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.