community), through dormitory areas for recovering addicts to the Internet café, I passed people whose lives were being radically changed. Nestled in a rough area of downtown Los Angeles, the Dream Center is a place where people go and experience the love of Christ.
My friend walked me around the facility, which is an old converted hospital, and explained to me the food drives, outreach projects, Bible studies and community initiatives (like giving basic groceries to young, at-need mothers). We eventually made it to the roof of a wing of the building that is still being renovated. It was a large, open air space that overlooked the city of Los Angeles. In the safety glass that extends around the railing there were three bullet holes.
They were sobering reminders of what this community was facing. Since the Dream Center moved in, violence had dropped 70% in the neighborhood and people that once faced the realities of gang life, prostitution and drug culture alone, now have a place to turn and get their life on track.
Like many Christians, I often struggle with the how we in the Church can actually make difference and help those that are suffering. Visiting the Dream Center wasn’t only encouraging; it was inspiring. It showed me that with God’s help and His vision, we can make a real difference in our communities and His kingdom.