Sunday, October 4, 2015

DVD Review: When Calls the Heart: Heart and Home

When Calls the Heart series is inspired by Janette Oke's book series and produced by Michael Landon, Jr. This DVD is the fourth DVD of Season 2. Elizabeth (Erin Krakow) and Jack (Daniel Lissing) decide to go back to Hamilton after hearing that Tom (Jack's brother) and Julie (Elizabeth's sister) were involved in a car accident. Tom ends up in the hospital while Julie is hiding in her bedroom. Elizabeth's family blames Tom's recklessness and irresponsibility. Jack's search for the truth about the accident leads him to develop a friendship with a beautiful & helpful nurse, Faith Carter. Bill Avery (Jack Wagner) parts ways with Abigail (Lori Loughlin) and reconnects with his wife and father-in-law. Lee Coulter and Rosemary team up to combat Henry Gowen's underhanded scheme. Jack tries to help Tom find purpose in life and take a step in the right direction towards a brighter future. Elizabeth's father offers Jack a job in his company. While Elizabeth sees this as a generous offer, Jack sees it as an insult. The relationship between Jack and Elizabeth is being tested once again. Immaturity. Responsibility. Trickery. Identity. Dignity. Truth. Forgiveness. Entangled and confused hearts abound :). Lots of interesting, delightful characters such as Rosemary, Lee, and Faith. I enjoyed watching this DVD and look forward to seeing the next one. If you're looking for a family show that's not only entertaining but also presenting Biblical values (not in a preachy way), check this 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.

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Intersect: Where Your Story and God's Story Converge

Intersect is a five-session DVD that is useful for evangelistic outreach and small group study. Each short film segment features a different person telling his or her story and a short reflection that points to God and His Word. The five main topics covered in the DVD are Expectations, Rest, Disappointment, Trust, and Control. These are common issues that people can easily relate to. The testimonies given are sincere and heartfelt. You'll hear from a father whose son has autism, a musician, a divorced teacher, a recovering gambler & addict, and a clothing designer/entrepreneur who's also a mom to 2 boys. Their willingness to be vulnerable and share their struggles/trials can help others be willing to open up about their own lives. This DVD will inspire conversations, discussions, and interaction. It includes a study guide which has five thought-provoking questions for each topic/theme and relevant Scriptures. If you look for ways to reach out to unbelievers, check out this creative resource which will offer you an opportunity to engage them and encourage them to think about God and look to the Bible for answers. The DVD is also helpful for believers to examine where they are in their faith journey and how they should respond to difficult challenges in their lives. God uses all kinds of people and works through many unexpected ways. When we give God our broken pieces, He makes a beautiful mosaic that reflects His light and love. That's where our stories intersect with God's story.

~I received a copy of this DVD via Litfuse Publicity in exchange for my honest review. 
All opinions are my own. To read other reviews, please visit here.

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Book Review: Gather around the Amish Table by Lucy Leid

I'm so pleased to have added this delightful cookbook to my cookbook collection! It is actually more than a cookbook. It consists of not only tested recipes but also interesting stories that accompany the recipes. Gather Around the Amish Table gives us a taste of the cuisine and culture in plain communities. Lucy Leid, an Old Order Mennonite in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, compiles over 200 favorite family recipes contributed by Amish and Mennonite families. I enjoyed reading stories and looking at beautiful, colorful photos (of delectable food and Amish daily life). The book is organized into 10 sections: Breakfast, Breads & Spreads, Soups, Sandwiches, & Pizza, Salads & Pickles, Vegetables & Side Dishes, Meats & Main Dishes, Cakes & Pies, Cookies, Desserts & Candy, and Snacks, Beverages, & Extras. "Extras" include bird treats, homemade baby wipes, menu for a barn raising (enough food to feed 180 men), and more. I picked out 3 recipes to try and was quite happy with the results. Below are the pictures. All three were easy to make and delicious! My husband couldn't stop raving about Broccoli Bonanza :). I really appreciate that most recipes in the book require only simple ingredients. I also find Lucy Leid's kitchen tips helpful. I highly recommend this unique cookbook!

~I received a copy of this book via Litfuse Publicity in exchange for my honest review. All opinions are my own. To read other reviews, please visit here.

Sunday, September 20, 2015

DVD Review: Adrenaline

Joseph Jenkins (Michael Rosander), a drag racer is devastated and depressed after his roll over accident during a drag race. With a class-3 spinal cord injury, his doctor predicts he would never walk again. In the hospital, he meets Elijah Salisbury (Gregory Alan Williams), a patient on a transplant waiting list who is strong in faith and has a cheerful outlook on life. They become close friends. Elijah encourages Joseph to not give up his passion and points him to God. When Joseph returns home, his dad's old racing pal, Paul Sharpe (John Schneider), reignites his passion for speed and helps him start racing again (this time on a race track, not on a street). Joseph gets to drive the 1967 Barracuda (aka "Adrenaline") which belonged to his dad who died when Joseph was only 12. Joseph's best friend, Trace Mallery, and Joseph's attractive physical therapist, Josie Rigsby, cheer him on. I enjoyed watching the DVD even though I knew very little about cars and racing. Adrenaline is a faith-based, family-friendly film about perseverance, perspective, and purpose. If you are fond of speed, racing, and/or cars, you ought to check Adrenaline out. The message will make you think about priorities and goals in your life. What or who are you living for? The DVD also includes behind the scenes, deleted scenes, and bloopers.

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

Friday, September 18, 2015

Israel Mission by Ray Vander Laan and Experience the Bible Giveaway

About the DVD: 
What's your mission?

God gave the assignment to His people thousands of years ago: to bring "lost sheep" back into the love and safety of His kingdom. He said to become a "Kingdom of Priests," and put God on display to show the world what He is like. It's still our task today. In this thirteenth volume of the That the World May Know ® film series, you'll glimpse the urgency and rewards of welcoming the strangers and prodigals the Lord longs to embrace. Discover the mission that can give your life - and the lives of those around you - greater meaning than you ever imagined.

Join renowned teacher and historian Ray Vander Laan as he guides you through the lands of the Bible. In each lesson, Vander Laan illuminates the historical, geographical, and cultural context of the sacred Scriptures. Filmed on location in the Middle East and elsewhere, the That the World May Know ® film series will transform your understanding of God and challenge you to be a true follower of Jesus.

Designed for use with That the World May Know: Israel's Mission Discovery Guide.

Filmed on location at these biblically significant sites in Israel and Jordan:

-Back to the Father's House - Negev Desert

-Show Them the Way - Timnah

-Prodigal Sons and Daughters - Qatzrin
-Return from the Far Off Country - Jerash
-Welcome Home - Qatzrin

Purchase a copy:
About the author:
Ray Vander Laan is the founder of That the World May Know Ministries and creator of the Faith Lessons video series with Focus on the Family. An ordained minister, he holds the chair of biblical cultural studies as a religion instructor at Holland Christian Schools in Holland, Michigan. He and his wife, Esther, have four children and fifteen grandchildren.

Find Ray online: 

My Review:

I used to watch That the World May Know Faith Lessons video series when they were in video cassettes. I was so thrilled to have an opportunity to review this DVD and the Discovery Guide (I didn't know that Ray Vander Laan is still making these videos)! This 13th volume is titled, "Israel's Mission: Becoming a Kingdom of Priests in a Prodigal World." It consists of 5 sessions filmed on location in the Middle East: Abraham and Sarah and Three Strangers (Negev, Israel), Israel at Sinai: The First Great Commission (Timnah, Israel), Jesus Renews His Mission: Seeking the Lost (Qatzrin, Israel), The Lost Son: In a Far Country (Jerash, Jordan), and The Seeking Father: The Lost Son Returns (Qatzrin, Israel). I've always wanted to visit Israel but while I cannot afford to go yet, this DVD series is the next best thing. Ray Vander Laan is a master of bringing the Bible to life by helping viewers experience the Scriptures in historical, cultural, and geographical context. The DVD comes with a leader's guide that contains helpful information needed for a successful small group. The Discovery Guide is an in-depth Bible study guide for groups or individuals. It enriches the lessons even more. In the Discovery Guide, you will find relevant Bible verses, details on each lesson, blank areas for taking notes when watching the DVD, discussion questions, data files (including black and white photos), Point to Ponder, Did You Know?, faith lesson, verses to memorize, Bible Discovery, Reflection, and more.

The lessons cover various topics such as patriarchal society, idea of "redeem" (go'el), the father's house (beth ab), kingdom of priests, the 3-part parable from Luke 15, idolatry, and Israel's mission from God. God's mission has not changed. He wants not only Israel but also all His redeemed children to show the world what it looks like when God reigns, to seek the lost and to become His agents of redemption. I enjoyed watching the DVD and appreciated the information and insight in the Discovery Guide. Both gave me a fresh understanding of God's Word. I highly recommend both! May we live passionately for God and boldly go out and make God known! "Give praise to the LORD, proclaim His Name; make known among the nations what He has done." (1 Chronicles 16:8)

"We are to live obediently within the world so that through us, it may know that our God is the one true God...We are the witnesses--the royal priesthood--through whom spiritually lost people come to know the God of the universe who loves them and longs to restore them." (p. 14 in the Discovery Guide)

"The dream of happiness in what you accumulate is hollow and hopeless." (Ray Vander Laan)

~I received the DVD and Discovery Guide via Litfuse Publicity in exchange for my honest review. All opinions are my own. To read other reviews, please visit here.

Our task as Christians is to bring “lost sheep” back into the love and safety of His kingdom. How are you doing at welcoming the strangers and prodigals the Lord longs to embrace? Learn how to work on your task with Ray Vander Laan's Israel's Mission, volume thirteen in the That the World May Know® DVD series.
 Discover the mission that can give your life—and the lives of those around you—greater meaning than you ever imagined. Filmed on location in the Middle East and elsewhere, the series will transform your understanding of God and challenge you to be a true follower of Jesus.

Celebrate the release of Israel's Mission by entering to win the entire That the World May Know® series—perfect for working through with your family, Bible study, or Sunday school class!

israels misson-400 

One grand prize winner will receive:
  • All 13 DVDs in the That the World May Know® series
Enter today by clicking the icon below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on September 18th. Winner will be announced September 21st on the Litfuse blog.


Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Celebrate the Whit Award with Adventures in Odyssey


Most people can think of one or two figures whose love and life example had a great impact on the formation of their spiritual foundation. It might be a coach, a Sunday school teacher or a parent or grandparent. Whatever the role, it’s hard to put a value on the investment these people make on a daily basis. In an effort to bring honor to these countless, quiet heroes, Adventures in Odyssey announces the John Avery Whitaker Award. Named after Odyssey’s resident leader and the namesake of Odyssey’s most famous attraction, Whit’s End, the award will be bestowed annually on one deserving mentor.

Like the Adventures in Odyssey character John Avery Whitaker, or “Whit” as he’s known by fans of the show, the person should be someone who is passionate about innovatively teaching children the truths expressed in the Bible. Those who create Adventures in Odyssey know that while Whit might be a fictitious character, there are thousands of real people just like him. “Our hope is that by bringing those people into the light, others will be inspired to follow their example,” says Dave Arnold, the executive producer of Adventures in Odyssey. “If we can spur mature believers in Christ to mentor and influence a generation being barraged with messages of compromise, we can turn the tide and encourage revival in our youth.”

Nominations are being accepted now through October 31 for the “Whits” out there in the world. Beginning on November 1, one nominee will be selected daily and awarded with a prize package including Adventures in Odyssey's latest album, Taking the Plunge, and a DVD of the movie Beyond the Mask. One grand prize winner will be chosen and announced on November 20. This worthy recipient will receive more than $500 worth of Focus on the Family resources, including an Odyssey Adventure Club (OAC) membership. The OAC offers 24/7, on-the-go access to more than 800 episodes of Adventures in Odyssey, as well as a new, members-only episode every month. It is a safe, fun environment where the whole family can explore, create and imagine, all while learning biblical truth.

Nominations can be submitted via this form, or the information can be emailed to (See the Official Rules for all the details.)

To learn more about the John Avery Whitaker Award, visit Discover the Odyssey Adventure Club at or on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest.

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Tuesday, September 1, 2015

DVD Review: Find A Way

Inspired by a true story, Find A Way is a film about a beautiful faith legacy left by Harry Cohen (aka "Smiley"). Smiley was a high school star football player who loved God and people. He's always ready to help and encourage others. His untimely death shakes his adopted parents, friends, and community. It makes them reevaluate their own lives and priorities. Casey's parents (Dai and Pam) are constantly fighting and struggling to keep their marriage going. Casey's boyfriend just broke up with her and her sister prefers shopping at the mall to spending time with her. Nick's father who is the high school football coach pushes him to practice football even though Nick's passion is in music. Alex Jordan, the high school's Christian counselor/psychologist, reaches out to students and staff during this difficult time with messages of hope and perseverance amidst hardships and sufferings. Smiley's life may be short but He definitely made a lasting impact on the lives of many within his short years on earth. His compassion and wisdom are remembered and talked about. His strong faith in God inspires others to see that God always provides a way/solution even when there seems to be none. Hope you'll check out this faith-filled, thought-provoking DVD!

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