AUGUST MEDIA PICKS

Sometimes I have to do a little research to find a book, movie, and song to recommend for the month. NOT THIS TIME! All three have impacted my life greatly in the last few weeks.

First, we have the song. Trading My Sorrows is a great little song, popular with children as it has some cool movements to go with it. But for me, the message matters most. No matter what we are going through, our joy WILL come in the morning. Some of our night seasons may be longer than others, but it’s all going to be okay. What better way to stand on the promise than to trade it all for joy right now?

Trading My Sorrows (Yes, Lord)

Next, we have the book. Actually two. (deep sigh) I’ve read over two dozen books this summer, chart-topping contemporary fiction that I couldn’t put down. And then I found myself through with my summer stack so I went to my shelves. I have another 30 or so TO-BE read books that I either couldn’t get into or never even opened. It was there that I found a couple of Karen Kingsbury books I hadn’t read. It’s been awhile since I’ve read her books and the change from contemporary, popular fiction was a little jarring. Scriptures from page 1. The Holy Spirit as much of a character as the protagonists. Complex, flawed, searching characters who were more relatable than anything I’d read in a long time.

Why did I stop reading Christian fiction? And how nice was it to be okay with God reading over my shoulder, not needing to repent for storylines that were “just harmless fun”. I read these two consecutively and when I tried to read a secular book afterwards, I just couldn’t. My spirit had been changed and was craving more of what God had for me, not man. I ordered three more Kingsbury books and decided to stay on this track for a little while. I strongly recommend giving her a read!

It’s Christmas in August for my recommended movie. Okay, it WOULDN’T be (as this is one of my pet peeves) except that lightning destroyed my DVR and I lost this movie along with some other Christmas movie-watching traditions.

Angels Sing is a tear-jerking but ultimately uplifting movie with an incredible cast and great music that shows the power of forgiveness, especially the all-important self-forgiveness. You have four months to find it and add it to YOUR Christmas watching experience!

For past recommendations, visit here.

LOOKING FOR SOMETHING GOOD TO READ, WATCH, OR LISTEN TO?

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We are calling this May Picks since I never made it to the theater in April to preview the one movie I really wanted to see, The Girl Who Believes in Miracles. Stay tuned for a review when it eventually makes its appearance digitally.

While theaters have reopened locally, the only showings in my area have late afternoon or evening start times. This makes it difficult for me as anyone who lives on a too-narrow, low-visibility country road can tell you, driving at night is ill-advised.

At first, I thought it was a little sad that I’d turned into my grandmother at 75, unable to drive anywhere after the sun went down. But after a trip home where I spent many evenings heading back to Mom and Dad’s in the dark, I realized it wasn’t my age, it’s just my road!

Which means my movie viewing takes place primarily on my Amazon tablet. (Said country road also makes streaming on the den television less than optimal as it buffers precisely 4.3 times per minute.)

But I have found two great apps for family and faith-based movies:

Pureflix is my favorite and it’s filled with great Christian movies. The only drawback for me is that they don’t allow subscribers to download movies so you must have a strong connection to watch. I’ve found that my cellphone works best for streaming non-downloaded movies. Some favorites: Switched, Miracles from Heaven, Heaven is for Real, What If, The Ultimate Gift.

UP Faith & Family is great, too, and DOES allow downloads. This is perfect for traveling or waiting rooms. Some faves: The Baby Proposal, Instant Nanny, Twist of Fate, When We Last Spoke.

Prefer your plots in book form? I have the set for you! Christian author Lisa Wingate published The Prayer Box in 2013. It had been on my to-read shelf for nearly as long but I devoured it in one rainy week-end recently. She later published two Kindle novellas, a prequel and a sequel to The Prayer Box and I loved getting that little bit extra. It’s like having a slice (or two) of your favorite cake after indulging in your favorite meal!

Need to free up your hands and eyes and just LISTEN instead? I have an entire ALBUM for you. Some of your favorite hymns sung by the angelic-sounding, country sweetheart Carrie Underwood. My Savior has Victory in Jesus, The Old Rugged Cross, Oh How I Love Jesus, and more. Listen to Great is thy Faithfulness here.

Remember, all that you read, all that you watch, all that you listen to….should be pleasing to Him. What’s done in secret will be brought into the light….Luke 12:3

February/March 2021 Media Picks

Of course, I have to plug my upcoming Proverbs book. It’s my excuse for not blogging lately. 🙂 It’s not necessarily the reason BUT it sounds better than my bed is so warm and my office is so cold. Or that it’s easier to edit my husband’s books than to write my own sometimes! But we are going on a vacation/writing retreat for a few days and I hope to finally finish my Pruning with Proverbs book while he starts his next Bible study. (He currently has The Book of James out while I’m editing his Book of 1st John. I’m also waiting on the illustrations to be completed for the sequel to Gumbo the Bayou Dog so we are enjoying our writing side careers very much!)

In the meantime, we are available for ministry 24/7. At first Covid slowed down some outreach but lately we have 8-9 people (some strangers; some we know) stopping by regularly for help, counseling, or prayer. We’ve done middle of the week weddings and last-minute funerals. We consider it all a blessing and I LOVE that we live and work next door to the church so that our home becomes an extension of it.

My song for this month comes from a couple of funerals we’ve done. It was released in 2015 but I heard it for the first time last year when we did a funeral for the daughter of church members. The family of another church member also selected that song for a funeral we did last week. It’s similar to I Can Only Imagine but told from the perspective of those left behind. It is a sweet song but definitely sob-inducing if you are grieving. Listen to Dancing in the Sky here or visit the Media Page:

The movie I chose is an upcoming Netflix release. It’s their first faith-based film and I’m excited to watch it while also being nervous about recommending a film I haven’t yet seen! Proceed with caution! Here’s the info listed for A Week Away:

Based on an original idea by Alan Powell and directed by Roman White, the pic centers around Will Hawkins (Kevin Quinn), a troubled teen who has a run-in with the law that puts him at an important crossroad: go to juvenile detention or attend a Christian summer camp. At first a fish-out-of-water, Will opens his heart, discovers love with a camp regular (Bailee Madison), and a sense of belonging in the last place he expected to find it.

Additional cast includes Jahbril Cook, Kat Conner Sterling, and Iain Tucker. The film, which was shot in Nashville, will feature reimagined songs from some of the biggest hits in Contemporary Christian Music history as well as original music from the film’s music producer, Adam Watts. Paul Becker and Melena Rounis choreographed the dance numbers.

Music! Choreography! Romance! Redemption! This really does sound like my kind of movie!!