Thursday, January 26, 2017

Priceless DVD

Priceless is the story, inspired by true events of a widower (Joel Smallbone) who loses custody of his young daughter (Sierra Rose Smith). Unable to keep a job, he agrees to drive a truck across the country. Their stipulation of "No Questions Asked" proves to be more than he bargained for when he accidentally discovers his cargo. He must then make a life-changing choice that threatens his future hope. 

PRICELESS stars Joel Smallbone (for KING & COUNTRY), Bianca Santos (THE DUFF), Amber Midthunder (“Longmire”) with Jim Parrack (SUICIDE SQUAD, “True Blood”) and David Koechner (ANCHORMAN, “The Goldbergs”). PRICELESS is the first film from the Smallbone Brothers. Ben Smallbone directs from the script by Chris Dowling & Tyler Poelle. The film was produced by Steve Barnett (300). David Smallbone and Luke Smallbone serve as executive producers, and Jacob “Cubbie” Fink is co-producer. 

Priceless is a well-intentioned film, and I had very high hopes for it. The subject of human trafficking is one that needs to be talked about often, and kept in the forefront of people's minds. The premise of the story is a man who has hit rock bottom after his wife dies and eventually losing custody of his daughter due to a series of bad choices. So he is willing to risk driving a truck with unknown cargo to earn money. Desperate times call for desperate measures, so perhaps it makes sense he would make another questionable decision. I never quite understood how or why things went downhill so fast, so I would have liked to have had a bit more back story. 

This film is based on actual events, so perhaps my expectations were too high. There were simply moments that I found too unbelievable, and I found my mind wandering more than once. The movie isn't really bad, but there was just something missing for me. However, it is a wonderful conversation opener on a subject that needs to be shared worldwide. I would recommend it for anyone wanting to share more about human trafficking and to offer hope to those who have been sexually abused. The ultimate message is that there is freedom for the captive, whether it be actual captivity or self-induced through drugs, alcohol, and anger.

Thanks to Icon Media group for sending me a link to review the film. Priceless will be available on Digital HD on Jan 31, 2017, and Blu-Ray, DVD, and On Demand on Feb 14, 2017.

Saturday, January 21, 2017

Life in Season - Vanessa Hunt/Heather Patterson

‘Life in Season: Celebrating the Moments That Fill Your Heart and Home’ by Heather Patterson and Vanessa Hunt. Heather and Vanessa are sisters who created At the Picket Fence, a website dedicated to providing a place where women can share, care, and inspire one another.

It's a nice "coffee table" book or gift for a friend. The outside cover is beautiful and it is filled with beauty inside also. The book is divided into the four seasons and is filled with stories to fit each, along with recipes and crafts. I enjoyed reading the stories. Using personal anecdotes, and Scripture, they each contained a message that was inspirational and educational---in a fun way. I loved the lessons to be learned from them.

The recipes included looked like they were probably doable. I do not enjoy cooking, so there were none that tempted me. But, I have friends who love cooking and would love making these special treats to share with family and friends. There are also several craft projects that look adorable. My craftiness is solidly in the pre-schooler's art project class, so none of them are for my limited skills. But, I am not the potential market for this book, so I can't speak for how easy they are.

If you or a friend love crafting, cooking, and stories that inspire and are completely relatable and relational, I recommend this book.

I did receive a copy of this book at no cost to myself from Icon Media Group. 

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

God Made You Nose to Toes - Leslie Parrot

God Made You Nose to Toesby well-known author and family therapist, Leslie Parrot, is a padded boardbook designed to explain to toddlers that God created each part of their body to help them enjoy their surroundings. With the help of a colorful toucan, rhymes are given to express that God made each part for a reason. Delightful animals are incorporated through the story via the talents of illustrator Estelle Corke. The book, published by Zondervan, is 8.38" x 8.38" and has 18 pages.

I wasn't blown away by the book, but I did think it was cute. More importantly, it has been handled a lot by a 16 months old who is loving the pictures. Also, the book is still completely intact. She is too young to sit still as I read it, but has grabbed it to look at several times. As she gets older we can spend more time on the words and the lesson to be taught. I believe she will enjoy learning more about her fingers, knees, nose, toes, etc., and that God created her to enjoy life and because He loves her very much. Between both of us, I would say the book is not quite a five for me, but not completely a 4...perhaps a 4.45.

I received a copy of this book from BookLook Bloggers at no cost to myself. However, my thoughts and opinions are my own. 

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

The Women of Easter by Liz Curtis Higgs

In The Women of Easter by Liz Curtis Higgs, you meet three women named Mary. Each of these women had a life-changing encounter with Jesus. Mary of Bethany is the one who prepared the way for the Lord’s burial when she anointed His feet with her precious and costly perfume. Mary of Nazareth, His mother, remained by His side from His first breath to His last, her love and loyalty always steadfast. Mary of Magdala, delivered of seven demons, never wavered in her bravery to support her Teacher when others turned away bravely and then she was the one chosen to proclaim the glorious news of His resurrection to His followers. At a time when women were considered to be second class citizens, the Lord loved, respected, and honored them ---giving Hope to all women that we are worthy, too. 

Higgs has a way of bringing the characters in her stories to life, and even familiar stories are seen in a fresh light. Each Mary she highlights is a person that anyone raised going to church knows all about. Yet, the reader is given more insight to what is happening, and how rare it is for women to be treated with honor during the time Jesus lived on Earth. There were even a couple of "lightbulb moments" when something became much clearer to me. One easily travels to and from the effects of Jesus on the lives of these women to personal stories that Liz shares in comparison. I especially like the Study Guide in the back. This would be a wonderful 8 week devotional for yourself or with a small group. 

Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book from Waterbrook-Multnomah "Blogging For Books" program at no cost to myself. However, I was not required to write a positive review.

Monday, January 2, 2017

NIV Holy Bible for Girls, Journal Edition

The NIV Holy Bible for Girls, Journal Edition is a hard cover Bible with an attached elastic closure. Features include:
  • Lines on each page for journaling and notes
  • Thick paper perfect for any writing utensil
  • A presentation page for gift giving
  • A “How to Use This Bible” page to get started on the right foot
  • Ribbon marker
  • The complete text of the bestselling New International Version (NIV)
This Bible has a visually appealing turquoise cover (other colors are available) with designs and an attached pink elastic closure. I think it is very attractive and my 15 month old great-granddaughter, raced to pick it up, while exclaiming, "Ooooooh." The outside cover is the least important part of a Bible, but I think it is good to have a book that immediately attracts someone. It has a hard cover, which makes it a bit heavy, but I love the durability and the way it is bound.

The NIV translation is fairly easy to read and understand for most people, and is a very popular version. The print is a little small for me, but should be great for the average reader. However, I have no issue with the print size due to the room given on each page for journaling or note-taking. Not only is there room to make notes, but there are lines to make it easier. This Bible is intended for girls 8 and up, so I really like that it encourages making notes from an early age. The pages aren't too thin, but I encourage using colored pencils rather than highlighters to help avoid bleed through. 

As a first "grown-up" Bible for a girl, this is an excellent one. It is also suitable for teens and women, though, so don't let the "for girls" mislead you if you want to get this Bible for yourself. I do miss having maps and a concordance, but my personal preference is a study Bible. However, I do recommend the NIV Holy Bible for Girls, Journal Edition, especially if you like to jot down notes about a particular passage as you read it.

Thanks to Handlebar Marketing for providing me with a copy for review purposes. All thoughts and opinions are my own.