“Before the Wrath” Film Review & Flash Giveaway (ends 11/30/20)

Hi friends!

 

I have a new movie to share with you courtesy of Ingenuity Films and FlyBy Promotions. Before the Wrath is narrated by Kevin Sorbo and looks at Biblical prophecy and why it is important. I also have a digital copy of this film to give away to one reader! The flash giveaway ends at noon on 11/30/20.

 

 

 

What is Before the Wrath?

When will Jesus return? Will it be before, during, or after the Tribulation? Can we set an exact date for His return? (No.) What are we supposed to do as Christ-followers in the meantime?

Before the Wrath is a look at Biblical prophecy combined with dramatic illustrations of scenes from Scripture. Using a plethora of scholars from different disciplines (theology, eschatology, Middle Eastern anthropology), Before the Wrath examines New Testament Bible prophecies in light of what they would have meant to the original hearers of Jesus’ words.

This film uses Jesus’ description of a Galilean wedding to help us interpret what Jesus’ words about His return mean. It also illustrates how vitally important prophetic Scriptures are: “And now I have told you before it happens, so that when it does happen, you will believe.” (John 14:29)

To an early Galilean, what would the wedding at Cana have meant? What did the specific items used and referenced mean? Where would it have been held, and why? What was the importance of witnesses? What did the various elements of the dowry indicate?

 

When Jesus speaks at the Passover dinner before His crucifixion about the cup of the new covenant, Galilean readers would have had a special understanding of what that meant. That there would be a betrothal period where the groom and the bride would be separated while he was preparing a new home for the couple. He would come back to get her, so that she would be there with him.

Does that sound familiar to you? (Check out John 14!)

We’re reminded in this film that you cannot separate the meaning of a Scripture passage from the meaning it would have had in the original language, to its original culture. So for us to interpret Bible prophecy it’s crucial for us to understand what passages would have said to those who heard and read Jesus’ words in that time.

 

 There are fascinating connections that the film makes regarding Jesus’ return, using:

  • the shofar
  • the parable of the wise and foolish virgins
  • the wedding at Cana
  • the role of the father in a Galilean wedding
  • the role of the bride as she waits
  • the marriage supper of the Lamb

My conclusions

I wholehearted recommend Before the Wrath. It’s sort of a scary title, isn’t it? And while it indeed does deal with the wrath to come, it has an incredible message for us who believe. What do we do as we wait for Jesus’ return? How do we watch and pray and prepare ourselves as the Bride of Christ?

This film clearly answers that question. It is well-interpreted and solid Scripture study. It is instructive, but also encouraging. And convicting! I was definitely reminded of my own responsibilities as I follow Christ and wait for Jesus’ return.

May we all be found ready!

 

 

Enter to win your own copy!

I have a digital copy of Before the Wrath to give away to one FINCHWREN reader! To enter, simply click on the “Enter here!” link below. That will take you to a Giveaway Tools entry form where you’ll be able to enter in a variety of ways. (You must enter your email address in order to be eligible to win a copy of Before the Wrath so the digital copy of the film can be emailed to you.) Giveaway closes at noon on Monday, November 30, 2020. One entrant will be selected to win. Best wishes!

Enter here!

 

 

Where to purchase your own copy

You can purchase Before the Wrath via the following retailers:

From Integrity Films, Itunes, Amazon, Christianbook, GooglePlay and more

From Walmart

 

 

Enjoy! –Wren

 

Disclosure (in accordance with the FTC’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising”):

Many thanks to Ingenuity Films for providing this prize for the giveaway.  Choice of winners and opinions are 100% my own and NOT influenced by monetary compensation.  I did receive a sample of the product in exchange for this review and post.

Only one entrant per mailing address, per giveaway.  If you have won a prize from our sponsor FlyBy Promotions in the last 30 days, from the same blog, you are not eligible to win.  If you have won the same prize on another blog, you are not eligible to win it again.  Winner is subject to eligibility verification.

NIV Beautiful Word Coloring Bible for Girls: Gorgeous! (a review)

#sponsor #partner

I have a wonderful Bible to tell you about today! FlyBy/Propeller Promotions, HCCP, and Telling Ministries LLC sent me the most amazing coloring Bible that is perfect for girls and young women. It’s called the NIV Beautiful Word Coloring Bible and its name describes it perfectly. Let me show you what I mean!

 

 

 

The NIV Beautiful Word Coloring Bible is designed for girls who are 8-12 years of age. It comes in a sturdy, lovely cardboard box which holds the Bible plus extra goodies! The Bible itself is hardback covered with a debossed, screenprinted cover, in the New International Version of the entire Bible.

 

 

The gift box contains the Bible plus 4 twist-up colored pencils (in purple, blue, red, and yellow) which write easily on the Bible pages. Also, there are 6 sheets of stickers to use in the Bible while journaling. The stickers can be colored and have artsy phrases and verses on them.

Each page of the Bible has wide margins for doodling and journaling. And, there are over 600 line drawings (whole page, and inside the margins) of Bible verses, designs, and decorations to color. The Bible has an attached blue satin ribbon for bookmarking pages.

 

 

The pages are not too thin (but not too thick either). It’s very easy to draw or journal on the pages with either colored pencils or markers, although I would recommend testing markers on one of the back blank pages before using them to draw. Mine did not bleed through although there were sometimes hints of color on the back sides of the pages when I colored.

 

 

 

I also really liked the font the Bible is typeset in. It’s very easy on the eyes, easy to read, and has a fun look to it.

 

 

 

 

What I loved about this Bible

So much! I loved the gift box; it is so beautiful it makes you want to open it to see what is inside. The Bible itself is lovely (and I’m particularly partial to the blues shades on the cover). It has a nice heft and the pages don’t try to close while you’re reading or coloring, whether it’s on your lap or on the table.

The illustrations and lettered Bible verses couldn’t be more beautiful. The art style is varied but incredibly inviting. The illustrations are not overly intricate; I felt as though tweens and teens would enjoy them but not be overwhelmed as they colored and journaled. I often had several verses/illustrations that I wanted to color at the same time. With over 600 of them, I don’t think that I’ll run out for awhile!

Perhaps more importantly, I found myself drawn into the meaning of each verse as I colored it. As I spent time creating, I was able to consider and think on what the Scripture was saying, and what it was saying to me. This was a wonderful way to spend my devotional Bible reading times and the entire experience (coloring, creating, and pondering) was rich and satisfying.

 

 

The NIV Beautiful Word Coloring Bible would be perfect for:

  • A tween or early teen girl who enjoys creativity
  • A young woman who’d like to have rich devotional reading times in the Bible
  • A girl who’d like to grow in her faith
  • Those who enjoy visual learning OR kinesthetic experiences
  • A birthday gift
  • A Christmas gift

 

 

In closing

I am not necessarily the target audience for the NIV Beautiful Word Coloring Bible, since I am a grown-up girl instead of an eight- to twelve-year-old girl! However, I have loved Bible journaling since I first discovered it. And I found that this coloring Bible is now among my favorites. It’s comfortable to use, delightful to create in, and lovely both inside and out.

I am happy to recommend it to you!

Where to purchase

You can find NIV Beautiful Word Coloring Bible at these retailers:

Zondervan

Christianbook

 

And, a few surprises for you!

TellingMinistries LLC and HCCP have a couple of goodies for you! Both of these are downloadable freebies.

Beautiful Word Bible For Girls Gift Set Sampler

Beautiful Word Bible For Girls Coloring Sheets

And, I have a goodie for you as well! Next week, I will be giving away a copy of the NIV Beautiful Word Coloring Bible for Girls! Keep an eye out for that giveaway.

 

Enjoy! –Wren

 

Disclosure (in accordance with the FTC’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising”):

Many thanks to Telling Ministries LLC and HCCP for providing this product/product information for review.  Opinions are 100% my own and NOT influenced by monetary compensation.  I did receive a sample of the product in exchange for this review and post.

Take Back Your Life Devotional CLOSED (Review & Giveaway, ends 9/9/20)

**Congratulations to Melissa S., the winner of this devotional!**

 

#partner #sponsor

Hello there!

I have the most fantastic devotional to tell you about! FlyBy/Propeller Promotions sent me a copy of Levi Lusko’s Take Back Your Life plus another copy to give away to one reader! This book is life-giving. Encouraging. Meaningful. Even better, I believe it will help you to grow in your relationship not only with God but with others as well. Let me tell you more, and you’ll be able to enter the giveaway at the end of the post.

 

 

Have you ever had a moment where you felt that life was not going the way you’d expected? That you were spending too much time on inconsequential things and not enough time on the things (and relationships) that really mattered? That perhaps your life was a little out of control?

Author Levi Lusko certainly can relate. He’s a pastor and church founder (of Fresh Life Church of Utah, Wyoming, Montana, and Oregon); a husband; a father of five (one of whom is in heaven), a speaker about Jesus who travels the world to tell about Him. (He also, from what I can glean from this devotional, a pop culture aficionado and a Marvel as well as a Mandalorian fan! But more than this, he wants to be deeply acquainted with, deeply knowing, God.) He realized that life can trip us up, get our priorities in a knot, cause us to put our focus on the wrong targets. Take Back Your Life is a 40-day devotional designed to help readers ask questions about their paths and faith, their relationship with God, their fears and worries, their goals and plans; centered around changing their thinking and reorienting their hearts and minds to true north. In fact, the subtitle is: “A 40-Day Interactive Journey to Thinking Right So You Can Live Right.”

 

 

 

Take Back Your Life is divided into 6 different sections (or weeks), each with 7 days’ worth of devotionals:

  • Look in the Mirror
  • Turn Off the Dark
  • Cross the Barbed Wire
  • Run Toward the Roar
  • Be the Difference
  • Think Right, Live Right

Each day’s devotional includes a subject topic, which Levi talks about in a friendly and companion-like fashion, accompanying Scriptures and helpful instructions, a prayer, and a “Breathe, Think, and Live” section. I love the author’s writing style; it’s relatable and filled with interesting quotes and stories (like how WD-40 was invented, or Teddy Roosevelt’s commitment, or the immense magnitude of the Panama Canal and its building challenges). He knows how we live in this year of 2020. He knows our loves and our dislikes, our faves and our ill-chosen habits. And he kindly and clearly points out God’s better way.

 

 

 

I appreciate the perspective that Levi writes from, in Take Back Your Life. It is filled with truth, yes; but it is covered with grace. This book is not a heavy, impossible list of demands and commands that the reader will be discouraged and bogged down by. Instead, it draws the reader along a pathway that is gentle and grace-filled, and beautiful; and Take Back Your Life keeps drawing the reader back for more.

I especially was moved by the “Breathe, Think, and Live” portions of each day’s devotional reading. Levi asks some pointed questions here as he sums up the ideas that he’s just introduced. But like the rest of the book, these are not questions that will make you feel ashamed or small. You may indeed notice things you need to change! But you’ll actually WANT to think about these, and you’ll DESIRE to do life differently.The questions seem designed to pique the reader’s interest, even as they delve deeply into changes in action and thought.

 

Sometimes I think that devotional or self-help books fail because they put too big a job on the reader. Or, because the “list” of changes that the books tell the readers to make seems overwhelming or impossible. I found that Take Back Your Life offers hungry readers practical truth and a path to know and satisfy ourselves in God, in a way that never overwhelms or discourages. Just what I’ve been looking for! And maybe, what you’ve been looking for as well.

 

 

Enter to win your own copy!

The FINCHNWREN blog has one copy of Take Back Your Life to give to one reader. To enter, simply 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 September 9, 2020. Best wishes!

Enter here!

 

Where to find Take Back Your Life, plus a kids’ devotional!

You can purchase Take Back Your Life on Amazon.

And, if you’ve got kiddos between the ages of 8 and 14, here’s a free Take Back Your Life Guide for younger readers. Designed to be used over 4 days, it’s called The Me I Was Born to Be.

Check out Take Back Your Life. I believe that you’ll find it to be a rich breath of fresh air, in a year when we need all the help that we can get!

 

 

Enjoy! –Wren

 

Disclosure (in accordance with the FTC’s 16 CFR, Part 255:  “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising”):  Many thanks to Propeller Consulting, LLC and HCCP for providing this prize for the giveaway and review.  Choice of winners and opinions are 100% my own and NOT influenced by monetary compensation.  I did receive a sample of the product in exchange for this review and post.

About the Kendrick Brothers’ Newest Film: “Overcomer” (release date 8/23/19)

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There is an amazing movie opening this Friday, August 23! Maybe you’ve seen trailers for it this summer when when you’ve escaped the heat to watch a movie in a cool, dark theater. We did, and we’ve been waiting for it to come to theaters all summer long. Finally, it’s almost here!

 

Poster

What is Overcomer?

Overcomer is the newest film from the Kendrick Brothers Productions (comprised of brothers Alex, Stephen, & Shannon). It tells the story of a coach, who’s lost much of his team and even his own identity as a star basketball coach when financial difficulty hits his small town. His principal (played by Priscilla Shirer) offers him a different coaching position, for a sport he hates: cross-country running. Out of choices, he reluctantly accepts…only to discover that his team is composed of only one runner.

One.

A young woman with asthma.

Suddenly, success is not just looking a long way off…but maybe even impossible. The coach begins to question everything; his commitment to his work, his purpose in life, his faith, and even his own identity.

But interestingly enough, his runner is asking some very similar questions about her own life and purpose. Who is she anyway? What can she accomplish? Does she even matter to anyone?

 

 

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About the Kendrick Brothers

You’ve probably seen or even heard of the films, told from the perspective of the Christian faith, that these brothers have created and produced (and even starred in):

  • Flywheel
  • Facing the Giants
  • Courageous
  • War Room

The Kendrick Brothers Productions exists to honor God and share the truth and love of Jesus Christ through movies, books, curriculum and speaking. By blending engaging stories with doctrinal integrity, the Kendricks seek to encourage and inspire audiences with resources that positively impact their lives and strengthen their faith, families, and personal relationships.

Overcomer is the latest in the Kendrick Brothers’ films, that asks the questions: Who are we? What is our identity? Who is God? Who cares about us? Designed to encourage individuals and families as they walk out their lives in faith, Overcomer looks like another incredible film. I cannot wait to see it!

 

images/photos/thumbs/photo4.jpg

Here’s what the stars and producers have to say about Overcomer:

“The movie OVERCOMER is about identity, an issue that everyone deals with. Everyone needs to answer the questions: ‘Who is God?’, and ‘Who am I?’, and the Scriptures deal with both of those things. When a person discovers who they are in Christ, it opens up an understanding of how they can live that out in a daily basis in what they do in their relationships with others,” said Stephen Kendrick.

“Cross country is a very difficult sport. From the time you start, you do not stop or pause until you cross the finish line. And in many regards, that’s like our life; that’s our journey of faith,” said Alex Kendrick.

“I hope moviegoers will realize their salvation is about much more than just having a ticket to eternity. They were actually given a brand-new identity. Which means, they have access to spiritual blessings, they have an inheritance, they have all this stuff that’s available to them, this side of eternity. And when you realize that, that means the decisions you make, the relationships you have, the trajectory you choose, the ambitions that you hold, all of that stuff will reflect, and be indicative of your brand-new identity. That changes and transforms the way you live,” said Priscilla Shirer.

 

 

images/photos/thumbs/photo2.jpg

And what is an overcomer, anyway?

OVERCOMER in many regards, is a discovery of who we are in Christ, who gets to determine our identity and what we have to overcome to embrace the life God has for us,” said Alex Kendrick.

“Overcoming is about powering through and realizing that on the other side of it you are stronger and more courageous than when you started,” said Shari Rigby.

“Being an overcomer means you keep your head up and you know that you’re going to get through it; you figure out a way to get through it, you keep your faith strong, you get through it, and you just thank God,” said Aryn Wright-Thompson.

“Being an overcomer means there is pain, discomfort, inconvenience, life’s tough, and yet you have joy and peace and all the stuff that you can only have if there is an anchor in your soul,” said Priscilla Shirer.

 

Overcomer Trailer

Does that whet your appetite? Well, you can watch the trailer below! (Just have a couple of tissues handy. I’m honestly going to have to find some waterproof mascara before I see this in the theater!)

 

 

Kendrick Brothers Productions has also created some parent resources to go along with the film, that you can use with your own teens and kiddos. Just click on Parent Resources to find these; you’ll be able to download free a Parent Primer (Your Child’s Identity in Christ), a Sports Team guide, and a Family Guide to help with conversations after you see the film. Just scroll down to the bottom of the page to find these, after you click on the link.

 

In closing

We all go through times where we are wondering about our own identities. Suffering, tough times, challenges can all make us ask who we are, if God cares for us or even sees our struggles, and if we’ll possibly be able to make it through. This is true for us all, whether we’re adults, parents, CEOs, teens, or children. We all wonder.

Overcomer wants to help us as we ask those questions—and help us find the answers that will encourage us, strengthen us, and build us up. And, your entire family might enjoy seeing it together! Check it out!

 

 

See more about Overcomer on social media

Interested in seeing more? Visit Overcomer on its social media sites for more information!

Website – https://www.overcomermovie.com

FB – https://www.facebook.com/OvercomerMovie/

Twitter – @overcomermovie  https://twitter.com/OvercomerMovie?ref_src=twsrc%5Egoogle%7Ctwcamp%5Eserp%7Ctwgr%5Eauthor

Insta – @overcomermovie  https://www.instagram.com/overcomermovie/?hl=en

 

Enjoy!  –Wren

 

DISCLOSURE: From time to time, FINCHNWREN may receive a free product or service in exchange for our honest opinions expressed in our blog. We are not required to write a positive or glowing review, nor are we additionally compensated for these reviews. We share our own opinions, and our family’s opinion, of these products. We’re disclosing this in accordance with FTC regulations.

 

 

“Other Bodies” by Joel Ohman – a book review

Recently I received Joel Ohman’s new book, Other Bodies, to review from FlyBy/Propeller Promotions. It’s quite different from my usual reading material, but I’d like to let you know about my experiences with it.

 

 

 

 

About Other Bodies

Other Bodies is a dystopian-esque YA fiction book written from a pro-life perspective. It shares a slice of the life of Hattie; a brief recounting of her recent experiences and choices, as well as a significant choice that she doesn’t know is before her.

The world Hattie lives in is inner-city Philadelphia many years in the future. Poverty is widespread, jobs are scarce, and 16-year-old Hattie is alone. She just lost her elderly grandfather, her only surviving relative, whose health had been suffering for some time. She finally has a job, though; at a medical facility called Managed Motherhood. She’s been newly hired as as a medical aide. She likes her new boss, Matilda, and Sally-Anne. She finds her work interesting.

As part of Hattie’s training, Matilda introduces her to the virtual reality machines, called TEDs, that a person can climb into and travel anywhere, experience everything. And what are those doing in a medical facility? Patients climb into them and go on a VR trip while they’re having surgery. The TEDs also can do medical full-body scans, perform medical procedures, and verify or discover diagnoses while the patient is virtually hang-gliding over beautiful mountains or relaxing in the sun, to the sound of waves whispering on a sandy beach.

It’s in one of those TED machines, where Hattie is trying out the technology under Matilda’s instruction, that she finds out she’s pregnant as the TED machine scans her while she’s inside, experiencing hang-gliding for the first time.

After the death of her grandfather, Hattie was pursued by a handsome young man, who promptly walked out of her life once he’d wooed her into sleeping with him. She’s living alone in an apartment that doesn’t have much in it, formerly unemployed and now making a small salary with Manged Motherhood, who also provides abortions. Hattie chooses to abort.

If I told you the rest of the story, I’d be giving away too many spoilers. But there are a lot of unexpected events and personages that show up, who are affected in some way by Hattie’s choice. The book is written in a dual-setting environment, where we see Hattie and her coworkers, acquaintances, and former boyfriend; then occasionally we see a couple of other characters, in an undisclosed location, observing and experiencing portions of Hattie’s life.

 

What I thought

This is a tough book. I’m a person who loves a happy ending and I can’t tell you that you’ll find that in this book…although there are hints that it might happen at some point. But it does tell some of the other side of the story of women in this situation.

Hattie is in a tough spot. She’s pretty much on her own. She has no one to help guide her through her decision, or the heartbreaking journey and events she experiences afterward.

As a woman of faith, I missed the hope that is waiting for all of us in the worst of our situations. God really does love us all so much, and, as in a verse I love, “Indeed, the Lord’s hand is not too short to save,
and His ear is not too deaf to hear.” (Isaiah 59:1 HCSB) Though some of the characters know this, Hattie has no idea. As far as she can tell, she is all alone. There might be a chance for her to save her baby after all…but can she?

Other Bodies tells the story of a young teen faced with a choice and its devastating aftereffects.

 

More about Joel Ohman:

 

Thanks for stopping by!  –Wren
Disclosure (in accordance with the FTC’s 16 CFR, Part 255:  “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising”):  Many thanks to Propeller Consulting, LLC for providing this book for me to read and review. The opinions are 100% my own and NOT influenced by monetary compensation.  I did receive a sample of the product in exchange for this review and post.

Mack Brock’s COVERED CD–Releasing March 22, 2019

#sponsored #partner

 

Are you familiar with Mack Brock? I’m new to his music, but Flyby/Propeller Promotions invited me to share about his upcoming album, and about an extra single that people can get when they preorder. I listened to it and really liked it…and you can check it out as well!

 

 

So who is Mack Brock?

He is a musician; a worship leader; a songwriter; a husband and a dad. He has led worship all over the U.S. He’s also a music producer and has toured with Hillsong UNITED, Levi Luscko and Lydia TerKeust (on the Encounter Tour), and will tour again with Hillsong UNITED during the summer of 2019.  His first 9-song album, GREATER THINGS, has been out since February, and various tracks have been streamed over a combined 6 million times!

His newest CD, COVERED, releases March 22, 2019. It contains the following new songs:

  • “King of Heaven”
  • “Covered”
  • “Still in Control”
  • “After Me”
  • “I Am Loved”

If you’ve been a fan of Hillsong worship music through the years, you should definitely check out Mack’s music!

 

 

 

You can find and pre-order COVERED at this Mack Brock COVERED link. You’ll have the option to purchase it from Amazon Music, Spotify, Apple Music, iTunes, and more sites.  Again, when you purchase it you’ll also receive the single “I Am Loved,” featured in the video above.

Check it out! You may find a new favorite worship leader!

 

Enjoy!  –Wren

Disclosure (in accordance with the FTC’s 16 CFR, Part 255:  “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising”):  Many thanks to Propeller Consulting, LLC for providing the product/product information. Opinions are 100% my own and NOT influenced by monetary compensation.  I did/will receive a sample of the product in exchange for this review and post.

Prison Fellowship’s New Program Addresses Reentry and Recidivism: The Academy and Jonathan’s Walk

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Are you familiar with Prison Fellowship?  Started by Chuck Colson in 1976, Prison Fellowship serves prisoners behind bars and their families (as well as former prisoners) in the world outside.  FlyBy/Propeller Promotions sent me the first part of Prison Fellowship’s new documentary entitled “The Restoration Series: Jonathan’s Walk,” which shares the story of one man and his experiences as part of Prison Fellowship’s new program, The Academy.  Read on for more!

 

 

About Prison Fellowship and Jonathan’s Walk

So…what does Prison Fellowship do?  Here’s what I found at their website (you can check it out yourself at Prison Fellowship’s Our Beliefs page).  They believe that:

  • All people are created in God’s image
  • No life is beyond God’s reach
  • Those affected by crime can be reconciled to God, their families, and their communities (that’s actually Prison  Fellowship’s vision)
  • Jesus can bring the most broken situations and people to be whole again
  • Those who broke the law can be restored and healed to serve

So what does this ministry and service look like?  Prison Fellowship serves both people convicted of crimes and in prison for those crimes, as well as the families of those people who are separated from those they love.  This can look like:

  • Prison Fellowship Academy, in certain prisons across the country, where inmates can participate in programs designed to help them transform and grow
  • Angel Tree, where donors purchase gifts for children on behalf of parents who are in prison, to give to these kiddos for Christmas
  • Re-entry programs for inmates who are about to be released
  • And more

 

About “The Restoration Series: Jonathan’s Walk”

This inspiring new documentary from Prison Fellowship introduces us to Jonathan, who has been in prison for years because he was literally in the wrong place at the wrong time; and who became involved in a carjacking and was then arrested and incarcerated for that crime.  During the years since that time, he has been separated from his wife and family.  He has missed so many moments that parents treasure with each other and with their kids; the first day of school, his daughter’s serious facial injury from a burn, his wife’s being alone during their daughter’s healing, and the daughter’s needing to transfer schools because of bullying.

However, Prison Fellowship has been there to support him, to aid in his transformation, and to help him to prepare to be released from prison and to be reunited with his wife and daughter, as well and giving him tools to stay away from the devastating cycle of returning to crime (recidivism) and prison.

Did you know that over half of all release prisoners commit crimes and return to living lives of incarceration?  According to Prison Fellowship, the U.S. is home to only 4% of the world’s population.  But at the same time, U.S. prisons contain more than 20% of the world’s prisoners.  So, Prison Fellowship has created a new program for prisoners called The Academy.  It is designed to combat incarceration and recidivism.  And “The Restoration Series: Jonathan’s Walk” introduces us to one man who has participated in this program.  We meet Jonathan and his wife, as well as his daughter, as they prepare to be reunited again.

‍This series is fantastic.  It offers and provides hope not only for incarcerated prisoners, but for their families, for a life after separation and division; and for a life not marred by repeat offenses, crimes, and a return to prison.

 

 

So you can watch…

Prison Fellowship has provided a video so that you can check out the first part of this documentary series yourself!  Simply click on the arrow in the video above to watch the first part of this encouraging and inspiring series.

In addition, if you’d like to see the whole 5-part series you can sign up at Jonathan’s Walk entire.  That is completely free, and you’ll also receive access to exclusive behind-the-scenes content.

Thanks so much for checking out this neat series and ministry to prisoners and their families!

 

–Wren

 

Disclosure (in accordance with the FTC’s 16 CFR, Part 255:  “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising”):  Many thanks to Propeller Consulting, LLC for providing this video.   I did receive a sample of the product in exchange for this review and post.

 

 

 

30 Days to Understanding the Bible Review and Giveaway (closed)

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CONGRATULATIONS TO WINNER JULIE D!
Are you someone who’s interested in the Bible but confused about what exactly is in it?  Are you unsure of where in history all the Biblical events occur?  Do you know what doctrines are part of Christianity?  If you can answer “yes” to any of those questions, then Max Anders’ bestselling 30 Days to Understanding the Bible is a book you’ll definitely want to check out!  FlyBy/Propeller Promotions sent me a free copy of this exceptional book to read and review, as well as an additional copy to give away to one reader!

What is 30 Days to Understanding the Bible?

Author Max Anders has years of experience of teaching others to understand what’s in the Bible.  A veteran pastor, he’s taught on the seminary level and has written over 25 books.  He also was one of the first team members of the Walk Thru The Bible organization, which creatively teaches people to learn and remember the Bible and its contents.  You can find him at  MaxAnders.com.

 

 

All this experience has been distilled to create 30 Days to Understanding the Bible.  Perfect for both teachers and students, it is everything a person needs to (yes) understand what the Bible is all about.  It covers:

  • Bible land geography
  • Christian doctrine
  • the Gospels and what’s in them
  • How the Bible is organized and why
  • The major arcs of the Bible
  • Its historical eras
  • The types of books it contains
  • and more!

Even better, just as the title says, you can learn all of this in only 30 days!

How this book works

It’s organized in 30 chapters (so, a chapter per day for 30 days) which run about 8-12 pages apiece.  Each chapter is filled with interesting anecdotes, great maps and charts (with illustrations to help organize the information), clear presentation of information, and quizzes on chapter info so that the reader can learn and build on what’s currently taught, and reviewing what’s been taught before.  It’s fun, interesting, clear…and in addition to teaching well, it’s also a great read!

 

The book is divided into the following 7 sections:

  • The Story of the Old Testament, which covers the Bible’s structure and overview, its geography, the historical books (divided into eras of Creation, Patriarch, Exodus, Conquest, Judges, Kingdom, Exile, Return, and Silence), the poetical books, and the prophetical books
  • The Story of the New Testament, which covers the New Testament’s structure and geography and its eras (Gospel, Church, Missions, Epistles)
  • The Great Doctrines of the Bible (the Bible, God, Christ, Holy Spirit, angels, man, sin, salvation, the Church, and Future Things)
  • Nanosummary of the Bible (the Bible in 3000 words!)
  • How to Master the Bible So Well that the Bible Masters You
  • Teaching Plan (for small groups, classes, families, etc.)
  • Bonus Chapters (comparing the 4 Gospels, Jesus’ parables, the Bible’s miracles, Jesus’ resurrection, and more)

How we used 30 Days to Understanding the Bible

I started out just reading this on my own.  I have studied the Bible (inductively, via Bible studies, chapter by chapter, or simply reading it) since I began seriously following Jesus in my early 20s.  However, I don’t think I have ever done an overview of the Bible, learning how everything fit together chronologically, geographically, doctrinally, and historically.  So I thought I’d just enjoy this by myself.

However, once I started the book I realized that it would be an incredible tool to use in our homeschool.   I have a teen son who’s read the Bible for years but who could also appreciate and use this context for the Bible.  So I ordered a second copy of 30 Days to Understanding the Bible for Jackson.  Because the book has fill-in-the-blank sections, it really does make sense for each person studying it to have his or her own copy.  And because we just homeschool 5 days per week, it’ll take us closer to a month and a half to finish the book, if we cover one chapter per day.  We’re both committed to it though, and interested.  I am excited for my son, though.  He’ll be learning at 16 what it took me decades to get to!

 

My favorite things about the book include…

  • The great maps, quizzes, and review info that ensures you’re actually learning and retaining everything
  • The historical overview of the Old Testament
  • The explanation of Christian doctrine
  • And the Bonus Chapters, which had some of the most fascinating portions of the book
  • Anders’ friendly and interesting way of writing
  • and most of all, the great grace and love with which all this information is presented

I think that anyone who’d like to grow in his or her understanding of the Bible and all it contains would love this book.  It’s suitable for small group study, for classrooms, for personal study, and (as we’re doing) for homeschool study.  It’s equally as good for seasoned believers, brand-new ones, or even those who wouldn’t describe themselves as believers but are interested in what comprises the Bible.  I recommend it!

Where to find it:

Promo video link:  https://youtu.be/6J8xqfbsGBM
Official website:  http://www.biblein30days.com

And, how to enter to win your own copy!

FlyBy/Propeller Promotions has generously provided a copy of 30 Days to Understanding the Bible for me to give away to one FINCHNWREN reader!  Simply click on the pink “Enter here!” link below.  That will take you to a Giveaway Tools entry form, where you’ll be able to enter in a variety of ways.  The giveaway will close on 1/28/19.  Best wishes!

Enter here!

 

Enjoy!  –Wren

Disclosure (in accordance with the FTC’s 16 CFR, Part 255:  “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising”):  Many thanks to Propeller Consulting, LLC for providing this prize for the giveaway.  Choice of winners and opinions are 100% my own and NOT influenced by monetary compensation.  I did receive a sample of the product in exchange for this review and post. Only one entrant per mailing address, per giveaway.  If you have won a prize from our sponsor Propeller /FlyBy Promotions in the last 30 days on the same blog, you are not eligible to win.  Or if you have won the same prize on another blog, you are not eligible to win it again.  Winner is subject to eligibility verification.

BELOVED Devotional for Young Women Review & Giveaway (CLOSED)

#sponsored #partner

CONGRATULATIONS TO WINNER AMY W!

Are you looking for a new devotional for young women?  FlyBy/Propeller Promotions kindly sent me Lindsay A. Franklin’s newest book, Beloved: 365 Devotions for Young Women to review.  It has been a pleasure and an encouragement to read and use this book in my own daily Bible reading times.  And I’ll be able to share a copy of Beloved with one FINCHNWREN reader, because FlyBy also provided a copy for me to give away!

 

 

About Beloved

Have you ever wished you had all the Bible information about women all in one place?

If so, you will love Beloved!

Beloved is Lindsay A. Franklin’s newest devotional for young women.  It contains a full year’s worth of daily devotionals (yes, 365!) in a beautiful hardback book that’s sized at just over 7″ x 5″.  It’s sturdy and has a nice heft, but it’s just right for holding or opening up in a lap or on a desk.  The pages are a creamy white with black text, a lovely pink, green, and yellow floral border, and journaling lines at the bottom of each page.  And, its subject matter is perfect for young women (but really, women of all ages will love it).

Franklin has delved deeply into the Bible and has drawn out the life stories and experiences of about 60 biblical women, both named and unnamed.  Then, she penned devotionals with life direction, lessons, and Scriptures that young (and older!) women can learn from.  The stories and choices Franklin explores are not just the good and beautiful ones, interestingly enough; because we can learn not only from women’s positive choices, but the negative ones, as well.

 

In Beloved, you’ll find meditations on the lives of many women, including:

  • Rebekah, Rachel, and Leah
  • Delilah
  • Jael
  • Shiphrah and Puah
  • Rahab
  • Hannah
  • Naomi, Orpah, and Ruth
  • Abigail
  • The Shunammite woman
  • and so many more, including meditations on the Proverbs 31 woman!

 

 

While this book is designed with a reading for each day of the year, I often read several pages at a time for the purposes of this review.  I found my reading times so rich, beautiful and encouraging.  Each daily devotional is tied to a verse (or collection of verses) of Scripture.  So, it’s very easy to turn to those verses and read an entire Bible section or chapter to get the expanded story of the women being discussed, alongside the devotional passage.  Each day’s reading is concise yet still full of wisdom and understanding.  Franklin is able to, quite effectively, connect these ancient women’s experiences to the things we need to know and live by in our own present day.

 

Some of my favorite readings…

…came from most unexpected places.  Like these words, about Lot’s wife:

“We never get to hear words directly from Lot’s wife in the Bible.
She doesn’t have one line of dialogue, so it’s hard to know who she might have been.
But, because of her ultimate end, she has gone down in history as an example of
what happens when we look backward instead of forward.”  (p. 43)

But I also loved these words about Sarah (Abraham’s wife), whom we’d consider a better example than Mrs. Lot:

“We can draw strength from examples like Sarah’s story. She wasn’t perfect
in her patience or in her belief that God would follow through for her,
but we don’t tend to be perfect in those areas either. We have the benefit
of being able to see Sarah’s whole story, many millennia later, and so we can
easily understand that God works out his will in his timing. It takes strength
to be patient, but letting God’s plan unfold is always worth the wait.” (p. 35)

 

Or, these beautiful words drawn from the life of Samuel’s mother, Hannah:

“The long-term solution is to understand that we aren’t created for comparison.
You were created with unique gifts to use, particular trials to overcome, and
specific triumphs to celebrate. When you embrace your own path and avoid
falling into the comparison trap, you can find contentment, as well as the
motivation to be the very best you possible.”  (p. 198)

 

For many years, I spent much of my Bible study time on the Epistles, Psalms, or Proverbs.  Sometimes it’s comforting (and instructive) to read the actual instructions that the Bible has for us.  However, it can be just as rich and absolutely as valuable for us to observe the lives, choices, mistakes, and faithfulness of different Bible persons.  Beloved is wonderful to read; to stop and take some time each day, and to look at these ancient women.  If we stop for a moment, to look, read, and pray, we can grow and become more equipped in wisdom, knowledge, understanding, and maturity as we seek to follow Christ.  Definitely check this book out.  It is so worth your time, and worth the time of the young women you parent and mentor!

For more information, click on the Zondervan link below:

http://www.zondervan.com/p/beloved-devotional/

 

 

And…I have one copy of Beloved to give away!

Simply click on the pink “Enter here!” link below.  That will take you to a Giveaway Tools form, where you can enter to win a copy in a variety of ways.  The giveaway will close 12/10/18, and one winner will be selected from all entries.  Best wishes!

Enter here!

 

Enjoy!  –Wren

 

 

Disclosure (in accordance with the FTC’s 16 CFR, Part 255:  “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising”):  Many thanks to Propeller Consulting, LLC for providing this prize for the giveaway.  Choice of winners and opinions are 100% my own and NOT influenced by monetary compensation.  I did receive a sample of the product in exchange for this review and post. Only one entrant per mailing address, per giveaway.  If you have won a prize from our sponsor Propeller /FlyBy Promotions in the last 30 days on the same blog, you are not eligible to win.  Or if you have won the same prize on another blog, you are not eligible to win it again.  Winner is subject to eligibility verification.

 

Enter to Win Hillsong Kids’ “Can You Believe It?” DVD! (Review & Giveaway-Ends 11/21/18)

#sponsored #partner

 

Hello friends!  I have a neat giveaway for you today that you will love if you have kids, work with kids, or enjoy Hillsong and their worship songs.  FlyBy/Propeller Promotions provided a free copy of Hillsong Kids’ new worship DVD for kiddos to review…as well as one DVD to give away to one FINCHNWREN reader!  Read on for more about this fantastic worship DVD for kids and families.

 

 

What is Hillsong Kids’ “Can You Believe It?” DVD?

It’s a great combination of Hillsong Kids worship songs, combined in both music videos and studio recordings, along with some fun extras.

In our family, we’ve been fans for years of kids’ worship DVDs.  We own a number of them and we’ve used them in family worship, for singing along, and for just playing enjoy in our home.  And, we adore Hillsong worship music.  So, when I heard about this Hillsong Kids DVD, I was definitely interested; it seemed just like something we’d use and love!  And, I was right.  This DVD includes music videos starring kids with fun narratives and dance, as well as studio versions of 14 songs.  It also has a fun You-Tube-ish video interview called “Funny Man Dan presents “Can You Believe It?”” which introduces kids to the purposes for the DVD and worship songs as well as some of the singers/worship leaders from the songs.  There are also Lyric Videos which have the words to each song (great for learning them!)

 

 

Songs include:

Some you probably know (like “What a Beautiful Name”) and others that you might not be familiar with yet, but will love, like:

  • “I Give You My Hallelujah”
  • “Ask Seek Knock”
  • “This Is Living”
  • “My Best Friend”
  • “As the World Shakes”
  • “You Know Me”
  • and 7 more

There is a sweet song led by a 16-year-old female worship leader called “Little Life” that I loved.  Here are some lyrics from it:

“My little hands together pray to You
My little feet together follow You
I lift my eyes and look to You
And my heart will love You”

We also loved the cheerful and upbeat “I Give You My Hallelujah”:

“You’re doing a new thing
Making my heart sing
Bringing colour to this brand new day

It’s never been clearer
You draw me nearer
You’re always with me and You’re here right now”

And another wonderful one, “You Know Me”:

“All Your thoughts about me, Oh God
Outnumber the sand
Outnumber the sand
You know me inside out
Outside in”

 

And, lots of other fantastic songs.  You may not only want to sing along or listen; “Can You Believe It?” may just make you want to dance!

 

 

What we thought

We listened to and watched this DVD in several ways.  We used it in family worship one Sunday morning when we were ill and not able to attend church.  I also have listened to it/watched it on my DVD with earbuds when my family was working on other things.  I was not surprised to find it a fantastic worship experience!

I found this music just so uplifting and worshipful; songs that remind us and establish us in the truths of God’s love for us and how He is always with us; that we are always walking with Him.  We enjoyed both the joyful and exuberant music videos (starring kids) and the studio versions of the songs, which feature both a kids’ ensemble and teen/adult worship leaders and musicians.  I think that kids, tweens and teens will be encouraged to see young people involved in leading worship.

We only found one drawback to the DVD which is more a technical issue than anything with the content.  In our other kids’ worship DVDs, you can just play all the worship videos in a loop.  For some reason, you have to hit “Play” on each and every song in this DVD.  Still, it’s worth it; just know that you just can’t set it to play and let it go.

In addition, kids will love seeing other kids starring in the music videos!

 

Who would enjoy “Can You Believe It?”

Families with small children or tweens especially.  Children’s Sunday school ministries.  Anyone with little ones who either loves Hillsong music or loves to have great worship music going in their homes!

 

More about Hillsong…

Hillsong believes that teaching children to love God and others takes place in
both the home and in the church. For this reason they seek to partner with
parents (the greatest teachers of all!) and with church pastors and leaders,
equipping them with great resources. Through fun experiences, meaningful
music and ministry that encourages kids to participate, Hillsong Kids presents
Jesus Christ and His Church in a relevant way, creating moments which children
will never forget.

Buy link for “Can You Believe It?”

 

Now–your chance to win!

I have one copy of Hillsong Kids’ “Can You Believe It?” DVD to give away to one FINCHNWREN reader!  Just click on the “Enter Here!” link below.  That will take you to a Giveaway Tools entry form, where you can enter to win in a variety of ways.  Giveaway closes 11/21/18 and winner will be selected and contacted following that.  Best wishes!

Enter here!

 

Enjoy!  –Wren

 

Disclosure (in accordance with the FTC’s 16 CFR, Part 255:  “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising”):  Many thanks to Propeller Consulting, LLC for providing this prize for the giveaway.  Choice of winners and opinions are 100% my own and NOT influenced by monetary compensation.  I did receive a sample of the product in exchange for this review and post.

Only one entrant per mailing address, per giveaway.  If you have won a prize from our sponsor Propeller /FlyBy Promotions in the last 30 days on the same blog, you are not eligible to win.  Or if you have won the same prize on another blog, you are not eligible to win it again.  Winner is subject to eligibility verification.