Saturday, July 14, 2018

Hope of Nations - John S. Dickerson

In Hope of Nations, author John S. Dickerson, prize-winning investigative reporter, a frequent commentator, and pastor, offers a greater understanding of how and why the world is changing. In explaining the mindset of many of today's social justice warriors, Millennials in particular, Dickerson shows us where we are and where America appears to be heading. This will help many Christians know how to live like Christ in today’s society.
 
Political scandals, terrorist attacks, riots, and the bullying of those whom you disagree with politically are in the headlines daily. Before we can regroup from one disaster or area of division, another occurs. Each side seems to be completely blind to any point of view other than their own and truth is obscured, sometimes willfully, by the very ones whom we have always relied upon for an honest report of events. In these uncertain days, which often feel like the final days referred to in Scripture, we struggle to know which direction we will be heading in next. 


I have always considered myself to be a person willing to listen to other viewpoints, but calm discussions are becoming rare with the preeminence of keyboard warriors and nonstop coverage of world events via the internet. Dickerson's explanation of the mindset of younger, more liberal people did help me see things from their view a bit more clearly...even if I do still disagree. I have compared America to pre-World War 2 Germany many times, and the author and I are in agreement there. Since our perspectives are similar, many of the things he said made a lot of sense to me.

Calling this the Post-Truth Generation was clarifying, albeit sad, but did demonstrate that some changes have to be made within myself since what I see so clearly is missed by others younger than me. Overall I did really like the book and mentioned it several times on social media as I read. However, it also seemed to get a bit repetitive. I really liked it and do recommend it, but there were times I would have to lay it aside when things would run together a bit.

I received a copy of this book from Handlebar Marketing for review purposes. All opinions are my own and I was not required to give a positive review.

Tuesday, July 3, 2018

'Beyond' Birthday Giveaway

My birthday is this month and I want to celebrate by giving away a DVD copy of one of my favorite movies. Beyond the Farthest Star is an insightful story that centers on a family that is slowly being destroyed by the inside out due to lack of communication and long-buried secret. Pastor Adam Wells (Todd Terry) was once an internationally known child preacher who has now been reduced to a handful of parishioners since a move to the small town of Leonard, Texas. Maurene (Renee O'Connor), once the high school class valedictorian, now burys her dreams in romance novels and a bottle hidden in her closest, believing God is punishing her for past mistakes. Anne (Cherami Leigh) is attracted to self-harm as she struggles to find worth within herself and a place of her own in the world. When an angry former Senator (Andrew Prine) sets fire the the town's Nativity, the sparks ignite more than just the wooden statues. Lives are changed forever.

BTFS has universal themes that speak to all people and effectively weaves the idea that there is hope in spite of physical or emotional scars. This richly layered story shares a raw honest portrayal of transformation and restoration after hidden secrets are revealed and healing is allowed to begin. Elements of suspense, romance, and political intrigue are combined with multi-dimensional characters to present an escalating tension that intensifies to an explosive climax, and, ultimately, to a satisfying conclusion. This PG-13 rated film also stars Barry Corbin, Tyler Corie, Lou Beatty Jr., William McNamara, Jodie Moore, Shawn Roe, Andrew Sensenig and Jordan Ross. BTFS was written and directed by Andrew Librizzi and executive produced by Benjamin Dane, who also has the role of Sheriff Deputy Jimmy Wilkins.

The film also inspired an updated version of "Beauty For Ashes" by Crystal Lewis, a novel by Bodie and Brock Thoene, and a painting by Thomas Kinkade which was ultimately reimagined by his nephew Zac Kinkade due to Thom's unexpected death. To learn more about these products and Beyond the Farthest Star, go to BeyondTheFarthestStar.com 


The DVD is also ON SALE right now on Amazon! Tinyurl.com/BeyondTheMovie



GIVEAWAY RULES!
To Enter, write #BeyondBirthday in a comment on a social media post (of this giveaway) or leave a comment on this blog post (they will have to be approved by me to be added--- crazy spammers have to be filtered). Deadline to enter is 5:00am CDT on July 13, 2018. Winner will be announced no later than 5pm CDT. 


SOCIAL LINKS:

Friday, June 29, 2018

Unexpected: Leave Fear Behind - Christine Caine

The unexpected, by its very nature, can have a tremendous impact. Sometimes it even shakes our faith, causing us to become defensive and fearful of living out our life fully trusting God. However, that does not have to be your reaction. In Unexpected: Leave Fear Behind, Christine Caine uses compelling stories along with practical advice to offer encouragement. Leave behind the anxiety and move forward in faith, knowing that the unexpected WILL happen, but you can be confident that God is fully in control and will see you through anything. 



Christine Caine website 

MY REVIEW: Each of us has unexpected things occur in our lives and we are seldom prepared. Christine Caine received a diagnosis of cancer that rearranged plans she had made for her life and this book opens with her story. She doesn't offer easy steps of dealing with these changes but does tell the reader how she trusted Jesus during the ordeal.

But this is more than Christine's story. She also shares many other stories of people who have had their lives turned upside down. We are given a peek into how God used circumstances and other people to help each during the difficult times and, even to prepare for their future. Caine gives many examples of the hope to be found and the restoration of lives to a 'new normal' that is meaningful.

I highly recommend this book to all. No one goes through life without facing the unexpected, whether minor or major, and we all need the reminder that we have a God who is with us at all times. The message of comfort, strength, hope, and healing reminds us to face our fear by trusting God as He leads us through the trials we face. What is unexpected by us is known by God and Christine will help you fight the fear you are facing and move forward.

I received a copy of this book from Icon Media Group for review purposes. I was not required to write a positive review.

Friday, June 15, 2018

How to Be a Perfect Christian - Babylon Bee

How to Be a Perfect Christian: Your Comprehensive Guide to Flawless Spiritual Living by The Babylon Bee ... Your Trusted Source for Christian News Satire. This book from the creator of "Babylon Bee" is very good, but not one you can simply just read through. At least, I couldn't.

I am a huge fan of Babylon Bee on Facebook... even the posts that step on my own toes a little harder than I like. Sometimes it's just my mood, but there are times I think they have gone too far. Of course, most other readers seem to feel the same. The comments are fantastic...ranging from those who need to be writing for the website on to those who just can't get the grasp of satire. I confess, that I also get a bit amused when I share the post and someone takes it seriously.

I do miss the feedback from the social media comments and that I made the mistake of trying to read straight through. Sometimes a little is better than a lot. As with the articles, some chapters were funnier to me than others and some struck a nerve. The photo above describes me better than I am comfortable in admitting. But the "ouch" moments are usually the ones I need the most.

But, if you enjoy reading shorter passages in a book, this is entertaining. Or, if you know someone who does not have access to any of the Babylon Bee sites --- and loves satire --- it's a great gift book. I recommend it to anyone who isn't afraid to take a look at themselves with a good sense of humor. As said in Proverbs
15:15, "For the despondent, every day brings trouble; for the happy heart, life is a continual feast." Enjoy the gift of laughter today and have a happy heart.

Many thanks to Waterbrook-Multnomah for the gift copy. A review was not required, and this is my honest opinion.


SOCIAL MEDIA LINKS:
BabylonBee.com
Facebook
Twitter
Instagram

BUY A COPY: 
Amazon

Barnes & Noble
Books A Million
ChristianBook.com
Indiebound

Sunday, June 3, 2018

Steps of Faith

Steps of Faith synopsis: Faith Houston (Chrystee Pharris) believes God has told her to move from Dallas to a small town to work on a Hippotherapy farm helping children. Her family is doubtful, considering that Faith is afraid of animals and children... and is not even a devout Christian. Once she arrives, the farm manager, Bell (Gail Cronauer), laughs at her too, but Marshall Lee () convinces her to give Faith a chance. Marshall mentors Faith as she learns to work on the farm, including cleaning stables, and their relationship begins to blossom. Although Faith is following what she believes is God's plan for her life, her fears continue. When a child is almost injured, the pressure is too much. Doubting she actually heard God, she runs away and returns to her home. Can she step out in faith once again... and will "Steps of Faith" give her another chance?

 

My Review: I truly enjoyed this film. The characters played well off each other and it was easy to love each of them. Steps of Faith is a dramedy that speaks on hearing God's Voice, obedience and other important matters. But the story is told with a light-hearted touch that had me frequently smiling. The spiritual growth of the two main characters was as much fun as the growth in their relationship as they fall in love with one another. Additional characters, including some familiar faces, add texture to the story. The movie is directed by M. Legend Brown and written by Micheal D. Brown and T. K. Henderson

Steps of Faith website
Steps of Faith on Facebook

Many thanks to LEV3L Digital for providing me with a copy AND offering a DVD to a reader of my blog. Please Enter with #StepsOfFaithL3 on this bog post or in a comment on a social Media post. Deadline to enter is Friday, June 8, 2018.

Monday, May 14, 2018

May 12, 2010 - Links and Lifestyle Changes

I just realized something: May 12, 2010 is both the day I got a home computer AND the last day I smoked. In one way I exchanged one form of bondage for another. 😐 Perhaps my hands were too busy to hold a cigarette, but I also had insomnia for several months... which could have been partly due to my complete fascination with social media. I averaged 3 hours of sleep at night, with a 10-20 minute nap during the day. Cigarettes were gone, but the computer was my new obsession.

I had a Facebook page for over a year, but was limited to what I could see and do until I got my own computer and internet. It was actually a FB friend who wanted to quit smoking and asked several friends if they would join in so we could support one another. I had smoked off and on for 40 years, so I knew I could quit for a while. I always quit when pregnant, and sometimes went a couple of years without smoking. STRESS was always the deal breaker for me. I actually realized one day, following several months of deep, almost to the point of suicide, depression that following one more personally devastating occurrence, I did not automatically return to my usual habit of chain-smoking when very upset. I also withdrew from many Facebook friends I had established relationships with and concentrated on my new career in social media management. Superficial friendships can be hard to hang on to, but it's self-protection for me. Working also became a life-saver, though. Not only did I need to support myself financially, having something to occupy myself was (is) vital.

While it is essential for work, I am not as addicted to my computer as I was 8 years ago. I can turn it off without worrying over what I am missing. Admittedly, Facebook is not as much fun as it used to be. Sadly, the world has become an angrier, sadder, more bitter place...or appears to be if you only read only certain social media pages and posts. But, I do find a lot of beauty, joy, connections, and friends on those pages. And, I need to work harder at being a friend to those I care about rather than withdrawing more into myself. There was never anything good about smoking, but there is good in having my computer...if used moderately and to be a blessing...and a better friend. Trusting others and allowing them to know me is a much bigger battle than giving up cigarettes!

Chains can be a burden or a blessing, depending on how they are used. Sometimes one link needs to be broken and removed and replaced with one that strengthens you instead.

Wednesday, May 2, 2018

You Better Get Ready...I'm Coming Home!

Repost from Aug 8, 2010 Cindy's World:

"You better get ready, I'm coming home!" Those were the words I heard on the phone a few minutes ago from Kote!!

Next was, "I got money for my birthday, so I'll be buying my own stuff now!! Wait!! I want to buy a phone, but YOU can keep buying the rest of my stuff!!" 😎


He is hilarious.

But it did trigger a few thoughts about my life. How often, when things are going good, do I want to tell God that I can handle it now? Just as quickly, I want to put those words right back in my mouth. I can have nothing nor do nothing without Him!! I learned that lesson the hard way...and, because I am mule-headed, more than once!

While only God knows when I will be heading toward Heaven, I think of loved ones already there: my son... parents ... grandparents... a miscarried grandchild. I wonder who else is waiting on me? Most important --- my Savior!! Without Him, there is no way I would get there on my own.

I may not know the day or the hour, but I want to look toward Heaven and joyfully shout.........................
..................

"YOU BETTER GET READY, I'M COMING HOME!!!"   :D