“Refuge from the Storm” did this REALLY happen?

Behind the Scenes of the Movie "Refuge From the Storm" Actress Kristen Quintrall Preparing for the upcoming scene. Photo taken by Debbie Hertzfeldt.

Behind the Scenes of the Movie “Refuge From the Storm” Actress Kristen Quintrall preparing for Marah’s deliverance scene. Photo taken by Debbie Hertzfeldt.

The producers of Refuge From the Storm met for the first time in November of 2009, in a Vista sushi bar to discuss making films. They wanted to produce stories about God’s power working in the lives of ordinary people. It was possible to produce inspiring, faith-based movies that tell the real stories of people’s lives, not sterilized versions. They saw the need for movies that show how dark and broken a life can become, and how God can then restore that individual to complete wholeness.

It was also clear which story to tell first. So, right away they interviewed the woman, and began to write the script. They finished Refuge from the Storm in June of 2010.

And a new generation of faith-based films was born.

Almost everything in the movie is based on actual events. Marah received complete deliverance in the hospital that day. We don’t know if the real Steve ever wrote the book.

Sam did try to attack Linda that night in the parking lot behind Katrine’s bar. But we’re not clear exactly what he saw. Whatever it was, it scared him off. When Linda turned around to see, the place was deserted. We believe Sam saw angels. We portrayed them as gang members.

Behind the Scenes of the Movie "Refuge From the Storm" Photo taken by Debbie Hertzfeldt.

Behind the Scenes of the Movie “Refuge From the Storm” Photo taken by Debbie Hertzfeldt.

Stories of God’s deliverance happen in the lives of people all the time, everywhere.  Most go undocumented.

The real Linda never wanted the focus to be on her or any one person. Rather, she wanted to share the principles, which cause God’s power to kick in, so God would receive the glory. For this reason, we’ve never publicly released the identity of the characters portrayed in the film.

Why did the main character agree to have her story told?

She thought her story would benefit and inspire others. People looking for answers can know it’s available to see God’s power operate in their lives to a greater degree. The real Linda is quick to say she actually knew very little of the Word of God at this time in her life. But she’d been taught she had “Christ in her,” and that it was available to do the works that Jesus Christ did and greater.

Colossians 1:27 To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory:

John 14:12 Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father.

She believed it and acted, and God moved with might.

Kristin Quintrall talks about playing Linda

Behind the Scenes of the Movie "Refuge From the Storm" Actresses Kristen Quintrall and Angie Jerez with Director Elias Acosta and Producer James Ellis. Photo taken by Debbie Hertzfeldt.

Behind the Scenes of the Movie “Refuge From the Storm” Actresses Kristen Quintrall and Angie Jerez with Director Elias Acosta and Producer James Ellis. Photo taken by Debbie Hertzfeldt.

“I’ve actually had the pleasure to meet the woman that this movie is about, and there’d be certain scenes where I’d think, how did you do this? I don’t mean in an acting way, but what really happened. Then, I’d find out the motivation for all of it.”

“It’s been really cool to pick her brain, but it also had its challenges, too. That’s because she was right behind the monitor. Sometimes I’d wonder, am I doing this right? Is this how I’m supposed to do this? But the fact that this IS a true story makes it that much more epic.”

Where’s the real Linda these days?

Since her dramatic deliverance in the 1970’s, she has enjoyed a life free from bondage.  She’s married and has raised three wonderful daughters. Two are married and having children of their own. She’s enjoyed seeing God work in her life for over 30 years, and continues to tell her story to those who desire to understand more about God’s Power and His goodness.

Get your copy of the Movie today!  |   Watch the movie trailer   |   See what Vista Films is doing next!


Healing: What’s Forgiveness Got To Do With It?


What do healing and forgiveness have to do with each other?

Plenty, says Dr. Caroline Leaf, cognitive neuroscientist, Ph.D. in Communication Pathology, and author of #1 Bestseller, Switch On Your Brain: The Key to Peak Happiness, Thinking, and Health.

Why should you focus on your thinking?

“If our brains are full of chaos, our bodies will be too.”

Leaf goes on to state that thoughts take up “mental real estate.” Thoughts run along structures she calls trees—in the form of electrical impulses. These currents cause your mind to secrete chemicals.

Fearful thoughts can cause adrenalin and cortisol.

Happy thoughts can cause endorphins, serotonin, and even t-cells and suppressor cells, which rid the body of bad cells like cancer.

These chemicals can directly impact your overall health.

“When you think a toxic thought, or make a bad choice, or you hang on to anything that is negative—anger, bitterness, hurt, irritation, or frustration—it impacts the production of those chemicals.”

Physical changes actually take place in your brain.

Conversely, positive thoughts—things like joy, passion, peace, and happiness—can have a positive effect. As you build different structures in your mind, you get the benefit or drawback that either type of thinking provides.

In the Bible, Jesus Christ shares a record that points directly to thoughts and trees. It’s interesting how this relates. In John 15:5, he states:

I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit.

Jesus Christ was all about forgiveness. When Peter asked him in Matthew 18, how many times you should forgive a brother who has sinned against you, Jesus said, seventy times seven. 

If you’re new to this, an easy source for positive thoughts is God’s Word.

What do you do if you’ve engaged in harmful thinking in the past?

You’re not stuck. Your mind can be rewired. The brain has neuro-plasticity, meaning it can be shaped through deliberate effort. The process takes place over a 21-day window.

In our natural state, “we are wired for love,” says Leaf.

Fear, on the other hand, is learned. There are only two natural fears: fear of falling and fear of loud noises. Everything other fear is a choice.

“Fear is a hijack.”

In Refuge From the Storm, Linda goes through this type of transformation.

About the DVD

She forgives her abuser, changes her thinking, and over time heals. Migraines go away, and life gets better. So how does forgiveness, specifically, factor into getting healed?

Psalm 103:3 states:

Who [the Lord] forgives all thine iniquities, who healeth all thy diseases.

He forgives you and then heals you. The order of the words is perfect. Forgiveness and healing go hand and hand.

Who is doing the forgiving—who else? God. God forgives. But it doesn’t stop there. The very next thing to happen is that God heals. If God—the Creator of the heavens and the earth—can forgive, what about you?

And forgiveness isn’t only for the forgiven.

By forgiving others, you go from thoughts of bitterness to thoughts of love.

Negative thinking gets replaced with positive. Forgiveness, therefore, helps the person who forgives. You go from the “hijack” to healing.

You return to your natural state of love.

You don’t have to be afraid to forgive others. Forgiveness does not mean acceptance for what they did. To forgive is simply to excuse. It’s to stop feeling angry or resentful toward someone for an offense, flaw, or mistake.

To forgive is not the same as to allow negatives into your life. It is neither wise nor safe to allow those influences to remain.

What forgiveness does is free you.

Fear is always wrong. Happily, love expels fear. I John 4:18 states:

There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love.

Fear has torment. That word for “fear” in this verse is phobos, in the Greek. It’s where we get the word phobia. 

God admonishes the believer to keep or guard your heart with all diligence. To get rid of toxic thoughts like fear. It’s all part of the guarding process.

But how? Some of the things you’ve encountered might be pretty catastrophic—at least to you.

It’s simply a decision. You decide to forgive.

It’s easier to forgive when you remember how much God has forgiven you.

You no longer want hurt or bitterness in your life, your mind. You just decide that whatever the other person has done isn’t worth carrying around anymore. It’s slowing you down, stealing your joy, and to end that unwanted reach into your space, you forgive.

And you forgive and re-forgive until you can finally put it to rest. That’s the 21-day window Dr. Leaf talks about. You continue to forgive until you’re able to move on.

You transform your thoughts.

Incidentally, wherever you read Be Of Good Cheer in the Bible, it can also be translated: have your thoughts well arranged.

The first time that appears in Mark, chapter 9, where Jesus Christ instructs a man who’s sick of the palsy to have his thoughts well arranged—that his sins are forgiven. Moments later Jesus tells him to take up his bed and go unto his house. Guess what? He does.

Talk about physical changes taking place as a result of thoughts. There was a definite energizing here.

Do you have an area where you need to forgive?

Remember that when you forgive, at the very least, you are allowing love and the positives to build good trees in your mind. You’re releasing good chemicals into your body. You’re prolonging and enhancing your health.

You’re also helping the other person, when they want forgiveness, to get their lives on the right coordinates.

We’d love to hear about where you are on the journey to forgiveness. Please share your thoughts in the comment section below.

Stay tuned for more!

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Enjoy Linda’s journey of deliverance from the comfort of your own home. The DVD for Refuge from the Storm is now available in stores at Walmart & BLU-Ray for Refuge from the Storm is now available online at VFI.

Kitten photo courtesy: Nicolas Suzor from Brisbane, Australia (Kittens!  Uploaded by Kaldari) [CC BY-SA 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons.