Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Three Hearts


A passionate team of people work to save the lives of three Mongolian children with life-threatening heart defects.
Graduating college senior, Cissie Graham Lynch, granddaughter of evangelist Billy Graham, takes on an internship at Samaritan’s Purse working with the Children’s Heart Project. This project is dedicated to saving the lives of children by providing medical procedures that aren’t available in many countries. Cissie is charged with supervising the arrival and surgeries of three Mongolian children suffering from fatal congenital heart defects.
But the task is not easy and filled with unexpected challenges.  Cissie balances responsibilities as a newly married wife to a professional football player and her tasks with the internship.  Meanwhile the Children’s Heart team turns to a Texas family who travels to Mongolia for the adventure of a lifetime to help bring the children to San Antonio for their surgeries.  In Texas, two host families make sacrifices to care for these children and their mothers, while a team of doctors and nurses volunteer their time only to stare directly into the face of life and death. How far would you go to save a life?
It’s a fight for survival, a fight of faith, and a fight for a new life for these three hearts. (from the website)


Not many films make me cry, but this was one of them. Some of them were happy tears, but this is definitely a documentary that will tug at your emotions. Following the journey of these 3 kids from Mongolia as they travel to Texas for heart surgery that is unavailable in their own country brings such hope. There were also many light-hearted moments. I love Garrett Ferguson, the Texas child who helped raise funds for other kids after recovering from heart surgery he had as an infant. His honest reactions to the food and culture of Mongolia were a joy to watch. I am so happy Samaritan's Purse invited him & his parents to go with them to pick up the 3 heart patients (along with their moms); it gave me a greater understanding of having others along who can reassure these nervous families that there really is a new freedom to life after heart surgery. This documentary is an excellent resource, especially for groups who want to make a difference in a child's life. More than 3 hearts were renewed during this journey, and a far-reaching impact is made.


Three Hearts DVD
Youtube Trailer Links: http://youtu.be/sMUA8lbbkDU 
Youtube Trailer Links: http://youtu.be/1aUxbJd15fk  

"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."

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Downfall by Terri Blackstock

Fans of Terri Blackstock always eagerly await each new book of hers and she never fails to meet our expectations! Downfall is the final book in the Intervention series, and follows Emily Covington as she struggles to commit to a drug-free future.

For 2 years, including a 12 months rehab program, Emily's family is still in fear that she may revert to former habits. A bomb is found under her car, and the wife of someone Emily knows from the treatment center is found dead. When Emily recalls a conversation with this man and another following a Hitchcock film, she fears that the wife of the other man may also be in danger. As she tries to intervene to prevent another death, circumstances suggesting that Emily may be involved began to surface.


Emily knows she is being set up, but by whom? Why? Family and friends want to believe her, but her activities are very suspicious.  When she finds herself being arrested, she fears that no one will believe her. Some pieces in this puzzle are missing... or are they just not quite fitting? Who is the mastermind behind this scheme, and why is Emily a target?


Watch this exciting promo video about Downfall:




I found myself completely immersed in the story, and could hardly tear myself away from the book.  Drug addiction is such a powerful influence, and I could relate to the hope Barbara felt that Emily was getting her life back on track, as well as the fear that she was being lured back to the destructive lifestyle. Once again Terri has crafted a story that is both probable, and filled with characters you have come to care about. This page-turner kept you on the edge of your seat as you tried to figure out who and why someone was targeting Emily, and how far he would go to destroy her credibility and her life. It is not necessary for you to have read the other books in the Intervention series, but I also recommend them. Downfall was released today (2/28/12), so you should also be able to easily find Intervention (#1) and Vicious Cycle (#2).


About the Author:
Terri Blackstock (www.terriblackstock.com) has sold six million books worldwide and is a "New York Times" bestseller. She is the award-winning author of "Intervention" and "Double Minds," as well as such series as Cape Refuge, Newpointe 911, the SunCoast Chronicles, and the Restoration Series. Keep up with the latest on Facebook by going to Terri Blackstock fanpage.





* I received a copy of this book from the publisher. The opinions I have expressed are my own. 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, February 26, 2012

OK God, Now What?

From the Inside Flap

In OK God, Now What?, Don Mann, a successful scientist, businessman, and long time Christian minister, reveals God's core principles for uniting your heart on God and producing success in every part of life. He writes in the clear and direct language of a results-oriented businessman so you can successfully apply God's truth.

By combining Bible truth, modern discoveries on how the brain operates, and practical tools to renew your mind, OK God, Now What? opens the doors to help you fulfill your best dreams.

In this life-changing book, Don explains the long hidden biblical technology for renewing the mind and how recent medical psychological and neurological discovers confirm and magnify these powerful truths. Then Don gives practical steps on how to renew your mind to harness the unlimited potential of you and God working together in order to achieve exactly what your new inner man desires.

In OK, God, Now What? you will learn how to:
·         Create predictable transformation in your life.
·         Gain peace of mind and confidence in God
·         Rewire your brain to make success inevitable
·         Make right decisions with confidence and certainty
·         Reduce your learning curve from years to days
·         Develop the mindset of a powerful man or woman of God

From developing the skill and honing the approaches, to laying the foundation and adopting the right attitudes that shape your destiny, OK God, Now What? shows you how to use God's ancient secrets to producing His goodness in the earth, and for you to fulfill your purpose in life.

OK, God, Now What? gives a step-by-step guide and instructions on how to enter God's prosperity, true love, miracles, peace, ministry, destiny, family, faith, endurance, rise like an eagle in adversity and tough times, victory and success in every part of life. Do it God's way for His best results.

From the Back Cover

With so many voices, what is the right way? This book shows the Bible principles that are changing top sports athletes, sales, business and Christian leaders, and also ordinary people to godly success in every part of life.

Cut through the clutter! Gain peace of mind, clarity, purpose, health, wealth and a better life. In just 21, 40 or 90 days you will see dramatic results.

For the New Christian, get started right; for the mature Christian, get revelation, a new fire and peace like you've only dreamed of.

You will discover how to:
  •  Strengthen your heart for anything to powerful results
  • See answers to prayer with exciting impact
  • Activate your joy in the Lord and destroy fear at the same time
  • Fulfill God's best for your life today
  • Turn around any negative situation God's way
  • Build your success and prosperity in every part of life
  • Make giant leaps to acquire your destiny
  • Accelerate your growth in Christ with a renewed mind
  • Control your emotions and open financial doors God's way
  • Learn how to use affirmations to prepare your heart for intimacy with God on His terms, and not your past normal, to more joy, peace and strength 
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
  • To be honest, I just could not get "into" the book myself, but I do appreciate the free copy I received and feel that I do owe the courtesy of mentioning this book on my blog. Since this will thrill some of my friends, and cause others to avoid attempting to read it, I do feel that I should mention that all Scripture (and there is a lot) is King James Version. That is the Bible I was raised reading, so I don't have a problem with it but confess that I prefer more up to date language.
  • I also think I understand the thought process of repeating the affirmations and immersing oneself into the Scripture and affirmations until they become a part of you. I agree that we are transformed by daily reading of God's Word and memorizing Scripture; I want to learn Scripture, but in a way that I can more easily understand and apply to my life so I may serve and honor God.
    ~~~~~~~~~~~
    So, while this isn't a book I could embrace, there may be others who find it to be exactly the book they need. You can check out reviews and order a copy at Amazon.

    Again, I was given this book in hopes I would give it a fair review.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Better Together

This month I was given an opportunity to review a Bible study curriculum that I think is unique and refreshing. Many Bible studies are divided into age groups, gender, topics, etc., but this one is a family/community style that is most welcome. Considering how frequently each individual in most families have their own packed schedules, this is an outstanding opportunity to regroup as a family and enjoy activities in a faith-based group of friends. These are interactive studies that use visual aids (which I always seem to remember better myself) discussion, meals, games, and prayer. There are group activities and time spent with your own family. Actually, it reminds me of a modern twist on the first century church, as described in Acts 2.

I received 2 different books, with 10 sessions per book. Book One topics included faith, family, integrity, thankfulness, and unforgiveness. Book Two covered areas of purpose, pride, truthfulness, and judging. All of these and more are covered with games, activities, movie clips, discussion, and Scripture to help the lesson sink in, and help each person apply it to their own lives. ("But be doers of the word and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. Because if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man looking at his own face in a mirror. For he looks at himself, goes away, and immediately forgets what kind of man he was. But the one who looks intently into the perfect law of freedom and perseveres in it, and is not a forgetful hearer but one who does good works—this person will be blessed in what he does." ~ James 1:22-25) I think this is an incredible Bible Study and hope to hear of more churches incorporating it with their other small group curriculums!

Find out more about it for yourself at Better Together! LIKE them on Facebook and Follow on Twitter!
Discovering Christ in Community on Amazon: Collection One and Collection Two.
   
Mike and Susan Reinfeldt are the founders of Bettertogether Groups. 
Mike is senior executive vice president and chief operating officer of the Tennessee Titans football franchise and a former All-Pro Safety for the Houston Oilers.  He has also been in management positions with the Los Angeles Raiders, Seattle Seahawks and the Green Bay Packers.
Susan is a marriage and family therapist and women’s Bible study leader. She and Mike are the parents of two teens, Jared and Elise, and are dedicated to managing Liv2Giv Foundation, a nonprofit organization designed to encourage teens to give back to their communities through philanthropic giving and volunteer service. (taken from website)

Saturday, February 18, 2012

To Kill A Zombie

To Kill A Zombie by David Pierce is a book that records one man's journey from the land of the 'living dead' to his restoration of once again living life with zest. David's wife, Chonda, was the first to point out to him that he was no longer fully alive. He was walking, talking, breathing...going through the motions of life, yet a vital spark was missing. This didn't happen overnight, but he had slowly been robbed of joy. Jesus said that the greatest commandment is "Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your strength, and with all your mind; and your neighbor as yourself." ~ Luke 10:27 (also found in Matthew 22:36-39 and Mark 12:30-31). David knew that he loved God, but that he had lost his connection with people. This book is filled with a variety of stories: examples of when he was alive, his existence as a zombie, and his ultimate victory in once again being ALIVE!

A blurb on the back of the book says, "This book is for men who feel as if they've lost the energy to enjoy life--and for women who know men feeling dead inside and who want to understand and help those they love. Hmmm, I can't entirely agree with that statement. I am a woman and know all too well what it feels like to be a zombie. This book truly spoke to me and about how disconnected I become from actual relationships with others. It is easy to sink into your own little comfort zone, until you no longer realize that you may still be existing...but not living. These stories are heavy on humor, and were a delight to read. Yet, as David chronicled his return to life, I also found myself being encouraged to begin my own journey. Whether you know someone who has become a zombie, or have suddenly realized that YOU are the zombie, this is a book I recommend. Make your world a Zombie-free zone!!


“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.”

DEADLINE Movie Review

  "Deadline is a story of murder, family, race, and of redemption — for a small Southern town and for Matt Harper."  Steve Talley and Academy Award nominee Eric Roberts star as Matt Harper and Ronnie Bullock in Deadline. An African-American teen is murdered in a small Alabama town, but for nearly 20 years that crime has been "uninvestigated, unsolved and unpunished". But when Nashville Times reporter Matt Harper meets an idealistic young Trey Hall (Lauren Jenkins ), she convinces him that it is time to uncover buried, but not forgotten, secrets. His neglected fiancĂ©e (Anna Felix), a pompous publisher, and his father's cancer diagnosis are just a few of the deterrents in his search for justice. 

Deadline premiered in Nashville on Feb. 15, 2012, but will be showing in other theaters soon. Click HERE for other Deadline benefit premieres. Check out the official trailer too:


When this film was first mentioned to me, I was prepared to dislike it. I live in Alabama and the tarnished image of my state can sometimes be a bit of a sore point. So, I thought, "Great! Here is another cliched, stereotypical story about 'backwoods, racist, ignorant Alabama'!" Are there stereotypes and cliches in this film? Absolutely! I rarely see a film that doesn't have a few of those. Is there a good storyline, humor, some rockin' music, and a few surprising twists? Absolutely!

I soon didn't care that some of the characters were the types that would normally have me rolling my eyes, because it did veer into unexpected directions at times and a few of the lines made me laugh out loud. (A smile or my eyes getting a bit moist are usually as emotional as I get when watching a film. I hate to admit it, but I also cried during one scene) The story kept my interest, and I cared about what was happening with them. Dave Perkins blew me away with the musical score! Some great music in this film! Speaking of great music, I loved seeing J D Souther (writer of outstanding songs like Heartache Tonight, Best Of My Love, etc.) in the role of Lucas Harper.

Bottom line is that there are some flaws, and some of the acting isn't top-notch, but there was also no nudity, obscenities, or scenes I would have been embarrassed to watch with my grandparents...or grandkids. Overall, though, I think director Curt Hahn and writer Mark Ethridge, along with some very fine actors, have a film that shows where we've been, how far we have come, and what a difference truth and light make instead of simply burying our shame and fears. This film is also adapted from Mark Ethridge's novel Grievances. Ethridge is a former managing editor of The Charlotte Observer. Deadline will be released in theaters nationwide on April 13, 2012. 

Click here to LIKE Deadline on Facebook!

Monday, February 13, 2012

BTFS: The Novel Giveaway

 "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 teenaged 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."

That is the synopsis of Beyond The Farthest Star. The film is still being perfected for release, but the novel is ready NOW!!!! Written by Bodie and Brock Thoene, and based on the screenplay by Andrew Librizzi, this story has been receiving rave reviews!! I was given the opportunity to review it myself several weeks in advance and now I want to share a copy with someone.Please enter the contest yourself and share the link with your friends!!


a Rafflecopter giveaway


For those who want to know a bit more about the film, there was a test screening last year in Irving, TX. Producer Benjamin Dane interviewed some of those who viewed it and shared a portion of that video: Audience reaction to BTFS test screening.
Also, Ben was recently interviewed by Tommy Kendrick in his outstanding Actors Talk podcasts. Check out the discussion about Beyond The Farthest Star! Make sure you listen to Tommy's other podcasts too! I have become a huge fan!!

Thanks for entering the contest, and best wishes to all! Remember that the Beyond The Farthest Star novel is available at your favorite book retailer, and the film is coming to YOUR cinema in 2012. Drop by their site and tell them to BRING IT!

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Actors Talk with Tommy G. Kendrick

Tommy G. Kendrick is a professional actor who lives in the Austin, Texas area. Tommy has been in the acting profession since the late 1970s and is a longtime member of  SAG and AFTRA.  Tommy is a founding board member of the Austin Actors Conservatory and is chair of the AAC Education Committee.
Tommy began his career at the Dallas Theater Center, then under the direction of renowned theater producer and director Paul Baker. While at DTC, Tommy was privileged to become one of the original cast members of Preston Jones’ highly acclaimed, signature works, the TEXAS TRILOGY (The Oldest Living Graduate, LuAnn Hampton Laverty Oberlander and Last Meeting of the Knights of the White Magnolia.) Following his stint at DTC, Tommy freelanced in the Dallas market for several years racking up numerous credits in on-camera and voice-over commercials, industrials and a few small film roles.
Tommy and his family then made Los Angeles home for fifteen years where he worked in commercials, film and television before returning to his native Texas in the early 1990s. Tommy continues to actively pursue his career from central Texas. (bio taken from the Actors Talk podcast page.)

I only know Tommy through various Facebook groups we are both in, or seeing comments he has made on pages of mutual friends. His intellect, creativity, and willingness to help others has impressed me for a long time. I would frequently copy a comment or link he shared to send to some of my friends who act. So, I was excited to see that he was starting a new podcast. You can just imagine how happy I was to see that today's podcast featured actor/producer Benjamin Dane of Beyond The Farthest Star!!

Of course, the BTFS podcast is MY personal favorite, but I have enjoyed the others too. If I was actually in the entertainment field, this would definitely be a resource I would use! However, my talents are strictly in the "share the news" category, so here ya go!! I highly recommend you check out Actors Talk podcast!! You will certainly want to subscribe in itunes at  www.actorstalkpodcast.com/itunes . Any comment line feedback will be played back and responded to during future episodes: 877-518-2530 - I think that's US calls only. Google Voice # will also work 512-660-7160.

The following links should prove useful in helping you to gain more info and to show your support:

Actors Talk Podcast: http://actorstalkacting.com/
Actors Talk on Twitter: https://twitter.com/#!/actorstalk
Tommy G. Kendrick FB fan page: https://www.facebook.com/tommygkendrick
Tommy G Kendrick IMDb: http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0447729/
Tommy G Kendrick Twitter: @tommygkendrick

Beyond The Farthest Star FB page: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Beyond-the-Farthest-Star/170290344732?ref=ts
Beyond The Farthest Star IMDb: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1605791/
Beyond The Farthest Star website: http://beyondthefartheststar.com/
Beyond The Farthest Star Twitter: @beyondmovie

Benjamin Dane IMDb: http://www.imdb.com/name/nm1254478/
Benjamin Dane Twitter: @benjamindane
Andrew Librizzi IMDb: http://www.imdb.com/name/nm1276394/

Also, if you are an actor or filmmaker, check out Karmalicity!!

LOL, but...since I am providing links anyway....
Cindy Navarro Twitter: @cindynavarro
Cindy Navarro FB page: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Cindy-Navarro/182791155098919?ref=tn_tnmn

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Cooper and Me and the Military

I was excited to get a chance to review another book in the Cooper and Me series. In this latest adventure, we meet Cooper's best friend, Trooper! Gracie and Joe's parents, who are both in the military, adopted Trooper when he needed to retire from being a military service dog. The parents both had to go back overseas, but will the family find a way to stay close despite being separated?

This is a great book for anyone with friends and family in the military, or for those separated from loved ones for other reasons. Not only does it demonstrate ideas of ways to show your love to them, but also reminds the child that their parent (or friend) still love and think about them.
All of the books in the Cooper and Me series, includes these interactive features:
• A Special Memory Creation
• Life Lesson
• Connections
• Learning Together

In addition to a fun adventure, each Cooper and Me story teaches an important Life Lesson and features interactive materials at the back of the book to drive the message home.  Included are activities that help children name and process their own feelings about what they’ve read.


These are great books for elementary age kids, especially, and the interaction you can share with the child you are sharing the book with, and the ideas to reach out to others. If you know a child who has a parent who is far away right now, especially one serving overseas in the military, this is a great gift book. Enter the contest to win a copy of your own!!

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

2012 CWIMA National Conference

It is time for the annual Christian Women In Media Association National Conference! This year's conference will be held in Nashville, TN at the Embassy Suites Nashville-Airport hotel from Feb. 15-17. For those who are not yet familiar with this group, here is their mission statement: "Christian Women in Media Association (CWIMA) is a professional association dedicated to Connecting Women in Purpose and Vision. With a national platform focused on advancing Christian women in media, our members work in the fields of TV, Radio, Internet, Film, Publishing, Music, and Arts and Entertainment. Our organizational framework promotes and provides opportunities for industry networking, professional equipping, and spiritual refreshment."

This year's keynote speakers are Jennifer O'Neill, Carol Swain, Kay Arthur, and Erica Lane.  They are only a few of the great speakers scheduled! The ladies who are scheduled to conduct the seminars are top-notch in their areas of expertise. Click on here to learn more about the media conference speakers.  

The media panel will consist of Thelma Wells, Sharon White Skaggs, Ruth Graham, and Kathleen Cooke. This is your opportunity to ask questions and learn from the best! If you have questions to ask, you can either submit them to the Panel when you register  for the conference or send them directly to Stacy Robinson, the Conference Director.

Registration ends Feb. 13th, so you will want to get registered to this event as soon as possible. There are a few discounted hotel rooms left, and there are day rates available for those who cannot attend the entire event. Click on the link listed below to join on Facebook, and for more instructions on where to register. This sounds like a marvelous event for ladies to gather for fun, fellowship, and to learn. Hope you all are able to attend!
Facebook Event info 

 The purpose of our national conference is to bring together Christian women in media from all over the globe for a time of equipping and renewal. Our theme this year is, “Engaging the Culture with the Gospel.” God is using women in media in a variety of ways to shine His light in a dark world. As we work in the media arena, we are all called to be salt and light in this world. ~ Suellen Roberts, CWIMA founder and president