Wednesday, August 29, 2007

The Ultimate Gift - A Gift Worth Receiving


I'm launching my new blog with a movie review from a friend of mine, Tracy Klicka. She and her husband, Chris, are two of my heroes. They have served the Christian community well for many years and have inspired me through their devotion to Christ and their family.

I loved this movie when I first saw a pre-release version of it from Fox Faith. Tracy's review reminded me of the recent story of Leona Helmsley, who left nothing to two of her grandchildren, but left $12 million to her dog! The character played by James Garner in The Ultimate Gift also writes his grandson out of the will, but does so with a redemptive purpose.

I hope this movie will inspire you to leave a legacy to your children and grandchildren. Leaving a Godly heritage is much more valuable than money, and I'm inspired by the movie (and the example of the Klicka's who review it) to do just that.


The Ultimate Gift - A Gift Worth Receiving
(Review by Tracy Klicka)

How much is a new outlook on life worth to someone who has always
gotten everything he ever wants? In The Ultimate Gift (just released on
DVD), Jason Stevens, the spoiled rich grandson of wealthy businessman
Howard “Red” Stevens, is about to find out. When his grandfather
(played by Emmy award-winning James Garner) passes away, giving his
children portions of his inheritance, Jason assumes there is nothing
left for him. To his surprise, he discovers his grandfather has indeed
left him a gift, a most unusual one. There is a catch, however. In order
to receive his ultimate gift, Jason must commit to fulfilling a 12-month
quest, a voyage of which each leg is detailed by his grandfather in a
series of videos. For Jason, it becomes a journey that will change his
life forever.

When Jason embarks on the first month’s adventure to work on Red’s
lifelong friend’s ranch, he epitomizes a cynical, arrogant, “I
don’t care” attitude that reveals itself in his missing breakfast
the first day, doing sloppy work, and generally showing disdain toward
everyone. Toward the end of that first labor-intensive month, however,
the emergence of a “can-do” perspective reveals just a faint glimmer
of hope that perhaps he is learning “the gift of work”.

And subsequently, at each month’s meeting with Red Stevens’
faithful friend and lawyer Ted Hamilton, Jason receives an opportunity
to discover yet another gift that challenges him to the core. His
assignment to “find one true friend” results in forming an unlikely
attachment to a young girl, Emily, played by Abigail Breslin of Little
Miss Sunshine
fame. As he learns about her life-threatening illness,
Jason allows himself to move beyond his own self-centered world and into
her world and her uncertain future. What is certain is that Jason is not
the same unfeeling young man he once was. And in gaining the friendship
of this perky, straightforward youngster, he receives a gift worth much
more than money for he also obtains the heart of Emily’s mother.

Through additional adventures in fulfilling his grandfather’s quest
for him, Jason learns about loyalty, gratitude, and ultimately
forgiveness. And while Jason does indeed earn the inheritance Red
Stevens has for him, he receives something vastly more important; he is
given a legacy of love and purpose from a grandfather he never really
knew, and a transformed view of life that inspires him to not just dream
big, but to also help fulfill others’ dreams.

This is a great teaching tool to use to show your children the
importance of developing Godly character traits.

If you’re looking for a life-changing experience for you and your
whole family, watch The Ultimate Gift. You’ll be giving yourself a
gift definitely worth receiving.

~reviewed by Tracy Klicka

Tracy Klicka is the wife of Chris Klicka, Sr. Counsel for the Home
School Legal Defense Association
, mother to seven wonderful children, a
professional singer and artist, and a popular speaker and columnist on
the topic of homeschooling and family life. Tracy can be reached at