What Had Happened Was: An Interview with Chaz Smith

What Had Happened Was: An Interview with Chaz Smith

Chaz Smith is a viral content creator who has millions of followers on Instagram, TikTok, YouTube and more. He has been producing viral comedy shorts for over a decade, making him one of the veterans to social media content creation. But he is not just funny, he is also faithful. He is now using his God-given platform to produce a new kind of content…Bible stories. His new venture What Had Happened Was is an animated series telling Bible Stories on YouTube and other social channels that will be available for people everywhere for free. He is beginning with the Book of Daniel which launches next year. In order to get the series across the finish line and available for free he has launched a kickstarter to crowd fund the project. UrbanFaith editor Allen Reynolds sat down with Chaz to discuss the project, his faith, and how we can keep that same energy sharing the good news as believers. The interview is above, more about Chaz Smith and the series is below. Contribute to his kickstarter here to help this show come to life!

https://www.whhwseries.com/

At its core, WHHW bridges the gap between the world of entertainment, history, pop culture, comedy, and the Bible. In its first season, WHHW will retell the Biblical story of Daniel. The eight episode miniseries will highlight Daniel’s royal lineage, captivity, and how he was forced to serve foreign kings in a distant country. As the story unfolds, viewers will watch how Daniel and his friends encountered threats that challenged everything they believed in, but their actions ultimately ended up impacting the course of human history. In addition to the first season, WHHW is slated to include at least two more, which will depict the lives of Joseph and Esther.

“My hope is that WHHW will bring the stories in the Bible to life in a way that they’ve never been seen before. My aim is to combat the difficulty some have while reading the Bible,” said Smith. I want to tell the stories in a way that’s funny, smart, and easy to understand without bending the truth or watering anything down. WHHW is a blend of memes, pop culture, cartoon and anime references, engaging storytelling, historical and cultural context, and high quality animation. Whether episodes of WHHW are watched alone, with friends, or with family, I want to create something that uses the stories in the Bible to ultimately help people see who God is from a completely different perspective.”

 

I’m Chaz, and I love making people laugh! I’ve been a content creator since 2013, and gained millions of followers and hundreds of millions of views across all social media platforms, but storytelling is where my heart is really at. I’ve been committed to creating uplifting content that brings joy to people. For the past 2 years, I’ve been working on my latest project, What Had Happened Was. The series is a colorfully animated, comedically narrated web series, dedicated to retelling biblical stories in an entertaining, insightful, and simple way for people of all ages, backgrounds, and interests. WHHW serves as an intersection of my experience in the social media space, heart for storytelling, love for animation & desire to produce quality entertainment content for this generation. This project means so much to me because it’s far bigger than me. I see this as an opportunity to use stories and laughter to help the people of this generation make sense of the world––and who we are.

 

 

Meet the ‘Successful Moms of the Bible’

Meet the ‘Successful Moms of the Bible’

Successful Moms Book Cover

Good parenting advice is hard to find. In fact, many of us have spent a lot more money than we’d like to admit on self-help books when all of the advice we’ve ever needed on being a great parent could be found right in the Bible. Enter the perfect resource for moms of the 21st Century: Successful Moms of the Bible.

Author Katara Washington Patton, a fellow mom-on-the-go, brings us an in-depth look at the stories of ten, strong women of the Bible who serve as great examples of being a successful mother by any means necessary.

“It’s based on biblical characters but it really is for contemporary moms,” Patton says about the first installment of her new 3-part series. Each chapter begins with an overarching lesson based on the stories of each biblical character.

“I really tried to mix it up,” Patton says. “Of course, I had to include my favorite, Ruth, so she came naturally, and of course, I had to include Mary, the mother of Jesus.”

Patton also included ladies that may be a bit less familiar, including Jochebed, the mother of Moses. Patton’s chapter on Jochebed embodies the concept of protecting your children at all costs. “That woman had guts,” she says. “She saved her son’s life!”

Although her goal was to share the stories of other moms, Successful Moms of the Bible also gives us a glimpse of Patton’s own close-knit relationship with her mother. “My mom died ten years ago in May, so writing about moms is very close and personal to me as we honor the 10-year anniversary of her death,” she says.

Patton says we can expect the other two books in the Successful series within the next several months. Successful Women of the Bible is scheduled for release in August 2016 and Successful Leaders of the Bible, the third and final installment, will be available early 2017.

Single Moms of the Bible is available on Patton’s website.

Who are some of your favorite moms of the Bible? Let’s talk about it below.

Has God Lost His Power?

Has God Lost His Power?

I remember the feelings of pride and confidence I felt as a child when I heard Bible stories that told of God’s triumphant powers reigning supreme over all the other gods and rulers and kings. Even though I did not consider myself as a “Child of Israel,” I did connect with “God’s chosen people” and felt that I had access to this same power. I felt that with God on my side I would overcome any obstacle and triumph in any situation. I felt invincible. I felt unstoppable. But this wasn’t just youthful arrogance. I had biblical support.

Moses’ fight with Pharaoh’s magicians was not a fight between slaves and tyrant, it was a fight between gods. Who would win? The Living God or the dead god? When Daniel was thrown in the lion’s den, it was not a fight between man and animal, it was a fight between gods. Who would win? The Living God or the dead god? When the three Hebrew boys were thrown in the fiery furnace, it was not a fight against man and fire, it was a fight against gods. Who would win? The Living God or the dead god? When David fought Goliath, it was not a fight between men, it was a fight between gods. Who would win? The Living God or the dead god? Each time, as we know, the Living God prevailed and the consistent winningness of God increased the reputation of the Living God (of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob).

Each day, we all fight similar battles with our own fiery furnaces and personal giants — against political edicts and social and cultural pressures that conflict with our understandings and convictions. But the results of these battles are different from the results during the biblical era.

Too many Christians today carry their Bibles to church and profess their faith in the power of Jesus, but then go back to decrepit communities and overcrowded houses, where they are suffocating in bills, poor health, and an overall dissatisfaction with their lives. Inwardly they struggle with having a better life on earth and being a poor person who suffers long because they are Christians. Any suggestion of one’s life being a physical manifestation of the quality of one’s faith is immediately dismissed as “prosperity gospel” and even anti-Christian. Their (misguided) logic goes like this: heaven is their reward; and though evil appears to be winning today, in the very end good will make a comeback.

As honorable and sincere as this may sound, what would have happened if David had that mentality when he fought Goliath? What if Moses thought like that when he was freeing the Children of Israel out of bondage? Not only would there be no Christianity today, there wouldn’t even be Judaism! And because we have chosen this as our stance today, we are in danger of being the reason why the Christian faith has lost its strength and relevance for the contemporary world.

As a rule, people do not gravitate toward that which appears not to work. And this, I believe, is how the younger generations of Christians interpret Christianity today: anemic, irrelevant, powerless.

Is this a surprise? Either the Living God is losing His power, or Christians are doing something wrong.  I say Christians are doing something wrong. Our faith must be more than hope in eternal life with God. It must be a bulletin board for all to see consistency in our lives to show the power that God holds for helping us live holy, purposeful, and relevant lives TODAY.

Young people are not interested in being a part of something that is not working. Young people are uninterested in carrying on traditions for tradition’s sake. We want evidence. We don’t want to be defeated. We want power. We want to feel excited about God and God’s people again.

Let’s have a conversation. Do you think God is losing His power in today’s church? What can we do to make our faith more real to the younger generation?