Tuesday, October 28, 2014

When Calls the Heart: Change of Heart

The latest dvd to be released in the When Calls the Heart series is Change of Heart.

Synopsis - Jack (Daniel Lissing) gets Elizabeth (Erin Krakow) to agree to join him for a dinner date and lets her know he is interested in a courtship,  just as Elizabeth’s younger sister, Julie Thatcher (Charlotte Hegele), arrives in Coal Valley, surprising Elizabeth.  Julie is accompanied by Mountie Patrick O’Reilly (Ken Tremblett), the man who has come to replace Jack as the new Constable of Coal Valley. Jack had forgotten all about his transfer request, so now decisions must be made.

This is the episode that many fans have been looking forward to through the entire series. Jack and Elizabeth finally admit to each other (and themselves) that there is an attraction that goes beyond friendship. Of course there are twists and turns throughout the storyline, but these are one of the things that make this series so intriguing to the fans. Julie finds herself attracted to a man who may not be what he seems, and Mr. Gowen is showing an unusual interest in Abigail. As usual, the production qualities are above far, and the story engages the viewers interest...and leaves us wanting more!

DISCLAIMER: I was given the above mentioned DVD for review purposes only from Edify Media.  No monetary compensation was received.  The opinions expressed here are my own.

Pre-order on Amazon

Michael Landon Jr. – Director:  Michael Landon Jr., son of the late television legend Michael Landon, has been in the film business for over 25 years.  With two of the highest rated films in the history of the Hallmark channel, and several top ten releases targeted to the Christian market, Michael has become known for creating heartfelt, inspiring films that connect to the family.  He has developed and/or produced, directed, and written screenplays for Fox, CBS, NBC, Disney, Sony, Lifetime, and others.
 Brian Bird- Writer/Producer : Brian Bird is co-founder with partner Michael Landon, Jr., of Believe Pictures, a film and television production company.  He was co-executive producer and writer on the successful television series, Touched by an Angel.  Adding to Brian’s success, he had also written and produced episodes of Evening Shade, Step by Step and The Family Man.  Most recently, Bird wrote and produced Gametime, a two-hour television pilot for NBC, The Shunning, inspired by the novel by best-selling author Beverly Lewis, for the Hallmark Channel, and Not Easily Broken, adapted from the novel by T.D. Jakes and released theatrically by Sony/TriStar.
About Word Entertainment:  A leader in the music industry for over 60 years, Word Entertainment, a Warner/Curb company, is a unique, comprehensive entertainment company comprised of multi-faceted artist service departments including publishing, merchandising, booking, and online initiatives. Word Entertainment represents some of the top names and brands in music, including Meredith Andrews, Chris August, BarlowGirl, Francesca Battistelli, Big Daddy Weave, Jason Castro, Patrick Ryan Clark, Everfound, for KING & COUNTRY, Group 1 Crew, Love & The Outcome, Dara Maclean, Point Of Grace and Sidewalk Prophets and is home to 25 Entertainment, Word Distribution (representing Curb Records and Big Idea/VeggieTales among others), Word Print, Word Films, Word Music Publishing and Word Label Group’s Word Records, Word Worship and Fervent Records.

Sue Hooley - 2015 Daily Planner

With busy schedules, everyone is always looking for the best way to keep track of what they need to do. I was excited to have a chance to review Sue Hoovey's Daily Planner. This 6x9 spiral bound book is an easy-to-use planner that is easy to write in, sturdy and compact, but is also attractive and gives lots of room for all you need to keep up with. I also loved the weekly Scriptures inside the book.

Sue, a mother of six, simply ran out of room when she tried to write down all that her family scheduled, so she needed something more versatile and with adequate space to record activities and appointments. Whether you have a large family or are a family of one, this is, by far, the most efficient planner I have ever used. Sue graciously supplied a 2014 version to try out for review purposes, as well as a 2015 planner, so I did get to find out exactly how effective it was for me. I don't have as much to schedule with running a household as many users, but it helped me schedule my reviews and tasks for the various clients I have as a social media assistant.

Features include: 
  • Two-page Weekly layout with menu planning and to-do list
  • Two-page Month layout
  • Year Calendars with place for notations
  • Perforated Shopping Lists
  • Tasks Lists and Projects; Events Sections
  • Information Section

Take a look inside:


To purchase your own (or buy as Christmas gifts), click on this link. There is FREE SHIPPING on 3 or more planners (USA only) and discounted prices on multiple purchases. Order now!

 Disclosure: I received this product at no cost to myself as a member of the CWA Review Crew. In exchange, I was only asked to write an honest review of the product.


Wednesday, October 22, 2014

The Hardest Peace by Kara Tippetts

The Hardest Peace by Kara Tippetts is a thought-provoking, heart-breaking, and encouraging book written by a woman who has faced adversity of many types yet whose faith continues to grow stronger as she weathers each storm.

Raised in less than ideal circumstances, she had a grandmother who introduced her to the Lord at an early age. This made a tremendous impact that has continued to sustain her over the years. Being diagnosed with Stage-IV cancer at the age of 36 has been the hardest battle of all. Kara discusses the peace she has while relying on God and how His grace is sufficient, yet is realistic about the pain and suffering. The longing she has to grow old with her husband and watch her children grow is also eloquently expressed. Yet her ability to stand firm on the knowledge that God will see her and her loved ones through each moment is an encouragement to others.
Questions posed at the end of each chapter really help the reader reflect and dig deeper into their own relationships...with God, family, and friends; Very helpful in making you more intentional in your words and deeds, and your personal and spiritual growth. I confess that her writing style is not one that keeps my attention, but it is very similar to another author, Ann Voskamp, whose books and blog millions of women love. I believe this book will be a blessing to anyone who reads it, but fans of Voskamp and similar authors will especially love it.

Kara’s Blog: mundanefaithfulness.com
Follow her on Instagram
Kara Tippetts and her husband, Jason, have four children and are planting a church in Colorado Springs, CO. Cancer is only part of Kara’s story. Her real fight is to truly live while facing a crushing reality. 

"Disclosure (in accordance with the FTC’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising”): I did receive a sample of the product in exchange for this review and post.

Many thanks to Propeller Consulting, LLC for providing this prize for the giveaway.
Only one entrant per mailing address, per giveaway. If you have won the same prize on another blog, you are not eligible to win it again. Winner is subject to eligibility verification.”
Leave a comment on the blog no later than midnight (CDT) Oct. 29, 2014 to be entered in to the drawing.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Faith in Film Networking and Panel Discussion

The Christian Media Association will be hosting a Faith in Film Panel Discussion and Networking Event as part of their national media convention scheduled for October 17-18, 2014 at the Irving Bible Church. Friday night’s Faith in Film event is scheduled for 7:30pm to 9:00pm and is open to the public for $20 per person. (The event is included in a full registration for conference attendees.)

 CMA Dallas chapter leader, Benjamin Dane, will be the MC for the evening of discussion about the cutting edge topic of faith in film. “This year saw more diverse faith based theatrical releases and TV than ever before,” says Dane. “There seems to be a growing interest in knowing how to tap into this market. We hope to challenge Christian filmmakers to crash through boundaries with creative and inspired projects.” 

Professional panelists include: Michael Cain (President M3 Films, Director/Producer); Curtis Wallace (Lawyer, Author and Producer, formerly with TD JaKes Enterprises); Danny Carrales (DRC Films); Chad Gundersen (Gundersen Entertainment); and Benjamin Dane (Actor/Producer Pathlight Entertainment).
These panelists will also be presenting workshops during the conference. A total of 25 speakers will present 50 workshops on a wide range of topics, include radio, television, graphics, public speaking, acting, PR and marketing, leadership, writing, and more. The entire convention, including workshops, exhibits, panels and receptions is $129 per person. 

There is also a Hispanic track which includes a Hispanic Media Reception on Friday evening hosted by Comunicadores USA. The reception and workshops in this track will be presented in Spanish.
The event wraps on Saturday night with a keynote by Actor Stephen Baldwin which is also open to the public with tickets available individually. Each evening event is open to the public, and tickets for each event can be purchased separately.
To learn more about the convention or to register, go to: http://www.christianmediaconference.com.

Noah by Mark Ludy

Noah: The Wordless Picture Book by Mark Ludy is meant to appeal to both children and adults. Going deeper than the children's Sunday School version, the story follows the Biblical version and illustrates Noah's relationship with God, his wife, his children, the people around him and animals. The artwork is meant to reveal a picture of what was happening that bring a response from children and adults to further understand what was happening. The wordless format will develop both communication skills and imaginative story-telling while teaching or reaffirming the Biblical account of this event.

No doubt the illustrations are well done; Ludy is obviously very talented. I also like books that encourage children to use their imaginations. Of course, I do believe the Biblical account to be true, but it is just the basic account. I don't necessarily agree with all Ludy portrays, but I am also sure my views aren't strictly accurate. Some of the drawings did seem to dark for a younger child. I know we sugarcoat the story, perhaps too much, for young children, but a couple of the illustrations are a bit frightening for some kids. Of course, the true story is much more graphic and older kids and adults need to understand why the flood happened. So, beautiful artwork and great concept, but I think a parent would need to decide when a child could handle this.

I was provided with a free copy from Handlebar Marketing in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own. I am disclosing this information in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Overrated by Eugene Cho

Overrated by Eugene Cho asks if we are more in love with changing the world than we are in actually changing it. Many people want to change the world, but Eugene Cho found out that it takes more than a simple desire to change it. You need a plan of action, and you need to put thought into that plan. We live in a world where people think they have made a tremendous impact if they share something as a Facebook status or as their profile picture. And, we can't forget the power and promise of the #hashtag.

Eugene Cho talks about first seeing what changes you need to make within yourself. There are many who choose short term mission trips, but not always for the right reason. Did you do it to make yourself feel better or out of love for others. Feel-goodism may make you feel good about yourself, but be sure that more was accomplished. Sometimes our acts do more harm than good. We want to give and make life easier for others who are under tremendous burdens, but showing someone how to find methods of helping themselves is more important. You also want to point people to a relationship with Jesus. As Cho pointed out, too many of us have a "Messiah complex" and think we are supposed to save others (rather than pointing them to the only One who can save them) instead of showing them a way to keep dignity intact.

There was quite a bit in the book that I agreed with, especially in terms of many mission trips. I am in favor of them, and have seen lives impacted, but I have also seen too many instances of when the money could have been spent in a wiser way. Cho's views also resonated with thoughts I have had more and more about a food ministry I am involved with. We meet genuine needs, but we also set up a pattern of entitlement with some. Is helping others to break a cycle of poverty not showing the love of Jesus than simply letting people care only about a handout? I want to show my love for Jesus, and to love the people with whom I come in contact with. When they become merely numbers on a report, it is time for a heart check. Really good book that gives you some things to think about. Also, check out more of the work Eugene and others do at One Day's Wages.

About the author:

Eugene is the founder and visionary of One Day’s Wages, a grassroots movement of people, stories, and actions to alleviate extreme global poverty. He is the founder and senior pastor of Quest Church, an urban, multicultural, and multigenerational church in Seattle, Washington. Eugene and his wife, Minhee, have three children.

Disclosure (in accordance with the FTC’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising”): I received a copy of this book from Propeller Consulting, LLC in exchange for an honest review.

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Never Ever Give Up by Erik Rees

Never Ever Give Up: The Inspiring Story of Jessie and her JoyJars by Erik Rees (and Jenna Glatzer)

It started with a simple question: How can we help them? It became an international movement called NEGU: Never Ever Give Up. When Jessica Joy Rees was diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumor at age 11, she chose to focus not on herself but on bringing joy and hope to other children suffering from cancer.
During the ten months she battled cancer, she and her family worked in the “Joy Factory” (originally their garage) making JoyJars®—packages filled with toys, games, and love for other kids with cancer. Jessie first handed them out personally at the hospital where she was being treated, but the effort blossomed quickly and there were soon thousands of JoyJars® being distributed across the United States and to over fifteen countries. Today, more than 100,000 kids have received JoyJars®, and they continue shipping each week to kids in over 200 children’s hospitals and 175 Ronald McDonald Houses.
Jessie lost her battle with cancer in January 2012, but her message lives on in the Jessie Rees Foundation, which has become a beacon of hope for families fighting pediatric cancer.

JessieReesFoundation on FB 

Follow @TeamNEGU
JessieReesFoundation Instagram 
JessieReesFoundation YouTube 

My Review: This is the story of Jessica Joy Rees, as told through the eyes of her father. When Erik noticed that Jessie was having problems seeing, the family expected an adjustment with glasses and perhaps a few eye muscle exercises to take care of the problem. Jessie was a healthy, active 11 year old who shared her older sister's love of swimming. Both were on swim teams with promising futures as athletes. Jessie was at that age of enjoying fashion and shopping like her sister, but still willing to play games with her younger brother.

The news that her eye problems were due to an inoperable brain tumor devastated the family, but they were determined to take whatever measures necessary to prolong her life. Two things happened that proved Jessie was both a fighter and a giver: a friend encouraged her with the words, "Never Ever Give Up", which Jessie made into a slogan---NEGU, (pronounced 'knee-goo') and her determination to help cheer up other children she saw in the hospital who did not get to go home as she did (following radiation treatments). This, and her love of shopping, led to the creation of JoyJars. Her goal was to make sure that every child with cancer received one.

The book itself is the family's journey through Jessie's 10 month battle with cancer, both the ups and the downs. Of course there is sadness, but this is mostly a celebration of Jessie, and the certainty the Rees family has, through their belief in Jesus Christ, that Jessie is now healed and that they will one day be reunited. I recommend the book, and I certainly recommend you get involved with the Jessie Rees Foundation at www.negu.org.
Remember, Never EVER Give Up! #NEGU

I was provided with a free copy form Handlebar in exchange for an honest review.