Sunday, August 28, 2016

DVD Review: When Calls the Heart -- Forever in My Heart

When Calls the Heart series is a wonderful romantic adventure drama series about life on the frontier, inspired by Janette Oke's novel. Forever in my Heart is Season 3's 4th DVD. Cody's sister, Becky, returns to Hope Valley in a wheelchair even though her legs are fine. Abigail (Lori Loughlin) decides to adopt Cody and Becky. She is understandably shocked and dismayed when Carolyn Connors, Cody & Becky's long-lost, rich aunt shows up in Hope Valley to take Cody and Becky away, intending to raise them up in Davenport. Elizabeth (Erin Krakow) notices Becky's talent for drawing and proclivity for science. She encourages Becky to enter her work in a science fair. Jack (Daniel Lissing) tries to help a young settler couple (Edith and Roy) get back together. Henry Gowen is arrested for sabotaging Lee Coulter's sawmill although he claims he has nothing to do with it. Rosemary is torn between seizing a rare opportunity to star in a film which requires her to move to Hollywood and staying in Hope Valley surrounded by people she has come to love. I applaud the ending of this DVD! You have to watch it to find out why the ending makes me smile and happy :). My 23 yo daughter and I have enjoyed watching this series together. This DVD is one of our favorites. Fear. Courage. Kindness. Compassion. Decision-making. Hope. Relationships. Things aren't always as they seem. We highly recommend this entertaining and inspiring series!


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

Friday, August 12, 2016

Movie Review: Pete's Dragon

Pete's Dragon (2016) Poster
Opening Date:                 Friday, August 12th   
Rating:                             PG
Running Time:                 95 minutes

REVIEW:
Pete's Dragon is an imaginative film about Pete (Oakes Fegley), a 10 year old orphan and his green dragon friend, Elliot. An old wood carver, Mr. Meacham (Robert Redford) has been telling local children about a dragon that lives in the forest but no adult ever takes him seriously, not even his own daughter, Grace (Bryce Dallas Howard) who works as a forest ranger. But all that changes when Natalie (Oona Laurence), an 11 year old girl finds Pete and follows him into the forest. Natalie's dad, Jack (Wes Bentley) owns the local lumber mill and is Grace's boyfriend. Natalie, Jack, and Grace try to help Pete adjust to the world outside the forest but he doesn't want to leave Elliot alone. Jack's brother, Gavin (Karl Urban) encounters Elliot and is determined to hunt down & capture the dragon. This is a charming movie about adventure, rescue, friendship, and family. "Magical realism" is beautifully achieved! Visually stunning! Excellent cinematography! Computer-generated Elliot is well done. Fantastic performance by the cast. The two young actors are so natural. My family and I enjoyed Pete's Dragon and highly recommend this feel-good, family-friendly film.


Like PETE’S DRAGON on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/DisneyPetesDragon

Follow PETE’S DRAGON on Twitter: https://twitter.com/disneypetes

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Visit Disney Animation on Tumblr: http://disneyanimation.tumblr.com/

Visit the official PETE’S DRAGON website here: http://movies.disney.com/petes-dragon-2016

~Special thanks to Allied Integrated Marketing for the opportunity to attend an advance screening of Pete's Dragon in 3D for free in exchange for my honest review. All opinions are my own.
Pete's Dragon (2016) on IMDb

Monday, August 1, 2016

DVD Review: Caged No More

Caged No More is a powerful film about human trafficking, inspired by true events. Aggie Prejean (played by Loretta Devine) is on an urgent mission to find her missing two granddaughters, Skye and Elle, who have been taken out of the country by their own father, Jack (played by Kevin Sorbo). The only lead she has is the laptop Jack left behind. The only help she finds is Jack's twin brother, Richard (the girls' uncle) who is a wealthy & well-known man in Louisiana, his wife, Lottie, and their son, Wil, who is former Special Forces. Regardless of the dire circumstance, Aggie puts her trust and hope in the Lord. Aggie, Wil, and his friend, Tyler travel to Greece to search for the girls. Wil and his Greek friend, Aeton go through brothels after brothels. Will it be too late? What happened to the girls? Watch this remarkable, eye-opening DVD to find out! Caged No More (PG-13) successfully portrays the horrendous realities of human trafficking and the peace made possible by faith in Christ and prayer. Did you know that human trafficking is the world's fastest growing global crime? Sex slavery is happening all over the world and this sickening business of sex trade must be stopped. Approximately 27 million people are enslaved world wide. 1.2 million children are trafficked each year. This tear-jerking, heart-wrenching movie is well made and carries such an important message; I highly recommend it! Let's be active in fighting against human-trafficking!

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

Friday, July 8, 2016

Book Review and Giveaway: The Life We Never Expected


The Life We Never Expected is a memorable book for me! I can relate quite well to what the authors talk about since my husband and I have one special needs kid. We, too, have lived the life we never expected and never prepared for. Children with special needs bring not only unexpected challenges but also unexpected blessings! Andrew and Rachel Wilson share their story of being parents raising two autistic children. They share about their painful, dream-shattered struggles with raw emotions (grief, disappointment, confusion, etc.) and refreshing honesty while pointing readers to God, the only One who can give us hope, peace, and joy through trials and sufferings. We get to read thoughts and reflections from both Andrew and Rachel. They explain the cycle they go through: weeping, worshiping, waiting, witnessing, and breathe. They encourage readers to choose joy and thankfulness, embrace grace and faith, and see the importance of prayer and community. They offer their perspectives on healing and marriage. The book also includes a list of helpful resources.

I really appreciate their transparency. I admire them for being authentic, not claiming to have all the answers. Many times, they admit they do not understand why/what God's doing or how hard it is for them to accept their situation. If you have a special needs child, this book will be like an empathetic friend who makes you feel understood and helps you feel you're not the only one who goes through this difficult, unbearable (at times) journey. I found this book insightful, hope-filled, comforting, and encouraging! I highly recommend this gospel-centered, Biblically sound book to anyone, especially those who have special needs children or know families who have special needs children.


"If what you think you have is greater than what you think you deserve, then that's where thankfulness comes from. If what you think you deserve is greater than what you think you have, then that's where bitterness comes from." (p.83)

"But we are not the storyteller (God is). We don't have the power to resolve the twisted plot and bring triumph out of tragedy. Only God does. And his timing is often very different from ours." (p.88)

"Somewhere, somehow, God is preparing a gift for us that we don't yet need--a person, a payment, a provision, a skill, who knows?--but which will bless us dramatically when it arrives in 2026 or 2041 or whenever it is. Gifts change, but the Giver doesn't. So we can live, daily, by faith in future grace." (p. 132)


GIVEAWAY: You can win a copy of this excellent book! The giveaway is open to 
residents of the U.S. and Canada only. Ends 7/17 at midnight Pacific time.
To Enter: Please leave a comment here why you would like to win this book.
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
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- 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, July 5, 2016

DVD Review: When Calls the Heart: Heart of a Hero


When Calls the Heart series is a wonderful romantic adventure drama series inspired by Janette Oke's novel and produced by Michael Landon, Jr. Heart of A Hero is Season 3's 3rd DVD. Even though Hope Valley gives Pastor Frank a second chance, his past still comes to haunt him. The Garrison gang is in town and is determined to recruit Frank to help them with their next robbery. Will Pastor Frank's relationship with Abigail (Lori Loughlin) withstand the turmoil? Bill Avery (Jack Wagner) starts to take interest in Dottie Ramsey (a widow). Lee Coulter has an "accident". Nurse Faith Carter from Union City (who took care of Jack's brother in the last season when she was working in Hamilton and was fond of Jack) comes to treat Lee's foot injury. She loves her job but her controlling fiance (a banker) doesn't seem to care and he makes her choose between him and her passion. Jesse (a young man who used to help Frank in past robbery) has an important decision to make. Which path will he take? Elizabeth (Erin Krakow) receives a special gift from Jack (Daniel Lissing). A new girl from Hamilton has a hard time adjusting to the new school in Hope Valley and she doesn't make it easier when others try to reach out to her. Will the "Kindness Week" assignment in class help? Is her meanness a mask for something much deeper? Henry Gowen's heartless greed rears its ugly head once again when he tries to raise new settlers' rent.

I really enjoyed this DVD. So many things happen but it's entertaining and uplifting. Love. Redemption. Community. Family. Prayer. Kindness. I appreciate all the Biblical values this show presents. I love seeing how residents in Hope Valley stand together to face their fears and troubles. I love the fact that this show is not afraid to acknowledge God and the importance of prayer. When Calls the Heart series is one of the rare shows that the whole family can enjoy together. I highly recommend it!



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



Friday, July 1, 2016

Book Review and Giveaway: Unashamed by Heather Davis Nelson


Shame is such a burden that is so suffocating. God never intends any of us to bear that burden because Jesus already took away all our sin, guilt, and shame when He died in our place on the cross. He sets us free from condemnation and punishment...from every chain (bondage). Do you struggle with shame? We all do at one time or another. There's no shame in admitting that :)! Unashamed is an insightful and encouraging book that points readers to Jesus and His gospel where we find healing for our brokenness and freedom from our shame. The author explains the difference between guilt and shame. She also talks about different kinds of shame (body shame, social shame, and performance shame), responses to shame (hiding, blaming, avoiding, indulging), shame in marriage, shame-free parenting, and shame-resistant Church. Each chapter ends with thought-provoking questions for reflection and discussion. The book includes Appendix A: Clinical Definition of Body Dysmorphic Disorder and Eating Disorders and Appendix B: Further Resources on Abuse. The author shares from her own personal experiences and professional experiences as a counselor. It's great to be reminded of God's unconditional love, grace, and mercy for us. It's empowering to reflect upon God's forgiveness, redemption, and restoration. I like the book so much that I chose the topic of shame and used some information & questions from the book at my Bible study with international students yesterday. We all really enjoyed our small group discussion. I highly recommend Unashamed for anyone who wants to live a shame-free life or wants to help others (including their loved ones) live a shame-free life. I'm thankful for this important, refreshing, hope-filled book!

"Shame is what lingers even after I have confessed and repented of my sin...Shame comes with self-condemnation and a pervasive sense of failure...Guilt arises over specific ways we miss the mark--God's mark--which, once brought to God through confession, disappears." (p. 102, p. 103)

"Any of us can fall (and we do), we are to respond to another's fall into sin with compassion that seeks his restoration rather than seeking his punishment and exposure....Biblical discipline is always seeking to restore, and is enacted with compassion and grace." (p. 159)

"We know we are created to belong, first to our Creator, and then to fellow men and women who also reflect God's nature in their personhood. Yet the problem is that our connection to our Creator, the ultimate source of true worthiness, has been severed by sin. And if you don't talk about the fundamental human brokenness of sin, practicing shame resilience is like playing music on the Titanic. It may help you to feel better temporarily, but the ship is still sinking, and you are in need of rescue." (p. 161)

GIVEAWAY: You can win a copy of this excellent book! The giveaway is open to 
residents of the U.S. and Canada only. Ends 7/10 at midnight Pacific time.
To Enter: Please leave a comment here.
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.

Movie Review: The BFG


Opening Date:                  Friday, July 1
Rating:                               PG
Running Time:                  110 Mins

I didn't know what to expect since I have never read the book written by Roald Dahl on which this movie is based. I was pleasantly surprised. My sons, husband, and I enjoyed the movie. The BFG is a story about a 10 year old orphan girl in London, Sophie (Ruby Barnhill), who is taken to Giant Country by the BFG (which stands for Big Friendly Giant). At first, she's scared of him but soon discovers that the BFG (Mark Rylance) is a sweet, kind, word-jumbling, harmless giant who only eats Snozzcumber and drinks Frobscottle. The BFG's job is to collect dreams and deliver them to children. Other giants (ex: Bloodbottler, Fleshlumpeater, Childchewer, Bonecrusher, Gizzardgulper) in Giant Country are all bigger than The BFG and are bullies. They like to pick on The BFG. An orphan and an outcast form a friendship and ally that stands up against mean giants who eat children. They enlist the help of the Queen (Penelope Wilton from Downton Abbey). 

The BFG was directed by Steven Spielberg. Production on The BFG was a combination of  live action and performance-capture techniques to bring the story’s characters to life, all on real sets that were built specifically for the film. Fantastic CGI (computer-generated imagery)! Wonderful performance by the cast! Ruby Barnhill is such a cute & talented young actress. Impressive sets! Great music by John Williams! This imaginative movie is not only entertaining but also heart-warming. The BFG is a humorous, whimsical film about adventure, friendship, loneliness, and hope that the whole family can enjoy. It's the size of the heart that matters, not how big you are!

Like Disney's The BFG on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/thebfgmovie .
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 https://twitter.com/disneystudios .
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“The BFG” opens in U.S. theaters today, July 1, 2016, which marks the 100th anniversary of Dahl’s birth.


~Special thanks to Allied Integrated Marketing for the opportunity to attend an advance screening of The BFG in 3D for free in exchange for my honest review. All opinions are my own.
The BFG (2016) on IMDb