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Entries in The Heart of Christmas (3)

Thursday
Nov152018

The Message Behind the Music: An Interview with the Murens

Andrew Wommack sat down with Robert and Elizabeth Muren—the creators of the musical The Heart of Christmas—and Jamie Wommack on the Gospel Truth broadcast. The Murens’ hearts are to provide a tool through their productions and books for capturing people’s attention and showing them God’s love. In this special interview, Andrew and the Murens discuss how they first met and their shared passion to spread the Gospel in a simple way.

Andrew Wommack: So, how did we connect? How did God put all of
us together?

Elizabeth Muren: We had been missionaries in Israel for ten years. We were working with musicals, and we started working on a film when we started listening to you. You rocked our world, and we really got so inspired by your teachings. You’d wonder why people can’t stick to what the Bible says when they’re telling stories from it, because the stories are so rich and well written. Why do they have to invent other things? So, I just thought, Wow, it would be a great thing to have if you and your ministry could help us make sure that we really stick to the Truth and to the important message. So, that’s how we contacted you. We met you and gave you our DVDs of what we’ve
done before.

AW: I got your DVD of The Covenant, which is a musical that Robert and Elizabeth put together when they were missionaries in Israel because they couldn’t preach the Gospel. Well, there were restrictions on preaching the Gospel, so you used music to do it. And it was just so awesome! It was so powerful that I remember asking if you would come here to Woodland Park. This was in 2014.

Robert Muren: Yeah, we came with our four kids, and we had thirty-five suitcases full of costumes with us. And we moved into a building here, and we spent two to three weeks of intense rehearsing with your people—with the Charis Bible College students. And we set up the first performance of God with Us .

AW: So, why don’t you give a little bit of background. What is the storyline of the musical The Heart of Christmas?

EM: The Heart of Christmas is the story of a woman called Ruth, and Jamie is Ruth—a beautiful Ruth. And this woman lives in the year 2000, and she has this crazy family like most of us have. And she’s trying to find a way of giving them the true heart of Christmas because they lost it along the way. So, she starts telling the story of her life. She takes the audience on a journey through time from 2000 to the ’40s when Ruth was brought to America from Europe during World War II.

Then she was adopted by an American mom and brought to America where we see her first Christmas and the first time she sees a Christmas tree. Her parents give her a gift. That gift is The Servant King book. So, Ruth starts reading this story of the fourth wise man, and throughout the musical, we meet her when she’s in her twenties, when she’s in her forties, and when she’s in her sixties. We see her family’s life from Christmas to Christmas, and we see how this book impacts the family through the things they go through. So, yeah. It’s a beautiful story.

Check out the full interview here. You can also purchase the Heart of Christmas Package, which includes the Servant King book and the Heart of Christmas DVD. Get your package online today, and start a new family tradition with this unforgettable story!

Written by Aria Fischer

For resources and products or to partner in the U.S., visit www.awmi.net; outside the U.S., visit www.awme.net.

Note: this interview has been edited for length and clarity.

Thursday
Nov102016

A Sneak Peek at Christmas

One Christmas Eve, my dad agreed to let my sisters and me sleep in the downstairs family room on our grandparents’ sleigh bed, the bed he put together each time my grandparents visited. They hadn’t arrived yet, so it was all ours. Once we were bathed and in our pajamas, we crawled into that magical bed. Full of giggles, we told stories until we fell asleep with the joyful anticipation that the next day was Christmas.

In the middle of the night, my younger sister woke us up. “Let’s go peek for presents,” she whispered.

As our bare feet hit the cold, unfinished floor, the fear of being caught gripped me. Huddled together we pushed forward, opening the door to the game room. The Christmas tree was still lit, its reflection twinkling on the floor. Soon, we were on our tummies, trying to get close to the festively wrapped presents under the tree, and looking for the tags with our names on them.

Suddenly, a bedroom door opened upstairs. We knew the heavy tread of our father’s footsteps as he came down the hall and neared the top of the steps. In a flash, we were on our feet, sliding back through the door, and jumping into bed as Dad came down the stairs. Our hearts were racing as we lay perfectly still, pretending to be asleep. I sneaked a peek at my dad. In his white robe, he practically glowed in the dark.

“There wouldn’t be anyone awake now and out of bed?” he asked. “I better not hear another sound.” And then he disappeared.

Christmas morning came as usual. After church and breakfast, it was finally time to gather together and unwrap the presents.

The anticipation while trying to fall asleep and then excitement over discovering what our parents had prepared for us were always part of the Christmas experience. In the same way, as you sit in the audience and the lights fall at the start of The Heart of Christmas program, a shared holiday excitement enters the room. The set is like a great expanse filled with presents as you sit in the darkened theater. Only once the music begins and the set lights up do you get to feast your senses on the holiday wonder that the cast, director, and crew of Charis Bible College have prepared for you.

Christmas music—both the familiar and the new—fills you with nostalgia as you enjoy a feeling of family within your own community. To experience this for yourself, go to www.HeartOfChristmas.org to order your tickets. Adult admission is $25, admission for children ages 5 to 11 is $15, and children under 5 (on an adult’s lap) are admitted for free.

Arrive a little early and enjoy Christmas festivities, photo opportunities with a professional photographer, and the beautiful property of The Sanctuary. Don’t miss this opportunity to discover what’s wrapped up in The Heart of Christmas for you!

Thursday
Nov032016

Shared Experience—It’s the Heart of Christmas

I was six years old the year I found a long, rectangular package with my name on it under the Christmas tree. The box was wrapped in candy cane-stamped, pine-green paper, and inside was a doll. She had caramel-colored hair, a white blouse, and a red, Scottish-plaid beanie and skirt. I named her Tammy.

After dinner and baths, I sat on the floor in pajamas with my little sister. My parents and older siblings were there too. The darkened room created a theater effect. The television played a movie about Heidi, her grandfather, and an ornery goat. Christmas lights twinkled off the surface of our shiny floor like stars reflecting on a lake. We passed around bowls of popcorn, and Tammy sat on my lap. Nothing can ever take away the sense of belonging I had in that moment. For me, family identity was formed on holidays, during our shared meals, or on game nights. Those shared experiences were embedded in me as a child, creating points of connection.

Last year I attended Charis Bible College’s original production The Heart of Christmas. My son and I went with several families from his school. Sitting shoulder to shoulder with my son, a familiar warmth rushed through my senses as soon as the lights fell.

The Heart of Christmas, an original play written by Adam Stone and Elizabeth and Robert Muren, focuses on a family who passes their Christmas traditions down through a book, as the world changes rapidly around each generation. The book is the story of a “fourth” wise man who becomes separated from the other three wise men. He spends his life looking for the Messiah, whom he missed the opportunity to honor as a babe in Bethlehem.

The stage of this multimedia play is divided into one set featuring a two-story house and one set that displays all the action that occurs outside of the home. The family’s living room takes on scenes from the past up to the present, while the main stage portrays scenes from the book. With stage changes, the main stage also becomes the historical site of world events. Background action and crowd scenes are projected onto large screens behind the set, giving the production a larger-than-life feel.

If you’re looking for a shared family experience, The Heart of Christmas will transport you and your loved ones to a magical moment where cherished memories are formed and holiday traditions are made. The early-bird price is $21 for adults, but be sure to order by November 9. After November 9, regular adult admission will be $25. Children from 5 to 11 years old are $15, and children under 5 (on an adult’s lap) are free.

Plan to come to Charis a little early that day to enjoy Christmas festivities, photo opportunities with a professional photographer, and Charis’s scenic mountain property, The Sanctuary. It’s a holiday experience you won’t want to miss.

Don’t forget: Early-bird prices will only last through November 9. Go to www.HeartOfChristmas.org and order your tickets today!