Drive Thru History with Dave Stotts – American History Series: Movie Review

This is by far my favorite of the Drive Thru History with Dave Stott series.  Put out in 2009, it’s been out awhile now, so this may be old hat to you.  After watching it I wanted to show it to everyone, especially in our public schools.  It is the raw truth of American history which undoubtedly includes our godly heritage.  And fun to boot! 
Here is my grade for Drive Thru History with Dave Stotts: American History Series …
Availability = B+
This may not be in every public library – we found it in our home school library.  It is available through Netflix, and I found it for 10 bucks (+ shipping) on www.half.com.  Interestingly, it is also in book form, on half.com, for under $3 plus shipping.
Information Resource = A+
I can’t say enough good about it … it will not disappoint!  Information, sights, history!
Knowledge and Sincerity of Host = A+
While Dave may be a bit crazy, this adds to his charm.  His presentation and memory of facts, and his joy and fun contrasted with serious passion, can only be attributed to the fact that he is not only a talented media man, but his heart is in it.  He believes what he is telling us, and is whole-heartedly excited about this country and our heritage.  A few may think he is unprofessional or irreverent.  They may even think his food choices while camping out are scandalous! 🙂
Quality of Film Production = A+
Wow, this is a great ride!  I’m impressed with the elements that would keep not only a child attentive but us sleepy worn out adults, too. It is encouraging to see quality material out there – thank you!  One might see a bit of “National Treasure” imitation in the music and film elements.  I didn’t mind – I enjoyed that movie!  This documentary digs up even more treasure than the movie did.
Spiritual Elements = B
The goal of the film isn’t to evangelize.  It is history with just a smattering of opinion thrown in.  But, one can hardly miss the heart for God in our founders.  Loved quotes from William Penn and hearing the first prayer of Congress at Carpenter’s Hall by the Reverend Jacob Duche September 7th, 1774:

“Lord our Heavenly Father, High and Mighty King of kings, and Lord of lords, who dost from thy throne behold all the dwellers on earth and reignest with power supreme and uncontrolled over all the Kingdoms, Empires and Governments; look down in mercy, we beseech thee, on these our American States, who have fled to thee from the rod of the oppressor and thrown themselves on Thy gracious protection, desiring to be henceforth dependent on Thee, to Thee have they appealed for the righteousness of their cause; to Thee do they now look up for that countenance and support, which Thou alone canst give; take them, therefore, Heavenly Father, under Thy nurturing care; give them wisdom in Council and valor in the field; defeat the malicious designs of our cruel adversaries; convince them of the unrighteousness of their Cause and if they persist in their sanguinary purposes, of own unerring justice, sounding in their hearts, constrain them to drop the weapons of war from their unnerved hands in the day of battle! Be Thou present, O God of wisdom, and direct the councils of this honorable assembly; enable them to settle things on the best and surest foundation. That the scene of blood may be speedily closed; that order, harmony and peace may be effectually restored, and truth and justice, religion and piety, prevail and flourish amongst Thy people. Preserve the health of their bodies and vigor of their minds; shower down on them and the millions they here represent, such temporal blessings as Thou seest expedient for them in this world and crown them with everlasting glory in the world to come. all this we ask In the Name and through the merits of Jesus Christ, Thy Son and our Savior.
Amen.”

“Witnesses record that during the prayer Washington knelt along with Henry, Randolph, Lee, Rutledge and Jay.  The last two were originally the most vocal in opposing the idea of a prayer.  After the prayer a profound silence followed, so deep was the sense of responsibility upon each man present.” (http://www.kamglobal.org/Store/FirstPrayerInCongress.htm … http://www.keepgodinamerica.com/firstprayer.asp)
If you read through that whole prayer, you are dedicated!  As you can see, I can get carried away by this subject … back to the grading process.
Story Substance = A+
While I consider myself a good student of American history, I learned a lot and wished for more.  Let’s say you probably won’t be twiddling your thumbs wondering, “When is this thing going to be over?!”  I greatly appreciate the dedicated researchers and filmographers who compiled this fabulous representation of American history!
Review Summary:
Availability = B+
Information Resource = A+
Knowledge and Sincerity of Host = A+
Quality of Film Production = A+
Spiritual Elements = B
Story Substance = A+
Overall Grade = A

Obstacle to Comfort – George Mueller: Movie Review




As a pre-teen, one biography caught my attention more than the others: George Mueller -man of faith, founder of orphanages, godly example.  Now as an adult, parent, and teacher, this man continues to inspire and challenge my faith.  We had the privilege of watching a video about his life last night.  I highly recommend it.  Excerpt from the website (link found below):

Obstacle to Comfort is a 55-minute video on the life of George Muller of Bristol.  The man became a legend in his own generation.  He was the builder of schools, a supporter of missions and a father to some 10,000 orphans.  The amazing issue of his life does not lie in what he did, but in how he accomplished it.  
 
He refused to inform anybody concerning his needs, mentioning them only to God, in private, on his knees. 

My grade for Obstacle to Comfort …

Availablilty = C
It may be difficult to track down.  We found ours at our home school assistance program library.  Finding it will be well worth the effort.  I found one used on http://www.amazon.com/ for $2.99.  Huge difference from http://www.half.com/ at over $21.  It wasn’t on Netflix.

Information Resource = A+
This video was excellent in describing George Mueller’s background, his conversion, the four most influencial people in his life, how he became a man of prayer, why he never wanted a salary, his pioneer work in founding orphanages … all of this and more upon a clear backdrop describing the current events of his day.  I especially appreciated hearing statistics relating what happened to the orphans under his care after they grew up.

Knowledge and Sincerity of Host = A+
It is hosted by an older gentleman who clearly loves this man who has greatly impacted his life and ministry.  His hands tremble, so he moves them a lot, but I didn’t find it too distracting.  On the contrary, I was touched that he was determined to make the film regardless of physical issues.

Quality of Film Production = B- 
Not terrible for a low budget 15 year old film, but it is slow compared to modern flashy media.  Not a big deal.

Spiritual Elements = A
This story is a testament to God’s grace before salvation, at salvation, and beyond.  There is no possible way that all the answers to prayers and amazing provision were merely coincidence.  Clearly God worked in and through this humble man.  I learned that during the blitz of WWII, when Hitler caused numerous deadly attacks on London, many bombs fell around the Mueller campus.  And people would run to the buildings of Mr. Mueller’s orphanage instead of to storm shelters.  When asked why they would take that risk, they replied, “We know God is here.”  None of the orphan houses, schools or offices were ever harmed.

Story Substance = A+
This true story of faith was illuminated by numerous photos and location visits.  I was moved by seeing faces of the children he helped, the orphanages and schools built through prayer, and photos of the man himself.  Dr. Connolly takes viewers to visit a man still connected to the Mueller organization, who lovingly untucks Pastor Mueller’s personal record books from a safe, showing us his very first book, introducing us to his first orphan.  First of thousands.

Review Summary:
Availability = C
Information Resource = A+
Knowledge and Sincerity of Host = A+
Quality of Film Production = B- 
Spiritual Elements = A
Story Substance = A+

Overall Grade = A-


http://prayerfoundation.org/movies/movie_review_obstacle_to_comfort_george_muller.htm