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

Above, the first-year coach and cross country team face overwhelming obstacles, but faith gives them strength for the biggest challenges they have ever faced.

May 2017 – Remember the Goal shows biblical values, perseverance, integrity
It’s an engaging story, it’s a top quality production, and it’s a masterful illustration of sharing biblical principles as a natural way of life. And it’s no wonder – writer/director/producer Dave Christiano has been making Christian films for decades.

Remember the Goal is the story of fictional Orange Hills Academy girls’ cross country team and the trouble stirred up when a new coach comes to the campus of the Christian high school.

Orange Hills has achieved a good reputation and earned honors at the state level, but when Coach Courtney Smith-Donnelly, a first-year teacher, trains differently than the beloved, retired coach had always done, it creates havoc everywhere.

Tensions erupt quickly. Conflicts abound – between coach and team members, coach and school administrators, parents and daughters, team members themselves, parents and coach.

The team star refuses to train as coach instructs and is booted from the team. More than half the team members quit. Five girls are left, and their season doesn’t go well. But coach uses every opportunity to parallel cross country training with solid scriptural principles. It’s not preachy; it’s simply a young woman knowing what she believes and mentoring the girls in biblical truths.

For teens, this movie will help them know how to find purpose in life. It encourages teens to obey their parents and help a friend who struggles with the problem of smoking weed. It helps them build self-respect and challenges them to find their strength in biblical truth.

Parents will be challenged to fine-tune their parenting skills as they struggle to understand, control, and encourage their teenagers.

Any coach who sees it will likely be moved to reconsider and revaluate training techniques and practices.

“This is the kind of movie AFA has been begging production companies to make for years,” said AFA president Tim Wildmon. “Great story line, great production values, biblical principles, no sexual innuendo or vulgar language. It’s a winner.”

Remember the Goal will be available on DVD May 16.
Randall Murphree

undefinedHello! Young Mothers
Motherhood is a mixed bag of feelings and experiences: love, struggle, laughter, tears, delight, pain, blessing, and challenge. Moms often feel unequipped and misunderstood as they seek to raise their children. For this reason, Careen Strange, mother, grandmother, counselor, coach, and mentor for young moms, has written Hello! Young Mothers with the purpose of encouraging and coaching moms through difficulties of motherhood.

Careen and her husband, Burt Sr., raised five active and adventurous sons who have grown into godly men. As one can imagine, having five boys in a nine-year span comes with challenges, and Careen met those challenges by trusting the Holy Spirit to guide her each step of the way. She has used her journal entries spanning approximately 18 years in writing her transparent and inspiring book.

Hello! Young Mothers is organized according to topics: childhood, boyhood, and teen years. At the end of the book is a section called Curtain Call in which all five adult sons and her husband share their own thoughts about the growing- up years.

In 2015, Strange was awarded third place for first time authors in the parenting/family publications category by Xulon Publishers. Hello! Young Mothers is available online.
Debbie Fischer

undefinedNot Open
As a young mother, Lisa Cherry found herself pulled into the humanistic worldview of morality, family, love, and spirituality. After all, Christians are called not to judge, but to be tolerant and open. Her husband, Doug, knew something was very wrong.

Through hours of conversation, challenge, and the Holy Spirit’s promptings, Lisa began to see that if she really wanted to impact the world for Christ, the Bible must be taken literally and its standards must be fully embraced.

This journey of 20 years led Lisa, along with her son Lucas, to write Not Open, a clarion call to enable Christians to recognize areas in life where the world has slipped in and compromise has been made. Christ offers us a life of healing, victory, and joy, but only if we walk with and reflect the truths of the Bible.

Young and old alike will benefit from Not Open. It is available at bookstores and online.
Debbie Fischer

undefinedThe Threshing Floor
The fictional Simon Freeman is a young man fresh out of Texas Christian University on his way to a great job and a great future in pharmaceutical sales in New Jersey. However, as he begins his cross-country trek to the land of opportunity that awaits him, he takes a detour that not only causes a change in direction on the highways, but culminates in a drastic change in his life. His detour takes him to his hometown of Bethel, Illinois.

A planned short stopover to catch a glimpse of people and places from early childhood then becomes a pivotal point in his life and the life of everyone in Bethel. He comes face to face with evil and must make the ultimate choice – yield to the temptations of the world or give it all to Christ.

Colin Briscoe is a first time author who delivers a powerful character study with his book The Threshing Floor: Jeremiah’s Warning to America. Simon, his main character, takes the reader on a journey of a few short weeks in which he finds himself on a rollercoaster ride of emotional and spiritual upheaval.

Briscoe uses his strong grasp of God’s Word throughout the book. His keen insight into history and current events is both educational and sometimes alarming. Without apology, he tackles the hard moral issues of our time – abortion, sexual sin, and lack of biblical authority in the church today.

His is a clarion call for all to take heed, lest God’s judgment fall on America.

Readers must be cautioned, however, that the story does include scenes with depictions of alcohol use and drunkenness, and a few uses of God’s name in an irreverent way.

The novel is available online at
Durick Hayden, AFA vice president