The Abide Bible (NET) ~ let creativity bless your quiet times (a review & giveaway, CLOSED)

**Congratulations to Rebecca G, the giveaway winner!**

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I’m blessed to get to share my favorite Bible with you today–and, you’ll also have a chance to win your own copy! Momentum Influencer Network provided a boxed copy of the gorgeous Abide Bible (NET) for me. It is the most beautiful way to engage with Scripture. Let me share my thoughts, and keep an eye out for the giveaway!

About the Abide Bible

The Abide Bible was created by Bible Gateway and Taylor University’s Center for Scriptural Engagement to enable readers to draw closer to God, via 5 creative practices: Praying Scripture; Picture It (imagine yourself a bystander to Bible passages); Journaling; Engage Through Art; Contemplate (read, meditate on, pray, and contemplate Bible passages). These practices are detailed throughout each Bible book and keyed to verse segments, with easy-to-follow directions.

The Abide Bible is available in the New English Translation, which is very readable. This cover is the Leathersoft Stone version. The binding allows the Bible to lay open and stay open for reading or study. There are two satin ribbon bookmarks and golden edging on the pages. Each Bible book has a wonderful introduction that includes the historical and literary context (detailing the book’s key verses), as well as defining what the reader can do for heart preparation before reading. There’s also a 365-day Bible reading plan.

From the publisher:

“Transform your personal Bible devotions into intimate, ongoing conversations with God with various Scripture engagement approaches that keep Bible reading fresh and new…”

Remain in me, as I also remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me.

John 15:4, The Holy Bible (NIV)

“…Do you yearn for life-giving, intimate communion with God? The Abide Bible is designed to help you experience the peace, hope, and growth that comes from encountering the voice and presence of God in Scripture. Every feature in Abide is designed to teach and develop Scripture-engagement habits that help you know the power and spiritual nourishment of abiding in Christ.”

My experiences with Abide

Have you ever had the experience when you were given the perfect gift–except it was one you didn’t know you needed or wanted?

That has been the Abide Bible for me. It is TRULY my favorite. I love how works of paintings, sculpture, and photography are placed alongside Bible verses that they give some illustration to.

For example, the painting above, “Landscape with a Sunlit Stream,” is paired with Jeremiah 17:7-8, which talks about how the Lord blesses those who trust in Him. These verses tells readers how He will make them like a tree planted near a stream, with roots spread toward the water, which never has to fear in time of drought and will never stop bearing fruit. The “Engage Through Art” in the footer below the verses gives a description of the painting itself, then what the painter hoped to accomplish through his art and style. Then, it gives some gentle direction for the Bible reader on the verses. The result for me is a wonderful meditative experience. This use of art alongside Scripture provided a brand-new way for me to think on and absorb the Bible.

Another creative practice I enjoy in the Abide Bible is the Journaling exercise, which offers readers a Bible passage, then questions for reflection and writing. These are not surface-level questions or ideas, yet they’re ones that Bible readers both experienced and new will be able to take in.

I enjoy the Praying Scripture portions as well. I love praying Bible verses already and have really enjoyed how the Abide Bible expands this practice for me. These exercises tell us a little more about the Bible books and verses, plus more about what the God-inspired writers were facing in their cultures and times. All of these provide more insight and depth for my prayer times and my God experiences and connections. And the Contemplate exercises, which have as a practice faithfully stood the test of time for believers, can help those who don’t feel that they understand how to utilize meditation as a Christian exercise. Last but not least, the Picture It portions allow us as believers to think upon and to imagine what it might have been like to be an eyewitness to the events recorded in Scripture. All of these together can help us all, in our busy, schedule-driven lives, to stop and actually, intentionally, *be* with the Lord.

I need that, so deeply. What about you?

The Abide Experience: 21 Days in John (free!)

You can also sign up for a free devotional video series featuring the general editor of the Abide Bible, Dr. Phil Collins. When you sign up, you’ll receive daily video devotions via email. You’ll also be able to download free the Abide Bible’s book of John for the study! These will be centered around the five methods of Scripture engagement utilized in this Bible.

The Abide Experience: 21 Days in John

Enter to win the Abide Bible

One reader of the FINCHNWREN blog can enter to win a copy of the fantastic Abide Bible. To enter this giveaway, simply click on the link below that says, “Enter here!” That will take you to a Giveaway Tools entry form, where you’ll be able to enter to win in a variety of ways. Giveaway closes on 12/4/22. One winner will be selected to win (US entrants only). Best wishes!

Enter here!

Enjoy! –Wren


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

“Saved by Grace” ~ a Pure Flix Original Film (& you can win!)

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Pure Flix Original Film’s latest contribution is a moving series called Saved By Grace. I received a screener copy of this new series to watch, and I’m excited to share my opinions with you. Plus, you can enter to win a Pure Flix streaming service membership!

About Saved By Grace

Here’s what Pure Flix says: “…watch the new Pure Flix Original series “Saved by Grace” that starts streaming November 6. New episodes drop every Sunday! Here’s the synopsis: There are no chance meetings or coincidences in life. Angels are amongst us and God has sent them on a mission to intercede on behalf of whispered prayers. Every encounter presents a new opportunity to change your approach to life.

This fun, faith- and love-filled series deals with real-life issues humans face every day. Angels Grace and Jeremiah get to be God’s answers to His children’s answered prayers–in ways that not only make a difference but will encourage and bless viewers.

From Cameron Arnett, who plays the angel Jeremiah: “Angels are still relevant today – they walk amongst us and are here to serve us and to bring about God’s intent in our daily lives.”

And from Jennifer Taylor, who plays the eponymous angel Grace: “All the situations highlight current problems, but at the core, they are heart issues we’ve been dealing with since the fall, and I hope viewers realize they aren’t alone in those struggles.”

New episodes air on Pure Flix every Sunday, just in time for family viewing as the work week begins.

Watch the Saved By Grace trailer here:

My thoughts

Oh my heart!

Don’t we all need to be reminded on the regular that our Father God loves and adores us–and is working for our good? I know that I do! Really, just watching the news most days is enough to put us into spirals of fear and worry. And if it’s not current events doing their best to freak us out, it’s the challenges we face daily as employees, friends, parents, spouses, sisters, or moms. (Or dads.) Life is rough more often than we’d like.

And yet.

Pure Flix’s newest Original, Saved By Grace, is a wonderful reminder not only that God sees His children in the midst of all their troubles, but also that His ear is ever poised to hear their cries for help, and their prayers. In Saved By Grace, God sends angels Grace and Jeremiah to help those who’ve asked for His provision, His help, His intervention. The series’ moments range from humorous, to heart-wrenching, to moving. And not least of all, the moments encourage us and can even help to build our faith.

I just delighted in the warmth and kindness that the angels, and even the show itself, are determined to extend to those that they help and even us on the other side of the screen, as the viewers. I was reminded and reassured about God’s love for me and for everyone, really; that His presence and His answers are just a breath away. And maybe they’ll even come in the form of angels!

Do watch this show. Start with episode 1. And settle in for a fun, loving, and encouraging show, peopled by wonderful actors who make the characters (and their experiences) seem very real. What a blessing!

Don’t forget to show hospitality to strangers, for some who have done this have entertained angels without realizing it!

Hebrews 13:2, The Bible (NLT)

Meet stars Jennifer Taylor & Cameron Arnett in this interview with Momentum’s Jean Thomason

The wonderful Jean Thomason from Momentum Influencer Network had a wonderful opportunity to interview the stars of the Saved By Grace series, Cameron Arnett and Jennifer Taylor, who play the angels (Grace and Jeremiah).

This is the most beautiful and encouraging interview! It will remind you of God’s huge love for you, and His constant work in our lives. It is SUCH a neat interview.

How to subscribe to Pure Flix…

You can subscribe to Pure Flix, where you’ll be able to stream thousands of family-engaging films, video series, cartoons, and classic tv shows. You can check out Saved By Grace and also subscribe by clicking the button below. Subscriptions are very reasonably priced, and you can subscribe for a month or for an entire year!

You can also try out Pure Flix absolutely free of charge for a week’s trial. You’ll see a button to check that out when you click the link below.

Pure Flix & Saved By Grace

And, how to enter to win your own subscription!

Simply click on the link below that says, “Enter here!” That will take you to a Giveaway Tools entry form where you’ll be able to enter in a variety of ways. Giveaway closes on 11/18/22. One winner will be selected to win. US entries only; open to ages 18 and older. Limited only to those who have NOT won a Pure Flix subscription in the last 6 months. Best wishes!

Enter here!

Last, here’s a wonderful Pure Flix blog post related to this new show…

“How to Ask God for Forgiveness,” on the Pure Flix blog, talks about forgiveness as one of the key themes in the first two Saved By Grace episodes. Do you ever wonder how to forgive? Sometimes it’s easy, and sometimes it’s hard; but it’s definitely something God asks us to do. Of course He set the most phenomenal example of forgiveness ever, in letting His own son Jesus die on the cross to pay the price for our sins.

Just click on the highlighted link to learn more about how we can ask God to forgive us–and more about how we can forgive others.

Enjoy! –Wren


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

“My Jesus” ~ a review of singer Anne Wilson’s lovely new book (& giveaway, CLOSED)

**Congratulations to Kathy D, the giveaway winner!**

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Have you had the chance to listen to singer Anne Wilson’s song, My Jesus, yet? The #1 Christian song of 2021, it encapsulates the story of the Wilson family’s loss of Anne’s eldest brother, Jacob–and how, despite that unbearable loss, Anne’s Jesus was there, and showed Himself in a multitude of ways to the Wilsons. In Anne’s new book of the same name, the singer/songwriter shares the story of her family, their loss, and the ways He moved in healing and their lives. My Jesus: From Heartache to Hope is a remarkable and moving book, and Momentum Influencer Network provided a copy for me–plus a copy for one reader to win. Keep reading for more on the book and how you can win an advanced reader copy for yourself.

About My Jesus:

My Jesus is Anne Wilson’s story of life, joy, and tragedy–and how a good God’s love and care was beside her all the way.

Anne and her family lost Jacob Wilson, Anne’s brother, in a car accident when he was only 25. Grief, shock, and anguish overwhelmed them all, and they began the walk that no one wants through the valley of the shadow of death. In My Jesus, Anne shares her story; not only what happened, but the ways God worked for her family in healing and moving them all into new callings and new seasons. It is a remarkable and intimate memoir, of a young woman who’d experienced inexplicable pain and loss…but also of how God brought her hope, new life, and grace.

“Whatever you are feeling, God can handle it—all of it. The tears, screams, and questions. God invites you to let Him tend to your heart.”

–Anne Wilson

It’s also a book which will come alongside those who are suffering, who need God’s comfort at their deepest point of pain. Anne understands that, and she freely and openly shares her own walk of grief, and how God met her, spoke to her, and ministered to her; and in so doing, ministered to those who heard her and listened to her music.

My impressions

Pain is not my favorite.

In fact, I’ve spent many years of my life boxing it up and tucking it away in my heart. Sometimes, I’ve felt like I didn’t have time to grieve, or I had to care for others in their grief. But I think that the bottom line is that I likely didn’t ever learn *how* to grieve. That it’s okay to have big emotions (God didn’t make us robots, after all; He made us human) and even to let those out. And that boxing up that pain just leaves it for later…and in that process, it can even make us harden our hearts.

Recently, however, I’ve learned more about that. That it’s okay to *feel* those big and overwhelming emotions. To sit in them. And, that that is part of the process of moving through grief.

How wonderful, therefore, it has been to read Anne Wilson’s moving, lovingly-written My Jesus. She knows about grief; overwhelming, horrible, terrible grief. And while she (and we) would never have wished the events upon her that placed her in the valley of the shadow, we can learn about God’s goodness, healing, and intimate presence by reading about the ways she walked through it, and how God met her there.

Cast all your care upon Him, because He cares for you.

1 Peter 5:7 MEV

Anne openly and honestly shares about her loss, and her experience (and her family’s) walking out the years after Jacob’s accident and death. I find it incredibly remarkable that at such a young age, she opened herself to God’s presence, and His hand moving her through the days and months after that loss. She learned SO much about how to walk through suffering; and she shares that with her readers, and also how we can see God’s movements and calls to us in those times. Really, her entire ministry seems to be about worshiping God and telling the truth about His goodness in the midst of pain–and how He is there with us in the valleys.

Sometimes I think as Christian women, or as parents, we feel that we have to hold ourselves together, to be positive. For me, that has too often caused me to box up and shove down my pain. Unfortunately I found that the boxed-up pain never goes away…and it’s going to make itself known somehow. Isn’t it a comfort to be reminded God made all of us, emotions included? I love Anne’s recounting of her journey, her humanity; and that God could handle everything that she was going through. Not only that, He WANTED to help her with it.

I can’t recommend this book highly enough to you. You will be blessed and helped by Anne’s story–and by the goodness of the God who authored it.

My favorite moments from the book

As you can see in the photo above, I tabbed a LOT of pages that spoke to my heart in a special way. Here are a few of them that might speak to you as well!

  • “But more real than the Enemy’s whispered lies is the reality that God draws near to our shattered hearts. In His goodness, He enters our pain…At the worst moment of my life, God spoke to me and asked me to trust Him; He promised to help me through it. He did not turn His back on me. He came in even closer.” (p. 52)
  • “Here is what I learned: When the pain, memories, and what-ifs overwhelm you, surrender them to God. Take every thought captive to the truth (2 Corinthians 10:5). Give God what you yourself cannot bear…The way out is not through your own strength, but through surrendering to God and allowing Him to lift you out.” (p. 121)
  • “When a longing for Jacob was triggered, I no longer distracted myself from the pain. I let myself sit in it. I let myself feel it…I trusted God in other areas of my life, and I could trust Him with my painful emotions.” (p. 183)

Where you can buy My Jesus

Just click on the “Buy Link” below. That will take you to the Amazon page where you can purchase the My Jesus book.

Buy Link

And…how you can enter to win a copy!

You can enter to win an advanced reader copy (galley) of Anne Wilson’s book, My Jesus. To enter, just click on the link below that says, “Enter here!” That will take you to a Giveaway Tools entry form, where you’ll be able to enter in a variety of ways. Giveaway closes on 11/8/22. One winner will be selected to win. US only.

Enter here!

Bless you! –Wren


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

“It’s Christmas Again” fun family film–coming soon!

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There is a wonderful Christmas film that I just heard about from Momentum Influencer Network that you’re going to want to keep an eye out for! It’s Christmas Again from Fathom Events will release in theaters on November 29, 2022. It might just be your new family fave Christmas movie!

About It’s Christmas Again

From the filmmakers:

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

I truly love this twist on the travel back in time theme. Can you imagine, though–traveling back in time and getting to see the baby Jesus, just born? Or meeting Mary and Joseph, or getting to hear the shepherds’ story of the heavenly host meeting them (and their sheep) in the fields?

It’s such a wonderful idea. I can’t wait!

Here’s how you can buy tickets for this one-night-only-event

It’s Christmas Again will only be in theaters for one night: November 29, 2002. You can purchase tickets and learn more about this film event by visiting the movie website, linked below:

It’s Christmas Again website

Watch the trailer here!

I’ve always enjoyed Fathom Events and their wonderful films. I can’t wait to see It’s Christmas Again. Just in time for preparing our hearts for the 2022 Christmas season.

Enjoy! –Wren

Disclosure: I received this trailer and film information from Momentum Influencer Network. All opinions included here are my own.

“Nothing Is Impossible” film from Pure Flix ~ & giveaway! (ends 10/17/22)

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Hi everyone! Just in time for the weekend, I have another fab film from Pure Flix to tell you about–plus a giveaway! Nothing Is Impossible is just the film for you if you love sports films about the underdog–those including faith as well. (And fun. Because some of these actors are ALWAYS fun.) Keep reading about the film, where you can see it, and a giveaway for you to enter!

About Nothing Is Impossible

Scott Beck is living a life of quiet desperation.

Once an All-American with hopes to join the NBA, he’s now a janitor for the very high school the younger Scott played basketball for. His car is dying. He can barely pay the rent. A stray dog is digging holes in his yard. The AC in the high school chemistry room keeps going out. His answers to others’ questions follow this pattern: “I don’t know…” or “I don’t know why…” He trudges from place to place, quietly, with little life in him at all.

Oh, and he also lost the girl.

But then! The Knoxville pro basketball team, The Silver Knights, decides to have open try-outs. Could this be Scott’s second chance…finally, after twenty years? Could there possibly be a place in Scott’s future for excellence, competence, faith, or even a dream?

A stellar cast supports a story that everyone will recognize themselves in…in one character or another. You’ll get to see:

  • David A.R. White as Scott Beck (“Love on the Rock,” “God’s Not Dead,” “Revelation Road”)
  • Nadia Bjorlin, Ryan Aikens (“Days of Our Lives”)
  • Harry Lennix, Coach Russell Banks (“The Blacklist,” “Justice League,” “Transformers,” “Batman v. Superman”)
  • Steven Bauer, Archie Touraine (“Love on the Rock,” “Better Call Saul”)
  • Robert Amaya, Nick Carter (“An Unlikely Angel,” “The Farmer and the Belle,” “God’s Compass,” “War Room,” “Mom’s Night Out”)
  • Mark Christopher Lawrence, Pastor Lawrence (“Family Camp”)
  • Stella Parton, Ruby (singer and songwriter, younger sister of Dolly Parton)
  • And even former NBA player Marcus Haislip
  • and more

“’If you can’?” said Jesus. “Everything is possible for one who believes.

The Bible, New International Version, Mark 9:23

My thoughts about Nothing Is Impossible

Okay! I admit, I was totally predisposed to like Nothing Is Impossible. My family adores sports movies, especially Cinderella stories where the underdog gets to The Big Dance, the final games, the series.

But I didn’t know I would LOVE it.

Scott Beck had “it” all–and lost it. What do we do when we lose all our hopes and dreams…or maybe just the biggest ones? For some of us, it’s the trudge that Scott does every day and every night. He’s given up. There’s no joy, no excitement, no attempts to move to the next goal. Just get up. Get to work (if your car will start). Do the work. Say “hi” to your best friend. Go home. Go to bed. Repeat.

But FINALLY, after years of that life, a tiny hope sparks in Scott’s chest. And it slowly grows like a flame, touching all his relationships (even with the dog, and especially with the woman he lost years ago). What happens if all of that seems to turn to ash, again? Will Scott let it all go again…or will he make a different choice?

Scott, you’ve always had your life. You’re just not doing anything with it.

“Nothing Is Impossible,” Nick Carter (Robert Amaya)

Scott’s best friend and the school basketball coach, Nick, has some fantastic words for the FCA group he leads at the school. I won’t give you any spoilers, but here’s what I will say. Do we think, as we walk the Christian life, that we’re going to be given the perfect life, with no pain or suffering? That we’ll walk into the CEO, the head pastor, the NFL quarterback job swiftly and easily? And what happens when and if suffering interrupts us–or we don’t achieve that dream? What will we do? Scott has a choice. But we ALSO have a choice. Every day. God tells us He will be there, that He will ALWAYS be beside us; in fact, we can see that over and over in the Bible (Deut. 31:6-8, Hebrews 13:8). What about this one, one of my favorites?

The LORD your God is with you, the Mighty Warrior who saves. He will take great delight in you; in his love he will no longer rebuke you, but will rejoice over you with singing.

The Bible, New International Version. Zephaniah 3:17

THAT God is with us. HE is mighty to save. He loves us and even sings over us!

We can choose to step out in pursuit of that dream–even if its fulfillment doesn’t look what we imagined. God is with us. His plan for us is never over even if we felt as though we were finished or stuck. He has a way. And He can transform us, our lives, everything.

So. No spoilers. But I LOVED Nothing Is Impossible. Don’t miss your chance to see this fantastic and honest Cinderella story!

I am the LORD, the God of all mankind. Is anything too hard for me?

The Bible, New International Version, Jeremiah 32:27

Watch the Nothing Is Impossible trailer here

Plus, here’s the Momentum’s Jean Thomason interviewing David A.R. White, the film’s star!

Don’t miss this! I always love Jean’s moments with the stars of the films we share with you. But I loved this one so much, as it speaks to the struggles we ALL have in our lives–and then, how we are going to view God in the process. Wonderful.

How to subscribe to Pure Flix, where you can see Nothing Is Impossible

You can sign up for a free 7-day trial on Pure Flix. Pure Flix is the home of thousands of movies and tv series, all of which are faith- and family-friendly. Of course, Nothing Is Impossible is one of them! But you can also find Going Home, Live+Local, Legacy Peak, VeggieTales, Miracles from Heaven, the God’s Not Dead collection (where you’ll see David A.R. White again!), Akeelah and the Bee, The Chosen series, and so much more. Everything that you’d want to be able to watch safely with your own children, that will bless you, encourage you, and build up your faith.

You can sign up for a free trial here: Sign Up for a Free Pure Flix trial

Here’s the Nothing Is Impossible page on the Pure Flix website

How to enter to win a Pure Flix subscription!

You can enter to win a 3-month streaming subscription to Pure Flix!

To enter, just 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 10/17/22. One winner will be selected to win. This is limited to US winners only, and only to those who have NOT won a Pure Flix subscription in the last 6 months. Best wishes!

Enter here!

A thief is only there to steal and kill and destroy. I came so they can have real and eternal life, more and better life than they ever dreamed of.

Jesus, The Bible, The Message. John 10:10

Enjoy! –Wren

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

Pure Flix Original Film starring Lucas Black: “Legacy Peak” plus giveaway! (ends 10/4/22)

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Pure Flix has produced another fantastic Original Film: Legacy Peak! You will love this if you want a family adventure film that is beautifully honest about the struggles we face in life and family–and in what we bring to the table in relationships. Keep reading for more about this wonderful film, plus enter to win a 3-month subscription to Pure Flix streaming service!

About Legacy Peak

Jason wants nothing more than to have Noelle’s kids like him. But when a perfectly planned trip to a mountain cabin falls apart, the ensuing adventure could tear them apart or bring them closer than they ever imagined. Together they’ll discover how to trust again and what it means to be a family.

Legacy Peak is a thrilling adventure that the whole family can enjoy.

My impressions of Legacy Peak

I KNEW that I knew Lucas Black from somewhere when I saw the exciting trailer for Legacy Peak and I heard his accent. He had co-starred in a police procedural show that I’d seen a few episodes of. I never forgot his fantastic character OR his authentic Southern accent! He brought a refreshing quality to a show that contained difficult material (crime). And he interacted beautifully with his costars.

Not surprisingly, Lucas is just fantastic in this film. His character is ready to pop the question to his darling girlfriend, single mom of two kids Noelle. He doesn’t really understand much about kids, but he is totally a planner, and he thinks he’s got the perfect plan to win them over before he proposes to their mom. He will fly them (and all the snacks he can carry) to Noelle’s dad’s cabin in the mountains, where they’re all planning to spend Christmas. The only thing is–he can’t plan everything. When the unexpected happens, his plan suddenly doesn’t apply. So THEN what will Jason do?

The actors who play the kids are also wonderful. Sam, the older sister, is NOT INTERESTED in going on this trip–or getting to know Jason. Her character arc is fascinating. She’s very solicitous of her younger brother Ben, who really likes his mom’s boyfriend but is a bit tired of being seen as the kid who can’t do anything. The grandfather is also wonderful. All the actors are more than competent and a pleasure to watch. (Noelle is also great; she just doesn’t get a lot of screen time.) And the mountain landscape; well, it’s almost a character in itself. It’s breathtaking visually–and also, perhaps, figuratively.

I don’t want to give you a lot of spoilers. I will simply say that the movie’s core message is an exceptional one, and its story is beautifully told. Legacy Peak has something to say to everyone; and what it said to me touched my heart, embraced me, and reminded me of something I’ll never forget–something that each and every one of us needs to hear. Don’t miss Legacy Peak, premiering September 22, 2022 on Pure Flix!

My recommendations:

If you:

  • love films that your entire family can enjoy together
  • want to see a family beat the odds against a wild and unfamiliar setting
  • desire to be a parent who reaches out to God for help in your own challenges
  • enjoy watching adventure or survival-type tv shows
  • want to be encouraged at the ways God can use everything to work together for good for His beloved children

…then you will LOVE Legacy Peak, just as I did! (And if you watched the Pure Flix series Vindication, you might see another familiar face in this movie!)

Watch the trailer here:

More about Pure Flix–and you can even enjoy a free 7-day trial!

Pure Flix is a one-stop shop for faith and family-friendly movies and shows that you can confidently stream in your home with the entire family. With new premium and exclusive original entertainment choices every week, Pure Flix streaming service has the largest variety of high-quality, curated, positive, encouraging, wholesome movies, series and kids’ content in one service. Pure Flix is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Sony Pictures Entertainment, alongside AFFIRM Films.

On Pure Flix, you’ll be able to watch incredible shows that I’ve told you about earlier this year, like Going Home, Live+Local, Vindication, the God’s Not Dead movies, Miracles of Heaven (with Jennifer Garner), and so much more.

You can enjoy a free 7-day trial of Pure Flix as well! Just click on Pure Flix for more information and to start your free trial. Paid plans start at $7.99 per month, or as little as $5.84 per month if you choose the yearly plan ($69.99 per year).

And…you can enter to win a Pure Flix subscription!

You can enter to win a 3-month subscription to Pure Flix today!

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 to win in a variety of ways. Giveaway closes on October 4, 2022. One winner will be selected to win. US entrants only, and winner selection is limited to those who have NOT won a Pure Flix subscription in the last 6 months. Best wishes!

Enter here!

Find these inspirational articles on Pure Flix as well!

I love not only all the wonderful faith & family films/shows on Pure Flix. But did you know that they also have some wonderful articles to uplift your faith? Check these out!

Battle Fear and Worry with these 10 Bible Verses for Anxiety

10 Bible Verses to Build Perseverance of Faith

How to Embrace Our Identity as a Child of God

More about Legacy Peak

Enjoy! –Wren


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

Beautiful new movie, especially for parents: “An Unlikely Angel” from Pure Flix (plus giveaway! ends 9/9/22)

#sponsor #partner

If you’re a FINCHNWREN blog reader, you’ve probably noticed that I’ve been talking about wholesome faith & family streaming service Pure Flix lately–and sharing about their Pure Flix Original films and series. I have another one to tell you about today, plus a giveaway for a Pure Flix subscription! Momentum Influencer Network and Pure Flix provided the new An Unlikely Angel to stream (premieres August 26, 2022). Honestly, I am still catching my breath over this one–IMO the best Pure Flix Original yet!

About An Unlikely Angel

Janie is a workaholic who is falling apart at the thought of becoming a first-time mom. She whispers a small prayer for help and it’s answered in a very unlikely way when an angel intervenes and fast forwards her life. Will her second chance change how she approaches life?  Janie is lucky enough to be given a second chance, but will she change before it’s too late?

With a fantastic cast including Jillian Murphy, Robert Amaya, Aaron Mees, and the delightful child actor DeLyla de Castor (and also Sam J. Jones as Janie’s dad), An Unlikely Angel is a beautifully-told story of new mom/project designer/workaholic Janie, whose short prayer invites an angel sent straight from God to help her. This help comes in a way that sends her 6 years down the line after the birth of her daughter, shows her what life could end up as, then gives her a choice. What kind of life would Janie embrace…if?

Many are the plans in a person’s heart,
    but it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails.

New International Version Bible, Proverbs 19:21

My thoughts about this film

Can you remember the last time you laughed AND cried as you watched a movie that warmed and encouraged your heart?

An Unlikely Angel might just be the film to do that for you, especially if you’re a mom. (Or if you’re a fan of the classic Checker cab.)

The newest Pure Flix Original film, An Unlikely Angel, affected me profoundly even as it charmed and entertained me. I find so much in it to recommend. The actors are exceptional, the story pacing is even and clear, and the results and consequences of Janie’s choice make total sense. While the movie evoked a lot of emotions in me, the story is told gently and kindly: what *could* a woman who’d missed six years of her life (and her daughter’s life) actually be experiencing?

But back to those emotions. I’ve gotta tell you I shed a LOT of tears as I watched this movie! (Not until about the three-quarters mark; til my heart was wound up in the characters.) Janie’s kind dad. Her vulnerability to him and to God as she asks for help in an overwhelming situation; where, she seems to have no talent or skill. Gabe’s truthfulness and kindness. The unexpected things life threw at Janie. Her precious daughter. Janie’s story reminds me a little bit of the story of Hagar from the Bible, in Genesis 16 and 21. Hagar feels (and is) alone; forsaken; in need of help and so truly knowing that she herself can’t provide the help she needs so desperately. And God speaks to her and sends help!

We may not get that second chance or do-over that Janie is offered. But we have a good God whose plans are good and whose ear is bent toward even the whispered prayers of His dear children. Actually, He’s so attentive to us that before we even call on Him, He answers us. (Isaiah 65:14) I will take a movie that reminds of of that, any time!

Join Pure Flix and watch An Unlikely Angel. You will be encouraged; you will smile; and you will hug your kiddos. (Just keep that box of Kleenex handy. And maybe a wastebasket.)

Watch the trailer here!

How you can enjoy Pure Flix–and subscribe today

Pure Flix is a one-stop shop for faith and family-friendly movies and shows where you can confidently stream in your home with the entire family. With new premium and exclusive original entertainment choices every week, Pure Flix streaming service has the largest variety of high-quality, curated, positive, encouraging, wholesome movies, series and kids’ content in one service. Pure Flix is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Sony Pictures Entertainment, alongside AFFIRM Films.

Your Home for Wholesome Faith & Family Streaming

Pure Family. Pure Fun. Pure Faith.

You can subscribe (monthly or yearly) with plans varying from $5.84-$7.99 per month. With these, you’ll receive access to thousands of series and films that will bless, encourage, strengthen, and edify your family. New content is added weekly that’s perfect for every individual or family, of all ages!

You can even enjoy Pure Flix for 7 days free! Just click on Pure Flix trial for more info and to sign up.

Enter to win a Pure Flix subscription!

There are SO MANY positive and lovely movies and series that you and your family can watch together on Pure Flix. I’m so happy to be able to share Pure Flix with you–and to give away one 3-month subscription to Pure Flix streaming service!

To enter to win, just 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 to win in a variety of ways. Giveaway closes on 9/9/22. One winner will be selected to win. If you have won a Pure Flix subscription in the past six months, you are ineligible to win this giveaway.

Enter here!

Meet star Robert Amaya in this fun interview with Jean Thomason!

Robert Amaya has been one of our family faves since we saw him for the first time in the movie Courageous, then in subsequent films like Moms’ Night Out, War Room, and Family Camp. He is just as genuine, fun and funny in real life, as you can see in this interview with the marvelous Jean Thomason from Momentum Influencer Network.

And some encouraging words for parents from Pure Flix

In addition to providing access to fantastic faith & family films, Pure Flix also has some encouraging and lovely words to inspire you. Here are some of them; just click on the links for free access!

Back to the Basics: Activities & Ways to Simplify Life

15 Bible Verses to Encourage Mothers on Mother’s Day and Beyond

5 Powerful Quotes from Women in the Bible

5 Tips for Learning How to Pray Without Ceasing

Enjoy! –Wren


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

Dave Coulier in new Pure Flix mockumentary series: “Live+Local” (plus PF giveaway! ends 7/23/22)

#sponsor #partner

Are you a fan of “mockumentary” films or television shows? (Think The Office.) defines a mockumentary as “a movie or television show depicting fictional events but presented as a documentary.” Your family might have a favorite–but now Pure Flix has created a fantastic mockumentary series that is safe for all members of the family. It’s called Live+Local. Let me tell you more, plus I have a subscription to Pure Flix to give away!

About Live+Local

Starring executive producer Dave Coulier (from Full House and Fuller House), Emily Pendergast (Veep), Pat Cashman (Bill Nye The Science Guy), and Kendra Ann Sherrill (writer and director of six shorts), Live+Local shows viewers an inside look at the Christian local radio station K-HUGG. The staff is experiencing some strange transitions and power shifts at work, but the way they handle it with grace and comedy will be sure to leave you laughing and inspired. The show also uses Christian music that viewers might recognize as part of the radio show. And, the characters interview actual Christian personalities, including comedian Leanne Morgan, The Chosen‘s Dallas Jenkins, Anthem Lights, and more.

I was able to watch the first episode of Live+Local, entitled “There’s A New PD in Town”, where nervous intern Lucy has just stepped into her first show as producer. Tommy and Tina, who comprise the “Tommy ‘n Tina in the Morning,” have worked together for years, with Tommy sort of unofficially running things. Tina has some good ideas, but Tommy generally brushes them aside. But then…

A new program director has been hired. He REALLY likes Tina. And due to a social misstep, Tommy has inadvertently gotten on his bad side. Is the long-term cohost of KHUGG’s FM-109 morning show going to be edged out by his new boss?

My thoughts

I LOVED Live+Local!

I have to say that my family LOVES mockumentaries. Their awkward relational moments, weird camera angles, and often-improvised conversations make for fantastic viewing. Live+Local provides a gentler, family-friendly mockumentary than some of the genre’s tv shows and films, with an excellent cast and an interesting storyline. Viewers get to see a long-time radio morning show two-person team (Coulier and Pendergast) attempt to find their new footing with the new program director. I had some interesting thoughts as I watched the show:

  • 1. First impressions can make a huge difference. (Just ask Elizabeth Bennet from Pride and Prejudice.)
  • 2. Sometimes your voice isn’t really heard. But you can keep speaking anyway. Someone will eventually hear.
  • 3. Everybody gets nervous sometimes! Having encouraging people around can really help.
  • 4. Listen. And pay attention.

The characters in Live+Local experience all of those in some way or another. They’re not perfect, for sure. But in some cool ways they support each other. And a fresh set of eyes can make all the difference…or it might shake someone in some unexpected ways. I can’t wait to watch the rest of the series (spoiler: I’ve already watched half of Episode 2), which will continue to air on Pure Flix throughout the summer.

I discovered, when I did a bit of research after I watched Episode 1, that an actual operational radio station was built for the Live+Local show. Creator and producer Dan Merchant had the idea for the show as he drove from Seattle to Spokane and listened to radio shows. (Dan is also the creator of another wonderful Pure Flix series, Going Home, which I reviewed last month.) In addition, Dave Coulier has mentioned that much of the show is improvisational, and that his costar Emily Pendergast was a huge help to him.

In fact, the cast members work together beautifully. I’m so looking forward to watching all of season 1 of Live+Local. I can’t wait to see what continues to unfold with all of the characters. They’re wonderful; and the improv element of the show absolutely captivates me.

I really have to applaud Pure Flix, Sony, and Affirm Films for the exceptional original programming they’re creating together. Live+Local is another fantastic original series from this trio of entertainment companies–and I’m really hoping that there will be a season 2!

Watch the Live+Local trailer

Check out the trailer! It will give you a fantastic taste of the fun in store for you with Live+Local!

Start your free trial to Pure Flix, and subscribe today!

You can sign up for a free 1-week trial of Pure Flix, so you can check out Live+Local and all the other fantastic faith and family films and tv series at Pure Flix streaming service! To sign up, just click on the link below, enter your email address, and enjoy watching!

Subscribe to Pure Flix here!

Enter to win a 3-month subscription to Pure Flix

Now! I am so happy to have one 3-month subscription to Pure Flix streaming service to give away to one FINCHNWREN reader! To enter to win, simply click on the link below that says “Enter here!” That will take you to a Giveaway Tools page where you’ll be able to enter in a variety of ways. Giveaway closes 7/23/22. 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.

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

#sponsored #partner

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


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)

#sponsor #partner

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.