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"Matthew" video and related books, ministries


Support for believing Jesus is real and is God's Son 




Ministries (radio, TV, tape)


What is Christianity?






Here are some of the best resources I've come across—from extremely varied sources.   I'll continue updating this page as I find more especially-good ones.

(January 2002 update:  I have several books, videos, and Bible studies I need to add . . . and will try to get to in the next month.)

  • The Visual Bible's "Matthew" video set."Matthew" — Get ready for a huge surprise in The Visual Bible™'s stunning "Matthew" video, taken word-for-word from the New International Version® (NIV) Bible.  Once you see this "Jesus movie," you'll never question why so many people were drawn to Jesus 2,000 years ago—and why they still are today.  The Jesus you see nailed to a cross will be someone you now know and care deeply about.  This four-volume video set takes you through every word and event of the Gospel written by one of Jesus' 12 disciples,  Matthew.  This strong, passionate, intimate, laughing Jesus will absolutely blow you away.  Bruce Marchiano plays Jesus.

    I've recently found "Matthew" on DVD and VHS at much lower prices than several years ago.   I don't endorse any of these sites or get money from them (in fact, I've never even ordered from them), but here are some I happened to find that are selling "Matthew" at good prices (you must decide whether to trust ordering with these sites): Wal-Mart,, Nelson Bibles,, and  Worldwide Christian Stores (DoveStore online)

    When searching a site for "Matthew," be sure you do two things:
    • Use "matthew visual bible" in your search—not just "matthew"
    • Be sure you get the full 4-hour version; shorter (condensed) versions are not as good.
  • "In the Footsteps of Jesus" by Bruce MarchianoIn the Footsteps of Jesus  Bruce Marchiano's award-winning first book takes you on an intimate adventure into the life of Christ as Bruce describes the Jesus of joy he discovered while immersed in filming The Visual Bible™'s film, "Matthew."  He challenges all to take a fresh look at Christ, who is often lost in somber religiosity—a Savior who freely shares His affection, compassion, and joyous excitement with His children.  In ministry, Bruce reveals how his faith went from a simple belief in Christ to a profound awareness of God's powerful reality in his life.  (You can go to the In the Footsteps of Jesus excerpt section of this web site to see seven excerpts, along with photos.)  I'm a big reader and have a lot of favorite books—but I must say, this one is my all-time favorite, of any category.  And I've stick-noted and highlighted it to death.  I can never read any part of this book without getting extremely excited about Jesus and at how wonderful He makes our lives.  Are you depressed?  Read this book.

    2007 update:  You can find this book at and on Bruce's web site.

  • "Jesus ... Yesterday, Today, Forever" by Bruce MarchianoJesus . . . Yesterday, Today, Forever — In his second book, Bruce Marchiano digs deeper into the reality and the heart of Jesus:  "What was it like 2,000 years ago?  What was it really like?"  This book is filled with more than 80 breathtaking photos from "Matthew" ... that again show the Jesus of joy and compassion so well.  And the first page I happened to read in this book (page 61) made me cry—tears of love and awe for this Jesus and how He feels about us.  (You can go to the Jesus...YTF excerpt section of this web site to see nine excerpts, along with photos.)

    2007 update:  You can find this book at and on Bruce's web site.


  • Marchiano Ministries — Ministry of Bruce Marchiano, whose life radically changed when he played a stunningly real, compassionate, joyful Jesus in The Visual Bible™'s "Matthew."  If you ever get a chance to hear Bruce speak, do it— you'll never be the same.  I see Jesus so easily through Bruce—so much of Jesus has rubbed off on him.  Every time I hear him speak or read his words (especially in his In the Footsteps of Jesus book)—even if I've heard them before—it makes me love Jesus even more. 

  • Support for the belief that Jesus is God's Son; that He was resurrected; and that God is real:

    • The Case for Christ —by Lee Strobel

    • More Than a Carpenter —by Josh McDowell

    • Mere Christianity —by C.S. Lewis

    • Jesus Among Other Gods —by Ravi Zacharias

    • Messianic Jewish web sites (Jews who believe Jesus is their Messiah, the Christ and Son of God)

  • Other books:

    • Basic Christianity —by John R.W. Stott.  If you want to read the basics in enough detail to understand, yet in wonderfully simple and straight-to-the-point language, read this one.  If you read ONE book to introduce you to Christianity, this may very well be THE one.  This little 142-page book was written in 1958, but I kept thinking as I read it that it was written in the 1990s.  NOTHING has changed in what Stott writes or in society.  This book is a real find.

    • Just about anything by Max Lucado—but my favorites are Six Hours One Friday, In the Grip of Grace, and God Came Near Another good recent release is When Christ Comes; and a good small compilation is The Gift for All People: Thoughts on God's Great Grace.

    • Several books by Philip YanceyWhat's So Amazing About Grace, The Jesus I Never Knew, and The Bible Jesus Read.  I always start Yancey's books thinking, "How disappointing—he's just not as good at showing the compassionate Jesus as Bruce Marchiano and Max Lucado."  But once I'm just a little way in, I'm astounded at how deeply Yancey touches me with both the awesomeness of God AND His compassion.  He has ended up being one of my all-time favorites—I've got underlines and stars all over his pages.  I always hate to get to the end of his books.  The Bible Jesus Read  is especially good for taking all those parts of the Bible that you've looked at and said, "Well, how does something like THIS belong in here?" or "Well this part contradicts the rest of the Bible" and showing how beautifully and perfectly it does fit—and how every piece of the Bible shows you something extremely important about a very good God ... and about us.

    • In His Image and Fearfully and Wonderfully Made —by Dr. Paul Brand with Philip Yancey.  You may need to be a real science-lover as I am, but these are two of the most amazing books I've ever read for making the connection between God and science.  Even without the God connection, it's full of amazing scientific and medical information.  Dr. Brand is a medical doctor who has spent most of his long career working with leprosy patients.

    • Karla Faye Tucker: Set Free —by Linda Strom.  If you want to read the story of a life radically changed by God, I can't recommend anything much more than this one.  Karla was convicted of the pickaxe murder of two people in Texas, yet God took her time on Texas Death Row to change many other lives (of people inside and outside prison).  This is no "jailhouse conversion"—it's the real thing and truly a remarkable, moving, life-changing story.  I was privileged to be a part of the author's prison ministry (Discipleship Unlimited) for several years, going on their yearly February prison ministry trips to Gatesville, Texas.  Although I never met Karla; she was executed in February 1998, barely two months before God came and rescued me.  But her story, and the experience of going into the prisons at Gatesville, Texas, has still has changed my life.  (Thanks, Karla—I guess you were there for the party in heaven when THIS lost child came home.)  You can read quite a bit of Karla's story on Discipleship Unlimited's LifeRow web site.

    • Defeating Darwinism (by Opening Minds) —by Phillip E. Johnson.  I really don't like this book's title, since it can sound aggressive/offensive until you've actually read the content.  However, it will make you think about some things that you NEED to consider if you've always been taught that evolution was a law instead of a theory.  I am the daughter of a science teacher; I have been an avid student of science since early childhood (along with the ability to grasp and apply it easily); and I had believed that must be much evidence out there for evolution if it was taught so strongly in public schools and in college.  I've read LOTS of Carl Sagan's books (LOVED his "Cosmos" TV series and book of the 1980s); love "Star Trek (especially "Star Trek-TNG"); love actively studying archaeology, fossils, geology, astronomy, biology, chemistry, physics, and the theory of evolution itself; but I always had this nagging feeling that the people pushing evolution were kind of glossing over the lack of evidence in the fossil record (and I knew that it was still considered a theory, not fact or law).  I didn't feel totally comfortable with the logic of the conclusions they made from their data, in other words.  (Where WERE all those transitional fossils that were necessary to support CREATIVE evolution that created NEW organs and even species—not just minor adaptations in a moth's color or in bird beaks or in dog breeds?)  But I trusted the "scientists" to be people who pursued truth no matter if it supported their theories/research or not.  Well, it seems that scientists are fallible just like the rest of us.  Johnson also points out the recent scientific theory, which has been brought to light by the "computer age/information age" that it is quite possible that the universe is made up of THREE basic things—matter, energy, and information; and that information could have its source in an intelligent designer.  If you have the guts to search for the truth, read this book—and then look up the books and other references it gives you, such as Darwin's Black Box by Michael J. Behe (a professor of biochemistry) and Intelligent Design by William A. Dembski (Ph.D. in mathematics and in philosophy).  Don't just take one author's word for it.   At the very least, there is fascinating science you'll learn here—a lot has been discovered in the last decade or so in the areas of biochemistry and in "information."  This is a little 119-page book that you can read easily and that is not filled with scientific jargon.  But bring a highlighter—it's FULL of profound information.

      An excellent related web site is the Institute for Creation Research.  This group is staffed by numerous "real" scientists and was referred to me by my "super-brain" high school classmate who worked as an engineer with Boeing and NASA on the International Space Station for years.  (Thanks, Charles.)

    • Following Christ —by Joseph Stowell.  I stumbled over this one, too—on a sale table for $2.99.  (I found it funny/ironic that something with this title was so "undervalued.")  What a surprise—it's ended up being one of the best books I've ever read with lots of my  highlighting and notes written in the margins now.  A huge point Stowell makes is this:  "This is the essence of following.  It is not a project.  It is a Person.  It is not a task.  It is a tribute to the worthiness and trustworthiness of Christ and His cause.  It is that and that alone."  (page 146)  Wow!  That's exactly what I want to get across to everyone . . . that this is all about a Person—this totally good, totally capable Jesus.

    • Mr. Jones, Meet the Master (Sermons and Prayers by Peter Marshall) —I'd heard of this man, partly because his wife is Catherine Marshall.  But I had no idea what an amazing preacher he was—he, too, sees that Jesus I saw in "Matthew."  This is a 25-year-old book, and Marshall died in 1949 at age 46—but I read through it so fast that I was sad to see it end.  Do you want to see a Jesus that will pleasantly overwhelm and surprise you and move you to joyful tears?  Then read this book (and watch "Matthew," too, of course).  (The reader reviews on are great). 

    • Our Covenant God—by Kay Arthur.  Did you ever wonder, "Why is all that blood involved in the worship of God in the Old Testament?"  "Why all those sacrifices?"  "Why is Jesus talking about bizarre things such as the wine at the Last Supper (Passover meal) becoming His blood, poured out for the New Covenant?"  or "What's this about Jesus being 'The Lamb of God'?"   In this book, you'll learn that these weren't strange, primitive, "cultish" practices or things borrowed from other religions.   You'll see how God's covenants (His promises to us, or agreements with us) and their related practices show us deep, intimate pictures of what God promises—and faithfully does for—us in his unconditional love.  And you may end up reading through this book with your jaw dropped open and tears in your eyes at the awesomeness of God's love—and at a much fuller understanding of how every piece of the Bible fits together to tell God's intricate, tenderly-planned love story.  The Bible looked wonderfully different to me after I finished this book—and I understood how all those Old Testament covenants, feasts, laws, etc. all pointed directly to Jesus (the Messiah) and were lived out in Him.

    • How Now Shall We Live? —by Charles Colson and Nancy Pearcey.  This was a big book about "world views" that covered a lot of ground . . . that really made me THINK, and think, and think about the society I've grown up and lived in.  Once in awhile, Colson got a little too conservative for me—as in his dislike for modern praise and worship music in church (which, for me, is precisely the music that showed me for the FIRST time in my life what it was like to truly worship God with music).  But since I doubt that any of us would ever agree with everything any author says, I could overlook that type of thing to get to all the good information that is in this book.  Whether you agree or disagree with Colson's conclusions, you WILL think.

    • Hinds' Feet on High Places —by Hannah Hurnard.  An old classic written in more formal language . . . but it is quite a story that many Christians can relate to.

    • Lord Foulgrin's Letters —by Randy Alcorn.  This is very much a 1990s version of the classic The Screwtape Letters by C.S. Lewis (another good book).   However, enough in society has changed since Lewis wrote his book in the 1940s that Foulgrin is quite an eye-opener.  This excellent fiction book is written from the perspective of a head demon—Lord Foulgrin—to his subordinate demon.  Therefore, the book is subtitled "How to Strike Back at the Tyrant (God) by Deceiving and Destroying His Human Vermin."   Even though it's fiction, you'll be astounded at the truths you'll see in it . . . and how much of yourself you'll see in the "human vermin" this particular pair of demons is assigned to.  I love the line on the back of the book:  "Know your enemy—read his mail."

    • Armageddon, Oil and the Middle East Crisis —by John F. Walvoord.  This is probably the best, most-concise description of the "end times" that I've read.  It's written by a man who has spent a lifetime carefully studying this subject and who is no wild-eyed sensationalist.  His timelines are especially clear and brief.  It's funny—this is another book that someone just gave us as "free gift" with something else.

    • The Road to Armageddon —by Charles R. "Chuck" Swindoll, John F. Walvoord, J. Dwight Pentecost, and other members of the Dallas Theological Seminary faculty.  This is my other favorite "end times" book, if you're interested in this subject.  There are a lot of these books out there, and since I've been interested in this subject since I was in junior high in the 1970s, I've read more than one or two.  You can find some wild ones, but I liked this one since it is a compilation of down-to-earth lectures given by six teachers from the Dallas Theological Seminary in 1999.  Again, these aren't your wild-eyed sensationalists here.

    • Israel in Crisis —by David Dolan.  This gives some interesting insights (and very updated information since it was published in 2001) into end-time prophecy and how it relates to what's going on with Israel now.  It also has a few interesting "twists" on the timing of the end-time events that I hadn't been taught before —definitely something to think about.  Dolan is an American journalist who has lived in Israel since 1980 and has been a network reporter since 1988.

  • More truly excellent books—some of my favorites—that I haven't had time to write "reviews" on yet but that I want to be sure and include NOW in my resource section:

    • Speechless: Living in Awe of God's Disruptive Grace —by Steven Curtis Chapman and Scotty Smith.  

    • A Violent Grace —by Michael Card.  

    • Joseph and Moses— both by Charles "Chuck" Swindoll

    • The Pursuit of God —by A.W. Tozer.  

    • The Holiness of God —by R.C. Sproul.  

    • The Finished Work of Christ —by Francis A. Schaeffer.  

  • Ministries, radio/TV, audiotapes, etc.:
    (here are some of my favorites, although not a complete list)

    • Discipleship Unlimited (Dallas and Linda Strom), at —Dallas and Linda head the unique prison ministry I've was privileged to get involved with in 1999.  Their prison ministry changes the lives of the inmates and of the volunteers.  "You'll never be the same after going to Gatesville (Texas prison)," they all say.  "Being involved with this ministry has spoiled me for luxury—the unreal," one volunteer explains.  Linda just wrote her "Karla Faye Tucker: Set Free" book in 2000—the story of how God changed Tucker, convicted of a brutal double murder, and continues to change lives through her even though she was executed in 1998.  Linda's own story is also a highlight of the book.  Linda is one of my favorite people—as one of her friends put it,  "When I think of Linda, I see her embracing with her eyes, then her arms, anyone who comes within range."   I can't think of any vacation I'd rather take than going with this group of volunteers, of multiple colors, denominations, and backgrounds, to prison—and not only do I learn more about God, but I have an absolute ball with this team of volunteers.  And then there's their "secret weapon," too—tiny little 80-year-old "Sister G."  (See my "Prison Ministry 2000—A Glimpse of Heaven" and "Prison Ministry 2001—What I Learned" articles for more.)

      Well—surprise, surprise!  In mid-January 2001, I got the privilege of taking over the programming of the web site ... I never would have thought that would happen.  God is something else—here I am, for the second time, doing a web site for a ministry or company that I absolutely love.

    • Insight for Living (Charles "Chuck" Swindoll) —Astonishingly insightful radio messages (re-broadcasts of his sermons as he pastors Stonebriar Community Church in Frisco, Texas)—I'm always left slack-jawed and/or teary-eyed at the awesome goodness and wisdom of this God of ours and His truly magnificent Son.  Chuck writes some great books, too (try his Moses and Joseph  biographies—two of a HUGE list of great ones).  You can listen to his radio messages on the Internet at his Insight for Living web site, and he has tons of audio tape series that are excellent.   One of my favorites from anyone is his "The Majesty of God's Son" audiotapes ... I learned so much background information that answered many of my questions about Jesus' life, Jewish customs 2,000 years ago, and especially about His trials and crucifixion.  I love the way Chuck goes into the original meaning of the language of the Bible—sometimes that makes all the difference in the world in understanding what God was—and is—up to.

    • InTouch Ministries (Charles Stanley) —I stumbled across this radio ministry, too—but as far as I'm concerned, it's a real "find."  In fact, only a few days before I launched this web site, Charles Stanley answered what has been my "big God question" for years now:  "If the Old Testament folks were 'saved by faith,' then why did they need Jesus?  Since the Bible says that all humans of all time need Jesus, then this Old Testament issue really confuses things.  And Jesus Himself made a very clear, controversial statement on this in John 14:6 (New Testament):  'I am the way and the truth and the life.  No one comes to the Father except through Me.' "  I knew there was an answer, but I couldn't find it no matter how hard I tried.  And then I heard it, in two key words ("believed God"), on the radio.  As I suspected, it was right under my nose.  The title of this broadcast was "The Cross: A Debt Paid in Full," which I heard on April 19, 2000.   I can't find it on the InTouch internet archives anymore in 2007.  However, the gist of what Stanley was teaching is on my web site on the "God's Story" page.  It was so critical to my understanding that I put it on my site for others to see.

  • Bibles:

    • A good explanation/description of the main English Bible translations (versions) and how they differ (and a great way to pick the one you think will be best for you) is in Josh McDowell's little book, Reasons Skeptics Should Consider Christianity.  Look for the chapter called "Which Version of the Bible Should I Use?"  This information made it very easy for me to choose my main Bible version and a couple of backup versions for cross reference.  These are the two I've found most useful:

      • New International Version (NIV) translation—an extremely readable version and one of the most-used available (it's also the translation used as the only script for The Visual Bible™'s "Matthew" video).  The NIV Bible version is a good, accurate translation that translates the idea/meaning of the original languages of the Bible into modern English.   However, using another translation along with the NIV, such as the very accurate New American Standard Bible (NASB), is also quite useful to be sure you are coming up with good interpretations.  

      • New American Standard Bible (NASB) —an excellent, extremely accurate (yet still very readable) translation.  The NASB is a word-for-word translation from the original languages of the Bible into modern English.  You can find this translation used in several good study Bibles.  

    • The Quest Study Bible (NIV) —great for answering a lot of those hard Bible questions.   You may eventually want another reference study Bible that has extensive cross references to other parts of the Bible.

    • NIV Study Bible —Lots of study notes, plus cross references to other Bible passages from just about every verse in the Bible.  

    • Life Application Study Bible—I've heard a lot of people whose opinions I respect say this is a good one, too—and it looks like it is available in three translations with a fourth on the way:  New International Version® (NIV), New Living Translation (NLT), King James Version (KJV), and New King James Version (NKJV).

    • And don't be fooled by the term "student Bible" in any translation—I find that these "student" Bibles are some of the best whether you're a college kid or a LOT older.   Do you want to learn and understand and get to know this amazingly good God?  Then go into the Bible as a "student"—or better yet, as a "child"; I guarantee it works:

    "I tell you the truth, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven."  —Jesus  (Matthew 18:3)

  • Music:

    • Favorite artists—This is hard to say for someone like me who's always liked almost every type of music.  But here are two frontrunners, although I've barely started this list:

      • Steven Curtis Chapman  —What does this guy do that isn't good?  I started listening to Christian radio just in time to hear his "Speechless" CD release, and it's probably my favorite CD of all.  I'm sure it's in part because of the "Speechless" song, which contains the line, "How great is the love the Father has lavished upon us, that we should be called sons and daughters of God!"  (from 1 John 3:1)  His "Signs of Life" CD has a lot of my favorites, too, including "Lord of the Dance" which speaks perfectly to God for me:  "I am the heart, You are the heartbeat; I am the eyes, You are the sight....  And I see clearly I am just a body, You are the life!"   But I also enjoy that he can go from Aerosmith-type rock to orchestral music.  (You can play clips of these songs/CDs if you go to the links I provided.)

      • Rich Mullins —If you've never heard Rich and his Ragamuffin Band, you're in for a shock—this songwriter really puts things graphically and plainly and isn't afraid to tell it like it is.  And I laughed out loud with appreciation when I realized what he was saying in the first part of his "Surely God is With Us" song from "The Jesus Record" CD.  I laughed at how true it was, and at how wonderfully surprising God is:  "...  Where's He from ... who is His daddy? There's rumors He even thinks Himself a king—Of a kingdom of paupers, simpletons and rogues. The whores all seem to love Him, and the drunks propose a toast ..."  "The Jesus Record" and his "Songs" CD are two of my favorites.  But my favorite of all is "Man of No Reputation" from his "The Jesus Record" CD.  Mullins said he didn't think he could ever sing it all the way through without choking up—and it affects me the same way when I listen to it.  It describes this humble, strong, relentlessly-loving Jesus so well.


• Love Lavished Home • My Story • God's Story • A GOOD God • A REAL God • "In the Footsteps of Jesus" • "Jesus...Yesterday, Today, Forever" • Puzzles...and Surprises! • The Jews—Our Treasure • Resources/Links • Why This Web Site? • Thank Yous •

If you have questions, want more resource information, or anything else, you're welcome to contact me:

Lauri Cox McIntosh

All original material Copyright © 2000-2011 by Lauri McIntosh.

You can also contact me for information on how to get copyright permission for material used in this site that I've borrowed from other sources.

All photos Copyright © 1997, Visual Entertainment, Inc.  Used on by permission.

Unless otherwise indicated, Scripture taken from the
Holy Bible, New International Version® (NIV).
  Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society.  Used by permission of Zondervan Publishing House.  All rights reserved.  The "NIV" and "New International Version" trademarks are registered in the United States Patent and Trademark Office by International Bible Society.  Use of either trademark requires the permission of International Bible Society. 

Although it is not the preference of the New International Version, for the sake of clarity all personal pronouns referring to deity have been capitalized.

This site was originally published in April 2000.
(Last updated: March 29, 2011.) 


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