The #BTTR Blog: Catholic Central, Lesea Wahl, Jimmy Mitchell


This is the November/2018 blog written BY Catholic teens for Catholic teens and their families. Virtue Works Media founder, Cathy Gilmore, is the editor for the BTT team. These four teens are called the "Beyond the Trend Teens" because their task as a blogging team is to look beyond trends to highlight Catholic authors and artists who show us how to #Be The Change needed to make the world a BeTTeR (#BTTR ) place. Two of the BTT teens attend public school and two attend private or parochial Catholic schools. Their identities are semi-anonymous because ANY teen can be a Beyond the Trend Teen when they choose media and entertainment with content that goes beyond the status quo, that actually affirms character and conscience. What these teens are recommending goes beyond books, videos and music. They are recommending we look at the authors and artists and notice how they are making a difference in our culture... and ask ourselves…how is God calling us to discover their work and perhaps follow in their footsteps, to use our creativity to #BeTheChange our world needs so much as well.  Scroll below to read and discover great choices to WATCH. READ. & LISTEN

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PG/WATCH: Catholic Central

Catholic Central is created by Family Theater Productions, based in Hollywood California. They offer a series of funny and informative videos about Catholic stuff. It is part of the ministry of Holy Cross Family Ministries. The two hosts of Catholic Central are Kaiser Johnson and Libby Slater. They are definitely young Catholics who are inspired by faith to use their talent to make the world a #BeTTeR place. Here’s link to the video that started off their series:

Kaiser Johnson is considered a rising star in Hollywood. He puts a high premium on being a well-rounded individual with a vibrant mental life, spiritual life, and physical life. He is thankful for the small things in life. He says he wants to live a life of thanks. He is the President of the Hollywood Chesterton society, and almost won NBC’s Spartan Ultimate Team Challenge. He came within a whisker of winning. The Spartan Challenges are a series of obstacle races of varying distance and difficulty, ranging from three miles to twenty-six miles. Spartan Team Challenge is a Reality TV show consisting of 14 episodes based on the Spartan challenges.

Libby Slater is a singer and dancer who also just happens to have a masters degree from JPII Catholic University. She has completed a spartan race. Seems like she just survived it. Both Kai and Libby are fun to watch. Here is the series description from the Catholic Central website:

You have questions about the Catholic faith and what it means to be Catholic. We have answers. Using a team of witty writers, appealing hosts and even some learned theologians, we’ve created shareable, snack-able videos that teach the timeless truths and deep history of the Church with humor and heart. Produced in the Family Theater Productions studios on Sunset Boulevard in Hollywood, “Catholic Central” entertains, enlightens and inspires.
— Catholic Central

I think Catholic Central is a great series to get a simple understanding of Catholic topics, that can make homework easier or a studying for a test less painful. Or just answer a nagging question you wonder about. Try out their channel on You-Tube and pick a topic and see what you think. Here’s one you can try.

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ER & YA/ READ: Leslea Wahl

Leslea Wahl is an author who is really worth checking out. She lives in Colorado. She writes teen fiction that is often full of mystery. Her books include Catholic characters and situations that are natural and normal. Here are some fun facts about her. Her favorite holiday is Christmas. Her Achilles heel is chocolate. She enjoys old classic movies. She also enjoys campfires... but NOT camping out. Leslea Wahl has a lot of pets. She has a total of 6, which includes 4 dogs and 2 cats. She used to use her pets for some of the characters in her books. She puts real life into her books. In one story: The Perfect Blindside, the scene with the cellphone and duct tape, she had her son try it out to see if it would work.

Leslea said, “For many years I have been driven by belief that our purpose in life is to use our gifts to glorify God and lead others to Him.” Her work as an author is a great example of just that. Here’s a sneak peek into several of Leslea’s books.

The Perfect Blindside. Jake is a fairly famous snowboarder and Sophie is a girl who likes photography, but doesn’t like... him. Their adventure involves danger and mystery, as they learn to get along. 

An Unexpected Role. This book holds your attention.  One of the reasons is that it’s pretty unusual to have a Catholic teen book that is truly fun to read, but also has references to faith. It’s not preachy, but faith is lived and lived well. Guys ...don’t avoid this book because there’s girl on the cover. It’s a great read for both guys and girls. 

Where You Lead. This is Leslea’s new title. It’s about a girl named Eve who meets a guy who needs her help in Washington DC . She and Nick become friends and are drawn into a plot that involves confederate gold. This romantic mystery is a great read!

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CB/LISTEN: Jimmy Mitchell

Jimmy Mitchell is a pianist, ministry founder, and a national speaker who talks about changes in the world of social media and music. Jimmy Mitchell was born in Nashville TN. Before he became a great model of faith, he went through many tragic events. His brother died. He moved and lived in different places. And his parents divorced. Through these experiences, he played the piano. He started when he was 10. It helped him. Jimmy has written and performed many songs on the piano. His music is perfect for when you want to chill, or want a soundtrack for focus while doing homework.

Jimmy believes in the power of beauty to change the world. He has a degree in business from Vanderbilt University. He has used his brain, his degree, and his creativity to start a company called Love Good Culture. This company curates, organizes, and promotes music and books based on the beauty, truth, and goodness. Jimmy’s business talent helps unknown artists be discovered and prosper. Check out their site. This is the music and Catholic creative talent that goes beyond the trends. For Teens. And Beyond.

Enjoy! WATCH. READ. LISTEN. Support these authors and artists. Allow them to inspires us to use our gifts like they do. And we can raise the bar in our culture, and go beyond the trends and make the world a #BeTTeR place.