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

Above, after the Rapture, Gabby (Amber Frank) wanders through chaos in the streets.

October 2016 – ‘Vanished’ offers end times action
This end times movie is an entertaining adventure that keeps viewers gripped in its fast pace, start to finish. When the Rapture occurs, Vanished takes its main characters away from the chaos running rampant in crowded city streets.

Gabby, Josh, and Flynn are teenagers who go in search of Gabby’s dad and find calmness and hope in an isolated community called Sanctuary. However, they are soon ensnared in a trap that threatens their lives. Producer Dave Alan Johnson has decades of history producing family-friendly television and films. Johnson is one industry insider AFA learned to trust many years ago. Vanished is professionally produced and acted, so it’s a movie viewers can be proud to share with friends.

The story is based on The Vanishing by Jerry Jenkins and Tim LaHaye. It is a story that Christians can easily use to reach out to unbelievers. There is no heavy-handed preaching, no subtle language that betrays an awkward attempt at sneaking the gospel into the script. However, dialogue about the biblical Rapture and references to “believing” (as a clear expression of faith) provide perfect segues for Christian viewers to open a dialogue and share their faith. There are no language issues. One sensuous kiss and mild violence are the only parental cautions.

Vanished is scheduled for a one-night theater release September 28. For more information visit
Randall Murphree

undefinedA Spectacle of Glory
To be reassured of God’s love and your purpose to showcase His glory are two things Joni Eareckson Tada’s new one-year devotional, A Spectacle of Glory; God’s Light Shining Through Me Every Day, can help readers experience. This book will most certainly prove to be a priceless daily treasure in the lives of many, prompting readers to live a full life as a joyful, devoted follower of Christ. Nearing her 50th year in a wheelchair, she has learned what it means to be content, trusting, and grateful, even in the midst of suffering.

Behind its beautifully illustrated cover, the reader will find Scripture, relevant stories, hard truths, and Tada’s signature transparent admissions. Each daily writing includes a prayer to guide the reader into intimate fellowship with God.
Anne Reed

undefinedHope for Detroit
Life in Osborn: Hope for Detroit is a documentary of the inspiring story of how one by one, blighted and once-hopeless Detroit neighborhoods are tackling their circumstances, cleaning up debris, revitalizing their schools, and grasping new hope.

The Osborn neighborhood, once the most violent zip code in the U.S., has undergone a five-year transformation overseen by Life Remodeled, a Detroit-based, Christian nonprofit founded by Chris and Andrea Lambert after they returned from working as community development missionaries in Liberia, Africa.

The Lamberts are open about their motivation being rooted in their Christian faith; yet they create a broad coalition of community groups in Detroit to come together to reclaim Osborn. They are a perfect illustration of the body of Christ having an impact on their community.

Since 2012, Life Remodeled has been moving through Detroit, neighborhood by neighborhood, bringing restoration, hope, and the love of Christ. For more information or to purchase this stirring DVD, visit
Randall Murphree

undefinedNew Ben-Hur is powerful remake

Left, the new version of Ben-Hur includes the famous chariot race, but several other plot details from the original movie and book differ.

Judah Ben-Hur can afford to be generous, living a luxurious life as Judean royalty even with Rome’s grip of power over the land. But when one most trusted turns against him and robs him of everything, he has nowhere to turn to ease the weight of despair and suffering – but to revenge. He sets his mind to destroy his enemy, or be destroyed, in the blood sport of a Roman chariot race.

An encounter with a strange carpenter who tells of another way lingers with him, but he cannot give up the fierce effort that might free him from his burden.

Christian symbolism is rich in this movie, especially in two places: a young zealot who benefits from human mercy only to find himself still in need of a much greater, eternal redemption; and when Judah comes upon a man taking a punishment once intended for him.

Set in a historically violent time period, Ben-Hur is appropriately rated PG-13 for intense violence. There are also occasional uses of God’s name in vain.
Stacy Long

undefinedUp TV offers solid family reality show
Growing Up McGhee is a delightful real-life series on Up TV that follows Rozonno and Mia McGhee (photo above) on their journey of parenting sextuplets: Rozonno Jr., Olivia, Madison, Elijah, Isaac, and Josiah. Rozonno and Mia tried for 10 years to have children, miscarrying twins before their six were born. Consequently, they look at their children as true gifts from God.

Both grew up in deprived and abusive circumstances, so Ro and Mia are committed to raising their children in a loving and intact home. They own and operate their own family carpet and upholstery cleaning business in their hometown of Columbus, Ohio.

Life for the McGhees is often loud, always full of energy, and loaded with lots of fun. Ro and Mia’s parenting style may not appeal to all who view the show, but they make sure there is always respect, discipline, and love. They want their children to feel a deep connection with family – proud that they are Growing Up McGhee.

Growing Up McGhee airs on Wednesday nights at 8 pm CT.
Debbie Fischer