Sunday, May 31, 2015
When Calls the Heart series is inspired by Janette Oke's book series. This DVD ("Trials of the Heart") is the first DVD of Season 2. I enjoyed Season 1 very much. What has kept me a fan are the likable characters, uplifting family values, and old-fashioned love story. The new season introduces several new characters that add even more flavors to the already remarkable cast. You will meet Miss Samantha Madison, a woman prosecutor who handles the court trial against the Pacific Northwest Mining Company in Coal Valley. Elizabeth's mom is ill so Elizabeth (Erin Krakow) goes back home (city of Hamilton), accompanied by Constable Jack (Daniel Lissing). You will meet Elizabeth's family and see their high-society lifestyle in the big city, contrary to the simple living in Coal Valley. You may drool over their elegant and graceful costumes (mostly modest except a few). You will also meet Tom, Jack's younger brother, who is a troublemaker and Charles Kensington, Elizabeth's childhood friend who now works for her father. Abigail (Lori Laughlin), Rosemary, Mr. Gowen, and Bill Avery (Jack Wagner) from Season 1 are not going anywhere. However, lots of changes are coming to Coal Valley. The beginning of Season 2 is packed with love, romance, justice, prejudice, dilemma/emotional conflicts, and surprises. I'm excitedly looking forward to seeing how this season will play out. The DVD includes exclusive behind the scenes and interviews.
This film is about a longing for the Father's love. Sarah's father left her family when she was young. She now is a career woman who is looking for love in men. In New York City, she meets Reece, a handsome and charming man who lavishes attention and gifts on her. Her coworkers/close friends warn her but she is way too deep into this relationship to see the situation objectively. Broken promises. Betrayal. Broken heart. Bitterness. In the end, Sarah discovers true love from our Heavenly Father and learns the importance and value of forgiveness.
I can relate to this film emotionally. I'm an Asian woman like the main character and my father left our family when I was young. I'm so grateful for God's unconditional love for me and for having Him as my forever Father! The film shows that God's amazing love for us brings us hope and healing no matter what we have done or how many times we have failed. The acting is awesome. The message is powerful. Life is hard and messy but God is good and almighy! I hope you'll check this DVD out.
~I received a free copy of this DVD via Edify Media, Inc. in exchange for my honest review. All opinions are my own.
Virtuous is based on the concept of a virtuous woman in Proverbs 31. This film shows not only the plights of several women but also their faith and perseverance. Simone Burner (Brandy Allison who is a Christian singer) is accused of murdering Patrick Walters (Ben Davies) who was a local millionaire's grandson and a playboy. She seeks help from a kind attorney Jack Evans (Erik Estrada) to prove that she acted out of self-defense. Simone has a troubled past. But she learns that her past does not define her. She and many women in the movie learn that once they give their lives to Christ, they become daughters of the King of kings. Besides Simone (the main character), you will meet a young woman who's captured as a prisoner of war in Afghanistan, an ambitious TV news reporter (Vanessa Ore), a judge (Bonnie Johnson) who has an abusive husband, a lonely nurse (Kelly Bowling), a cop (Angelita Nelson) whose husband cheated on her, a hard-working single mom (Melissa Barron), and a few other women at Potter's House (a drug recovery center).
Virtuous is an inspiring faith-based film about hope, strength, grace, and forgiveness. The movie aims to empower women to live out the principles of Proverbs 31, which include faith, wisdom, compassion, and integrity, even in the midst of adversity and trials. It's a beautiful story demonstrating the transforming power of God's unconditional love. When we give God all the broken pieces of our lives, He makes magnificent mosaics that reflect the light and beauty of His goodness, faithfulness, grace, and mercy. The DVD also includes a behind the scenes look with the cast and crew.
Note: A discussion guide is available at Virtuousfilm.com.
VIRTUOUS Official Trailer from Bill Rahn on Vimeo.
~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 22, 2015
Producers: Damon Lindelof, Brad Bird, Jeffrey Chernov
Executive Producers: John Walker, Bernard Bellew, Jeff Jensen, Brigham Taylor
Story by: Damon Lindelof & Brad Bird & Jeff Jensen
Screenplay by: Damon Lindelof and Brad Bird
Opening date: May 22, 2015
REVIEW:Thanks to Allied Integrated Marketing, my family and I were given an opportunity to attend an advance screening of this film. Tomorrowland is a mystery adventure movie that's fun to watch. It has a slow start but it gets better from there. A very smart, optimistic teen girl, Casey Newton (Britt Robertson) discovers a special pin which takes her to another place ("Tomorrowland") whenever she touches it. She teams up with a former boy-genius turned into a distrusting hermit Frank Walker (George Clooney). Together they have to figure out how to fix a major problem in Tomorrowland that affects the world before it's too late. Tomorrowland is a secret society of geniuses, led by Governor Nix (Hugh Laurie). Science, innovation, and technologies are showcased in this movie. Excellent special effects! Riveting action scenes! Fantastic performances by the cast! The film also stars Raffey Cassidy as Athena (adorable and believable), and Tim McGraw as Casey's Dad.
I'm sure I will enjoy Tomorrowland more when I watch it again because there's a lot of information to absorb. It gets philosophical at times. The journey to the unknown is exciting. The message inspires hope and discussion. Tomorrowland is a good, clean family movie (not intended for very young children due to violence) that encourages ideas, imagination, optimism, and making a positive impact in the world. Each one of us can do something to make this world a better place and to brighten the future. #Dreamerswanted
Some Fun Facts about the movie (provided by Walt Disney Studios):
- When it came to creating a city built by visionaries with advanced technologies, filmmakers knew it had to look like one and finding such a place was not an easy task. At first it seemed as though the whole of Tomorrowland would have to be built from scratch, an expensive and time-consuming proposition. But then in a series of wonderful coincidences, Tom Peitzman, the visual effects producer and the film’s co-producer, stumbled upon a car commercial early on in production; the location in the commercial looked so futuristic that he recorded the ad on his phone and brought it to director Brad Bird. The location turned out to be the City of Arts and Sciences in Valencia, Spain, and was designed by Santiago Calatrava whose work was already serving as an inspiration for production designer Scott Chambliss. The discovery also dovetailed with director Brad Bird’s preference for physical locations over virtual sets.
- In addition to sets in Spain and Canada, locations included the “It’s a small world” ride at Disneyland Park in Anaheim, California, a beach in the Bahamas, and a second unit shoot in Paris. In total, the film had over 90 different combinations of sets and locations, and moved ten times.
- Filmmakers were thrilled to see a real NASA Maven rocket launch (a probe to Mars) at the Cape Canaveral set location and several of them were able to view the launch from a position closer than the press viewing stage. For the filmmakers, it was a dream-come-true and symbolized the future that the film inspires.
Like TOMORROWLAND on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/DisneyTomorrowland
Follow Disney Pictures on Twitter: https://twitter.com/DisneyPictures
Visit the official TOMORROWLAND website: www.Disney.com/Tomorrowland
Please feel free to check out the fun activities below (by clicking on the links) for kids. Have fun!
Spot the Difference
Coloring the Future
Wednesday, May 20, 2015
Memorial Day is just around the corner, which means school will be out for the summer! Parents, does that fill you with dread, knowing all you'll hear for the next few months is, "I'm bored!"? Keep reading because we have a deal for you—one that will only cost you a buck and that will keep your kids safe online while allowing them to have fun and to grow in their relationship with Jesus.
Buck Oliver is back in the latest Adventures in Odyssey album, and to celebrate, you can try the Odyssey Adventure Club for just a buck for your first month. Sign up before May 31st using the promo code BUCK! *This deal only applies to first-time accounts and is good the first month only.
—24/7 streaming access to more than 750 Adventures in Odyssey episodes (a $1500 retail value).
—A new, members-only Adventures in Odyssey episode every month.
—A subscription to Adventures in Odyssey Clubhouse Magazine.
—A web quest of video stories and online activities reflecting the biblical theme of that month's episode.
—On-the-go access with the OAClub mobile iOS app.
—Growing access to Odyssey books, a daily devotion, access to select Radio Theatre dramas and more.
Additionally, a portion of each Odyssey Adventure Club membership benefits Focus on the Family partner organizations, such as Carry the Cure and Mission Aviation Fellowship, providing parents with an opportunity to teach children about the value of serving others. The Odyssey Adventure Club hopes to spend another 25 years hand-in-hand with parents seeking to teach biblical truth to their children while inspiring the theater of their imagination.
Your favorite Adventures in Odyssey characters are also Taking the Plunge in Album 59 and now you can, too! This summer, dive into your faith and grow closer to God by joining the Adventures in Odyssey Clubhouse Magazine Taking The Plunge Summer Challenge. It includes these simple things:
- Learn 5 memory verses
- Get active with 5 family activities together
- Share God’s love and your faith in 5 different ways
- A promo code for an exclusive Odyssey Adventure Club first month offer (for new members only)
- Adventures in Odyssey special studio message
- “Strange Journey Back” book excerpt
- “Jones and Parker Mysteries” book excerpt
Monday, May 18, 2015
I read Motivate Your Child in January and loved it. You can read my review here. You can get Motivate Your Child (ebook) for just $2.99 from May 18-20. I was so happy to have an opportunity to review Motivate Your Child Action Plan. This is a wonderful workbook with blank spaces where you can write down your thoughts, plans, prayers, and notes. Even if you have not read Motivate Your Child (highly recommended, though :)), you will still benefit from reading Motivate Your Child Action Plan. It's really easy to understand and follow. Parenting is hard work and Biblical parenting is even more so because spiritual warfare is involved. This book provides effective strategies and valuable techniques/tools that parents need to help motivate their child(ren). The authors point out on the first page, "Parenting is a process. It takes work and a lot of God's grace." I agree wholeheartedly! If you think there needs to be a change in your child and you need help because nothing seems to work, this book could be the answer you're looking for. It is written from a heart-based approach to Biblical parenting.
The book covers the importance of good theology, the importance of building a stronger relationship, the three levels of thinking, the five components of the action plan for change: firmness, visioning, teaching, prayer, coaching, and the three C's of internal motivation: cue, conscience, and character. At the end of each chapter, there's a section titled, "Have a Meeting with Your Child" which encourages working and communicating with your child, studying your child, and evaluating what works and what doesn't. I highly recommend this book to every parent, especially Christian parents. It's helpful, hopeful, insightful, and practical. I've put into practice some of what I learn from this book and I've seen positive results/improvements in my children. I only wish the book were available when my kids were younger. You can tell how much I love this book by the amount of quotes I include below :)!
"Change in the heart is much more powerful than behavior adjustment." (p. 8)
"Remember that parents can't force a change of heart. However, they can have a powerful impact on process." (p. 39)
"Both parents and children are imperfect people. We all need the grace of God in our lives. We're all weak. We need humility to change ourselves, perseverance to work on tough problems in our kids, and love to keep relationships strong." (p. 56)
"Remember, the goal of parenting isn't just to make kids happy. Those whose primary goal to make their children feel good often raise selfish children. Kids need firmness in order to move away from their weaknesses." (p. 62)
"When you base your motivation on your convictions instead of on results, you're able to do what needs to be done even when things get hard." (p. 109)
"Faith is an important part of who you are, and its should come out in how you talk and how you interact in life. Influencing others spiritually takes place naturally when you're living your life for Christ. It's not forced." (p. 110)
"God has made us each unique, and that uniqueness comes out in the way we work with our children." (p. 121)
"Change takes time, and a negative reputation is a hard thing to overcome. Just continue doing what's right and seek to please God. Help kids see that their goal isn't to be people pleasers but God pleasers. Do what's right, even if others don't notice." (p. 124)
"One of the greatest motivators of spiritual growth is having kids. It's surprising how much selfishness parents see in themselves as they learn to parent their children...Raising children forces parents to look at their own hearts, develop their own consciences, and rely on the Holy Spirit as never before." (p. 145)
"The goal is to reveal that growth is normal and healthy. It's part of life, and those who resist by arguing, blaming, or justifying themselves don't grow quickly as those who have courage and humility to admit their weaknesses and move forward." (p.148)
"The greatest contributor to change in a person's life is total commitment to God." (p. 153)
Monday, May 4, 2015
I'm reading Motivate Your Child Action Plan and I'll have a review coming soon. In January, I posted my review of Motivate Your Child by Dr. Scott Turansky and Joanne Miller here. Excellent book! I highly recommend it! I'm glad they also wrote this workbook to help parents plan and take action.
Apple iPod touch 16GB Black/Silver ($195 value)
- In the Box - iPod Touch, Apple EarPods, Lightning to USB cable, QuickStart guide
- Brilliant 4 Retina display with Multi-Touch IPS technology
- Front-Facing FaceTime camera with 1.2MP photos & 720p HD video recording.
- iOS 6 features - Siri, Apple Designed Maps, Integrated Facebook, Shared Photo Streams, Passbook & more