Monday, April 29, 2013

BTFS Viewing Party of Amber Carrington on The Voice

Amber Carrington, AKA one of "The Britneys" to the fans of Beyond The Farthest Star has developed a quickly growing new fan base as one of the talented singers who is currently on The Voice. The BTFS team have announced that they plan on having a Viewing Party in support of Amber.

BTFS Scene Viewing Party!!

First, watch AMBER CARRINGTON sing on NBC's THE VOICE at 8/7c.  Also, please share the event and invite others to watch. I would also like to suggest that we TWEET while the show is on. Show Amber that she has our love and support!! Suggested tweets are: ReTweet- We love @ambercarrington of @beyondmovie on #thevoice    or
 Support @ambercarrington of @beyondmovie on @NBCTheVoice #KnockoutRound #TeamAdam
 
 Please @beyondmovie or #beyondmovie so they can retweet! I know I will be retweeting those I see too.


 BIG ANNOUNCEMENT!! After she sings, come back to the BTFS Facebook timeline and watch an EXCLUSIVE CLIP with Amber as one of "The Britneys" from the upcoming Beyond The Farthest Star film!

Follow @ambercarrington
Like Amber Carrington on FB

The Voice on Facebook
Follow @NBCTheVoice on Twitter
Follow @adamlevine
Follow @blakeshelton
Follow @Usher

Follow @shakira

Saturday, April 27, 2013

God's Country starring Jenn Gotzon

Beautiful and ambitious investment banker
Meghan Doherty (Jenn Gotzon) has an assignment to close a deal that could make her career. All she needs to
do is travel to the Mojave desert and get the land
rights for God’s Country, an isolated Christian
retreat in foreclosure. But the faithful minister (Michael Toland) who owns the property refuses to consider signing the property to Meghan's boss (Daniel Hugh Kelley) until she agrees to spend six days learning about his ministry. Reluctantly, Meghan trades her stilettos for hiking boots and her Ferrari for a four-wheeler. 

What happens during that fateful week is nothing short of a miracle as the fast-talking naysayer Meghan warms to the Ministry – and to the minister's son Jake (Gib Gerard). Cut off from contact with her office, the beauty-in-high-heels learns the true meaning and actions of faith and friendship, and slowly comes to realize the value of what the rural camp has to offer. Meghan becomes a staunch supporter who must now go up against her superiors in a bid to find another group of investors that will agree to fund Jake Graham’s dream of turning God’s Country into a next-generation Christian College campus.

Click here to view trailer

Directed by: Chris Armstrong (“God’s Country” is Chris’s feature film directorial debut, slotted to direct Sci-fi action thriller, a true-story baseball drama and a few family & faith-based films in development). God's Country shows that, with faith and love, it is never too late to learn where real riches can be found.  John Atterberry (Michael Jackson Music Exec.) wrote “God’s Country” inspired on true life events how he and his fiancĂ©-to-be came to know God through church camp. John was sadly killed in Hollywood before Christmas Dec 2011. Ref: The Hollywood Reporter (link).

You can pick up a copy NOW at Walmart, Blockbuster, Target, Barnes and Noble, Amazon, Christian Book Stores and rental houses across the country.


MY REVIEW: I had not yet seen the film when I wrote this blog post originally, so I want to add that this film more than exceeded my hopes. Jenn Gotzon was fabulous in the lead role and watching her character's transformation throughout the film was a joy to watch. She was very believable in the dramatic moments and her comic timing was fabulous! The rest of the cast were equally as good and had wonderful chemistry. Gib Gerard was an excellent foil and love interest to Jenn's character and you know that there was no doubt that seasoned actors Michael Toland and Daniel Hugh Kelly had superb performances. The exuberance of Lenny (Kelvin Brown) and the sweet, idealistic Geri (Stephanie Barnes) really stood out to me and I also loved Meghan's mom (Suzanne Ford). Well done to all of the cast! I also want to say how impressed I was with director Chris Armstrong. Some of the scenes he captured were absolutely stunning, and the entire film was outstanding. (I can't think of even one instance where I thought "why did the director do it that way?"...as I am prone to do.) This was a fun film that had a message of faith, but filled with characters you knew would stand firm in their trust in God no matter what. 
God's Country on Facebook
God's Country on Twitter
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Jenn Gotzon on IMDb
Jenn Gotzon on Facebook
Jenn Gotzon Demo Reel
Jenn Gotzon on Twitter
Michael Gardner showing his I Am Gabriel co-star some support!






Thursday, April 25, 2013

Working Women of the Bible by Susan Dimickle

Working Women of the Bible is a look at some of the women we know from the Bible and how we can use them as role models for today's working woman. The idea of being Superwoman isn't as prevalent today as it was in the past, but most working women are trying to find a balance in their life. Does the Bible really have women who are culturally relevant?

Working Women of the Bible asks these questions and answers them in a manner that is both candid and with a touch of humor. These women and their lives may be surprisingly more like yours than you imagined.

Very good look at the lives of  women we are familiar with in the pages of Scripture, but takes a closer look at their lives. Too many people, even today, tend to overlook the contributions made by women who are featured in the Bible (except for feeling intimidated by the standards of the Proverbs 31 Woman), and I do like this fresh look at some who don't necessarily get the recognition they deserve. Looking at them from the perspective of a working woman, along with the discussion questions at the end of each chapter, gives us a new respect for their accomplishments and a new way for us to apply these principles to our own lives.

I must admit that I did not agree with the author on everything. There were a couple of comments that led me into my Bible to see if a point was valid. For example, she called Eve the first woman to hold twin boys. I have not seen any Scriptural reference to back up that claim...but it is not a deal-breaker for me. On others, I either agreed after further research or still felt it was a reach to draw that conclusion. Bottom line was that none of them were fundamental issues I will not budge on, and I am certainly not going to complain because someone said something to make me read my Bible! After all, isn't that the point of a Bible Study?

Susan DiMickele blog
Leafwood Publishers website
ACU Press  on Facebook
ACU Press website
ACU Press on Twitter

About the Author:
SUSAN DIMICKELE has been a trial lawyer for nearly 18 years and a mother for 12 years. Susan is the author of Chasing Superwoman: A Working Mom's Adventures in Life and Faith (David C. Cook, 2010). She has authored articles in both secular and faith-based publications, including, ''War of the Worlds,'' a recent article in Home Life Magazine (February 2011) that candidly discusses the need for common ground between stay-at home mothers and mothers who work outside the home. While Susan strives to be at the top of her profession, her greatest desire is to use her God-given gifts to be the woman he created.


Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Leafwood Publishers as part of their book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. 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."
As working women struggle to find mentors in today's society, Working Women of the Bible asks, what if the women of Scripture are the very mentors we've been looking for?
Most working women today understand they can never be Superwoman. But if Superwoman is unattainable, whom are we trying to emulate? Is the Bible completely outdated, or does it offer a blueprint, full of real-life, culturally relevant examples for the twenty-first century working woman? Can we actually find female mentors in the Bible--women who defied cultural norms and held positions of power and influence?
Working Women of the Bible confronts these questions with heart and humor, and offers surprisingly simple yet potentially life-altering answers.
- See more at: http://www.bible.acu.edu/leafwood/pg.asp?ID=196#sthash.YY7mTWm4.dpuf
As working women struggle to find mentors in today's society, Working Women of the Bible asks, what if the women of Scripture are the very mentors we've been looking for?
Most working women today understand they can never be Superwoman. But if Superwoman is unattainable, whom are we trying to emulate? Is the Bible completely outdated, or does it offer a blueprint, full of real-life, culturally relevant examples for the twenty-first century working woman? Can we actually find female mentors in the Bible--women who defied cultural norms and held positions of power and influence?
Working Women of the Bible confronts these questions with heart and humor, and offers surprisingly simple yet potentially life-altering answers.
- See more at: http://www.bible.acu.edu/leafwood/pg.asp?ID=196#sthash.YY7mTWm4.dpuf

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Blessed and Cursed

Blessed & Cursed is a modern twist on the Biblical story of David and Saul. It is a story of fame, jealousy, friendship, defeat, sorrow, and blessings starring Deitrick Hadden as gifted musician, Dwight Hawkins. When Bishop Wright (Loren Harper) overhears Dwight singing and invites him to become the new music minister at his church, Dwight accepts and also feels convicted to "get right with God". As his popularity rises, though, the Bishop begins to feel threatened and with an ambitious assistant encouraging the rift, the jealousy overwhelms him. Dwight's rebellion with God following the unexpected loss of a close family member and being fired cause him to hit a new low, yet his true repentance brings him back with a renewed sense of what God has done for him. Also starring are Sheryl Lee Ralph (Moesha), Drew Sidora (Step Up) and a host of Gospel music stars including Karen Clark Sheard, DAMITA, Kierra 'Kiki' Sheard, Dr. Bobby Jones and Rance Allen.


The David and Saul story does have a huge impact on this film, and is especially demonstrated with the friendship that forms between Dwight & the Bishop's son, Jarred (Jor el Quinn). Jarred is equally as gifted as Dwight, and would have been an obvious choice to have a high position in his father's ministry...yet he clearly feels that God has anointed Dwight and that it is better to follow the will of God over any personal ambition. The Bishop listens to advisers who fan the flames of ambition and jealousy and becomes too caught up in his own power, wealth, and ambition. Dwight flees from God and rebels when trials come into his life...yet truly repents and once again becomes a man who seeks God first.

Some of the storylines should have been a little better developed and some of the acting wasn't great. There were a few moments I would have liked to have seen a more definitive conclusion of the story; they were important, but seemed like they were just tossed in casually. Overall, I enjoyed the film, but a large part was the music. Great music distracted me from a few holes in the plot, so this is definitely more for a fan of music than a fan of a story-driven film.


Rejoice and Shout

REJOICE and SHOUT covers 200 years of musical history of African-American Christianity, featuring the legends of Gospel music. Culled from hundreds of hours of music, tracing the evolution of gospel music through its many styles the spirituals and early hymns, the four-part harmony-based quartets, the integration of blues and swing, the emergence of soul, and the blending of rap and hip-hop elements. It connects the history of African-American culture with gospel as it first impacted popular culture at large and captures so much of what is special about this music and African-American Christianity. Directed by Don McGlynn.




I love music and I love this documentary!! There are parts of the film that drag a little, and a few comments now & then that weren't quite accurate (for example, there was slavery west of the Mississippi River. For that matter, slavery existed in the North, too; It just wasn't as prevalent as it was in the South.) Commentary (I would have enjoyed hearing Smokey Robinson sing and not just talk) tied together the remarkable footage kept my interest...and left me wanting more.

This would work as a multi-part series that could include some of the musicians that were excluded and take it on even further. Some current artists were touched on briefly, and I would have loved to have seen even more of them. While I could go on about my vision of a multi-part documentary covering the very genesis to the most current gospel singers available, I felt that Rejoice and Shout did a terrific overview. Not everything or everyone was strictly "spiritual", but there were barriers for many of these musicians and it was also more truthful. From the opening of the film with a young girl (with the Selvey Family) singing "Amazing Grace" to the final notes in the closing credits, this is a film that will both educate you and lift you up as you listen to some of the best music around. Featured music by some of the following gifted musicians:
Andrae Crouch
The Blind Boys of Alabama
The Clara Ward Singers
Darrel Petties
The Dinwiddie Colored Quartet
The Dixie Hummingbirds
The Edwin Hawkins Singers
The Five Blind Boys of Mississippi
The Golden Gate Quartet
Mahalia Jackson
Reverend James Cleveland
The Selvey Family
Sister Rosetta Tharpe
The Staple Singers
The Swan Silvertones
Thomas Dorsey

I discovered this on Netflix, but I may have to get a copy of this one. I will definitely be watching it again.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Hey God, I've Got Some Guy Named Jonah In My Stomach And I Think I Am Going To Throw Up!

Hey God, I've Got Some Guy Named Jonah in My Stomach and I Think I'm Gonna Throw Up! is a fun new book for kids written by Troy Schmidt and illustrated by Cory Jones. Nearly everyone is familiar with the story of Jonah--- There is an entire book in the Bible devoted to his story and how he tried to run away from doing what God asked. Now we hear about this from another point of view. The whale tells how he tried to escape when God told him to swallow a human. Yukky!!  This is one fish story that you will not want to miss!!

This book, for kids 4-8 years old, has bright, colorful illustrations, and tells a story that is sure to capture the imagination of even the younger kids. The older ones will be entertained with the humor, but will also learn a lesson in obeying and trusting God that is very easy to swallow. The "Parent Connection" feature in the back will help adults make this even more entertaining with fun things to do, plus Scripture and questions to help the child think about what really happened and the importance of relying on God. There's even a free online app to make this story even more animated and interactive.

Really good book and is the first in a series!
Other books available include Hey God, Can You Stop the Rain so I Can Get off Noah's Smelly Ark? and Hey God, I'm Having an Awful Vacation in Egypt Thanks to Moses!

 I only have 2 negatives to say. One is that Nineveh was misspelled on a sign (but I can fix that with a pen.) and the other is from the standpoint of a former librarian who had to enter media into the computer and print labels: long titles drive me nuts!! :) So, the 2 faults are my own little idiosyncrasies and will not distract most people.

Facebook: Troy Schmidt and BH Publishing
Twitter@troyeschmidt
Website:  BH Publishing


About the Author: 
Troy Schmidt has writing and video production credits ranging from assignments with Disney (The Mickey Mouse Club) and Nickelodeon to Max Lucado's Hermie franchise. He is currently the lead writer for The American Bible Challenge hosted by Jeff Foxworthy on the Game Show Network. Troy and his wife have three sons.




"Disclosure of Material Connection: I received one or more of the products or services mentioned above for free in 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."

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Senator John Cutter: BTFS Characters

Senator John Cutter

Pledging to restore it's crumbling main street, the powerful former US Senator knew he had the little town of Leonard in his grasp. He wasn't about to allow some TV evangelist want-to-be to draw away the citizens or his wife with empty promises of faith. He was willing to do anything it takes to accomplish his goal.

Andrew Prine as Senator John Cutter


Andrew Prine  Official Website
Andrew Prine on IMDb
Andrew Prine on Facebook

 Important Info:

  What Would You Do To Save Your Family?

Plot outline:
A twist of fate brings the national spotlight to a forgotten Texas town and a once famous preacher has an opportunity to either 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, faces the possibility of laying 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.
 ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Beyond The Farthest Star will be in theaters in 2013. If you want to help get it to a cinema near you, click BRING IT and let them know you want to see this film!

Mother India

Winner of “Best Short Documentary” at the 2012 San Diego Christian Film Festival, Mother India is a compelling documentary that chronicles the adventure of 25 courageous orphans living as a family along the railway in Tenali, India. Mother India brings to light the struggles faced daily by over 31 million orphans in India and the challenge of rescuing them from a life of begging and addiction.
 
Filmmakers David Trotter (Director/Executive Producer) and Shawn Scheinoha (Executive Producer) went to India with the intention of filming a documentary on the plight of the orphans living on the streets of India, but became involved with a group living in the railway station of
Tenali (Andhra Pradesh). “India is growing in both population and industry, but few people know that there are over 31 million orphans in this nation,” commented Trotter. “Each of these young lives is much more than a statistic. Every one of them has a name, a face and a story.” Scheinoha added, “We’re not out to just tell a tragic story. We’re focused on raising awareness and changing lives.” Mother India was filmed from December 29, 2011 to January 8, 2012, and is narrated by Grammy award winner, Rebecca St. James.
 
Mother India on YouTube
Word Films on YouTube
Word Films Facebook
Word Films Twitter
Word Films Website
Mother India Website
Harvest India Website

We all know about the poverty in India, but this film puts a name and face to those who are suffering in a way I have never really noticed before. As you watch the film, you grow to care about these kids--some are adults now, but that makes it more tragic to realize what they have gone through to survive. During the filming of Mother India, the filmmakers were presented an opportunity to a tour of the Harvest India campus and children’s home in Tenali. Suresh Kumar and his wife, Christina of Harvest India helped expedite matters, but it further heightened my awareness of the complexities involved in helping these children and the glimmer of hope that can be offered. You feel overwhelmed as you watch at the enormity of it all, but even helping one or two can make an impact on those who will need help in the future. It is always better to do something rather than nothing.


This is not a film for young viewers. Some of the topics are drug abuse, sexuality, violence, and HIV/AIDS. You hear children talk of being used for sex, drug use is shown, and wounds from abuse. Nor is this a film aimed only at a Christian audience, but is intended to bring awareness to all about the plight of these kids. If your family, church, or organization are wanting to be involved with a ministry, watch this film and you will realize the needs to be met. 

Purchase DVD here
 Spread the word.
- Sponsor a child.
- Serve with organizations who are helping orphans in India.

I received this movie free from Word Films as part of their Blogger Review Program, via Blogger Gateway. I was not required to write a positive review. 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."



I received this movie free from Word Films as part of their Blogger Review Program, via Blogger Gateway. I was not required to write a positive review. 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." .

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Willing To Walk On Water by Caroline Barnett

In Willing to Walk on Water, Caroline Barnett reveals that God created us to be happiest when we are doing the things we care about most—when we’re using our innate talents and passions to make the lives of those around us better. Drawing on her experiences at the Dream Center—a ministry full of unlikely miracles in inner-city Los Angeles—Caroline helps you find your “trigger,” the specific need in your world you can’t stand to see unmet any longer. She’ll show you how to act with your eyes and heart open to God’s leading, and to balance your dreams of making a difference with your everyday responsibilities.

Give God your willingness and He will give you a reignited passion for life. Take that first step toward Him; you’ll find the water beneath your feet is as firm as solid ground. (book cover)

See book trailer here.

Read first chapter here.

Q & A with Caroline Barnett

Willing To Walk On Water not only recounts areas of service ministry Caroline Barnett has been involved with though the Dream Center of Los Angeles, but also has short stories of others who have had their lives changed with the ministries they began or took part in. This is about overcoming your fear of failure, and other stumbling blocks, but rely on knowing that the best place to be is within the will of God. She calls for you to consider what you are most passionate about and how you can step out in faith, and make a difference. If God has placed this on your heart, He will walk with you as serve Him through serving others.

One thing I appreciated is that she mentions several things people can do, no matter what their circumstances are. Too often I hear people make suggestions of small sacrifices you can make such as giving up one cup of coffee a day or a meal out and donating that money to a cause---those things aren't part of my life so I don't have them to give up. However, I can spend time or do an act of kindness to someone. As she states in the book, every act of obedience to God makes a difference. The important thing is to step out and trust God.

I really enjoyed the book. The focus on ministering to the needs of people is one that is dear to me, so this book may encourage you to step out...or give you something to think about. We are becoming more sharply divided, as a nation, on poverty and the methods of dealing with it. When you look at the problem as a whole, it can be overwhelming; Caroline has written a reminder of what a difference a small thing can be when all is entrusted to Jesus.

Tyndale House Publishers has provided me with a complimentary copy of this book. I was not required to give a favorable review and all opinions are my own.

Monday, April 15, 2013

Break Away

Break Away ( Baroudeur in South Africa) is a new film coming out from the producers of Faith Like Potatoes. Former rugby player/celebrity Francois (Frans Cronje) is a hard working husband and dad that gets laid off from his job. Despite nights of working on proposals and meetings with potential clients, there are no job offers. When his car quits he is forced to use an old bicycle in order to provide for his family by making deliveries. A group of pro-cyclists who pass him every day brings out his competitive spirit, so with the help of his “black sheep” brother (Etienne Janse van Renburg, and a bicycle shop owner (Morne Theunissen), and a curious sports reporter, Francois makes some life-changing discoveries about his life, career and faith in God. 


View the Break Away trailer.

Written and directed by Cronje and Theunissen, this is one of those films that can make a powerful impact. There were a couple of things that did bother me with the dvd, though. First was my initial difficulty in understanding some of the accents, so I really wish closed captioning had been an option. I did adapt, and it got easier, but it was still a stumbling block. The second was some sound issues. There was one spot in particular where the sound of people walking overpowered the voices, so the film definitely needed some ADR work.
 

However, this is also one of the more powerful films I have seen about relying on God through the tough times. Using the parable of the loaves and the fishes, there is a message to give God all you have and see what He does with it. In one scene, his wife (Leone Pienaar) tells him that he is to follow God, and she and the children would follow him. While he did go through moments of despair, Francois takes what is available for him to use---including his talents---and simply gives his best and relies on God to see him through. This is an excellent testimony on trusting God to provide for your needs and adapting to His plan, no matter how it looks to others.
 

The soundtrack was better than average for me. There were a couple of songs I wasn't fond of, but I loved the majority of the music--there is a version of "How Great Thou Art" that is outstanding! I was also impressed with the partnership the film has with Jacob's Well. This is a ministry that aims to build up a growing network of churches, organizations, businesses and individuals working together to help people in their communities who have lost regular income or do not have a self-sustainable income. 

I received this movie free from Word Films as part of their Blogger Review Program, via Blogger Gateway. I was not required to write a positive review. 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."

Be sure to check out this and other films on Word Films on Facebook or follow them on Twitter.

Frans Cronje also has a new website, FransCronje.tv. Make sure you check out Lifestyle Revolution, his online television program.

Saturday, April 13, 2013

This Is Our Time

 This Is Our Time tells the interwoven stories of Luke (T.J. Dalrymple) and AlĂ© (Erin Bethea), who marry right after school and move to India to serve as missionaries for Embrace A Village, a ministry that cares for those afflicted with leprosy and their families; aspiring financier Catherine (Kate Cobb), who joins a prestigious financial institution determined to make an impact on corporate America; Ryder (Matthew Florida), who lands an impressive job in social media and can’t wait to use the powerful medium for a greater good; and Ethan (Shawn-Caulin Young) seemingly the odd man out, who struggles to find his God-given-purpose and feels sidelined by God. When tragedy strikes the group, each struggles to come to grips with how this can happen to someone who is so obviously following the will of God...and to make sense of their own lives.
 
 
 
This Is Our Time, directed by Lisa Arnold, is one of the latest ensemble pieces that Pure Flix does so well. I really did enjoy this film. It was one of those that not only were there characters that you could care about, and want to know better, but the movie also gave you a perspective that may not have occurred to you as you deal with issues in your own life. I think the following statement by the writer/director sums it up well: “What they all come to learn is that it never really was their time,” Arnold said. “It always was, always is, God’s time.” One of the major things I walked away with is that it doesn't matter as much with what you do with your life, as it does who you are in life---are you being the person God called you to be no matter where He has you now?

Another factor of the film that I liked was that this fictional story had some truth in the ministry the characters were involved in. Embrace A Village is an actual ministry in India that cares for leprosy victims and their families. Parts of the movie were filmed there using the real people who live and work with the mission. There is more about it in the bonus material on the dvd.

Random other things I like about the film is that there is closed captioning, a commentary track...and 4 actors familiar to most of us: Erik Estrada, Bruce Marchiano, Eric Roberts, and Dawn Wells! They each bring an added dimension to a film you will want to share with others.

Speaking of sharing...another giveaway!! Leave a comment on the blog (or make sure you get my attention on FB if you encounter a problem.) A winner will be selected on Monday, April 22, 2013 at 9am CDT.


"Disclosure of Material Connection: I received one or more of the products or services mentioned above for free in 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."

Holden Bitner: BTFS Characters

Holden Bitner

"The national spotlight in Leonard?" Adam replies incredulous. Amused, Senator Cutter's attorney pulls out, then slides a faded edition of Time Magazine before the preacher. The headline reading, "America's Next Billy Graham" is above a photo of six year-old Adam. Leaning in and suddenly dead serious, Bitner
assures Adam that nothing will remain hidden during this legal battle.

Andrew Sensenig as Holden Bitner


Andrew Sensenig on IMDb
Andrew Sensenigon ActorsAccess
Andrew Sensenig on NowCasting
Andrew Sensenig at Twitter

Important Info:


  What Would You Do To Save Your Family?

Plot outline:
A twist of fate brings the national spotlight to a forgotten Texas town and a once famous preacher has an opportunity to either 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, faces the possibility of laying 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.
 ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Beyond The Farthest Star will be in theaters in 2013. If you want to help get it to a cinema near you, click BRING IT and let them know you want to see this film!

Susan: BTFS Characters


Susan, one of the girls Anne Wells refers to as "the Britneys", slammed the notebook on the table in front of Anne. "It's a petition. Signed by everyone. Stating that just cause you're different from the rest of us and your favorite color is black, and–" but is interrupted by "Britney #2" reminding her of the effect Anne's poetry had on Susan during class.

Brooke Peoples as Susan.



Brooke Peoples at IMDb
Brooke Peoples at MySpace
Brooke Peoples on Twitter
Brooke Peoples on Facebook

 Important Info:

  What Would You Do To Save Your Family?

Plot outline:
A twist of fate brings the national spotlight to a forgotten Texas town and a once famous preacher has an opportunity to either 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, faces the possibility of laying 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.
 ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Beyond The Farthest Star will be in theaters in 2013. If you want to help get it to a cinema near you, click BRING IT and let them know you want to see this film!

The List

A group of wealthy Confederate landowners meet on a stormy night to form a secret blood covenant to protect their families' fortunes. One man refuses to sign, uttering a dark prophecy against the dangers of greed and black magic. Ignoring the warning, the men pool their gold in a desperate attempt to smuggle their treasures to Europe.
140 years later, Renny Jacobson, is stunned to discover that his father has left his substantial estate to charity, leaving his son with nothing but a reference to an obscure entity called "the Covenant List of South Carolina, Ltd."
Mystified, Renny sets out on a quest to learn the truth about "The List" Along the way, he meets the lovely Jo Johnston, another descendent of a family bound to the secret society. Renny soon discovers that they are both inheritors of an ancient and sinister secret - as well as a vast fortune and that tragedy follows those who bind themselves to The List. Having signed the covenant with his own blood, he is unprepared to fight the evil forces that now seek to devour everything - and anyone - Renny holds dear. As his world crumbles, he is joined in the spiritual battle by some unlikely and courageous heroes.
In an unexpected and thrilling climax, Renny finds that he must fulfill the prophecy spoken in 1863 and destroy the power of The List - or risk losing the true treasure that has changed his life. (modified from the website)

This film, directed by Gary Wheeler, is another adaptation of a Robert Whitlow novel. This is a fairly good legal suspense film with supernatural overtones. I liked the book a bit better, but he was able to go more indepth with some of the story. However, the cautionary tale of greed and making 'a deal with the devil' is one that brings to life the Scripture: "No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money." - Matthew 6:24

The members of this "Good Ol' Boy" club seem to be a congenial group of Southern gentleman as they graciously un-invite Jo (a woman!) to be a part of the group...and rid themselves of the pesky Yankee who has infiltrated. Malcolm McDowell, as always, gives an outstanding performance as the charming yet villainous leader of "The List", Desmond Larochette. Renny is a nice guy, but has to decide is his desire for money is going to corrupt him or if his love for money will give way to love of Jo...and ultimately his soul.



 

Bottom line is that it's not the best film I've seen, but I enjoyed it and think it is worth seeing.

Friday, April 12, 2013

The 5th Quarter


The death of a promising young athlete just days before his 16th birthday inspires his older brother to lead his college football team to new heights in The 5th Quarter, the moving saga of the Abbate family of Marietta, Georgia. Aidan Quinn, Andie MacDowell, and Ryan Merriman star in this true story from writer/director Rick Bieber.

When 15-year-old Luke Abbate (Stefan Guy) is killed in a tragic car accident, the loss leaves his close-knit family reeling with grief. Fueled by faith and their deep familial bond, the Abbates try to rebuild their lives without Luke, fulfilling his wish to help others by donating his organs to save the lives of five other people. But despite the support of loving friends and family, his death leaves a void in their lives that threatens to tear the family apart. Struggling with the devastating loss, Luke’s older brother Jon (Ryan Merriman), a gifted football player at Wake Forest University, decides to honor his brother’s memory and love for the game by dedicating the 2006 season to him.






I really wanted to like this film. I usually love football films and this is based on true events. I feel horrid for saying I dislike a film about a grieving family because I definitely do not want to diminish their grief and life. So, keep in mind that this is no reflection on the family...and more on my admiration for them later. However, the film had some definite over-acting and scenes that didn't quite make sense to me. I understand that each family member had good days and bad days, so that didn't bother me...much. It just had a disjointed feel to it, and odd moments that I guess were supposed to be inspirational. The film started out good, and even if they express their faith differently than I do, I never did understand what part their faith had with the healing process.


What I like about the film is the awareness it brings to both reckless driving with teens and organ donation. There are some very graphic scenes in the film about the accident. This is certainly not for younger children, but I think 14+ should see exactly what can happen when they drive carelessly or are in the car with someone who does. One of the most emotional scenes for me was "Luke" telling the driver to let him out or to stop the car. I also keep thinking of that driver and how he has to live with his mistake for the rest of his life. So, I would recommend this film to be shown to teens. The Abbate family formed the Luke Abbate 5th Quarter Foundation to make the seriousness of this issue available to young drivers. The other reason for the foundation is to talk about organ donation. Through Luke's death, 5 other people were able to receive his organs. I am a strong believer in this gift of life to others, and have always let my family know that I want to to let others use any part of me they can after my death.

So, not a really good film, but a couple of messages that make it worth your time to watch.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Motel Manager: BTFS Characters

Motel Manager

As a shadowy figure in a dark overcoat talks in muffled tones to the man in room 215, the anxious motel manager quickly dials the police station. He rushes to the door with phone in hand to get a better look... waiting for someone to pick-up. The glowing Anchor Motel sign beams in the background. Who is he calling and...who is the vampire?!!?

Kevin Keating as the motel manager.

Kevin Keating on IMDb

Important Info:


  What Would You Do To Save Your Family?

Plot outline:
A twist of fate brings the national spotlight to a forgotten Texas town and a once famous preacher has an opportunity to either 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, faces the possibility of laying 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.
 ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Beyond The Farthest Star will be in theaters in 2013. If you want to help get it to a cinema near you, click BRING IT and let them know you want to see this film!

Stephen Miller: BTFS Characters

Stephen Miller  


Curly brown-haired, blue-eyed Leonard native, Stephen Miller was mesmerized by the new girl, Anne Wells. This girl isn't anything like the others--- A PK, but there's something dark and lost in Anne. He asked her to join a band he was in with Kyle and Clifford because he is determined to reach her.

Tyler Corie as Stephen Miller.

Tyler Corie on IMDb:
Tyler Corie on BTFS cast page:
Tyler Corie on Facebook:

Important Info:


  What Would You Do To Save Your Family?

Plot outline:
A twist of fate brings the national spotlight to a forgotten Texas town and a once famous preacher has an opportunity to either 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, faces the possibility of laying 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.
 ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Beyond The Farthest Star will be in theaters in 2013. If you want to help get it to a cinema near you, click BRING IT and let them know you want to see this film!

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

The ABC Daily Reader - Vol. 1

Now in it's 2nd season, The American Bible Challenge, hosted by Jeff Foxworthy, has rapidly become the highest-rated show ever in GSN history. By taking on unique questions spanning all of Scripture, teams excitedly won money, not for themselves, but for a favorite charity. I have also spoken with people who 'play along at home', testing themselves and others over who who gets the most correct answers.

Good news! Consulting Producer, Troy Schmidt, has put together a daily reader based on The American Bible Challenge. The book leads the reader through nine weeks of study and has over 300 questions to test your Bible knowledge. Each day has a portion of Scripture to be read and 5 questions designed to challenge and inspire you into both deeper study and life application. If you get stumped for the answer (or challenged by someone in competition with you!), all the answers are in the back.

To give you an idea of some of the type questions you may encounter, click on this link: American Bible Challenge Trivia Countdown

Other notable places you may want to check out are
 
Love this book!! A devotional/trivia book that brings out my competitive side? Oh yeah!! I like it just for personal reading, but this would be a fantastic book to use for family devotions for older elementary aged kids on up to the great-grandparents. Even the younger kids can learn as the family discusses the Scripture, answers the questions, and talks about how the lesson learn can apply to your life. However, you could also use this as a group Bible Study---as simple or as elaborate as you want to go with it. I can see teams and challenges being made!

Of course, you may not want to get into cash rewards, but perhaps the winning team could select the next group missions project or something similar. There are many possibilities of how this book could be used for learning, but also for fun. We each have various learning styles, and there is no point in having access to God's Word if you don't read it, memorize it, and use it in your life.


GIVEAWAY!!
FlyBy Promotions also has a copy available to send to a randomly selected winner. If you are interested in being in the contest, please let me know (preferably on the blog), and I would love to know how you would want to use this book. Dead line to enter is Thursday, April 18, 2013, at 6pm CDT.
 
 
 "Disclosure of Material Connection: I received one or more of the products or services mentioned above for free in 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."