Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Get a Glimpse

"When you love the unloving, you get a glimpse of what God does for you."                 ~ Max Lucado
It's pretty easy to love the loving, the lovable, and the ones who love us, isn't it? I also find it easier to love the poor and needy than the rich and snobbish, the humble than the arrogant, the encouraging people than the critical people, the American soldiers than the terrorists, etc. However, God does not call us to love only certain groups/kinds of people. He commands us to love our neighbors as ourselves (Matthew 22:39), love one another (1 John 3:23), love our brother (1 John 4:21), and love our enemies (Matthew 5:44, Luke 6:27-28, 35-36). Whom does He leave out? Nobody! One of my favorite quotes is "We cannot choose whom we will love if we claim to be Christians." (~Unknown)

"Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous man, though for a good man someone might possibly dare to die. But God demonstrates His own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us." (Romans 5:7-8) Yes, we were the unloving, yet God loved us and sent His one and only Son to die for us. He loves us even though we don't deserve it, even when we don't love Him back. He knows all our flaws and imperfections, our badness and ugliness, yet He still chooses to love us. Therefore, if our love is to be like Christ's, we must love those who don't love us, those who refuse to accept our love, those who are unloving...whether they deserve our love or not...whether we feel like it or not. How can we love like Christ does? We must abide in Him and ask Him to fill us with His love and empower us to love others with that same love. Unconditional. Sacrificial. Selfless. Limitless. May our lives reflect our gratitude to God for His unfailing love for us by loving others with His love! May His love in us manifest through us when our human love fails! May we never forget how God first loved us...the unloving.

If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? Even 'sinners' love those who love them. And if you do good to those who are good to you, what credit is that to you? Even 'sinners' do that.” (Luke 6:32-33).

This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers…And this is His command; to believe in the name of His Son, Jesus Christ, and to love one another as He commanded us” (I John 3:16, 23).

Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love” (I John 4:7-8).

~You're invited to share your thoughts about the quote above on your blog and then link up your post here.To learn more about "In Other Words"(what it's about, how it works, and how it originated), visit here.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Movie Review: The Mighty Macs

Coming to theaters October 21st!

I was given an opportunity to view an online screening of The Mighty Macs. This movie is based on a true story. It's rated G.

It's a story about Cathy Rush who in 1971 became a basketball coach at Immaculata College, a small all-women's Catholic college in Philadelphia run by nuns. She was ambitious and determined to give her team the best chance at competition, even though the team/the school had little prospects. She encouraged the girls (players in her team) to be teamplayers and to pursue their dreams. She coached them in somewhat unconventional ways but it worked. Cathy Rush led the team to win the Women's College Basketball National Championship 3 years in a row (1972, 1973, and 1974).

She had been married for about 3 years when she decided by herself (against her husband's approval) that she wanted to become a basketball coach. Her husband, Ed Rush, who was an NBA referee, wanted to start a family, instead. Obviously, this caused friction in their marriage. I understand that she had unfulfilled dreams but she should have discussed them with her husband before they got married. It seems to me that she insisted on putting her career/goals above her husband's wishes...not being a submissive wife according to the Bible (she claimed to be a Baptist in the movie). In the movie, Ed did come around to be supportive of her.

The Mighty Macs is a clean, feel-good, entertaining family movie. If you like basketball and love to cheer for underdogs, you will enjoy this movie. Team spirit. Perseverance. Dreams come true. Nuns as cheerleaders. One woman who impacted the lives of many women. Too bad...the overtones of feminism had to be there, too. Oh..and a few other negative elements included a lie and deception.

The Mighty Macs stars Carla Gugino as Cathy Rush; David Boreanaz as her husband, NBA referee Ed Rush; Marley Shelton as assistant coach Sister Sunday; and award-winning actress Ellen Burstyn as Mother St. John.

By the way, the real Cathy Rush was in the movie playing as a bank teller :). 
Website: http://www.themightymacs.com/
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/themightymacs
Twitter: http://twitter.com/#!/MightyMacsMovie
Youtube: http://www.youtube.com/MightyMacs1

Monday, October 17, 2011

Book Review and Giveaway: What Is He Thinking?? by Rebecca St. James

About "What Is He Thinking??"
In WHAT IS HE THINKING??, Rebecca interviews a range of men from high-profile types to the guys next door, men that every woman can relate to. Although the interviews focus on single guys ages 18-35, Rebecca also includes words of wisdom from older mentors she respects who have been successfully married for years, people like her dad, life coach, and pastor.

The men share their thoughts on topics like how women can respect themselves and the men in their lives, modesty, purity, taking it slow, friendship, letting guys lead, and more. This book gives them the floor to say what they would really like women to know.

The men respond candidly to questions such as:
•What is the most attractive quality to you in a woman?
•Is modesty truly attractive?
•Is neediness a turn-off?
•What do you find beautiful?
•How can we be dependent on God for our identity, not on you?
•How can we help you with boundaries physically?

Rebecca also discusses her own dating life, speaking openly about the single life, her struggle with loneliness, and her hope for the future. She challenges women to see the men in their lives as brothers in Christ and to trust God with their dating lives.

About the Author:
Australian born Rebecca St. James is a Grammy Award winner and a multiple Dove Award recipient, with international success that has driven her record sales into the millions. In January 2008, she was named Favorite Female Artist in Contemporary Christian Music by readers of CCM Magazine for the seventh consecutive year. Rebecca also won Best Female Artist of 2007 from Christianitytoday.com-her fifth consecutive year to be given this honor. She's been involved in several film productions and voiced the character of Hope the Angel in VeggieTales' bestselling DVD production The Easter Carol.

Facebook (Author): http://www.facebook.com/RSJames  
Facebook (Book): http://www.facebook.com/whatishethinkingRSJ
Twitter: http://twitter.com/rebeccastjames
Website: http://rsjames.com/
YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/rsjchannel 
Link to HBG website book detail page: http://goo.gl/RTy0O
OpenBook Link: http://goo.gl/BWgEs (preview the first 10% of the book)

My Thoughts and Review:
Have you ever wondered what men might be thinking about dating, love, and marriage? Wish you could read their minds :)? This book gives you that opportunity. Rebecca St. James (recently married) interviewed 16 single guys (18-35) and 11 married men whom she respects. Even though I prefer courtship over dating, I found this book to be an interesting and informational read. You will find Biblically sound advice, wisdom, insights, and even some surprises. Dating can be daunting, dangerous, and depressing. However, if you approach it with caution and discernment that is based on God's Word and His leading, you can be confident that your relationship will bring honor and glory to God. I still feel that the dating concept is like a rehearsal for divorce. You change your date when you're no longer in love or no longer compatible or ..... (fill in the blank). I believe a genuine friendship and eventually courtship is a more wholesome way to go. Nevertheless, this helpful book can still benefit single ladies who follow courtship and even married women (the better we understand men, the better it is for wives to understand their husbands). At the end of the book, the author includes the survey questions she used in case readers want to interview their guy friends and learn more about what men are thinking. I'd like to say this: I'm extremely thankful that God arranged my marriage to my husband/my best friend (a man after God's own heart) and that I don't have to be in the dating game...whew :)!
Giveaway: You can win a copy of this book. The giveaway ends 10/30 at midnight Pacific time.
To enter: "Like" the book's Facebook page. Then leave a comment here letting me know. Please also include your Facebook name and your email address.
For extra entries (please leave a separate comment for each one you do):
- "Like" the author's Facebook page.
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- Share the link to this giveaway post on Facebook
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"Disclosure of Material Connection: I received one or more of the products or services mentioned above for free in the hope that I would mention it on my blog. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance  with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Over the Top

Thanks to Booksneeze/Thomas Nelson Publisher, I was given 2 free tickets to the Women of Faith 2011 event, "Over the Top" at Rose Garden Arena in Portland. My mother-in-law and I had an absolutely blessed time this past weekend (Oct. 7th and 8th). It's my first time!

"This weekend we're celebrating the unrestrained, outrageous, wildly passionate love God has for each of us. He pours out mercy in a flood. He loves us more than we know. He gives us more than we can ask or dream. He is Over the Top." ~Mary Graham

The worship was awesome! I really enjoyed the worship time...focusing on God's amazing love. It was so cool to sing praises to God along with ~7,000 other women. The worship team included Jovaun Woods from New Orleans, Louisiana; Michelle Swift from Portland, Oregon; Hope Darst from Nashville, Tennessee; and Kara Tualatai from Westlake, California. They had fabulous voices and they truly used them for God's glory. The host, Lori Robertson, was very sweet and gracious. Wow...it was such a treat to hear and learn from all the wonderful speakers.

Patsy Clairmont: I love Patsy Clairmont! She made me think and laugh at the same time :). Some nuggets of truths from Patsy include "Life is messy." "Love is a choice." "Change can be good." "We are created with the will that's stronger than emotions."

Andy Andrews: I've read some of Andy Andrews' books (The Noticer, The Butterfly Effect, and The Boy Who Changed the World). He's a gifted author and a hyperactive motivational speaker :). Here are some cool stuff he shared: "Fear is the misuse of creative imagination." "Boundaries are made not to restrict but to protect." "Smile when you talk."

 Me and Andy Andrews autographing The Noticer for me

Marilyn Meberg: Who would have expected this 72 year old lady to have a need for speed :)? She quoted one of my favorite St. Augustine's quotes: "You God, created us for Yourself, and our hearts are restless until they find rest in You."

Sandi Patty: Sandi Patty gave us a chill with her powerful voice singing "We Shall Behold Him." She shared her heart with us about her weight problem. So transparent and so encouraging! She also introduced us to her pals on the "Porch".

Lisa Whelchel: Lisa talked about friendships for grown-ups. It was hard to imagine someone beautiful and famous like her having trouble finding friends. But real friends are indeed difficult to come by.

Brenda Warner: What a roller-coaster life she has had! Courage, honor, and integrity never leave her. She is usually known as Kurt Warner's wife. She's very spunky :).

These outstanding speakers shared their life stories, lessons they learned, and words of wisdom. We soaked it all in. They shared their brokenness and pointed to God's restoration. Their faith helped them get through their struggles. We appreciated their authenticity. We witnessed how God used imperfect broken people to spread the message of His love.

Deborah Joy Winans (Cece Winans' niece) gave a funny skit about a mom wearing different hats. Mandisa blessed us with her beautiful heart and voice. You could see her love for God shine through and through. I was thrilled to see/hear Selah, one of my favorite Christian bands. I never get tired of hearing "You Raise Me Up" by Selah. Todd Smith even got the speakers up on stage to dance while he sang an African praise song. Lots of fun! Amy Perry was beautiful inside and out. Her voice was outstanding. Allan Hall entertained us with the 80's piano music. Go Selah!

I was really glad to see World Vision being promoted during the event. My family and I have been long-time supporters of World Vision and I used to work for World Vision in Thailand while my husband volunteered there.

During breaks, we women had fun browsing and shopping at Women of Faith products booths. I bought 2 Selah CDs and my mother-in-law bought a stack of books and a DVD.
My mother-in-law and I were very thankful for this wonderful experience. Certainly over the top! So much food for thought. Such a refreshing weekend! Our seats were on the fourth row on the floor next to the stage. I only wish they would allow photography (during the event) :). Well, I did take a few shots of the empty stage in different lights. Pretty, don't you think?

A Must-See Video for Every Christian

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