Sunday, May 22, 2016

DVD Review: Awakened

"For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms." (Ephesians 6;12)

Awakened
is a faith-based thriller. Jacob Harker (Rob Boltin) loses his job as a newspaper reporter. He and his wife, Haley (Gwendolyn Edwards) moves into a rental house owned by Webster Kane (Michael Monks). While cleaning the basement, Jacob found an old audio recording of 60's singer named Carol James (Hannah Hughes). He is captivated by Carol's voice and becomes obsessed with solving a mystery concerning her death that took place in 1965. His curiosity and investigative habits lead him to question Carol's sister, Evelyn and Carol's lover, Webster. Meanwhile, an evil spirit distorts Jacob's mind, frightens Haley in their home, and wreaks havoc on their marriage. Awakened is a rare genre among Christian films. They did a great job at showing that spiritual warfare is real. Ultimately, God always wins because "greater is He that is in you, than he that is in the world". (1 John 4:4). Never mess around with an evil spirit. Satan is the father of lies and deception. It's vital that we must familiarize ourselves with truth (God's Word) so that we can detect any lies from the Enemy immediately. Check out this interesting film about faith, spiritual forces, God's power, mercy, and forgiveness. Great performance by the cast. Not recommended for young children. 


~I received a free copy of this DVD via Edify Media, Inc. in exchange for my honest review. All opinions are my own.

DVD Review: Chasing Grace

Chasing Grace (DVD)

"To forgive is to set a prisoner free and discover that the prisoner was you." (Lewis B. Smedes)

Chasing Grace is a wonderful DVD about the power of grace and forgiveness. A pastor's happy family is shattered by a tragic accident that takes their youngest member's life. Pastor Jonathan Mattheson struggles with unforgiving heart, guilt, shame, and desire for vengeance. To deal with his loss, he finds it easier to put all his energy into being mad at and getting even with his brother. But it only makes matters worse. I think most people (if not all) can relate to issues of blaming, addiction, secrets, difficulty to forgive others and selves, and family relationships played out in this movie. The cast did a good job. The message is important. Nobody is beyond God's grace! May we give grace to others and forgive others as Jesus has done for us! Hope you'll check out Chasing Grace!

~I received a free copy of this DVD via Edify Media, Inc. in exchange for my honest review. All opinions are my own. 

Friday, May 6, 2016

DVD Review: Living Hope


Living Hope is a feature length documentary about John Thomas, Joey Lankford & family, and Leonie Rustin, who have served the poor and shared Christ's love in South Africa, where problems of poverty, malnutrition, HIV infection, drug & alcohol abuse, and prostitution abound. The average life expectancy there is less than 50 years.

John Thomas is the founder of Living Hope, a Christian organization that seeks "to reach people for Christ, bringing hope and breaking the despair of poverty and disease." (taken from the website) Living Hope encompasses 4 ministries: Living Care (helps patients and their families through a health care center and home-based care), Living Grace (helps the poor, the homeless, and substance abusers through free rehabilitation, homeless ministry, and food share program), Living Right (helps prevent the spread of AIDS and HIV through support groups, testing & counseling, and life skills education), and Living Way (helps equip the poor and the unemployed through job center, Way to Work program, and agriculture & business training).

Joey Lankford, a successful businessman from Tennessee, was unhappy with the direction he was heading so he decided to surrender all to God and seek His will & purpose for his life. He and his family moved to South Africa. Joey helps equip people with sustainable tunnel (greenhouse) farming to provide for their own families and operate it as a business.

Leonie Rustin, a single mom and recovering drug addict, found Living Grace, surrendered her life to Christ, and now is active in sharing her story & helping others in her community to find freedom from drug addiction.

Living Hope, narrated by Joel Smallbone of For King & Country, is a powerful & inspiring documentary film that will make you think of your life's purpose and how you can be artisans of hope in this dark world. It also features Michael W. Smith and Dana Perino (former White House Press Secretary and FOX News host). I love the fact that Living Hope is gospel-centered and through Living Hope's ministries many lives have been transformed. You will hear touching stories of a few people who have been helped by Living Hope. We, Christians, are to be the solution through our daily kingdom-living and Christ-representing. I highly recommend this excellent documentary!



~I received a free copy of this DVD via Edify Media, Inc. in exchange for my honest review. All opinions are my own. 

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

DVD Review:When Calls the Heart: Troubled Hearts

When Calls the Heart series is inspired by Janette Oke's novel and produced by Michael Landon, Jr. Troubled Hearts is Season 3's second DVD. Elizabeth (Erin Krakow) moves into her own row house while Jack (Daniel Lissing) is planning to build a home for Elizabeth and himself. Rosemary keeps herself busy helping Lee at the mill, redecorating his office and reorganizing his budget. She gets worried when she finds out that Lee has taken out a loan. Bill Avery (Jack Wagner) helps out Dottie, a recent widow, when she faces an insurance scam. Pastor Frank Hogan's past becomes unraveled. Will Abigail (Lori Loughlin) and Hope Valley stand by him? Watch and find out! I have really enjoyed this series because it upholds family values and promotes prayer & Biblical truths such as love, forgiveness, kindness, mercy, and grace. Troubled Hearts also covers second chance, misunderstanding, importance of communication, romance, and more. It's fun to watch different dynamics among characters. Lee and Rosemary is my favorite couple right now :). This DVD includes exclusive behind the scenes interviews and the scoop on the Hearties (devoted fans of the When Calls the Heart series). If you're looking for a show that your whole family can enjoy together, check When Calls the Heart series out! 
~I received a free copy of this DVD via Edify Media, Inc. in exchange for my honest review. All opinions are my own. 

Saturday, April 30, 2016

Review: Pocket Prayers Series by Max Lucado


Prayer is so vital for Christian living. It's truly a marvelous privilege for God's children to be able to come to our Heavenly Father anytime anywhere and pour our hearts out to Him about anything. Prayer is our lifeline. I cannot imagine anyone ever says at the end of his/her life that he/she has prayed too much :). I'd venture to say that most of us have not prayed enough. Too busy? Too tired? Too depressed? Too discouraged? Too doubtful? Too many excuses? Sometimes we may feel like a broken record when we keep praying for the same things over and over while other times we cannot think of things to pray for or cannot find the right words. Max Lucado teams up with 4 authors to write the Pocket Prayers series: Pocket Prayers for Graduates, Pocket Prayers for Friends, Pocket Prayers for Teachers, Pocket Prayers for Military Life, Pocket Prayers for Dads, and Pocket Prayers for Moms. They are pretty, small (easily fit in your purse), and excellent books. Each book contains 40 simple prayers and encouraging Scriptures. Simple but effective and powerful because these prayers are relevant, Biblically sound, and God-centered.

I enjoyed and appreciated Pocket Prayers for Moms. The book includes prayers for time & peace, prayers for protection & surrender, prayers for guidance & clarity, prayers for love & marriage, prayers for healing & safety, and prayers for grace & strength. I will use this book again and again. These books make wonderful gifts! I've already given Pocket Prayers for Teachers to my husband's cousin who is a third grade teacher in Florida. She's excited to receive it. I'm planning to give Pocket Prayers for Dads to my husband (Father's Day is coming up), Pocket Prayers for Graduates to my son who is graduating from homeschool high school this year, Pocket Prayers for Military Life to my daughter who is an AFROTC cadet and will be commissioned next year, and Pocket Prayers for Friends to a friend of mine. Want a boost of peace, rest, hope, direction, joy, serenity, strength, faith, courage, renewal? Check these little gems out!

"When we invite God into our world, he walks in. He brings a host of gifts: joy, patience, resilience. Anxieties come, but they don't stick. Fears surface and then depart. Regrets land on the windshield, but then comes the wiper of prayer. The devil still hands me stones of guilt, but I turn and give them to Christ... Struggles come, for sure. But so does God." (Max Lucado)

"Prayer is aligning ourselves with the purposes of God." (E. Stanley Jones)

Note: Enter to win a Pocket Prayers prize pack—two winners will be chosen! Each prize pack contains all six of the new Pocket Prayers books, a signed copy of Before Amen, and a custom Pocket Prayers paperweight. Click the image below to enter to win. The winners will be announced May 2 on the Litfuse blog
Max Lucado

MAX LUCADO

More than 120 million readers have found inspiration and encouragement in the writings of Max Lucado. He lives with his wife, Denalyn, and their mischievous mutt, Andy, in San Antonio, Texas, where he serves the people of Oak Hills Church.
Find out more about Max athttps://maxlucado.com.

 Key dates to keep in mind (these little books would make great gifts):
  • Mother's Day---May 8
  • Memorial Day---May 30
  • Father's Day---June 19
  • Teachers---first week of May is National Teacher Appreciation Week, first Tuesday May 3 is NTA day
  • Graduation---month of May
  • Friends---June 8 is Best Friend Day - International Day of Friendship is July 30

~I received these 6 books via Litfuse Publicity in exchange for my honest review. All opinions are my own. To read other reviews, please visit here.

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

DVD Review: Noble


Noble tells the remarkable true story of Christina Noble, an Irish woman driven by her dream, determined to rescue street children in Vietnam. It's a powerful film that is sure to inspire many, especially women. Christina has had a very rough life from losing her mom at a young age, being neglected & abandoned by her drunkard dad, being separated from her siblings, fending for herself in the slums of Ireland, being raped by a group of men when she was 17, being mistreated by nuns, losing her firstborn son to adoption without her agreeing to it, and being physically abused by her husband. In spite of her painful experiences, she has incredible compassion for neglected & abused children ("bui doi" which means dust of life) in Vietnam. Christina (aka "Mama Tina") is a strong fighter who bravely perseveres through obstacles and challenges. God transforms the broken pieces of her life into a beautiful mosaic that shines His light and love to touch so many lives. Real and raw emotions throughout the film. Christina is bold and transparent. She is not afraid to tell God how she feels while she remains steadfast in her faith, trusting that God has a purpose for her life and that He will lead her as she does the walking. She doesn't let her nightmares stop her or give her excuses from fulfilling her dream and bringing hope to others. Wonderful performances from the cast! All three actresses who play Christina Nobel at different ages did an outstanding job. Brendan Coyle (Mr. Bates from Downton Abbey) plays Gerry Shaw, an Irish oil businessman whom Christina seeks financial help from. I also love the music and singing in the movie. I enjoyed watching Noble and highly recommend this award-winning film!


~I received a free copy of this DVD via Edify Media, Inc. in exchange for my honest review. All opinions are my own. 

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

DVD Review: When Calls the Heart--It Begins with Heart


When Calls the Heart series is inspired by Janette Oke's novel and produced by Michael Landon, Jr. It Begins with Heart is the first DVD of Season 3. As Hope Valley is preparing to welcome a new year, lots of interesting things happen. Foods keep missing from Abigail (Lori Loughlin)'s Cafe. Rip (Jack's dog) seems jealous of his master's relationship with Elizabeth (Erin Krakow) . Rosemary is occupied with organizing a perfect New Year's Eve celebration to impress a reporter from San Francisco Herald. A student, Laura Campbell, loves art but struggles to draw a picture for the New Year's Eve art contest. Bill Avery (Jack Wagner) tries to convince Jack (Daniel Lissing) that he's not the bad guy. Henry Gowen starts to pursue Nora. A new visitor, Jesse, comes to town asking for Matt Landry, a mysterious/unknown resident in Hope Valley. A new year brings in a new start for many lives in Hope Valley. I enjoyed watching this DVD and I appreciated the message of faith, God's plan, family value, kindness, love, truth, and prayers. A young actor who plays Cody does an excellent job. Great performance from the cast! This DVD is a lovely launch for Season 3. Looking forward to watching the next DVD!


~I received a free copy of this DVD via Edify Media, Inc. in exchange for my honest review. All opinions are my own.