Sweet family film “Tyson’s Run” now available on DVD & Digital! (plus giveaway, ends 7/5/22)

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Not too long ago, I had the privilege of reviewing a precious family film called Tyson’s Run, courtesy of Momentum Influencer Network and Collide Distribution. It is really a heartwarming film, touching on issues of fatherhood and sonship; goals; believing in a dream even if it seems difficult–and working to accomplish that dream. I enjoyed this film and was moved by it. And, in a timely moment, I’m excited to tell you today, on Father’s Day, Tyson’s Run is now available on DVD and also digitally. And you can enter to win!

About Tyson’s Run

Tyson’s Run introduces viewers to a family that’s in a sort of crisis. Tyson, who has autism, has been homeschooled all of his life. Now at age 15, he’s attending the public high school where his father (whom he’d deeply love to connect with and to impress) is the head coach for the school’s football team. Tyson, whose mom is his biggest supporter, is bright and has a fantastic scientific mind. Unfortunately, his slight difficulties in reading social cues make him a target of some bullies among his new classmates. But while some kids act badly, Tyson catches the eye of a young woman, who becomes his friend.

Something even more crucial happens when Tyson is picking up the debris left on the sidelines after the high school football team’s practice is over. (Tyson would love to actually PLAY football, but his dad doesn’t think he’s up to it and sends him to the side for cleanup duty.) As those familiar with American high school stadiums know, those fields are often encircled by lanes for students running track. And it’s there, while cleaning up detritus, that Tyson meets Aklilu, a serious (and champion) marathon runner. Tyson thinks that he might be able to become a runner himself. And Aklilu agrees to coach him.

The remainder of the film includes running practices, of course, as Tyson wants to train for–and complete– a local marathon. There’s opposition to Tyson’s plan however (and not just from his dad). The challenges that his family has been experiencing lead almost to a breaking point. Can the family overcome their pain and differences and can Tyson train enough to reach his goal?

My thoughts

I love that a teen who’s struggling with autism is the star of this show! Tyson shows so many admirable qualities: perseverance; vision; character in tough situations; and the desire for love and companionship from his family. He’s also a normal teen in some ways! But what is unusual is his strong commitment to running, and in training well enough that he can actually run IN a marathon.

What he would love even more than completing the marathon is for his dad to love him and want to hang out with him. That is a big ask for his father, who’s used to working with championship high school athletes who aren’t anything like his son. I don’t want to give away too much, but viewers do have the privilege of watching transformation there happen.

Whether viewers are autistic or not; whether teens have some other issue that keeps them from connecting well with others or with their parents; whether our challenges are physical, emotional, or mental; we can all understand Tyson’s desire to be accepted and loved by his father. We all want that.

I believe that Tyson’s Run is both a sweet and an inspirational film for families. It could provide a fantastic conversation piece for parents and kids, on many topics such as compassion for others, human value, setting an audacious goal, or even family relationships. It is something that will even inspire you!

About the Tyson’s Run cast

You’ll find appealing and capable actors in this ensemble cast, and you’ll probably recognize many of them! Here is the short list of the characters, followed by the actors who play them and some of their recent appearances in other films or television shows:

  • Tyson Hollerman: Major Dodson (“The Walking Dead,” “Left Behind,” “American Horror Story,” and “Revolution”)
  • Aklilu: Barkhad Abdi (BAFTA winner for “Captain Phillips,” “Eye in the Sky,” “Blade Runner 2049,” “The Pirates of Somalia”)
  • Eloise (Mom): Amy Smart (Stargirl,” “Justified,” The Single Moms Club,” “Starsky and Hutch”)
  • Coach Hollerman (Dad): Rory Cochrane (“Antlers,” “Reprisal,” “The Outsider,” “Argo,” “Hostiles”)
  • Shannon: Layla Feldman (“Instant Family,” “The Sinner,” “Let Light Perpetual”)
  • and more

Watch the Tyson’s Run trailer here!

You can purchase Tyson’s Run now!

Tyson’s Run is available now on DVD and digitally. You can purchase them by clicking on the links below:

Tyson’s Run website

Buy digitally, on demand, and in DVD form here

Now, enter to win!

One FINCHNWREN reader will win a digital copy of Tyson’s Run. (US only.) To enter, click on the pink 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. Giveaway closes 7/5/22. One winner will be selected to win. Best wishes!

Enter here!

Enjoy! –Wren

Disclosure:

Many thanks to Collide Distribution for providing a sample of the product for this review. Opinions are 100% my own and NOT influenced by monetary compensation.

“Going Home” ~ a SONY Affirm Original series now on Pure Flix! (plus giveaway, ends 6/18/22)

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Hello there!

I have such an unusual show to tell you about today–plus a giveaway, courtesy of Momentum Influencer Network and Pure Flix! I was provided with an episode of a truly remarkable new series to watch and tell you about. Keep reading for more. I am sure you will be fascinated, just as I was.

About Going Home

Here’s what the filmmakers have to tell us about Going Home:

“Everyone has a calling from God and Charley’s purpose is to help people transition from this world to their forever home. Watch this heartfelt series that will inspire you to think deeper about your relationships and how you can live well with the time we’re all blessed with. God gives everyone a calling – and for Charley, it’s to help families during one of the most difficult times of their lives.”

Charley Copeland (played by Cynthia Geary) is an award-winning hospice nurse who kindly and lovingly guides both patients and their families during the patients’ last days on earth. Janey (Cozi Zuehlsdorff) is a newly-hired nurse whose joie de vivre is a breath of fresh air on the unit. And Charisma Carpenter (of Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel) suddenly appears as an old friend of Charley’s, who needs the special help only her friend can provide. (Even if Charley is reluctant to do so.)

Charley’s mission, more than getting along with coworkers or standing on her own laurels, is to faithfully serve her patients and hand them off into eternity. Her most loving relationship (perhaps her only really close one?) is with God, with whom she speaks at the end of each episode from her porch, as the sun beautifully sets in the distance.

You can watch this wonderful series on Pure Flix! Just click this link: Going Home

About episode 2 of Going Home, “The Cards You’re Dealt”

In recent years, those of us who enjoy faith-based series or films have been able to enjoy an absolute bounty of them. But I am certain that none of us has watched one that tells the story of nurses who work in hospice care; who are there to help those who are on their final journey to their forever home. Isn’t that a bold choice for a series? And, fortunately for us, it’s one that succeeds on so many levels.

Charley’s patient Betty Baker (Sharva Maynard) is a fiesty, cheerful older woman. Her husband Vance is played by the marvelous Tom Skerritt. They’ve enjoyed a long, deeply-connected marriage that’s been filled with adventurous vacations, road trips, and experiences that have helped knit their special relationship deeply together. They even play cards (although Betty teases Vance about how many rounds he’s lost).

But now, Vance has to say goodbye to his lifelong companion. And he is completely not ready to do so. And Charley has some concerns that she hasn’t shared, yet, with either Betty or Vance.

…and my impressions of it

Charley doesn’t seem to be very warm when we first meet her. Yet her devotion to her patients and to the process of shepherding them from this life to the next is admirable. We get to watch her all the way through the process: taking a breath as she prepares to enter her patients’ rooms; watchfully caring for them and their present needs; helping their families; enabling them to step into eternity; and, her own time with the Lord each day.

I found that, I REALLY like Charley. I love her absolutely steadfast commitment and care for her patients. It is so inspiring. And I adored watching her process her day with the Lord each day as the sun goes down and her shift is over. (I also admire her commitment to exercise, which has got to be necessary in such a taxing job!) I appreciate the honesty of the show as well. While it is faith-based, it doesn’t shy away from the tough questions surrounding death and the dying, the losses of family, and even coworkers’ occasional relational challenges.

I also appreciated the fantastic casting of the show regulars AND Skerritt’s and Maynard’s beautiful portrayal of a long-married couple saying a temporary (though I’m sure to them it feels final) goodbye. And as you can imagine, heaven (and who’s going to be there!) is a recurring conversation topic.

I loved this show. I’d say that it would be appropriate and fantastic for adults, and at the very least for teens. Some children might also appreciate it; parents would just need to assess where their kids are in being able to have and understand questions about death and dying.

I recommend this lovely show. And kudos to Pure Flix and Going Home‘s writers, directors, and producers for tackling such an unlikely subject. I think that it’s both brave–and necessary.

And here’s a Bible verse that speaks beautifully to this episode:

Therefore if you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any common sharing in the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and of one mind. Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.

Philippians 2:1-4 (NIV)

Watch the trailer for Going Home here & subscribe to Pure Flix!

You can watch the trailer for Going Home right here! And I’m sure that, like me, you’ll want to see more–and to do so, you can subscribe to the fantastic Pure Flix streaming service! Just click on the subscribe link below–and then watch the trailer!

Subscribe here!

And…enter to win!

Pure Flix is giving away a 3-month streaming service subscription to one FINCHNWREN reader!

Here’s all you have to do to enter to win. Just 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 to win in a variety of ways. Giveaway closes on June 18, 2022. One winner will be selected to win. Best wishes!

Enter here!

Enjoy! –Wren

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

New film trailer: “Eating with the Enemy” ~ plus giveaway for digital codes for 2 films! (ends 6/4/22)

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I am so excited to tell you about a brand-new film coming soon from the makers of Before the Wrath (you can click on its link to see my review)! This movie is called Eating with the Enemy. Such an intriguing title, isn’t it? You won’t believe the subject matter, either. Plus, I have digital codes for two films to give away to one FINCHNWREN reader!

About Eating with the Enemy

The Last Supper is one of the most recognized events recorded in biblical history but few understand the life-changing significance of what truly took place. Today, nearly two thousand years later, new ancient findings reveal what countless theologians, pastors and scholars have missed; a lost biblical warning and parable that’s woven throughout the events leading to and culminating on that unprecedented night; mere hours before Jesus’ crucifixion. Discover profound depths of insight regarding what Jesus said and did that night; revealing why it was so critical to leave His disciples with a new commandment that was fulfilled through the ultimate act of sacrificial love. But to understand why the events of the Last Supper are so critical for today, you must experience what truly happened for yourself as a witness among the disciples that very night! Regardless of your biblical knowledge or beliefs, the historic conclusion of this emotionally charged drama will not only shed new light on Jesus’ willing sacrifice for a fallen world but reveals what it means to truly love your enemy in a time of growing deception and persecution that is foretold to plague the world at the end of days!

From the makers of Before the Wrath, Eating with the Enemy is narrated by Kevin Sorbo (God’s Not Dead, Hercules: The Legendary Journeys) and features several actors from The Chosen TV series! Award-winning producer, director and writer Brent Miller Jr, brings this visually stunning insight from the final days before Jesus’ crucifixion to life with an unprecedented true story about those who followed Him; including one of the greatest villains in history, Judas Iscariot. Eating with the Enemy stars Shayan Ardalan as Jesus Christ, Kevin Hayer as Judas Iscariot (Before the Wrath) Katie Koenig as Mary Magdalene (The Chosen), Edoardo Bianchi as Peter, and Brad Stalkfleet as The Chief Priest (The Chosen).

Watch the trailer here–and leave a comment!

You can watch the Eating with the Enemy trailer here! (And to enter the giveaway, leave a comment!)

Visit the Eating with the Enemy website & socials

Visit these Eating with the Enemy links! You can like Ingenuity Films’ Facebook and Instagram pages so you can stay updated on film news and release dates, and visit the film’s website for more information about Eating with the Enemy. (You can also preorder the film via the film’s website!)

Ingenuity Films’ Facebook page

Ingenuity Films’ Instagram page

Eating with the Enemy website

I love what the filmmakers of Eating with the Enemy have chosen for the call to action they’re extending to those who see the film. It’s Psalm 139:23-24, which reads:

Search me, O God, and know my heart; try me and know my anxious thoughts. And see if there be any hurtful way in me, and lead me in the everlasting way.

    

Psalm 139:23-24 (NASB)

And, enter to win the giveaway!

You can enter to win digital codes for two films today: Before the Wrath and The Coming Convergence. (This giveaway is NOT for Eating with the Enemy; that’s not released yet!) To enter, leave a comment on my blog about the trailer, then click on the “Enter here!” link below. That will take you to a Giveaway Tools entry form, where you’ll have a variety of ways to enter, including commenting, tweeting, pinning, and following. You’ll need to let me know which name you commented here, plus your contact info in case you’re the winner. Giveaway ends 6/4/22. Best wishes!

Enter here!

Enjoy! –Wren

Disclosure: Many thanks to Ingenuity Films for providing a sample of the product for this review. Opinions are 100% my own and NOT influenced by monetary compensation.

My review of the excellent “Sharing God’s Big Love with Little Lives” ~ and you can enter to win! (ends 5/31/22)

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One of the joys of my life has been teaching little ones in Sunday school, in art enrichment classes, and in our own homeschool. So I was thrilled to have the opportunity to enjoy Jean Thomason’s Sharing God’s Big Love with Little Lives, provided to me by Momentum Influencer Network. What a wonderful experience listening was–and what an awesome resource for equipping parents, grandparents, and those who work with children!

About the audiobook

Jean’s exceptional, loving book is designed to help parents (and grandparents or caregivers) understand how to teach little ones about God and to build a foundation for children’s faith. It’s divided into seven chapters, the titles of which form the acronym “PRAISE!” Each letter stands for a thought or principle which is then expanded throughout its chapter. Here’s what they stand for:

  • P – Placed and Privileged to Parent
  • R – Rare Window of Opportunity
  • A – All-Access Pass to God
  • I – Infancy
  • S – Seven Ways to Practice Praise
  • E – Enthusiastic Enjoyment
  • ! – Imperative with Exclamation Point

Jean Thomason’s book provides an exceptional, Biblically-based toolbox that parents can utilize to love, teach, and extend God’s invitation to their kids to build and create their own faith, even though they are children. She brings years of experience of children’s ministry and her own parenting to create these vital tools, which will encourage and equip moms and dads.

My impressions

Beautiful. Joyful. Insightful. And exactly what a parent is looking for!

Sharing God’s Big Love with Little Lives was just a joy. In the audiobook version, it’s read by its author, Jean Thomason, and both her voice and her years of experience in the field of performing arts make the recording shine. Her joyful voice, and delight in sharing Christ with children, are evident in every word.

I love how each chapter is packed full of Scriptures that will encourage moms (and other caregivers) as they are reminded again and again of the importance of the spiritual formation of the precious children entrusted to their care. I’ve heard many times the quote, “the days are long but the years are short.” That’s a sad one, isn’t it? But while Jean communicates a similar message, hers falls more on the side of “Seize this day! Pour out love on these babies! Teach them about God’s huge love for them, that Jesus died and rose again for them, and God the Holy Spirit will be with them!”

This is a book that (as you can tell in the photo above), as I listened, I found myself scribbling a ton of notes. Again and again I heard Bible verses, insightful words and research, and reminders to me, a mother and teacher myself, of the momentous responsibility of training up my own child in “the nurture and admonition of the Lord” (Ephesians 6:4). The nurture (the nourishment, the protection, the embrace) and admonition (counsel, advice, gentle reproof) of the God who loved them so much that He gave His one and only Son for them. And doing these with joy, enthusiasm, exuberance, and love!

I am delighted to recommend Sharing God’s Big Love with Little Lives to everyone who is raising, teaching, or caring for children. Jean’s great care and compassion for children, and teaching them about God, is just what each of us moms (and dads!) needs to receive and share. You will love this book–and meanwhile, you’ll also be equipped, strengthened, sustained, and absolutely blessed to hear (or read) this.

And…some of my favorites!

I can’t let you go without sharing some of my favorite quotes from this fantastic book. Here they are; I believe they’ll give you a lovely taste of what you’ll experience when you read or listen to Sharing God’s Big Love with Little Lives!

  • Jean’s words on Eunice and Lois, the mother and grandmother of Timothy, and how their teachings and example prepared him for eventual faith and leadership (2 Timothy) by creating a firm foundation in his life
  • “…today is my day with my children. There are no unimportant moments. May I know that no other work is so important, no other career so precious, no other task so urgent. May I not defer it or neglect it but by the Spirit accept it gladly, joyously, and by Thy grace…”
  • George Barna said, “…Ministry to children is the single most important work in the kingdom of God. And more to the point: the most significant part of each person’s life is his or her spiritual health. Every dimension of a person’s experience hinges on his or her moral and spiritual condition.”
  • “We are responsible for our children’s spiritual formation–so we must do nothing to hinder them, as Jesus said.”
  • “Make it a point to be happy when you see your children…Let your love and attention show on your face as you greet your children.”

How you can download the first chapter, free of charge!

Jean Thomason has provided the first chapter of Sharing God’s Big Love with Little Lives for you to listen to at absolutely no cost to you. Just visit the Miss Patty Cake website by clicking on the link below, and follow the directions.

First chapter, free for you

More about the author, Jean Thomason

Jean Thomason has more than 30 years of experience as a musical performer, worship leader, author, and conference speaker to parents, grandparents, teachers, and children’s ministers. She is the living embodiment of the joyful children’s musical character, “Miss PattyCake”. Through this brightly costumed character, Jean plants biblical truths, served in fun toddler-size pieces, while helping equip parents to lay a spiritual foundation for their children. Her live “Miss PattyCake” family events are performed throughout  God’s great big world. In her latest book “Sharing God’s BIG LOVE with Little Lives”, Jean shares her insight gleaned from her 20+ years in children’s ministry. Using scripture, humorous anecdotes, and insightful research, Jean equips you with fresh ideas and enthusiastic encouragement to help you guide your little ones as they grow into all that God has created them to be. This book is a fun and powerful resource for parents, grandparents, and caregivers.

Watch Jean’s video about the book here!

Purchase Sharing God’s Big Love with Little Lives here!

You can purchase this lovely book here! Just click on the link below.

Buy here

Enter to win an audiobook of “Sharing God’s Big Love with Little Lives”

One person will win “Sharing God’s Big Love with Little Lives” in audiobook form! To enter, simply click on the pink 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. Giveaway closes on 5/31/22. Best wishes!

Enter here!

Enjoy! –Wren

Disclosure: Many thanks to Jean Thomason for providing a sample of the product for this review. Opinions are 100% my own and NOT influenced by monetary compensation.

New fam film (in theaters TODAY!) from The Skit Guys: “Family Camp” plus Amazon GC giveaway! (ends 5/21/22)

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Recently, Momentum Influencer Network provided another awesome family film for me to view and to tell you about (plus an Amazon GC giveaway!). It’s a brand-new film you can see in theaters opening weekend–which starts today, 5/13–from The Skit Guys. Called “Family Camp,” it’s something your entire family can (and WILL!) enjoy. (Opening weekend continues 5/13-15.)

About the film

Here’s a brief synopsis about what you can expect from Family Camp!

When their pastor encourages the congregation to sign-up for a week away at family camp, Grace (Leigh-Allyn Baker) believes she’s found the perfect cure for her imperfect clan—even if they’d all rather be anywhere but at rustic Camp Katokwah. The first feature film from The Skit Guys—Tommy Woodard and Eddie James—FAMILY CAMP is a laugh-out-loud comedy that is sure to touch the hearts and tickle the funny bones of every family member from eight to eighty.

My impressions of Family Camp

Well. First, I have to give a shout-out to the cast, all of whom are incredible!

  • First, The Skit Guys themselves, Tommy Woodard and Eddie James
  • Leigh-Allyn Baker, from “Good Luck Charlie”
  • Gigi Orsillo”
  • Robert Amaya (one of my faves from “Moms’ Night Out” and “Courageous”)
  • Cece Kelly
  • Mark Christopher Lawrence
  • Heather Land, who’s a social media star and comedian

You know that a film like this is going to be about transformation. But, there’s a story to tell first! “Family Camp” does a great job of introducing viewers to the two families, and the script gives each very identifiable characteristics (in a non-overdone way). Of course, in real life costars Tommy and Eddie are best friends. But in the film, they definitely do NOT get along. Their competitive natures, and Eddie’s desire to show himself and his family as the best and strongest (and most Christian) at camp, get in the way of the possibility of their becoming friends. Side stories about the kids’ inclinations and personalities make the kids’ characters very appealing (in fact, Jacob M. Wade’s portrayal of Tommy’s son Henry charmed me).

A dad hike causes the biggest conflict in the film, for unusual reasons. (And don’t miss the Bigfoot Hunters. Awesome!) It causes some rather stinging interactions between Tommy and Eddie and illuminates their differences even more dramatically. But there is still much more to come before the film’s conclusion!

I can definitely recommend “Family Camp” for your family! It is a clean family film, and something you can take your whole family to. (For smaller children, there might be some scary moments. But they’re definitely mild.) There is great humor, the characters are well-drawn and exceptionally-acted; and “Family Camp” reminds us of the meaning and immense value of marriage, family, relationships, fun–and family camp!

Meet the Skit Guys!

The marvelous Jean Thomason from Momentum Influencer Network got to interview The Skit Guys–and we’ve got it on film for you to see! The Skit Guys are longtime friends Tommy Woodard and Eddie James. Here, you’ll get to hear about how they met and what their ministry and creative process looks like. I love their stories and their long history of friendship. Very fun!

I *knew* that The Skit Guys’ name sounded a bit familiar when I first heard it. But it took my telling my husband and (now college-age) son about “Family Camp” to remember why. My son’s drama classes in high school and middle school often used scripts that were written by The Skit Guys! The pair is so gifted in telling a fun and funny story while naturally including spiritual truths and encouragement.

Get your tickets now for opening weekend!

“Family Camp” opens in theaters this weekend, May 13-15, 2022! Here’s more on how you can get tickets and go to the movies this weekend!

Purchase “Family Camp” movie tickets here

If you’d like to see “Family Camp” with your church group, purchase “Family Camp” group tickets here

Visit the “Family Camp” movie website here

Learn more about the Heart of “Family Camp” here

And, see the “Family Camp” movie trailer here!

Now, enter to win a $10 Amazon GC!

“Family Camp” and Momentum Influencer Network are giving away a $10 Amazon gift card here at the FINCHNWREN blog! To enter to win, just 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. Giveaway closes on 5/21/22. Best wishes!

Enter here!

Enjoy! –Wren

Disclosure: Many thanks to K-Love Films for providing a sample of this product for this review. Opinions are 100% my own.

Win an autographed CD of Anne Wilson’s debut album “My Jesus” ~ review & giveaway (ends noon May 6, 2022)

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Thanks to Momentum Influencer Network and Universal, I’ve had the joy of being introduced to Anne Wilson and her incredible music recently. I’ve been given the opportunity to listen to her new album and share about it with you. And, Momentum has provided an autographed copy of Anne’s debut CD, My Jesus, which I’ll be giving away to one FINCHNWREN reader!

About Anne’s debut album, My Jesus

Anne Wilson was brought into the music business after a terrible family tragedy; when they lost her older brother Jacob to a car accident. She was a teen then and had very different expectations for what her life path would be. But God asked her to do something different. (You can listen to her video story through the link below.) Really, something remarkable. And I believe that God is going to use this young woman (she is not even 21 yet!!) to make a difference, to be a voice for Jesus and for healing. Her debut album is a witness to that.

My Jesus and Anne Wilson have accumulated so many accolades already! Anne is the first the first female solo artist debut single to reach #1 on the Billboard Christian Airplay chart. The debut single “My Jesus” was the longest #1 single on Billboard’s Christian Airplay chart of 2021 at 7 weeks. It has even achieved gold record status.

Here’s the song list from Anne’s new release My Jesus, and my thoughts about each song:

  • “Prelude (Scatter)” is a remarkable introduction to not only its subsequent song, but to the album as well. With a variety of instruments, the listener gets the sense of a thunderstorm which segues into piercing mariachi music (with strong keyboards and trumpets). These crescendo and then, head toward a firm stop. This leaves you breathlessly anticipating what comes next…
  • which is “Scatter.” This song picks up where “Prelude” leaves off. What is the idea this song communicates? It’s what the enemies of the child of God do: they scatter. It’s really a praise and proclamation song–a powerful one. Our God fights our battles for us; and when He does, we praise.
  • “My Jesus.” I don’t think they could have selected a better title for this album. This heartfelt song about suffering, pain, and the Jesus who is there with us always–Anne’s Jesus, and ours as well, if we want Him. How ready He is to meet us when we are broken, always. “My Jesus” is the anthem that every human needs to hear. And you can hear it here. It’s truly a song that can change your life.
  • And you wouldn’t think that “Devil” is a song that could follow “My Jesus.” Au contraire! This fantastic pronouncement of victory will get your blood flowing and remind you, as the song said, that Jesus “brought life to me and death to the devil!”
  • The precious “Sunday Sermons” (and don’t miss the music video!) shows the beautiful seeds that the church, the Bible, and all the words we hear in church when we are littles can produce, in bountiful fruit later on.
  • When you hear the title, “Hey Girl,” do you think of a famous meme? I did too (funny!), but Anne’s song is a word of life spoken over young women. It’s wonderful! It’s not just a reminder of what we should believe about ourselves: but why.
  • “This House” (with a lovely bridge from an old hymn) shares what our homes need to be built on to live, thrive, and stand.
  • “Mansions” is Anne’s lovely take on Jesus’s words from John 14:2. It will make you smile.
  • In “Mamas,” Hillary Scott, from Lady A, sings with Anne about the gifts mamas are. Perfect for Mother’s Day! Beautiful, happy, cheerful song and gorgeous duet. One of my favorites!
  • “No Place Like Home” is a sweet, heart-wrenching ballad to Anne’s brother; and the knowledge that, in the midst of grief, there is a perfect home out there for us.
  • “God Thing” — Miracles. Healings. Answered prayers. A sinner saved by grace. They happen!
  • “That’s What We Need” is faith and life that looks like Jesus. Love; the least of these embraced; His purpose. So wonderful; you will love this song!
  • What is it about Jesus’s name that is different from every other name on earth? “Something About That Name” is about what happens when we speak His name, in all circumstances, places, over every situation–with His unique power to save. Compelling–and powerful.
  • “Closer to God” is one of the most beautiful songs on this album to me. It showcases Anne’s voice in a wonderful way. She often sings in a lower register, but moments in this song give her voice to soar beautifully high and free. And the words! What truths for the broken, for those who feel that God is far away. He’s so close.
  • And last, there’s a reprisal of “My Jesus” but this time it’s with Crowder. I wouldn’t have expected their voices to pair well together; but this is awesome! You’ll love it. (And maybe not cry as much over this version.)

My thoughts about Anne Wilson’s remarkable debut

I was privileged to attend the Capitol Christian Music Group/Kisme livestream with Anne Wilson on April 27. I was just so struck by her story, but also her absolute gratefulness to be singing with her band and for her label, as well as to all those who co-wrote the album’s songs with her. Her spirit is so precious and refreshing, and her voice is rich and compelling. It was an absolute pleasure to watch and listen to Anne.

Her story is a one like no other I’ve heard. Out of absolute heartbreak (her beloved older brother’s unexpected death in a car accident) came the calling and life she’s walking out now. (Actually, she’d planned to be a NASA astronaut!) But her songs are written from the heart. During the livestream, she said that “the best songs are written from the deep places in your life.” How she has proved that. And how these songs will minister to you, to your children, to all those around you. (Whether they’re country-rock fans or not!) Anne’s humble, gracious story is the living out of how God can bring beauty from ashes.

I’m so pleased to be able to share about Anne and her songs and new album, and to give away this fantastic CD. It will minister to you and speak to your lonely, broken places. Don’t miss “My Jesus!”

Where you can purchase My Jesus

I wish I could give a copy of this CD to each one of you! But since I can’t (but don’t forget to enter my giveaway!), I want to let you know how and where you can purchase this CD.

You can stream and buy My Jesus here: Anne Wilson My Jesus

Watch the official music video for My Jesus here

And for more behind the scenes, you can watch Anne’s “My Story” Video here



Anne Wilson and Hillary Scott singing “Mamas”

Enter the FINCHNWREN giveaway to win an autographed My Jesus CD

The FINCHNWREN blog is giving an autographed My Jesus CD to one reader! To enter, just 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 to win in a variety of ways. Giveaway closes at noon on Friday, May 6, 2022. One winner will be selected to win. Best wishes!

Enter here!

Enjoy! –Wren

Disclosure: Many thanks to Universal Music Group for providing a sample of the product for this review.
Opinions are 100% my own and NOT influenced my monetary compensation.

“The Mulligan” film in theaters April 18 and 19 only! Get tix and e-book giveaway! (ends 4/24/22)

#sponsor #partner

Recently, Momentum Influencer Network offered me the opportunity to see new film The Mulligan and share about it with you. It’s in theaters only today and tomorrow, so don’t miss this! Here’s more about this film plus an e-book giveaway for you to enter!

About The Mulligan

Taken from Ken Blanchard’s and Wally Armstrong’s book of the same name, this faith-based film features Eric Close (Nashville, American Sniper), singer/songwriter and actor Pat Boone, PGA golf champion Tom Lehman, and a solid cast that includes Charmin Lee, Tanya Christenson, and Andrew Brodeur.

Paul McAllister is the CEO of a huge corporation, centered in Atlanta. While his business is uber-successful, his personal life is in major disarray. He’s been separated from his wife for years. His son can’t stand the sight of him. Perfection is what he demands from himself and his employees. Yet Paul really can’t see how fall he actually falls from that perfect standard. Life apparently has some lessons for the CEO, that he’s neither prepared for nor can see coming.

An older gentleman golfer has some solutions for those life lessons, offered to Paul both on and off the golf course. Wally, the “Old Pro,” encourages the use of the “mulligan,” or do-over, when perfection is clearly not an option; as is reflected so obviously in Paul’s life. But the do-over is something Paul has to choose to accept. Circumstances may just force him to take a good look at himself.

Wouldn’t we all like to have a second chance, or grace, when we’ve totally blown it?

My thoughts

I actually had the opportunity to see The Mulligan in a local theater in my city. Although I’ve attended a PGA tournament as a spectator (you know, the ones who clap quietly after golfers take their swings), I know very little about the game of golf myself. And yet that didn’t lessen my enjoyment of The Mulligan in the slightest. While I didn’t find Paul appealing at all as the film began, he really began to grow on me. His story, of succeeding professionally yet failing miserably in his personal life, was one that I think viewers will truly be able to relate to. Because haven’t we all had an area, if not more than one in our lives, where we’ve been clueless?

Pat Boone was marvelous, just incredibly full of life, as Wally, the Old Pro. And there is a reason for that! The remaining supporting characters, from Paul’s assistant, to his wife and son, were so believable.

Something I really enjoyed was observing the integrity (or lack of it) that various actors’ roles displayed. And the faith journey of several characters was presented in ways that felt genuine and quite believable. The conversations about faith unfolded very beautifully, and in an uncontrived way. In fact, and I don’t want to give a spoiler here, watch for ways that the gospel is presented in both word and deed. I found it so inspiring, and lovely (even if some of it was in golf language, and I’m not a golfer!).

Don’t miss your opportunity to see The Mulligan. It is a wonderful journey through one man’s experience of what can happen when he applies “the mulligan” to himself and others!

Where you can buy tickets

You’ll only be able to see The Mulligan in theaters on April 18-19, 2022. And trust me. You definitely want to see it on the big screen! So, follow the purchase link below. You’ll be able to use it to buy tickets in your city or community.

Purchase tickets here 

And, if you’d like to learn a bit more about the film from the producers, visit The Mulligan movie website

The trailer

You can watch the trailer for The Mulligan here!

And the giveaway!

You can enter to win a digital copy of The Mulligan book! Co-written by former PGA touring pro Wally Armstrong and author/business executive Ken Blanchard, this digital novel tells the story that this film is taken from. Here’s a bit from the book’s description:  

This inspiring story about relationships, forgiveness, and priorities is a shot of grace. Golf’s gracious do-over, a mulligan is the beginning of Paul McAllister’s second chance. Guided by  the wisdom and advice of the Old Pro, Paul learns about priorities, self-confidence, and  playing a good game both on and off the course. The Mulligan is a parable of second  chances.  

 

And, the FINCHNWREN blog is giving away a digital book copy of The Mulligan to one reader! To enter the giveaway, just 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. Giveaway closes on April 24, 2022. Best wishes!

Enter here!

Enjoy! –Wren

Disclosure: Many thanks to Reelworks Studios for providing a sample of the product for this review. Opinions are 100% my own and NOT influenced by monetary compensation.

Pure Flix Easter Films ~ and a Pure Flix giveaway! (ends 4/9/22)

#sponsoredpost #partner

Hello dear ones!

Momentum Influencer Network and Pure Flix want to help you and your family get ready for Easter; and to do so, they’re giving away a 3-month Pure Flix subscription plus sharing about their slate of Easter films that you can watch with your family!

About Pure Flix

Pure Flix is an online streaming service that is full of movies, tv shows, documentaries, classics, and kids’ entertainment shows (VeggieTales, anyone?) that you can enjoy with your family. Pure Flix’s shows can be viewed on TVs, tablets (Apple and Android), phones (also Apple and Android), and some gaming consoles. It is available as an app, and it is subscription-based, with monthly plans starting as low as $5.84 per month. Pure Flix enables your family to stream literally thousands of movies and shows with no commercials with that subscription. And, you can sign up for a free trial (more on that later!).

Pure Flix’s Easter films

Pure Flix has assembled a collection of films for Easter that families can watch as they prepare their hearts and minds for Resurrection Sunday. (Of course, you’ll want to assess your children’s ages as you choose to watch the various films.) These include:

  • The Passion of the Christ
  • Risen
  • The Penitent Thief
  • The Messiah: A BrickFilm
  • The Passion: A BrickFilm
  • AD: The Bible Continues

These are in addition to Pure Flix’s enormous film library of faith-based or family-friendly shows.

My experience with Risen

I was given the privilege of viewing one of Pure Flix’s Easter films. I selected Risen, a 2016 film written by Kevin Reynolds and Tom Aiello, starring:

  • Joseph Fiennes as Clavius, one of Pontius Pilate’s most-trusted tribunes
  • Tom Felton as Lucius, Clavius’s aide and fellow tribune
  • Peter Firth as Pontius Pilate
  • Cliff Curtis as Yeshua, the Messiah
  • and more

In addition to a spectacular cast, Risen is beautifully filmed, with an incredible storyline. Clavius is tasked, by Pilate, with ensuring that Yeshua is dead, since Pilate has been bothered by the Sanhedrin leaders, who’ve warned him that this Yeshua has said he would rise again if he were killed. The Sanhedrin is worried that the teacher’s followers plan to steal his body and deceive the masses by telling them that Yeshua has risen. So Clavius heads to Golgotha, where the crucifixion of Yeshua and two others is still going on. Three days later, Clavius is given another task; to find Yeshua’s body, since now his disciples are claiming that the teacher has in fact risen from the dead.

What a movie! Viewers get a window into Rome’s immense power and their ways of life; their worship of many gods, the austerity and toughness of their soldiers, and their power over their conquered lands. I appreciated the way the director and writers told the story of a Roman soldier who was an alien in Judea, only there to enforce the ways and laws of Rome. What if this soldier encountered not only the dying Jesus; but His followers, and his fellow soldiers “guarding” the grave? And what if this same man saw that there was more to the Jewish teacher than Rome had imagined?

This is a wonderful film. It is rated PG-13 (for images of war, the crucifixion, violence, and use of weapons), so it won’t probably be appropriate for younger children, but it is a fantastic approximation of “what if.” What if a faithful, world-wearied Roman soldier was forced to investigate the death and life of Yeshua? I found this to be the perfect lead-up to my own Easter. Because really, haven’t we all, as believers in Christ, had the moment where we didn’t know Him, but then we met Him for the first time, and had to take all the evidence about Jesus and decide to follow Him?

Sign up for a Pure Flix membership now!

You can sign up today for a Pure Flix subscription, and start viewing their Easter films! You can sign up for a free trial membership at the link below (where you can also sign up for a paid subscription):

Pure Flix subscription and free trial link

And, enter to win a Pure Flix subscription!

You can enter to win a 3-month subscription to Pure Flix streaming service, where you can see their lineup of Pure Flix Easter films! To enter, 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. Giveaway closes on 4/9/22. One entrant will be selected to win the Pure Flix 3-month subscription. Best wishes!

Enter here!

Enjoy! –Wren

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

New inspirational film “Tyson’s Run” plus a $20 Amazon GC giveaway! (ends 3/20/22)

#sponsored post #partner

Momentum Influencer Network and Collide Distribution gave me the opportunity to watch “Tyson’s Run,” about football, running, and an autistic teen. I’m thrilled to share more with you about this film, plus let you know how you can see it in theaters. And you can enter a giveaway for an Amazon gift card, below!

About Tyson’s Run

From Collide Distribution: “When fifteen-year-old Tyson attends public school for the first time, his life is changed forever. While helping his father clean up after the football team, Tyson befriends champion marathon runner Aklilu. Never letting his autism hold him back, Tyson becomes determined to run his first marathon in hopes of winning his father’s approval. With the help of an unlikely friend and his parents, Tyson learns that with faith in yourself and the courage to take the first step, anything is possible.”

Tyson’s Run has a well-known and experienced cast. It stars Major Dodson as Tyson (“The Walking Dead,” “Left Behind,” “American Horror Story,” and “Revolution”), Amy Smart as his mom (“Stargirl,” “Justified,” The Single Moms Club,” “Starsky and Hutch,” and more), Rory Cochrane, as Tyson’s father (“Antlers,” “Reprisal,” “The Outsider,” “Argo,” “Hostiles”), and Layla Felder as Shannon (“Instant Family,” “The Sinner,” “Let Light Perpetual”). Aklilu, Tyson’s running coach, is played by Barkhand Abdi, who’s been seen in “Captain Phillips,” (for which he won a BAFTA and the London Critics’ Award), “Eye in the Sky,” “Blade Runner 2049,” “The Pirates of Somalia,” and more.

You can watch a short featurette film about the making of Tyson’s Run here, and get to know a bit about the film and Major Dodson (Tyson), who is on the autism spectrum himself, yet has acted in some major film and television franchises. Major’s mom also speaks and has some encouraging words for parents. They’re part of a family who definitely knows how to reach for dreams!

My thoughts & impressions about the film

A checked-out dad, who’d rather expend his energies on his championship high school football team than connect with his high-functioning autistic son, Tyson. A homeschool mom, who is her son’s champion but has gotten to where he understands more math than she does. A marriage in trouble, and a broken family. And Tyson, who’s entering public school for the first time. He’s bright. Intelligent. Able to communicate. But he stumbles a bit on understanding social interactions. What he would really like, though, is his dad’s approval.

We’ve all been there in some way. Perhaps we didn’t live up to our parents’ ideas of awesomeness, or maybe they favored one of our siblings. It might have been missing the approval of our peers, in school, work, or somewhere else. In some situation, in some way, we’ve probably had moments when we felt “less than” in our lives. So it’s easy to feel great compassion for Tyson, and to breathe a sigh of relief when he makes it, sort of, through his first day of public school. Day #2 isn’t so easy though. Bullies abound and the result of their abuse of Tyson ends up propelling him down a path that might eventually open a door for him. But there’s a lot of road to cover before that happens.

There was a lot that I found admirable about Tyson’s Run. We seem to be seeing more autism among children these days; but I can’t remember seeing much where they’re featured in films or television, as the subject of the shows. (Rain Man being the very obvious exception that comes to mind. But that was in 1988!) So we are really due for more films both starring and featuring kids, teens, or people with autism. (IMHO.)

The pace and storyline of the film was good. I’d have liked to see more of Tyson’s training, but the time allotted to his friendship with Aklilu made it both natural and interesting as they pursued running; as was the course of change in his family’s relationships with each other. Although much of Tyson’s hours at school were painful, we still got a great sense of his abilities there (as well as his challenges).

I don’t want to give too much away, because you have the opportunity, starting March 11, 2022, to see Tyson’s Run in theaters! (I’ve got links below, where you can purchase tickets!) This is a film that families can enjoy together. There’s nothing that’s inappropriate; there’s much that families can unpack and talk through after viewing; and, children and teens might even be able to grow in compassion as well as perseverance and dreams as a result. It might be an enormous encouragement as well for families who have a family member with autism.

…and the film’s trailer

How you can see Tyson’s Run in theaters

You can buy tickets today to see Tyson’s Run in your own local theaters! The film opens on March 11, 2021 and you can go on opening night, or soon after that! Just click on the film’s website below for more information, or on the Tickets link under that.

Tyson’s Run website

Tickets

How to enter to win an Amazon GC!

To enter to win a $20 Amazon gift card, just click on the link below. That will take you to the giveaway form. Just enter to win! Entrants must be 18 years of age or older. Giveaway closes on 3/20/22. Best wishes!

Click here to enter!

Enjoy! –Wren

Disclosure:

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

Enter to win a funny/faith-filled family film! “Church People” now on DVD! (giveaway ends 2/19/22)

#sponsor #partner

I had the opportunity last spring to watch the awesome comedy Church People. And, I’ve just gotten to see it again! I am so excited to tell you that it’s now available on DVD, and, thanks to Momentum Influencer Network, a FINCHNWREN reader will have the chance to win it on DVD!

About Church People

Guy Sides is the youth pastor of a large church. He goes on a speaking tour that is several months long. Over the course of the tour, Guy starts to feel that his message–the simplicity and completeness of the gospel itself–is being pushed aside in favor of marketing. T-shirts, autographs, books, and suddenly, beach balls, seem to be the focus of the tour. So Guy heads home, hoping to be spiritually, emotionally, and physically refreshed.

And yet, what Guy discovers, is that his own senior pastor has been bitten by the marketing bug. Pastor Skip is more focused on gimmicks than he is the gospel. But, though Guy is appalled (and still exhausted), it seems that his prayers are being answered. There’s a new kid in the youth group, Blaise, who has embraced faith and is totally on fire for Jesus. The senior pastor’s daughter, Carla, has returned from the mission field and can’t wait to share her experiences with Guy. And Mabel–the girl Guy has been praying for, for years–might just show up.

But. Pastor Skip has the worst idea ever for Easter Sunday. Guy is horrified, but he can’t quite get the pastor to stop.

My impressions of the film

There is so much that is encouraging in Church People, and some things that I believe Christians will find relatable. It is tempting for many of us to serve to the point of exhaustion; then, how and where, will we go to get refreshed and rested? Are we depending on marketing ploys and gimmicks to sell the gospel, when really its very simplicity is enough? John 3:16 says it so purely and clearly: “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”

Those are points that we can stand to be reminded of. The purity of faith and the excitement of the new believer, Blaise, are a refreshing reminder that our relationship with God through Jesus is worth cherishing and pursuing. I also loved “Mabel’s” arrival; a wonderful reminder that God does hear our prayers and He does answer them.

Apart from those spiritual truths that I was reminded of, I also thought the film was wonderfully-done. The film was well-paced and the story unfolded in a way that made it highly watchable. The cast members were fantastic, whether they were the Baldwin brothers, Erin Cahill, Thor Ramsey, or Donald Faison. I loved the sweet spiritual nuggets that Chad, played by Stephen Baldwin, drops over the course of the film; and how encouraging he is to others, especially Guy.

I think families would love Church People. There are a lot of truths and issues parents could unpack with teens or older elementary students. While it does have its serious moments, it also has many fun and encouraging ones. Plus some lovely music!

Watch the Church People trailer

Now that I’ve shared a bit of the flavor of this film and my own impressions, I’d love for you to see the trailer yourself! Just click to watch it below.

Where you can purchase Church People on DVD

You can purchase Church People on DVD via the buy link below. If you’re more of a streaming fan, you can also purchase it On Demand on a variety of services in the same link.

Buy Link

And…how to enter to win your own DVD of the film!

Momentum Influencer Network and Collide Distribution are providing a DVD copy of Church People for one FINCHNWREN reader. Giveaway closes on 2/19/22. To enter, just click on the pink link below that says “Enter here!” that will take you to a Giveaway Tools form, where you’ll be able to enter in a variety of ways. Best wishes!

Enter here!

Enjoy! –Wren

Disclosure: Many thanks to Collide Distribution for providing a sample of this product for this review. Opinions are 100% my own and NOT influenced by monetary compensation.