Sunday, March 30, 2014

Let God movie

In the Winter of 1848, a caravan of pioneers headed West. Only one survived. This is her story.

As rumors of gold in California spread across the United States in 1848, Levi decides it is time to head west with Amelia, his young housewife, to stake their claim and build a better life. Against her better judgment, Amelia honors her husband’s demands, leaving her home and family. Secretly, they join the last wagon caravan of the season dangerously late, leaving behind a string of bad debts. On the trail, they encounter unimaginable danger that will ultimately change the course of their lives.

After a savage attack takes her husband, Amelia is left alone and without resources. For the first time, Amelia must take life into her own hands, battling winter, hunger, and the unknown. As she grows weaker by the day, she finds strength in a mysterious and unexpected guide. Survival becomes a race against time and Amelia must find something greater than herself to help survive the frigid winter along the Oregon Trail.

Winner of "Best Feature" and "Best Actress" at the 2013 Breckenridge Film Festival.
Official selection at the 2013 Gideon Film Festival. Earned the Dove “Family-Approved” Seal for any age.





Let God (AKA The Trail), written and directed by William Parker, has beautiful cinematography and the acting is very good. Yet there are a couple of things that don't quite make sense to me. Some of it was within the storyline, but I could throw in my own reasoning and let it go...for most of it. The issue I struggled with the most, though, was how remarkably CLEAN Amelia (Jasmin Jandreau) stayed throughout the film. I am not one who enjoys graphic visuals of all details, but a drop of sweat or smear of dirt would have been reasonable. The cold did not seem to bother her a whole lot either---no shivering nor condensation. Unfortunately, I can get hung up on details like that. I also had to accept some some of the parts were meant more as symbolism, and not to be taken at face value.

However, it just meant that I watched the film again and ignored the little things that probably only distracted me. It is a strong story of someone who faced life head on and persevered. She did struggle to do it on her own, but many of us are guilty of that. When she finally did Let Go...and Let God, she learned that while the journey remained tough, she was not alone. There were hardships, but also unexpected blessings to lighten her load. As I mentioned, I had a few areas where the story just did not make a lot of sense, but it is a fairly good film. The scene stealer for me was Amelia's mysterious companion (Shannon Brown); he spoke very little, but my attention was drawn to him in each scene he appeared in. The most positive part of the film is the transformation of Amelia from a meek female who merely went through the motions of life and faith. The more she leaned on God and trusted Him, the stronger she became and her faith became real. The transformation was worth the journey. This is a good family film.

Disclaimer: I received a copy of this dvd from Word Entertainment and Edify Media in exchange for a fair and honest review.

Saturday, March 29, 2014

'Christian Women in Media 10th National Conference



The 10th Annual Christian Women in Media (CWIMA) National Conference will be taking place April 3-5, 2014 in Dallas. Women from across the nation who work in the fields of media and entertainment will benefit from the educational media seminars, inspiring keynote sessions and uplifting music at this conference. Some attendees come from the 5 CWIMA Regional Connection cities of Dallas, Nashville, New York, Minneapolis and Hollywood or the 12 CWIMA Local Networks across the countryn but there are also those who will be attending their first-ever CWIMA event. All women are invited who impact our culture in media, entertainment and leadership. They do not need to be a member to attend.



There are many speakers scheduled for the key morning sessions as well as the evening events. Just a few of those scheduled to speak or sing are Babbie Mason, Carol Swain, June Hunt, Thelma Wells, Jennifer Strickland, Karol Ladd, Amani Mostafa, and Erica Lane. There will be morning sessions filled with prayer, worship, reports, inspiration, and encouragement. The nights will be a time of food, fellowship, music, laughter, and the ever-popular "Jeans and Bling" event for down-home, good ol' fashioned Texas fun.
The afternoon Educational Media Seminars are varied to suit the needs of the many professions these ladies are directly connected with, yet most are not narrowly defined to one area only. The seminar moderators are seasoned people who have achieved successful positions in their respective fields. Most of the seminars this year also have a panel of experts who lend their voice and expertise to the discussion. Those attending the conference can choose 2 seminars per afternoon for a total of four.

The seminars are:
  • Taking Your Brand from 0 to 1,000,000 in a Matter of Months, Moderator: Carol Doyel
  • Pitch to the Experts, Moderator:Tracey Mitchell
  • So, I Have Written a Book ... Now What?, Moderator: Mary Hollingsworth
  • Be an A-List Speaker with Income to Match, Moderator: Marina McLean
  • How to Succeed in Hollywood (Without Losing Your Soul), Moderator: Ted Baehr
  • Maximizing Your On-Air Presence, Moderator: Suzanne Niles
  • How to Ask for a $1,000,000, Moderator: Teri O'Connor
  • Maximizing Your On-Air Presence; How to Soar in the Entertainment Industry, Moderator: Naima Lett.
DOUBLETREE by HILTON HOTEL
4099 Valley View Lane
Dallas, Texas, 75244,

REGISTRATION INCLUDES:
  • Attendance to all Conference Events
  • Chef's Table Breakfast Buffet (included with hotel bed and breakfast package)
  • Opening Reception Fare
  • Two Catered Luncheons
  • Country Western "Jeans & Bling" Dinner Party
  • Gala Awards Dinner

  • Register here


    The grand finale of the conference is the Excellence in Communication Awards Gala. This year's honorees are Roma Downey (Son of God, The Bible miniseries), who will accept her Excellence in Communications Award for Films and Television via video and multi-award winning singer, Babbie Mason, who will receive the Excellence in Communications Award for Music. Mason will also be singing during the gala. The keynote speaker is well-known movie critic and founder of Movieguide, Ted Baehr.

    This is the one event where men are also invited to attend. The dress for the evening is After Five, and it will include dinner. Tickets are $35 each (or VIP Tables for 8 are available). The event begins at 7pm, but come a few minutes early to 'Mix and Mingle'.

     
    Awards Gala Tickets
    CWIMA website
    CWIMA on Facebook



    Suellen Roberts
    Christian Women In Media (CWIMA) founder  and President Suellen Roberts trusts the event will connect and refresh women in communications.The schedule of events throughout the country will stick closely to CWIMA mission to encourage, connect and mobilize women working in all forms of media.

    Christian Women in Media was birthed out of Roberts’ desire to connect women in purpose and vision. She believes that providing a platform for Christian women in media will yield powerful results. “Mobilizing Christian women in media and entertainment is essential to influencing our culture in these times,” said Roberts. Those serving on the leadership team played a vital role in making it happen. The leadership team consists of seven women serving on the Executive Committee and a base of twenty-two Advisory Board members.


    Friday, March 28, 2014

    The Sparkle Egg by Jill Hardie

    Easter is coming, and Sam loves Easter! But this year, he is upset about a lie he told his parents. Even though he apologized and they forgave him, Sam can’t shake the feeling that he is a bad kid for what he did.

    Meanwhile, his parents help him make a special Easter craft
    called a Sparkle Egg. His mom tells him to write anything he feels sorry about or ashamed of on a piece of paper and put it inside his
    Sparkle Egg. (publisher's description)

    The Sparkle Egg, written by Jill Hardie and illustrated by Christine Kornacki, is a hardback children's book for kids in the 4-8 year old age bracket. The story is one that a child will understand and not your typical telling a lie to not get in trouble. I think it is a story that can lead to further discussions on honesty, especially with the increasing "not my fault" attitudes that are too prevalent. While there is a lesson to be learned about the importance of honesty, there is an even greater one taught on forgiveness.

    Honestly? I am much older than the recommended age group, and I got something out of the book too. The book is subtitled A Symbol of the True Promise of Easter, and it does deliver the message. The simple, yet effective, teaching on forgiveness and the reason
    Jesus died for us is told on a level that a child can have a rudimentary understanding, yet has that core of truth that all believers need to grasp.

    Giveaway: Propeller Consulting LLC has another copy of this book to give to one of my readers. Leave a comment to let me know that you would like to be entered. Contest ends Tues, April 1, 2014 at 5pm CDT. The winner will be contacted for mailing info by 8pm. Thanks, and if you do not win, I highly recommend you buy a copy of this book!!

    "Disclosure (in accordance with the FTC’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising): Many thanks to Propeller Consulting, LLC for providing this prize for the giveaway. Choice of winners and opinions are 100% my own and NOT influenced by monetary compensation. I did receive a sample of the product in exchange for this review and post.
     Only one entrant per mailing address, per giveaway. If you have won the same prize on another blog, you are not eligible to win it again. Winner is subject to eligibility verification.




    Ideals Books website
    Jill Hardie's blog: Learning To Be The Light
     
     
    Author Bio
    Jill Hardie’s first book, The Sparkle Box, ignited a new Christmas tradition that helps center Christmas in the true joy of the season. Now Jill is hoping to touch lives with a new Easter tradition with The Sparkle Egg. She lives in North Canton, Ohio.

    Illustrator Bio
    Christine Kornacki illustrated the highly acclaimed The Sparkle Box. She has a love for painting and a knack for bringing stories to life. Christine received a BFA in illustration from the University of Hartford and spends most days painting in her studio, which adjoins a charming caf├ę in New Haven, Connecticut.


    Thursday, March 27, 2014

    A Nation Under Judgment by Richard Capriola

    Has something gone terribly wrong in America? What does it mean to be "one nation under God"? Our Founding Fathers believed it was more than a political slogan. Have we strayed from their vision? A Nation Under Judgment focuses on issues currently facing our country, such as hunger, homelessness, marriage, income inequality and poverty. These subjects are reviewed from a social policy and Scriptural point of view, empowering readers to decide whether or not our nation is.

    A Nation Under Judgment: One Nation Apart from God by Richard Capriola is written from the perspective of how our nation currently makes policies and if we seek wisdom from God's point of view. Some of the social policies that are covered by the author include hunger, poverty, marriage, abortion, environmental issues, gambling, and homelessness. Using Scripture, historical data, current laws, and insights on the way our nation seems to be leaning today, Capriola clearly demonstrates that the United States is moving further from the Biblical principles upon which this nation was founded. 

    Some would argue that we are not, nor have we never been, "One Nation Under God", but there is clear evidence that the majority of our founding fathers did seek wisdom from God and studied Scripture. "The ability to see things from God's point of view" is the definition of wisdom used in the book and Capriola makes his point that our current lawmakers are further away from seeking wisdom when crafting current laws and decisions that affect the social policies that affect us all.

    While I did differ slightly in the author's conclusion in some of the chapters, this is a book that is free from political party views and does give Scripture to back his argument. I do agree with his statement that "One Nation Under God" should be a call to action for our leaders and not merely a slogan. If we continue our current defiance against the wisdom of God, and continue to move away from Him, we will have to face the consequences. Capriola makes a valid argument that "the future of our nation may rest on our commitment to create policies and financial priorities that return us to living out the words---one nation under God". I liked the book, but some of it seemed a bit repetitive. It is easy to read and gives the reader something to think about.





    I received a free copy of this book/Ebook/Product to review. I was not required to write a positive review nor was I compensated in any other way. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the FTC Regulations. I am part of The CWA Review Crew.

    Saturday, March 22, 2014

    Thrive by Mark Hall

    Taking the Next Step in Your Faith Life to GROW DEEP AND STRONG The only way to be the hands and feet of Jesus is to love him and serve others out of our love for him. But to do that we must first be deeply rooted in our life with God. In Thrive, Mark Hall, lead singer for the popular band Casting Crowns, shows us what it really looks like to walk with Jesus. In part 1, Digging Deep, Hall demonstrates how to truly engage with the Word and a community of faith, worshiping and pursuing God wholeheartedly as our hearts and minds are transformed. In part 2, Reaching Out, we see the fruits of our engagement with the Word and the community, the grateful giving back of service and love. Using relatable stories, grounded teaching, and great application, Hall helps everyone who wants to take the next step of faith and see their life grow deep and strong.

    Mark Hall is one of those people who is on a list of people I admire. Not only have I enjoyed his music for many years, but have seen his faith in action. The first instance was the response of Casting Crown when a radio personality's son drowned, and the second was after a tornado hit my town. Just days after the tornado hit Cullman, Casting Crowns was here to provide a message of hope and to help with fund-raising efforts. Mark (and the rest of the group) are people you can look up too, but, more importantly, they point you straight to Jesus.



    In his book, Thrive, Mark Hall encourages believers to do more than simply survive and believe that better things are ahead 'when (fill in the blank) happens', but to thrive in your life. Using an illustration of an old oak
    'The Tree' located in Geneva, Alabama
    tree, along with one of my favorite verses from Psalm 1, Mark explains how it is essential to have deep roots to sustain life and growth in a tree and that we can apply those same principles to ourselves. A believer may spend all of their time getting strongly rooted in the Word of God, but never applies that knowledge to reaching out to others for Christ. On the other hand, there are those that reach higher and further to share the love of Jesus, but neglect building a firm foundation of their beliefs.

    Since Mark is a youth minister, I was reading this primarily with that audience in mind, and I do believe he gives excellent examples that teens and young adults will understand and take to heart. He has an anecdotal style that I appreciate and gave examples that stuck in my mind. I admit that I got a lot out of Thrive myself. We each need to take time periodically to re-evaluate our own lives, and see if there are areas we are neglecting. The last few chapters made me put a lot of though into my own actions---and lack of actions. The book ends with The Thrive Challenge: "Digging In", "Reaching Out", and "Digging In and Reaching Out". Yes, it is essential to work on one and two, and then learn to put them into the third challenge. I highly recommend this book for youth and up. There is also a student adaptation available though.


    Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookLook 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.”

    "They are like trees planted along the riverbank, bearing fruit each season without fail. Their leaves never wither, and in all they do, they prosper."

    Monday, March 17, 2014

    Restless DVD Study Kit - Jennie Allen

    In Restless, an 8-session, video-based small group Bible study, Bible study teacher and author Jennie Allen helps you discover a practical plan to identify the threads of your life and how to weave them together for God's glory and purposes.Restless explores this important question: “Do I matter?” And Jennie asks, "We live with lots of things, lots of people…but do we live for something?”
    Using the story of Joseph, Jennie explains how his suffering, gifts, story, and relationships fit into the greater story of God-and how your story can do the same. She also introduces Threads – a tool to help you see your own personal story and to uncover and understand the raw materials God has given you to use for his glory and purpose.
    Filled with practical tools and biblical teaching, Restless will equip you to:


  • Make sense of the seemingly random relationships and activities of life
  • Redeem life's hurts and scars
  • Place your story in context with God's greater story
  • Sessions include:
    • Introduction
    • God’s Story
    • Gifts
    • Scars
    • Place
    • People
    • Passion
    • Holy Spirit

    Kit includes DVD, study guide, leader's guide, and discussion card set.
    (The info above is from the Thomas Nelson product page.)
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    My Review: 'Restless' is a word I have used to describe myself for a couple of years now, so I jumped at the opportunity to review a curriculum based on that word. When I saw that it was going to be based on a study of Joseph and how his story is woven from tangled threads into a beautiful picture of God's ultimate plan for his life, it all made sense. As Jennie put it, "Untangling the threads of our lives and assembling them together in one place reveals a beautiful plan designed by the Creator himself: God's Agenda + my threads + the need + the Holy Spirit = my purpose."

    This 8 part dvd curriculum, meant for small groups, is interactive for members to respond to each session. The topics bring a focus
    the unique threads in your life: the Gifts, Scars, Places, People, Passions that combine to make you the person you are and can be used to fulfill God's purpose in your life. A part that struck a nerve with me was when Jennie used the example, "Why would I teach a Bible Study when Beth Moore is in the world?" I know how quickly I back away from projects because there are so many who do it so much better. It is easy to be restless when you keep retreating to a place filled with fear and self-doubt. This isn't a study that goes deep into Scripture, but I feel that it is one that can be as beneficial to the mature believer as it can to those new or seeking faith. This is a study that can meet people where they are today.

    I highly recommend this curriculum. Even if you have never led a study group before, there are clear instructions and suggestions on the best way to use your time. I also liked the discussion cards to be used; sometimes you need spark to ignite a conversation and these work great. Of course, when you are being transparent with others, there will need to be trust among the group. So, while it could be abridged to fit the needs of a larger group, but it is still suggested you break into more intimate groups for discussion. I liked it just as a personal study and plan to go back through it again without having to make the notes I needed as a reviewer. The kit comes with the dvd, the leader's guide, a participant's study guide and a discussion card set.


    Disclaimer: I was provided with these materials at no cost to myself by Shelton Interactive. There was no requirement that I give a good review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.




    Jennie Allen on Facebook
    Jennie Allen on Pinterest
    Follow @JennieAllen on Twitter
    Visit Jennie's website: Jennie Allen

    Sunday, March 16, 2014

    The Quilted Heart Omnibus by Mona Hodgson

    The Quilted Heart Omnibus

    Once a week, Elsa Brantenberg hosts the Saint Charles Quilting Circle at her farmhouse on the outskirts of the riverside town of St. Charles, Missouri. The ladies who gather there have all experienced heartache related to the intense hardships of the Civil War, and together, they are facing their painful circumstances with friendship and prayer. Can the tattered pieces of their hearts be stitched together by God’s grace?

    Dandelions on the Wind
    When Maren Jensen took a job on Elsa Brantenberg’s St. Charles, Missouri farm, she never expected to call the place her home. As she grows to love Mrs. Brantenberg and her granddaughter, Gabi, Maren is transformed from a lonely mail-order bride-without-a-groom to a beloved member of the Brantenberg household. But when Gabi’s father, Rutherford “Wooly” Wainwright, returns to the farm unexpectedly, everything changes for Maren, and she feels compelled to find another job. Are her choices in obedience to God, or is she running from His plan?

    Bending Toward the Sun
    Dedicated to her education and to helping her father in his general store, Emilie Heinrich is convinced she doesn't have time for love. But when a childhood friend returns to St. Charles, Missouri, after serving in the Civil War, his smile and charm captures Emilie’s eye and her heart. Will she be forced to choose between honoring her father and a future with a husband and family of her own?

    Ripples Along the Shore
    Change is brewing in St. Charles. A group of brave souls are preparing to head west on the Boone's Lick Wagon Train, led by the mysterious and handsome Garrett Cowlishaw, who served as a Confederate soldier in the war that killed Caroline’s husband. Despite her dislike for him, Caroline is tempted to join the wagon train and start fresh somewhere new, but when Mr. Cowlishaw forbids her—a single woman—to travel with them, will one man’s prejudice destroy Caroline’s hope for a new future? Or will the ripples of God’s love bring the answer she needs?


    My Review:This is a quick read, but novellas can have a bit of a rushed feeling to them in order to get as much of a story into the shortened work as possible. That means that sometimes there is an abrupt change of feelings within characters that does not seem quite natural. To go with the sewing theme, some of the seams did not quite fit as well when segued into the next storyline. There was nothing glaring, but a few times I did wonder how a character reached the point they did with their feelings.

    The characters that are highlighted with stories of their own did not always behave like my first impression of them as we get to know them better, but it's like that with real people. However, I would have liked a greater exploration into the "whys" of some of their thoughts and actions. At times I was more intrigued by secondary characters than I was the primary ones, but I guess that leaves room for more of them to have stories of their own. I have always enjoyed finding characters I know living in other stories, but, for some reason, none of these really endeared themselves to me. So, while I have recommended the book to others I know who have an interest in that time frame or in the friendships of women who become friends through a common interest, it was only an average read for me. It was good, but not, "I can't wait til the next book" good.


    I received a free copy of this book from Waterbrook Multnomah for the purpose of review. All opinions are my own.

    Once a week, Elsa Brantenberg hosts the Saint Charles Quilting Circle at her farmhouse on the outskirts of the riverside town of St. Charles, Missouri. The ladies who gather there have all experienced heartache related to the intense hardships of the Civil War, and together, they are facing their painful circumstances with friendship and prayer. Can the tattered pieces of their hearts be stitched together by God’s grace? - See more at: http://waterbrookmultnomah.com/catalog.php?isbn=9780307731142#sthash.CNNP0qEI.dpuf
    Like a beautiful patchwork quilt, the three novellas in The Quilted Heart tell stories of lives stitched together with love and God’s unending grace.

    Once a week, Elsa Brantenberg hosts the Saint Charles Quilting Circle at her farmhouse on the outskirts of the riverside town of St. Charles, Missouri. The ladies who gather there have all experienced heartache related to the intense hardships of the Civil War, and together, they are facing their painful circumstances with friendship and prayer. Can the tattered pieces of their hearts be stitched together by God’s grace?

    Dandelions on the Wind
    When Maren Jensen took a job on Elsa Brantenberg’s St. Charles, Missouri farm, she never expected to call the place her home. As she grows to love Mrs. Brantenberg and her granddaughter, Gabi, Maren is transformed from a lonely mail-order bride-without-a-groom to a beloved member of the Brantenberg household. But when Gabi’s father, Rutherford “Wooly” Wainwright, returns to the farm unexpectedly, everything changes for Maren, and she feels compelled to find another job. Are her choices in obedience to God, or is she running from His plan?

    Bending Toward the Sun
    Dedicated to her education and to helping her father in his general store, Emilie Heinrich is convinced she doesn't have time for love. But when a childhood friend returns to St. Charles, Missouri, after serving in the Civil War, his smile and charm captures Emilie’s eye and her heart. Will she be forced to choose between honoring her father and a future with a husband and family of her own?

    Ripples Along the Shore
    Change is brewing in St. Charles. A group of brave souls are preparing to head west on the Boone's Lick Wagon Train, led by the mysterious and handsome Garrett Cowlishaw, who served as a Confederate soldier in the war that killed Caroline’s husband. Despite her dislike for him, Caroline is tempted to join the wagon train and start fresh somewhere new, but when Mr. Cowlishaw forbids her—a single woman—to travel with them, will one man’s prejudice destroy Caroline’s hope for a new future? Or will the ripples of God’s love bring the answer she needs? - See more at: http://waterbrookmultnomah.com/catalog.php?isbn=9780307731142#sthash.CNNP0qEI.dpuf
    Like a beautiful patchwork quilt, the three novellas in The Quilted Heart tell stories of lives stitched together with love and God’s unending grace.

    Once a week, Elsa Brantenberg hosts the Saint Charles Quilting Circle at her farmhouse on the outskirts of the riverside town of St. Charles, Missouri. The ladies who gather there have all experienced heartache related to the intense hardships of the Civil War, and together, they are facing their painful circumstances with friendship and prayer. Can the tattered pieces of their hearts be stitched together by God’s grace?

    Dandelions on the Wind
    When Maren Jensen took a job on Elsa Brantenberg’s St. Charles, Missouri farm, she never expected to call the place her home. As she grows to love Mrs. Brantenberg and her granddaughter, Gabi, Maren is transformed from a lonely mail-order bride-without-a-groom to a beloved member of the Brantenberg household. But when Gabi’s father, Rutherford “Wooly” Wainwright, returns to the farm unexpectedly, everything changes for Maren, and she feels compelled to find another job. Are her choices in obedience to God, or is she running from His plan?

    Bending Toward the Sun
    Dedicated to her education and to helping her father in his general store, Emilie Heinrich is convinced she doesn't have time for love. But when a childhood friend returns to St. Charles, Missouri, after serving in the Civil War, his smile and charm captures Emilie’s eye and her heart. Will she be forced to choose between honoring her father and a future with a husband and family of her own?

    Ripples Along the Shore
    Change is brewing in St. Charles. A group of brave souls are preparing to head west on the Boone's Lick Wagon Train, led by the mysterious and handsome Garrett Cowlishaw, who served as a Confederate soldier in the war that killed Caroline’s husband. Despite her dislike for him, Caroline is tempted to join the wagon train and start fresh somewhere new, but when Mr. Cowlishaw forbids her—a single woman—to travel with them, will one man’s prejudice destroy Caroline’s hope for a new future? Or will the ripples of God’s love bring the answer she needs? - See more at: http://waterbrookmultnomah.com/catalog.php?isbn=9780307731142#sthash.CNNP0qEI.dpuf
    Like a beautiful patchwork quilt, the three novellas in The Quilted Heart tell stories of lives stitched together with love and God’s unending grace.

    Once a week, Elsa Brantenberg hosts the Saint Charles Quilting Circle at her farmhouse on the outskirts of the riverside town of St. Charles, Missouri. The ladies who gather there have all experienced heartache related to the intense hardships of the Civil War, and together, they are facing their painful circumstances with friendship and prayer. Can the tattered pieces of their hearts be stitched together by God’s grace?

    Dandelions on the Wind
    When Maren Jensen took a job on Elsa Brantenberg’s St. Charles, Missouri farm, she never expected to call the place her home. As she grows to love Mrs. Brantenberg and her granddaughter, Gabi, Maren is transformed from a lonely mail-order bride-without-a-groom to a beloved member of the Brantenberg household. But when Gabi’s father, Rutherford “Wooly” Wainwright, returns to the farm unexpectedly, everything changes for Maren, and she feels compelled to find another job. Are her choices in obedience to God, or is she running from His plan?

    Bending Toward the Sun
    Dedicated to her education and to helping her father in his general store, Emilie Heinrich is convinced she doesn't have time for love. But when a childhood friend returns to St. Charles, Missouri, after serving in the Civil War, his smile and charm captures Emilie’s eye and her heart. Will she be forced to choose between honoring her father and a future with a husband and family of her own?

    Ripples Along the Shore
    Change is brewing in St. Charles. A group of brave souls are preparing to head west on the Boone's Lick Wagon Train, led by the mysterious and handsome Garrett Cowlishaw, who served as a Confederate soldier in the war that killed Caroline’s husband. Despite her dislike for him, Caroline is tempted to join the wagon train and start fresh somewhere new, but when Mr. Cowlishaw forbids her—a single woman—to travel with them, will one man’s prejudice destroy Caroline’s hope for a new future? Or will the ripples of God’s love bring the answer she needs? - See more at: http://waterbrookmultnomah.com/catalog.php?isbn=9780307731142#sthash.CNNP0qEI.dpuf
    Like a beautiful patchwork quilt, the three novellas in The Quilted Heart tell stories of lives stitched together with love and God’s unending grace.

    Once a week, Elsa Brantenberg hosts the Saint Charles Quilting Circle at her farmhouse on the outskirts of the riverside town of St. Charles, Missouri. The ladies who gather there have all experienced heartache related to the intense hardships of the Civil War, and together, they are facing their painful circumstances with friendship and prayer. Can the tattered pieces of their hearts be stitched together by God’s grace?

    Dandelions on the Wind
    When Maren Jensen took a job on Elsa Brantenberg’s St. Charles, Missouri farm, she never expected to call the place her home. As she grows to love Mrs. Brantenberg and her granddaughter, Gabi, Maren is transformed from a lonely mail-order bride-without-a-groom to a beloved member of the Brantenberg household. But when Gabi’s father, Rutherford “Wooly” Wainwright, returns to the farm unexpectedly, everything changes for Maren, and she feels compelled to find another job. Are her choices in obedience to God, or is she running from His plan?

    Bending Toward the Sun
    Dedicated to her education and to helping her father in his general store, Emilie Heinrich is convinced she doesn't have time for love. But when a childhood friend returns to St. Charles, Missouri, after serving in the Civil War, his smile and charm captures Emilie’s eye and her heart. Will she be forced to choose between honoring her father and a future with a husband and family of her own?

    Ripples Along the Shore
    Change is brewing in St. Charles. A group of brave souls are preparing to head west on the Boone's Lick Wagon Train, led by the mysterious and handsome Garrett Cowlishaw, who served as a Confederate soldier in the war that killed Caroline’s husband. Despite her dislike for him, Caroline is tempted to join the wagon train and start fresh somewhere new, but when Mr. Cowlishaw forbids her—a single woman—to travel with them, will one man’s prejudice destroy Caroline’s hope for a new future? Or will the ripples of God’s love bring the answer she needs? - See more at: http://waterbrookmultnomah.com/catalog.php?isbn=9780307731142#sthash.CNNP0qEI.dpuf
    Like a beautiful patchwork quilt, the three novellas in The Quilted Heart tell stories of lives stitched together with love and God’s unending grace.

    Once a week, Elsa Brantenberg hosts the Saint Charles Quilting Circle at her farmhouse on the outskirts of the riverside town of St. Charles, Missouri. The ladies who gather there have all experienced heartache related to the intense hardships of the Civil War, and together, they are facing their painful circumstances with friendship and prayer. Can the tattered pieces of their hearts be stitched together by God’s grace?

    Dandelions on the Wind
    When Maren Jensen took a job on Elsa Brantenberg’s St. Charles, Missouri farm, she never expected to call the place her home. As she grows to love Mrs. Brantenberg and her granddaughter, Gabi, Maren is transformed from a lonely mail-order bride-without-a-groom to a beloved member of the Brantenberg household. But when Gabi’s father, Rutherford “Wooly” Wainwright, returns to the farm unexpectedly, everything changes for Maren, and she feels compelled to find another job. Are her choices in obedience to God, or is she running from His plan?

    Bending Toward the Sun
    Dedicated to her education and to helping her father in his general store, Emilie Heinrich is convinced she doesn't have time for love. But when a childhood friend returns to St. Charles, Missouri, after serving in the Civil War, his smile and charm captures Emilie’s eye and her heart. Will she be forced to choose between honoring her father and a future with a husband and family of her own?

    Ripples Along the Shore
    Change is brewing in St. Charles. A group of brave souls are preparing to head west on the Boone's Lick Wagon Train, led by the mysterious and handsome Garrett Cowlishaw, who served as a Confederate soldier in the war that killed Caroline’s husband. Despite her dislike for him, Caroline is tempted to join the wagon train and start fresh somewhere new, but when Mr. Cowlishaw forbids her—a single woman—to travel with them, will one man’s prejudice destroy Caroline’s hope for a new future? Or will the ripples of God’s love bring the answer she needs? - See more at: http://waterbrookmultnomah.com/catalog.php?isbn=9780307731142#sthash.CNNP0qEI.dpuf
    Like a beautiful patchwork quilt, the three novellas in The Quilted Heart tell stories of lives stitched together with love and God’s unending grace.

    Once a week, Elsa Brantenberg hosts the Saint Charles Quilting Circle at her farmhouse on the outskirts of the riverside town of St. Charles, Missouri. The ladies who gather there have all experienced heartache related to the intense hardships of the Civil War, and together, they are facing their painful circumstances with friendship and prayer. Can the tattered pieces of their hearts be stitched together by God’s grace?

    Dandelions on the Wind
    When Maren Jensen took a job on Elsa Brantenberg’s St. Charles, Missouri farm, she never expected to call the place her home. As she grows to love Mrs. Brantenberg and her granddaughter, Gabi, Maren is transformed from a lonely mail-order bride-without-a-groom to a beloved member of the Brantenberg household. But when Gabi’s father, Rutherford “Wooly” Wainwright, returns to the farm unexpectedly, everything changes for Maren, and she feels compelled to find another job. Are her choices in obedience to God, or is she running from His plan?

    Bending Toward the Sun
    Dedicated to her education and to helping her father in his general store, Emilie Heinrich is convinced she doesn't have time for love. But when a childhood friend returns to St. Charles, Missouri, after serving in the Civil War, his smile and charm captures Emilie’s eye and her heart. Will she be forced to choose between honoring her father and a future with a husband and family of her own?

    Ripples Along the Shore
    Change is brewing in St. Charles. A group of brave souls are preparing to head west on the Boone's Lick Wagon Train, led by the mysterious and handsome Garrett Cowlishaw, who served as a Confederate soldier in the war that killed Caroline’s husband. Despite her dislike for him, Caroline is tempted to join the wagon train and start fresh somewhere new, but when Mr. Cowlishaw forbids her—a single woman—to travel with them, will one man’s prejudice destroy Caroline’s hope for a new future? Or will the ripples of God’s love bring the answer she needs? - See more at: http://waterbrookmultnomah.com/catalog.php?isbn=9780307731142#sthash.CNNP0qEI.dpuf

    Friday, March 14, 2014

    Thank You!!





    Cherami Leigh (Anne Wells) says thanks! She
    won the People's Choice vote for Best Female Voice of the Year on the
    BTVA Anime Dub Awards! See Cherami in the film, BEYOND THE FARTHEST STAR
    in 2014. Connect with us on Facebook for details as they are revealed.
    Plus vote to BRING Cherami's film to YOUR local theater here: http://beyondthefartheststar.com/connect

    Tuesday, March 11, 2014

    Chasing God by Angie Smith

    Maybe you’ve never asked the question out loud, but you’ve wondered. You do the things that look good on paper: read your Bible, pray, attend study groups and go to church on Sundays.

    But you aren’t convinced you really know Him.

    Angie Smith understands, because she had run circles around the same paths searching for Him, frustrated at her lack of progress. And she probably would have continued to do so had it not been for one realization that changed everything.

    She wasn’t following God; she was trying to catch up with Him. 

    And without realizing it, you may be as well.


    It’s a distinction that affects every aspect of our lives with Christ, and it begins with learning where we’ve relied more on man’s explanation of God than God Himself.

    So many requirements, so many rules, and so much guilt where there is supposed to be freedom. It’s the reason you wonder if you’ve measured up, and the nagging voice that tells you you’re a failure as a Christian.

    Three simple words changed everything for Angie, and she believes they can do the same for you.

    Stop chasing God. (back cover)




    My Review: I really liked this book. Angie's style of writing made me feel like I was having a conversation with an old friend---a kindred spirit. We do share a mutual friend, Sarcasm, and this brought the topic to a level that I could relate to in many ways. This is not a formulaic plan to being a perfect Christian. Indeed, I am one of those who can easily get so caught up in the "rules" of what is expected of me that I will lose sight of keeping my eyes and focus on Jesus. This book is a reminder that we are not to measure ourselves against other believers, nor sit down with a list to check off the task we have completed---"Pray √, Read 3 Chapters of Bible √, etc." When we focus on the rules rather than the relationship with God, it is easy to become discouraged. If you are looking for a formal book on searching for God, this is not the book for you. However, if you like a conversational style, sprinkled liberally with humor, Chasing God is a deep, relaxing breath. I highly recommend it.

    Disclosure: I received a free copy from Icon Media Group for review purposes.



    Angie Smith website
    Follow @angiesmith19
    Like Angie Smith on Facebook

    Monday, March 10, 2014

    When Calls The Heart: Lost and Found


    When Calls the Heart: Lost and Found” tells the captivating story of Elizabeth Thatcher (Erin Krakow), a young teacher accustomed to her high society life, who receives her first classroom assignment in Coal Valley, a small coalmining town where life is simple, but often fraught with challenges. Lori Loughlin plays Abigail Stanton, a wife and mother whose husband, the foreman of the mine, along with a dozen other miners, has just been killed in an explosion.

    The newly widowed women find their faith is tested when they must go to work in the mines to keep a roof over their heads. Elizabeth charms most everyone in Coal Valley, except Constable Jack Thornton (Daniel Lissing) who believes Thatcher’s wealthy father has doomed the lawman’s career by insisting he be assigned in town to protect the shipping magnate’s daughter. Living in a 19th century coal town, Elizabeth will have to learn the ways of the frontier if she wishes to thrive in the rural west on her own.
    The series is inspired by Janette Oke’s bestselling book series about the Canadian West, and reunites Oke with Executive Producer and Director, Michael Landon, Jr. (back cover)

    This is the first DVD of 10 in the series. Written by Michael Landon Jr., Cindy Kelley, and Brian Bird.

    When Calls The Heart: Lost and Found is the first episode of a series that began on the Hallmark Channel Jan. 11, 2014. Based on the Canadian West novels of Janette Oke, but not an adaptation of the books. There was also a television movie that debuted last year that tied the 2 together a bit closer. I saw that movie and loved it. It also caused a bit of confusion at the beginning of this dvd for me since there was a change in the lead actress, a new Canadian Mountie, and the ending of the movie had been changed to reflect the new direction the series is taking. Also, a couple of other scenes from the movie had been reused with slight alterations. However, I quickly adapted and quit trying to compare the two.

    The drama of a small town coming to grips with the disaster of a mine collapse and the deaths of so many
    husbands, fathers, sons, relatives, and friends could easily become maudlin, but there are enough elements of comedy and romance to soften the harsh realities. While Elizabeth and Daniel may be the main focus, the story of the townspeople weaves through this a fascinating drama. The determination of the women to do whatever it takes to support their families and give them options, the children trying to adapt to their loss, and everyone in the town trying to come to terms with their new normal.

     The characters are well developed and each seems to have the determination and strength to get through no matter what comes their way. I do think it a little odd that even the weakest of them aren't more prone to give-up, but this is only episode 1. The character that I thought was the best written was the "villian" of the piece...the mine supervisor. There are times when he is does the wrong thing, but I felt that the very nature of his job would make him have to be a bit cold-hearted in making some decisions.

    Altogether, really balanced storyline, characters that you will come to care about, delightful scenery, and you are left wanting to know more of the story at the end of the episode. The fact that my grandfather and a couple of uncles were coalminers gave this an additional fascination for me, but would have kept my attention anyway. Not quite a 5 star for me, but right at a 4.5. I definitely recommend this particular dvd, and I am sure that the others will live up to the hope I have for this series.

    Thank you to Edify Media and Word Entertainment for providing me with a copy of this dvd for review purposes. No expectations were given for a good review, and only an honest one was promised.

    Like "When Calls The Heart" on Facebook






    Monday, March 3, 2014

    Biblical Reproductions - Book of Enoch

    I have written 2 posts about Biblical Reproductions: Products & Website, so I will not go over old details. Today's final post on the company is about the specific product I received to review. I confess that I expected them to send one of the less expensive products and was happily anticipating an ancient Hebrew oil lamp reproduction.

    When the flat box arrived, I knew that there would be no oil lamp, but my curiosity level raised considerably! I carefully opened the package and saw that it was one of the Dead Sea Scroll reproductions. Okay, there were several that I saw that had special meaning to me, so I eagerly looked to find I had received a portion of the Book of...Enoch. ENOCH??!!?? I knew who Enoch was, of course, but I was 100% certain I had never read that book in MY Bible.

     As I stared at the Certificate of Authenticity approved by the Israeli Antiquities Authority, I was also trying to gather scraps of memory that were beginning to surface, calling my son (who I was certain would have some knowledge), and quickly doing a Google search (yes, I am a multi-tasker!) As I begin to read (and hear) stories of WatchersNephilim, and fallen angels, I did vaguely remember a few stories from a childhood Sunday School class and a couple of books I had read long ago, but I still wondered why I had received this particular parchment.

    Then, I realized that a theme of many conversations I have about movies and books is that they are excellent conversation starters about Christianity and sharing your belief system. I also love those that make me think and want to go more indepth. Even if something is a bit controversial, I tend to be more on the side of finding out what it is about: the negatives, the positives, and why I believe what I do. So, what could be more perfect for me to receive but The Book of Enoch.

    Although I am not a huge fan of many of the documentaries found on the History Channel, I did find this link that is a bit more descriptive than anything I have space to tell...




    I also came across several posts of interest on the Biblical Reproductions website under Blog: Enoch. Son of Cain, Part 1Enoch, Whom God Took Away, Part 2, and Enoch, Hero of Jewish Literature, Part 3. I did find out that the reproduction I have is from Chapter 6, and that it is unique because until the discovery of the Dead Sea scrolls, the Book of Enoch was only preserved in Ethiopic and Greek. This is the only known copy of Book of Enoch in Aramaic. For more info about this particular piece, read the production description for The Enoch Scroll.

    OPPORTUNITY FOR YOU!!

    If you decide that you would like to purchase one of these items for your home, church, or office, you can use the code below. You will then be eligible to receive a piece of pottery of your choice. 

    Coupon Code - CNCWA14
    If you want to buy any of the scrolls, put in coupon code (CNCWA14), specify which pottery reproduction piece you would like in the Notes field and they send it to you. Same applies to all the inscriptions and the Crucified man. You cannot purchase a pottery reproduction and get another one, but if you purchase 2 or 3 eligible items, you will get 2 or 3 pottery pieces respectively.

    Whether you decide to go with a more unique item
    or with one more familiar, you will definitely have an item that will start conversations. Plus...you can get one of these oil lamps!!

    Biblical Reproductions website
    Biblical Reproductions on Facebook

    Biblical Reproductions on Google+
    Follow @biblicalreplica
    Biblical Reproductions on LinkedIn

    Biblical Reproductions Pinterest
    Biblical Reproductions Instagram


     I was given this opportunity due to my participation as a CWA Review Crew member. Thank you CWA and Biblical Reproductions!!