Friday, January 29, 2016

Movie Review: Kung Fu Panda 3

KUNG FU PANDA 3
Animation, in 3D
Release: January 29, 2016, in 3D
Directors: Jennifer Yuh Nelson and Alessandro Carloni
Producer: Melissa Cobb
Cast:  Jack Black, Bryan Cranston, Dustin Hoffman, Angelina Jolie, J.K. Simmons, Jackie Chan, Seth Rogen, Lucy Liu, David Cross, Kate Hudson, James Hong, Randall Duk Kim
#kungfupanda

Thanks to Allied Integrated Marketing, we got to attend a red carpet premiere of KUNG FU PANDA 3 on January 16th. My family and I are Kung Fu Panda's fans. We enjoyed Kung Fu Panda and Kung Fu Panda 2. So happy that Kung Fu Panda 3 did not disappoint us! The legend continues...

Po is finally reunited with his long-lost biological father, Li. Mr. Ping feels somewhat left out. Li takes Po to a secret panda village where we meet some new panda characters. Mei Mei, a ribbon dancer, is immediately attracted to Po. Po learns what it means to be a panda. He also starts to bond with his fun-loving, carefree dad but then their relationship hits a snag. Kai, the villain from another realm, aims to collect all the Kung Fu masters' spirits. Three of the Furious Five plus Master Shifu become his victims. Po must take a role of a teacher and train his fellow pandas how to fight; he needs them to help him defeat Kai. KUNG FU PANDA 3 is funny, filled with slapstick humor. We laughed out loud throughout the film. It's Po awesome :)! Family. Friendship. Identity. Teamwork. Delightful animation! This is a wonderful fun comedy for all ages!

Visit the Official Site
Like ‘Kung Fu Panda 3’ on Facebook
Follow DreamWorks Animation on Twitter and Instagram

Thursday, January 21, 2016

DVD Review and Giveaway: Captive




















Captive is based on a powerful true story that changed the life of Ashley Smith
(played by Kate Mara) forever. On March 12, 2005, Brian Nichols (played by David
 Oyelowo), an escaped convict who already killed 4 people, held Ashley hostage
in her own apartment for 7 hours. Ashley, a widowed mother who's a meth addict,
lost custody of her daughter, Paige. When faced with the life & death situation as
a captive, Ashley, by the grace of God, ironically broke free from her drug addiction
that kept her captive for years. Unexpected miracles unfolded as hours ticked away.
When she read The Purpose Driven Life out loud, God softened Brian's heart and
made him think about his life's purpose. Brian thought of his newborn son.
Difficult decisions had to be made.


I really enjoyed this gripping film from beginning to end. Excellent performances!
Two broken people encountered one amazing God! This is a remarkable story of
redemption, faith, hope, transformation, choices, and purpose. Nobody is beyond
God's saving grace! I highly recommend this DVD!


Runtime: 96 minutes
Rating: PG-13 (for mature thematic elements involving violence and substance 
abuse) 
Note: There are over 30 minutes of bonus content on this DVD including Journey
Through Darkness: Filming Captive and Faith and The Purpose Driven Life.  Also
included with this DVD is a Digital HD copy that can be instantly streamed and
downloaded.  






GIVEAWAY: You can win a copy of this DVD! The giveaway is open to residents
of the U.S. and Canada. Ends 1/31.

To Enter: Please leave a comment sharing what book (besides the Bible) has made
the greatest impact on your life.

For Extra Entries(please leave a separate comment for each one that you do):
- Follow this blog via GFC or NetworkedBlogs
- "Like" my page "Living for God" on Facebook
- Follow me on Twitter: @treasuredbyGod 
- Follow me on Pinterest
- Share the link to this giveaway post on Facebook
- Pin it on Pinterest 
- Tweet about this giveaway on Twitter
~"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 a prize from our 
sponsor Propeller / FlyBy Promotions in the last 30 days, you are not eligible to win.  Or if you have won the same 
prize on another blog, you are not eligible to win it again. Winner is subject to eligibility verification.”

Thursday, January 14, 2016

Album Review and CD Giveaway: PASSION Salvation's Tide Is Rising

I was so happy and excited to receive this album download to review. It's one of the best praise & worship albums I've listened to! This album contains studio recordings from best-selling Christian artists Chris Tomlin, Matt Redman, Kristian Stanfill, and Crowder. It also features some new songs written specifically for Passion 2016 (see the info. about the Passion Movement below). The release date for PASSION Salvation's Tide Is Rising is January 29th.

Here is the track list:
1.  Salvation's Tide Is Rising - Passion featuring Kristian Stanfill
2.  My Victory - Passion featuring Crowder
3.  Remember - Passion featuring Brett Younker & Melodie Malone
4.  God & God Alone - Passion featuring Chris Tomlin
5.  Simple Pursuit - Passion featuring Melodie Malone
6.  I Turn to Christ - Passion featuring Matt Redman
7.  Your Grace Amazes Me - Passion featuring Christy Nockels
8.  All We Sinners - Passion featuring Crowder
9.  Surrender - Passion featuring Jimi Cravity
10. Good Good Father - Passion featuring Kristian Stanfill 

I love this album! Chris Tomlin and Matt Redman are two of my favorite Christian musicians. Below are my thoughts about each song.

- Salvation's Tide Is Rising--This is a song of revival and call to action. It stirs believers/the Church to make a difference in the world.
- My Victory--This is a song of victory. What Christ did on the cross for us gives us victory over sin, death, and shame. "Oh, Your death is hell's defeat. A cross meant to kill is my victory."
- Remember--This is a song of faith and hope through suffering and trials. "Down in the valley, when the waters rise, I'm still believing. Hope is alive. All through the struggle and darkest day, I'll remember the empty grave." The message is quite personal to me right now because I've been praying for God's healing for my left eye. It has blurred vision due to vitreous hemorrhage (bleeding that has blocked my field of vision).
- God & God Alone--This is a song of praise and adoration. God alone is worthy to be exalted and praised!
- Simple Pursuit--This is a song of prayer. Asking God to help us get back to simple pursuit of Him. "God, take us back, oh God, take us back...to an unswerving faith in the power of Your Name...a heart beating for Your kingdom to reign...a Church that is known for Your presence again."
- I Turn to Christ--This is a song of resolution. Resolved to surrender all and live for Christ alone.
- Your Grace Amazes Me--This is a song of grace. In awe of Jesus's grace that changes/transforms.
- All We Sinners--This is a song of reflection. It reminds us of Christ's sacrifice to save us sinners.
- Surrender--This is a song of surrender. Everything is God's.
- Good Good Father--This is a song of comfort. We often (practically every week :)) sing this song at our church. It's truly comforting to live on this truth that we are so loved by our Abba Father Who is good all the time.

I enjoy all ten songs, especially Remember and I Turn to Christ (my two favorites). In short, all songs in this album are meaningful and worshipful! The lyrics are Christ-centered, God-honoring, and soul-edifying. I highly recommend this awesome album to everyone! See below how you can enter to win a copy!

About Passion albums:Since the first release in 1998, Passion albums have sold 
over 1.3 million units while introducing the church to worship songs like "Our God", 
"Holy Is The Lord", "How Great Is Our God", and "God Of This City".  Passion is 
coming off its best charting radio success in 5 years with the single "Even So 
Come", which went Top 5. 
About The Passion Movement:
The Passion Movement and the messages of founder Louis Giglio have marked the lives of millions of people around the globe, calling people everywhere to live for the glory of God.  From its inception, the movement of Passion has birthed new anthems of worship, influencing countless churches and helping to define the current worship climate and establish artists Chris Tomlin, Crowder, Matt Redman, Christy Nockels, Kristian Stanfill and others.  Louie Giglio is the pastor and founder of Passion City Church in Atlanta, GA. 


GIVEAWAY: You can win a (physical) copy of this CD! The giveaway is open to residents of the U.S. and Canada. Ends 1/24.
To Enter: Please leave a comment sharing what your current favorite worship song is or who your favorite Christian musician is.
For Extra Entries(please leave a separate comment for each one that you do):
- Follow this blog via GFC or NetworkedBlogs
- "Like" my page "Living for God" on Facebook
- Follow me on Twitter: @treasuredbyGod 
- Follow me on Pinterest
- Share the link to this giveaway post on Facebook

- Pin it on Pinterest 
- Tweet about this giveaway on Twitter
~"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 a prize from our sponsor Propeller / FlyBy Promotions in the last 30 days, you are not eligible to win.  Or if you have won the same prize on another blog, you are not eligible to win it again. Winner is subject to eligibility verification.”

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

What Pro-Life Really Means | Evangelicals for Life

EFL Button

Even if you're not heading to Washington, D.C., January 21–22 for the March for Life event, block out some time those two days because you'll be able to attend some of the events in the comfort of your own home. Focus on the Family and The Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission will host Evangelicals for Life, a major pro-life conference held in conjunction with the March for Life event.

The event will take place in Washington, D.C., at the Hyatt Regency Washington on Capitol Hill. Evangelicals from across the country will gather to hear from leading speakers, such as David Platt, Russell Moore, Jim Daly, Kelly Rosati, and others—to be equipped and encouraged to become a voice for life! The event will also be simulcast for FREE so individuals, churches, and organizations from coast-to-coast and around the world can take part.

Speakers will encourage evangelicals to engage the culture on issues of abortion and end-of-life decisions, and the event will affirm the evangelical belief in the sanctity of life, that every life matters to God and is created in His image.

For more information, visit http://evangelicals.life/.

Readers of this blog will receive 15% off their registration by using the code FocusLife.



What Pro-Life Really Means

By Daniel Darling

It was a flippant comment by the spokesmen for a presidential candidate: “It doesn’t matter. They’re just Muslims.” But it made shudder.

This is how societies begin to dehumanize a people group, and every generation of Christians is responsible to face this thinking and fight it. This is what it means to be a pro-life champion.

We are pro-life because we are pro-human dignity. It is the uniquely Christian message that sees in every soul a person created in the image of God.

When Planned Parenthood and their allies say, “That’s just a fetus,” we say, “No, that’s a baby, a human life, that deserves dignity and respect.”

When corrupt profiteers look at vulnerable young girls and boys and say, “They are just a commodity to be trafficked for money,” we say, “No, they are boys and girls created in the image of God and deserving of dignity and respect.”

When eugenicists look at the elderly and say, “They are just burdens to be managed,” we say, “No, human dignity is not defined by utility, but is a unique gift given by God.”

When politicians look at immigrants and say, “They are a drain on society,” we say, “No, they are created in the image of God and worthy of kindness, welcoming, and respect.”

When ISIS brutally dehumanizes its victims—Christians, Muslims, Jews, and anyone who doesn’t subscribe to their ideology—and they say, “They are just infidels,” we say, by our acts of justice, “No, they are people created in the image of God and worthy of life and respect.”

When the disabled are marginalized, we say, “No, each was created in the image of God and is worthy of our full love and acceptance.”

Even in our discourse, even when we look across the aisle, across the screen, across the table at someone who doesn’t share our beliefs, we say to ourselves, “This person is worthy of respect and dignity because they too were created in the image of God.”

Human dignity, the intrinsic worth of every human soul, is not just a once-every-four-years mantra for voter guides and political scorecards. We live out the imago de as a way of life, and we seek justice wherever human dignity is compromised.

This is why ERLC and Focus on the Family join hands to help raise up a new generation of evangelicals who are passionate about the sanctity of human life. This why you should come to Washington, D.C., this January to the Evangelicals for Life event or participate via the free simulcast at your church or on your computer.

You should join Evangelicals for Life, not simply to make a powerful stand in the nation’s capital. You should come, not simply to be stirred by the gifted speakers. You should come, not only to fellowship and strategize with other champions for life.

You should be a part of of Evangelicals for Life because God is calling you, in this time and in your sphere of influence, to be a voice for human dignity.

Answer for yourself what it means to have a pro-life, whole-life vision. Discover where your gifts and talents best serve the kingdom of God in this way, and send a message to the world that your Christianity compels you to look every human being in the eye and not see what everyone sees. You see in them the image of their Creator.

Daniel Darling is the Vice President for Communications for the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention (ERLC), the co-sponsor of the Evangelicals for Life conference. Dan holds a bachelor’s degree in pastoral ministry from Dayspring Bible College and has studied at  Trinity Evangelical Divinity School. He is currently pursuing a Master’s Degree from Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. He and his wife Angela have four children and reside in the Nashville area. They attend Green Hill Church in Mt. Juliet, Tennessee, where Dan serves as Pastor of Teaching and Discipleship.

Thursday, December 31, 2015

Top Ten Highlights from 2015

We are thankful for another year of God's faithfulness & favor and are excitedly looking forward to what He has in store for us in 2016!


1. Josiah did well on his SAT exam. He also received a letter of commendation from National Merit Scholarship Program for outstanding performance on the PSAT test taken last year.
2. Isaiah raised $2,130 for Steps for Life this year.
3. Alyssa received 3 awards at Dining Out (an annual AFROTC event celebrating cadets' achievement): Scottish Rite Southern Jurisdiction Award, American Legion Scholastic Excellence Award, and Reserve Officers Association (ROA) Award.   
4. Alyssa completed her AFROTC summer field training. 
5. In June, I had a retinal tear in her left eye and received a laser treatment for it. I am very thankful for the gift of seeing.
6. Alyssa did a freelance videography for 2 weddings and 1 dance event.
7. We had a wonderful vacation in Port Orford. Kayaking. Hiking in the Fern Canyon (in CA). Visiting beaches in Port Orford and Bandon.
8. Josiah got his driver's license.
9. God helped Eric find his missing wedding ring.
10. Eric bought me my first smart phone (iPhone 6s) and us our first iPad (Air 2).

Note: This year, we also ate lots of sushi and watched several movies at the theaters :). I also joined 6 different photo groups on Facebook. Josiah made his first CD (a combination of his own songs and some covers) for relatives. This year is the first time we put up Christmas lights outside. 


Here are some snapshots of our 2015. Happy New Year from our family to yours!
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Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Christmas Stocking Stuffer Cards AND Clubhouse Magazine Christmas Stories, Crafts, and Recipes

OAC-Gift-That-Lasts-All-Year-Facebook-Cover

Tired of the Christmas shopping, the baking and sugar overload, the Christmas festivities that keep you away from your family during the season? Take time special time to spend with your loved ones and invest in your community—with Focus on the Family's help!

You can download a fun gift to give to your friends, family, and community! Each Christmas stocking stuffer card directs you to a special place to hear an Adventures in Odyssey Christmas episode. Plus, you’ll be able to read a special excerpt from Imagination Station #12, “Danger on a Silent Night.” Sign up here to download the free cards.

Plus stop by this page for a slew of crafts, recipes, and stories to share with your family during this special time of year!

Christmas_2015_Cards_Banner 

If you're still looking for one last gift to give your kids this year, give the gift of the Odyssey Adventure Club (OAC). It offers safe and free content for everyone in your family, including an Advent calendar, a broadcast download with tips to create a memorable Christmas, AIO cutouts, and Christmas stocking stuffer cards. Membership to the OAC costs just $9.99 a month — or even less if parents make a six-month or one-year commitment. Enrollment provides more than enough content to keep kids engaged throughout the year:
  • Access to exclusive content and first looks at books and select Radio Theatre dramas.
  • On-the-go access to the OAC app for both iOS and Android users.
  • 24/7 streaming access to nearly 800 AIO episodes.
  • A new, members-only AIO episode every month.
  • A subscription to Adventures in Odyssey Clubhouse Magazine, and more.
To learn more about the Odyssey Adventure Club, visit www.oaclub.org, Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest.

Friday, December 11, 2015

Town of Odyssey Cutouts and 101 Sure Fire Ways

OAC-Gift-That-Lasts-All-Year-Facebook-Cover
The holidays are a busy time . . . but life can be even more hectic! In the midst of work, after-school activities, grocery shopping, and business trips, how are parents supposed to find the time to build within their families a lasting foundation of faith?

Focus on the Family wants to step in and give you some tips. Sign up by clicking here for a free e-book called 101 Surefire Ways to Strengthen Your Child's Faith. With creative ideas on weaving faith into everyday conversations, turning family activities into learning opportunities, and having faith-filled holiday celebrations, this book is jam-packed with fun and interesting, easy, faith-building ideas for your family.

Another way to invest in your child's faith is through the Odyssey Adventure Club (OAC). It offers safe and free content for everyone in your family, including an Advent calendar, a broadcast download with tips to create a memorable Christmas, AIO cutouts, and Christmas stocking stuffer cards. Membership to the OAC costs just $9.99 a month — or even less if parents make a six-month or one-year commitment. Enrollment provides more than enough content to keep kids engaged throughout the year:
  • Access to exclusive content and first looks at books and select Radio Theatre dramas.
  • On-the-go access to the OAC app for both iOS and Android users.
  • 24/7 streaming access to nearly 800 AIO episodes.
  • A new, members-only AIO episode every month.
  • A subscription to Adventures in Odyssey Clubhouse Magazine, and more.
Another fun way to build your child's faith: have a family craft night and use it as a faith-building opportunity! Click the image below for a printable Town of Odyssey cutout set. Bonus points if you listen to an Adventures in Odyssey episode while you put together your town!
Screen Shot 2015-12-08 at 11.55.13 AM.png 
To learn more about the Odyssey Adventure Club, visit www.oaclub.org, Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest.