Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Christmas giving at its best!

We are too privileged. Too blessed.  And beyond any meaning of the word lucky.


Because we were born here and not there.

I, like many of you have no idea what it would be like to be born in a third world. We can't do any more than re-visualize the photos we've seen of what it would be like to raise our children in slums, poverty and illness.

We are too privileged.

In the midst our affluence we give here or give there; we sponsor children and we pray for them; we send over shoe boxes and useful clothing items, but are we really doing enough? If you were a mother living in poverty forced to giver her children up solely so they could eat, would you think we were doing enough?

I don't know.  But I do know this ... I am convicted that I am not doing enough.

The-Lulu-Tree-125x125Please, please go over to Emily T Weirenga's website and post about a new foundation she's starting because she felt the tug of God to do more.  It is called The Lulu Tree.
And here's my challenge to you, one that I have made myself ... in my blessed affluence, if I should ever offer a gift to someone - a family member, friend or colleague - may it be a gift that gives to the world.  Go to Emily's foundation or others like it and promise yourself that every time you give out of your extra abundance (cuz that what present-buying, coffee-purchasing, movie-watching and shoe-shopping is) that a life can be changed.

And if you haven't had a chance to pick up Emily's book Atlas Girl - go now! Check out my review or visit her website to find out more.

Monday, September 15, 2014

Another amazing book and offer from author Alana Terry

Special Discount ~ Limited Time Only
Special Time-Sensitive Giveaway! The first 25 readers who enter the giveaway below will receive a free audiobook from award-winning author Alana Terry. She's also giving away a $100 amazon card, a hundred free audio downloads, and a free ebook to anyone who signs up! 

About Slave Again: After escaping a North Korean prison camp, Mee-Kyong is hustled over the border and sold into the Chinese underworld. She vows to survive, but sheer determination and willpower won’t save her this time. Is she fated to remain a slave forever?

Slave Again is a Christian suspense novel from award-winning author Alana Terry, whose debut novel, The Beloved Daughter, won awards from Women of Faith, Grace Awards, The Book Club Network, and Readers' Favorite.

NEW BOOK RELEASE: Slave Again by Alana Terry is hot off the press, and both the ebook and paperback are at a steep (30-60%) discount!! Prices will go up soon, so grab your copy today.

 Slave Again book trailer (contains one mildly violent image)

About the Author: Alana is passionate about human-rights issues in North Korea and has devoted her writing to raise both awareness and funds to help North Korean refugees find freedom and safety. You can learn more about her work with Liberty in North Korea at

Check out Slave Again now before the price goes up, and don't forget to enter the giveaway!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Stay tuned! I will be posting a review of the book, Slave Again, here soon.

Friday, September 12, 2014

When The Game Stands Tall triumphs!

Do you know what you are doing this weekend?

I do!

You are going to one of the best movies I have seen in awhile, When The Game Stands Tall.

Sony Pictures/Affirm Films brings to the screen an incredibly inspiring story of a High School football coach who chose to teach a generation of young men about character on and off the field. Based on true events, this movie tells the remarkable story of legendary football coach Bob Ladouceur, who took the De La Salle High School Spartans from obscurity to a 151-game winning streak that shattered all records for any American sport."

Now this movie isn't about the climb to winning all those games - instead it focuses on what became of the 2004 team that dropped the ball and lost for the first time in twelve years. Life isn't about being on the top. Character is built when you fall and pick yourself back up. That is the philosophy of this great inspirational movie.
"Don't let a game define who you are. Let the way you live your lives do that."
Along with some of the other great movies that have come from the sports arena, like Remember the Titans, Rudy, The Blind Side and of course for Christian movie-goers, Facing the Giants - greatness is not found on a scoreboard. Coach Lad made sure to focus his boys on community, personal bests and the connection and preservation of family. This movie goes for an extra touchdown than some of the other inspirational sports movies have in that Coach Lad reminds everyone it is never about winning.

Of course the first question you might be asking if you aren't a sports fan is how much football is in the movie. My answer ... a lot. But please don't let that deter you. The message of the film penetrates so much deeper than the hits, runs, passes and blocks of high school football. As well, I thought the filming of the game scenes were done well. They're high impact and realistic - from my perspective.

This is the kind of movie that leaves you thinking and pondering long after the credits roll. It is incredibly well-rounded and superbly written. The actors are all fantastic and believable. The scene shots are vivid and eye-catching. I have nothing but praise.

As far as the element of faith goes, this movie is not hard hitting and bible thumping. The story takes place at a Catholic private school in California. The producers did not hide this fact at all - there are scenes of prayer, religious based classes and God is spoken of openly as a part of their lives.  Very natural. Coach Lad's faith permeates his life - all the while showing that he is not perfect. In fact, he teaches the boys that you can never be perfect - like have the perfect game or perfect record, but each and every thing you do should be marked by giving:
"A perfect effort from snap to whistle."
And isn't that so true of our our faith journeys. You will never live without mistake or failure but don't quit and don't give up. From snap to whistle.

Families will love this movie. The only aspects for families with small children is there is football violence up close and loud, there is a scene of smoking, a scene of partying and a scene of sexual innuendos among teen boys. These are minimal but definitely present. Check out the Focus on the Family's Plugged In review for more information.

And if I could borrow a quote from another fellow's blog posting titled Why you should see When The Game Stands Tall with your Teens
"It’s a good movie with a message, not a good message with a movie."
Check it out!  Either visiting your local movie theaters or picking up the DVD in the coming months - DON'T MISS OUT!

For those looking for even a little more information here are a few links of interesting things I discovered in my own research I couldn't resist sharing.