Perfect gift for someone you care for! You Are Loved Gift Set (a review plus coupon code), plus giveaway!

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Do you need some encouragement? Or some beauty in your life? What about some affirmations about you that come straight from the Bible? Or maybe a new journal to write in? If you can answer “yes” to any of these questions, I think that you would love the You Are Loved Gift Set! FrontGate Media provided the You Are Loved Scripture Writing Journal and its accompanying 4×4 Scripture Card Set. Keep reading for more about these wonderful resources, plus how you can purchase them yourself.

About the You Are Loved Gift Set

This is a truly beautiful gift set which is just in time for Mother’s Day–although this isn’t necessarily for mothers only, but for anyone who’d appreciate being reminded that they are loved! The You Are Loved Gift Set includes the You Are Loved Scripture Writing Journal and a 4×4 Scripture Card Set. (More items are also available at Warner Press’s You Are Loved web page)

Inside the journal, you’ll find 52 affirmations taken right from the Bible that tell us who we are, what God thinks of us, and what we can think of ourselves. Each of these affirmations is paired with a Bible verse. And in the journal, there are two facing pages for each of those affirmations. On the left page, you’ll find the affirmation and its accompanying Bible verse address, with lines between those so that you can look up the Bible verse and write it down yourself. On the right page, you’ll see the title “Reflection and Prayer for Today,” with lots of lines for you to write down what you think of the verse plus any prayer you’d like to record. The pages are bordered with black and white floral designs (on the left) and a black-lined box around the reflection lines, on the other. (With a couple of flowers to liven up the box!)

The 4×4 cards take each of those 52 affirmations and print them on smooth, colorful cards. The cards have several pretty designs along with the affirmation on one side, with the accompanying Scripture and its verse address printed out (along with a mention of which Bible translation the verse comes from.)

My thoughts about the You Are Loved Gift Set

Do you know who you are in Christ?

I don’t know if you do know–sometimes I feel that I do and sometimes, those certainties seem very far away. In those moments, I’m so grateful for resources like this beautiful You Are Loved Gift Set. This is one of those gifts I would love to give to another person, but also one I’d love to receive myself!

I found it the perfect kind of journal for me to use. Right now, I’m spending most of my journaling time looking up the same verse in several Bible translations, then writing them down. Just the process of looking up the verse and rewriting it in different translations helps me to take the verses in, and understand something that God might be wanting to say to me. The You Are Loved Scripture Writing Journal takes that idea and combines it with Scriptural affirmations that we all really need to hear–then gives us the space to not only write the verse in the journal but to tell us something that God wants us to know about ourselves.

For example, do you need to remember that:

  • You are accepted
  • You are forgiven
  • You are precious
  • You are God’s masterpiece
  • You are saved by grace

I did need to–and I do, every day! Because I find that the world wants to tell me the opposite things. That I am only worthwhile if…. or that I am only treasured if….. or that I am only loved if….

How amazing to know that I am ALWAYS treasured by God. I am ALWAYS precious to Him. I am ALWAYS loved by Him. (As are all humans–remember John 3:16, “God so loved the WORLD!”) I absolutely found this to be the most meaningful and beautiful journal–that even led to some lovely times with the Lord. It tells me what I am to God and encourages me to remember those things, by having me write them down and then, seeing them myself.

And in addition to the beauty of this journal, I love the gorgeous little 4×4 cards. You could place them on your bulletin board, or on a tiny frame or card holder, flipping them from one side to the other (depending on whether you’re feeling you need the Scripture or the affirmation). They are so pretty. And they reinforce every good thing that the journal reminds us to remember.

I want to be honest and tell you that I didn’t go in consecutive order in this journal. It holds 52 affirmation/Scripture journal pages, and you could certainly use them week by week in that order. (There’s no hard and fast rule on this, by the way!) I approached the journal a bit differently, by focusing on some particular affirmations I needed to hear and remember at this very moment. Really, whether you use this journal in the consecutive way or the word-focused way (or another way that I haven’t mentioned here), you’re going to be writing the words of Scripture on your heart and mind–and encouraging yourself in the process. I was so blessed. I love these!

Where to purchase the You Are Loved Gift Set–with this 30% off coupon code!

You can purchase the You Are Loved Gift Set during the months of April 2023 and May 2023 by using the code BLOG30 at the Warner Press website! Just click on the purchase link below and use the code when prompted as you’re checking out.

Purchase here at Warner Press

And, enter to win these gorgeous gifts yourself!

Blessed Freebies is giving away this beautiful journal and affirmation cards, PLUS a bookmark and greeting cards set! Just click on the giveaway link below for your chance to win. (The giveaway has been extended so do enter!)

You Are Loved Gift Set giveaway

Enjoy! –Wren

Disclaimer: I received a sample of these products from the publisher. All opinions shared here are my own honest ones.

“Miracle at Manchester” ~ a PureFlix film just in time for Easter (+ GA, ends 4/9/23)

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Pure Flix streaming service has a huge slate of films and videos to help you and your family prepare your hearts and minds for Easter. Recently, I had the opportunity to watch a new film called Miracle at Manchester. It’s based on a true story (and I have to admit, it’s a tearjerker). But it also has some beautiful lessons to teach us about faith, hope, and love–and prayer!

About Miracle at Manchester

Brycen Newman is an outstanding athlete in several sports, with a great friend group and even a special gal. One day, he begins getting severe headaches, which are diagnosed as migraines and dehydration. But Brycen’s symptoms worsen, and to his and his parents’ dismay, the symptoms lead to an aggressive cancer.

Brycen, his parents, and his faith and school community walk through the painful journey together, which will require all their faith and prayers.

My thoughts about this film

Boy! Miracle at Manchester tells viewers the story of a promising young man’s unexpected and shocking battle with brain cancer. As a standout baseball and football player, Brycen is preparing for a major playoff game. But cancer interferes. Based on a true story, viewers don’t have any idea how this is going to end. (And I’m not going to tell you!) But I do want to share my impressions with you.

As Brycen’s dad, Eddie McClintock displays what you’d expect for any parent to feel when their child is diagnosed with a serious and life-threatening illness. He loves and supports his son in an amazing way even as he struggles with his own faith. Brycen’s classmates experience similar struggles. As they all attend a Catholic school, we get to see the students hear about service and prayer from teachers and the school’s priest, as some solutions to the pain they’re feeling and the fear they battle with Brycen’s illness.

Kory Getman, as Brycen, does a great job illustrating a young man on a journey from healthy and strong to ill and undergoing painful, debilitating surgeries and treatments.

A side story shares about a community member, himself a veteran, who repairs cars for next to nothing for veterans. And interestingly, his wife is Brycen’s nurse. The way the two families’ lives eventually connect is a very cool God story.

Going through a cancer battle is crazy wild; there are so many physical things that happen for sure. But it also impacts, sometimes in a crashing way, a person’s (and a family’s) faith as well as their emotions. Miracle at Manchester does an amazing job showing us how all of that can be lived out. I don’t want to tell you anything else; I’d rather you get to watch the story unfold. But I will say that there are some lovely encouragements for prayer and faith.

The Miracle at Manchester trailer–and a link for you to watch the film now!

You can watch the trailer for Miracle at Manchester now on YouTube below!

Watch Miracle at Manchester now on Pure Flix. (If you don’t have a membership, you can sign up at the same highlighted link for a 7-day free trial! )

You can enter to win a Pure Flix subscription!

Pure Flix is happy to provide a free 3-month subscription for one entrant in this giveaway here at the FINCHNWREN blog. To enter, just click on the highlighted link below that says “Enter here.” That will take you to a Giveaway Tools entry form, where you’ll be able to enter in a variety of ways. US entrants only; must be 18 and older to win. This is open only to those who have NOT won a subscription to Pure Flix in the last 6 months. Best wishes!

Enter here!

And before you go, Pure Flix has collected some encouraging verses for tough times! Just follow the links for each one!

12 Bible Verses for Strength and Courage Amid Illness

20 Bible Verses About Strength: God’s Word on Faith in Hard Times

10 Comforting Bible Verses for Illness

Blessings to you! –Wren


Many thanks to Pure Flix for providing a sample of the product for this review. Opinions are 100% my own.

Just in time for Easter: “His Only Son” from Angel Studios, in theaters! (+ tix GA!)

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Are you familiar with Angel Studios? You might recognize their name as the distributor of the exceptional series about Jesus’s life and his disciples, “The Chosen.” Now they’re bringing a remarkable film to theaters this weekend, called “His Only Son.” It is SO well-worth seeing! Keep reading for more about the film, my thoughts on it, where you can buy tickets, plus a ticket giveaway as well! (ends 3/31/23)

About the film

There are so many amazing things I want to share with you about “His Only Son” today.

First, from Angel Studios and the filmmakers:

His Only Son recounts one of the most controversial moments in the Old Testament—when Abraham was commanded by God to sacrifice his son Isaac on the mountain of Moriah. While traveling to the place of the sacrifice, alongside Isaac and two servants, Abraham is flooded with vivid memories from the years he and Sarah spent longing for the son they were promised—the son he must now lay upon the altar.

Angel Studios, about “His Only Son”

Following the model used by “The Chosen” and Angel Studios, the filmmakers of “His Only Son” crowdfunded the proceeds necessary for a 600-theater film premiere and release. However, thanks to donors who participated in the crowdfund, over $1,235,000 was raised! Now, “His Only Son” is showing in 1,200 theaters and counting–with incredibly positive reviews from those who’ve seen it!

My thoughts about “His Only Son”

Years ago, I had the remarkable opportunity to see Rembrandt’s magnificent oil painting, “The Sacrifice of Isaac,” at the Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg, Russia. I stood before the painting for several moments; it’s at once breathtaking, dazzling, and heartbreaking. It’s really too much to take in quickly; you have to take time not only to examine it but to feel it with your heart. Up close, you can see the anguish on Abraham’s face. The moment where he’s about to sacrifice–to relinquish–to take the life of his only son. Isaac, the son of promise. Isaac, the son of Sarah and Abraham–the first fulfillment of God’s promise to Abraham that his descendants would be as numerous as the stars in the sky. Isaac, promised; and now, Isaac, taken away?

Of course, we know this particular moment’s conclusion; that as Abraham raised the knife, the angel calls from heaven and stops him. But in the moment Rembrandt captured on his canvas, neither Abraham nor Isaac knows what God will do. Isaac, bound and terrified. Abraham, surely broken in heart. And Rembrandt’s skilled use of chiaroscuro brings light and darkness crashing together, as God intervenes and the knife falls from Abraham’s hand.

Rembrandt - Sacrifice of Isaac - WGA19096
Rembrandt van Rijn,”The Sacrifice of Isaac” Wikimedia Commons

I’m sure that for many of us, this is a gut-wrenching tale. Abraham’s and Sarah’s lives together–well, they really covered it all, didn’t they? Beauty. Calling. Barrenness. God’s promise. Humans trying to bring about God’s promise by their own efforts; only to bring heartbreak to each one of them.

Angel Studios’ “His Only Son” brings Sarah and Abraham to life with incredible compassion; but also, reflecting on the lifetime they had together, and all their years and relationship moments before the child of the promise, Isaac, finally arrived. The actors who portray the couple, plus Hagar, Isaac, Eliezer, and the two servants are incredibly believable. Director David Heller tells the story in a dual timeline fashion, with characters moving along in their current day, and Abraham’s flashbacks of his life; when God intersected it with His promises, and how Abraham and Sarah had to live out all the years between those moments and the moment when FINALLY God brought Isaac. And then–to call him to sacrifice his son?

This film is truly incredible. It’s difficult to watch at times, of course. But Heller brings these characters and story to life so vividly. And the film uses Scripture to paint God’s picture and plan in the most beautiful way.

This is THE film you’ll want to see in theaters this Easter. Keep reading for more on how you can get tickets, and enter to win some!

You can see “His Only Son” in theaters this Easter! Purchase tix here:

This is a hugely meaningful time of year to see this amazing movie, which not only foreshadows Jesus, His crucifixion, and resurrection; but also shows us God’s promises to humans. From Abraham’s perspective, everything God was promising was impossible.

Yet as the angel Gabriel says to Mary thousands of years later, “For nothing will be impossible with God.”

Follow the link below to purchase tickets for yourself, your family, your friend group or church group, to see this amazing film!

“His Only Son” tickets buy link

And check out the “His Only Son” social media sites as well!

Film website





And, more on Angel Studios and “His Only Son” here!

Enter to win tix to “His Only Son”

Blessed Freebies is giving you a chance to enter and win a pair of tickets to see “His Only Son” in theaters. Winner will be chosen on March 31, 2023. To enter, just click on the Blessed Freebies link below, and follow the instructions.

Blessed Freebies “His Only Son” giveaway entry link

Be blessed, dears! –Wren

Disclosure: This is a sponsored post. Regardless, all opinions shared here are my own impressions and thoughts, shared freely with you.

See the rich & wonderful “Southern Gospel” in theaters now–and enter to win an Amazon GC! (ends 3/18/23)

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Friends, I’ve had the opportunity to see an unusual and wonderful movie that you can see now in theaters: “Southern Gospel.” It is filled with so much beauty and redemption; as well as the deep, sometimes overwhelming pain that we can experience living on this earth. Let me tell you more about this film, and my impressions of it, its actors, and theme. Plus, you can enter to win a $10 Amazon gift card below!

About “Southern Gospel”

Here’s a brief synopsis of the film from its production company:

“Samuel Allen, a 1960’s rockstar, finds himself in jail after struggling with years of anger and blame toward organized religion that has led him down a road of rebellion. In a moment of divine intervention, the judge dismisses drug charges against him under the pretense that Samuel speaks to local schools and churches about the dangers of drugs. Given a second chance, he follows in his father’s footsteps to become a preacher, overcoming the influence of a powerful church leader with a personal vendetta against his family.

SOUTHERN GOSPEL is the story of a man overcoming brokenness and never surrendering the dream on his journey to find the gospel…”Southern Gospel.””

The truly wonderful and so-believable cast includes:

  • Four-time Emmy nominee Max Ehrich as Samuel
  • Katelyn Nacon (“The Walking Dead”) as Julia
  • Emma Myers (Netflix’s “Wednesday”) as Angie
  • J. Alphonse Nicholson (“P. Valley,” “Just Mercy”) as Barry
  • Gary Weeks (“Outer Banks,” “Spiderman: Homecoming”) as Samuel’s father, Joe

My thoughts

My heart was captured by the “Southern Gospel” trailer the first time I saw it–and oh, how I loved the film when I watched it, as well!

Stretching over a time period from the 1950s to the 1980s (though the very end carries viewers up to the present day), “Southern Gospel” brings it all: incredible music, fantastic performances by talented actors, a believable (and true!) storyline–and, told most beautifully, the redemptive power and love of God as He reaches out to human beings.

Do you ever feel as though you’re not “good enough” for God, or to set foot inside a church? People can certainly make us feel that way (and really, our own flesh can as well). That’s completely not how God feels about us. Recently, the pastor of a church we’ve just begun to attend preached a service on that very thing: the grace of God, offered to us all; and how that grace, extended to us and paid for by Jesus’s death on the cross and sealed by His resurrection, is the only thing that saves us. We’re not saved by our works, or by living a “good” life, or by our own winsomeness, attending the “right” church, or our standing here on earth.

It’s only His grace.

Samuel is loved incredibly by his dad, Joe, who pastors the church they attend. Joe preaches God’s love and grace, and encourages his son and parishioners to dwell in those things, and to hold fast to their dream and calling (intertwined, as this story tells it). Samuel’s gifting is in his music, but also in his ability to preach. Contrary to his dad’s sermons and life, though, some church officials are quick to tell people (including Samuel) that it’s not just God and His love. Instead, it’s having “perfect” behavior that saves a person–including not drinking. Not swimming with the opposite sex. Not dancing. Keeping all the church rules.

And Samuel is young enough that he hasn’t been able to discern the difference between those, just yet. And when tragedies strike, he walks away from God, his faith, and the church.

Those are not the end of Samuel’s (or our!) story. Because God has never let go of him. And his redemption has been waiting for him.

And…my favorite parts of this movie

Y’all, there is so much to recommend in “Southern Grace.” The acting is superb; you feel as though you really know the characters. It’s not really what I’d call a typical faith-based movie, however; the pain Samuel and his family and friends feel is real, honest, and sometimes terrible (I’d give a content warning for suicide, abuse, and drug and alcohol addiction). Yet while the pain he and his loved ones experience is realistic, the movie is not hopeless. God’s hand of redemption, love, and help are there, reaching out for and saving his precious children.

I loved so much about this movie! But I don’t want to give you spoilers, so I’ll make the description of those things brief. Here they are:

  • Sam’s incredible relationship with his loving dad, Joe
  • The forgiveness and grace not only that God extends to the characters (again, remember that this is based on a true story!) but that they extend to each other
  • The faithfulness seen in so many relationships
  • And last but not least, the music! It’s fantastic and covers so many eras

I recommend this movie to you wholeheartedly. It’s not really a film for kids but it’s something that you could take your teens to. There are so many conversations you could have based on this movie; on faith, God’s love for us, what church can be, and how to get through the pains and sorrows of life. Just so good!

Watch the “Southern Gospel” trailer here

Buy tickets for “Southern Gospel” here

Purchase tickets for “Southern Gospel” at the movie’s website below (plus you can check out more about the film there!)

Buy “Southern Gospel” movie tickets here

Enter to win an Amazon gift card here

You can enter to win a $10 Amazon gift card now, as we celebrate the release of “Southern Gospel!” Just click on the link below that says, “Enter here!” That will take you to a Giveaway Tools entry form, where you’ll be able to enter in a variety of ways. US entrants only, ages 18 and older. Giveaway closes 3/18/23. Best wishes!

Enter here!

Enjoy! –Wren


Many thanks to BMG for providing a sample of the product for this review. Opinions are 100% my own.

My new favorite Bible for devotional reading: the NIV/NKJV/NLT/The Message Parallel Bible

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The very first time I heard about Zondervan’s NIV/NKJV/NLT/The Message Parallel Bible, I was interested. And when I received my own copy from Zondervan and opened it; well, I really was captivated! And I think you will be as well. It’s a beautifully made, incredibly meaningful set of Scriptures that has blessed my Bible reading time. Let me tell you more about this!

About the NIV/NKJV/NLT/The Message Parallel Bible

I received the NIV/NKJV/NLT/The Message Parallel Bible, in the Burgundy Bonded Leather cover. The Bible is housed in a sturdy smooth cardboard box with a cover design that states the four translations found in this version of the Scriptures. The Bible’s cover is the bonded leather, which is very smooth to the touch and soft, making it comfortable to hold as you read despite its weight. (And there is a bit of weight! This parallel version of the Bible does include four translations, after all.) A burgundy satin ribbon page marker is attached to the inside center of the book’s spine.

The endsheets are burgundy, and are followed in the front by two title pages. There are two tables of contents; one, with the books of the Bible as they appear in order (plus their page numbers), and the second, with the Bible’s books arranged in alphabetical order. These pages are followed by an overall publisher’s preface, with additional prefaces for the four versions included in this parallel Bible, which explain the purposes and translation intentions and styles of each one. (I particularly love Eugene Peterson’s “The Message Preface to the Reader.”)

Then, the marvelous parallel Bible begins and flows, Genesis 1 to Revelation 22, with four columns of four Bible translations on each set of facing pages, in this order:

  • New International Version
  • New Living Translation
  • New King James Version
  • The Message

The last thing in this Bible that you’ll find after Revelation 22, is a one-page reference sheet explaining (in both American and metric equivalents) the weights and measures used in the Bible, and what they’d mean to our current-day eyes.

The Bible’s pages are very thin (but not tissue-thin) and edged in gold.

What you can expect from each of the 4 Bible translations

I love how Zondervan explains what you can expect from each of these translations. They explain what you’ll find as you look at and read in each of these Bible’s styles and versions.

Compare and contrast four popular and modern Bible versions side-by-side: the authenticity and accessibility of the accurate, readable, and clear New International Version (NIV); the beautiful and trustworthy New King James Version (NKJV); the readability of the New Living Translation (NLT); and the contemporary and conversational style of The Message.

NIV/NKJV/NLT/The Message Parallel Bible description, Zondervan

My thoughts about this Bible

We’ve all got a favorite version of the Bible, don’t we? Except when we’ve got *many* favorites.

Over the course of my own life, I’ve used and loved many Bible translations. As a child, I began with the King James Version and the Living Bible. But as a young woman, I embraced the NASB and NIV…and I continued reading and studying more versions from there. We are truly blessed in America, to have so many translations of God’s Word available to us.

But…how many times have you been reading a version of the Bible, only to vaguely remember how a verse was worded in another version; or, to be reminded of a verse in a translation you memorized as a child, but perhaps don’t read as often now? Or, when you’re looking at a Bible chapter in your quiet time, only to wonder more about the meaning of a particular verse?

This really does happen to me all the time. Currently, I’m finding The Message to be amazingly rich and personal to me in my devotional reading times. But I really do read a verse, and then want to know what that verse says in the NIV or the NKJV. (Or the NLT!) What a gift this marvelous parallel Bible has been for me in those moments, and in so many more.

Consider the tender words of Psalm 139, a favorite psalm to so many of us. Here is what verse 5 looks in these four translations:

  • NIV: “You hem me in, behind and before, and you lay your hand upon me.”
  • NLT: “You go before me and follow me. You place your hand of blessing on my head.”
  • NKJV: “You have hedged me behind and before, and laid Your hand upon me.”
  • The Message: “I look behind me and you’re there, then up ahead and you’re there, too–your reassuring presence, coming and going.”

What an encouraging word! As I read the different versions from left to right (although here, they’re bulleted vertically in the list for you to read), I’m reminded even more deeply that I am never alone; that God is always with me, close enough to touch and bless me.

Or what about 2 Timothy 3:16-17, a verse that many of us have memorized?

  • NIV: “All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.”
  • NLT: “All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong with our lives. It corrects us when we are wrong and teaches us to do what is right. God uses it to prepare and equip his people to do every good work.”
  • NKJV: “All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.”
  • The Message: “Every part of Scripture is God-breathed and useful one way or another–showing us truth, exposing our rebellion, correcting our mistakes, training us to live God’s way. Through the Word we are put together and shaped up up for the tasks God has for us.”

Isn’t that incredible?

I have so many favorite passages, that I can look at in this Bible from left to right (or right to left!), that are filling me with fresh comfort, and understanding. (I wish I could list them all for you!) But I can give you some highlights. Psalms 8 and 9. Isaiah 40 and 55. Lamentations 3:23-24. John 1. Jeremiah 29. Really, this Bible is bringing incredible richness to my reading and devotional times. Just being able to compare the Scriptures, via these four translations, gives me more of the Word to grab onto, and to treasure. Sometimes I am only able to take in one verse spread across the 4 versions, as reading and comparing the four give me so much to consider. But even that is incredibly rich and wonderful.

What a a joy! I’m so happy to recommend this Bible to you!

Purchase the NIV/NKJV/NLT/The Message Parallel Bible at:




…and more booksellers!

Enjoy! –Wren

Disclosure: I received a free copy of this Bible from Zondervan. All opinions and ideas expressed in this post are my own honest ones.

“A Thousand Tomorrows” ~ Karen Kingsbury’s new series on Pure Flix (plus a GA, ends 2/27/23)

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I haven’t been to a rodeo in a long time. But watching “A Thousand Tomorrows” made me feel that I was right back there, in the middle of one! Pure Flix and Momentum Influencer Network made it possible for me to see the first two episodes of this new series. Karen Kingsbury has always had the ability in her writing to capture my heart (well…and sometimes break it in the process too *wink*). So I approached this series with excitement and expectations of great things. These were definitely met in the first two episodes I’ve seen. I’m going to tell you about my experiences with Episode 2, “Hooked.” And you’re going to want to watch this wonderful series too–when its first episodes release on Pure Flix, February 24!

About “A Thousand Tomorrows,” from the producers

From #1 New York Times best-selling author Karen Kingsbury, only God knows how many tomorrows we have left. In the dangerous and competitive rodeo world, how will Cody and Ali make the most of their time together?

“It’s absolutely amazing to see my novel, ‘A Thousand Tomorrows,’ come to life on the screen,” said author Karen Kingsbury. “But what’s more amazing is how God uses these stories to touch hearts and transform lives. He deserves all the glory for my writing and for my work reaching wider audiences by becoming shows or movies.”

The six-episode series from AFFIRM Originals premieres the first two episodes on Friday, February 24, with new episodes following every Friday. The series is about Cody Gunnar, a nationally-renowned bull rider who is cocky, brash and a legend among his peers. On track to the top, Cody has rejected everything about his past – his famous father, hurting mother and every woman who ever came along. His heart only has room for his younger brother, Carl Joseph. That’s when barrel racer Ali Daniels enters his life. Only God knows how many tomorrows they will have together. Can Cody and Ali make the most of their time in the dangerous and competitive rodeo world?

The series features themes of trust, forgiveness, love, redemption and transformation. The novel, A Thousand Tomorrows, is the first in a series about bull rider Cody Gunnar. Karen Kingsbury, who has penned over 60 works of fiction and nonfiction and with some 25 million copies sold, co-wrote the scripts for the series with her son, Tyler Russell.

…and my thoughts about it

Just wonderful!

The series takes its time to introduce viewers to Cody, Ali, their family and friends, who are all quite varied. Ali and her parents live their faith, as do Cody’s mom and brother Carl Joseph. (Cody’s dad? Well, that waits to be seen.) Cody and his friends celebrate their rodeo days with a night out for drinks (except for the one friend who drinks water).

Those differences disappear in the arena, where both Cody (in bull riding) and Ali (a barrel racer) are fierce competitors. They don’t seem to have anything in common apart from that. But as the story moves along at a good pace, and the protagonists’ stories, and their life histories, begin to be revealed. (I admit, I watched episodes 1 and 2) They’ve both had their share of tough times, but the outcome has been quite different for each one.

So, that’s the setup. Now, let me tell you my feelings about the show!

I loved the story. And actors Colin Ford and Rose Reid bring their characters to life richly and wonderfully. He notices her first; but after each rodeo she heads back to the trailer she shares with her mama during the rodeo circuit. And Cody heads out to party following each rodeo. The things that begin to draw them together seem to be small things; but they’re sweet and even captivating.

And watching the rodeo competitions is absolutely –sometimes– breathtaking! I literally winced every time a bull rider was thrown from the bull he was riding. And might even have held my breath watching the women and their horses hurtle toward the finish line in their barrel races. Even if you’re a newbie to rodeo life, you’ll catch on immediately, and become as invested in the competitions as you are in the characters’ lives.

I don’t want to tell you too much about those lives and secrets, though. You’ll learn those, as you watch. But I can guarantee you a great story that will capture your heart (as Karen Kingsbury’s stories always do!). I will tell you that Cody’s initial admiration of Ali grows, little by little (as he notices his bad-boy ways don’t seem to have any effect on her). And Ali? We get to know her better–and some of the reasons she makes the choices she does. They spring from a deeper well than we suspect to begin with. All in all, Cody and Ali, despite their differences, are sort of lonely people, cut off from wider groups of acquaintances or deeper friendships. That makes them ready to begin to engage with each other.

Sweet words from the co-stars

“I can really relate to my character Cody Gunnar,” said actor Colin Ford. “I grew up a Christian, but didn’t really practice my faith in my youth and that’s changed a lot in the last few years. Cody experienced trials and tribulations in his childhood and was focused on surviving. It’s not until he meets Ali that he learns faith is what can sustain him through love and loss.” Colin played roles in Daybreak, the upcoming THE HILL, and CAPTAIN MARVEL.

Rose Reid plays Ali in “A Thousand Tomorrows,” and she’s also been featured in SWEET, SWEET SUMMERTIME and A WELCOME HOME CHRISTMAS. “I really love this story of Cody and Ali,” said actress Rose Reid. “It really encourages audiences to seek a higher power and something greater than themselves in difficult times. For my character Ali, even though she’s going through something difficult, she has so much strength from her faith in God and she knows she’s not alone in the struggle. And that’s such a powerful example for anyone who watches this show.”

“A Thousand Tomorrows” Online & Website

“A Thousand Tomorrows” is streaming on Pure Flix. Here’s a link to its page!

Pure Flix link for streaming “A Thousand Tomorrows”

Pure Flix is your home for faith and family-friendly movies and shows where you can confidently stream with the entire family. With new premium and exclusive original entertainment choices every week, you can strengthen your faith and family with Pure Flix – a streaming service that inspires, uplifts and entertains.

You’ll get access to the largest variety of high-quality wholesome movies, series and kids’ content at one low price. Experience the difference that positive, encouraging entertainment can have in your home.

Pure Flix is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Sony Pictures Entertainment.

And, here’s the series trailer so you can see a bit more!

*Note: There are some spoilers in the trailer.

…and giveaway!

You can enter to win a 3-month Pure Flix streaming service subscription! Limited to those who have NOT won a subscription in the last 6 months, who live in the US, and are ages 18 and older.

To enter to win, just click on the “Enter here!” link below. That will take you to a Giveaway Tools entry form, where you’ll be able to enter to win in a variety of ways. Giveaway closes on 2/27/23. One entrant will be selected to win. Best wishes!

Enter here!

Enjoy! –Wren


Many thanks to Pure Flix for providing a sample of the product for this review. Opinions are 100% my own.

Lisa Phillips’ “Expired Return” ~ a review

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Several weeks ago, I was able to share some excerpts from Lisa Phillips’ fabulous new thriller, Expired Return. Now, I get to share more about that fantastic read with you, in my own review. Keep reading for more, and reasons why you need to check out this book as well as Lisa Phillips’ other suspense books that will absolutely keep you on the edge of your seat. Lisa’s Expired Return is the first in her new Last Chance Fire and Rescue Series, this time featuring protagonists Pepper Miller and Allen Frees. It’s an exceptional start to a series that I’m certain will continue to be as fantastic as this one is!

About Expired Return

Pepper Miller and Allen Frees have a past. There was love. And then, some judgments (and we know that those aren’t ever helpful); followed by an assessment that one of them was just not good enough for the other. Then, a breakup. And heartsickness and loss on both sides. Even though Pepper hid hers, gaining herself quite the reputation, since Allen (and in fact, injured Allen) is everyone’s favorite.

And now, Pepper has no choice but to go to the one place she’s avoided since their breakup (well, in addition to avoiding Allen himself); the police station where sides have definitely been taken. And everyone is naturally on Allen’s side (you know, the good guy); staring down Pepper, the heartbreaker.

She’s only there because someone is missing: her sister, Sage; Pepper’s niece Victory’s mama. She’s been keeping Victory while Sage took some time off. But her sibling should have returned by now. And while Pepper isn’t sure what could be keeping Sage, she’s worried.

Pepper whirled around at that voice. Heart. Breaking. She loved that gruff, commanding voice more than anything in the world.

Lisa Phillips, Expired Return

And whom does she see there, but the very man she’s been trying so desperately to avoid?

My thoughts about this book

Danger. Terror. Love. Faithfulness and devotion.

You’ll find all of that, and more, in Expired Return.

How I loved Pepper! Lisa Phillips is so gifted in creating strong female protagonists, who still have flaws, imperfections, hidden pains from the past. Pepper has all of those qualities (and yes, those do get in her way sometimes). But she is ethical, moral, and devoted to do what’s right, including caring for her beloved niece. And, even though it might not look like it, that unconditional love still beats in her heart and mind for Allen. She can show love to Victory; but she can’t openly show it to Allen. Because she doesn’t think, at heart, that she’s good enough for him.

Former police officer Allen Frees had both hands on the wheels of his chair. He wore a fire department uniform of slacks and a white shirt. Emblems. A badge. His life of service hadn’t ended when he landed in that chair after a building blew up over his head.

As far as she’d been able to tell, it barely slowed him down.

Lisa Phillips, Expired Return

But from Allen’s point of view? Pepper is the woman he never stopped loving. And while what he keeps seeing is her back as she walks away from him, he’s not giving up. Just like he hasn’t given up, even from his wheelchair, on riding a horse. Driving his rebuilt pickup. Fighting to stand again; and one day, Lord willing, to walk.

Allen and Pepper, and Victory too, are up against an enemy they don’t know. A violent, depraved killer who has no interest in saving human life; who indeed, has no compunction against wasting it. Ahead of them is terrible danger, like kidnappings. Missing persons. And murder. Can the two of them ally themselves together to survive these; and more than that, to discover that there’s a deeper love possible than the one they had before…if they can weather the dangers ahead?

Where you can purchase Expired Return

You can purchase Expired Return now! Just click on the highlighted purchase link below

Purchase Expired Return here (scroll down, then click through retailers’ button)

And–I can’t let you leave without mentioning these!

I fell in love with Lisa Phillips’ characters, books, and writing style the very first time I read one of her books. And I want to share those beloved reads with you! I’ve linked my reviews to those books below. Lisa is a phenomenal writer; so gifted at creating characters readers will love while also putting those strong men and women in terrifying situations. You’ll wish for happy endings for them–and you’ll keep reading, even though you might be anticipating the worst.

You’ll just have to keep reading to discover which one they’ll have!

Cold Dead Night, featuring PI and former FBI agent Kenna Banbury

Burn the Dawn, book 2 about Kenna

And last but not least, here’s my earlier post about Expired Return, where you can read excerpts from this fantastic book!

Don’t miss Lisa’s marvelous thrillers. You’ll love her characters, you’ll be terrified along with them at their antagonists who are literally life-threatening–and you’ll be absolutely gleeful at her humor and turn of phrase, in the midst of the terror, the faith, and the clean romance. I WISH I could share with you one of my favorite lines from Expired Return. But I try to avoid spoilers at all costs. Just keep an eye out for it, when you read this book. Hint: it’s early on, and it’s about one of Allen’s expressions.

Enjoy! –Wren

Disclosure: I received a copy of this book from the author. These are all my own thoughts and opinions.

See “The Confession” Musical Movie in theaters, one night only: 2/20/23 (review & GA)

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Hi friends!

If you’re a fan of Beverly Lewis’s wonderful books (centered around the Amish), or you love a musical–you’ll definitely want to hear more about the brand-new film, “The Confession” Musical Movie! It’s another wonderful film event offered by Fathom Events, and it’s in theaters one night only: February 20, 2023. I’ll tell you more about the movie, and how to get tickets, plus offer you a giveaway to enter for a $10 Amazon gift card.

From the producers, about “The Confession” Musical Movie

“The Confession Musical” is based on the New York Times best-selling book series “The Heritage of Lancaster County,” written by Beverly Lewis and written for the stage by Emmy-Nominated screenwriter Martha Bolton. Katie Lapp, a young Amish girl, discovers her parents have been keeping a secret from her… she is adopted. Katie decides to seek her birth mother, defying the rules of her Amish village and risking a shunning. Meanwhile, her wealthy birth mother, Laura Mayfield, battling an illness that might take her life, begins searching for her long-lost daughter to bequeath her inheritance before it is too late. Secretly plotting against her is the gold-digging husband Dylan (played by John Schneider), who is scheming to make sure he inherits her fortune. With the help and prayers of her Christian maidservant (played by Chonda Pierce), they try to foil Dylan’s plan and reunite Katie and Laura.

My thoughts

I’ve noticed over the years that there are a number of Christian fiction writers who grab your heart with their characters’ lives; and sometimes, break it in the process. Beverly Lewis is one of those writers to me. Her stories are richly researched and written; and even though I’ve never even met an Amish person, I feel that I know, a little, about their world because of Beverly. And even though our worlds are so different, I fall in love, a little, with so many of her characters. And wish for a happy ending to their stories!

“The Confession” Musical Movie’s characters and story are drawn from several of Beverly’s books. When Katie Lapp, who’s just suffered an enormous loss, discovers a tiny baby dress in her family’s attic, she is, of course, curious. But her parents’ reaction stuns her. With very little understanding of how the outside world works, she sets off to find her birth mother, and is thrown into a family group that includes a loving woman of faith, a villain-to-be, a best friend/servant, and a butler.

The cast brings the story to life with lively music that’s beautifully sung, whether it’s ensembles singing or individuals. (The songs are fantastic!) While the story is set in the U.S. and not in Austria, “The Sound of Music” really did come to mind as I watched this film. It follows the standard musical format; part one, an intermission, and part two. Since this musical was filmed in front of a theater audience, you also get the fun of being there; of watching and sensing the impressions the musical made on its audience.

I did enjoy the film; and I really loved the musical numbers (there’s even some ballet!), and the actors’ singing and performances. In a musical, the songs need to move the story along; to reveal more about the characters, their motivations, and the situations being experienced. This cast does so, beautifully, and you can really tell that you’re watching trained and talented singers and actors. In addition, characters’ lives and songs demonstrate their active faith in God, in often moving ways.

I think that families with elementary-aged kids or above would enjoy this fun film; as would fans of Lewis’s writing, musicals, or family dramas. And anyone who loves singing, or listening to beautiful voices, will as well. I recommend it to you!

If you love Beverly Lewis’s writing, you’ll want to read her heartwarming blog post about “The Confession” Musical. I had no idea that her family had a link to the Amish world; or, that her grandmother had risked everything to choose a different life for herself, and had, as a result, been shunned and cut off from the only world she’d ever known. (Click here to read Beverly’s blog post.) That really adds some pathos and intensity to remembering Beverly’s books.

Purchase tickets for “The Confession” Musical Movie here

You can purchase tickets for this one-night-only musical movie even in theaters at this purchase link!

And, you can find out more, and even watch the trailer of the film, at “The Confession” Musical Movie website.

Enter to win a $10 Amazon Gift Card here!

You can enter to win a $10 Amazon gift card too! Just click on the link below that says, “Enter here!” That will take you to a Giveaway Tools entry form, where you’ll be able to enter to win in a variety of ways. Giveaway closes on February 23, 2023. US entrants only, must be 18 and older to win. One entrant will be selected to win the giveaway. Best wishes!

Enter here!

Enjoy! –Wren


Many thanks to Blue Gate Musicals for providing a sample of the product for this review. Opinions are 100% my own.

Watch “Heaven Sent” on Pure Flix now! (plus review and GA)

**Congratulations to Leela, the giveaway winner!**

#sponsor #partner

Hi everyone! I’m very excited to share a sweet family film with you from Pure Flix that will speak to every generation. Heaven Sent is a movie that teens, parents, and grandparents will relate to and enjoy. Keep reading for more info; plus you can enter to win a 3-month subscription to Pure Flix streaming service!

About Heaven Sent

Here’s what Pure Flix has to say about Heaven Sent:

Elise, a grandmother hurt by her past, and Patrick, a widowed pastor, have closed the door on love. But with faith and a little help from technology, will their live-streamed romance find a way?

“Heaven Sent”

Elise has a sort of famous past…that she’s closed the door on. In fact, she’s locked the door and thrown away the key. And she’s also closed the door on relationships (dating, that is). She’s been raising her beloved grandson, Derek, and running her darling accessories store, Moxie. Until an odd man runs into her store, and he’s…hiding?

But it’s time for things to change. Derek is 19. His video streaming site hardly has any visitors; and he feels that that describes his social relationships as well.

Speed dating. Online relationships. And…stealth streaming?

Check out the cast members of Heaven Sent

Cast List


Jemarcus Kilgore, Derek, (DISCARDED THINGS, Black Lightning)

J. Leon Pridgen II, Patrick Briggs/Ellerman, (DISCARDED THINGS, P-Valley, TRINITY GOODHEART)

Charlene Tilton, Pam, (Dallas)

Michael J Patterson, Kenny

Maurie Moore, Corrine

Elizabeth Byland, Theresa

Gary Dourdan, Jeff, (CSI: Crime Scene Investigation)

My thoughts about Heaven Sent

You probably remember the fabulous Karen Abercrombie from War Room, where she played an amazing woman of prayer. Karen is not only an actor; she’s also a writer (who co-wrote Heaven Sent with Tara Lynn Marcelle) and an executive producer. I really like what she, her fellow actors, and the film staff did with Heaven Sent.

The storyline focuses on a grandmother and her grandson–and on how very, in many ways, limited their lives are, regarding their relationships. Elise has a dear friend, Pam; her grandson, Derek; and the customers visiting her shop, Moxie. (And she doesn’t know many of them.) Derek has his grandmother, some friends, and an online female friend…whom he doesn’t really know, and hasn’t seen. Oh, and he has a video streaming site but hardly any visitors.

So in many ways, they’re both isolated. They love each other, of course; but both of them need more.

And then, there’s Patrick, the widowed pastor of a local church. His relationships center around the church and counseling his parishioners. When Elise and Patrick get thrown together in the most interesting of ways, lives are about to change. And Derek? He has a very extraordinary idea for getting more viewers and subscribers. And it’s not illegal, or maybe unethical (exactly)–but oh my! Look out!

Love is patient, love is kind.It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. –

1 Corinthians 12:4-7 (The Bible, NIV)

Heaven Sent is, at its core, the story of how we are all, really, trying our best to navigate life and relationships. There are differences, of course, from generation to generation, in the ways we approach those. And we totally mess up…and then try to pick up the pieces. Our actions and words impact others, and indirectly, ourselves; our relationships with God, too. But in His goodness, even when we’ve pushed Jesus aside, He really is there waiting to be invited back in, eager to embrace us and help us.

At its heart, Heaven Sent feels very all-embracing. It will give you a window into the lives of those who are older, younger, or even the same age as you are! We’re all looking for love, in one way or another. Here’s a beautiful film that talks not only about the love we have for each other–but that our good God has for us. And about how lives can change and grow in the most unexpected ways.

Watch the Heaven Sent trailer here!

You can enter to win a Pure Flix subscription, and watch Heaven Sent!

Pure Flix has amazing series and films (like this one!) that are family- and faith-based. And, you can enter to win a 3-month subscription so that you can watch all of them!

Just click on the “Enter here!” link below. That will take you to a Giveaway Tools entry form, where you’ll be able to enter to win in a variety of ways. Open to US entrants (ages 18 and older) who haven’t won a Pure Flix subscription in the last six months. One entrant will be selected to win a 3-month subscription to Pure Flix streaming service. Giveaway closes on February 14, 2023. Best wishes!

Enter here!

Visit Pure Flix for info on how you can get a free 1-week trial

New members to Pure Flix can receive a free 1-week trial, to watch thousands of exceptional family, faith, and fun movies and tv series, many of which are Pure Flix Original Films! Just click on the link below to find out more.

Pure Flix

Also, check out these great articles about this film, faith, and love

Karen Abercrombie on the Message of her new Pure Flix Original Move, Heaven Sent

10 Must-Watch Movies About Love, Romance, and Hope

10 Powerful Lessons About Love from 1 Corinthians 13: Love Is Patient

Enjoy! –Wren

Disclosure: Many thanks to Pure Flix for providing a sample of the product for this review. Opinions are 100% my own.

“It’s Christmas Again” ~ releasing tomorrow, 11/29, in theaters! (plus an Amazon GC giveaway, CLOSED)

**Congratulations to Lysette L, the giveaway winner!**

#sponsor #partner

Are you looking for a fantastic new Christmas movie? Then I’d recommend you check out the newest Fathom Events film, “It’s Christmas Again.” I was able to watch this wonderful movie courtesy of Momentum Influencer Network. It was such a joyful, moving, and cheerful experience–and you can see it in theaters for one day only, November 29, 2022! Keep reading for my thoughts on “It’s Christmas Again,” where you can get tickets, plus a giveaway!

About “It’s Christmas Again”

A Magical Musical Adventure Through Time coming to theaters November 29 FOR ONE NIGHT ONLY!

Here’s the synopsis from the filmmakers:

Jake Young (Lawson Touliatos) wants nothing more than to spend his Christmas vacation with his girlfriend, Abbey Walker (Leela Owen). So when Abbey volunteers for her church’s Christmas play, Jake is ready to skip Christmas this year until an unexpected turn of events lands him in a field outside Bethlehem on the night Jesus was born. While on his journey with the shepherds to find the promised Messiah, Jake discovers the true meaning of Christmas. Coming this Christmas season, IT’S CHRISTMAS AGAIN is a modern-day musical the whole family will love!

My thoughts about this movie


I LOVE musicals. I love group choreographed dancing. (I even go to YouTube and watch movie dance sequences when I feel a little low. You can find awesome mashups!) And in “It’s Christmas Again”? The movie has now joined my list of favorites for the those two things alone. The music is cheerful and upbeat while still communicating a meaningful message. And the dancing (not to mention the backflips)–incredible.

But. This is not a movie about the entertainment world. Instead, it asks the question: What if Christmas, and Jesus’ birth, weren’t celebrated and recognized? Protagonist Jake isn’t that excited about Christmas. In fact, he is bummed because his girlfriend Abbey isn’t able to go skiing with him on Christmas. Instead, she’s going to play Mary, the mother of Jesus, in the church’s nativity play. Jake thinks it’s a useless idea, and heads off to a friend’s party. At least he *thinks* that’s where he’s going…until an accident sends him back to the fields with the shepherds. Just after the heavenly host appeared to them, and told them:

“Do not be afraid; for behold, I bring you good news of great joy which will be for all the people; for today in the city of David there has been born for you a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.

Luke 2:10b-22, The Bible (NASB)

So. What if, a young man who couldn’t care less about the true meaning of Christmas gets transported back in time…to see the first Christmas? Romans. Shepherds. Jews, oppressed by Caesar and his minions. And a young father, a teen mother, and that Baby.

That’s got to make an impression. And on Jacob, it does. But is it too late for him to make a difference in his present-day life?

So–this beautiful movie, with incredible singing and dancing, tells a life-changing, faith-creating story. It is a joy to watch. It will touch your heart, and bring meaning to your own family’s faith traditions, Advent, and most of all, Christmas.

Get some tickets. Take yourself and your family to the movie and see “It’s Christmas Again” on November 29. It will bless you!

And, I’ve got some fun trailers/shorts for you to see!

First, the movie trailer:

And a short from writer and director Sandra Martin:

Where you can buy tickets for “It’s Christmas Again” for its one-night-only showing, November 29, 2022!

This Fathom Events film is going to be in theaters for one night only: Tuesday, November 29, 2022. You can get your tickets now at the link below!

Purchase tickets here for “It’s Christmas Again”

And, enter to win a $10 Amazon Gift Card!

You can enter to win a $10 Amazon Gift Card right here, courtesy of “It’s Christmas Again.” To enter, just click on the link below that says, “Enter here!” That will take you to a Giveaway Tools entry form, where you’ll be able to enter to win in a variety of ways. US entrants only. Giveaway closes on 12/6/22. Best wishes!

Enter here!

Enjoy! –Wren


Many thanks to Mapelle Films for providing a sample of the product for this review. Opinions are 100% my own.