Sunrise in Heaven

Sunrise in Heaven

Sunrise in Heaven: Enduring Love

Based on the novel His Sunrise My Sunset, Jan recounts her love story to an Air Force soldier named Steve Hurst.

The film Sunrise in Heaven opened with an old version of Jan and Steve, talking about what they can still do together while driving on the road and then an accident happened.  They were both sent to the hospital.

Their adult daughters Terri and Michele came to the hospital to comfort Jan, but her thoughts were elsewhere. It brought her back to the day she first met Steve.

It was in 1964 when Steve got stationed at Vandenberg Air Force Base, where Jan’s dad Jim, was an officer who trains recruits. Jan was among the young girls who served food at a canteen. Steve was instantly attracted to Jan the moment he laid eyes on her. To him, it was love at first sight. But Jan was quick to turn him down. Her dad already forewarned her not to date a GI.

These scenes remind us there was an era not so long ago where teenagers obey their parents no matter how strict they are. Having to follow their parent’s rules outweighs peer pressure.

There are several scenes that youngsters of today’s generation can learn from when it comes to courtship. Jan thinks her dad’s antics towards Steve is crazy.

However, she tells Steve how important it is for her that they get her dad’s blessing.

Seeing them consult their thoughts and feelings to a pastor is a good reflection to young audiences. Both of them showed openness and respect not only for each other but to the people involved in their lives.

Jim thinks Steve is soft; that is why he tested his patience. He wanted to know if his spirit is weak and if he will turn his back on Jan because he was getting in their way.

Their confrontation scene will make us understand Jim’s intention as a father and that is to save his daughter from heartbreak before it even happens.

Back at the hospital, Terri and Michele showed a contrasting outlook about their dad’s condition. His spine was already damaged, and he is only relying on a respirator as life support. Terri believes in the power of prayer. While Michele confronts the reality that for her, Steve has a bleak chance of surviving.

Despite their differences, Michele reached out to Pastor Robert so he could pray for their family. The prayer scene reminds us of how powerful prayer can be to ease a soul from desperation.

Sunrise in Heaven gives us a story that will help us understand how to accept challenges in life and anchor it by faith.

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Breakthrough: A Mother’s Unwavering Love

Breakthrough

Breakthrough: A Mother’s Unwavering Love

The depth of a mother’s love is beyond measure. Based on true events, this film takes us to a roller coaster ride of emotions of a mother. The story opens with 14-year-old John intentionally doing and undoing things like a typical teenager. He gives his breakfast to the dog. Then he calls his dad by the first name and didn’t do his assignment on family history. These scenes show how a concerned mother makes an effort to connect to her teenage son.

After winning a basketball game in school, John went to a sleepover. The next morning, the three boys played over the frozen Missouri Lake despite knowing it’s not safe there. The plot took a turn when the ice suddenly cracks and the three boys fell on cold water. The two managed to emerge but John fell deeper.  Rescuers came to get John’s body. These scenes leave us to thinking that the boy could have avoided the accident if he heeded to the man’s warning. Stubbornness leads to a reckless tragedy.

Upon reaching the hospital, Joyce got confronted by the Doctor who explained their efforts to revive him and yet, John has no pulse for several minutes now.  She enters the room and cries out to God to send the Holy Spirit to breathe life into John. She touched his feet and miraculously, his pulse starts ticking again. The Doctor says John may become severely impaired once he wakens. Joyce showed us that no matter what the Doctor says, she keeps her faith in prayer that God listens to a mother’s plea.

There are reflective moments in this story. Joyce didn’t approve of the new pastor Jason and the changes he’s done at church service especially including rap music during praise and worship. Even so, Jason was the first person to comfort her in times of distress. He was by her side when she needed a friend the most. Sometimes, we too misjudge persons in our lives because we do not favor their ways. Later on, we find ourselves accepting them for who they are. The best part is when we realize that the one we used to frown upon turns out as a compassionate soul after all like Jason to Joyce.

John’s rescuer claims himself as an unbeliever. However, he believes he heard a voice when he plunged in the cold lake that led him to find the boy’s body. When they meet again, he told John that if God has plans for him, it may be something pretty special. The accident turned out as a life-changing experience both for the man who erstwhile thought there was no God and the boy who saw how many people have extended their help and prayers for a miracle.

While a mother’s love is a powerful force on Earth, God’s love for us makes a miracle possible.

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The Rack Pack

The rack pack

The Rack Pack: Kids at Play Saves the Day

Before the advent of digital games, kids look forward to playing outdoor games after class. This film takes us into Darrell Rackley’s adventures together with his two brothers and a handful of military kids who formed a troop called The Rack Pack.

The story opened showing an elderly Darrell narrating about his great-uncle General Rackley who hired rustlers to hide Yankee gold and heavy pistols in a tunnel during the Civil War. He was riding a horse when the map fell on the road and was picked up by two boys. The tale was that the General fell from the horse and remembered nothing about the map. The boys hid it under a brick on the floor of their house. These scenes related to treasure and a map fascinates the kid at heart in us. We have outgrown the passing of legendary accounts of our ancestors and their ways during days of old.

Fast forward to Darrel’s time, a woman found the map while clearing items for auction and threw it in a box. A girl asked her mom to buy the box for $20. However, a sneaky guy named Ted snatched the box and sped off. While scouring items for reselling, the map piqued his interest that led him to discover an underground tunnel below old Brady’s shack. These scenes set the plot into motion.

The Rack Pack was playing military tactics in the woods when Darrell and the smaller kid Manny saw Ted and his son DJ from the treetop. The two boys followed the men to the shack and Darrell took the map. Darrell’s Dad David learned what happened and prohibited them from going back to the shack. However, David went there himself and was held captive by Ted. Unable to return home, the snoopy girl Tammy told Darrell where David went. Knowing that their Dad is in trouble, the boys prepare for a strategy to fight the bad guys. The highlight of this film was to show the power of brotherhood among kids especially during times that they lack adult guidance. They come up with innovative ways to fight after knowing that the tunnel leads to their museum. Amusing acts included using fireworks and poop sticks to scare the goons.

Some scenes showed patriotism with the way Darrell cherished a small box containing US Army patches. At one endearing scene, old Colonel Lamb gave him a medal and picture of his grandfather when he was a young soldier.

Furthermore, we saw David’s pain at the loss of his wife. He showed us how a soldier manages to be a parent of three sons. In absence of a mother, there are grandfather-like figures in that small community that looks out for their neighbor’s kids. Colonel Lamb’s concern led to him finding David as help gets underway. The goons were all tied and beaten when police came. Apart from being entertaining, The Rack Pack represented bravery and children empowerment.

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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.

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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