Tuesday, April 9, 2019

Pilgrim's Progress Movie Review and Giveaway!

Have you heard about the new movie coming out Easter Weekend? If not keep reading. I've had the privilege of viewing a pre-screening of the movie and I'm giving you a quick review here on the blog. Make sure you keep reading to the end of this post because I have an awesome giveaway too!!
Revelation Media and Fathom Events

About the book...

The Pilgrim's Progress. First published in 1678, this book has remained one of the most widely read Christian allegories still in print! More copies of this epic tale have been sold than any other Christian book, second only to the Bible.  It has been translated in more than 200 languages and has never been out of print. 

The author of the story, John Bunyan, was a pastor imprisoned for unauthorized

(not sanctioned by the Church of England) preaching of the gospel in small house meetings. During the 12 years of imprisonment, Bunyan wrote many books, one of which was The Pilgrim's Progress.  
It has been said that no-one just finds the book. But rather the book finds them. 
This powerful allegory gives us a tangible description of the spiritual journey a Christian must embark upon.  

It gives us a name for our struggle with doubt...even more, a place...a dungeon where lives the Giant Despair.  The Slough of Despond accurately gives a name to our times of discouragement and despair. Vanity Fair is a town that represents the indulgence of our own sinful desires. It gives a name to those who would walk beside us on our journey, Faithful and Hopeful. Each of these encounters and so many more in Bunyan's book give us a bird's eye view of what our spiritual journey requires, and in doing so brings hope and encouragement to the reader.
  
Throughout Christian's journey, the King sends reminders that he is not alone.


About the movie...

The movie is based on John Bunyan's epic masterpiece, The Pilgrim's Progress. A family-friendly feature-length CGI animated film and it is  coming to theaters Easter Weekend! April 18 & 20th. 

Check this site to find a theater near youhttps://www.pilgrims.movie/theaters

Copyright Revelation Media and
Fathom Events

In watching the movie I was quickly drawn into Christian's journey. It is so rich in allegory, that I could not help but make comparisons of the obstacles that Christian encounters along his journey (to the Celestial City) with my own faith journey. Who would ever expect that an animated movie would bring about so much introspection? 

If you are looking for movies that give your children the courage to do the right thing...to stay true to the path that God has laid out for them, take them to see this movie.

I really enjoyed this movie and I think you will too. It is a vivid retelling of the original tale. I would recommend families watch it together and after the movie take some time to talk about Christian's journey. 

The Evil Apollyon will stop at nothing to keep Christian from the Celestial City.


Age appropriateness: I will say that this is probably not for very young(2-4 yrs) children as some of the scenes may be a bit intense, if not frightening, as there are times where it depicts the attacks on Christian...bringing to light the battle in the Spiritual realms as the attacks are demonic in nature.   

As for 5-6 years olds, it would depend on the sensitive nature and maturity of your child. For 7 year old to adults, I most definitely recommend going to see this movie.

The Hill of Salvation! Where Christian's burdens are released and his journey takes a turn.




Watch the Official movie trailer here and then scroll down to enter the giveaway!!
Trailer

Here's the giveaway...


  • 6 Movie tickets!!! 2 movie tickets each to 3 separate winners!!! 
  • A beautiful full-color coffee table style hardcover edition of The Pilgrim's Progress Illustrated Storybook($24.95 retail value)!! I have 3 copies to give away to 3 separate winners!!!






To enter leave a comment on this post. Then enter your info on the rafflecopter. I'll need your email to send your Fandango e-gift card for your tickets and to contact you to find out where to send the book. So...enter on the rafflecopter and then leave a comment in the comment section under this blog post. 



Enter info on the rafflecopter...

Note: only US-based giveaway winners are eligible due to Fandango limitations in Canada and outside the US

Oh...and if you have a group of 10 or more people, or if the movie is not scheduled to come to your town, the Group Tickets team can help you out. Just go to this link to fill out the form: GROUP TICKETS

See you at the movies!! 
#ThePilgrimsProgressL3





Leave Comment Below...

Tuesday, March 19, 2019

Pilgrim's Progress :: Teaser, Trailer, and Giveaway


The Teaser...

Faithful Pathfinder has gone missing! He has ventured beyond the borders. Everyone is alarmed as they are ordered to collect the notes and drawings that he has left behind. Perhaps to find clues as to where he has gone and why.

Why? Why would anyone go beyond the borders? Obstinate expresses his opinion about anyone who would do such a thing. He must be mad!

"... only a madman would be foolish enough to venture beyond the borders! Nothing good comes from veering from the rules, I always say. Nothing at all."

But as Christian Pilgrim begins to clean up what Faithful has left behind, he wonders what Faithful was thinking. And what was this book he left?
"It has been said that no one just finds the book, but rather the book finds them."


And so Christian began to read the book, and he read and he read until... in the reading... he begins to feel a heavy burden. He knows what he must do.

And the journey begins.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~


The storyline above is just a teaser of my review for the upcoming movie, The Pilgrim's Progress.

Coming to theaters Easter Weekend! April 18 & 20.  

If you are looking for movies that give your children the courage to do the right thing...to stay true to the path that God has laid out for them, take them to see this movie.

This film is based on one of the most popular books of all time, The Pilgrim's Progress written by John Bunyan, a pastor who was imprisoned for his faith. And is second only to the Bible in total copies and translations printed.

I'll be doing a full review closer to the release date and doing another giveaway...possibly involving movie tickets and a book!

In the meantime, I would encourage you to make sure you get your tickets early and bring a group. You can visit this page to find a theater near you and get your tickets now: Pilgrim's Movie Tickets


The Trailer...



The Giveaway...


And don't forget to enter my giveaway.
I'm giving away a Digital Interactive Storybook, a $20 value!
One each for three separate contest winners! So be sure to enter on the rafflecopter below!! 
a Rafflecopter giveaway
Note: only US-based giveaway winners are eligible due to Fandango limitations in Canada and outside the US.

WINNERS!! Congratulations to Ashley Ivey, Martha Mason, and Alona Beech. I will be contacting you shortly about your prize! 

See you at the movies!
#PilgrimsProgressL3

Friday, March 15, 2019

Place :: Five Minute Friday

It's been a while since I've joined the Five Minute Friday writer's in the FMF Link-up. It's a weekly link-up where we write for five minutes flat on a one-word prompt. This week's word has resonated with me so I'm joining in. 


Place


"Hold my place."

"It's not your place!"

"Whose place is it?"

"My place."

"My place in this world." 

 "A place in my heart."

"A place of worship."

"A place to belong."

"My favorite place to be."

"A place to call home." 

 "I go to prepare a place for you..."

"...but I can't be in two places at once." 

"Feeling out of place."

All familiar phrases ... how many times have I heard them? Or said the words?

We all long to find our place in this world. We long to belong. To have a place to call home...a place to come home to.  

Our true home is one where we are known, loved, accepted. Where we belong.  

So where do we belong?  Is it home? 
For some, home is a safe haven. A place to return. A place to just be.

For others, home is a place to escape from. Because deep in the core of their heart they know that their home is nothing but a dark shadow of what a true home should be. 

In place of being known, there is ignorance. 
In place of love, there is resentment. 
In place of acceptance, there is rejection. 

But there is hope. 
He reached down from heaven and rescued me: He drew me out of deep waters. He delivered me from my powerful enemies, from those who hated me and were too strong for me. They attacked me at a moment when I was weakest, but the LORD upheld me. He led me to a place of safety; He rescued me because He delights in me.   
~Psalm 18:16-19
This earthly home is only temporary...and yet even here you can experience home in its truest sense. For those who choose to accept the heart of Christ will find their home in Him. 

His grace provides a safe place. 

A place where we are known...truly known. A place where we are accepted just as we are. A place where we are loved so much that we are not left there...at the point of acceptance...but are led to realize the fullness of who we were created to be. A place to be. A place to belong. A place in this world and the one to come. 
And if I go to prepare a place for you, I will come again and take you to myself, that where I am you may be also. ~Jesus, John 14:3
That's a promise I can take hold of. A sure hope in the One who holds the future and the present. 










This post is part of the weekly Five Minute Friday link-up. Join us! 



Thursday, January 24, 2019

My Bible Reading Plan for 2019...and a giveaway!

It's hard to believe we are already 24 days into 2019! 

This has been a month of new adjustments for me...literally. I've been getting used to a new chiropractor after a long search for one that would not 'twist' or 'pop' me. I have a neck issue, severe scoliosis in my back, and a lot of nerve blockage, so I needed a very gentle approach to getting me to the point where I can function more efficiently.  

Less pain...less brain fog, which interferes with my ability to write. Managing the pain has been an interesting journey since I don't take any pain meds stronger than ibuprofen and I won't get steroid shots.  But I believe I'm back on the road to better back and neck health and less pain to manage...so for that, I am very thankful. 

I don't usually write about my own personal health...which thankfully is really pretty good at the age of 60, despite the neck and back issues. So, I'll quit the health update and get to what I really want to talk about...adjusting to my new Bible reading plan. 

Old Plan...

Through the years I've tried different methods of reading through the Bible in a year but the one that has worked most consistently for me has been The Daily Walk Bible (NLT) from Bruce Wilkinson's Walk Thru the Bible Ministries, Tyndale House Publishers.

I've read through the Bible cover to cover for more than 8 years with this one...and the pages are starting to fall out. 

I use other Bibles for study but this has been my morning coffee & the Word go to for so long that I've decided to make a change and say goodbye to this old friend. 

I don't tend to work off of a Bible Reading Plan 'list' very well so I needed to find an actual Bible that was already laid out with daily readings sectioned off. I find that reading through the Bible in this way helps me to keep an overview of scripture and how the books fit together to create a larger narrative of what God is doing in the world...both throughout history and today. By doing this, I tend to get so much more out of the other more in-depth studies I do both privately and in Bible study groups. 



New Plan...

As I began to think and pray about what to do for 2019, I was offered the opportunity to review the Day-by-Day Chronological Bible. So I thought, perfect, it's in a reliable translation, Christian Standard Bible Translation(CSB), so that will be a good change from my previous reading in the NLT. So I signed up to do the review. 

They sent me this beauty!
 This Bible has a very nice soft as butter brown leathertouch cover. It's a bit hefty, but still comfortable to hold in my lap as I read from it. (It's about 7X9" and 2" thick).  It has two ribbons to hold your place as you read. One for the front of the Bible and the other, I presume, for the second half. 


So, I'm thinking this will hold up to many years of reading on a daily basis. 

This Bible is arranged into a chronological reading plan with daily readings guided by Dr. George Guthrie, professor of New Testament at Regent College in Vancouver, B.C. And I kind of love his approach. 

The Bible is a grand story...His story...and it includes you and I. But in order to understand where we fit, our place, in the story, we need to understand how the "Bible's Grand Story fits together, how it develops, where its climax comes, and how it invites us to join in a never-ending script that God continues to write in and through the lives of real people like you and me."  Dr. Guthrie gives us tips on reading through the Bible and understanding how to keep the Big Story in view, by dividing it into three acts and seventeen scenes, while also divided by weeks(52) and  6 days of reading with the 7th day of each week reserved for a recap and prayer/meditation. 

He begins each reading by reminding us where we are in the story and gives tips for reading that day's section. The pages are not dated so you can begin at any time, and there are diamond shaped boxes at the end of each day so that you can check off when you have completed the reading for the day.  In fact, there are 5 of those boxes so you can keep track of how many years you have read through this Bible. I love that!

I think this particular Chronological Bible is different from others in that the readings are arranged by content according to where it falls within the storyline of the scriptures and not necessarily by the date each book was written. 
For instance, on day 2 of week one, the readings are from Psalm 8, Psalm 104, and John 1:1-3. Because they all echo the creation story in Genesis 1 & 2.

Large margins for note taking and journaling.

I have many days more to go to get the full impact of this Bible reading plan. But I love the direction of the journey already. 

I'm a story girl as many of you know. I love a great story. I've even written a series of articles on Story that begins here: Story...The Great Connector

I believe we all have an innate desire to either hear or tell a good story. 

History is told through story. More than just a string of facts, it gives us a treasury of lessons learned and points us to a better way of living into the future. History gives us heroes to emulate...teaches us to dream big. It shows us that there is always something to be learned…even through failure. 

John Steinbeck said, "…a great and lasting story is about everyone or it will not last."  There is a great and lasting story…in HIS story, God's Word.  And yes…we are all a very important part of that story. Our creator speaks to us through His Word using 'story' as one avenue to tell us many stories that bring understanding to our own stories, our own purpose, as it fits into the bigger picture of His Story.

It is the very promises within that great story that keep us going and give us hope.  

Do you have a 'read through the Bible' plan for 2019? I'd love to hear about it in the comments below. If you don't, you might consider the Day-by-Day Chronological Bible.

I have a giveaway going through January 30th. You can win your own copy of the Day-By-Day Chronological Bible, Brown Leathertouch($39.99 retail value)! So be sure to enter below! 

a Rafflecopter giveaway
Note: only US-based bloggers and giveaway winners are eligible due to publisher shipping limitations outside of the US as well as a later global product release date. A copy will be mailed out to the winner via the publisher at the end of this campaign. #csbBibleL3

Thursday, September 27, 2018

Little Women: A Modern Retelling ~ Movie Review

Louisa May Alcott's novel, Little Women has endured as a favorite for 150 years. It is considered to be a timeless classic, and rightly so as it has served as an inspiration to generations of women. Originally published on September 30, 1868, Little Women remains a favorite and continues to inspire and encourage women, young and old, to dream new dreams and pursue purposeful lives.
"I've got the key to my castle in the air, but whether I can unlock the door remains to be seen."
 At the beginning of Alcott's writing career, she wrote poems, short stories, and potboiler dramas. Then in 1868, her publisher asked her to write a book for "little girls"...and the rest, as they say, is history. 

And now, on the 150th anniversary of Alcott’s original release, a modern retelling of LITTLE WOMEN brings us the same story of those beloved sisters to a new generation.




Movie Synopsis

(Pinnacle Peak Pictures)

Sisters—and dreams—are unique in their ability to inspire, encourage and change the world. 
From girls playing in the attic to women living with purpose, the March sisters- Meg, Jo, Beth, and Amy- are committed to always supporting each other. 

Yet growing up sometimes means growing apart.

An aspiring writer, Jo leaves for New York determined to publish a novel. In the wake of rejected draft upon draft, her editor challenges Jo to write about something more interesting...her family.

When tragedy brings the sisters back home, sticking together takes on new meaning. As Jo comforts her sick sister, Beth asks for one thing: a story.

Jo knows the perfect one by heart. 

Starring Lea Thompson as Marmee and featuring a talented cast, Including Lucas Grabeel and Ian Bohen, LITTLE WOMEN tells the story of the same beloved sisters to a new generation. Celebrating dreams, family and unconditional love, LITTLE WOMEN opens in theaters this weekend(Sept. 28th).

Themes

  • Family 
  • Purpose: Finding your purpose, following your dreams
  • Friendship
  • Love
  • Identity
My thoughts

I have to admit when I screened this movie, I was ill prepared to do a true comparison to other Little Women movies...or even with the book. It has been so long since I had read Little Women that I needed to do some research to get the story back into my recent memory. 

While some of the elements of the story are obviously different than the original story, such as Marmee(Lea Thompson)dealing with creditors on the phone while her husband is overseas in Afghanistan serving as an Army medic, the heart of the story remains true to the original. The unshakable bond between the March sisters remains the same...and that is the heart of this film. 

Pinnacle Peak Pictures
Jo (Sarah Davenport) works on her novel in “Little Women.”
The movie begins with Jo going to New York where she has grand plans to publish a novel and then continues a series of flashbacks to where it all began...in her family home, growing up with her sisters and their wise mother, Marmee who encourages them to follow their dreams. 
I admit that I did get a little confused at a point or two with the chronological flashbacks, but overall the story began to flow for me and I settled in to enjoy the movie.

I did get a little put off with how strongly cruel Jo could be to her sisters, particularly to her sister Amy...but sibling spats can resort to being mean-spirited arguments. I have to admit the 'B' word did come to mind a time or two, but as Jo grew in character some of that meanness lessened as well. And in the end, there is reconciliation...which in my opinion is a necessary element of a good story. 

Pinnacle Peak Pictures

I'll leave the rest of the storyline for you to discover. The writer and director of this modern retelling seem to have worked hard at staying true to the heart of the original. The themes of celebrating sisterhood, unconditional love, and the quest of following your dreams come through clearly in this beautiful retelling of this much loved classic novel.  



Genre: drama
Rating: PG-13
Release date: 9/28/18
Studio: Pinnacle Peak
Talent: Lea Thompson (BACK TO THE FUTURE), Sarah Davenport, Lucas Grabeel (HIGH SCHOOL MUSICAL), Ian Bohen, Bart Johnson (HIGH SCHOOL MUSICAL).

Ticket Info here.

Take the quiz! Which March Sister are you?









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    LittleWomenL3

    Thursday, September 20, 2018

    Rambling on about books...and a movie ticket giveaway! Little Women: A Modern Retelling

    My idea was to share how this love affair began.  You see, I was going to write just a bit about my passion for all things books. After a bit of rambling on about my love of books, I was then going to find a way to segue from talking about a classic I read as a young girl to introducing a movie that is a modern retelling of said classic...releasing in theaters later this month...Little Women: A Modern Retelling.

    Photo courtesy of Official Facebook Page for LITTLE WOMEN,
    a modern adaptation of the classic book Louisa May Alcott
    But the 'just a bit' became several paragraphs and was on track for becoming a full-blown article...without mention of the movie. No surprise there. So I've decided to just talk just a bit about the movie here.
    She is too fond of books, it has turned her brain.   
                                 ~Louisa May Alcott
    I can totally relate to that quote! Books like Little Women tend to make us stop and take a deeper look at the way we view ourselves and the world around us. Books have deeply impacted my sense of right and wrong, taken me on exciting adventures to new lands, and given me insight into the way others think that is profoundly different than my own way of thinking. Reading has shown me glimpses of characters who portrayed such traits as valor or courage or chivalry. 
    But enough about books for now...


    You can check back later to read the article on my love of books and how it all began and where it has taken me. 

    Also, next week I will have a review of the movie on the blog...so if you haven't made up your mind to see it, be sure to check back here to see if it sounds like your cup of tea. 

    In the meantime, I'm running a giveaway!! Be sure to enter below for your chance to win a $25 Fandango e-gift card, redeemable for LITTLE WOMEN!

    It's the 150th Anniversary of Little Women, which makes it the perfect time for the release of a new film adaptation of this beloved classic.

    Little Women releases in Theaters nationwide September 28, 2018. 
    Get your ticket info here: Little Women Ticket Information. 

    Watch the trailer here...



    Happy Birthday, LITTLE WOMEN!!! Let's Celebrate!! Be sure to enter below for your chance to win!!


    a Rafflecopter giveaway  
    Note: only US-based giveaway winners are eligible due to Fandango limitations in Canada and outside the US.

    Just for fun take this QUIZ to find out which March sister you are!
    Little Women: Find Your Sister Quiz

    See you at the movies! 
     #LittleWomenL3

    Thursday, September 6, 2018

    Healed By Grace 2...Review & Movie DVD Giveaway


    Overview

    Studio: Blended Planet
    Genre: Family/Drama
    Rating: NR/Dove Approved: All Ages 
    Run Time: 1:32
    Release Dates: 8/20/18 Digital, 9/18/18 DVD.  
    Talent: Sean Young, Kennedy Martin, Natalie Weese, David Matthew Weese

    About

    Jesse is approaching her 15th birthday and the only gift she desires is a horse. 
    Unbeknownst to Jesse, her mother Brandy is in the throes of a cancer diagnosis which has Jesse's father jumping through unexpected obstacles. He signs Jesse up for summer camp, but when summer camp falls through he decides to have her stay with her estranged grandfather, an old gruff horse trainer named Gauff. Gauff, still recovering from the death of a special horse named Grace, now faces the challenges of teen negotiation. Gauff finds he must swallow his pride and ask his daughter Brandy for forgiveness. A humorous and inspiring story of how Grace works in mysterious ways. 

    Themes

    • Forgiveness
    • Reconciliation
    • Faith


    Available now on Digital. Available on DVD 9/18/18! 
    Purchase your copy here: Healed By Grace 2 DVD 

    Official Movie Trailer


    My Review


    Healed By Grace 2 is the second in a film series set in an inspirational equestrian training setting.  While the movie begins by establishing Jesse's love of horses, it quickly gets into the tricky problem of dealing with a cancer scare for Jesse's mother, Brandy. Brandy doesn't want to let Jesse know about the possible cancer diagnosis until she has had time to go through diagnostic testing to establish whether it is cancer or not. So, they begin making plans to send Jesse to camp in order to give them time to work things out.

    I don't want to retell the entire story in my review so I will just say that things begin to get a bit more complicated as Jesse's dad works on taking care of not only Jesse's situation with camp but also Brandy's need to take care of some emotional baggage in her own healing process with the cancer.  And it all becomes entangled with an old horse trainer named Gauff and a horse named Grace. 


    The Takeaway


    Again, as I said in my last movie review, like so many other movies within this genre there is a certain level of predictability. And some of the humor is a bit too cheesy for me...particularly the Christian camp director who Jesse's dad first spoke with. He was a bit too caricature-ish for me. 

    That said, I would still recommend this movie as a good family movie. While it handles some serious subject matter, there is also a good amount of humor to lighten it up. 

    I believe that there is value in watching movies with our children that handle difficult topics with grace. It can provide opportunities to discuss life's tuff stuff with our kids. In this case, there is family division, divorce, and cancer. But even more so the movie points out the importance of reconciliation, the role forgiveness plays in our healing both spiritually and physically, and the importance of unity within the family. 

    This film will encourage you to trust "...that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him and are called according to His purpose."  


    Here's the fun news! I have a flash giveaway! 
    Enter the rafflecopter below for your chance to win not just one, but two DVD's! The original Healed By Grace and Healed By Grace 2 


    No purchase is necessary to enter using the Rafflecopter form below. Must live in the United States and be 18+ or older to enter. Must use a valid email address to enter. Winners will be notified by email used on the entry form and have 48 hours to respond or another winner will be chosen.  


    HURRY!! CONTEST ENDS  September 10th!


    As a contributor for the Lev3L digital Influencer Program, I offer my honest opinion. I am not monetarily compensated, but I get to run the free DVD combo contest and receive a free DVD combo set for myself. So that's a possible win for you and a win-win for me! 
    a Rafflecopter giveaway

    Grab some popcorn and enjoy the movie!
    #HealedByGrace2L3