“Woodlawn” movie on DVD from Universal Pictures Home Entertainment came from Netflix to our house this week. It’s got a mixture of football games and relationship intrigue in the storyline.


This movie opened with a bus burning in Birmingham, AL in Martin Luther King, Jr.’s day, and is based on a true story.


Woodlawn High School was forced to integrate African-American students with white students in the early 1970’s. Students and parents yelled and pushed while police shepherded the new young people from the bus through a pathway to their building.


“Woodlawn” is an Erwin Bros. film. Pure Flix presented in association with Provident Films a Kevin Downes production of a movie based on the lives of football players and their friends and family, along with coaches and faith-filled mentors. The film was rated PG. The website for the film is http://woodlawnmovie.com and this picture comes from there:


A top-notch football player catches the eye of the head coach of an Alabama University at a game, and he tells the high schooler that they’ll meet again.


The next time we see Tony Nathan (Caleb Castille), he’s changing schools.


Tandy Gerelds (Nic Bishop), is the vice-principal of Woodlawn High, and more importantly, the football coach. He’s not thrilled to have new players with a dark complexion, but he loves football and sees what an asset these young men will be to the team. To say that he protects the new guys from harsh hits at practice would be a lie, but he doesn’t encourage abuse as some rival coaches suggest to their squad.


I enjoyed hearing favorite Christian songs in the film from the time, like “They’ll Know We are Christians by Our Love” based on 1 John 4 in the New Testament:


We are one in the Spirit, we are one in the Lord
We are one in the Spirit, we are one in the Lord
And we pray that our unity will one day be restored
And they’ll know we are Christians by our love, by our love
Yeah they’ll know we are Christians by our love
We will work with each other, we will work side by side
We will work with each other, we will work side by side
And we’ll guard each man’s dignity and save each man’s pride
And they’ll know we are Christians by our love, by our love
Yeah, they’ll know we are Christians by our love.
For non-commercial use only.
Data From: LyricFind


The following information is from the movie’s website provided for the press:

“Woodlawn stars Sean Astin (Rudy, The Lord of the Rings trilogy), Nic Bishop (Covert Affairs, Body of Proof), Caleb Castille (in his feature film debut), C. Thomas Howell (The Outsiders, Red Dawn), Sherri Shepherd (The View, Precious) and Academy Award®-winner Jon Voight (Coming Home, Ali, National Treasure). The film is directed by the Erwin Brothers (Moms’ Night Out, October Baby) from a script by Jon Erwin and Quinton Peeples (“11.22.63,” “Unforgettable”). Executive producers are Mark Burnett and Roma Downey.”


Before a major playoff game, Tony Nathan is running the stairs at the stadium when he encounters the quarterback from the rival school. When asked why thousands of people would come to see a high school game, Tony responds, “For hope.”


More folks attended that high school game than any other, ever.


They got to view football players clash on the field, yet help opposite team members up from the ground after the play ended. I felt hope that Jesus can change hate-filled people to love-filled persons of God and of mankind. I’ve seen it and experienced it. I lived in that stressful era of uncertainty as society grappled with the assault on authority and the status quo.


May God bless you!

Jesus Asks Us to Love, Not Hate

I didn’t intend to blog much tonight, but I checked my blog site and read a blog I follow called Daily (w)rite. She wrote about the children that were killed in Pakistan. As a girl growing up in India, she learned to hate the Pakistanis. She eloquently decries murdering innocent children and she feels deeply for the grieving families. I wrote a comment giving what I feel the Bible says about Jesus’ love for all of mankind and how He must cry when He sees us hurting one another.

Instead of building each other up and sacrificing our selves for others’ sake, we often live for ourselves first and foremost. I am as guilty as anyone. Our Wednesday night Bible study is covering 1 John 4 and other books in the Bible we chose, like Matthew 5:38-48, and 1 Corinthians 13. We decided they highlighted how to love God more and how to love others more, which is our focus for this study. We are talking about really loving others, especially those that are not as lovable to us as others might be. What does that look like in actuality? How do we live it?

We are also bringing in ingredients to make soup each week, and I’m finding the breaking of bread and working together in  the kitchen beforehand is creating an unexpected bond.

One of our participants accepted the Lord Jesus as his Lord and Savior in October and the Word of God is coming alive for him now. He is so eager to learn what the Bible has to say and he tells us he’s been delivered from addictions and sins that he’s lived with for many years. Not everyone has that experience. They may find some relief and then God helps them be set free of other burdens over time. Each person is unique. So this new believer asks questions that brings depth to our studies as we tell of our experiences over the years with God and His word, or we begin a search and learn along with him. His face radiates with the joy of a new life in Christ.

I intended to write a short ditty about receiving two copies of “Live Magazine” in the mail today. My article is featured on the cover of the January 11, 2015 issue. What a delightful surprise. Somehow it seems insignificant in the face of the heart-wrenching loss of precious children. I’m content with the byline, but hoping to comfort hurting people in Jesus’ name seems a much more appropriate use of blogging space and blogging time; Thanks for reading, if you made it this far. May God enrich your heart today.