Ashes of Eden: The Price of Redemption

Ashes of Eden

Ashes of Eden: The Price of Redemption

The film Ashes of Eden took its inspiration from The Bible verse in 1John 2:15 that tells us not to love the things of this world for we cannot serve two masters, this world and God.

Police arrested Red due to some misbehaviour. At the time of his release, he met his friend, Vargas, who convinced him to join a gang party. The police raided their venue and his cop mom Dana sees him. In the next scene, Red’s younger brother Jake convinced him to attend church service. He went to the church but abruptly left during the sermon.

Subplots were in disarray. However, it showed Red as a troubled teenager who grew up without a father figure in his life. This bad reputation placed him in some consequential mishaps with others. But lacking a father’s guidance is not enough reason to run away from his mother’s admonitions. Dana showed that she is a mom who intends to protect her son no matter what happens and a cop who is out to help straighten his ways. She turns to prayer for inner strength.

The school principal Tony suspended Red due to a complaint that he stinks in class. On a personal note, he is wooing Dana so he came to her house to tell her about Red’s status in school. Dana pleaded for another chance but Tony was firm in his decision. Had Dana been open with his kids about Tony’s intention to become part of their lives, he could have acted as the father figure that both Red and Jake needed.

Red’s girlfriend Angela spells trouble too. Her brother Carlos and cousin Poncho were drug-dealers. They hid the packed drugs in the toilet. While they took some packs, the remaining ones Red stole then he connived with Vargas to resell them. There’s a scene where a desperate mom hands Vargas money in exchange for drugs. Red felt sorry about this mom’s daughter who pleaded to them not to give her drugs. The story progressed towards Red’s conscience that led to his meet up with Dana at the cemetery. The short exchange of words was poignant for both mother and son who acknowledged their shortcomings.

Carlos as an antagonist showed pure evil ways. He beats up his cousin Vargas and eventually killed him while he was in a coma with no hint of remorse. Then he pretended to comfort his aunt, told the cop, Sean, that Red had a fight with Vargas. He knifed his other cousin Poncho when he accompanied Red to get the money from drug-dealing that Jake hid in the bookshelves. After that, he pointed a gun to Jake’s head and at the turn of events, the child Jake was the one who shot Carlos dead.

The final scene of the movie Ashes of Eden showed Red preaching the parable of the prodigal son inside the prison. He too was once lost but found his way to pay the price of redemption.

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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.

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.

Stand Strong: Overcoming Test of Faith

Stand Strong

The film Stand Strong tells about main character Matt Webster and his family who were having a materialistic way of living. The opening scenes showed the lifestyle of each of Matt’s family members. We see that Matt is busy with work while his wife Tara gets preoccupied in pleasing her rich friends than giving attention to their youngest child.  They often left Cameron in the house with a maidservant. The two teens Megan and Brendan attended to their hobbies and friends.

Each of them created a little world outside the family to cover up their lack of support towards one another. Their set-up was akin to most of us who look up to lifestyle than have meaningful relationships at home and work, in school or with friends. Consciously or not, our focus goes to the image of affluence where we thrive. When this level of comfort and security gets shaken, that’s where the trouble begins.

Matt’s predicament came into view when the company he works for started cutting jobs. He tracked house payments and his family’s expenses. Tara overspent on her credit cards. Brendan and Megan often went out with their separate set of friends. As head of his family, Matt decided to cut back which dismayed them. Wives can reflect on Tara’s malpractices. As a wife and mother, her duty was to support her husband’s decisions in curbing their expenses and not rant on him when her cards got declined.

After losing their house to foreclosure, Matt’s family moved in to live under his brother Josh house. His mother declined to bail him this time so he’d learn to manage his family and finances on his own. Tara and Megan grow up with a servant and this situation tested Rachel’s patience. Good thing Rachel chose to pray for extended patience than quarrel with Tara. Had acceptance came into their hearts sooner, it could have eased their adjustment period as part of another household. Ego usually gets in the way before humility sets. Matt and his family experienced this kind of situation. Josh offered to help Matt with what he knows about dealing with finances based on principles from the Bible.

Another test of fate was when Cameron fell from a rocky cliff after following Brendan who climbed on top of it. Filled with guilt about his brother getting hurt, Brendan was remorseful and turned to the Bible for guidance. Matt saw this and bridged the gap between their father and son relationship. He noticed Brendan’s artistic talent and came to work with him on a digital marketing project. Matt also reached out to Megan to restore their father and daughter bond.

The film Stand Strong depicts factors that make up for character building between husband and wife, parents and children, an individual and family that stands steadfastly. Towards the end, they all learned from each other that made them hold together as a family again.

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Childlike Faith: I Believe Movie Review

childlike faith

I Believe: The Meaning of Childlike Faith

I Believe demonstrated how to have faith similar to a child. The main character is 9-year old Brian who has parents that are unbelievers of God and Christianity. In a scene where Brian’s father openly tells him that there is no God, he attempts to persuade the belief of the child.

We relate to this scene as most of us get influenced by the people around us. Influence is not synonymous with having a personal belief in something especially God. What our parents, relatives and friends believe may or may not sync with our own. We uphold our belief regardless of other people’s convictions.

Brian was assigned to write about pilgrims in his class. Aside from the assignment, his innocent curiosity led him to exert an extra effort to research further about Jesus, His teachings and His works. The teacher did remind him not to turn into a fanatic. Despite the comment, the smart boy pressed on to learn more about Jesus.

He uses different channels including the internet, buying a Bible and visiting the church for the first time. We too have a gut-feel experience like this. We persistently look for answers to satisfy our curiosity with facts that concerns our belief in God.

Brian’s act of prayer and an unwavering act of sharing his faith led to miracles that made him newsworthy. The boy’s faith in the power of prayer has convinced those lives he touched to believe including the US Marine and the woman who has a blind baby. In this modern age, there are many among us who do not believe in miracles anymore.

Only when we open our hearts do we get to see miracles happen in our lives. And by giving thanks with a grateful heart, we expand the width and the length of our faith in God.

Another scene worth mentioning was when Brian abducted by a mob. The leader asked the boy if God listens to him and his reply was it is the opposite, it is he who listens to Him. The intention was to strain the boy’s faith and destroy him from making the headlines. When the little girl was shot. Brian prayed for her quick recovery.

There will always be a set of bad people who are out there to inflict physical or psychological harm. They will be out to test where our faith lay. Sometimes, all it takes is a childlike faith to keep us grounded. Against whatever odds that come and passes through our course in life.

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