Indivisible: A Fight to Keep a Fort Undivided

Indivisible

Indivisible: A Fight to Keep a Fort Undivided

This film was based on true events that happened in the life of Army Chaplain Darren Turner and his wife Heather.

He brought his wife and three kids with him to Fort Stewart. Heather took all the responsibility of caring for their kids. She also attends to the wives of other soldiers at the Fort while Darren was in Iraq.

In this kind of separation between husband and wife, we see two different perspectives. For Darren, it means self-sacrifice to go and serve his duty at an uncertain place for the first time. For Heather, it means containing her strong-will so she can take care of her daughter.  Setting aside her personal need so she could provide for her daughter’s needs.

In Iraq, the shooting takes a toll on the soldiers. Their physical energies and emotional strength deplete. At the passing of months, Darren keeps his communication with Heather and his daughter but his spirit weakens at the sight of dead soldiers and a dead girl brought to him to pray for before they bury the bodies. Darren realizes that each soldier keeps themselves alive for their loved ones while they try to save as many innocent lives as they can in the battleground.

Lance questions Darren about God’s will and why He allowed the death of innocent people. He is unable to quote anything from scripture at that time.

However, Darren’s caring ways have drawn Lance to rekindle his belief in God to the point of getting baptized. Another character that he influenced was his neighbour Michael who also has some troubles with his wife. Darren convinced him to call his wife and connect with her again.

To both Lance and Michael, Darren served as a guide and a brother that reminded them God is with them even in their personal battles. Before returning home, an explosion killed Lance and Michael’s leg got severed that it was to be cut off. The incident traumatized Darren until their homecoming. Heather faced a withdrawn husband who was even edgy towards their children.

And these scenes truly happen in real life. There are soldiers who get into Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. This film showed us how it developed, how to get help and how the afflicted and their loved ones address it so they all could go into a healing process.

Darren decided to leave the military service in favor of working at a flower farm. He and Heather continue with their counselling sessions with an elderly Army Chaplain until he courts her again.

Michael, already in a wheelchair, confronts him that what happened to them in Iraq was beyond his control and that they need to move on from it. He becomes enlightened and ready to reunite with his family again.

Indivisible presented to us a powerful and inspiring journey of a soldier’s personal struggles, a marriage strain, spiritual healing and restoration of faith.

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The Young Messiah

The Young Messiah

The Young Messiah: A Glimpse of Jesus’ Childhood

We have seen many stories about the life of Jesus in the film, but an account of what his childhood could be like is what inspires The Young Messiah.

The story began with a Jewish girl playing with Jesus who was then about seven years old. A bigger kid teased and hit him for playing with a girl. A tall man in black cloak appeared and threw an apple to trip the kid, so Jesus gets blamed for his immediate death. Mary pulled Jesus from the crowd and locked the door. Jesus’ cousin asked if he can restore the kid’s life the way he did with the dead bird. Jesus sneaked out and prayed for the dead kid who woke up still angry at him.

The elders presumed that Jesus might be evil, so Joseph decided to leave Egypt and take his family to Nazareth. Both Joseph and Mary knew that at all cost, they are there to protect Jesus. At the slightest incident that may cast doubts about Jesus’ powers, they flee to secure his safety.

This narrative showed us common scenarios in those days. Roman soldiers easily wield their swords to kill anyone they suspect as rebels, so Joseph exclaims that they are travellers.

Two notable highlights worth noting in this film were the devil whispering to Jesus that his mother is a whore and father is a liar. The young Jesus was firm in telling the devil not to touch him, and that scene captured Jesus’ authority over him. It reminds us that the devil can influence bad thoughts to come to our minds that can lead to bad deeds, but he cannot harm us when we are firm believers that we are children of God. Another compelling scene was Jesus’ answering the rabbis at the temple in Jerusalem. A rabbi asked if God was a carpenter. He replied God gave Noah the dimensions for the ark and directions for building the temple. Jesus reminded us of how God’s guidance works for the chosen ones.

The culminating scene happened when Jesus stood face to face with the Roman soldier Severus. The devil whispered to his ear to go and kill the boy. But Jesus, looking at him, made him feel his power, so he let Jesus and his parents go.

Towards the end, Mary explained to Jesus that He is the begotten Son of God. He goes on top of the hill to accept and claim He is the child of God. A kind, humble, obedient and smart child preparing to become The Messiah to humanity.

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A Boy Called Po: A Special Child’s Wandering Thoughts

A Boy called Po

A Boy Called Po: A Special Child’s Wandering Thoughts

Autism is a delicate topic to discuss. A Boy Called Po is a film that talks about the challenges a widower faced while grieving the loss of his wife and being a committed father to a child with Autism.

David intentionally hid Beth’s passing from Po thinking that he might not understand. Little did he know that Po worries about the sadness he sees in him. We get to see David in us when we think it is better to wallow in our own pain than hurt our loved ones.

Five months passed and Po was still asking where his Mom was. He begins to drift into his fantasy world making it difficult for the teacher to get his attention. The principal told David to transfer Po to special education as he cannot thrive in a regular school.

The challenges he faced while dealing with therapists, insurance coverage, medical bills, and his projects at work. He is an engineer who experienced difficulty connecting with his son.

Po was actually a smart kid who loves complex math and enjoys reading the stock market pages of the newspaper.  Inside his fantasy world, he meets Jack who asks him for advice in whatever situation he gets into.  Po was normal on that other plane. He sings Dancing with Myself and tells Jack that for him, the song meant that he is confident being himself.  Since he gets bullied in school, he meets Amelia who talks to him and reads to him topics that interest him.  Later on in the story, we realize that Amelia is Po’s another imaginary friend too. We have seen here the picture of Po’s colorful mind.

There were several heartwarming father and son scenes throughout the film.  When Po used ketchup and mustard to draw a rainbow on the wall, David already turned his back and missed the boy’s remark you’re my rainbow Daddy. Once in a while, Po says don’t be afraid Daddy. Later on, he told him it means to not be afraid of him for the way he is.

David’s dilemma was whether Po stays in a facility so he can work. Meanwhile, Po was contemplating on staying in his fantasy world. Amidst the complexities in their intertwined lives, David finds comfort in Amy, Po’s last therapist who became his confidante.  Amy gave him moral support and encouragement on moments he needed it the most.  It was she that made him realize to choose Po over his career.

Towards the end, David reimbursed his 401K which turned out as a larger sum than he expected. Po asked for his signature and it allowed him to enrol at a high-risk stock trading that paid off. Finally, David told Po about his mom’s death, brought him to her grave and for a brief moment, he sees her in his thoughts and she held his hand. And having his thoughts wander is alright.

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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.

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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War Flowers Movie Review: A Tale of Sorrow and Hope

War Flowers

War Flowers: A Tale of Sorrow and Hope 

The historical-drama film War Flowers deals with emotions from the perspective of a soldier’s wife and daughter. Set during the Civil War, Sarabeth and daughter Melody stayed at farmland. Sergeant John Ellis who owned this farmland joined the Confederate Army.

The story began with a brief scene of a shooting. Melody appeared by the windowpane wishing for his father to come home soon. Every child whose father is a soldier can relate to Melody’s longingness for a father’s presence. There’s always that special bond between a father and daughter. It was her doll and bear that connects her with her father. It kept her in believing that he will return.

What this movie is all about

There were several poignant scenes in the movie. Sarabeth has shown us her sorrow while reading her brother’s letter. She was looking for news about John. Another heartbreaking scene was when her baby Isaac died, and Melody saw how it broke her heart. The pain runs deep for a wife. She is uncertain about her husband’s fate. She’s a mother who is unable to save her baby from sickness while he was out at war.

These scenes explain why Melody kept the truth about her father’s death so her mother can continue to hope that he will be coming back for them. Apart from food shortage, there’s an unruly neighbor Rufus and soldiers who passed on their land while exchanging bullets in the air. Sarabeth needed to have the will to secure their safety and Melody made sure to remind her that the Lord is taking care of them.

Other notable characters were that of Gen. Mcintire and his son Lt. Louis. When his two sons fell in a close encounter, he told Louis he can give his life for the cause but does not want his remaining son to die at war. In an incident, one gentleman shot Louis. He was wounded and end up where Sarabeth is staying. Upon reaching back the Union line, his father ordered his men not to allow his son to cross the line again. The General knew that duties lead to repercussions while they fight in battle. In this case, a father only wanted to spare his son’s life.

What Sarabeth and Louis shared in their brief togetherness is a decent affection for each other. She knew her boundaries as a married woman, and he was a gentleman who respected the fact that both woman and child belongs to another man. Only after Melody confirmed her father’s death were they able to acknowledge looking forward to a future together. Sarabeth was a woman of dignity despite the hardships she faced. Louis was an honorable man.

The film War Flowers resonates to time for sorrow and a time for hope, a chapter in life that ends as the war ends and a new one begins.

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Romero: An Archbishop’s Life as the Voice of the Church and its People

Romero

Romero: An Archbishop’s Life as the Voice of the Church and its People

The film Romero released in 1989 tells a biopic of a Salvadoran bishop named Oscar Romero who became an Archbishop during the military regime. The story set in 1977 when El Salvador was holding a presidential election in the midst of a troublesome society, guerilla uprising and public unrest.

The first subplot showed us how people risk their lives for their right to vote. Main character Bishop Romero was initially a mere spectator between what goes on with the government officials, the military, the bishops confederate, and the masses as he tries to stay apolitical.

Meanwhile, his friend Father Grande openly fights for the people’s rights. In their short chat, he says to Romero, “I cannot love a God that I cannot see if I don’t love my brothers and sisters that I can see.” Father Grande’s stance is that regardless of tribulations, the Church as well as we hold a moral responsibility towards our brethren in faith.

The scene where armed soldiers blocked the road and won’t allow voters from reaching the poll precinct has shown their determination to vote. No matter the threat, they proceeded to walk and be able to vote.

Father Romero became a hero to his people 

To this day, these scenes speak about what’s really happening during an election in some areas of the world. These scenes tell us that whether it’s 1977 or 2018, situations may be different but the motive is still rooted in greed for power.

Another angle worth noting is the conspiracy within the Bishop confederate. They chose Bishop Romero to become Archbishop because they think of him as a compromise choice with a delicate health condition. This scene has shown us a good example of duplicity.  Sometimes, we need to look closely within the confines of our circle if those we trust are truly trustworthy.

In this case, the Bishops elevated Romero. And use him to influence the masses to stir away from government. There are many poignant scenes in this film. During the shooting at the town plaza, we see death and grieving all over the place. Archbishop Romero rejected the violent methods both of the guerillas and the military.

In the end, he got assassinated while consecrating the Eucharist during Mass. He risked his life being persecuted in a society permeated with injustice. Oscar Romero died but his influence to fight for peace and freedom in El Salvador goes on.

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