Sunday, August 28, 2016

Devastation: Do you find it difficult to move past it?

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Devastation: Do you find it difficult to move past it?
Image Credit:  Ben White - Public Domain Image - via Freely Photos
We are now in week three of our ladies Bible study.  We have completed the first two lessons presented by Priscilla Shirer:

Anointed, Transformed, Redeemed: A Study of David

The Anointing

This week, Beth Moore leads us through the subject of “moving past our devastation.”  Have you ever done something you thought was inspired by God only to discover later that He didn’t bless your efforts?  David did.  David did not like the idea of living in a “palace of cedar” while the Ark of God was housed in a simple tent.  He wanted to build a suitable dwelling for the Ark.  It was a great idea and David’s heart was in the right place, but it wasn’t God’s plan.  God had a different plan for David but God honored David’s heart.  He declared to David that He would build a house for him.

Devastation:  Do you find it difficult to move past it?

Listen, Beloved.  You aren’t – nor have you ever been – a failure.  Anything God has stopped you from doing for Him was only so you’d be still enough to let Him first do something for you.” – Beth Moore, from Anointed, Transformed, Redeemed
God blessed David.  David wondered who he was and who his family was that God would bring him “so far.”  Have you ever thought about the blessings God has poured on you and your family and then wondered what you did to deserve such favor?

After suffering through circumstances that leave us in a state of devastation, we might feel hurt, angry, and confused about God’s plan for our lives.  After such doubt, we might feel worthless, but then God reaches down, touches us, makes us whole again, and blesses us abundantly.

Deep devastation comes when we are expecting a celebration, but end up in the middle of a tragedy instead.  While David and his men were transporting the Ark back to Jerusalem, they were in the middle of a celebration when Uzzah touched the Ark and died.  Their celebration quickly turned into devastation.  This can happen to us in many ways, some ways being more severe than others but all result in broken hearts.

In this section of the study, we were asked to recall a time in our lives when we were expecting a celebration, but suffered devastation instead.  I thought of March 16, 1997.  We were expecting our third child, a boy. We were thrilled.  I had already purchased a diaper bag and a couple of outfits in the anticipation and excitement of baby number 3.  Our son and our daughter were excited about their new baby.  Then, suddenly, without warning, he was gone – taken to Heaven before I ever heard his first cry.  I can still hear his heartbeat from the last doctor visit before he left us.  That sound is permanently etched into my auditory memory until someday when I believe I will hear his voice for the first time in Heaven.  My celebration quickly turned into devastation.  Like David, I experienced anger and fear.  I was angry because God chose not to intervene and save the life of our baby boy.  Later, I was afraid we might again suffer such a painful loss.  I feared I would never be the same again.  My suffering was so painful, so deep.  I wasn’t sure I could ever be happy again.  The following year, God blessed us with another baby, a girl.  She didn’t replace the child we lost.  We will always miss Gabe, but our Megan is such a blessing and joy in her own right.  God brought us through that valley and now we celebrate the gifts of three young adult children.  They are all Godly men and women.

After Uzzah’s death, David experienced anger and fear.  A little later on, the Ark was eventually brought back to Jerusalem and David once again rejoiced in God’s blessings over him.
Who am I, O Sovereign Lord, and what is my family, that you have brought me this far? – 2 Samuel 7:18 NIV
In this section of the study, Beth encourages us to pray scripture-laced prayers for our families.  We are instructed to find Bible verses applicable to our families and then reword them into prayers for our families and/or specific loved ones.

Like David, I wonder who I am and who is my family that God has brought me “this far.”  I believe families experience many “this far” moments after enduring various trials throughout our lifetimes.  I sincerely hope that you and your own family has experienced a “this far” moment and will experience more to come.
Trust in Him at all times, O people; pour out your hearts to Him, for God is  our refuge.” – Psalm 62:8 NIV
When we face devastation, God is our safe place.  The throne of God is a place where we can safely pour our hearts out to Him.  We can share out greatest joys and cry buckets of tears and shout out our deepest griefs.  He listens.  He already knows our hearts.  We might as well kneel down before Him and lay all our cares at His feet.
The Lord is near to all who call upon Him, to all who call upon Him in truth. – Psalm 145:18
Our fifth session this week covered the “fear of the Lord.”  After facing devastation during the transportation of the Ark, David was afraid.  Like David, we might be afraid after experiencing pain from devastation in our lives.  There is an unhealthy fear of the Lord and there is a healthy fear of the Lord.  To overcome the pain of devastation, we must nurture a healthy fear of the Lord.  An unhealthy fear will drive us away from God while a healthy fear draws us nearer to God.
David then went back to the Ark and took every ounce of his shaken heart to the God he’d loved since childhood.  A bruised heart that chooses to beat with a passion for God amid pulsing pain and confusion may just be the most expensive offering placed on the divine altar.  He esteems yours as much as He esteemed His beloved David’s. – Beth Moore
Wow, what a powerful week of study!  My summaries of these studies are only a tiny glimpse of the entire study.  My hope is that you will decide to complete the study on your own or preferably with a group of ladies, perhaps within your church or even in your own home.

You'll find all my posts about the Anointed, Transformed, Redeemed Bible Study here.

Get your copy of Anointed, Transformed, Redeemed here.

Devastation: Do you find it difficult to move past it?
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Saturday, August 27, 2016

The Anointing – from Anointed, Transformed, Redeemed

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The Anointing – from Anointed, Transformed, Redeemed
Image Credit:  Courtney Clayton - Public Domain Image - via Freely Photos
Until I saw the movie War Room, I had not heard of Priscilla Shirer.  I thought she was amazing in the movie and now I’m learning that she is an amazing Bible study leader.  Last week, I introduced our new ladies’ Bible study.  We are studying from Anointed, Transformed, Redeemed by Priscilla Shirer, Beth Moore, and Kay Arthur.  This week, we studied the anointing.

The Anointing

Anointing is “a divine enablement to accomplish a divine task or supernatural empowering to accomplish supernatural goals.”

The following quote from Priscilla best describes the meaning of “anointment.”
God’s goals and plans for us require His power.  In our natural abilities, we might be able to teach the class, mother the children, stay in the marriage, or write the book, but to fulfill the supernatural purposes of these natural activities demands an anointing of God’s Spirit.” – Priscilla Shirer
The anointed have a fierce enemy, the devil.
Stay alert!  Watch out for your great enemy, the devil.  He prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour. – 1 Peter 5:8 NLT
In week two of this Bible study, we are encouraged to stand firm and face the enemy knowing that our victory is already guaranteed.

Disappointment might sometimes follow the anointing.  Have you ever known someone to declare that they have been called into a particular ministry only to live in disappointment because the opportunity to fulfill that calling didn’t happen immediately.  God’s timing doesn’t always match our timing.  From the time David was anointed to be king of Israel and the time he actually took the throne was 22 years.  I never really thought about that 22 year span.  What did David do during that 22 years?  He went back and tended the sheep.  He also spent time as a cup bearer and as a musician.  He served.  This made me think about my own purposes here and how I might be in the middle of my “22 years.”  Truth be known, we are all in the middle of a “22 years” – waiting for something we believe will come to pass as God has promised us.  How do we handle that time span, the waiting?  David set a good example.  We serve the Lord and remain content in our circumstances while He works his miracles in His timing.

On the fourth day of the Bible study, we learned that there are several benefits of the anointing.

The first benefit of the anointing is having the “ear of God.”  When we face adversity, it is most definitely in our best interest to ask God about the situation before we take any kind of action.

“If we truly believed the great God of the universe listens intently to the cry of our hearts and responds with power in our circumstances, we would never meet any circumstance without deciding to access the ear of God.” Priscilla Shirer

The second benefit of the anointing is having the mouth of God.  One of the things that struck me most about this section of our lesson was realizing a more personal communication with God because of the presence of the Holy Spirit.  The Holy Spirit doesn’t speak to us on His own behalf.  The Holy Spirit hears directly from God and then communicates God’s message to us.

But when the Spirit of Truth comes, He will guide you into all the truth.  He will not speak on His own initiative, but whatever He hears, He will speak and He will disclose to you what is to come. – John 16:13

Anointing comes with responsibility.
“And from everyone who has been given much, much shall be required; and to whom they entrusted much, of him they will ask the more.” – Luke 12:48  NASB
Obedience is not only essential to our relationship with God.  He demands it.  We must commit to be obedient to our good, good Father.
While some have decided to skirt the issue of sin in exchange for a more gentle gospel, the Bible never does.  You and I must take a staunch stand against this cultural trend away from obedience to God and His Word.  We must determine to obey Him fully and completely regardless of what others may do.”  – Priscilla Shirer
The Anointing – from Anointed, Transformed, Redeemed
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You'll find all my posts about the Anointed, Transformed, Redeemed Bible Study here.

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Things for Kids to Do in Atlanta in November

Things for Kids to Do in Atlanta in November
Image Credit:  paulbr75 - CCO Public Domain Image - via Pixabay
Atlanta, Georgia welcomes residents and visitors with a variety of activities for the entire family. Rich in cultural history, Atlanta offers museums, theaters, festivals, restaurants and parks to suit a variety of tastes. When planning a trip to Atlanta, consider a variety of activities for children.

Things for Kids to Do in Atlanta in November

Macy’s Tree Lighting 

Plan to attend Macy’s Annual Tree Lighting. Family activities begin earlier in the evening, usually around 6:30 p.m. The event typically takes place Thanksgiving Weekend and includes appearances by various vocal artists and celebrities. Prepare to hear the Macy’s All-Star Holiday Choir sing a collection of Christmas carols.

The Georgia Aquarium 

The Georgia Aquarium offers enough activities to fill an entire day’s schedule. The aquarium features a shark tunnel and provides opportunities for a behind-the-scenes tour, a deep sea diver show, a 4D theater and various seasonal displays such as “The Titanic.” Check with Georgia Aquarium event planners for a full list of seasonal displays as they can vary.

Zoo Atlanta 

Zoo Atlanta houses a large variety of animals and plants. Safely and well-maintained animal habitats offer visitors various views of the animals. The zoo offers a variety of camps, scavenger hunts and a small amusement park for younger children. Parents can schedule birthday parties at Zoo Atlanta or sign up for various workshops.

The Children’s Museum of Atlanta 

The Children’s Museum offers opportunities for children to integrate learning with play. Exhibits allow children to play while learning about subjects such as water, solar and wind conservation and energy. Children learn about the concepts of farming and wildlife. Other exhibits offer children opportunities to explore and enhance creativity and problem-solving skills.

Stone Mountain Park

Plan to spend a day at Stone Mountain Park. Take the children on a train ride around Stone Mountain. Either hike or ride to the top of the mountain, where children can roam freely and take in a mountaintop view. Stone Mountain offers a variety of shops, small museums, animal exhibits, parks, picnic areas and a nightly laser show and fireworks.

World of Coke 

Visit Atlanta’s World of Coke museum and learn about the history of the soft drink. The museum offers exhibits featuring a variety of media resources, including paper programs, videos and a 4D Theater. Allow children to taste various versions of the soft drink sold around the world. View a bottling line that actually produces a glass bottle of the soft drink for each World of Coke visitor.

Read about more great places to visit in the state of Georgia here.

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Anointed, Transformed, Redeemed: A Study of David

Anointed, Transformed, Redeemed: A Study of David
Image Credit:  Gift Habeshaw - Public Domain Image - via Freely Photos
After a long summer break, our church has begun a new ladies Bible study.  I’m so excited to get back!  For the next 6 weeks, we will be studying from Anointed, Transformed, Redeemed:  A Study of David by Priscilla Shirer, Beth Moore, and Kay Arthur.  Last fall, we studied A Woman’s Heart:  God’s Dwelling Place by Beth Moore.  That study made me more interested in studying the Old Testament Tabernacle than ever before.  Relating the Old Testament Tabernacle to the Holy Spirit living inside me, the New Testament Temple of the Holy Spirit, under the wisdom of Beth Moore was amazing.  I look forward to studying the subject of David under the wisdom of these three anointed ladies.

Anointed, Transformed, Redeemed:  A Study of David

Our first session was on the topic of “The Anointing.”  Have you ever thought about what it means to be anointed?  Called?  Anointed and called out by God for His specific purpose for your life?

If you have received the gift of salvation by accepting Jesus as your Lord, then you have been called to fulfill a purpose.  God has a plan for your life. He has a specific purpose for you to accomplish His purpose here on this earth.  You are hand-picked by God.  Your purpose on this earth is different from the purpose of David, but you are hand-picked just the same.

If we are hand-picked by God, then our focus must be God-centered.  If we develop what Priscilla calls a “God-consciousness,” then every decision we make will be based on that God-consciousness, making it easier to discern God’s will and purpose for our lives.

If we are hand-picked by God and we have developed a God-consciousness, then we are also sustained by God.  Our “purpose work” can become exhausting at times.  Facing adversity can be discouraging.  We might become anxious.  I KNOW I become anxious but God is my sustainer.

Here is how Priscilla puts it:
Our anxiety always stems from a desire to control and indicates that we have ceased to trust the Lord.  When we are depending on the Lord to handle the people and circumstances in our lives, the outcome will be an existence virtually free from worry, anxiety, and fear.  Peace will begin to flow like a river in our everyday living. – Priscilla Shirer
Priscilla’s quote is based on scripture from Matthew 6:30-32:
But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which is alive today and tomorrow is thrown into the furnace, will He not much more clothe you? You of little faith! Do not worry then, saying, ‘What will we eat?’ or ‘What will we drink?’ or ‘What will we wear for clothing?’ For the Gentiles eagerly seek all these things; for your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things.
Now we’ve determined that we are hand-picked by God, centered on God, and sustained by God, we need to know that we are established by God.

You’ve probably heard the phrase, “God doesn’t call the qualified.  He qualifies the called.”  That is probably one of my most favorite phrases.  So often I feel inadequate for a task I feel God wants me to do, but God doesn’t call us out based on our earthly skills or lack of them.  Instead, He calls us out and then gives us what we need to accomplish His purpose.

One of my favorite excerpts from this section of the study is this:
He didn’t select us to lead the study, mother the children, marry the man, lead the meeting, run the office, evangelize the tribe, or start the ministry because He knew we were already capable.  Rather He picked us up, dusted off our incapability, replaced it with His ability, and secured our success when we chose to rest and trust in Him to work supernaturally in us.  – Priscilla Shirer
My friend, if you have been called out by God, He will establish you for His purposes.

Finally, once we realize we are handpicked by God, centered on God, sustained by God, and established by God, then we must know that we are strategically positioned for a purpose.

When God calls us out, He calls us out to reach people.  Our purpose always has everything to do with other people.  When God called out Abraham, Esther, Paul, all our heroes and heroines of the Bible, and Jesus, it was always for the purpose of reaching other people.

I’ll leave you with this final quote from this first week of this study:
Our God is one of purpose and intent, and He intends to impact the lives of people.  He never gives a blessing, extends a gift, offers an opportunity, or creates a solution without a specific purpose.  Those whom God has handpicked for a specific calling, established with His power, and anointed by His Spirit have been given the privilege of being a conduit through which those blessings can flow to others. – Priscilla Shirer
This summary is just a brief sample of the wisdom contained in Anointed, Transformed, Redeemed:  A Study of David by Priscilla Shirer, Beth Moore, and Kay Arthur.  If this brief summary sparked your interest, then please consider completing the study at home or with a small group.

Anointed, Transformed, Redeemed: A Study of David
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You'll find all my posts about the Anointed, Transformed, Redeemed Bible Study here.

Gifts for Military Families
Gifts for Military Families
Image Credit:  skeeze - CCO Public Domain Image - via Pixabay
*Six years ago, I was given the title “Gifts for Military Families” for publication on eHow.  The article was originally published on April 23, 2010.  It is no longer published on eHow or anywhere else so I am free to publish it here.

Military families often find themselves far from home and on the move. They often miss family members and hometowns. When a military relative is deployed, family members left behind often search for items that help them feel closer to the deployed soldier. Military families benefit from gifts that help them deal with homesickness and deployments.

Gifts for Military Families

Huggable Pillow (Update - I highly recommend Daddy Dolls!)

Purchase a pillow covered in camouflage fabric or cover a pillow with the fabric. Sew on a pocket. Insert a photo of the military family member. The soldier’s relatives can hold or hug the pillow while he is away. Consider spraying the relative’s favorite cologne or perfume onto the pillow. Children of deployed parents benefit from a pillow made into the shape of a person with a photo attached to the head of the pillow. The child can easily carry the pillow around, talk to it, sing to it, read to it or sleep with it for added security.

Newspaper Subscription

Give the military family the gift of a newspaper subscription from their hometown. Have the newspaper mailed to their military home address. A hometown newspaper helps the family keep up with current events at home and they stay connected to friends, relatives and public figures. They stay informed about their high school and college sports teams and they won’t miss an article from their favorite section. If the family is deployed to another location, make sure to call the newspaper to provide the new address.

Hometown Shadow Box

Collect memorabilia from the military family’s hometown. Use items from the family’s favorite restaurants, their former high schools or colleges, their favorite movie theater and other places the family often visited. Trim the items so that they fit nicely into a shadow box. Make sure the shadow box is large enough to accommodate all of the items, but small enough for the family to pack and take with them when they move again.

Military Devotional

 Search Christian bookstores for a daily military devotional. Christian military families find comfort in reading daily devotional entries. Daily devotionals provide a source of strength, encouragement and peace for the families of military personnel. Christian bookstores often carry devotionals geared toward military families. These devotionals provide greater insight to the biblical principles associated with military life.

Read more posts about celebrations and gift giving here.

Sunday, August 14, 2016

Woodlawn Movie Review and Supplemental Materials

Woodlawn Movie Review and Supplemental Materials
Image Credit via Family Christian Bloggers
Family Christian Stores sent me to the pre-screening of the Woodlawn movie with the option to post my honest review.

I love faith based movies. The Kendrick Brothers films, Flywheel, Facing the Giants, Fireproof and Courageous are among my all time favorites, and now so is War Room.  I was excited about the opportunity to preview yet another faith based film called Woodlawn, scheduled to air in October. Woodlawn is not a Kendrick Brothers film but an Erwin Brothers film. Last year, I enjoyed Mom’s Night Out, also by the Erwin brothers, so I look forward to their new Woodlawn movie.


Woodlawn is based on a true story, set in Birmingham, Alabama during a period of lasting racial tensions stretching into the early 1970s.

In 1973, the government mandated desegregation in the school systems across the United States. Football player Tony Nathan joins other African-American teenagers at Woodlawn Highschool. Coach Tandy Geralds must find a way to solve new challenges and unite a football team.

A minister who is new to the community feels led to speak to the high school football team. Coach Geralds half-heartedly agrees to let him speak to the players. The meeting resulted in changed lives. Black and White players prayed together and almost the entire football team gave their lives to Christ – right there at Woodlawn High School. Their individual decisions and the collective decision of the team to follow Biblical principles spilled over into the community and created the true-story legend on which this film is based.

 As I watched the film, I realized that the news headlines then are much like the news headlines we see today – public school students praying on school grounds and racial tensions fading and renewing in a seemingly endless cycle. The movie is set in the early 1970s but its content and its message is as relevant today as it was back then.

In fact, the message of this movie was relevant then, relevant today, and will be relevant as far as the future stretches.

Watch the trailer here.

Woodlawn Movie Review and Supplemental Materials
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If you prefer to read the book first, get it here.

Woodlawn Movie Review and Supplemental Materials
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There is also a devotional that goes along with the Woodlawn Movie.  Get it here!

Woodlawn Movie Review and Supplemental Materials
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Spiritual Pillars of a Biblical Worldview

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Spiritual Pillars of a Biblical Worldview
Image Credit:  Public Domain Image via Freely Photos
 The following are my Bible study notes based on my pastor's sermon.

Raising families in today’s world is a calling. We need to be sure that we raise our children with a Biblical worldview. We need to make sure we as adults have a Biblical worldview.
Worthy are you our Lord and God, to receive glory and honor and power, for you created all things, and by your will they existed and were created. – Revelation 4:11

Foundations for Developing a Biblical Worldview

Four Spiritual Pillars of a Biblical Worldview

1.  The Creation – Genesis Chapters 1 and 2

As His Image-Bearers:

*We are like God in that we are spiritual.

*We are like God in that we are moral.

*We are like God in that we are rational.

*We are like God in that we are creative.

*We are like God in that we are relational.

2.  The Fall – Genesis Chapter 3 (Old Testament)

Sin led to our brokenness . . .

*Spiritually, our relationship with God is broken.

*Morally, we can no longer do what is natural.

*Rationally, we have difficulty discerning the truth, and in particular, it is impossible for us to discern spiritual truth.

*Creatively, we use our imagination and creative capacities to make idols and worship them instead of worshiping God.

*Relationally, we tend to love our self, and all other relationships are broken.

 3.  Redemption (New Testament)

*He is redeeming us spiritually. He has declared us righteous because of the work of His Son.

*He is redeeming us morally. We can now do good.

*Rationally, we can now discern the truth.

*Creatively, we can now use our imaginative capacities to worship Him.

*Relationally, we can know how to love others based on the love Christ has for us.

 4New Creation – Revelation

*Jesus will come again.

*He will bring a New Heaven and a New Earth.

There will be worshipers from every tribe, tongue, people, and nation

3 Things God Wants From You

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3 Things God Wants From You
Image Credit:  Tessa Rampersad - Public Domain Image - via Freely Photos
The following are my Bible study notes based on my pastor's sermon.
He has told you, O man, what is good;
And what does the Lord require of you
But to do justice, to love kindness,
And to walk humbly with your God? – Micah 6:8
Have you ever asked the question, “What does God want from me?” Life can get busy, overwhelming, and confusing. We might find ourselves caught up in the busyness of this life and wonder if we are making a difference. During our toughest times, we might be inclined to scream to Heaven and plead with Him, “What do You want from me?!” We can find answers in the scriptures. There are many things He wants from us while we are here on this earth. Here are just three of those things.

3 Things God Wants from You

God wants you to:

Leave a legacy.

When days get darker, Christians need to shine brighter. The older you get, the more Satan attacks your life.
All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; so that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work. – 2 Timothy 3:16-17
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For it is He who is at work in you, both to will and to work for His good pleasure. – Philippians 2:13
 Love with kindness.

Don’t throw rocks. Throw ropes! Too often, we are inclined to condemn those who fall into the snares of a sinful lifestyle. We cannot condone sin. Sin is sin. However, we need to be more mindful of the fact that we all sin and that we are supposed to love one another. Instead of “throwing a stone,” we need to “throw a rope” and help people overcome and get out of a sinful situation.
See to it that no one comes short of the grace of God; that no root of bitterness springing up causes trouble, and by it many be defiled. – Hebrews 12:15
 Walk in humility.
You younger men, likewise, be subject to your elders; and all of you, clothe yourselves with humility toward one another, for God is opposed to the proud, but gives grace to the humble.

Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you at the proper time. – 1 Peter 5:5-6 

The Woodcarver: Faith and Family Film

The Woodcarver: Faith and Family Film

The Woodcarver

Last night, our family ended the day with a family television movie, The Woodcarver.  The film is the sequel to WWJD.  It’s a faith based family film.

The movie addresses several areas of conflict within the typical American family. Matthew Stevenson is a teenager who rebels against his parents. His parents are on the verge of divorce and Matthew isn’t handling it well. To get attention, he vandalizes a church and destroys detailed carvings. Instead of facing criminal charges, Matthew agrees to repair the damage. He ends up working alongside the woodcarver. The two form a unique friendship which leads to renewed faith and restored relationships.

This film is an encouragement to families for several reasons. It covers several areas of potential conflict within the family unit:

Broken Relationships

Potential Divorce

Rebellious Attitude

Terminal Illness

Loss of Life







Work vs Family

Although the film deals with several critical issues, it is not an action packed drama. It is low key family drama which leaves plenty of room for family discussions after the film. You can learn more about The Woodcarver here.

Watch the movie trailer.

After reading about The Woodcarver movie and then watching the trailer, you will want to add this faith based family film to your home media library.

With all the negative media influences which constantly invade our homes and minds, I think it is important to view and discuss faith based films as often as possible. As long as films remain true to scripture and encourage viewers to live by Biblical principles, they can have a vital positive impact on lives and families. We enjoyed the movie and we hope you will too.

Saturday, August 13, 2016

Life Lessons from the Woodlawn Movie

Life Lessons from the Woodlawn Movie
Image Credit via Family Christian Bloggers
On May 20, 2016, the movie, Woodlawn, became available on the PureFlix Digital Streaming platform. For a limited time, you can stream it instantly.

PureFlix Entertainment releases pure, safe, faith-driven movies. Families looking for faith based films find PureFlix films refreshing and inspirational. I was blessed enough to be invited to the pre-screening of the movie Woodlawn. I can personally testify to the fact that Woodlawn is an inspirational film that everyone should see and it’s based on a true story.

We can learn a lot from Woodlawn.

Life Lessons from the Woodlawn Movie

Inspired by a true story, “Woodlawn” is set in 1970’s Birmingham and follows a newly desegregated high school football team, whose members are forced to get along after years of hostility. Through the preaching of a sports minister (played by Sean Astin), the team experiences a revival. Beyond just getting along, years of prejudice are erased and the teammates become brothers.

 Watch the official trailer.

PureFlix would love for you to read three articles which inspire life lessons from the Woodlawn movie.

Lessons on Loving Your Enemy

One of the great lines in the Pure Flix film, “Woodlawn” is “This is what happens when God shows up.” The line takes place near the end of this true story that shows us that, with Christ’s help, we can follow the call to love our enemies. Set in 1970’s Birmingham, “Woodlawn” follows a newly desegregated high school football team, whose members are forced to get along after years of hostility. Through the preaching of a sports minister (played by Sean Astin), the team experiences a revival. Beyond just getting along, years of prejudice are erased and the teammates become brothers. Here are some takeaways from “Woodlawn” that we can practice in our lives as we, too, strive to love our enemies. [Read more of Lessons on Loving Your Enemy from Woodlawn here.]

4 Critical Christian Values Taught in Sports

With 114.4 million viewers, the 2015 Super Bowl was the most watched program on TV ever. The 2014 and 2016 Super Bowl were close behind.

What is the great appeal of sports in our society? Beyond its entertainment value, many parents and doctors agree that playing sports builds character and teaches life lessons. An NPR article says “that 76 percent of adults who have children in high school or middle school today say they encourage their children to play sports.”

Paul uses athletic analogies in his letters to Corinth and Timothy. He does this, as a way of relating to the people who loved the Olympic games. However, his analogies also indicate that we can pick up some Christian values by engaging in a little bit of sports. [Read more of 4 Christian values Taught In Sports here.]

 How to Talk to Your Teen Son About Manhood

In the movie, “Woodlawn”, the main character is an African-American high school football player, challenged to live his purpose in Christ. Based on a true story and set in 1973 during the days of desegregation, “Woodlawn” is an inspiring showcase of what it means to be a man of Christ in a secular world.

Though the challenges of today are different than the challenges of 1973, men are still called to practice Christlike virtue. Because the values of the world are different than the virtues of Christ, parents should make a special effort to talk to their son(s) about what it means to be a man of God. While each situation and person is unique, here are some especially relevant topics to discuss with your son. [Read more of How To Talk To Your Teenage Son About Manhood here.]


Friday, August 12, 2016

Happy Harvest by Jean Fischer – Book Review

Happy Harvest by Jean Fischer
Image Credit:  Abundant Family Living
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookLook Bloggers book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

 Happy Harvest by Jean Fischer

I loved Precious Moments as a child.  I loved the books and the figurines.  On my wedding day, my husband left a Precious Moments bride and groom figurine on the table for me in the bridal room.  I have treasured it for more than 25 years now.  I have two daughters who enjoyed Precious Moments almost as much as I did.  Precious Moments stories and figurines are timeless.  Happy Harvest by Jean Fischer is bound to be a favorite for years to come.

Happy Harvest by is a sweet Precious Moments rhyming book for children.  The version I received is a board book appropriate for toddlers.  Happy Harvest describes all the things we love about Fall.  Children learn about making friends as school starts back after summer break.  They learn about the purpose of the scarecrow and picking apples at harvest time.

Happy Harvest by Jean Fischer
Image Credit:  Abundant Family Living
 Children read about football, colorful leaves, campfires, and marshmallows.

Happy Harvest by Jean Fischer
Image Credit:  Abundant Family Living
 Children read about pumpkins, hayrides, and turkeys at Thanksgiving.

Happy Harvest by Jean Fischer
Image Credit:  Abundant Family Living
Children also learn about giving thanks in prayer.  As children and their parents read through Happy Harvest, they will see a Bible verse at the bottom of each set of open pages.  Parents might use this opportunity to teach children about the value of scripture and how the Bible relates to our every day lives.  Scripture memorization is healthy for children and adults.  The Bible verses on these pages are great verses for children to memorize.

I read Happy Harvest to my in-home preschool children.  They enjoyed the illustrations and the rhyming nature of the book.  I loved the book because it teaches children about God, prayer, Bible verses, and the value of faith.

Happy Harvest by Jean Fischer

Saturday, August 6, 2016

The Children’s Discovery Bible Memory Match-Up Game: Review

The Children’s Discovery Bible Memory Match-Up Game
Image Credit:  Abundant Family Living

A Bible Memory Game for Younger Children

When my children were younger, they loved those concentration type memory games. We had several versions. We had a Winnie-The-Pooh memory game. We had a Disney memory game, and I think we had a Dora The Explorer memory game as well. One of my favorites, though, was the Discovery Bible Memory Match-Up Game. Not only did the game help my children develop memory skills, but it taught them a little bit about Biblical characters too. As you can see in the photo, each card shows an image of a Bible character with a short description of the character. The descriptions are good for children who are capable of reading, but no reading is required to play the game. Children simply turn over one card, then another. If the cards match, the child keeps the set. If the cards do not match, the cards are turned back over and remain on the floor. Each child takes turns. When all matches are found, the child with the most matching sets wins.The game is designed for ages 4 and up.No reading is required for children to play the game.The game contains twenty-four pairs of Bible characters.

If parents or other adults are playing the game with younger children, the game can be played fairly quickly which makes it a great game for busy families.

The best part is that the game provides parents and children with quality time and parents enjoy playing the game too.

The Children’s Discovery Bible Memory Match-Up Game
This item is available here.

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