Monday, November 29, 2010

The Narnia Code

                 The Chronicles of Narnia series by C. S. Lewis has become one of the most globally beloved franchises in history. And yet, there are mysteries about the author and these seven stories that have fascinated scholars and fans for nearly half a century. Enter Michael Ward, an Anglican clergyman and a leading expert on the works of C.S. Lewis, who takes us inside the pages of Lewis' masterpieces and discovers a "secret imaginative key".Like a detective embroiled in an exclusive chase, Ward takes us on an illuminating adventure into medieval  cosmology and spiritual symbolism. His absorbing conclusions  reveal a new third layer of hidden delight that will forever change your love and appreciation for C. S. Lewis and the Narnia books.

THE NARNIA CODE

The above comes from the back of the dvd cover, plus I have included the link to the website which includes a trailer. I did just finish watching this for myself, though and want to include a few thoughts. With the coming release of another movie in the the Chronicles Of Narnia series, Voyage of The Dawn Treador, once again interest is reviving about the series, and the author. C. S. Lewis. This documentary does provide biographical material that is familiar to some, but there is always going to be people who are learning about him for the first time.

The part I found absolutely fascinating is the link Michael Ward has found to tie together the Narnia books. Eric Metaxas, Brian Sibley, and Professor Alan Jacobs are among several experts who are also interviewed. I am a fan of Eric's, so his presence leads even more credence to a theory I find very plausible. It also gives me an entirely new way to look at these books and films. I love to revisit books and films I love, so it is always fun to look at things with a fresh point of view.

The DVD also features bonus material entitled 'Three Friends', 'Hearth And Home' and 'Heart Of The Code'. It was released in Christian retail outlets on Nov. 23, and will be released in general on Jan. 11, 2011. For those interested in reading the book written by Michael Ward, the name is "Planet Narnia".  I believe this will be a DVD that will be eagerly welcomed by any fan of C. S. Lewis.

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   “Disclosure of Material Connection: I received one or more of the products or services mentioned above for free in the hope that I would mention it on my blog. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Sunday, November 28, 2010

A Walk In My Shoes (12/03/10 on NBC)

With many families reporting concern about prime-time television broadcasting content that is not suitable for their families, two key corporate sponsors have partnered to provide family-quality entertainment on a major network NEXT WEEK.  This FAMILY MOVIE NIGHT initiative is set to fill the void by providing quality, family entertainment with movies that families CAN enjoy together.

FAMILY MOVIE NIGHT, will premiere the movie, A WALK IN MY SHOES, on Fri., Dec. 3, 2010 at 7:00 pm (CST). Walmart and Proctor & Gamble have teamed to present a family-friendly drama suitable for the entire family. To learn more about the movie, I am providing both a link to the trailer and a synopsis of the movie:

A Walk In My Shoes trailer

A WALK IN MY SHOES movie SYNOPSIS:
Ever judge someone just by looking at them? Of course, we’ve all made snap judgments about people. But what if we really got to know them? How would our opinions change? And what if we were forced to become them… how would the shoes fit then? Stressed-out high school teacher Trish Fahey can’t understand her students’ lack of effort and why their parents don’t seem to care. This is especially true of Justin Kremer, a popular, skateboard-loving, basketball star who is underperforming in her class. Trish has him suspended from the team and quickly chalks up the situation as a case of bad parenting. This perspective dramatically changes when Trish meets Molly, a mysterious stranger intent on helping her see things differently. When Trish wrecks her car, Molly is there as Trish wakes to find herself living the life of Cindy Kremer, the woman she has personally judged and criticized. Trish discovers that there is often more to the story and learns a powerful lesson that affects everyone she interacts with. Her husband, her daughter, the ex-Marine next door… No one is left unchanged.

Additional information can be found out the following link:

A Walk In My Shoes

Last night I was given the opportunity to watch this movie, and I must admit that I thoroughly enjoyed it. My mind often has a tendency to wander, but this kept me fully engaged. The lesson to be learned about not judging others until you have walked in their shoes makes a powerful impact. There is also much to be learned from this film about helping those who are less fortunate than yourself. During this season when the followers of Christ are preparing to celebrate the gift of our Lord's birth, on top of just finishing a day of giving thanks for our many blessings, this is a most appropriate film.
I realize that some of my friends do not share my faith, so I do want to assure you that this film is one you will enjoy too. I believe nearly everyone will find a character they can either identify with personally...or someone they know. I highly recommend that everyone make some popcorn, gather the family, and watch this delightful family film. Parents & grandparents, I also believe this will give the perfect opportunity to open the topic of sharing with others and perhaps kickstart a plan of what your family can do this year to make a difference.......whether it be helping others or just learning to really listen to those around you.

If you want to see more films of this type in the future, support FAMILY MOVIE NIGHT:

To LIKE on Facebook 

Enjoy the move.....and your family!! :)


Saturday, November 27, 2010

Family Movie Night on NBC

Walk in Someone Else's Shoes This Holiday Season

Holidays are supposed to be about families, but with shopping, cooking, cleaning, and other chores, sometimes it feels like we don't get a chance to have a meaningful conversation with the people closest to us. There is a movie called A Walk In My Shoes coming up on Friday, December 3 at 8:00 EST on NBC that is a great opportunity to take a break, sit down with your kids and talk about what the holidays really mean: caring about other people, helping those who need it, thanking those who have helped us.  It's a really cool story that makes you think, "What would I learn if I stepped into someone else's life?" There is something for everyone in this story, and after watching it, I can promise that it will make you laugh, cry, hug your family, and be thankful for what is most important in your life, especially during the holiday season. Do yourself a favor and watch it on Friday, December 3 at 8:00 EST on NBC.


ABOUT Family Movie Night:
http://familymovienight.com/about-family-movie-night/


I will be watching a preview of this film this weekend and give more of my thoughts, plus provide a trailer. But this seems like a perfect opportunity to get together with your families and spend time together. This sounds like a movie that will make you appreciate your blessings and provide an opportunity to discuss how we can be used to bless others.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Burnt Offerings.....And That Is On The Good Days!

Thanksgiving is approaching and a question that I am sometimes asked....although not as frequently with the advent of Facebook....is, "What are you cooking for Thanksgiving?" My answer is, "I'm not...at the request of my family." And I am serious!! They don't even try to be polite about it anymore.

Ironically, I did work in several restaurants throughout my life. To be fair, most were fast-food...and I was usually a cashier. My first job following my divorce, though, was as a biscuit cook. When I asked if someone could show me how, the manager replied, "You make them the same way you do at home." My answer : "I go to Hardee's. I noticed there is one across the street...how many should I pick up and what time do you need them?" Despite serious misgivings...they were obviously desperate...I was hired. My cousin, Debbie, said that she thought her husband would pass out from laughter when she told him about my new job. I am glad my employment brought such joy to my family! :)

My kids learned early on that I can seldom even heat up anything without burning it. You would think I would get better, but I haven't. When my grandson Zac was younger, each time I went near the stove he would point at the smoke alarm and cover his ears! (This is the same child who used to pop his pacifier into my mouth whenever I would try to sing him to sleep. Some critics are made, some are born!)

My former husband confided in me once that he honestly suspected I was trying to kill him during the first year of our marriage. After too many attempts  to eat foods that were burnt on the outside and raw on the inside, he realized that I simply do not have the patience to cook a meal. (The man was so grateful when Crock-Pots were put on the market!) Fortunately for us, Michael was an excellent cook who actually enjoyed it. He would even let me help him sometime. Considering that I have even had problems boiling water, I had to be supervised.

I did have 2 favorite cookbooks when I was raising my kids.: Campbell's Soup had a good one...as long as there was no more than 3 ingredients involved.... and Kool-Aid had a fantastic cookbook. I loved recipes that involved adding Kool-Aid.  Food coloring was made for people like me. The food may not be edible, but it was colorful!! Sadly, neither my children nor my grandchildren enjoy my fascination with brightly colored foods once they passed the preschool age. Cody just shakes his head at me on Dr. Seuss' birthday as I am enjoying my green eggs & ham!

That  reminds me of a story with Cody: A couple of years ago he asked if I would make him some scrambled eggs. I looked at him in disbelief and asked, "Me?" He thought for a couple of seconds, grabbed my phone, & I heard, "Aunt Brandy, can you come make me some scrambled eggs?" Now he cooks them for me.

Caitlyn, on the other hand, just flat out lets me know that she is a better cook than me. I suspect she may not like it any better than I do though. She did once try to get out of cooking by explaining that she could not make chicken and dumplings because the recipe was a 'family secret' and she didn't want me to know the ingredients!! Gotta love that ingenuity!!

All 3 of my kids are good cooks. It had to be self-preservation since they did not learn from me. I did teach them to cook everything at 350 degrees. Why? I don't know. That just always seemed like a reasonable number to me. Brandy even asked me for 2 recipes when she moved out on her own!! Let me share them:

Chicken & gravy: Cook chicken at 350 until it's done. Pour a can of cream of chicken soup over it and stick it back in the oven....until the soup/gravy is hot.

Sausage-Cheese Balls: Buy Bisquick, sausage, shredded cheese, & milk. Drop it all off at Grandma's house. She will call you when it's done.

Jason is the one who is constantly explaining to me that "close enough" is not always good when I am trying to remember a recipe someone has sent (I do love my optimistic Facebook friends!!) that I have left at home.
David is more adventurous & willing to eat when I have made soup or stew. His response: "Ah, cleaned out the refrigerator today. Just tell me what you had leftover first."

So, while I really wish I was one of those who slave for hours over the stove.........oh, who am I kidding!!!! I will gladly purchase the food, clean the kitchen,...just ask me to do anything, but, for the good of all
DO NOT ASK ME TO COOK!!!!!

Monday, November 15, 2010

IT ALL STARTS WITH THE SCRIPT : Beyond the Farthest Star | The upcoming movie from Pathlight Entertainment

IT ALL STARTS WITH THE SCRIPT : Beyond the Farthest Star | The upcoming movie from Pathlight Entertainment

If you aren't as active on the Facebook site as I am, you may not realize there are so many different things you can explore to learn more about this amazing movie. The more I learn about the film, the more fascinated I become. I am sure that anyone who reads this finds that to be an understatement.

I first noticed the movie when I saw that a friend of mine had become a fan. Both out of curiosity of what type films this new friend liked and the title of it made me want to check it out for myself. I have always loved to stargaze, and think about what lies beyond the stars myself, so I HAD to know their thoughts.

Here is the plot as copied from the Facebook page:
'A twist of fate brings the national spotlight to a forgotten Texas town and a once famous preacher has an opportunity to regain his former glory or seize one last chance to restore his fractured family. Narrated by his fifteen-year-old daughter, we watch as Adam Wells, a minister driven by the prospect of achieving greatness as the next nationally-syndicated TV Evangelist lays down his opportunity at “celebrity” and even his own life in order to become something even greater... A loving husband and father to his wife and daughter.'

Fame vs Family was a topic I found intriguing, especially since I find it so troubling that too many do put their jobs and celebrity ahead of their family. There was also the twist of it involving a minister, and I wanted to know how this would be handled. Then, I discovered that it would also involve a controversy about the burning of a Nativity!! I love reading fiction books that involve legal issues...especially if it is a matter of separation of church and state. Once again, the writer, Andrew Librizzi, was touching on an issue I find absolutely fascinating. We also know now that part of the problem this fictional family is having involves their troubled teenaged daughter. Having been a teen, raising 3 children who tried my patience during their own teen years, and now having grandchildren who are teens, I know what turbulent years these can be. Teen depression is an issue I feel is ignored within the Christian community, so I can hardly wait to see this addressed and the methods they will use to reach out to those needing help and hope.

Between the clips and photos I have seen of the work of writer/director Andrew Librizzi; actors Renee O'Connor, Todd Terry, Cherami Leigh, Barry Corbin, Shawn Roe, and many other very talented men and women; the haunting melodies of Damon Criswell, and the enthusiastic video blogs of producer/actor Benjamin Dane, I have reminded many that "fan" is derivative of "fanatic"!! :)
But, I truly believe that once you fully investigate this fan-driven faith-based family film for yourself, you will want to become a fan yourself!! Just don't forget to sign up to Bring It to your local cinema.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Then Sings My Soul: Special Edition

Then Sings My Soul: Special Edition
The latest in a series of books related to the stories behind our favorite hymns, THEN SINGS MY SOUL: SPECIAL EDITION, is every bit as enjoyable as his previous books. Robert J. Morgan (Then Sings My Soul series, Red Sea Rules) is a favorite author of mine, so I knew I was in for a treat when I chose this book. This is not a book to just sit and read, but one that you may slowly savor.

This collection of stories about 150 Christmas, Easter, Thanksgiving, and All-time favorite hymns would be an excellent gift for the book lover who is also interested in music, history, or trivia. Considering that I love all three...plus books...you can be sure this is one I will often grab on those days when you just want to wrap up with a blanket, a warm beverage, and the chance to let your imagination run. This is not simply a recitation of boring facts and dates, but a satisfying glimpse into the songs that are the background of our lives.Visualizing the lives of the people, or the events that triggered the emotions expressed in these beloved hymns gives me a greater appreciation of them. Many songs I have known all of my life, but never knew the story behind are included. Now I have an even greater appreciation for these beloved hymns.

This 310 page paperback, published by Thomas Nelson:
  • Includes words and music to each hymn
  • Special, softcover, French flap cover design
  • Ivory paper with brown ink
  • Jagged edged paper, giving it a classic feel
  • Complete with hymn index
  • Use for devotionals, teaching illustrations, introductory remarks for song leaders and music ministers

"Disclosure of Material Connection: I received one or more of the products or services mentioned above for free in the hope that I would mention it on my blog. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

As I Waited...

This afternoon I needed something to keep me occupied while waiting for the 'surprise' to be posted on the Beyond The Farthest Star wall, but was also looking for a way to stay away from the computer. I wandered into the kitchen, but knew it was no time to even consider attempting to cook. Those who have known me longer know that I am 'unskilled' in the kitchen. (Tonight's menu became Slightly Blackened Chicken as I attempted to answer some people on FB. I do tend to lose interest while cooking.)

While waiting on yet another pot of coffee to get ready, I happened to think about something I read on most home fires starting due to clogged dryer vents. I had just cleaned the kitchen, except for the little area where the washer and dryer are, so why not finish? How difficult could it be to clean a vent?

I pulled out the filter, and cleaned it as usual ...after getting out the clothes I had forgotten were in the dryer. I put my hand in the opening and could feel more lint. It was worse than I expected, but I had some time to work on it. I pulled out more lint and plunged my hand back into the opening.........

After a few panicked seconds of wondering how I was going to explain to the 911 operator why MY HAND was stuck in the dryer...or HOW I would call since my phone was not in my pocket... I managed to free it! Okay, so I needed to take a different approach. I still had confidence.

Next, I decided to pull the dryer away from the wall, knocking down several things on a nearby table. Those items, including a candle in a glass jar which shattered all over the floor, were merely a temporary defeat. After sweeping, I resumed the task at hand, and continued to pull the dryer out.

There I discovered all manner of things that had disappeared in recent months...including many of the socks I had unjustly accused Cody of losing. In my defense, I still have to look outside for discarded socks, shirts, jackets, etc. he has removed but not brought home! Nothing like scouring the neighborhood playground, friends yards, the roof (he has quit throwing things up there...I hope!) before doing laundry.

I had also accidentally disconnected the vent from the dryer, but that seemed like it would work in my favor. I got a clothes hanger to attempt to get out more lint. I went as far as I could from that side and then tried the same from the filter section. Since I was unable to remove more than a little, I came up with a brilliant plan to just turn the dryer on:

Now I have a pile of broken glass and other trash, socks and other assorted items which must have been left on top of the dryer at some point in time, 91 cents in change, and....a kitchen COVERED in dryer lint!!

And that is why I dislike waiting!! :)

Saturday, November 6, 2010

FOLLOW THE STAR...or, All I Want For Christmas is 10,000 fans!

Can you believe that Christmas is almost here? Where has this year gone?
In that year I have gone from mild-mannered church librarian to faith-based media zealot!! LOL
Ok, mild-mannered is perhaps a bit of an exaggeration. But, I seriously am quieter in person....frequently....well,....sometimes.  :)

However, it has been a year when God has placed Christian media on my heart as an area that needs prayer. There used to be a time when leaving a gospel tract somewhere and hoping someone would read it, or even directly handing it to a person was considered part of witnessing. But God calls us to have a relationship with Him. Should we not do the same with the others?  I believe that when talented people have something to say through music, books, or movies, Christians are handed an opportunity . It gives us an open door to share our faith with others in a relaxed manner. So, I feel compelled to pray for those He blessed with talent who share their own faith through the various media outlets. And I feel honored to be able to pray for those who are making a difference around the world.

I do have favorites; there are many I could mention. As far as music goes, I could never pinpoint one or two!! I love way too many. I could stay on youtube for the rest of my life and not tire of the wonderful music.
I also have a few favorite authors, but I must admit to being a big fan of Paul Spite. His Game Of Life series is one I have been eagerly anticipating for months. We will talk more of this soon! :)

But, as I am sure you have all guessed from the title of this, I want to talk about Beyond The Farthest Star!!
I talked about the Bring It concept the last time. It is so easy to sit around and complain about the lack of good movies in your theater, but now you can do something about it by signing up to BRING IT!!

I am making a personal appeal, though, to all of my family and friends on Facebook. Yes, even to those of y'all who seriously have no clue who I am!! :)
All I Want For Christmas is 10,000 fans on Facebook for BEYOND THE FARTHEST STAR!! (well, a 2nd request is that you also sign up to Bring It! Btw,  the Cullman, Alabama zip code is 35055....if you would prefer to have them bring it to me!! lol) So, sign up today to FOLLOW Beyond The Farthest Star  ( www.beyondthefartheststar.com/ )!! Thanks everyone!!!!!! Y'all are the greatest!!!!! :)

To LIKE on Facebook, click here

MERRY CHRISTMAS EVERYONE!!!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Beyond the Farthest Star wants to Bring It ...to you!

Click here to LIKE on Facebook


A new concept in marketing is being utilized by my favorite filmmakers at Pathlight Entertainment LLC to promote their new film, BEYOND THE FARTHEST STAR. They are using the novel idea of letting the fans tell them when and where they want the movie to be released. The marketing areas who receive the most votes will be among the first to see the film!! In this short video, producer/actor Benjamin Dane explains the concept of BRING IT:
http://vimeo.com/14707291


The whole process of signing up for BRING IT only takes about a minute and you can immediately see the result of your vote. I know thoughts of being bombarded with email and spam may cause some to hesitate, but I can assure you that it will not happen. Except for an acknowledgment of receipt, and one special preview of a video exclusively for BRING IT fans, there has been no other communications. It is free and your info stays private!! The Facebook fan page is where to go to get updates, and your involvement is up to you. I think everyone should be as excited as I am, but I realize I can be a tad intense! :) 
Go to the website and check it out for yourself!!!! You will love it!!
www.beyondthefartheststar.com/

The more I learn about this incredible movie, the more I am convinced that it will have an impact on many lives. Please check it out for yourselves and get involved by both becoming a fan and praying for those involved in the making of this film. I hope everyone who reads this will LIKE this faith-based film, and sign up to BRING IT! I have provided links on here to both the website and to Facebook for everyone's convenience. Each vote really does make a difference!! Please sign up TODAY and help this film move BEYOND the ordinary into the extraordinary new heights!!


Thanks!
Cindy

PS: If you just want to BRING IT to ME.....I will gladly give anyone the zip code for Cullman!! LOL! :)
This fan-driven, faith-based film is truly a MUST-SEE for me!!!!