Some Must-See Trailers

Hey fellow bloggers! It is officially 2016, which means tons of new movies for the upcoming year. Thus, I decided to post some of the ones that I’m planning to see this year. ūüôā

Vanished. Left Behind: Next Generation.

I’ve literally been waiting for this since middle school! This is loosely based off of The Left Behind Young Trib Force series, which I obsessed over!¬†I got the chills when I first saw this trailer!

God’s Not Dead 2

Yes!!! It’s happening! I loved the first one and now they’re coming out with a sequel! Furthermore, I know both Hayley Orrantia (The Goldbergs) and Melissa Joan Hart from other works, making this even more exciting!

A Fuller House

I know this isn’t a movie, but I loved the original Full House and I cannot¬†wait for the spin off! I felt so nostalgic watching this! The feels!

Star Wars: The Force Awakens

Need I say more?

Are you planning to see any of these movies? Or, any different ones that I missed? Feel free to comment about your must-see-movies for 2016!

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A Million Little Ways by Emily P. Freeman

I just finished reading an incredible book called A Million Little Ways¬†by a previously reviewed author, Emily P. Freeman. Emily is one of those rare authors; the kind of author who writes as if they know you personally. It’s almost as if she’s been sitting on the edge of my brain, taking notes of my thoughts, feelings, ideas, passions, and concerns. Though she’s a good twenty years older than me, I feel that if I knew her, we’d be best friends. I could easily sit in a coffee¬†shop with her, discussing the abstracts of life over decaf tea and a plate of donuts.

That being said, A Million Little Ways is the kind of book that stays with you. I found so many wise statements that I drained two poor highlighters, fiercely coloring impactful statements They may have recuperated by now, but they were in bad condition when I was using them. Anyways, the theme of the book, is how every good thing that we do in this life is art. We are all image bearers, called to create for the glory of God.

Being that I’m somewhat of a creative type, I love how she views our dreams and personalities as art, as unique ways that God expresses¬†Himself to humanity. The way she describes God’s creation of each one of us¬†as art reminds me of a belief that I held as a child. I didn’t have any church background as a kid, but I did believe in God’s existence and that He¬†created the world. I often imagined that God created the world through painting. I believed that he painted a portrait of the earth, and it sprang out of the canvas and came into existence. This view was probably more cartoon based than theologically based, but I did get one thing right: God is an artist.

Furthermore, as Emily Freeman states, because we’re made in the image of God, we’re also artists, and the unique aspects of our personalities, as well as the things that make us come¬†alive, are forms¬†of¬†art. This could mean more obvious forms of art such as painting and drawing, but it could also mean any hobby or talent that God has given you. When I think about all of my friends unique interests, it’s pretty incredible how different they all are. I have friends who are into acting, sports, math, science, politics, psychology, singing, cooking, computers, photography, etc.

All unique forms of art.

Throughout the book, Emily also gives helpful¬†advice that could be applied to various forms of art, and challenges the reader to do some deep soul-searching to find their desires and passions in life. One thing that I found particularly interesting, is how she points out that our passions can often be traced back to our childhood. I personally related to this, as I’ve always had an intense obsession with stories. I asked to learn how ¬†to read when I was about three¬†years old, and have read books compulsively ever since. Throughout grade school, I read books the way I¬†ate food. During middle school, I obsessed over The Left Behind Young Trib Series, feeling as if I knew each of the characters, and¬†mourning when a character died. I’ve also told stories from a young age, driving my whole family crazy with the way I made every inanimate object talk. It didn’t matter if it was a doll or a hairbrush; It became a character with a unique personality. Not to mention that from the moment I knew how to write, I didn’t stop. I wrote and illustrated stories with pencils and crayons in elementary school, graduated to short stories and two nonfiction published works in middle school, and now the current series that I’m working on (As well as a stand alone book).¬†I suppose looking back, storytelling and writing was always in my DNA. I’m sure that you have your own memories of dreams¬†growing deep inside of you from your childhood as well, if you look hard enough.

In addition to our passions, she goes on to teach that our personalities and the things that move us are forms of art. Each of us were knit together in a way that is completely different than any other person throughout history. Each of of us have unique quirks, traits, and temperaments that shape us. Each of us are moved by something, just waiting to emerge in a way that makes the world a better place.

To summarize the point of the book A Million Little Ways, and paraphrase some of the information, you were created by a Divine Artist, and because you were created in His image, you are an artist as well.

Not as an equal to God, but as a reflection of Him.

God created you the way you are for a reason, and you have something to contribute to this world. The things that God has gifted you in were placed inside of you for a reason, to come out as a form of worship in a million little ways.

As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God’s varied grace: whoever speaks, as one who speaks oracles of God; whoever serves, as one who serves by the strength that God supplies‚ÄĒin order that in everything God may be glorified through Jesus Christ. To him belong glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen.” 1 Peter 4:10-11 (ESV)

To conclude, I found this book incredibly informative and would highly recommend it to anyone who desires to learn more about how they can live their life as art offered up in worship to God.

Note: I got much of my information here from the book A Million Little Ways, so I owe credit to the author, Emily P. Freeman. 

Max the movie and a call to pray for our military

Good afternoon to all of you reading this. I just saw the movie Max,¬†a military and dog focused drama that has recently come to theaters. It was an incredible movie, and I urge you all to see it. The movie has powerful messages about honesty, loyalty, and bravery, while reminding us how much people in the military sacrifice for our¬†freedom. Sometimes we can take our freedoms for granted, forgetting that there are people out there every day, paying the price for the life that we often take for granted in America. Thus, I urge you to pray for the¬†people¬†fighting for our country and their families, because as I was reminded after seeing the movie Max, freedom is not always free. I’d like to give a shout out to all of those serving in the military who live in constant danger, often without being thanked.

Thank you to all of those bravely paying the

price for our freedom.

Bailey Flanigan: Leaving by Karen Kingsbury

Recently, I finished an incredible¬†book that I mentioned in a previous entry, called Leaving, by the popular Christian fiction author, Karen Kingsbury.¬†Thus, as I promised, I’m going to write a review of the book, doing my best to avoid spoiler alerting it for you.

The book Leaving follows the lives of four different characters, and contains a host of interesting side characters as well. The cast of characters includes

1. Bailey- An optimistic twenty-one year old girl, who’s skilled in singing, dancing, and acting, and dreams of being on Broadway.

2. Cody-Bailey’s ex-boyfriend. He has fought in the Iraq War and has been suffering from PTSD as a result. Currently, he is working as a football coach at a school in another town, whose team is currently failing.

3. Brandon Paul- A famous young actor who has recently become a Christian and who starred with Bailey in the blockbuster hit Unlocked. He has been friends with Bailey since they filmed that movie together and is beginning to have feelings for her.

4. Tara-Cody’s deceased friend Art’s Mom. She’s a very nice older¬†lady, and very intent on setting up Cody with Cheyenne, Art’s fiancee before he died.

5. Cheyenne-A girl trying to move past the loss of her fiancee Art, and who has been spending much of her time visiting a young cancer patient. She becomes good friends with Cody throughout the course of this book.

6. Ashly-A wife and mom of three children. She is married to Landon, who has begun having lung problems.

7. Landon-Ashly’s husband. He is a firefighter whose¬†lungs were injured on the scene of the 9/11 plane crash, as smoke engulfed the area.

There are more characters whom I could go into detail about, such as DeMetri and Ashly’s father,¬†but that would make this post way too lengthy, as there are a lot of minor characters mentioned throughout the book.

The book¬†opens with the Flanigan family sitting in church, as the pastor preaches about how things change, and how nothing stays the same except for Jesus, foreshadowing the changes that take place in this book. Throughout the book, Bailey reflects on some of these changes. Auditioning for a broadway show. How Cody left without an explanation. Her growing feelings for her old friend Brandon Paul. As Bailey reflects on these changes, Cody does his best to recover from things that have changed and wrecked havoc on his life. The way he still remembers the fear that he felt in Iraq. How he was forced away from Bailey¬†by his mom’s psychopathic drug dealer, who threatened to kill any girl that¬†he fell in love with. Meanwhile, the Baxter family members are dealing with changes and complications of their own, as Landon’s lungs seem to be getting weaker and weaker.

This book is a very enticing read. Kingsbury¬†pulls you in with her¬†story lines, making you care about the characters as if they were real people. She often cuts you off at the climax of the chapter, which keeps you reading to find out what happens next. There were points in this book where I was mentally shouting at the characters,¬†hoping they’d make the choice that I was rooting for (Namely with the character ships).

This book is a Christian, realistic fiction novel with elements of drama, suspense, and romance. It follows multiple characters lives¬†and it’s written in third person omniscient (A format that I particularly enjoy). If this sounds like your type of book, than I would highly recommend reading it. All in all, I give Leaving by Karen Kingsbury¬†five stars. ūüôā