Going the distance…

Hey there, friends… family… cohorts and dreamers… fellow wayfarers on this Old Fashioned journey…

It’s been a wild ride, and it’s getting only wilder.  Our whole team is exhausted… yet full of hope and joy.  I am so grateful for each and every one, for the blessing of this kind of tired…

I just wanted to quickly share this post of mine from my personal Facebook page:

Thank you. God first and all. The opening weekend of Old Fashioned at theatres nationwide is here. We’ve done the very best we can… and the real fight has now begun. This is the big leagues. Love *can* be something sacred and it’s a fight worth having. No matter the hits. It’s worth it. If you’re not too busy this weekend, come out and support our little movie that could. If the next three days are strong enough, that could help us expand into more markets. Time to go the distance…


It is in your hands, dear Father (we know it always was).  Do with our dreams and our lives as You will… for Your kingdom… and Your glory…

– Rik


An Old Fashioned Alternative to Fifty Shades of Grey


In OLD FASHIONED, Clay asks an important question: “When did treating women with respect become a joke?”

OLD FASHIONED opens in theaters this Valentine’s Day weekend, the same time as a Hollywood blockbuster that takes a completely different view on relationships and respect. And that leads to a new question: When did offering an alternative become something bad?

Count the good folks at FamilyLife among those who are glad there is a faith-based film to counteract Hollywood’s idea of “romance.”

“Every year Hollywood releases one or two major movies as their offering for couples who like to take in a romantic movie on Valentine’s Day. Occasionally the movie is fairly wholesome, but far more frequently it’s not. This year’s primary offering from Hollywood runs about as far from wholesome as possible. …

OLD FASHIONED delivers a great message about relationships, commitment, and marriage. … So whether you’re a dating couple or you’ve been married for years, you’ve got a romantic alternative to draw you to theaters on Valentine’s weekend and beyond.”

Read the full story here and then make your Valentine’s Day movie plans by finding a theater showing OLD FASHIONED!

The Old Fashioned Team


“Stop using the grace of God as a brick wall…”

Old Fashioned is really three different love stories…

Clearly, on the horizontal, it’s a romance between Clay and Amber—two very different souls that struggle and strive to find a way to pursue a God-honoring love relationship in rather complicated and secular times.

But—at an even deeper level—it’s also two additional love stores.  On the vertical, it’s a love story between God and Amber as well as another between God and Clay.

Amber has spent most of her life in motion.  She has lived in fourteen states and as she says in the film, “When life gets messy, I move on.  That’s what I do.  I’m good at it.”  A big part of her love story with God is her realization is that until she deals with claims of the Gospel in the “right here, right now” all of her messiness will simply continue to follow her and—sooner or later—she’ll run out of places to run to.

She is all spirit, full of life and grace.  Beautiful things, but she is rootless and easily blown by the wind.

Clay, on the other hand, is solid; Amber likes to refer to him as “reliable.”  The trouble is, although he is clearly a committed Christian, he has become so focused on being “solid” in and of his own strength that his own love story with God is oddly adrift.  He has turned something good (his conversion and life-change from his former, destructive ways) into something that is now on the verge of totally isolating himself from the One who saved him—and others.

He is all righteousness, full of law and obedience.  Noble things, but he is rigid and missing the joy and life that comes from embracing mercy and the communal experience.

Surprisingly, Amber’s love story with God in Old Fashioned finds its way sooner than Clay’s; and, if it wasn’t for his beloved Aunt Zella, Clay may have ended up in real trouble.

At his low point—and his most self-centered—Clay finds himself sitting at Aunt Zella’s kitchen table and she really lets him have it:

“Get over yourself, you and your pain.  Do you get this upset over children starving, over anyone else’s suffering?  Stop using the grace of God as a brick wall.”

It’s a pivotal, singular moment for Clay.  And for many that have seen the film already…

I know of so many committed Christians—true believers—that know God, but really aren’t fully convinced of His unbridled love for them… or, that they are fully and completely forgiven of their sins.  And they become so focused on their own unworthiness that they turn all of their energies and efforts inward and life becomes all about protecting themselves—building barriers (or walls) that blind them to the needs of a lost and hurting world all around them.

I know this is true because… I have been there.

Maybe you have, too.

The “good news” is, of course, that we don’t have to stay there.

All this isn’t to say we shouldn’t live carefully and with wisdom, or that if we have certain temptations that sometimes a “hedge of protection” might be in order.  It’s all about focus.  Is it on you, or on God and others?

Like the legendary hymn goes, “A mighty fortress is our God…”

Not, “A might fortress is our selves…”

Lots of love…

– Rik


A Concerned Mother’s Response to Fifty Shades of Grey


It would be hard for a prophet from the Bible to engage with our culture today; the negative feedback would be astounding: “Hater.” “God wouldn’t want you judging.” “It’s not hurting anyone.”

And while we would never compare a movie to a biblical hero, those are some of the phrases we’ve heard in posts encouraging people to see OLD FASHIONED on Valentine’s Day weekend instead of the movie Hollywood thinks is romantic film.

Thankfully, we’re not the only ones that see the potential harm. We’d like to encourage you to read what Michelle S. Lazurek wrote as an open letter to her daughter on Movieguide’s website.

“The movies you may watch do not portray women in a positive light. Hollywood does not view you the same way that God does. God wants to liberate you and allow you to be all you can be. He wants you to see yourself as special so you, as well as guys will cherish you as a special gift.”

It’s a powerful piece in its entirety, so be sure to read it. And know: we are grateful for all of you who join us in celebrating that love is patient … love is kind … love is OLD FASHIONED.

Get your tickets for Old Fashioned HERE.

The Old Fashioned Team


The risks of missionary dating


Did you know that “missionary dating” has a page in Wikipedia?

I didn’t before, but I do now.

It’s a term that is loosely applied any time a person of one faith (usually Christian) dates a person of another faith (or no faith at all).  The phrase itself implies a planned, intentional desire to convert that may have been true once upon a time, but… today, I think a lot of folks start dating without giving the idea of a person’s faith much thought.

Any consideration of conversion or evangelistic efforts is secondary, if present at all.

Is there any risk or downside to being careless with whom we date when it comes to faith in God or religion?  Can someone be drawn away from God just as easily as another might be drawn to God through a romantic connection?

Wikipedia quotes 2 Corinthians 6:14-18 which includes the warning about being “unequally yoked” with someone that isn’t on the same page with you spiritually.

In Old Fashioned, when Clay and Amber first meet they are not “equally yoked” in the strictest sense.  And this causes some genuine tension and serious misunderstandings between them.

By the end of the film, both of them do indeed end up at a place with God, individually, that has them in a much better position to pursue something romantically, together.  But it’s not an easy road and much pain could have been avoided by having some direct and intentional conversations up front, at the very beginning.

But life isn’t always as neat and tidy as it should be… and all of us are prone to not pay close enough attention at the start of a wide variety of things.  Even though we know better.

Today though, I think the consequences of being careless are rapidly becoming greater than they may have been in the recent past.  With a lot of common moral ground quickly eroding and the explosion of the hook-up culture and even the debate over sexual mores within many Christian churches…

Knowing who you are, what you believe, and what you want is possibly more important now than ever.

And there is indeed great wisdom in putting all our cards on the table up front—before our emotions (or more) become entangled with someone that really doesn’t want the same things out of life that we do.

Yes, there are always exceptions.  Some people of different faiths have had great marriages.  Some people of the same faith have gotten divorced.

It’s not about guarantees.  It’s about being obedient and putting yourself and others in the best possible position to live a life of greatest usefulness to God an in service to the needs of a broken and hurting world.

Think about that the next time some Fifty Shades of Grey poster asks you if you’re… Curious?

That’s the oldest trick in the book.  Literally…

– Rik


The Perfect Valentine’s Date Idea


Okay guys, you know about the Super Bowl. But do you realize Valentine’s Day is only a few weekends away? In other words, you best start planning quickly.

Thankfully, there’s an easy solution: dinner and a movie. And the movie choice has never been easier: OLD FASHIONED. Check out what Bill and Pam Farrel, the directors of Love-Wise, say about the movie:

 “OLD FASHIONED is a fresh look at the real meaning of desire, romance, and love. We hope it becomes a new fashion to be a bit more old fashioned in the way we all handle relationships! Make an OLD FASHIONED movie date and share popcorn and a little true love.”

That’s right: relationship experts recommend OLD FASHIONED. Now that’s Valentine’s Day made simple!

Find a theater near you showing OLD FASHIONED this Valentine’s Day. 

The Old Fashioned Team

We See You…


Have you seen the movie poster or the trailer for OLD FASHIONED in your theater? The film opens on Valentine’s Day weekend and we are hearing from lots of you who have.

When you see the poster, check out this fun line: Chivalry Makes a Comeback. Looking around today, it’s easy to say Chivalry is dead. But with OLD FASHIONED, we think there’s hope for change.

Why is that important? There are a couple of videos that have gone viral recently that help tell the story.

Take this video as an example. It has become a big “hit” on the Internet as it promotes respect and honor of women. Best of all, it features boys who understand what it means to be a man!

And then there’s this one, courtesy of the Huffington Post. As these men are reminded: mother knows best! Maybe these guys in Peru could learn something from the boys in Italy.

And we all be reminded anew that respect should never go out of style when we see OLD FASHIONED on Valentine’s weekend.

The Old Fashioned Team

Key Relationship Questions to Ask


There’s a great post at Crosswalk about the most important (and oftentimes the most difficult) questions you should ask if you are seriously considering marriage. Based on the book 12 Questions to Ask Before You Marry by Clayton and Charie King, the questions are worth asking. Among them:

  • Are you willing to grow up?
  • Have you talked about money?
  • Are you compatible?
  • Are you ready to marry an entire family?
  • Are you ready to love?

Take the time to read through the post and then start asking the right questions. And no matter where you’re at in your relationship—just beginning to date or married for 40 years—the right question to ask this Valentine’s Day is:

Do you want to go see OLD FASHIONED this weekend?

The Old Fashioned Team

The love shoebox

In Old Fashioned, one of the most charming and creative ways that Amber brings a spark of spontaneity into Clay’s life is through an ordinary shoebox decorated by her hand.

It is carefully crafted.  It bears his name.  It calls him to choose.

Inside the box are little scraps of paper with inventive and unexpected date ideas for the two of them the experience with one another.  He’s only allowed to pick on at a time; and, no peeking is allowed.

I don’t want to give away much more because what would be the fun in that?

But with Valentine’s Day right around the corner… some of you might be looking for romantic ideas to share with the object of your affection.

Maybe you just met someone new and are looking for ways to make your time together intentional and create opportunities to really get to know one another at a deeper level…

Maybe you’ve been married for a while and are looking to spice things up…

Maybe you’re still single and dreaming of the future…

In whatever state you find yourself this Valentine’s Day, it might be fun to take some time and think outside the box… think of experiences and adventures you would really like to share with someone you love and write them down… and then maybe put those ideas inside a box!  A shoebox, no less!  And decorate that shoebox with words and images that have significant and personal meaning…

And who knows, one of the ideas inside could be… see Old Fashioned in the theatre on opening weekend!

Couldn’t resist :)…

Lots of love…

– Rik


Real life is messy


To be clear, the characters of Clay and Amber in Old Fashioned are not perfect.  They are flawed, broken people who are doing the best they can in stumbling toward a better way of loving each other… and a better understanding of God’s love for them.

Just like most of us.

It’s a tricky thing whenever you explore religious or spiritual themes in a film and especially so when you get anywhere near the label of being “faith-based” or something along those lines.

Suddenly, there is this odd expectation that the characters in your film are no longer allowed to be human or imperfect; but rather, they must be… examples.

That’s a lot of pressure.

And it’s also one of the reasons that so much criticism is often leveled at faith-based films for not being realistic or dealing with real-world issues in ways that are familiar to the audience.

Honestly, given some of the parameters of this niche… I’m not sure how you could accurately and truthfully make a “faith-based” film about the life of King David… or Abraham and Sarah… or countless other Biblical characters that were deeply, profoundly flawed.  I think there would be a great deal of pressure to tidy things up a bit… or leave certain elements out so as to not rock the boat too much… or, possibly, to craft a superior and more appropriate example.

And that would be a shame.  Because it is often through brokenness that God does some of His very best work.

Now, just so there is no confusion over what I’m saying here… I’m not saying you would have to be explicit in a film depicting the darker corners of the lives of those Biblical characters… or any characters in any film.  In the case of Clay and Amber in Old Fashioned, we’re able to explore some real, grown-up issues in a way that never gets explicit or crosses any lines.

Old Fashioned is rated PG-13 for “thematic material” which translates… real life is messy.  And probably a little boring for little kids!

Our film has no coarse language (at all), no explicit sex or violence, and nothing that exploits or degrades the actors.  But, it does deal honestly and openly with some relational mistakes and regrets and situations that are very much set in reality and are just as messy and complicated as those found in our own lives.

And still, God’s grace abounds.

Bottom line is, when it comes to film ratings, if you filmed someone at a table who just opened a Bible and starting reading out loud from the Old Testament… that would almost certainly be rated PG-13 for “thematic material.”  As it should.

In any event…

It’s more than a little important when making (or watching) a film that includes religious or spiritual themes that we remember and remain open to the indisputable fact that all of us—ALL of us—are still works in progress.

As Aunt Zella says in Old Fashioned

“None of us fully arrive this side of Heaven.”

There is a deep longing for authenticity and genuine innocence growing in our culture.  And the common ground for connecting and sharing the love of Christ with those that are searching is our brokenness… not our perfection (or rather, our imagined perfection).

I mention this because…

With all of the Fifty Shades of Grey hype and comparison with Old Fashioned (which has raised our profile beyond measure and for which I’m sincerely grateful), some might start thinking that we’re positioning ourselves as some kind of Pollyanna or perfect “example” of flawless, unblemished love.

We are not.

The truth is, both stories deal with very broken, wounded protagonists… two men that are isolated, damaged, and emotionally detached.

The difference is in how the protagonists pursue their healing.

It’s not about passing judgment on anyone or anything… it’s about a sincere desire to find paths toward healing and wholeness in a world that often outright ignores the sacred aspect and purpose for which love and romance was created.

And finding those paths, in life and movies (and marketing) can be and often is… messy.

Thank God for His mercy… and for providing us all with the one and only perfect “example” this world has ever seen…

– Rik