Category Archives: Movies

War Room

For many years, we’ve been big fans of Sherwood Baptist Church, and the Kendrick brothers’ movies. First there was Flywheel, then Facing the Giants, then Fireproof and (breaking the ‘F’ mold) Courageous.

About a week ago, a new movie hit the big screen: War Room

An excellent movie, worth your time and money.

An excellent film, worth your time and money.

Kathy arranged to meet several other couples to see the movie at our nearby theater with reclino-seats, and we settled in to enjoy the show.

I unreservedly endorse this movie. It is a well-made, well-acted film made by people who really know what it is to have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. Seeing this movie was significantly encouraging to me, and I expect it to continue to bear fruit in my life over the next weeks and months.

Afterwards, we noticed our Pastor and his wife sitting toward the front, and invited them to come to dinner with us. Eventually, we all ended up at Colin and Julee’s house, spending several hours eating takeout, talking about the movie and about how we handled the question of our children dating, and generally enjoying a very pleasant time of fellowship and ice cream.

Round up the usual suspects ...

Round up the usual suspects …

It is a little strange for Kathy and I to be entering this new phase in which we have relationships with other adults apart from our children. David and Sarah were away, visiting Grandma and Grandpa, and so we just hung out with these dear friends, almost as if we were grown-ups.

Project 365, Day 249

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WMFW – Movie Info

wfmwI love movies! I love the thrill of being lost in a fantastic story, putting up my feet, digging into a big bowl of popcorn and being swept away into another time or place.

As a Christian family, we try to be discerning and wise in our movie viewing (not an easy thing these days). Here are some resources we use in previewing and monitoring our movie choice:

Plugged In - run by Focus on the Family, this is a Christian review site. Profanity, sexual content, violence, and religious themes are all clearly outlined.

Screen It – another “spoiler” type review website. Unlike Plugged In, this is not a Christian based site. It is geared toward parents, however, and does an excellent job of detailing the specific content of the movie. There is a separate section where the author rates the movie (on a 1 to 10 scale). Although he is not filtering through a Biblical world view, I often find the movie critique to be insightful.

daniel, david and sarah

If the children are going to watch a movie they have to pay a “chip.” Daniel and David encourage Sarah to pay as often as possible. They even occasionally let her actually select the movie. That’s big brothers for you.

IMDB (International Movie Database) – the mother of all movie websites. It has every movie, actor, director, etc every made in it’s database. This is the place to research movies, cross reference composers, or just plain track down the answer to that illusive question.

“Who was that guy who played in that movie with the other girl? You know, the one where she kisses him at the end?”

If you can figure out even one little piece of the puzzle – the name of the movie, one of the actors, even the year in which it was made – you can unravel the mystery and connect the movie dots. This has brought much peace in our household. Tim has resigned himself to my OCD need to place actors into proper movie context.

“Tim,” I’ll say in the middle of a movie. “Do you recognize that character? Yes, the cashier. Do you think he’s the same guy who played the teacher in the comedy we saw last week?”

Poor guy. He doesn’t even pause. After all, the “movie itch” isn’t going to go away. I must know.

“Why don’t you go check IMDB and see. I can wait.” Of course, that’s code for ‘I’ll be playing my computer game while you get online. Call me when you’ve figured it out.’

For movie trivia, you can’t get any better than IMDB. You can also find trailers and links to other external reviews.

Yahoo Movie Listings – I keep this site bookmarked because it links automatically to my zip code and will list all the theaters in my area, complete with showing times, movie info and maps.

Coming Soon Trailers – proceed with caution. This site collects the newest trailers as they are released. We don’t have a tv and rarely go to the theater, so if we do see a movie preview, it’s usually online. I ignore all the “junk” or questionable movies, and enjoy the fun ones. Although they do include children’s films as they are released, this is definitely not a site for kids to visit unsupervised.

david and sarah

These buddies stick together.

ClearPlay – a dvd player that offers filtering options. We purchased ours at Target last year but they have since stopped carrying them. Basically you purchase a subscription to the filters (which are accessed online), load them on to a USB stick and then plug the stick into the dvd player. The ClearPlay DVD player recognizes the filter and applies them to your copy of the movie. Profanity, violence and inappropriate sexual scenes are either edited or skipped. Recently we had some trouble with the audio portion of our player (purchased in November 2007), ClearPlay paid for our shipping and is mailing us a new DVD player free of charge.

If you have a movie resource that your family recommends, please leave a comment. I’d love to hear about it.

Visit Rocks in My Dryer for other Works For Me Wednesday tips.

Keep your eyes open for Fireproof, the newest movie produced by the makers of Facing the Giants, coming out in the fall of 2008. Check out the trailer! Looks powerful.


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Turning Books Into Movies

This evening, while I was ignoring the dirty dishes and waiting for the seventh load of laundry to finish, I stumbled across a list of books that are being made into movies. Now, I know that I spend more time reading blogs and homeschooling books than actual novels, but this is a LONG list and I don’t recognize even half of them. Surely I’m not THAT out of touch with the literary pulse of our society.

As a comparative literature major, that is a wee bit embarrassing. Well, it would be if I wasn’t so busy with the aforementioned laundry and dirty dishes. And if I were a little more confident in the caliber of books being published these days.

Sarah's not sure

Mom, I’m not sure about these books.

Look it over and tell me if these are books you have read and loved (or hated). I should also mention, I am in no way recommending these books (or the potential movies). If they are wildly inappropriate, I apologize! As I said earlier, I have not read (or even heard) of most of these titles.

A Great and Terrible Beauty
The A-List
I’d Tell You I Love You, But Then I’d Have to Kill You
Teen Idol
Maximum Ride
The Clique
Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants 2 — August 2008
City of Ember
A Yellow Raft In Blue Water
Wolf Brother
Lovely Bones
On the Road
Where the Wild Things Are
The Looking Glass Wars
The Time Traveler’s Wife
The Historian
City of Beasts
My Sister’s Keeper
The Ruins
Angus, Thongs, and Full Frontal Snogging
Marley and Me
The Tale of Despereaux – December 2008
The Other Boleyn Girl — already out in the theaters
The Kite Runner — already completed
Love in the Time of Cholera — out in theaters
The Lightning Thief
Emily the Strange (comic)
The Giver
Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince
The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay
Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist
Narnia: Prince Caspian — May 2008
The Hobbit
Memory Keeper’s Daughter – on Lifetime TV
The Life Before Her Eyes – September 2008
Then She Found Me – May 2008
Nim’s Island – out in theaters

I am still surprised at the length of this collection. The real question, however, is not:

Have you read these books? But…

What book would YOU see made into a movie?

I love the Jane Austen flicks – wonderful! Joshua is crazy about the Lord of the Ring trilogy. We have several movie literary adaptations in our DVD library. After looking at this extensive list, I’ve started thinking about what other books just cry out to be made into movies. Three that came to mind while blogging late at night:

Prince of Foxes - this historical romance would be an amazing period piece with the right (dashing) cast
Ender’s Game – sci-fi author, Orson Scott Card, has been working for years on the movie version
Nearly anything by juvenile author Gordon Korman – love his kids books as they are clever, hysterical but clean and not filled with over the top obnoxious children.

give me a sword

David appreciates movies with sword fighting.

Leave a comment and tell me what titles I’ve overlooked. Oh, and did I mention we’re on a Budget (with a capital B) and don’t get to the movies much these days? Probably cheaper to just read the books from the library. :)


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If Someone Were Watching …

Today our pastor preached the fourth sermon in our month long Choose stewardship campaign. The four topics were Invite, Belong, Serve and Give. This morning’s sermon was on giving, looking at the story of the widow’s coin in Luke 21.

As he looked up, Jesus saw the rich putting their gifts into the temple treasury. He also saw a poor widow put in two very small copper coins. “I tell you the truth,” he said, “this poor widow has put in more than all the others. All these people gave their gifts out of their wealth; but she out of her poverty put in all she had to live on.” (Luke 21:1-4)

brian and Tim

You decide, are these two giving out of their wealth or poverty?

It was an excellent sermon, encouraging us to give generously and delight in God’s blessing in our life as we serve Him with our time, energy and finances. I was struck by the picture of Jesus visiting the temple and observing people as they placed their gifts in the offering.

“What would it be like to have Jesus watching you as the offering plate passed by?” I whispered to Tim, my eyes wide at the thought.

“Um,” Tim’s expression was a bit puzzled, “Kathy, He is watching you.”

Ouch. Somehow the image of Jesus sitting next to me and looking at me while I take and pass on the offering basket was very convicting. Thinking of Him searching my heart and counting all the treasures I’m storing up here on earth, brought a flush to my cheeks.

socks galore

Maybe we’ll find all those missing socks when we get to heaven.

This afternoon we watched a portion of one of our favorite family movies, FlyWheel. Flywheel, produced by the church that filmed Facing the Giants, has a low-budget but an incredible message. I encourage everyone to go out and find a copy of this movie! It is slow in places and the acting “raw” but the transformation of the main character, as he decides to trust God with his whole life, is remarkably powerful.

Early in the movie the family attends church together. When it’s time for the offering, the father takes out his envelope, makes sure it is EMPTY, and then very carefully places it into the basket. His wife sees him and shakes her head with disgust.

If someone were watching…

Jesus sees what I do with my time and my money. The scriptures are full of promises regarding rewards the Lord will give those who are faithful, loving, and generous. Do I trust His Word? Do I believe the treasures I can store up in heaven are worth more than the temporal things of this world?

What good will it be for a man if he gains the whole world, yet forfeits his soul? Or what can a man give in exchange for his soul? For the Son of Man is going to come in his Father’s glory with his angels, and then he will reward each person according to what he has done. (Matthew 16:26-27)

It was a day full of conviction and challenge. What would it look like, I wondered, if I gave sacrificially, loved with my whole life, and said “Yes!” to the Lord? Am I willing to be stretched? Do I believe He is watching?

Project 365- Day 273

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“I Always Have Something to Say”

So says my beloved, 11 year old daughter. No doubt she could write today’s blog in her sleep if I would just do the typing for her. :)

rachel shivers

Here Rachel is saying, “I’m cold, stop taking my picture and get me a sweatshirt.

I’m hungry but it’s close to bedtime and I’m trying to be careful not to eat late at night. I had a lovely cup of tea but somehow it wasn’t quite as tasty as the huge bowl of popcorn Tim and the children devoured. Go figure.

pass the bowl

We watched The Ultimate Gift this evening. It was a moving tale about a spoiled young man who receives 12 gifts from his deceased grandfather. Each gift (or task) is designed to teach him a lesson about life. There are some intense scenes of peril in the second half but our entire family enjoyed the movie.

movie of the night

The Ultimate Gift certainly made me wonder if I am teaching my children the lessons illustrated in the movie – the gift of work, true friendship, the value of money, how to help others, etc. It is so refreshing to find movies the entire family can watch together.

Project 365 – Day 271

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