for the broken
for the lost
for the good
for the bad
We are whole beings, made uniquely, beautifully and completely connected to every part of our being.
When it comes to our entity, we are not separated from any part of ourself, we are not categorized into different sections.
Just like our physical form, our hand is not part of a different body than our eyes. In the same way our mind is not separated from our heart and emotions.
We were created and designed complete.
But so often we live in a way where we believe this not to be true, we willfully compromise what we know to be true, right, good; fully believing it will have not effect to the rest of who we are, and who we will become. But if every part of us is connected, compromise in one area is to comprise our entire being.
We can not sequester the “guilty pleasure”, “one time thing” or “just tonight” to one part of who we are locking it away in hopes it will have no effect on the rest our inner person. Can the head fall to the ground and expect the rest of the body to stand upright?
So we must live with the knowledge that everything we do, every path we take effects ALL of who we are.
BUT when we grasp this reality, we soon find that, every hard choice we make for the better, every exercise in strength, every healthy decision we make doesn’t simply benefit us simply in that moment…But rather, they are the decisions that affect our whole being, and actually artfully creating who we are and who we will become.
Claire: What’s going on in your life this year? (Family, work/career, etc.)
Nathan: Hmm, well, a lot actually! I just got back from speaking at two of my family’s conferences, showing a promotional trailer, raising funds, and getting the word out about a new film that I wrote! It was a lot of fun and is really encouraging to get positive feedback. And as always, it was so nice to still be involved with my family as they continue to use their lives in ministering to other people!
Claire: When and how did you get interested in acting?
Nathan: To be honest I feel like I have always been acting, whether it was as a boy pretending to be Superman or dressing up as one of my favorite historical figures, I have always loved falling into characters and telling stories. Hearing/reading/watching stories was what lit my heart on fire since I was young, so it was only natural that I would grow up and search for ways to tell stories with my life. Somewhere in the middle of high school, I realized that I also loved people, and I saw what an impact the movies and stories had on all of us—shaping our decisions and feelings by inspiring, connecting, sympathizing, and moving us. So, I decided I wanted to be a part of the movement that was telling the stories that connected with my generation. In high school I attended MasterWorks, where I began to realize I could use my passion and natural gifts for God’s purposes. A little after high school I attended an acting/music commutation called AMTC (Actor Models Talent for Christ) where I was invited to attend The New York Film Academy. And the rest, I guess, is history!
Claire: What about your experience at MasterWorks most influenced you?
Nathan: I think the thing that so inspired and influenced me about MasterWorks was seeing and getting to take part in this amazing community of people who had realized they had been given amazing gifts and had decided they were going to use them for a bigger purpose than simply acclaim, fame, money or recognition. They had decided to use their God-given gifts to praise our Creator and bring people closer to Him. I think it is so rare for people to see their gifts and talents as something given by God and for God. Being at MasterWorks set the foundation for how I could use my God-given gifts.
Claire: You wear many different hats: writer, actor, film producer/director, musician, son of two popular speakers/writers… As a result, have you found it difficult for you to determine who you are as a person? Who or what defines you? Describe that journey of finding your identity.
Nathan: Being in LA, each day I see a city looking for identity: everyone scrambling, chasing, and doing almost anything thinkable to find themselves, to discover purpose, and to create their identity. And because of that, everyday I see people wrapping up their entire identity in such temporal and fading things, whether it’s their talent, their ‘art,’ their sexuality, or even their popularity and money. I see people building their foundations of identity on things that will surely disappoint or disappear eventually. I have even found myself falling into the trap of finding my identity in things of this world, like my acting, music, writing, and even my family! But somewhere along the way, after I had been brought to my knees by the humbling process of failed acting jobs, losing friends, and a career with nothing to show, God found me and has been leading me down a path of finding my worth and identity in Him. This is the most life-changing, freeing experience I could ever feel, because He is the one thing that will NEVER fail. Even if everything else does, I know my worth is found in Him!
Claire: You recently wrote a modern-retelling of the Prodigal Son, and now you are in the process of raising funds to make this into movie. What inspired this, and what is the message that you want to portray through this project?
Nathan: Awhile back when I was going through one of my hardest times, I randomly found myself reading the story of the Prodigal Son, and little did I know what a powerful, recurring tale it would be in my life. In the months to come, I found myself trying to follow God but often getting lost in my own desires and foolish decisions, wondering what I was supposed to do. BUT, every time I found my head in my hands as a result of my decisions, I felt God’s loving arms holding me and His voice calling me back to the man I was made to be—just like the Prodigal. So, as I began to look, I realized I lived in a city and really, a world of prodigals, not bad or evil people—just people looking for meaning, purpose and love. Often, letting the deep desire we all have for those things led them into places, situations, and answers that too often turn out to be false, temporary, or even destructive.
I decided I wanted to be more intentional about what kinds of projects I would be in, which led me to look for projects that intended to bring light to a dark world! But unfortunately, I found out quickly that projects with the messages I desired to tell, messages I had been brought up to tell, were few and far between. So, one morning, I woke up and felt a gentle stirring in my heart to write a screenplay (something I had never done) with the messages I truly believe the world needs to hear. Long story short, a month later I had a script that had been written as a modern retelling of the prodigal son entitled Confessions of a Prodigal Son. Shortly after, some amazing people and I shot a trailer (in one day) for raising funds… and here I am!
Claire: You have a desire to use film and acting to influence the world for Christ. What needs do you see in the Hollywood scene, and what would you say are effective ways to accomplish this goal?
Nathan: I would love to see more people truly realizing the knowledge that God has created us individually with love and care to use our gifts to praise Him, and in doing so, bringing other people closer to Him as well. Hollywood needs people with a vision bigger than themselves, but one of eternity with a passion to create quality reflections of God’s amazing love through whatever medium possible.
Claire: What challenges have you faced as an actor in the professional world? How has your faith influenced how you live?
Claire: What are your long-term goals/dreams (acting or otherwise)?
Nathan: To be honest, I would just love living a life that brings light to a dark world and shows God’s amazing love for me and everyone with whatever I am doing! Though, making and acting in films that do that would be super awesome!
Claire: How can we be praying for you?
Nathan: I would love prayer for wisdom in every situation I come across as well as the continued ability to use my passions and gifts to connect with people!
Claire: What is your favorite movie, style of music, food, and place to travel?
This is a video of me telling my journey into my love of story and how I came to write Confessions of a Prodigal Son. I am also interviewed by my amazing inspiration of a mom at the WholeHeart Conference in Irvine, CA.
ALSO from now on all proceeds from buying a printed copy of my first book Wisdom Chasers (A collection of essays from a young man finding his God and chasing Him) will now go to funding Confessions of a Prodigal Son.
Please visit the our Website to help support and find out more about this awesome project.
(Screenshot and Quote from the trailer of Confessions of a Prodigal Son – Click on Picture to support project and get involved)Facebook – Kickstarter
If you have ever been a prodigal in need of grace, or an outcast with the longing for home, please ‘SHARE’ this to remind this world that there is always a way to find you way back home into our creators arms.
After living in a world of prodigals and feeling the pull to become one my self, I decided to use my gift, love and passion for story to tell the story of the Prodigal Son… To remind a world living in darkness there is a light we can return to.
I wrote a full length feature film as a moden-retelling of the Prodigal Son. Above is the short trailer I directed with the help of amazing volunteers to show just a glimpse of what this film could and will be.
Right now I am in the process of raising enough funds to see this story come to life.
I am asking you to help, because I believe that this is a story that Jesus used to show people the powerful vision of his redemptive power.
I believe if and when this movie comes out, it will be a light in the darkness and a call to all of us who long for redemption and a home back to the one who made us.
If you want to join a movement that is going to make a story that needs to be told come to life please visit the website http://www.ConfessionsOfAProdigalSon.com and see the amazing prizes and gifts you get for being apart of this project!
Thank you so much for your support, prayers and help.
Please feel free to contact me with any questions you might have.
-Nathan John Clarkson
The Prodigal Son: A story that undoubtedly strikes fear into the hearts of mothers and fathers everywhere, and lights memories in the minds of sons and daughters who remember it’s tale.
It’s the story of a wayward son who demands his inheritance early, and ends up leaving his home and squandering his money on everything from sex to gambling.
The prodigal son eventually finds himself broke and in the dirt with memories of home running through his mind, which is when he decides to return home and beg for forgiveness and maybe just a job as a servant in his fathers household.
But, upon his arrival, instead of bowed heads of disappointment, he finds the loving embrace of his parent.
I think this story is one we can all relate to, whether we are the prodigal or know someone who is.
It is a story that has, or will become, a common theme as we observe life.
Different people focus on different aspects of the story:
-As parents, I’m sure the immediate inclination is to ensure that it never becomes a reality for their children.
-As pastors and teachers, I’m sure there is a need to show the detriment of selfish desires and sinful living.
-But as a son, who has been a prodigal once or twice in his life, my interest lays in what pulls the Prodigal home.
What is the voice inside when the Prodigal is the most down and out calls him home, and why did he listen to it?
Why is the wayward son suddenly willing to humble himself to the lowest position just for a chance to be back in his parents care?
I can remember times in my life when I found myself surrounded by the consequences of my poor choices and willful rebellion.
And the thing that ended up pulling me home, the driving force to my return to the straight and narrow, wasn’t the facts or opinions on rebellious living I had heard a thousand times in church.
It wasn’t the countless warnings of sin (now too late to be applied, anyway).
Instead, it was something so much more personal, real and tangible.
It was the song of my home that would play in my ears, as I would sit head in my hands, trying to find the light in a dark situation.
It was remembering the warm embrace of a loving family and an inviting home.
It was the grace I knew my mistakes would always be met with.
It was the warm meals, good conversation and the personal connection I missed with the ones I loved.
Essentially, my reason for choosing to leave my prodigal tendencies in the past and return home to my loved ones was having loved ones and a home worth returning to.
There is a Biblical picture for this that God paints masterfully throughout the bible. After all humanity (you and I) decided to live its own way and rebel against the way life was meant to be lived (as Prodigals). God first decides that instead of just getting rid of us, He wants us to have a chance at redemption by forgiving us.
But he doesn’t stop there. The way God redeems us and shows us forgiveness is giving us a chance at a personal relationship with God!
But THEN He goes on and creates place for us to come home to, a beautiful perfect place where there will be “No more tears”.
God looks down on you and me, after our display of rebellious independence, and calls us home with to a loving embrace of a parent and a perfect vision of home…Heaven.
We can talk all day about the existence of God, or the proof of a creator. That is a conversation I would love to have with you!
But everyday I see his hands so clearly leading and taking care of me that I can’t do anything BUT believe in a loving, active God.
If I could I would do anything so you could experience the joy and freedom that our creator has made available to any who answer his gentle call.
If you turn on a TV, or check one of your three aps delivering you the most up to date news and events from around the world on a minutely basis, you will suddenly be surrounded with information of all the things in the world that are going wrong.
Flip over to your favorite entertainment channel and or talk-show and you will begin to hear the second part to “bad things happening”-you will hear in unison the reaction to these terrible things, reaction of sadness, disapproval, blame and anger.
As the light from our TV screen daily lights our eyes, and the sound bites inform us of the terrible and saddening things happening, we feel something rise in each of us.
We feel a voice, a cry for justice and change…
We find ourselves entering in the discussion, trying to find solutions and make the changes necessary to make this world a better place.
We talk about banning the things we don’t like and and taking a stand against the people who have the wrong ideas, we speak-out with emboldened voices against those who represent what we appall, and we learn to hate what we know is wrong.
But, is that enough? Is that enough change the world?
I believe with all my heart it is not.
We as people have learned what we should hate, detest, and stand up against.
And maybe, just maybe, that is half of it, maybe that is a the place we begin.
But it must not be where we stop.
Have we forgotten the other half of the story?
Have we forgotten the only reason why we even take stands?
Have we become so entangled with our own rage for what is dark, that we have forgotten to love the light?
God tells us.
“Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good.”
It would seem we have the “Hate what is evil” down.
But we just might have forgotten about the ‘sincere love’ and ‘clinging to what is good’.
We have become a people who love nothing, but have learned to get angry at all the right things.
But is this really the way to change?
“My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, because human anger does not produce the righteousness that God desires.”
It seems that anger is something God has called us to use VERY sparingly. But if that’s the case.
Are we to simply lay back and allow immorality, injustice and perversion? NEVER! We must stand up against it.
BUT, we must stand up against it, with the only thing that has or ever will change the world.
It is no longer enough to hate and be angry about the things we disagree with, we must now face them with the all encompassing, all powerful, unrelenting force that is the Love of God.
Proverbs 10:12 Hatred stirs up strife, but LOVE covers all offenses.
1 John 4:7 Beloved, let us LOVE one another, for LOVE is from God, and whoever LOVES has been born of God and knows God.
Romans 5:8 but God shows his LOVE for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
John 3:16 “For God so LOVED the world,that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.
1 John 3:18 Little children, let us not LOVE in word or talk but in deed and in truth.
Ephesians 4:2-3 with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in LOVE, eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.
I was 17, I had bleached my hair, and I was looking to change the world, I didn’t know how but I was always willing for an adventure.
Even though I was just on the stage of my local high-school with my best friends as part of a last minute dare we gave our selves. I knew that was where God wanted me.
So even as I sang ignorant of the fact God was lighting a fire in me – to have a passion to be a light in front of people (taken very literally in this performance in my entirely white get up) through mixed metaphors, missed notes, and forgotten lyrics. He wanted me there-living out of the box, in front of people, singing and performing my heart out.
I am still, even now, six years later- learning, hearing, and fine-tuning what exactly God has called my song to be, but as long as I am here, and willing to sing, I know without a doubt he will continue to teach me the song I was made to sing.
So in this new year, be willing to take the dares God gives you and sing the song you were made to sing. It just might change the world.
Now watch, laugh, and try not to swoon.