Jan 28, 2016

How to Watch a Clean Movie

   How many times have you wished to watch a movie and then found out that it was full of immodesty, foul language or anything else disturbing? Or maybe you have gotten to the middle and had to turn it off, thinking to yourself, They didn't have to add all of this rubbish...it just ruined the whole show! I know that I have been in that place. There has been more than one movie that our family couldn't finish because the directors/producers were not considerate to Christians, or anyone else wanting to avoid those disturbing images/words.

   As a Christian, our family tries to avoid movies that have dishonoring things to God. We are wanting to please Him above all, so watching or reading things that take His name in vain, really bother us. But in this world, how can we make sure to guard our hearts and minds from the evil all around us? How can we watch a clean movie anymore?

    Well, guess what! There are several websites that can help you have the best family movie nights possible! (If this sounds like an ad, it's really not! =D Please keep reading!) 

   First of all, it is really important to know what is in a movie. Looking up possible dangers can be super beneficial. Our family uses Plugged In, a site that has thousands of movie reviews. If you type in the movie you are considering, they will show you the positive elements, spiritual content, violent content, bad language and other possibly offensive things in the movie. You can use this to make sure that the things you are watching are true, noble, right, pure, lovely, admirable, excellent and praiseworthy. (Philippians 4:8)

    For years, we used Plugged In to check out movies and sadly put ones aside that didn't get past our "test". It is always disappointing to find things that make us unable to view movies! However, just recently, we found another website that is invaluable for those who are wanting to watch a clean film! It is called VidAngel! This website allows you to rent a movie for $20 and take out whatever offensive content that you want. For instance, if a scene has immodesty in it, you can block it and the whole scene is deleted. Or you can mute foul language. If you watch the movie within 24 hours, you can "sell it back" and they will give you $19 in return. Thus, you can watch a clean film for only one dollar!! With this, my family was able to watch through the whole Star Wars movies, taking out several bad words and immodesty in scenes. We were so thankful for the opportunity to watch a clean movie for a low price!

   I really hope these website are helpful to you like they are to my family!

Are there any movies that you have been wanting to view, but haven't been able to because of language/bad content, that you will now be able to view? Comment below!

Jan 23, 2016

"The Man with the Bird on His Head" review


Cargo cult villagers march in formation at the base of a rumbling and fiery volcano. Their ancient prophecies predict the return of a mysterious messenger. Are these prophecies about to come true? Sail with the crew of a medical mission ship into the middle of the hopes and history of this unreached Pacific people group.

My Review:

   The Man with the Bird on His Head is an interesting missionary story about how God used unusual circumstances to bring Pacific islanders to salvation! John Rush was unexpectedly thrown into a mysterious island prophecy about John Frum. The story is very unusual and interesting. It shows how other islanders thought for hundreds of years and how confused their beliefs were. The book also includes John Rush's testimony how we went from a very strong atheist who opposed Christ to His earnest follower! I enjoyed the book, though I wished that there was more written about the islanders themselves and that it explained better what the "man with the bird on his head" symbolized, because it was confusing. 
   If you are looking for a one-of-a-kind missionary story, this book is a great read!

About the Author(s):

John Rush speaks and teaches widely with a characteristic warmth and humor. He has been involved in pastoral, missions, and relief leadership since his conversion from outspoken atheism over twenty years ago. He holds an MA from Fuller Seminary.

Abbe Anderson is a business consultant and medical assistant with an MBA from the University of Otago. Currently living in New Zealand, she has served as a public relations officer with Mercy Ships and is the author of several articles on Pacific relief work.

Jan 16, 2016

"The Calling of Emily Evans" review

She feels God nudging her toward ministry, but what options are there for a young single woman? 

Emily Evans has a hard time getting herself to class on time, much less figuring out God's will for her life. Then, to her surprise, she feels that God is calling her into full-time Christian service. She expects the Lord will also provide her with a companion to share her life and ministry, but Emily does not want to marry any of the available young men. She squares her shoulders and decides she will accept the task of opening a new church in a pioneer community--alone. 

When Emily arrives at her new assignment, she is disappointed to find the church building in disrepair. After many days of hard work fixing it up, she announces her first service and is once again disappointed, this time in the size of her congregation. Is her faith strong enough to stand against the local doubters and myriad challenges that will test her calling?

My Review:

     The Calling of Emily Evans is a very unique and interesting book about what life would have been like for a single woman starting a church in a town in the middle of nowhere! Emily is forced to trust in God's provision and learn how to do hard things. The book doesn't have a lot of adventure, but I liked the story line and the beautiful ending! I also enjoyed how she had to learn to trust God. Emily wasn't the "perfect" minister in the community, but people can see how she learns to relay on God more and more. The only thing that I did not like about this book was that the Kindle edition had several errors. 
     I recommend this book to anyone who enjoys Janette Oke's style! I really enjoyed it!

About the Author:

Janette Oke writes with a profound simplicity of what she knows best—real life, honest love, and lasting values. With over 23 million in sales, her historical novels portray the lives of early North American settlers from many walks of life and geographical settings. She also writes engaging children's stories and inspiring gift books that warm the heart.

Have you read any books by Janette Oke? Did you enjoy them? Comment below!

Jan 13, 2016

Handing Jesus the Keys

     Today my family watched a sermon together by Pastor Francis Chan.  If you haven't read any of his books (Crazy Love, You And Me Forever, or Forgotten God), then you really should check them out.  But what I want to mention here is an powerful analogy that he used in his sermon, Why Are We Here?

     Imagine that you are driving a car.  It represents your life.  You are in control of your life, zooming down the highway.

     Now imagine that you see Jesus standing on the side of the road, waiting for you.  His eyes are locked on yours, waiting to see what you will do.  Will you leave Him standing there?  Or maybe, will you maybe pop the trunk and call to Him to get inside, thinking to yourself, It will be handy to have Him around when I go through a trial or hard time.  Better safe than sorry.   Of course Jesus, the Creator of the universe, doesn't want to get in your trunk.

     So maybe you open the back door?  Nope.  He doesn't want to sit behind you.  He doesn't want to be your "last option", the One whom you turn to when life gets bad.  

     Maybe you go and open up the passenger door, thinking to yourself, Jesus can be my buddy!  He can come with me, and we can talk together.  But He can't have 100% control of my life.  He can help me when I need help, but I will rule my own future.   

     Jesus is better than that.  Do you know what He wants?  Jesus wants you to stop the car, get out of the driver's seat, and hand Him the keys.  Jesus wants to drive the car for you!  He wants to take you where you need to go.  You need to get in the passenger seat, strap on your seat-belt (even though Jesus would never crash, it's still the law) and go where He wants you to go. Don't lean over when there is a sharp curve and help Him steer!  He can do a much, much, much better job at driving than you ever could.  Let everything go, and give Him the keys.  Let Him control everything.  Sit back in your seat in faith.

     So...where is Jesus in your life?  Is He in your trunk?  Is He in the backseat?  Is He your "buddy" in the passenger seat, chatting with you?  Did you leave Him on the side of the road?  Or maybe...is He holding the keys to your life and steering where He wants to go?  You don't need to give me your answer.  Just think about it for a little while.  Be honest with yourself.  Where is He sitting?  The God who created this whole world.  The God who created you.  His plans are much better than yours.

Jan 9, 2016

5 Ways to Become a Helpful Blog Reader

     Every blogger loves to have helpful readers!  I know...I am a blogger!  If you are subscribed to 1 blog...3 blogs...10 blogs...or more, it is still a good idea to let the blog author know that you read and appreciate their blog.   I have added several blogs to my reading list that I read often and try to be a helpful subscriber.  So here are five ways that I try to be a helpful blog reader and how you can as well!

1. Read the Posts! 
This probably sounds silly.  Of course if you are interested in a blog you will read the posts!  But some readers will look at a long post, or one that they are not really "interested" in, and they click "delete." (trust me...I've done it before!)  If you want to be a helpful blog reader, your top priority to help the author that you follow is to read their posts!  They spent time writing the post for you!

2. Comment on Posts!
Blog authors like to know who really is reading what they write.  By commenting on their posts, you can give your opinion, and interact with both the author and fellow readers!  Giving your opinion of their post, and adding your own thoughts, is really what makes having a blog fun!  It is also fun for you, as the reader!

3. Enter Surveys/Polls/Questionnaires!
If a blog is having a poll, or any other kind of interaction with the readers, please enter it!  You can tell the author what you really think!  And trust me, authors LOVE to know your thoughts!  They want their blog to be the best it possibly can, and we, as readers, can help them!

4. Give honest opinions!
Even if you know the author and are worried about getting on their bad side, it is super important to leave honest answers.  Tell them what you really think.  This is the only way that the author can improve their work!  They will really appreciate your critical answers.  (as a side note, however, don't just give negative answers...be encouraging as well!  Tell them what you like and dislike about the blog/work/whatever you are commenting about)

5. Recommend to Friends!
This is the best way to spread news about a blog that you love!  Tell other people!  If you have your own blog, you can advertise your favorite blogs on it.  If you go to my page "Blogs That I Read" you can see some of the blogs that I enjoy.  Publicizing the blogs that you read will allow other people to enjoy them too!

Have other ideas of what a helpful blog reader should look like?  Or do you have some favorite blogs to recommend?  Comment below!!

Jan 4, 2016

2016 Blog Updates

Warning! Changes Ahead! =) 

Thank you so much to everyone who submitted their thoughts in my blog questionnaire! Because of all your help, I have updated my blog! Please check it out and comment below on your thoughts! Here are some of the changes I made..

1. The Blog Background! I hope you would have noticed this on your own (smile), but I changed the look of my background to a less distracting one! My banner is the same, so the look isn't totally different. =)

2. Movie Reviews! I added a page where I will one day soon put some reviews on for good (or maybe not-so-good) movies that my family has seen! I will post what I liked and disliked about them, and what to watch out for if you decide to view them for yourself.

3. Blogs I Read! I added a page with the links to some of my favorite blogs. Currently, I only have two listed, but I will surely add more later! 

4. My Blog Button! On the side bar, you can now view my blog button! This is for if you have a blog of your own and would like to put my button in your "blogs I read" page. If you don't have a blog, then it doesn't affect you. =)

Those are my main changes to Having a Heart Like His! 

Have other suggestions for adjustments to my blog? Comment below!