God’s not dead 2 is a cinematic masterpiece.

If you’ve followed me for any amount of time, you probably know that I’m a huge fan of Say Goodnight Kevin.  I agree 100% with everything he says – and his review of God’s Not Dead 2 is no exception.

I had the great privilege of seeing God’s Not Dead 2 back in January, and it was such a blessing.  Never has a day gone by when I don’t think, “When this movie comes out in theaters, I’m going to buy out a showing and take all of my friends to see it so we can send a message to Hollywood!”  (Haven’t been able to get the tickets yet since every Christian in America feels the need to see this movie… something having to do with proving that they’re Christians?  Anyway, I’ll let you know when the showing is.  You’re all invited!)

I couldn’t wait for Kevin’s review of God’s Not Dead 2, and it’s finally arrived!  Once again, I agree with everything he said.  Let’s all go and send a message to Hollywood!

review: facing the giants | video

Facing the Giants is one of those movies I’ll always remember watching because it was one of my first low-budget Christian films.  (Now that I think about it, it was probably my very first movie like that.)  I’ve always known it’s had issues, but I never watched it to think critically and figure out what exactly was wrong with it.

However, the main issue I’ve always had in the back of my mind about it is that it promotes the idea of “praise God when we win, praise Him when we lose,” but then undermines that when it allows the team to win the game and everything eventually turns out alright for the main character.  Instead of making you walk away with a renewed sense of constantly praising God, it gives a subliminal message that, if you pray for it, God will give you everything you want.  And that’s just not right.

I was so excited when I found out that Kevin would review this movie and, once again, Kevin is completely right!  He talks about what I said above and other things that I’ve never thought about before (including that one line in the song ‘Voice of Truth’ that will now bug me for the rest of my life – thanks, Kev).

Do you agree with him or not?  Have you always loved Sherwood Pictures films or do you think they’re lame?  Watch the video and let me know what you think!


my top five favorite christian films.

This is a much-requested blog post, and I haven’t gotten around to it because, if you know anything about me, you know that I freaking love Christian films.


I have an entire box in my room full of probably 25 indie Christian films, all ranging in various degrees of cheesiness and sappiness and just all-around awesomeness.  Whenever I need a fix, I’ll go through the box and find one to watch.  The other day, all of my family were gone on a Sunday morning, so I went to church with my best friend and then came home, changed into sweatpants and a hoodie, and cried over one of my favorites.

The thing is, whenever someone asks me to write this post, I always have a really hard time picking five favorites.  I love a lot of them, all for different reasons.  After a long debate with myself while watching one, I finally decided which are my top five.  (And this is my very first of my top favorite posts that’s in order.  I was finally able to rank them, guys!)

I’ve seen a lot of Christian films and can definitely say that these are the best I’ve seen.  (I’ve tried to pick lesser-known movies, too.  Not that God’s Not Dead and the Sherwood Pictures movies aren’t my favorite {actually, they’re not}, but everybody’s seen those.)  I haven’t seen every Christian film, though, so I can’t say that these are the best out there.  If you’ve seen any awesome Christian films that you think are as good or better than these, let me know!

(Note: Honorable mention goes to Woodlawn, which is just fantastic, but I’ve only seen it once so I can’t add it yet.  It’s a football movie, but it’s also about racial problems in the 50’s.  Here’s the trailer.  So good, you guys.)

5. Not TodayNotToday

Not Today is a new favorite.  I bought it when it was on sale at Family Christian last year and gave it to myself for Christmas (please tell me I’m not the only one who does this), but my family just got around to watching it.  And it was fantastic.

The story follows a typical rich kid, Caden, who goes to Hydrabad, India with some friends.  When he’s there, he watches a man sell his daughter so that she can have a better life.  (However, he’d unknowingly sold her into prostitution.)  During the rest of the film, Caden has to help this man find and rescue his daughter.

This movie is PG-13 for obvious reasons, and probably not for anyone who is overly sensitive about things like that.  However, it does shed light on areas that people in first-world countries (such as myself) don’t like to think about.  I tend to shut my eyes to stuff like this, and watching this movie was a very powerful experience for me.  Recommended 15+


4. Old FashionedOldFashioned

I watched this one earlier this year with my mom, then again with my family on Valentine’s Day.  We bought it soon after it came out, and a re-watch is definitely on my to-do list.

This one’s about a man and a woman who meet each other and fall in love, but they have to learn how to compromise their beliefs about love.  She’s not a Christian (spoiler alert: at the beginning of the story, that is) and is all about feelings and dating around, and he’s a very strict Christian who wants to do everything right and thinks that you shouldn’t date someone unless you’re going to marry them.  They’ve both made mistakes, though, and have to learn from them and how to change.

This movie really changed the way I think about relationships.  I reinforced what I knew about the fact that everyone makes mistakes that they’re not proud of, but it really showed me how easy (and hard) it is to move on from them.  I’d recommend this movie to anyone who’s looking for a potential (*wink*), and anyone who thinks that their mistakes are unforgivable.  (Old Fashioned is PG-13 for some “thematic material,” including a typical bachelor party that gets a little racy.)  Recommended 15+  (Note: The movie is better than the trailer lets on.)


3. October BabyOctoberBaby

Gah, these next two were so hard to pick between.  I have a longer history with October Baby and I think it’s a little better overall, but Grace Unplugged really spoke to me more, which is why they’re in this order.  (Both movies have a main guy character in them, though, that I’d like my future husband to be a cross between.  *wink*)

October Baby is about a young woman who suddenly finds out that her medical problems all relate back to one thing she didn’t know about until now – the fact that she’s an adopted survivor of an abortion.  She tells her friend, Jason (whom I love), about this, and he decides to take her on a roadtrip to help her find her birthmom.  Many tears ensue.

Because my family is so involved in adoption and crisis pregnancies, this movie really hit home with me and my family.  It’s a little intense for those who have a personal connection with abortion, but the subject is handled very tastefully.  This one’s definitely a favorite for multiple reasons (half of them being Jason, who is one of my favorite onscreen guys of all time).  It’s PG-13 for its subject, which is abortion.  It’s pretty clean, though.  Recommended 14+


2. Grace UnpluggedGraceUnplugged

This one is also relatively new, but I’ve seen it at least four times, and it’s one of my favorites to watch by myself.  Some parts of it are a little more cheesy than the rest of these films, but I connected with it so much that it’s soon become a favorite.

Grace Unplugged follows the story of Gracie Trey, the daughter of a popular singer who hit rock bottom and now leads worship at their church.  She feels constrained by his rules and wants to  branch out on her own, finally flying out to LA by herself and starting her career there, guided by his old agent.  There, she meets an intern named Quentin (aww yiss) who challenges her to think about why she’s really there.

Like I said before, I connected with this one a lot because, in all honesty, I feel limited by my parents’ rules (and sometimes my own rules, too).  I wish I could run away sometimes, too, and this movie helped me learn that sometimes what I want isn’t what’s best for me.  It challenged me to ask why I’m really pursuing a career in writing – is it for my own benefit, or is it for the glory of God?  Grace Unplugged is PG for thematic elements some teen drinking, but it’s fairly clean.  Recommended: 13+


1. To Save a LifeTo_Save_a_Life

This one’s my favorite, bar none.  I heard about it and was interested in it probably two years before I actually saw it, and I’m glad my parents made me wait (because it’s super intense).  One of my favorite things about it that it’s real and doesn’t shy away from hard problems such as teen pregnancy, bullying, suicide, cutting, alcoholism, and depression.

The story follows Jake Taylor, typical high schooler.  He’s got a beautiful girlfriend, he has an amazing future playing basketball, and he’s incredibly popular.  However, after a childhood friend commits suicide, he starts to think about everything he’s done wrong regarding this friendship and how he could have saved his friend’s life.  Soon after, everything begins to spin out of control.  He finds out that his girlfriend is pregnant with his child and that his dad is cheating on his mom.  He eventually turns to the only friend he thinks he has – a youth pastor he met at his friend’s funeral.

Like I said before, this one’s my favorite because it doesn’t shy away from hard issues.  A lot of Christian films tend to give you the assumption that if you become a Christian, your life will be perfect and you won’t have any problems.  To Save a Life proves that this is not the case.  It starts out like most Christian films, but everything changes about a third of the way through.  Whereas most Christian films paint the non-believers as the bad guys and the believers as the good guys, this one doesn’t.  (In fact, the pastor’s son is seen smoking pot behind the church one Sunday morning.)  Jake still has to live with the consequences of his actions after he gets saved, and he still makes mistakes (one almost leading to the death of another friend).  It always impacts me so much that I can only watch it like once a year.  (It’s rated PG-13 for “mature thematic elements involving teen suicide, teen drinking, some drug content, disturbing images and sexuality,” which is pretty accurate.)  This is a movie I can’t stop recommending because it’ll literally change your life.  Watch it!  Recommended 17+

Like I said before, these are my absolute favorites of the ones I’ve seen (and I’ve seen a lot), but if you’ve seen some that aren’t on this list and you feel like I’d like them, let me know!  Have you seen any of these movies?

imho: God’s not dead 2

The In My Honest Opinion Series (IMHO) is a series of posts for the purpose of declaring my opinion on certain subjects.  My honest opinion.  (Yes, thank you, Mary.)  These posts will be my totally unbiased, totally unaltered-on-any-grounds opinion.  Each and every one of my readers are entitled to the right to comment below with their own opinion and an argument, if they so desire.  Let us begin.

I haven’t done an IMHO post in a while, and I’m thinking I should, so let’s get started, shall we?

My thoughts about the film God’s Not Dead 2 can be summed up in the following gif:

Ummmm... NO.

But, because this is a blog post, I’ll expound.

Like the rest of the Christian population, I saw God’s Not Dead in the theater, texted my friends at the end, reviewed it, liked it, the whole nine yards.  I thought it was a good movie.  Not fantastic, but good.  What it lacked in story doctrinal accuracy it made up for in cinematography (which is huge for an independent film.)

But, the more I think about it, the more I don’t like it.  (And it wasn’t just Kevin’s awesome review that made me start to rethink my opinion of it.)

After all, a movie that tries to prove the existence of God through storytelling has to do it exactly right.  There’s no wiggle room available in that area.  And I think the writers may have been a little off in the debate scenes.

Plus, it’s just not my style.  I’d rather see a movie that shows the daily trials that Christians go through and how God’s grace equips them to battle day-to-day persecution, not a movie that assumes I’m an Atheist, preaches at me, and tries to convert me every three seconds.  (Because when your main motive to make a movie is to convert people, your film is going to suffer.)

So when I heard that Pureflix is going to make a sequel… well.


And then I saw the trailer.  *facepalm*

(Side note: Guys, it’s going to be released on April 1st.  April Fools Day.  REALLY?!  They’re just asking for those jokes in addition to the backlash from all of the non-believers and people who hated the first movie.)

I have no problem with Christian movies.  I love Christian movies.  (In fact, I’m trying to narrow down my five favorites for a blog post.)  But, again, when the main purpose for the film is evangelism, the people who need it the most (IF THEY EVEN GO SEE THE FILM) will already be so biased that they’ll be closed to the message.

The main purpose of every story is, first and foremost, to give glory to God.  Only barely second to that is a good story – because if you don’t have a good story, there’s no point to make the film or write the novel in the first place.  Your story should also move people, regardless of their religious background.  And it’s only after the story is set in stone that you can try to put in the Christian undertones.

I want someone to make a big-budget Christian film where the main character is real – not someone who talks about God all of the time because, be honest guys, do we do that?  I hate Christian films that make Christians seem like they read their Bible all the time and only listen to Christian music (or classical music written by Christian composers) and only want to talk about God.

I like Marvel movies.  I read books that have language in them.  I listen to Taylor Swift and Imagine Dragons.  Heck, I read Harry Potter!  Does that make me less of a Christian?  If I were in a Christian film, I’d probably be the wandering friend who is losing her faith (who the main character has to convert, obviously).

What I’m trying to say is that I want more realistic Christian films.  And whether God’s Not Dead 2 is going to be realistic or not, I’ll probably get dragged along to go see it.  And I’ll probably review it, if only to point out the inaccuracies.  So stay tuned.

Finally, here’s Kevin’s response to the trailer.  As always, I totally agree with him.  Plus, he says it better.  So watch it.

Movie Review: God’s Not Dead

MV5BMjEwNDQ3MzYyOV5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTgwNDE0ODM3MDE@__V1_SX214_“To me, [God’s] not dead.  And I don’t want anyone to get talked out of believing in Him just because some professor thinks they should.” – Josh Wheaton

I first heard about this movie last May, back when World Magazine did an article on Shane Harper and his acting career, including his new movie, God’s Not Dead.  Instantly a fan of both Shane and the movie, March 21st just couldn’t come fast enough.  My dad is a pastor, so when he got two free tickets to see an early screening of the movie last month, I begged to go.  He ended up taking my mom and came back going on and on about how great it was.  (This, from the guy who rarely enjoys movies!)

Some friends and I got to see it earlier today after our Bible study and… WOW.  It blew me away – the quality, acting, sets… everything.  It’s now one of my favorite Christian indie films.

The Story

image1“Present-day college freshman and devout Christian, Josh Wheaton (Shane Harper), finds his faith challenged on his first day of Philosophy class by the dogmatic and argumentative Professor Radisson (Kevin Sorbo). Radisson begins class by informing students that they will need to disavow, in writing, the existence of God on that first day, or face a failing grade. As other students in the class begin scribbling the words “God Is Dead” on pieces of paper as instructed, Josh find himself at a crossroads, having to choose between his faith and his future. Josh offers a nervous refusal, provoking an irate reaction from his smug professor. Radisson assigns him a daunting task: if Josh will not admit that “God Is Dead,” he must prove God’s existence by presenting well-researched, intellectual arguments and evidence over the course of the semester, and engage Radisson in a head-to-head debate in front of the class. If Josh fails to convince his classmates of God’s existence, he will fail the course and hinder his lofty academic goals. With almost no one in his corner, Josh wonders if he can really fight for what he believes. Can he actually prove the existence of God? Wouldn’t it just be easier just to write “God Is Dead” and put the whole incident behind him?

GOD’S NOT DEAD weaves together multiple stories of faith, doubt and disbelief, culminating in a dramatic call to action. The film will educate, entertain, and inspire moviegoers to explore what they really believe about God, igniting important conversations and life-changing decisions.” (from the official website)

The Cast and Characters

Josh Wheadon

Josh Wheaton is a very solid character – unwavering in his beliefs, yet still fallible.  One of the things I liked the most about him was the fact that he didn’t let anything get in the way of his relationship with God – even temporal things that he placed a lot of value in.  (Trying to tiptoe around the details so I don’t give up any major plot details!)  He feels God calling him to enter into this debate with his college professor, even though he feels totally inadequate, and defies anyone that would try to sway his determination.

Shane Harper is a Christian, and you can totally see that through the passion he puts into this certain character.  Even the best actors on the planet wouldn’t be able to portray Josh unless they truly believed in what they were saying – and Shane does it perfectly.  (See this article on him for more details on his faith.)  On a side note, I’ve only seen Shane in Good Luck, Charlie, so it was interesting to see Shane in another role.

image3Jeffery Radisson is the professor of Philosophy who challenges Josh’s claim that God is not dead.  At first, he’s only portrayed as a biased atheist.  However, during the course of the film, you find out more details of Professor Radisson’s life, including the reason why he hates God and his connections with the many subplots that are woven into the film.

Kevin Sorbo depicted Professor Radisson nearly flawlessly.  There were times when I sat back in my seat, completely taken aback by the professor – entirely because of Mr. Sorbo’s great acting skills.  He showed the depth of the character ever so slowly, making the professor a very interesting character, instead of a run-of-the-mill antagonist.

image7As I mentioned before, there were several subplots interwoven throughout the main plot, all interconnected in a fascinating way.  They made me think about the fact that it’s weird how much everyone on the planet is connected and how one person’s actions might effect the lives of many people around them – even people they don’t know.  For instance, Josh’s decision to debate his professor impacts two sub-characters who he never actually meets – one, for good, and the other, for worse.  Very intriguing.

A few of my favorite secondary characters were Martin, a Chinese transfer student, Ayisha, a Muslim girl who is questioning her faith, and Amy, a reporter who just heard some life-altering news.

image14Objectionable Content

This was a really clean film!  The only scene that could possibly be objectionable is an accident scene towards the end where some blood is shown and several close-ups on the victim’s face while this character tries to talk through the blood filling in his lungs.  Not too bad, though.

The Bottom Line

This movie is one of those (VERY) rare movies that you just want to recommend to anyone and everyone.  I enjoyed it a lot, especially during the climax when Josh said a really good argument during the third session of the debate.  Everyone started clapping and cheering and it was great.  Also, at the end, there’s a very neat marketing/bring-a-smile-to-God’s-face thing that I absolutely LOVED.  And I can’t say anything else without giving it up.  You’ll have to see it for yourselves.

my life, currently…

is full of randomness.

I’m studying for a Western Civilization CLEP test (3k years of history, y’all… I feel faint…), which has been taking up most of my time lately.

I’m also finishing up Becoming Nikki, which is soooo exciting.  As most of y’all probably know, I wanted to have it done about three months ago so that I could do some publicity along with the Olympics (tomorrow!!), but that didn’t happen.  So I shall have to get it out as fast as possible and leave the rest up to God.  Then I can get on to Sneakers and another very top secret novel that I’m reeeally excited about.  (Is that sneaky or what, Miss Jane?!)

Speaking of the Olympics….  Can’t wait to see THESE people again!!  (And also Maia & Alex Shibutani, who are my new other favorites because they’re brother and sister… just like another ice dancing couple I know of….  *wink*)


I’ve also been getting back into Boy Meets World, the TV show I discovered during NaNo and didn’t want to tell you guys about because then you’ll get addicted.  Never fear, it’s not on YouTube anymore.  (“Weep, weep – all weep….”)  I did buy the first two seasons around Thanksgiving, though, and have been slowly going through them by myself, then with my siblings.  (My younger sister, who most of you know as Beatrice, is the vice president of the BMW Fan Club now.  I take full responsibility.)  It’s suuuuuch a good show.  Why, you ask?  Well, I’ll tell ya.  As I told someone the other day, Boy Meets World is awesome because “it’s so different from modern TV shows. The main character has a serious moral dilemma, goes to his parents, mentors, etc for help and advice, and figures it out by the end of the episode. It’s kinda like The Cosby Show, except better.”  And Girl Meets World is starting up soon, which will only deepen my love for this show.

And speaking of TV shows I love, there’s a movie coming out that I’m going to love, too.  It’s called God’s Not Dead and I know I’ve already talked about it, but I’m going to talk about it again.  My dad got two free tickets to a screening of it nearby because he’s a pastor (and he took my mom – isn’t that AWFUL?!).  He said it was “great,” which is awesome because he walks out of basically every movie we watch saying, “It was cute.”  He also came home with a bag full of promotional stuff and gave me a wristband and poster for the movie – yay!!  Sooooo excited!  I can’t wait to see it.  You guys need to see it, too.  It’s going to be phenomenal.

Also, I’ve been eating a lot of chocolate lately.  Mostly to fuel my studying, and mostly to get rid of my Christmas candy.  (What is up with that?!  Why do people give us SO much candy around Christmas that it all goes bad before I can eat it all?!  Good gracious.)

My family went to a friend’s house to watch the Super Bowl on Sunday because we don’t have cable.  *yawn*  That was the most boring, most depressing Super Bowl EVAH.  Honestly.  The next one needs to be better.

Oh, and Jessica Greyson, the author of Annabeth’s War, is hosting a giveaway on her blog!  Go check it out – she’s giving away fifteen books.  That’s something to get excited about!!

Well, Western Civ is calling my name.  (That, and Josh Groban, who is serenading me as I study.)

in honor of national right to life day – part two

Movie Review – October Baby

“I’m Hannah, and this is my story…. And it’s not what you think.”

“You saw me before I was born.” Psalm 139:16 (NLT)

“As the curtain rises, Hannah hesitantly steps onto the stage for her first theatrical debut in college. Yet before she can utter her first lines, Hannah – unscripted – collapses in front of the stunned audience. After countless medical tests, all signs point to one underlying factor: Hannah’s difficult birth. This revelation is nothing compared to what she then learns from her parents: she was actually adopted … after a failed abortion attempt. Bewildered, angered, and confused, Hannah turns for support to Jason, her oldest friend. Encouraged by his adventurous spirit, Hannah joins his group of friends on a Spring Break road trip, embarking on a journey to discover her hidden past … and find hope for her unknown future. In the midst of her incredible journey, Hannah finds that life can be so much more than what you have planned.” (Synopsis from the film’s website)

I heard about October Baby last year in an emailed newsletter I get from Provident Films. It looked really good – especially because it had something to do with adoption, which is something that my family is very convicted about. My parents previewed the film on the day it came out, then Arwen and I went to see it on Sunday. It was such an amazing movie… thus the review. : )

The Story
October Baby opens with shots of a little girl and boy running in slow motion through fields and then jumping into a pond, holding hands. Before they do, they kick off their shoes and socks, and the little girl tosses her asthma inhaler onto her shoes. When I saw this, I literally couldn’t stop smiling. It was such a good opening to a movie – it shows the long-time relationship between Hannah and Jason, then the constant health issues that Hannah has had since she was born. (A little bit of a spoiler, but I just had to say it!)

After 19-year-old Hannah collapses onstage (in an intense and well-acted moment), she finds out about her birth in an awkward and quite shocking way. That night, she tells “her oldest friend, Jason” (who is not her boyfriend, which surprised me a little) the truth that she’d just learned. He offers to take her to the hospital in Mobile, Alabama where she was born. When he’s actually planned it out, he asks her to come with him in a scene that had me laughing out loud (and makes me smile now just thinking about it).

The trip lets you get to know all of the characters better, especially Hannah and Jason and Jason’s obnoxious girlfriend. (I wanted to slap that girl…) When Hannah and Jason separate from the group and go to the hospital by themselves, there are several plot twists and what seems like dead ends that had even me wondering how Hannah was going to find her birthmom.

And, once again, I’d better stop. : )

The Characters and Cast

Hannah Lawson is a very solid character that is very well fleshed-out in the film. Like any good character, she has multiple layers and varied strengths and weaknesses. When she finds out the truth about her birth and the events surrounding it, she doesn’t fall into the “depths of despair,” but keeps her spirits high while she’s searching for her birthmother and accepts her past. Also, for a reason unexplained, Hannah has never had a boyfriend. She calls herself a “weird homeschooling freak,” which made me laugh and like her all the more!

The character of Hannah Lawson is played to perfection by Rachel Hendrix, who has only been in one other film as a minor character. When Hannah finds out more and more about her past, she responds as I and any other sane person would – with tears. And yet, with every new fact, Hendrix brings a new depth of emotion to the screen every time! With every new fact gained, her facial expressions change and aren’t a repeat of the previous emotion. Frankly, I was a little shocked to find out that she’d only been in one other movie and a car commercial – she’s such a good actress!

Jason…. All I can say is “Smiley face.” Arwen and I walked away from the theater both saying, “I like him!” Jason is such a good friend to Hannah and I really appreciate the fact that he’s still her friend and even supports her after she finds out that she was adopted. He goes to such lengths as to organize a road trip especially for her, get a rental car, pay for a hotel room, and a lot more! Even after she’s overcome by her emotions numerous times in the film, he stays strong and constantly tells her, “It’s going to be okay.” *Slight spoiler alert!* Near the end of the film, he even calls her dad, Dr. Lawson, to apologize for overstepping his bounds, which I don’t think he did. But, hey – it’s still a really good scene and made me like him even more. *End spoiler alert* There was only one thing Arwen and I think he should have done differently, but that was very minor.

Jason Burkey is a very good actor, too – and yes, that’s his actual first name! I usually judge actors and actresses based on if they can do a good cry, but it was when Burkey almost cried that made me decide I liked him as an actor. (Well, I liked him in the first scene he was in… but it was then that I really decided I liked him.) He was able to act with so many different emotions – friendliness, humor, anger, sadness. I was also surprised to find that he hadn’t been in many movies, either. It always makes me happy when people like the Kendricks and the Erwin brothers choose virtual unknowns to play main characters, especially if, like I saw on Burkey IMDb movie list, they are “found out” and chosen for other movies.

Truman (I can’t find the actor’s name) and B-Mac (Chris Sligh) were characters that supported Hannah, too, and went on the road trip with her. They were mainly added for comic relief, but I liked them anyway, especially Truman, who delivered such awesome lines as, “Am I German?” and “Excuse me – do you realize this is a library?” B-Mac also made a reference to Star Wars that Arwen enjoyed – “This is our Millennium Falcon, if you will,” speaking of Evelyn, the Volkswagen van that the group takes the road trip in. (Yes, the car has a name! Love it!) As a side note, you might recognize Chris Sligh from American Idol Season Six. He got the chance to sing in October Baby twice.

Objectionable Content
October Baby is rated PG-13 for “mature thematic material,” which is throughout the film. This movie is about an abortion survivor, but they don’t say much than that (except for a mild description of something that happened to another abortion survivor). It’s a hard subject for most.

Also, there is a scene that Arwen and I thought Jason could have handled differently. There are a couple chances when it could get “iffy” between Hannah and Jason, but they both respect each other and make good decisions.

Usually, in an independent Christian film, such as Fireproof or Come What May, the quality isn’t very good. Everything (or sometimes just something) is a little off – the acting, the script, the camera quality, the lighting. I’ve watched many different qualities of independent Christian films – Remember Me, What If…, Flywheel, The Widow’s Might, Facing the Giants, Sybil Ludington, Mandie and the Secret Tunnel being just a few of them. Being a big fan of independent Christian films, no matter what the quality, I’ve gotten to where I ignore it. But movies I’ve watched recently, such as Courageous and To Save a Life, are exceptionally better than the rest.

October Baby is no exception. At times, I found the quality better even than Courageous, which I still love. The entire movie was shot so beautifully, I found myself forgetting it was an “indie film.” The picture below is one of my favorite shots. See how the camera caught the sunlight? Simply breathtaking.

In Conclusion
The more people I talk to about October Baby, the more I’m shocked to find that a lot of people know and have heard about it, but for some reason haven’t gone. Let me just say that it was worth it! Totally worth it. I keep wanting to go back and see it again!!!

October Baby is a movie that I have put on my favorite movie list and will probably go see again before it comes out on DVD. (At that time, I’m buying it!)

Please go see this exceptionally well-done movie! It’ll challenge you to think about your views on many issues, especially abortion!


PS: The soundtrack is also AMAZING.  You can listen to it here.

‘God’s Not Dead’ and Phil Robertson

I’m a huge fan of the A&E show, Duck Dynasty.  In fact, I think there’s only a very small amount of people who live in the South and don’t like the show or haven’t heard of it.  It’s an awesome show!  Great morals, good stories, insanely funny parts – what more do you need?

Many of you have probably heard of what happened to Phil Robertson, one of the stars of the show.  He recently got suspended from the set after giving an interviewer his (honest) opinion about homosexuality.  (Because I know I have younger readers on my blog, I’ll leave it at that.)  However, after the uprising of Christian fans who protested the suspension, A&E decided to let him back on the show.

GodsNotDeadRussell Wolfe, the producer of the upcoming Christian film God’s Not Dead (which I am SOOOO excited about!) saw a parallel between the movie and Phil’s problem.  “There is so much similarity in the plot of the film God’s Not Dead in Willie and Korie’s scene with what’s taken place this week with Phil Robertson. … Freedom of speech and freedom of religion are being trampled on in a country where media bias is more rampant than ever. Our film’s purpose is to help Christians unite, stand together, and change the world.”  He commented further in a great article at Christian Cinema that I’d highly recommend to anyone interested in the movie.

Twenty-Five Things I’m Thankful For

  • God, Who saved me and continues to mold me into who He wants me to be every single day
  • My wonderful family, who loves me even when I make idiotic mistakes
  • My sweetie-pie little brother, who never ceases to make me laugh!
  • My church body, without whom I know I wouldn’t be who I am today
  • My loving friends, who accept me the way I am – with all of my faults and quirks  : )
  • My awesome pen pal, Elinor  (Love ya, girly!!)
  • All of my amazing bloggy friends – you guys are awesome!
  • Sir Percy… just cuz.  (And, yes, I did just say that!)
  • The makers of the Lord of the Rings LEGO video game who decided to keep Faramir in it.  Cuz he is amazing.  Nuff said.
  • All of the authors whose works I read frequently – Wayne Thomas Batson, Robert Whitlow, J.R.R. Tolkien, Louisa May Alcott, and C.S. Lewis, to name a very few.  You worked hard to create something worth reading and you have done it!!
  • The BBC for making such wonderful productions and for providing half of the quotes that I use on a regular basis, from “Easy peesy, squeeze the lemon,” to “Sparker, be quiet!” to “No lace!” to “In vain I have struggled – my feelings will not be repressed.  You must allow me to tell you how ardently I admire and love you!” to “Really, Emma, it is better to be without wit at all then to apply it as you do!”  (And that’s only half of the half!)
  • Peter Jackson for making Lord of the Rings and sticking to The Hobbit
  • To the Bored Shorts TV people, who provide the other half of the quotes I use on a regular basis!  (“Don’t punch……..our car.” and “I am a Snackyvore.  It is liiiiike… a dinosoah that likes… snacks and treats!” are two of my bo-fuh… my bo-fa, my bo-faaaai….  Yeah.)
  • Tenth Avenue North – your music makes me feel like I’m in church.  And I love it.  : )
  • Alec and Nikki, who are two of my best friends even though they’re only in my head  : )
  • The old Hollywood, who made such awesome Christmas movies like Holiday Inn, Christmas in Connecticut, Miracle on 34th Street, White Christmas, and the two that share the rank of my top favorite Christmas movie of all time, The Shop Around the Corner and It’s a Wonderful Life!
  • My piano and violin teachers, who inspire me to play more than they know!
  • My good friend who inspired me to start writing again.  That was a good six years ago and, good gracious, I haven’t gotten over it yet!
  • The makers of all of the musicals I love – Les Miserables, Phantom of the Opera, Little Women, and The Little Mermaid.  Most of my go-to songs are from those four musicals and I love them dearly!
  • Mitt Romney, for sticking to it and running for president and defying the odds.  You would have been a great president!
  • Milton Hershey for perfecting the modern version of chocolate – you are in my debt!
  • The next-door neighbors and their adorable twins who I got to babysit all day today.  Not finishing my school was completely worth it!
  • The NaNo people for inspiring so many writers to actually write and finish a goal and push them!
  • The makers of all of the indie films that I love – October Baby, What If…, Fireproof, and To Save a Life being some of my favorites.  When you work hard to make a good movie, the story and character development make up for all of the acting slips!
  • You guys, the readers of my blog.  You make my day whenever you read a post or comment or follow!  Thank you so much!!

Happy Thanksgiving!!!


Here’s my attempt to tell you guys everything that’s gone on this week…

I have had the craziest week ever.

(I could end this blog post there – that’d certainly be the easiest way of doing it….  But I’ll attempt to tell you guys everything that’s gone on this week, starting with Arwen’s birthday last Sunday.  [Well, it wasn’t last Sunday, it was, like, two Sundays ago.]  Anywhoz.)

(I should also mention that I’m listening to a Doctor Who soundtrack playlist on YouTube, so if I randomly start quoting David Tennant… my deepest apologies.  But not that deep.  I’ve only seen two episodes, so I don’t have much to work with, but….  *evil laugh*)

We had Arwen’s birthday party after everyone left after church.  A few of the kids from three families were there, totaling thirteen kids.  (I love big families….)  We played this awesome Bible game called Truth and Triumph – full of Bible questions that were insanely hard – and then ate a delicious lunch, cooked in the kitchen at the community center where we meet for church.  Afterwards, instead of cake and ice cream, we had caramel apples!!!  (Try this at home – use an apple slicer to cut an apple up, then dip it in caramel, mini chocolate chips, and pecans.  It’s amazing and way easier to eat than a whole apple!)  After that, we went to see Finding Nemo in 3D.  : )

Monday morning, we left for the Passion for Jesus Retreat.  It. Was. Amazing.  I won’t even attempt to write everything God taught me this week because it’d take you years to read it all.  No joke!  God used APJ in a very powerful way this past week, and I count myself very blessed to have been a part of it!

 APJ is different from other retreats or conferences because they have a lot of dramatic skits in between sessions.  This one was an analogy of what happens after you’ve become a Christian, but still have guilt over things you did before you were a Christian.

They also incorporate a lot of singing in the schedule, too.  Nearly every time our entire group got together, we sang amazing songs, such as ‘Still, My Soul Be Still,’ ‘Wonderful, Merciful Savior,’ ‘Above All,’ ‘All I Have is Christ,’ ‘The Power of the Cross,’ ‘Revelation Song,’ ‘How Deep the Father’s Love,’ ‘Before the Throne of God Above,’ and I could probably list every song in the songbook they sent us home with because they’re all amazing.  (If you haven’t heard any of the songs I listed, go look them up.  Like, now.)

 In between sessions and small groups and hours upon hours of alone-time with God (what my small group leader liked to call dates with Him), we had plenty of time to goof off with the other campers.  We did a lot of volleyball games and swimming in the lake and all that jazz.  (We also played an awesome game where we ran around and hid and acted like idiots.  It was awesome.)

 One of my small group leaders – who was from Australia!  Her accent was amazing.  (I also discovered how hard an Australian accent is to pull off!  It’s a cross between British and Irish and completely awesome.)

 Part of my small group trying to write a song about Starbursts.  (I told you we had time to goof off!)  It was a competition, too!  We didn’t win, but had an absolute blast.  : )

 The train track at the camp where we stayed.  The conductor stopped the train here so that he could give a salvation message.

 A team while they were doing their Starburst song.  (The girl in the front is really nice and I think she acts exactly like Arwen!)

 Me and one of my small group leaders.  Loved her to death!

 Me and the girl from Australia – she was amazing!

Me and a speaker, who was so much fun to listen to!  I could sit there for hours and hours and listen to her speak.

I’ll give you guys the highlights of what I learned.  Just the highlights, mind you, so this isn’t going to look like much, but if you want more, just email me.  : )

On humbleness and pride – I learned that I had so much pride in more than one area of my life.  It was insane!  The night Laurie spoke on pride, it was like this huge wave of conviction came over me and I was like, “Oh, nuts.”  We all got down on the floor in a big circle and prayed and cried for a few hours.  (Then watched Billy: The Early Years, which was the perfect movie to end all that crying because it was so funny!)  In our workbook, they put a list of prideful people and what they do and don’t do versus broken people and what they do and don’t do.  I found a few of them here, if you’d like to check them out.

On forgiveness and bitterness – Bitterness is a nasty word.  Some people don’t like to admit they’re bitter at others and instead say, “I’m just hurt.”  But it’s the same thing.

On guy friends – I need to be more than just a friend to my brothers in Christ.  I need to be a sister to them, helping and encouraging them along their walk with the Lord.  One thing I really liked about the retreat this year was that they had a guy speaker.  I know what you’re thinking – a guy at an all-girls camp?!  Scandalous!!  No, not really.  I heard David to have been a little bit of a distraction, but, to me, what he said far outweighed any distraction he was, because to me, personally, subjects like this mean so much more coming from a guy.  Really.  (That, and he was funny, too!  Check out this awesome video I found yesterday!!)

On crushes – This was another thing David talked about.  He first defined a crush (“A crush is affection looking for somewhere to rest.  A crush is like a head cold.  It comes and it goes and the best thing you can do about it not to pass it on.”), then talked about different things having to do with crushes.  The thing that I liked the most, though, was what he said about having a crush on God.  People say they love God, but if there’s no relationship – they never read their Bible or pray or anything – they really only have a crush on God.  : )

And I’d better stop before this gets much longer.  Again, though, if you’d like any more of my notes or anything, just ask.  I’d be more than willing to email them to anyone because one of the things I heard at the retreat was that I have to many masks.  I have different masks – one for church, one for home, one for certain siblings, one for my friend, the list goes on and on.  Laurie talked about taking off the masks and being real.  “To be real is to be vulnerable” are her exact words.  So I’ll be real with y’all.  No more masks.  : )

Friday, Arwen and I got up early-ish to go to work, then came home really tired.  Then, on Saturday, we went to another ball!  Yes, another ball!!  : )  I didn’t take many pictures, so for the sake of this post not being any longer than it already is, I won’t post any.  (Unless, that is, you riot and throw tomatoes.  But please stop because I am talking!!!  *gasps*  I didn’t think I’d actually quote Doctor Who, and there it was.  And not even David Tennant!)

On Sunday, we had the most amazing worship time!  I think it was partially because Arwen and I had been at the APJ retreat all week, so our music was more focused on Christ.  Also, at our church, we have a time of sharing what the Lord has been teaching in your life, then we do prayer requests and praise reports, then we pray.  This week, everything seemed to connect together, like everyone was sharing in the same theme – trusting God, which, insanely, was something He had convicted me about at the retreat.  A friend shared the exact same verse God had brought to my mind as I was walking down the train track one day.  After everyone shared, I had to go outside and have a minute by myself.  I completely lost it.  It was great.  : )Afterwards, we had a fellowship meal and played football (which is my one weakness).  Monday was the standard school and et cetera, then orchestra practice.  As Arwen and I were driving home, we hit a huge deer.  Now the front of our car is all smashed up and we’ll probably have to drive my mom’s car to work tomorrow.  (Sigh.)

Thus is my life.  “One big stinking hunk of nothing!”  No, that’s not it.  What’s the quote…?  “My life is an open book, I see!”  Nope.  Oh, whatever.  What I’m trying to say is that my life is amazing right now.  (With no guy in it – imagine that!)  Anybody got a quote for that?  : )