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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- 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, 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 .
Follow Disney's The BFG on Twitter: 
 https://twitter.com/disneystudios .
Follow Disney's The BFG on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/thebfgmovie

“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