Tom Cruise Returns to His Roots in ‘Top Gun: Maverick’

Tom Cruise is one of the biggest box-office stars of all times. And in a career that has spanned the decades he is once again wearing the crown.

Film-goers may remember Cruise for his initial breakout vehicle, the 1983 classic “Risky Business.”

Other hits would soon follow for the actor-producer; notably, the “Mission: Impossible” franchise series, which kicked off in 1996 and played out over six installments.

This is where Cruise really established his credentials as an action star. He reportedly performed many of his own stunts, a rare feat in a business that in many cases computer-generated action scenes have supplanted authentic ones.

He is presently sitting atop the box office, courtesy of his latest blockbuster “Top Gun: Maverick.” The movie is the long-awaited sequel to his 1986 hit film “Top Gun.” Its Memorial Day weekend box-office tally rang in at over $150 million, making it the biggest debut of his career.

It’s been a long road for the movie’s 2022 release. Paramount Pictures first announced the idea in 2010 and secured from the original film the indispensable services of Cruise and Val Kilmer to reprise their roles.

Tony Scott, the first “Top Gun” director, was tapped to direct the sequel. Sadly, Scott passed away and pre-production was consequently halted. Years later Joseph Kosinski was brought in to handle the direction, and work on the project resumed. In a moving tribute, “Top Gun: Maverick” is dedicated to Scott’s memory.

Release of the sequel to “Top Gun” had been scheduled for July of 2019, but it was delayed until 2020 to allow additional time for some of the more complex action sequences to be filmed.

Paramount rescheduled the release to June 2020. But due to the onset of the pandemic, a new date of December was set. Then it was bumped to July 2021, and then to November as the studio and film industry attempted to cope with the unexpected prolonging of pandemic-related restrictions.

Writers painstakingly developed the characters with deference to the stars’ younger “Top Gun” selves.

In the case of Cruise’s character, Maverick’s romantic interest is portrayed by Jennifer Connelly. Her character’s name, Penny Benjamin, was brought up in dialogue in the original movie by Maverick’s Radar Intercept Officer and best friend Nick “Goose” Bradshaw. The dialogue revealed Penny to be the “admiral’s daughter,” a family relationship that was inserted into the new sequel’s plot.

Maverick has a new assignment in the sequel, i.e., to train a group of young pilots for the Navy’s Strike Fighter Tactics Instructor program, aka “Top Gun.” The crew of young aviators includes the son of Maverick’s now-deceased best friend, Goose.

In part because the new movie is a sequel to a film released over three decades ago, it includes themes that a whole lot of people have been hungering for. It is unapologetically pro-America, pro-military, and pro-manhood.

Social media posts tell the story of spontaneous hoots and hollers from gleeful movie attendees being emitted at cineplexes around the globe.

In Taiwan specifically, according to the Central News Agency of Taiwan, audiences who were present at the premiere of the film broke into applause and cheered at the sight of their national flag being displayed onscreen in the movie.

The Taiwanese and Japanese flags had reportedly been removed from a 2019 trailer because of China’s political demands.

“It is unprecedented,” Ho Siu Bun, a film critic in Hong Kong, told VICE.com. “Major film studios have never been shy about pandering to the Chinese market. And even if it is a simple scene, editing is very costly. So no one knows why they changed it back.”

China’s Tencent Pictures had been designated as an investor and marketing partner of the film. However, the Chinese company backed out of the business arrangement.

The Wall Street Journal reported that Tencent pulled out due to concerns that Chinese leaders might be miffed over the pro-military content of the film. It is presumed that Chinese officials would not pleased with the scene restoration of the Taiwanese and Japanese flags. So far “Top Gun: Maverick” has not been given a release date in China.

Cruise’s film, and the success it has experienced so far, brings up an important cultural issue that has seemingly received very little attention, but is deserving of public discourse.

Once upon a time Americans had a common bond in the television that they watched and the movies that they viewed. Hasn’t been that way for a while now.

But there really are palpable things that serve to bind any society together as a culture. One of these things is having a common body of literature, or in modern-day terms, a common body of entertainment fare. Something that everyone is tuned into at a given time.

These media components have the capacity to serve as a kind of glue that secures people together in a life experience. It also can translate into a unifying cultural dynamic.

One other film-related note deserves commentary.

“Top Gun: Maverick” is one of the first slices of entertainment media in quite a while that is not just entertaining. It is a nod to visceral manhood, which over time has been relegated to the cutting room floor.

Dog the Bounty Hunter’s Supernatural Assist

Most folks know Duane Chapman by his stage name, Dog the Bounty Hunter. He worked as a professional bounty hunter in the past, and he’s still at it.

Duane was ultimately able to parlay his work experience into TV stardom through a realty show based on his unique creds.

He became an international news item in 2003, when he apprehended Max Factor heir Andrew Luster. The keen interest and revved up publicity in the Luster story paved the way for his first reality series “Dog the Bounty Hunter,” which ran for eight years on the A&E network.

After the show completed its run, Duane jumped into another reality show, along with his wife Alice Elizabeth, best known as “Beth.” The show, “Dog and Beth: On the Hunt,” was part of the CMT lineup. Another series, “Dog’s Most Wanted,” aired on WGN America.

In a sad turn of events, Beth lost her battle with throat cancer in 2019. Her health struggles were chronicled in an A&E series titled “Dog and Beth: Fight of Their Lives.”

Most recently, Duane appeared, via a vocal performance, on the hit television show “The Masked Singer.” Dressed in gold armadillo attire, he presented The Clash’s “I Fought The Law.”

Although voted off the show, he didn’t skip a beat. He immediately moved on to his next task, which involved a manhunt over a reported double murder in Moab, Utah.

Duane knows exactly what it’s like to be on the opposite side of the law. At age 15, he ran away from home and joined a biker gang. It was back in the 1970s, when he was manning a getaway car, that his friend shot and killed a man during a struggle that involved an illegal marijuana buy.

Convicted of first degree murder, Duane was sentenced to five years in a Texas prison and wound up serving 18 months at the State Penitentiary. Through it all, the future bounty hunter was guided to a deeper relationship with God.

In a recent appearance on “The Prodigal Stories Podcast,” he revealed some of the details of his faith journey. Duane’s mother was an Assemblies of God minister who believed in the power of prayer.

“She was a pastor. My mother … all day long, her whole life, all she did was pray for us,” he said.

Going to church was a routine part of his early life.

“We had to go to church,” he shared.

If he didn’t, his mom would take away the keys to his wheels.

Like many who are raised in a faith-filled home, at one point he fell away from his faith. It happened during his youthful tumultuous years.

Rationalizing, he thought, “[God is] not going to care really what I do as long as I say the blessing and keep God kind of first.”

Soon he discovered that trying to fool yourself about your relationship with your Maker can lead you down a very dark path. In Duane’s case, it was a crime-ridden one.

“After going to prison in the ‘70s in Texas for 18 months, I realized right then that, at the end of this rainbow of crime and all that, is not a bucket of gold, it’s a cell,” he said.

Despite his criminal conviction and prison sentence, Duane’s mother never gave up on improving her son’s spiritual standing. After serving his time and being released from jail, his mom found a way to minister to him during his sleeping hours.

“As I slept, my mom put on a recording of the Bible, and every morning, when I woke up, I’m like, ‘Mom, why did you?’ She’s like, ‘I don’t know who turned that on,’” Duane said.

As time passed, his mother’s efforts and prayers began to produce miraculous results.

“I started acting nice,” he said, understanding that it would be difficult to sustain.

“I’m an Indian outlaw, so I started acting like I wasn’t [nice]. Then I started thinking, ‘What would Jesus do right now?’”

Duane found out that virtue can actually become a habit.

“I started pretending to be good and, all the sudden, I started being good.”

During his long and successful career as a bounty hunter, he has captured thousands of fugitives. The hardships that he suffered enable him to help others in a way that very few can – a vessel of saving grace delivered to a fellow wayward traveler.

“I would capture guys and tell them, ‘Listen, man, I’ve been there, done that … we need supernatural help,’” he said.

The Prodigal Son who shows others how to get back home.

Disney Now Caught In Its Own Mousetrap

Disney has painted itself into a corner.

The predicament in which the entertainment media giant now finds itself is one that is self-made. It is also one from which the company is unlikely to escape unscathed.

Some of the policies implemented and statements recently made by a number of Disney’s top level executives have created a backlash from all sides of the ideological and cultural spectrum. And the whole thing may wind up being one of the worst public relations disasters in the history of corporate Hollywood.

It’s an unthinkable saga. Disney became the recipient of severe criticism over the company’s response to a proposed bill in Florida regarding parental rights in education.

Some of the company’s most vocal employees staged a pressure campaign against Disney management, urging executives to use their influence in Florida to oppose the bill H.B. 1557.

Reported statements made by Disney resulted in customers and even some employees taking offense. Also placed in jeopardy were special legislative privileges that had previously been bestowed on Disney.

In a nationwide campaign, critics of the legislation, along with a complicit media, mischaracterized the bill, portraying H.B. 1557 as an anti-speech bill.

But the legislation did not ban specific words or any type of informal classroom discussion. Additionally, it did not require schools to notify parents concerning a child’s gender identification. What it did do was protect children in school settings from being introduced to ideas that were not age appropriate.

The Mouse House, which frequently remains silent on issues of societal and ethical importance to our own country and the world abroad, loudly condemned the duly passed Florida legislation.

But it became official. Despite the hubbub, Governor Ron DeSantis signed the Florida bill into law.

Adding to the company’s troubles, several leaked videos surfaced of a virtual meeting in which Disney executives vowed to depict more “transgender and gender-nonconforming” characters in future productions.

The footage led to the impression that the company had betrayed its core audience, particularly adults who merely desired to have their little ones entertained and not indoctrinated.

Internally, there are some who disagree with the stance of the company for which they work. We may come to find that they actually comprise a majority of Disney employees. In any event, they released an open letter to the press and social media.

In their own words, the group of employees indicated that Disney’s response to the Florida law has made them feel as if they don’t belong “in a company actively promoting a political agenda so far removed from our own.”

The letter was anonymous and clearly stated the reason for its anonymity. “[Those] of us who want the company to remain neutral can say so only in a whisper out of fear of professional retaliation,” it read.

Seems like forever that Disney has been in existence. Over the years the company has been mindful of the importance of safeguarding its family brand, and more importantly, the minds and imaginations of the children entrusted to them by parents, grandparents, and guardians of youthful innocence.

This was a reputation that above all else was worth more than all the gold that the Magic Kingdom can hold.

Management right now is playing a villain that Captain Hook could never have matched. In addition to the promised introduction of a panoply of gender characters, the leaked videos also made the announcement that at Disney’s theme parks around the world, and presumably in its productions, references to phrases such as “ladies and gentlemen” and “boys and girls” will no longer be used.

This stance places the company in another PR pickle. Its website lists merchandise that is offered in the categories of “women’s,” “men’s,” “girls,” and “boys.”

Lots of royal characters are also in danger of being de-throned. Beloved princesses such as “Sleeping Beauty”’s Princess Aurora, “The Little Mermaid”’s Princess Ariel, and “Aladdin”’s Princess Jasmine may have their tiaras snatched away. And princes such as “Cinderella”’s Prince Charming, “Sleeping Beauty”’s Prince Phillip, and “Frozen”’s Prince Kristoff better watch their own crowns.

The primary assets of The Mouse House are found in its ownership of the original characters and stories. Over the years, Congress has extended Disney’s valuable copyright many times, due to the company’s successful lobbying efforts.

When Mickey Mouse first publicly emerged, the copyright law granted 56 years of protection. Mickey’s copyright would have expired in 1984, and the character would have become public domain. If that had occurred, anyone would have been allowed to use the animated celebrity without having to ask Disney’s permission or pay compensation.

However, before the 1984 expiration date hit, Congress passed an extension, which moved Mickey’s copyright expiration to 2003.

Then before the 2003 deadline arrived, Congress passed a revision, which extended Mickey’s protection deadline to January 1, 2024.

Now Disney faces the possibility that it could lose its valuable ownership of Mickey, should the 2022 midterm elections turn out to be favorable toward the GOP and Republicans become the House majority. This could result in significant losses for the entertainment giant.

House Republican Study Committee Chairman Jim Banks (R-Indiana) has sent a letter to Disney CEO Bob Chapek, indicating that he will support the 2024 expiration of the Mickey Mouse copyright.

Mickey would then no longer be Disney’s property, but he would instead belong to the public-at-large. The entertainment company’s plans to present inappropriate sexual material to young children is what led Rep. Banks to conclude that he will not support any further extensions of Disney’s copyrights.

Rep. Banks also noted that Disney maintains a close business relationship with China. In his letter, the congressman noted that the company “…has allied with a hostile foreign regime and domestic ideologues who seek to tear our country apart.”

If all of this weren’t enough to make Disney do a quick turnabout, there is a strong possibility that the company may experience a significant loss of privilege in the way it has managed the Sunshine State’s Disney World.

Gov. DeSantis has announced that he is “receptive” to altering a decades-long state law that gives Disney the power to self-govern its Disney World properties.

Florida lawmakers have already met to look into repealing the 1967 law, which allowed Disney to establish its own government through the Reedy Creek Improvement District. Through this arrangement, Disney, in effect, is allowed to function as its own government, providing fire protection, emergency, utility, and planning services for the properties that surround Disney World.

The bottom line is if business execs don’t get their act together soon, it will mark the beginning of the end for the Happiest Place on Earth.

China Cancels Keanu Reeves

Keanu Reeves had his breakthrough role in 1989, when he starred in the sci-fi comedy “Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure.” Two movie sequels and two television series based on the film soon sprang forth.

The more serious side of the actor’s artistry emerged in dramas that included “My Own Private Idaho” and in action films such as “Point Break” and “Speed.”

Keanu, however, was destined for super stardom. He achieved this high watermark when he landed the role of Neo in a film that would ultimately become the “Matrix” franchise series.

In a realm that few celebrities experience, he was able to continue to sustain his fame with yet another cinematic franchise, the “John Wick” film series.

In terms of his ancestry, Keanu is the personification of diversity. His father is Native Hawaiian, Chinese, English, Irish, and Portuguese. His grandmother on his father’s side is Chinese Hawaiian, a woman who imbued a young Keanu with Chinese culture and philosophy. His mother is from Beirut, Lebanon, the place where the actor was actually born. His father left when Keanu was only three years of age, but a reunion with his dad occurred when he was thirteen. It took place on the island of Kauai.

Despite his Chinese heritage, his years of collaboration with Chinese film entities, and his mega-star status with the Chinese population, Keanu was recently severely censored by Chinese authorities for his participation in a benefit concert for Tibet House, a non-profit organization affiliated with the exiled spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama.

Previous entertainment figures that were canceled by communist officials for their expressions of support for Tibet include Richard Gere, Selena Gomez, Lady Gaga, and Brad Pitt, who was canceled and then brought back.

In a predictable development, China’s streaming platforms have now erased almost all of Keanu’s works from their catalogues as well as from search results in the Chinese language that appear under his name. His most well known movies that have been wiped away include “Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure,” “Speed,” and “The Matrix” films.

Bizarrely, “Toy Story 4,” for which Keanu voiced a character, has been left online. However, the actor’s name has been purged from the credits.

Keanu’s newfound redacted status in China at a time of heightened geopolitical tension is a strong indication that Beijing censors will prohibit his upcoming projects from being distributed.

Unlike a host of other creative artists in Hollywood, Keanu appears to be the complete opposite of a self-centered celeb. Known to be a dedicated team player as well as an individual who actually safeguards his privacy, Time magazine once characterized him as “Hollywood’s ultimate introvert.”

A special part of his appeal is a humility that he exudes when the cameras aren’t rolling. He has demonstrated a genuine goodness in many a real life circumstance. The internet is replete with stories, interviews, and pictures of Keanu in virtuous action.

The first of his good deeds to go viral occurred when video footage emerged of him offering his New York subway seat to a fellow passenger who was carrying a heavy bag.

Another incident that spread like wildfire on social media was one involving a United Airlines flight from San Francisco to Los Angeles, which was forced to make an emergency landing in Bakersfield, California. Keanu spent time reading to fellow passengers, dining with them on fast food, and entertaining them with his country music performances. He generously posed for photos with his traveling companions, took the lead in helping them deal with the stress of an emergency landing, and assisted others in getting to their destination.

Additionally, in an unusual sort of re-negotiation of a contract for the “Matrix” sequels, Keanu took a pay cut so that more money might be available for use on special effects and costumes.

After his sister Kim was diagnosed with leukemia, he reportedly gave 70 percent of his $35 million compensation for the first “Matrix” film to leukemia research.

Every stunt man in “John Wick 3” received a Harley-Davidson motorcycle courtesy of Keanu, following a difficult stunt-oriented filming session.

He told Esquire, “That fight was 17 shooting days. We trained every day for seven hours for three weeks going through all the motions. We learned the term ‘super-perfect.’ You want to go for super-perfect. So, obviously I was getting paid well. And so, you know, just as a thank you to those guys. Got them some gifts.”

After hearing that Al Pacino was not going to be a part of “The Devil’s Advocate” due to a shortfall in the movie’s budget, he took a pay cut to bring the legendary Pacino back in.

More than a billion kids around the globe have benefited from a leading children’s charity that Keanu set up.

Consistent with his low-key persona, he generally keeps his religious convictions under the vest. On one occasion, when an interviewer asked permission to inquire about his religious beliefs, he politely replied, “Please don’t. I think it’s personal and private.”

In a separate interview, when asked whether he was a spiritual person, he revealed that he is indeed very spiritual and a believer in the Almighty.

“Do I believe in God, faith, inner faith, the self, passion, and things? Yes, of course! I’m very spiritual … Supremely spiritual … Bountifully spiritual … Supremely bountiful,” he said.

When it comes to Keanu, in art and in life China’s loss is the rest of the world’s gain.

Disney’s ‘Turning Red’ Has Parents Concerned

Disney’s brand was always thought to have been family-friendly. Not so anymore.

Now the Mouse House’s products actually have to be pre-screened to determine whether or not they are suitable options for children’s viewing.

With all the digital devices and content providers that have permeated the media universe, it is difficult for parents to even keep up with what is out there for kids and adolescents to access with a simple click.

Disney, via Pixar, is currently streaming a movie that is over-the-top in terms of its unsuitability and potential to cause outright harm to our youth.

The film “Turning Red” is being marketed as a coming of age story. The setting is a Chinatown community located in Toronto, Canada. Lead character Meilin “Mei” Lee is 13 years-old and is in the process of transitioning to full-fledged womanhood.

Curiously, in this new state of transition, Mei discovers that whenever she feels angry, upset, or otherwise emotionally charged, she turns into a giant red panda. This condition is oftentimes accompanied by an unpleasant scent and some unfortunate occurrences.

The cinematic tale is apparently meant to be an allegory about female puberty, a kind of symbolic representation of the physiological, psychological, and emotional changes that occur in a female’s life as she journeys from youth to adolescence.

The panda manifestation, red in color, problematic, and emotionally intense, only happens to the women in Mei’s family.

The representation of the menstruation process is disrespectful and debasing in nature. But this is far from the worst of the film’s flaws. Adding to the potential mind, body, and soul-altering mix are the exploration of sexual urges and blatant participation in occult practices.

The movie is directed by Oscar winning Chinese Canadian filmmaker Domee Shi. As if on cue, mainstream media critics are showering it with praise. On the other hand, a whole lot of parents are not. Faith-filled folks in particular are really riled up.

The red panda is depicted in promos as cute and cuddly, which is seemingly designed to appeal to small children. However, there are numerous scenes in the film that in no way should be viewed by this demographic.

Christian parents should be especially concerned with the depictions of ancestor worship, polytheism, ritualistic practices, and supernatural transformations.

In the film, the transformation of little girl to panda is viewed as a curse. The only way for Mei to be relieved of the curse is to have the oldest male in the family, which in her case happens to be her grandfather, perform a ritual ceremony that coincides with the next red moon.

Prompted by the themes in the film, one prominent pastor is warning parents about the movie. Mike Signorelli, founder and lead pastor of the multiple location V1 Church in New York City, recently released a video on social media and conducted an interview with CBN’s Faithwire, all in an effort to inform parents of his religious concerns over “Turning Red.”

A former atheist, the pastor was led to Christianity by a friend after a year of faith discussions.

According to Pastor Signorelli, the sexual content of the movie as well as the menstruation metaphor are enough, in and of themselves, to make the film inappropriate for the younger demographic.

“If you extract the spiritual aspect of this movie, just on the basis of the content being about menstruation and this coming of age, it’s not appropriate for children,” he advised.

However, Pastor Signorelli finds the occult-related content even more disturbing.

“Even within the first eight minutes, you have chanting, communication with ancestors, and immediately a red flag should start to go off,” he stated.

He also noted that scenes in the film contain numerous concepts that conflict with a biblical worldview. He warns of danger in the fact that “the movie contains an intermingling of spirituality and ritual.”

This intermingling occurs, for example, during the ritual to rid Mei of the red panda spirit. She crosses into another “dimension” and encounters a deceased ancestor.

It occurs in a nightmare sequence too, one in which statues with glowing red eyes appear to be tormenting her, a scene that the pastor believes would be highly disturbing to an audience of children.

During his clerical tenure, Pastor Signorelli has had extensive experience in a deliverance ministry, one in which he has had a key role in confronting evil itself. This enables him to recognize imagery in the film that is not merely inappropriate, but dangerous to the spiritual well-being of our young ones.

“I believe that every parent — not just a pastor, but a parent — has a mandate to actually screen material, because every single device you have in your home is a portal, either a window into the things of God or, unfortunately, things that I believe are demonic,” he said.

In his post, the pastor offered a summary of his major concerns.

“I cannot in good faith allow you to show this to your children knowing what I know about demonic spirits, knowing what I know about the cultures that demons create,” he said.

Parents, relatives, and guardians of children and teens would be wise to take heed of Pastor Signorelli’s words regarding this film and other youth-oriented media that have hidden agendas embedded within.

Corbin Bernsen’s Rebooted Life

Corbin Bernsen was recently blessed with the news of a new acting gig on a project with which he is intimately familiar.

The actor-director is best known for his role as a high-powered lawyer on the iconic Steven Bochco television series “L.A. Law,” which was on the air for eight seasons from 1986 to 1994. It won fifteen Emmys, including four for Outstanding Drama.

The success of the series generated sufficient demand for a movie version in 2002. As in the original show, the film’s stars included Bernsen, Blair Underwood, and Jill Eikenberry.

Like Hollywood loves to do these days, the hit show is being rebooted and will allow fans to watch Bernsen, Underwood, and Eikenberry reunite to star in the newly reconstituted “L.A. Law.”

Bernsen and Underwood will reprise their roles as Arnold Becker and Jonathan Rollins, while Eikenberry will again play her original character of Ann Kelsey in the re-launch.

Kacey Rohl and Juliana Harkavy, best known for The CW series “Arrow,” have also been cast in the reboot.

Bernsen’s career path over the years has positioned him in numerous starring TV roles such as “Psych,” “Cuts,” and “The Dentist,” and film roles that include the “Major League” movies. Currently, he appears as Kyle Nevin on the television series “The Resident.”

As a committed Christian, Bernsen has in more recent times channeled his efforts toward faith-oriented content. To this end, he and collaborator Chris Aronoff have created an independent production company called Home Theater Films, which has released faith-based movies such as “3 Day Test,” “Beyond the Heavens,” “Life with Dog,” and “Mary 4 Mayor.”

In an era when many prominent celebrities are highly vocal about their anti-life positions, Bernsen has been quite public about his pro-life stance.

Following the birth of he and wife Amanda’s first baby, the couple longed for a second child.

“We get pregnant [again], we find out it’s going to be a boy and we name it Henry. We got his room, we’re starting to get all the stuff together…,” Corbin said. However, during the last trimester check-up, the doctor approached the two of them with some dire news.

“We have a little problem, the amniotic fluid is not forming, the kidneys of the baby are disappearing,” the physician informed them.

Following the doctor’s directive, a decision was made to end the pregnancy. Bernsen described that fateful day, when he and his wife were persuaded to have their unborn child’s life ended.

“So we made this choice, we go in for what you can’t possibly tell me was not the worst day of my life and we terminate… You don’t have to use all of the words like ‘abortion’… they have these beautiful words that make it sound like it’s okay, [but] it was the worst day of our life,” Corbin said.

Time passed and the couple eventually sought to bring another child into the world. One day while attending a routine Hollywood meeting, Bernsen received a telephone call from his wife that he will never forget.

“We’re having twins,” “Amanda exclaimed.

“None of us were Christians, none of us believed in God, and we were having twins!” Bernsen remarked. He was stunned because twins did not run in their family.

“When I started finding my faith, I could put it in context that [there was] something much greater, more powerful. It brought me closer to God because I realized that God was in control in that situation,” he said.

Bernsen and his wife have been blessed with four sons. The experience has taught him a priceless lesson. It has even changed the direction of his vocation.

“I realized that God is continuously, wonderfully always in control,” he stated. “Now as I try to design movies I want to put that in there.”

Speaking at a National Religious Broadcasters convention a few years ago, Corbin shared the devastating personal story. But he also let it be known that the worst day is what eventually led him to God.

Mike Rowe’s ‘Story Behind the Story’

Mike Rowe is a familiar face to viewers all across the television universe.

The multi-TV show host and narrator extraordinaire has yet another production in the works. His new series, “The Story Behind the Story,” is set to debut this May on TBN.

Storytelling will be the means with which some tried-and-true values will be presented to a new generation, and perhaps re-instilled in those of us who may have forgotten how important they are in the cultivation of a productive and caring society.

When Mike was asked recently about the most effective way of teaching folks about the work ethic and broadening people’s understanding of the dignity and integrity that potentially accompany hard work, his answer was a straightforward one. Tell the story.

“I don’t think there’s one specific answer or playbook,” he said. “But part of the answer has to be storytelling. We have to do a better job of magnifying people who have prospered or found a measure of happiness by doing the very things that we want to celebrate.”

Stories have expanded the consciousness of human beings since time began, due to their inherent capacity to reach within us.

Mike has mastered the art of storytelling, a unique gift that many desire but few possess. He uses the power of parables to establish a set of circumstances and then proceeds to confront in a non-threatening way the ethical challenges that are hidden within.

“Nobody wants a sermon and nobody wants a lecture and nobody wants to be scolded,” he said. “And I certainly don’t want to do any of those things, either. So it’s a tricky balance.”

Mike’s experience as an actor, author, television host, and narrator will no doubt serve him well as he launches this latest venture. Best known for his programs “Dirty Jobs,” which airs on the Discovery Channel, and “Somebody’s Gotta Do It,” which originally aired on CNN but is currently on TBN, Mike’s TV bona fides can fill volumes.

He hosted “Worst Case Scenarios” for TBS and “The Most” for The History Channel and also held host duties on QVC, the home-shopping network.

In addition, he has been featured in a spate of television commercials, including ones produced for Ford, Caterpillar, and Viva.

He has a truly extensive background as a narrator, having served as the announcer on “ABC World News with Diane Sawyer” for several years.

He is also the narrator voice heard on shows that include Discovery Channel’s “Deadliest Catch,” “Shark Week,” “American Chopper,” “American Hot Rod,” “Wild Pacific,” “Silver Rush,” “Ghost Lab,” and “How the Universe Works”; National Geographic Channel’s “Wicked Tuna”; and SYFY Channel’s “Ghost Hunters.”

Over the years he has viewed himself as a booster for blue-collar and white-collar workers alike. The contents of his projects seek to put in a positive light the qualities of diligence and self-initiative.

His motivation seems to spring from his rural upbringing and the powerful influence that his extraordinary grandfather Carl Knobel had upon his life.

“He could build a house without a blueprint,” Mike explained. “He only went to the seventh grade, but he was an inspiration to me. [He] went on to become a skilled tradesman.”

“…‘Dirty Jobs,’ which most people know me from, was a tribute to him,” Mike said.

He shared that finding ways to tell stories about people who have things in common with his granddad “was the impetus for so much of what I’ve wound up doing.”

“Nobody’s more surprised than me to see how that has caught hold,” he said.

His grandpa also built a portion of the Presbyterian church in which Mike was first introduced to his faith. In his family, faith was something that was omnipresent.

“Faith and church for me growing up wasn’t an event — it wasn’t a thing that was introduced to me,” he said. “It was a thing that was just there. It was there like the stable had always been there … there were Lenten dinners on Wednesday nights. I was in the Boy Scouts [at the church]. For me, church and the faith that came with it were as much a part of the community as anything else.”

He had the misfortune of witnessing firsthand how faith-related content is selectively removed from television product.

“When I started making TV, I realized that a lot of the places where I went, people’s faith and people’s church … they occupied the same kind of real estate. But when I saw the finished versions of other shows, those things were always cut out,” he said.

He has a word of advice for those who work in the television industry.

“’Don’t tell the story you want to tell. Tell the story you find.’ And by and large, if you commit to telling the story you find, you are going to find people who have an element of faith in their life.”