Welcome to Paradise: A Leap of Faith

Welcome to Paradise

Welcome to Paradise: A Leap of Faith

Transitions in life are inevitable.

The film Welcome to Paradise tells us the story of preacher Debbie. A widow with a teenage son, Hayden.  She described his son as having difficulty coping since his father’s death. Bishop Jim misinterpreted her attitude as arrogance. She disrobed at the pulpit during church service one time that displeased the bishop further. He took that incident as a way to send her off to a small community church in Paradise.

These scenes showed us how one false move can lead to different consequences. These events affected Debbie’s job and her son’s disposition towards the aftermath of moving residence. It is clear that Hayden detests going to Paradise. This show how a person usually behave when forced out of their comfort zone.

In Paradise, Debbie saw a homeless guy Trevor who sings along the street to earn some alms. Impressed with his singing, she invited him to sing during church service. He was reluctant at first knowing that the well-off people who go to church may not like seeing him there. He accepted Debbie’s invitation and came to church the following Sunday. When Debbie called on him to sing in front of everyone, he sang his heart out that Sunday. Through Debbie’s encouragement, he felt he was welcome at the church.

Frances, another homeless person, shared thought-provoking ideas during their potluck after church service. She told everyone her misfortune. She admitted that when her husband died, it left them with a huge debt. This was due to his medical bills which is why she ended up losing her house and everything she owns. Frances reminds us how quickly we judge a person upfront that we missed to know that they have a story.

This film revolved around giving second chances. Debbie was given another chance to be a good church leader and a better mom. She told Hayden that despite Dyslexia she couldn’t ask for a better son. She pointed out that everybody has their own strengths and weaknesses, and that he has other talents other than reading.

Frances accidentally neglected a lump of small burning coal when she slept outside the church that led to getting the entire structure burned down. Later on, the church members forgave her and even gave her a room to stay at the barn that became the new church.

After the fire incident, it was found out they cannot build another church on the same lot anymore because the contract got revoked due to missed payments. Patsy offered her old barn while Bobby commissioned John and the other men to work out fixing the barn to become the new church. The support given by church members including the homeless showed what Christians can accomplish by faith and resilience.

We go through struggles and transitions in life. What made Debbie’s transition purposeful is her strong faith that no man can stand in the way of the kingdom of God.

Molokai: Father Damien’s Selfless Devotion

Molokai

Molokai: Father Damien’s Selfless Devotion

Molokai, a small isolated isle in Hawaii. This film dramatically presented the struggles of Father Damien who volunteered to minister to the lepers in exile.

This story took place during the late 1800s. During that time, people with leprosy are outcast of society. Father Damien knew he could acquire the disease and yet, he accepted his mission with an open heart. His dedication towards his vocation made him go further lengths when it comes to serving the people regardless of their condition.

Upon his arrival at the island, a Lutheran gentleman warned him of the situation. They’re doing everything to prevent the spread of the disease. He also meets an Englishman who once was a medical assistant before becoming a leper. The Englishman warns the priest about having the same fate as his should he stay there longer.

He finds a ruined chapel and cleans it. Later on, he planted trees on the mountainside. Father Damien helped in building a hospital for the sick.  The priest showed resilience in these scenes. He makes the most out of what he can do with the available resources to help himself and the people residing in Molokai.

In another angle, he found out that the person of authority is a drunkard and a thief who operates a madhouse. At one scene, a mother requested him to fetch her teenage daughter there. He got enraged with what he saw and pulled some of the girls to send them home. A very ill man kissed him and because he didn’t flinch, everyone in the room is shocked. Father Damien even held the man in his arms and prayed for him. Since that incident, some people came to attend mass. They tested him and he remained forthright with his conviction.

The film also showcased coverups between church and government officials due to lack of interest in reaching out to the suffering people in Molokai. Father Damien’s letters appealing for provision became articles in the newspapers that dismayed the Prime Minister.

The captain of the ship refused to allow him onboard so he made his confession to the Bishop at sea. All the sick people are killed and thrown overboard. These leaders have no concern towards the lepers and prefer them dead.

The Prime Minister initiated building a hospital for lepers outside of Honolulu. So that all the government donations and nuns will not reach Molokai. He delayed granting permission to the nuns that when they came, Father Damien was already dying. The people of Molokai grieved for his death. But Father Damien fulfilled his mission and converted more souls to the Catholic faith.

The Adventures of Chris Fable: A Boy’s Symbolic Quest  

The Adventures of Chris Fable

The Adventures of Chris Fable: A Boy’s Symbolic Quest  

The Adventures of Chris Fable is an imaginative film that tells the story of a runaway boy named Chris who lives on thieving for a Fagin-like character Iggy. The preacher Evangeline caught him pilfering inside the church and held him to return the candlesticks. She mentioned The Bible as the most important book, so he took it along with other books he got in his bag. Iggy says that books are worthless and he wanted metals only.

He serves a master called the prince and the children in the junkyard were all his servants. Chris had a nightmare that there was chaos in the land which brought him back to Evangeline. He confessed that his father was a fisherman. He didn’t want his kind of life and rules, so he stole his father’s money and lost them all along the way. Evangeline coaxed him to find his father. She said that he would forgive all his sins and take him back.

These scenes remind us about ourselves going astray from the rules of our heavenly father. All of us are sinners, and we need to search for the path that will bring us back to Him.

Another thought to ponder was the bag that Chris carries in this journey. It represented the excess baggage we find difficult to let go. We think it is part of our being even when it weighs us down. Chris showed that when he encountered The Cross, he immediately it all.

The film presented it in symbolic form meaning the characters that Chris encountered in his quest represented a trait in a human soul including Faith, Hope, and some persons who acted as distractions to his path. Much like a life’s course in itself.

We have a lot of distractions such as getting what we want at an instant and staying in a comfort zone like Electric City. We indulge into a mirage of worldly pleasures that gets us sidetracked from our pursuit to spiritual enlightenment. Following Evangeline’s advice, we should remove our eyeglasses filled with deceit that blocks us from seeing the truth that lay before us.

There were characters too whose purpose was to show up and help Chris in times of his distress. One police offered his whip so Chris can get out of the sticky pond. A man named Grant told Chris hero stories and taught him to use a sword. These characters represent our good-natured friends. Friends who guide us, cares for our welfare and protect us against harm’s way whenever necessary.

The core message in this story is choosing to go the narrow gate instead of the wide one for it leads to destruction while the narrow path leads to Celestial City or a hopeful land. As viewers to this tale, parental guidance is recommended. The presentation fits early teens; however, the meaning of some scenes needs a further explanation so the youngster can relate it to Christianity.

Broken: A Tale between Vengeance and Forgiving

Broken

Broken: A Tale between Vengeance and Forgiving

The film Broken opened its story with a caption New Zealand (1836). The murder of a girl changes the course of history. The astonishing acts of forgiveness that follow bring peace between the warring tribes. The spirit of this story is inspired by hers. From these words alone, we were given a premise that the film’s main theme is the act of forgiving.

Main character Logan used to lead a gang called The Mad Bulls. He left them to raise his daughter Tori and settled himself as a boxing coach at a gym. Both of them enjoyed surfing just in time for sunrise. That morning, Logan’s former mate Murphy showed up on his dock to coax him to return to their brotherhood. Logan declined his offer even after knowing that the rival gang Pouakai was after him. All he wanted was a quiet life with his teenage daughter and nothing more.

Tori was a Christian. She invites her dad to come to church with her but he refused. She and her friend Josh picked up Jess so she can witness a worship performance at church. Jess later confessed that she planned to commit suicide if not for that invitation. These scenes remind us how a simple act of encouragement can save a life.

The story turned when the worried dad decided to fetch his daughter at church after not being home by the promised time. Logan drops by the boxing gym and sees his friend hurt, told him to find Tori sooner. He was still on the road when Tori picked up the phone at home. Men came and shoot her for dead with dad hearing it on his phone. Logan showed us how anger translated to wanting to avenge his daughter’s death. During Tori’s wake, he decided to put revenge in his hands and joined The Mad Bulls again.

Another pivotal character in this tale is Pouakai gang leader Cruz. He took Tori’s laptop in search for information but ended watching her video message about forgiveness. His mother was already confined at hospice care. In a short intimate chat, she told him to forgive everyone and himself so he could be set free. It was the same message bespoke by Tori.

Logan and Murphy came to kill Cruz’s mom. Logan was unable to act on it so Murphy pressed a pillow on top of her face. She was barely alive when Cruz came to see her. She reminded him to forgive everyone before passing on. Cruz made a noble act and that was to face Logan. Both men understood that they wanted to end the impending bloodbath. As it turns out, Murphy used Tori’s death as a match to ignite the fire between the two gangs so theirs can take over the town. He got shot dead as well.  In the end, Logan wore Tori’s cross necklace as a sign of his newfound faith in Christianity.

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Practical Ways to Stay Away from Temptation

Stay Away from Temptation

Practical Ways to Stay Away from Temptation

As obedient children, do not be conformed to the passions of your former ignorance, but as he who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, since it is written, ‘You shall be holy, for I am holy. – 1 Peter 1:14-16

The moment you put your faith to Jesus, you have automatically become part of God’s family. As glamorous as it may sound, however, being a child of God comes with great responsibility. You are called to stay holy and be set apart from this world (James 4:4).

The sad reality is, walking on earth the way God desires you is impossible. Relying only on your own capabilities will bring you nowhere. The Holy Spirit will be the One to cause a deep craving for holiness within you. It is, therefore, important to intentionally seek righteousness.

Here are things you can do today. So that you will be guided by the Lord moment by moment and be able to resist temptation:

The most important meeting of the day

And rising very early in the morning, while it was still dark, he [Jesus] departed and went out to a desolate place, and there he prayed. – Mark 1:35

Even Jesus, despite being one with the Father, made sure to have fellowship with Him before doing anything else. No matter how preoccupied or busy you think you are, do not make the mistake of skipping your most important meeting of the day! Fill your cup with God’s presence first thing in the morning, so you will overflow with righteous thoughts and actions.

Scripture reading and memorization

How can a young man keep his way pure? By guarding it according to your word. – Psalm 119:9

Overcome the schemes of the enemy by always bringing with you “the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God” (Ephesians 6:17). Neglecting to read and memorize God’s Word is also the same as going to the war without being equipped with any weapon. It is an act of succumbing to defeat. If you are determined to withstand temptation, read the Bible every day. Memorize key verses in which you can hold onto when the urge to sin comes your way.

Watching, reading and listening to Christian media

Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. – Paul 4:8

With all the advancements in technology, modern Christians do not have any excuse not to have contact with materials that would help them lead a Spirit-filled life. Christian movies and songs have become very accessible across different platforms. To fill your mind with purity and God’s truth, choose to listen and watch to these media.

With Crossflix, you can actually watch the best Christian movies. Start your 30 days free trial now.

Whenever you find it difficult to measure up to God’s desires, submit to His control. When you are being led by the Holy Spirit, that’s when you can gain self-control and be able to resist your sinful inclinations.

It’s only when you’re intimate with God that you’ll be able to overcome.

Jeremy Lin’s Road to NBA

Jeremy Lin’s Road to NBA

Jeremy Lin’s Road to NBA: The rise of Linsanity

Every successful person has humble beginnings. The inspiring documentary film Linsanity takes us to Jeremy Lin’s journey from dreaming to become a basketball player to living the dream as an NBA superstar.

Jeremy Lin began his training for basketball at a young age. Dad Geiming was an NBA fanatic. He grew up in Taiwan where academics are prioritized over athletics. He got accustomed to playing basketball after getting home from work that his love for this sport was passed on to his three close-knit sons Joshua, Jeremy, and Joseph. Jeremy grew taller and more passionate in mimicking the moves of the NBA players he watched on TV. Lin’s love for basketball showed us that no matter how preoccupied our life gets, we can still pursue a skill or a hobby that will give fulfillment to our soul.

Jeremy grew up in Palo Alto, California. He was the best basketball player in his senior year but no university clamored for him because he was an Asian kid. He got teased for his Chinese features and descent.  His struggles were no different to every kid who gets bullied due to racial discrimination. Instead of fighting them back, he turned to his Christian faith and family for moral support. Mom Shirley was always affirming that he is strong-willed on his every game. By having this kind of support system, Jeremy learned to trust God when he is low and praise God when he is up. Seldom do we get to watch an athlete who acknowledges God’s ways in his life at his interviews.

After his standout collegiate basketball career at Harvard, Jeremy was undrafted in any NBA team. There were moments that he felt unwanted like when he got cut by two NBA teams and was just sitting on the bench on the third, but what’s remarkable was his unwavering faith in God. He translated his faith into making himself a better player with constant practice. And he used the lockout period at the NBA season to prepare for the upcoming game. He anticipated playing the game of his life. When he got the chance to play point guard, he scored the most number of points in a game that created a public frenzy. Thus, the term Linsanity was born.

Jeremy’s perspective in his life and career came to a turn when he went to Taiwan to get to know his roots and its culture. He came up with Jeremy Lin Basketball Academy in Palo Alto to teach kids to play basketball. Jeremy came to believe that God orchestrated the events in his life. He realized that he can only find peace in himself when he plays for God. He acknowledged that he became a better person through tough times and that is part of His will for him.

Linsanity’s core message is to give hope to the kids who think never could I have the chance. With faith and perseverance, a dream can become a reality.

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The shortest verse in the Bible

Shortest Verse in the Bible

The Shortest Verse in the Bible and the Lessons we can learn from it. 

“Jesus wept.” – John 11:35

Even with only two words, the shortest Bible verse in most translations is amazingly profound.

John 11 tells the story of how Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead. This is even after the dead man being in the tomb for four days already. Like Lazarus’ sisters, Martha and Mary, you may be wondering why Jesus had to wait for Lazarus’ death before visiting them. “Why did Jesus not heal Lazarus when he was only sick then weep on his death?” you may ask.

Through this event, however, God is actually teaching us the following valuable life lessons:

The Lord is still glorified in the midst of grief.

“But when Jesus heard it he said, ‘This illness does not lead to death. It is for the glory of God, so that the Son of God may be glorified through it.” – John 11:4

It is quite easy to question God’s plan in our lives. This is especially true when it seems so impossible to get out of our hardships and agony alive. Having this kind of perspective, however, hinders us from appreciating the good things God is about to do in our lives for His glory. As His children, God commands us to rejoice even in the middle of suffering (1 Peter 4:12). Choose to hold on to His promise that all things, either good or seemingly bad, work together for our good (Romans 8:28).

God is never apathetic about our pain.

Even when Jesus had to allow sorrow to be felt by His friends in order to bring glory to the Father, He did not enjoy it. In fact, seeing Mary and Martha, along with the other Jews, grieve over Lazarus’ death with loud cries, Jesus got “deeply moved in spirit and troubled” (John 11:33).

This shows that Jesus is truly and really man, subject to the same passions and emotions we experience. He feels just as we feel. He rejoices just as we rejoice. He agonizes just as we agonize.

Jesus proved in this scenario that our Savior is not distant from us. He is well-acquainted with us. He is not emotionless and he is never indifferent about how we feel.

It is okay to weep under afflictions.

“Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.” – Matthew 5:4

In your walk as a Christian, there will surely be moments of trials and difficulties. God does not expect us to be 100% strong and unwavering all the time. Jesus Himself said that you are blessed when you mourn as He will be the one to give you comfort.

Therefore, when you grieve, refrain from complaining (Philippians 2:14) or disputing God’s goodness. Understand that, in due time, the Lord will wipe every tear from your eyes. When that time comes, there will be no death, no crying, no pain anymore (Revelation 21:4).

It is natural to grieve for others.

“Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep.” –Romans 12:15

Are you the type of friend who is there through thick and thin? You may be naturally ready to share the joys of others, but do you also share their sorrows?

As a Christian, we should follow the example Christ set before us. Do not only be ready to rejoice with the people around you. Be there also to sympathize and grieve with them in the middle of trouble. Look after their interests (Philippians 2:4) and extend a helping hand when you can.

Short but deeply sweet. John 11:35 teaches us that (1) the Lord is still glorified in the midst of grief, but (2) is never apathetic about our pain. It also helps us understand that (3) it is okay to weep under afflictions and (4) it is natural to grieve for others.

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2017 Must-See Christian films to watch on Crossflix

Christian Films

Crossflix is an online movie channel which gives you access to stream free online Christian movies. It is a family friendly channel with thousands of Christian films from old to latest movies, documentaries or educational content. You can stream any Christian movie on Crossflix at any time. Movies for adults and kids can be watched on this movie channel. In this way, you will have two in one benefit of entertainment plus information. Christian movies are best to spend time with your family. Last few years have been highly remarkable in faith-based movies. The extreme power of love and faith can be felt through these movies.

Spending time with your family is really important and this can be the best way to do that. It can actually double the joy of watching a movie. There is no religion barrier for watching a Christian movie but first initiate should be by the Christians itself. As the year 2016 has many noteworthy Christian or biblical movies on a variety of subjects. Themes of love, hope, faith can be seen in these movies. Whatever kind of movie you like, you will have one of your favorite movies on the list. Do you want to know which Christian movies you can stream on Crossflix? So, here is a list of the good gospel and entertaining Christian films.

  • The Case for Christ
  • The Shack
  • Saving Faith
  • The Resurrection of Gavin Stone
  • Khumbula-I Will Remember

These are some of the 2017 must-see Christian films which you can stream on Crossflix. These movies have attracted a large number of audiences on a global level. The popularity of Christian movies 2017  has been raised from the past few years. With a subscription to Crossflix you can stream unlimited Christianity films. With growing time the film industry is also growing. Christian movies are the one which will really bring all your emotion out. Want to enjoy your life to the fullest then you must watch Christian based movies because it will teach you how to love someone, how to forgive rather than hating. You watch movies with your friends more and rare with your family.

You see various movies but the way a biblical movie makes you think is just out of the box. Even the person who has lost all hope and faith can re-live his/her life again. It is really inspirational and also includes inspirational quotations. It can really make you transform into a good human being. If you want to see the world from a positive aspect than Christianity is one which will make you optimistic.  Filling your mind with negativity is a bad option rather than filling it with the moral values of Christ. Do you want to observe a change within yourself? If yes, you must watch Christian films and if no then also you must watch them. Your no will automatically turn into a yes from the time you start watching biblical movies.

Remember the Goal: Coaching the Pathway of Life

Remember the Goal

Remember the Goal takes place in a Christian school environment. It is Orange Hills’ first time to have a female coach. Main character Courtney just got out of college and was assigned to train an all-girls team. They will compete for cross-country race this season. Instead of pushing the girls to run faster, she instructed them to go slow that made her techniques questionable for both students and parents alike. They were quick to judge that she is unfit for the role.

In life, we meet people who are quick to judge us at face value especially when we work in a team. Some people forget that an individual’s cooperation contributes to teamwork. The top student runner Kristen did forget as she shows off to her coach that she runs faster than the rest of them.

The turning point was when Courtney kicked Kristen off the team for being defiant. As a result, Kristen got the other girls to quit with only five who stayed for training. Naysayers may influence our decisions but it is in ourselves that we determine which is a good or bad company for us.

There are disjointed subplots however, what’s good about this film were the short scenes showing each girl’s personal struggle. Ana’s dad pressures her to run faster so she can get a better rank off the charts. Rebecca’s mom was always scolding her about house chores. Heidi has an inferiority complex over Ana whom she thinks is always better than her. Katelyn’s father works far-away and missed to see her run in her earlier races. Shelby’s dad forbids her to date with boys at the age of 15.

The common problems among girls in middle school were brought up because it is where the role of parents, teachers or coaches comes into play. It is the stage in their lives where they needed guidance the most. We have seen here that Courtney’s advice and actions to guide the girls in the right pathway of life go beyond the sport and winning the game.

During their final practice, Courtney revealed the purpose of running at tempo pace and that is to build their endurance. She resembles practice with character building where patience, trust, and fortitude makes for a better athlete and a better person altogether.

Even in the race of life, we sometimes believe that getting ahead will lead us to achieve our goals faster. We press ourselves harder to win the race that we miss to see stumbling blocks on our way. We work harder that may end up wearing us down. That’s the lesson in this story.

The verse in Corinthians about whatever you do, do it for the glory of God means that winning is not the ultimate goal in life. Having the wisdom to rise up from adversaries may matter more. Our skills and wisdom came from God. We only need to acknowledge that in whatever we do.

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On Angel’s Wings: Intent of Prayer and Miracles

On Angel's Wings

On Angel’s Wings presented teenager issues in a lighthearted story.

McKenzie was a water girl in their soccer team. One day, Coach Carter ordered her to play after Amaya sprained her ankle. She kicked the ball out of range that the team lost the game. Just like any typical teenager, her worries include being teased, having no friends and feeling like a loser.

At some point in our lives, we had the same issues she has. We all experienced pain. And wished that we are on the winning side than being looked downcast as a failure. McKenzie almost followed Amaya’s prodding to quit the team.

However, Coach Carter told her it’s not winning that matters but trying to do the best she can each time she plays. Aside from practice, the Coach encouraged her to believe in herself.

In a subplot, McKenzie’s younger brother Josh was having difficulty reading in class. His teacher and classmates think he can’t read. But Josh speaks with clarity and sensibility in casual conversations with his sister, mom Amber and the preacher at church. His tutor showed patience in determining whether he was dyslexic. Feeling odd with himself, Josh visits the church to pray and not bother his mom or sister with his problems.

These scenes showed us that some people would be quick to judge us for falling short of their expectations, but some people are willing to open their hearts to motivate us to do better like the tutor and the preacher.

The story turned when the siblings wished for a miracle. Under different circumstances, both had a chance to encounter an angel. Angel Michael gave McKenzie three wishes.

Firstly, she wished to become rich after feeling embarrassed over an old pair of rubber shoes. She and Josh found a pouch full of money near the dumpster. They bought new clothes, but the surprised Amber told them to return the money. Her second wish was to become good at sports so she will be famous and have new friends. In spite of granting McKenzie’s wishes, the angel pointed out things that don’t won’t last.

In the movie, they subtly highlighted bullying. The girls who once teased McKenzie befriended her when she became a famous soccer player. They told her to discard her nerd brother, and in one instance, she did that hurt his feelings. Her mom advised her about choosing friends and not hurting the ones she loves to impress somebody else.

In the end, Angel Michael pointed out that believing in herself made her win the game. The intention of prayer is not for one’s self but for asking God to meet other people’s needs. McKenzie’s final wish was to enable her brother to read without glasses or surgery. Overall, we learned from this film that we are God’s angels sent to give others a miracle.

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