September Media Picks

This month we go back in time…to visit some childhood favorites. After all, September is my birthday month!

One of my favorite songs growing up was “His Name is Wonderful.” Alas, I tried to play it last Sunday night on the church piano but because my mother let me quit piano lessons after two years, it sounded more like the final round of Name That Tune. (Thanks, Mom. I think I’m the only pastor’s wife in the South who can’t play the piano!)

My grandmother loved listening to her gospel 8-tracks in her car and I remember many men’s quartets wafting through the speakers in that Oldsmobile. The Imperials were one of those groups. (If you don’t know what an 8-track is, google it or ask your parents!)

My book pick is a NEW book based on an OLD favorite! I loved the stories of Brother and Sister Bear by Stan and Jan Berenstain growing up. The Berenstain Bears have entertained and guided children for generations and now Mike Berenstain has created a devotional based on the beloved characters his parents created.

Find it on Amazon or in your local bookstore.

For my featured movie, I chose a movie from my kids’ school days. Dale and I were both teaching at Grace Christian School and because it was a K-12 school, we had all four of the kids with us. That was a special year and one I will always remember fondly. We had a schoolwide movie showing that year of “Facing the Giants”, a movie that had football (for the boys), relationships (for the girls), and an inspirational message (for everyone)! It was a great movie and if you missed it, watch it now!!

I hope you enjoy September’s picks!!

JANUARY MEDIA PICKS

MOVIE: What Would Jesus Do?

1h 33min 2010 -Rated G

A moving and thought-provoking story about a group of Americans – a singer, a newspaper editor, a pastor & a real estate mogul who vow to walk “in the steps of Jesus.” Every day and every decision becomes a turning point in their lives as they must ask themselves: “What Would Jesus Do?”

Genres: Adventure, Drama

Director: Thomas Makowski

Starring: John Schneider, Maxine Bahns, Adam Gregory

 

BOOK: Jesus Always: Following God’s Direction (from Sarah Young’s Jesus Calling series)

This is the Bible study series I will be teaching for the next few months. It’s a great study for individuals as well as small groups. There’s a lot of thought-provoking questions accompanying a passage of scripture each week and the devotions feel like the Lord is speaking directly to your soul.

 

MUSIC: I Believe in a Hill Called Mt. Calvary by the Gaither Vocal Band

I grew up listening to the Gaithers and hearing their music is literally like a balm to my soul. It either brings up memories of listening to a record on the stereo system in my childhood home, singing along to the eight-track in my Mema’s car, or hearing it play softly in the background of her Christian bookstore. All great memories (and a wonderful reminder of what a blessed upbringing I had).

These days this particular song holds another special memory, one I know I’ll carry in my heart with the rest. This is one of my husband’s favorite solos and I hear him playing his guitar and singing it often while I’m on my computer working. I always sing along- it’s so powerful you just can’t help but join.

“And I’ll believe WHATEVER the cost…”

This song is the epitome of having a FAITH UNFADED!

 

December Media Picks

Once again it is time to select my recommendations for the best Christian song, movie, and book of the month. I like to draw upon the wide vast of media that moved me as a child as well as those I’ve discovered in my adult walk with Christ.

This month will be a mixture of the two.

We will start with “my song” from childhood. If you ask a child today what HIS song is, you might get something like Old Town Road or Let it Go. Perhaps the lyrics to Shake It Off provide a mantra crutch for tough times.

For me, however, there was one song that whipped me into jubilant frenzy: The Savior is Waiting. I’ll be honest- I’m not sure why. If I saw that we would be singing it in the service in the church bulletin, it was like Christmas morning and my birthday rolled into one.

I really can’t explain it.

All I can figure is that the Lord, in His infinite wisdom, knew that by burying that song deep within me as a child, He would be able to use it to draw me to Him down the road when hymns were no longer in my heart.

The song always draws me right into His Bosom, no matter where I am.

In my early adult life, I discovered the book The Gospel According to Peanuts written in the 1960s by Robert L. Short. Short interpreted certain themes and conversations in Peanuts as consistent with parts of Christian theology, and used them as illustrations in his lectures on the Gospel. The parallelisms are interesting, especially as an avid Charlie Brown fan.

I read the comic strip occasionally but I faithfully watched every Peanuts special that came on television. I also had several of those book and album sets where you read along with the audio version of the story on a vinyl record. I loved all the characters; I can’t remember having a favorite. Maybe Charlie Brown.

As an adult, I definitely see myself in Lucy which is ironic since I always thought Lucy was annoying and bossy. Hmmm….

The movie I’ve chosen for this month is one I watched a couple of years ago, part of an incredible set of modern-day biblical tales. This one, Amazing Love, is about the story of Hosea.

Some friends of ours recently watched it and loved the message as well.

On a small youth group retreat, Pastor Stuart senses that something is amiss with the group of kids he is responsible for.  A new non-Christian girl is among them, and her presence is causing divisions among the Christian teens.  He decides to try to get through to them by telling them his creative and family-friendly rendering of the Biblical story of Hosea and his tenuous relationship with his wife Gomer.  Ultimately, each person must decide how they are going to respond and to show God’s unconditional love for all people.

It is a great Christian movie, especially if your knowledge of Hosea consisted solely of where it is found in the Old Testament, such as mine was!