Reviews: family entertainment, documentaries, resources, books, music
AFA Staff
AFA Staff
AFA Journal staff reviews movies, books and other resources

December 2011 – For Christmas, three family movies, one music project, a documentary on football phenom Tim Tebow, and a new book by Dr. David Jeremiah are available from the AFA store. Store manager Marty Sparks advises that it is critical to order soon. To assure timely delivery of these items, order ASAP from or 1-800-326-4543, option 3.

Christmas With a Capital C
This Christmas film from Pure Flix Entertainment is set in a small Alaska town which is thrown into an uproar when native son Mitch Bright returns home after 20 years. Bright promptly assaults the town’s Christmas traditions when he sues to keep the Nativity scene off city property.

 Last year, AFA reviewed Christmas With a Capital C with a caution regarding some gutter language from one of the city council members. However, film makers have edited that scene so that the offense no longer appears.

 As city leaders consider Bright’s demands, they fear an expensive court battle. The leaders don’t know to call on any of the public policy groups which could have helped them understand their rights. So they follow the politically correct line and cave in to Bright’s bullying tactics.

The positive value occurs when folks begin to reconsider what is really important about Christmas. Subsequently, they come up with creative ways to make the season even more meaningful.
Review by Randall Murphree

Homeless for the Holidays
Writers opted for the alliteration of “homeless” and “holidays” to title this movie, but a narrator’s voice-over begins the film with these words: “Everyone loves a good story, especially a Christmas story.”

While Homeless for the Holidays begins several months before Christmas, it is very much a Christmas story of Jack Baker and his family’s struggles after he loses his job in the early fall.

Subsequently, the Bakers encounter a long string of family crises – a car repossessed, electric power turned off and a home in foreclosure. But through it all, they pray in Jesus’ name at family meals, and they attend church regularly. There are some tense conversations between husband and wife. It is a dire situation, but it is handled in a manner appropriate for family viewing.
Review by Randall Murphree

Mandie and the Forgotten Christmas
When Mandie Shaw is thrust into Miss Heathwood’s School for Girls at Christmastime, she struggles to grasp the boarding school’s new rules and the finer points of high society. It is a story that will appeal to the whole family, but it will especially appeal to young teenage and preteen girls. As Mandie tries to stay out of hot water with Miss Heathwood and discover what the headmistress seems to have against Christmas, she stumbles upon a mystery in the school’s forbidden attic.

Will Mandie ignore the warning to flee, or will she try to get to the bottom of the strange noises beyond the boarded-up doors? Uncovering the truth may lead to telling a lie, but it might also unlock the memories of a long-forgotten Christmas.

Mandie and the Forgotten Christmas is the third film adapted from the Lois Gladys Leppard book series, which boasts over seven million copies in print. The DVD includes behind-the-scenes videos and outtakes, a gallery of over 1,700 photos, and a printable discussion and activity guide for families.
Review from press release • Screened by Eric Baird

December Peace
December Peace, a seasonal CD from composer and pianist Stanton Lanier, includes nine Christmas favorites arranged in Lanier’s unique style plus six of his original compositions. The Nashville musician founded Music to Light the World to distribute his signature piano pieces that can sooth a troubled spirit and bring hope to the distressed. (See AFA Journal, 11/11)

For every CD his ministry sells, Lanier donates one CD to a cancer victim, a hospital or a family who’s suffering. This year, he expects to give away 10,000 CDs to children in 100 hospitals.

Lanier believes that music has the capability to bring light and healing into our lives, and he believes this release has the potential to do just that during a season that sometimes heightens loss, depression or hopelessness.

“It’s definitely a Christmas album,” he said, “but I didn’t call it that because of the reach to non-Christians who might long for peace during the season. People are kind of open spiritually, and they’re searching, maybe hurting. Music is a real witness to draw them closer to Christ. It’s just a gift, a gift of hope and healing through beautiful music.”
Review by Randall Murphree

Jeremiah analyzes church, culture
“I can’t believe this is happening in America!” Admit it. You have thought it. But in our contemporary culture where society, the church, entertainment and even government long planted their roots in biblical morality, it seems the roots are decaying rapidly.

Dr. David Jeremiah recently released I Never Thought I'd See the Day! In typical Jeremiah style, the new book gives a brilliant analysis of where we have drifted as a society and the warning signs of impending catastrophe. Detailing the things he never thought he would see, Dr. Jeremiah gives evidence for each of the areas of degeneration, shows how it moves society from order to chaos and warns us of the dangers these changes create in our personal lives.

Among the changes he sees are marriages becoming obsolete, the Bible being marginalized, America turning its back on Israel, and atheists aggressively attacking religion. Much more telling, though, are the dying embers of the spiritual fire in the nation, in the church, and in the individual believer.

Dr. Jeremiah builds an airtight case that we are conforming to this world, rather than being transformed by the renewing of our minds. That’s the bad news.

But Dr. Jeremiah is never one to despair because he knows the good news is still the Good News: Christ came to set us free from fear of the future. Thus the author moves from the truth of a culture in decay to the grace offered by a Savior who is eager to save us. Bottom line: There is great encouragement in this volume. If we choose to be transformed, Dr. Jeremiah offers guidance to help us allow the Holy Spirit to do His transforming work in us.
Review by Marvin Sanders, co-host of Today’s Issues on American Family Radio

Tebow’s faith carries from college to pros
Tim Tebow: Everything in Between is a one-hour film documenting Tim Tebow’s transition from college star to the Denver Broncos quarterback. Tebow, long noted for his outspoken faith in Christ, reveals how his faith helped him make the transition.

The former University of Florida star and Heisman Trophy winner is arguably the most celebrated college football player in the history of the game. The documentary first aired on ESPN. Tebow has never been shy about using the platform sports stardom has given him to share his faith. His story will encourage and inspire the entire family.