Posted in Growing in the Lord, Movie Monday, movie reviews

Movie Monday: Sabina

This week’s Movie Monday movie is Sabina: Tortured for Christ, the Nazi Years. It is the story of Sabina and Richard Wurmbrand, co-founders of the Voice of the Martyrs.

The movie opens in the 1930s with an inside look at Sabina’s life. She’s spunky, silly, and worldly. She’s also an atheist, as is Richard, the man she marries. Little matters in their lives except selfish pursuits and having fun.

But God has a way of changing hearts for His glory, and Sabina’s and Richard’s hearts are no exception.

Both are from a Jewish background, and both became two of the most amazing examples of Christian love.

Major themes throughout this well-produced and well-acted movie (Raluca Botez, who plays Sabina, is an especially gifted actress), include forgiveness, selflessness, and reliance on God. Even after coming face-to-face with the German who killed Sabina’s family, she still reaches out to him with the love of Christ, along with risking her life to save him and other German soldiers.

Why would someone do such a thing? Especially in light of the horrific murders her family members endured at the hands of the Nazi soldiers during WWII?

In the movie, Sabina mentions that she couldn’t even fathom such a thing were it not for Christ’s strength within her.

Throughout the movie, we see how God changes hearts. He places people in our lives at just the right moment, and He continues to grow us in our faith, many times through challenges and struggles. We see an example of a strong and godly marriage, founded on faith.

Sabina is a touching and well-done movie. It’s convicting on many levels, and has a strong redemption theme. Indeed, no one, not even a Nazi soldier who places no value on human life, is beyond that redemption. It is a powerful movie about the impact of the Gospel.

Rated PG-13, this movie is not for children. It contains some frightening moments, although never includes gratuitous violence. And while I would not recommend this movie for anyone under 13, it does provide an excellent family discussion, so I encourage parents to watch this with their older teens.

Sabina is a captivating movie and one that I highly recommend. It’s one that is well worth the time to watch, and is a potent reminder to pray for those brothers and sisters in Christ who continue to be persecuted for their faith.

I give this movie my highest rating of five out of five stars and is a must-see. More information about it can be found at sabinamovie.com.

Below is the trailer:

Before you go, check out these other posts:

Movie Monday: Play the Flute

Movie Monday: Fearless Faith

Movie Monday: Little Women

Mom-Approved Movie Listing

Reading Suggestions for Kids of All Ages

What is Love?

The Top 10 Blog Posts of 2021

10 Ways to Encourage Others

Posted in movie reviews

31 awesome movies for your must-watch list

As someone who is on a quest to find wholesome and enjoyable movies, I’m asked quite often about movies I would suggest for families, teens, youth groups, and personal viewing.

It can be a challenge to find movies today without the constant violence, sexual content, and foul language…but it can be done. As a Christian, I take very seriously the privilege of recommending movies on my blog that would be suitable for fellow brothers and sisters in Christ.

Below are 31 movies in no particular order, some older classics, and some much newer, that are excellent additions to any watch-list. For a complete listing of other movies, please go to my Mom-Approved Movie Listings page.


Overcomer

The Redemption of Henry Myers

Wish for Christmas

Mom’s Night Out

Indivisible (12+; read my review here)

The Courageous Heart of Irena Sendler (Hallmark; 13+)

Beyond the Mask

Where Love Found Me (13+; read my review here)

Priceless (12+)

End of the Spear (13+)

Do You Believe (13+)

Clancy (12+)

God’s Not Dead I

God’s Not Dead II

God’s Not Dead III

The Secrets of Jonathan Sperry

Fearless Faith (12+; read my review here)

Prescription for Love

The Chronicles of Narnia: the Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe (2005; 12+)

Hoovey

Christopher Robin (2018; see my review here)

Christmas Angel

Run the Race

Duma (read my review here)

Timeless Love

Courageous (12+)

The Lost Medallion (read my review here)

Miss Potter (read my review here)

The Lost Valentine (Hallmark)

Follow the Stars Home (Hallmark)

Legal Action


Before you go, check out these other posts:

9 movie series sure to be a hit for your next family night

8 things I want my daughters to know

how to build close bonds with your kids

the great prune escapade

thankful for the small things

14 things for girls to consider before dating

28 verses for uncertain times

Posted in Movie Monday, movie reviews

Movie Monday: Fearless Faith

I’m always on the lookout for family friendly movies. If they have a great message, all the better. Such is the case with the movie Fearless Faith.

Fearless Faith gives an inside look at what our men and women in blue (and those who love them) face each day. Shep (Ben Davies) and Colton (Jason Burkey) are deputies whose daily agenda often includes drug users, domestic violence calls, hostage situations, and even murders. Long days and stressful situation are the norm. Shep is an unbeliever and Colton deserted his faith after his best friend and police partner was killed in the line of duty.

When they save the life of a pastor’s wife, Michael (Ben Graham) volunteers as a chaplain for the sheriff’s department. Can he help Colton to see that while Colton may have turned his back on God that God never left Colton’s side?

There are some instances of comedic relief, namely in the form of a rookie on the force who is assigned to Shep.

Talking points:

There are some excellent themes to discuss with teens in this movie.

*The importance of faith is paramount in Fearless Faith and is depicted in an honoring, realistic, and non-preachy way. This movie reminds us that God is there for us, even in the darkest of times.

*The value of life and why it’s important to live each day to the fullest is shown, as is the value of strong family ties.

*Colton has a wife and a son and makes his family a priority. Together, he and his wife are an example of a strong marriage and family.

*The dangers of drug use are shown in a frightening, although realistic manner. This includes not only meth and other illegal drugs, but also the dangers of too much alcohol.

*The importance of respect for our men and women in blue is shown.

*The parallel between someone in the movie laying down their life for someone and what Jesus did for us on the Cross is a powerful reminder of the Gospel.

Cautions:

There is nothing objectionable in this film, although it is not suitable for those under 13 years old (and should be watched with a parent).

*A couple of depictions of the aftermath of drug use are shown (including an instance of an overdose), and an instance of “shooting up” is shown.

*The aftermath of a couple of murders is seen, but nothing gory is shown in either circumstance. The aftermath of an assault with a resulting head injury is shown.

*There are a couple instances of death.

Fearless Faith is a gem of a movie with excellent production and acting and a good message. I rate it a five out of five stars. So if you are looking for a movie with action, drama, and faith, Fearless Faith fits the bill. Just be sure to have a box of tissues on hand.

Before you go, check out these other posts:

Movie Monday: Little Women 2019

8 things I want my daughters to know

28 verses for uncertain times

Movie Monday: God Bless the Broken Road

the importance of living out your faith

the importance of new beginnings

how to survive in an out-of-control world

10 awesome websites for writers

21 awesome family movies

Posted in Movie Monday

Movie Monday: Free Burma Rangers

free burma rangers

I had never heard of this movie or David Eubank and his family until my sister sent me the link to stream this movie.

Within the first few minutes of viewing Free Burma Rangers, I knew this was going to be a documentary that would stick with me long after the credits rolled.

David Eubank, his wife Karen, and their children serve the Lord in their ministry known as Free Burma Rangers. They go to war-torn countries and train and assist those oppressed by evil armies bent on their destruction. They work in both Burma and Iraq, and have recently expanded into Syria.

David Eubank, the son of missionaries, says at the beginning of the movie that he always felt more like a soldier than a missionary. God has used him mightily as both. With extensive military training and an even stronger faith, David, his family, and a team of other soldiers for Christ have rescued countless people by risking their own lives.

They also reach people for Jesus while tending to the people’s most basic needs.

The movie is gritty at times, showing the true reality of evil bent on taking the lives of the innocent. There are stories of parents losing their children in horrific ways and high casualties. As such, this movie would not be suitable for anyone younger than a much-older teen to adult.

However, while hard to watch in some places – a little girl hiding under her deceased mom’s scarf while surrounded by other dead people for instance – it is well worth the watch. It is gripping and yet tender. David and Karen have a strong faith and portray it authentically and honestly. They lay down their lives for others – the perfect example of what Jesus did for us.

Free Burma Rangers challenges the viewer to look beyond themselves and to seek the Lord’s guidance on how He might lead them to do His work. Sometimes God’s plans aren’t what we might expect, but they are always the right plans. And as David Eubank has come to discover during countless dangerous missions, God gives courage and protection. He makes a way when the way seems impossible.

I would highly recommend Free Burma Rangers. It is excellent in every way and a movie that not only tugs at the heartstrings, but changes us and makes us want to do more for the Kingdom.

For more movie suggestions, please check out my Mom Approved Movies Listing.

Posted in Movie Monday, movie reviews, Patriotic

Movie Monday: Indivisible

Movie Monday indivisible

Darren and Heather have a picture-perfect marriage. They are both committed to each other, to their children, and to the Lord.

Michael and Tonya are struggling in their marriage and have been for some time. Michael has anger issues and ignores Tonya on a regular basis.

One day, both Darren and Michael, as well as two other secondary characters in the movie, receive orders to deploy to Iraq. Darren will be deploying as a chaplain and for the first time; Michael and the other characters as soldiers.

Darren came back from Iraq a different man.

Michael came back from Iraq a different man.

One for the better, one for the worse.

What happens in Iraq changes both men forever. Darren sees things, experiences things, and faces loss that he’s never experienced before his deployment.

Can a couple with a strong faith rely on God to get them through a crisis in their marriage?

Can a couple of the brink of failure allow God to intervene?

Indivisible_FinalPoster.jpg

Indivisible is a touching story of faith, love, and patriotism. It details the realities of war, the difficulties our soldiers and their families face, and tackles the difficult topic of PTSD. While I have a grandpa who served in WWII and the Korean War; a father-in-law who served in WWII, and a cousin who served in Iraqi Freedom, I didn’t realize the extent to which our faithful servicemen and women give of themselves – their sacrifices – to keep or great nation free.

There is nothing objectionable in the movie; however, there are some scary parts that would frighten younger children.

Indivisible is based on a true story, and is one you’ll want to watch more than once. I give it a strong five out of five stars and highly recommend it for age 12 and older.

 

Posted in movie reviews

21 awesome family movies you may never have heard of

Penny Zeller, Christian Author
Our family is always on the lookout for wholesome family films for our weekly Family Night. Some of the best movies we’ve ever seen have been undiscovered gems we’ve stumbled across by accident.

The 20 undiscovered treasures below are in no particular order. Some are newer and some have been out for awhile, but they all are must-see movies for your next Family Night!

 

The Secrets of Jonathan Sperry

Beyond the Mask

The Redemption of Henry Myers (12+)

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Finding Normal

Clancy

The Christmas Miracle of Jonathan Toomey

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Though None Go With Me

The Gospel of John

Time Changer

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Last Ounce of Courage

The End of the Spear (13+)

King’s Faith (13+)

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Hidden Places

The Perfect Gift

Duma (12+)

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Seasons of Gray

Christmas Angel

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No Greater Love

Christmas Oranges

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Backroads and Lilies

Civil Love

 

For a listing of other fantastic movies, check out my Mom-Approved Movie List.  Interested in movie reviews? Go to my Mom-Approved Movie Reviews tab.

 

 

Posted in movie reviews

Movie Monday – Facing the Giants – 1/16/12

Penny Zeller, Christian AuthorThis week’s Movie Monday choice is Facing the Giants.

We watched Facing the Giants when it was first released and I had forgotten how much I enjoyed it, so we watched it again just this past weekend for Family Night.  It has a little something for everyone – football for the sports fan in your family, touching drama,  humor, and most importantly, a strong message. It shows dependence on God and the importance of standing together in marriage, even when the world around you is falling apart.

Coach Grant Taylor is going through some trials in his life. The school for which he is a coach wants to let him go because his football team fails to chalk up any wins.  His car barely runs and there are some maintenance problems in his home.  There’s the possible betrayal of a close friend. Even more heartbreaking is the fact that he and his wife are facing infertility problems.  It’s during this difficult time in his life that Grant realizes how much he depends on the Lord.  Grant spends time in prayer and in the Word, and gives the entire situation to God.  God, in turn, uses the situation to change more than just Grant’s life.

Several minor characters in this film deliver a strong impact. One is a school employee who walks by each locker daily and prays each student. Another character, a football player’s father, is a Godly role model for his son and for those watching the film. A couple of football players have a change of heart in the movie and one makes a decision that impacts his life for eternity.

On the cover of the DVD, the words at the bottom state: “Never Give Up; Never Back Down; Never Lose Faith.” This movie delivers a touching and realistic look into the lives of a man struggling with the difficulties in life.  It’s a winner in more ways than one and I highly recommend it for your next family night.

For more movie suggestions, check out my extensive  movie listing at https://pennyzeller.wordpress.com/mom-approved-movies-for-families/

Posted in movie reviews

Movie Monday – Pendragon – 12/5/11

Penny Zeller, Christian Author

This week’s Movie Monday suggestion is Pendragon: Sword of His Father...

I usually don’t watch movies in this genre…but I purchased this DVD for my husband and sat down to watch it with him. What an awesome film! It is very well done and has faith components woven throughout. It’s also packed with adventure and a great plot. My favorite part about this movie is that a family joined together to produce it.

I also appreciate that tweens (approximately age 10 or 11) and up can watch it (no younger children due to the fighting sequences) without the worry of inappropriate content. I hope the Burns Family will continue to make films and include the same integrity as this film possessed.  A definite must-see!

Stay tuned for the continuation of the Days of Christmas Book Giveaway Celebration and be sure to enter!

Posted in movie reviews

Movie Monday – End of the Spear – 11/21/11

Penny Zeller, Christian Author

This week’s Movie Monday movie is End of the Spear

Before I launch into my review of this wonderful movie, please be aware that this movie is not for children. Rather, this movie is for teenagers and older due to violence and some frightening themes.

That said, End of the Spear is, in my opinion, one of the best movies. A group of missionaries embark on a missions trip to a remote part of Ecuador to teach the Waodini tribe that there is more to life than the constant killing amongst tribes, which has taken place for generations. Their tribe is nearly becoming extinct and they think nothing of brutally killing each other.

The missionaries risk their lives to share the profound truth of the sacrifice one Father made so all of His children could have eternal life. Among the missionary group are members Nate Saint and Jim Elliot.

One of the most touching lines in the movie is when Steve Saint, the son of one of the missionaries, Nate Saint, asks his dad if they will use their guns if the Waodani attack them. Nate gently tells his son that they won’t be using their guns because the Waodani aren’t ready for heaven yet.

Nate Saint and the rest of the group were brutally killed by the Waodani tribe. Later, Steve, his mother, and several other missionaries live with the Waodani and it is then that God begins to soften the hearts of those in the tribe, one person at a time. Later, we see the Gospel written in the Waodani language.

As I watched this movie, I was reminded of all of our missionaries all over the world who risk their lives to share the Gospel. Theirs is a sacrifice that we oftentimes forget, but must make an effort to remember. Through their sacrifice, they teach others of the ultimate sacrifice Jesus made for us.

Breathtaking scenery, vivid Gospel parallels, and a strong theme of forgiveness make End of the Spear a movie I won’t soon forget.  Highly recommended for those ages 13 and older.

Posted in movie reviews

Movie Monday – Soul Surfer – 8/29/11

Penny Zeller, Christian Author

This week’s family movie suggestion is Soul Surfer…

I remember hearing about Bethany Hamilton’s frightening ordeal of losing her arm (and nearly her life) to a shark attack while surfing. When the movie was released, I hoped for two things: (1) that it would relfect Bethany’s faith and how that faith saw her through horrific trauma in her life and (2) that it would be a family movie. The movie met my expectations on both accounts – I loved this movie!

Family unity and loyalty is strong in Soul Surfer and that is one of my favorite things about the movie. It’s apparent that Bethany, her parents, and her brothers are a closeknit family and that they truly care for each other. When times are difficult, we need those we love most to come alongside us. Bethany is also surrounded by loyal friends, who rally around her, not only during her surfing competitions, but also after her accident. What amazed me was that she and her best friend competed in competitions, yet they didn’t allow that to interfere in their friendship. What an example of how to love your neighbor!

There are many opportunities for discussion in this film:

1. Bethany sneaks out at night to go surfing. I’m not sure she had a consequence, but this provided a great discussion point nonetheless. 

2. There is a girl Bethany surfs against who is spiteful and mean. How should we handle people like that in our own lives?

3. At one point, Bethany becomes discouraged about what happened. Why do bad things happen? Does the Lord distance himself from us during those times? Or does He forever remain by our side, never leaving us and never forsaking us?

4. Another great discussion topic is about modesty, as at times, the bathing suits are a bit immodest. And finally,

5. Bethany embarks on a missions trip. At times when we feel as though things couldn’t be any worse in our lives, all we have to do is look around and see the pain and the suffering of others. Then, reach out and offer assistance.

I loved this movie. Yes, I bawled after Bethany was injured (I’m a mom after all!) and yes, I bawled at the end. It is a powerful movie that points to God, family, and determination. I would highly recommend it for those ages tween and up. Younger children will be frightened by the shark attack, although it was tastefully done and not prolonged.