Book Review: Devotions for Sacred Parenting

I have always enjoyed Gary Thomas’ books and despite not having read Sacred Parenting, I have read a couple of his others. When I saw that he was releasing a devotional geared towards parents called Devotions for Sacred Parenting, I knew this would be something I am interested in reading. It seems that people no longer ask me what it feels like to be a parent and yet some days I feel like I am lost when it comes to the situations I face.

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There is no feeling like being a parent and I am thankful that there is an excellent devotional for us. I know that there are others, but this new one is one of the few that I own. Thomas’ writing is easy to read and the pages have a nice weight to them and are a glossy finish. There is even a ribbon to keep place to make sure that we do not repeat ourselves after the loss of sleep that we encounter.

Like most devotionals, this will not replace a deep study of parenting. Instead, it is good for a daily conversation starter with your spouse as each day will require about four  minutes of reading. After that you are not limited in the time you can spend as Thomas has a couple of questions at the end of each day to help spur the conversation along. While you could do these on your own, it is helpful to discuss them with your spouse, if that situation applies to you.

I would say that the devotions are not geared towards any one particular age group of parents as I could see these being beneficial for every stage of life. Overall, I like the book and would recommend it to anyone that wants some light reading over coffee or before falling asleep every night.

I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an unbiased review. The words above are my own and have not been influenced in any way by the author or publisher except for the written manuscript.

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Operation Finale

About: Operation Finale, brings to life one of the most daring covert operations in modern history. Starring Academy Award winner Sir Ben Kingsley (Gandhi, Schindler’s List) and Golden Globe winner Oscar Isaac (Star Wars: The Last Jedi, X-Men: Apocalypse), the film vividly captures the ingenious and brilliantly executed mission to capture Adolf Eichmann, one of the chief architects of the Holocaust.

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Fifteen years after the end of World War II, acting on irrefutable evidence, a top-secret team of Israeli agents travel to Argentina where Eichmann (Kingsley) has been in hiding together with his family under an alias Ricardo Klement and execute an extremely dangerous abduction. In attempting to sneak him out of Argentina to stand trial in Israel while being pursued by the country’s right-wing forces, agent Peter Malkin (Isaac) is forced to engage Eichmann in an intense and gripping game of cat-and-mouse with life-and-death stakes. 

Operation Finale releases in theaters on August 29.

Trailer:  https://operationfinalefilm.com/

Book Review: The Most Beautiful Thing I’ve Seen

First things first because I need to preface this review. I do not align with a lot of beliefs of Lisa Gungor and her husband Michael. I do not know what it is like to go through a deconstruction like they have processed. However, I did enjoy the book and her thoughts regarding her spirituality.

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Lisa’s writing is easy and familiar at the same time. She speaks with eloquence and you can tell she has given a lot of thought to the words she has penned. Throughout the book we are given the background and the experiences that have made Lisa who she is today. We learn what it means to experience a crisis and come face to face with a child having a genetic disease.

I cannot give this book the typical Christian endorsement. In fact, I would lean to it being more about spirituality than Christianity because, really, we do not hear Lisa say that she is of the faith. She seems alright with that and understands the issues that it can bring.

If you want, read this book to get the memoir of an artist who has left the Christian faith. Do not read this book expecting great theological truth. I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an unbiased review. The words are my own and have not been influenced in any manner outside of the written manuscript.

Book Review: Didn’t See It Coming

No. I really did not see it coming. I don’t mean to jest about the new book by Carey Nieuwhof entitled Didn’t See It Coming. I really did not see it coming. I have followed Carey for a few years, but I have never read his writing more than the articles published on his blog. To say that I do that routinely would be a slight exaggeration. I am more devoted to his leadership podcast. I saw the book coming, but I did not see what it would do to me coming.

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From the very outset, I could tell that this book would shape me for years to come. Although I am fairly young, I have faced my share of struggles in ministry. As I opened the book and read the first chapter, I knew that Carey was on to something and it did not let up until the last page. Those first two chapters has either described my life from just a few months ago and maybe even to some degree describe where I am today.

Carey’s writing is very easy to comprehend and you feel like you have known him your entire life. While he is writing these words to a broad audience of great size, you feel like he is writing a very long letter specifically for you. This book is applicable to leaders of all ages. Even if you are not a leader, there is information in there that you can use. I can already tell that Carey is right. If we do not keep ourselves on guard for these feelings that he details in the book, they will sneak up on us and take us down.

I hope that you will choose to read Didn’t See It Coming when it is released. I know that there is something in there for everyone. If you find yourself in a leadership role, I cannot stress the importance of this book to you. I received this book for free in exchange for an unbiased review.

God Friended Me…Now What?

Quick Question: If GOD asks you to be his FB friend, would you…A) Confirm or B) Ignore His Friend Request

This September, a new and uplifting television series premieres on CBS. GOD FRIENDED ME is about an outspoken atheist whose life is turned upside down when he receives a friend request on social media from God, and unwittingly becomes an agent of change in the lives and destinies of others around him.

This is an inspirational show about hope, faith, and a question we’ve all asked ourselves – what’s my purpose in this world – how can I be of service to others and be an agent of good?

About: GOD FRIENDED ME is a humorous, uplifting drama about an outspoken
atheist whose life is turned upside down when he receives a friend request on social
media from God and unwittingly becomes an agent of change in the lives and destinies
of others around him. Miles Finer is intelligent, hopeful and optimistic, but he doesn’t
believe in God. This puts him at odds with his father, Reverend Arthur Finer, a beloved
preacher at Harlem’s Trinity Church for 25 years who is stung by his son’s strong
rejection of his faith. Miles feels he’s found his purpose in life hosting a podcast where
he’s free to speak his mind, but that changes when he receives the ultimate friend
request. After repeated pokes by God, Miles’ curiosity takes over, and he accepts the
request and follows the signs to Cara Bloom, an online journalist suffering from writer’s
block. Brought together by the “God Account,” the two find themselves investigating
God’s friend suggestions and inadvertently helping others in need. Joining them on their
journey are Miles’s supportive sister, Ali, a doctoral psych student by day and bartender
by night, and his best friend, Rakesh, a sometime hacker who helps Miles and Cara
research the enigmatic account. Miles is set on getting to the bottom of what he
believes is an elaborate hoax, but in the meantime he’ll play along and, in the process,
change his life forever.
Premieres: Sunday, Sept. 30 on the CBS Television Network
ON AIR: Sundays (8:00-9:00 PM, ET/PT)

STARRING: Brandon Micheal Hall (Miles Finer)
Violett Beane (Cara Bloom)
Suraj Sharma (Rakesh)
Javicia Leslie (Ali Finer)
Joe Morton (Reverend Arthur Finer)
EXECUTIVE PRODUCERS: Steven Lilien & Bryan Wynbrandt, Greg Berlanti,

Sarah Schechter and Marcos Siega
CREATED BY: Steven Lilien & Bryan Wynbrandt

 

It’s A Dog’s World

It’s a dog’s world. Maybe not literally, but it definitely feels that way sometimes around my house. We never dreamed when we adopted a dog that was only a couple of months old and under two pounds that our lives would be impacted by such a small being. At his last check-up last week, he weighed only weighed about seven and a half pounds. Instead of searching for the biggest dog or a particular breed, we agreed to a smaller dog than I ever intended to get.

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Despite the fact that he is over eight years old, he still has puppy tendencies in him that come out occasionally. The joy that he has brought my wife and I over the years is indescribable. However, all of that does not describe the joy that he has brought our two-year old. She loves to play tug with him and chase him around the room. I never knew that something that could be so simple to us would bring so much joy to someone else.

Although Dusty is the smallest dog in our direct family and the smallest dog in the neighborhood, there is one lesson that he has taught me. He has taught me to always believe in yourself. Now, I know that may be a strange lesson that a dog can teach a human, but it is true. Instead of acknowledging how small he is, he is willing to take on the fifty pound dogs in the neighborhood. Before anyone gets any ideas, he is on a leash when we walk him and there is a fence between the dogs so there is no direct dog to dog contact, but the verbal cues are there. He does not recognize that he is at an extreme disadvantage, but instead believes that he can take on any dog at any time in any place. If we all held that tenacity and belief, we would be able to tackle much more than we actually do in this short life.

I am convinced that it is hard to describe the difference that a dog can make in your life. I know that cat people would say the same thing about their choice of animal, but we need to be fair. A dog is simply a better friend because they are always excited to see you. Even though my dog is still around and hopefully has many more years left, I do not know that I could ever capture the words to truly describe the impact he has had on me. Instead of trying to do that, I will just enjoy his presence a little more and give him an extra treat today.

There is a new film coming out for dog lovers everywhere. DOG DAYS is a hilarious and heartfelt ensemble comedy that follows the lives of multiple dog owners and their beloved fluffy pals. When these human and canine’s paths start to intertwine, their lives begin changing in ways they never expected. This is a sweet film about the joy our furry friends bring into our lives and what they can teach us about treating people with kindness and compassion. DOG DAYS releases in theaters in August 8.

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Keep On Pushing

Early on in life we must learn to keep on pushing the boundaries of what we know. Before we master the concept of walking, we have to first fall. If we are to make progress, we have to keep getting up every time we fall. Like most people, I have lived enough to have experienced times where things may not have been going my way, but I had to keep pushing on in order to recognize my full potential.

One of those situations that pop into my head is way back in high school and my physics class. I signed up for physics more because I wanted to do it just to say I did and to be one of the few people to take nearly every science course at my school. I figured if science came naturally to me and being proficient at math, the subject ought not give me much trouble. That should tell you how little I actually knew about physics and should give you a glimpse into what I would face that year.

I do not remember much from the class and I cannot begin to tell you how to actually go about solving a physics problem. What I do remember is that no matter how hard I tried, the subject just did not seem to click for me. I could spend hours reading, studying, and working practice problems and the subject never stuck. It is the one class that I remember getting a D in on a report card. Instead of my typical A grade, I was given a D. The better phrase would have been, I earned a D. I knew that the one class could be the one thing that would set me back and drop my GPA significantly, but I was determined not to let that happen.

I knew as the end of the year approached that I would have to keep a high level of determination in order to somehow earn a decent grade. Instead of coasting through like my other classes, physics was going to take some work. I cannot say that I magically pulled out an A or even a B. I earned a C. And I was happy for it. I was happy because I knew that it was a difficult course, I did my absolute best, and I persevered to make it happen.

There is a new movie coming out that deals with this determination. Creed II is coming to theaters this November 21. It is one that needs to be watched by everyone, especially if you are a fan of the Rocky series.

PRIDE. LEGACY. FAMILY.

This fall, there is more to lose than a title.

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Official Synopsis:  Life has become a balancing act for Adonis Creed. Between personal obligations and training for his next big fight, he is up against the challenge of his life. Facing an opponent with ties to his family’s past only intensifies his impending battle in the ring. Rocky Balboa is there by his side through it all and, together, Rocky and Adonis will confront their shared legacy, question what’s worth fighting for, and discover that nothing’s more important than family. Creed II is about going back to basics to rediscover what made you a champion in the first place, and remembering that, no matter where you go, you can’t escape your history.

Release Date: November 21, 2018

Director: Steven Caple Jr.

Cast: Michael B. Jordan, Sylvester Stallone, Tessa Thompson, Wood Harris, Russell Hornsby, Florian “Big Nasty” Munteanu, Andre Ward, Phylicia Rashad, Dolph Lundgren

Writer: Sylvester Stallone

Distributor:  MGM, Warner Bros. Pictures

#CreedII

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