As always, there is no charge for Popcorn & a Movie events, and feel free to bring friends! Popcorn and beverages will be served.
Here are the movies we will be showing for February through April:
Wonder – February 16:
Based on the New York Times bestseller, Wonder tells the incredibly inspiring and heartwarming story of August Pullman, a boy with facial differences who enters fifth grade, attending a mainstream elementary school for the first time.
Wonder is an amazing film, giving us a likeable hero and underdog in Auggie (short for August) Pullman, adeptly portrayed by Jacob Tremblay. His parents, portrayed by Julia Roberts and Owen Wilson, decided that Mom would homeschool him. But now they want him to attend fifth grade with other kids, so he begins attending Beecher Prep School. Auggie has the kind of sense of humor that can win kids over—well, most of them anyway. He says he is good at playing sports (on his X Box of course), and he loves Star Wars, so he deals with the stares from others by imagining what it would be like if Chewbacca the wookie showed up at school—he would stared at, too!
The movie features a subplot of Auggie’s sister, Via (Izabela Vidovic), who is always overlooked. She says that Auggie is like the sun, and their family revolves everything around him. She really cares for Auggie but sometimes feels as if she is invisible, especially when her friend Miranda comes back from a summer camp and seems to no longer want to be friends. But we do learn that there is something Miranda is dealing with that involves her parents.
The story is realistically portrayed and features some nice sentiments like, “It is better to be kind than right.” This one is a close call as far as receiving the Dove Seal due to an utterance of strong language, but there is a lot the movie got right, including the presenting of the Henry Ward Beecher Medal to someone who shows great courage. The movie makes the point that sometimes something or someone different winds up being a “wonder” indeed. (Review from The Dove Foundation.)
Same Kind of Different As Me – March 16:
“We are all homeless – just workin’ our way home.” These words are aptly spoken by Denver Moore, who enters the film The Same Kind of Different as Me as a very disturbed homeless man, played poignantly by Djimon Hounsou in the true story of Ron and Deborah Hall’s (Greg Kinnear, Renee Zellweger) journey to personal healing and struggle with physical illness and their effect on the homeless they encounter. The award-deserving performance by Hounsou carries the film; I sat transfixed by almost every word that emanates from this man. His deliberate and powerful voice anchors much of this narrative in the truth it wishes to convey—that of the homeless experience and this black man in particular, who struggled as a sharecropper, living much like a slave, well into the 1950s. His escape from this lifestyle meant a homeless existence, especially after a brush with the law, until he encountered the Halls.
Deborah Hall’s love and charity toward Denver and all the homeless people who come to the Fort Worth Union Gospel Mission is transforming. Moore said; “I never met Miss Debbie—she met me.” Zellweger, indeed, manages to convey a gentle and tender strength, even in the midst of her character’s battle with cancer, by unrelentingly pursuing the most lost and broken in society, as she is urged on by a prophetic dream and an unwavering faith. She cleverly insists that her husband make amends for wrongdoings by serving with her at the mission. He reluctantly agrees, and his transformation ensues, where he is just as changed by those he encounters as they are blessed by his service. The intimate bond he builds with Denver carries them both past the borders of this film into the world at large to raise millions of dollars for the homeless together by telling their story of redemption and grace.
Though a gap exists in the transition from the baseball bat-wielding Moore to the angelic, preaching Moore, God is greatly glorified throughout, as Denver increasingly speaks profundities about lessons learned and grander purposes, even in the midst of suffering, and Debbie quietly blesses everyone in her life, humbly pointing to God’s grace and love as the liberating and healing force. At times the tears in the theater were enough to fill buckets when emotional moments, such as the touching father/son encounter between Earl (played bitingly by Jon Voigt as an ornery alcoholic) and Ron was perfectly modulated.
Though there are a few violent scenes where Denver wields a baseball bat and smashes car windows, and emotional moments associated with infidelity, cancer struggles, and alcohol abuse, this film is overflowing with the message of redemption and hope, as we witness lives transformed and a powerful path created that lead to the One who changes hearts and minds. (Review from The Dove Foundation.)
Secret Church 18 – April 20:
For April, we invite you to join us for Secret Church! This will be the fifth year that Christ Alone Church is serving as a simulcast site.
What is Secret Church? Secret Church is our version of “house church” where we meet periodically for an intense time of Bible study—lasting approximately 6 hours—including a time of prayer for our brothers and sisters across the globe who are facing persecution and for those who still have not heard the gospel.
This year’s topic is “Cults and Counterfeit Gospels,” where leader David Platt will discuss:
The apostle Paul was astonished that some followers of Christ in his day were “turning to a different gospel,” and he pleaded with them not to be deceived by those who wanted to “distort the gospel of Christ.” These warnings given to the church in the first century are just as relevant today for the church in the twenty-first century.
For the good of our souls and for the sake of the church’s mission, followers of Christ need to ask, “What false gospels are being taught today?” and “How can I recognize the true gospel among so many counterfeits?” Answering these questions will be the aim of Secret Church 18, “Cults and Counterfeit Gospels.”
We will consider the claims of Jehovah’s Witnesses, Mormons, and other groups that claim to teach the truth. We will also explore more subtle distortions of the gospel, including prosperity teaching that is rampant across the church. In the end, our goal is to walk away from this Secret Church not only enabled to discern false gospels, but also equipped to share the true gospel with people around us and with peoples around the world.
The simulcast begins at 6:00 p.m., and we are asking participants to arrive by 5:30 p.m. There is no charge for this event, study guides will be provided, and there will be plenty of food to eat! Watch our website, Facebook page, and Twitter feed for additional information as it becomes available.