Jon Stolpe Stretched

What's S-t-r-e-t-c-h-i-n-g me now?

Soul Surfer

Last night, Leanne, Hannah, and I went to see Soul Surfer at a local treasure, The Grand, an old-style movie theater up in Greenville, PA.  The Grand is a great place to catch a movie.  There’s an organ up in the front that plays music while you wait for the show to start.  The ticket prices are reasonable ($3 matinée and $5 evening).  The snack prices won’t break the bank.  And we only had to watch one preview.  We’ve seen a few movies here over the past few years, and we’ve always been impressed by the service and show.  Last night was no exception.

Soul Surfer is a movie based on the true story of Bethany Hamilton, a teenage surfing sensation who loses her arm to a shark attack.  As her family wrestles with the aftermath of this accident, they must all come to terms with their faith and their future.  I was very impressed how this was showcased in the movie.  The movie does not back down from being bold about God’s role in this families life.  As Leanne and I sat there watching, I believe we both resonated with the messages of this movie.

God has a plan for our lives despite events that seem so tragic.

God works good in everything – even though we can’t see it all.

Sometimes we don’t know all the answers for tomorrow, and we just need to wait.

When “junk” happens in our lives, we have two choices.  We can sit around feeling sorry for ourselves, or we can get back up and keep going forward.

The “junk” can actually be the catalyst in our lives to give us greater opportunity.

I hold this hope for our own lives, and I’m thankful for the cinematic reminder last night.  I’d definitely recommend this movie, and I’d definitely recommend a night at The Grand.


May 1, 2011 - Posted by | movies, Uncategorized


  1. Sorry we can’t travel to Greenville to go the The Grand. Glad you were able to go with Hannah. What did Isaac do?

    Love to all of you,

    Mom and Grandma

    P.S. Have a good week!

    Comment by Mom | May 2, 2011 | Reply

    • You would enjoy the movie for sure (although I’m guessing you’d turn away briefly during the actual shark attack scene). Isaac was camping with the Boy Scouts, so it gave us a great opportunity to hang out with Hannah. Hope you have a great birthday week!

      Comment by jonstolpe | May 2, 2011 | Reply

  2. Jon,

    Thanks for your comment today, brother blogger, I read this post a few days ago and wanted to comment but got really busy.

    Two points: It is good to say faith portrayed in positive light in the movies and popular media; often the focus is on the negative aspects of organized religion or abuses of faith.

    One concern I have is that too often we only see God acting in our lives after some awful, traumatic event, such as the injury depicted in the movie. But God is in our everyday dull lives: The sun shines, that’s an act of God. The function of the human brain is a miracle of God. Making a new friend is truly a gift from God. This is God in everyday life. We need not wait for a horrible accident to see Him and turn to Him.

    If you look at my Skippack Events blog post (the post you already commented on), you will see that I write about this at the end of list of events, expressing these beliefs in my own way.

    Thanks Jon.

    Comment by Michael Shaw, your friend in Skippack | May 6, 2011 | Reply

    • Such a wonderful and insightful comment. God is truly with us through the ups, the downs, and the plateaus of life. I think it’s sometimes easier to recognize His presence in the highs and lows, but He’s still there when we’re doing the day-to-day, mundane stuff as well. Thanks for the reminder.

      Where can I go from your Spirit?
      Where can I flee from your presence?
      If I go up to the heavens, you are there;
      if I make my bed in the depths, you are there.
      If I rise on the wings of the dawn,
      if I settle on the far side of the sea,
      even there your hand will guide me,
      your right hand will hold me fast.
      If I say, “Surely the darkness will hide me
      and the light become night around me,”
      even the darkness will not be dark to you;
      the night will shine like the day,
      for darkness is as light to you.

      Psalm 139:7-12

      Comment by jonstolpe | May 6, 2011 | Reply

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