Friday, May 30, 2014

Quick Encouragement #32

Image Made By Marianne at PicMonkey

By Marianne

Hey! Just thought I'd drop in and say hi! Sorry about that crazy no-post-for-like-eighteen-days-stretch, we've been quite busy. I found this quote to be quite encouraging so I made a image to share with ya'll! 

"Even the smallest person can change the course of the future."

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Book Review: Answers Book for Teens

Review By Elinor
Title: Answers Book for Teens
Author: Bodie Hodge & Tommy Mitchell with Ken Ham
Rating: 5/5
Age Recommendation: 13+

This book was written by the founders of Answers in Genesis to provide teens with biblical answers to many of the questions that they all ask. It did just that! The very clear and understandable answers pointed directly to God's Word, and the authors took time to explain things completely instead of it feeling like they were just telling you to do something because they said so. However, this book was meant for a teen audience, so I would not recommend it to someone younger without guidance or approval of a parent, depending on maturity level.

My thoughts: Reading this book was a great encouragement to me, and it really helped me to understand a lot of things better. It explained the right response to several modern issues with the Bible, and encouraged further Bible reading. It is definitely one that I will go back and read again from time to time. It's over-all message was that we all need salvation, and that God has provided this for us in Jesus. I would recommend it to anyone ages 13-20.

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Quick Encouragement #31

Image made by Marianne at PicMonkey

By Marianne

  Sometimes it's easy to respond to hate with hate. However, that's not at all what Jesus would have us do. He wants us to love our enemies and show them forgiveness and compassion. Think back with me to when Jesus was hanging on the cross. The people were showing more than hate to Him. They were mercilessly beating Him. But did He hate them right back? No. He asked His Father to forgive them. To forgive us. He showed them mercy, grace, compassion, love. That's how He wants us to act too! 

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Book Review: The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe

Title: The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe
Author: C. S. Lewis
Rating: 5/5

Plot: The four children Peter, Susan, Edmund, and Lucy, are sent away from their mother due to air-raids going on in London during WW2. They go to temporarily live with a strange old professor in his mansion until it is safe for them to return home. While there, the youngest of them, Lucy, steps in to an old wardrobe only to find herself transported to a completely different world, and eventually, all four of the children enter! There they meet many new friends and enemies, and embark on a strange new adventure to find Aslan, and defeat the White Witch.

I really enjoyed this book! If you have seen the Narnia movies (as I have) you will already know the story, but it is still definitely worth reading! I loved seeing all of the characters' thoughts and feelings on such a deep level (as it is sometimes hard to do with a movie).

Characters: As I said, I saw the movies prior to reading the book so therefore, I already "knew" the characters. However, being able to really read what they each think and feel in every situation was quite a treat! My favorite character (besides Aslan) would have to be Lucy. 

Emotion: C. S. Lewis explains both scenes and emotions in such a strange way that it makes it easy to "see" the story and how it's taking place. I know that sounds kind of weird, but it's true! Read it and you'll see!

My Thoughts: This was a very good book that I would highly recommend! It isn't very long, so I think an 8+ audience would greatly enjoy this adventure. And of course I absolutely adored the main message of this story: Jesus Christ is our Savior and Conqueror. He died for our sins because He loves us so much and then later, rose form the dead.

Favorite Quote:
"Perhaps it has happened to you in a dream that someone says something which you don't understand but in the dream it feels as if it has some enormous meaning - either a terrifying one which turns the whole dream into a nightmare or else a lovely meaning to lovely to put into words, which make the dream so beautiful that you remember it all your life and are always wishing you could get into that dream again."

Friday, May 16, 2014

Quick Encouragement #30

Just a reminder. He is watching, He is caring, because He loves you indescribably.

Image created by Elinor

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Book Review: Growing Up Duggar

Review by Marianne
Title: Growing Up Duggar
Author(s): Jana, Jill, Jessa, and Jinger Duggar
Rating: 5/5
Age Recommendation: 12+

Plot: The four oldest Duggar girls, Jana (age 24), Jill (age 22), Jessa (age 21), and Jinger (age 20) open up and tell what life is like in the Duggar home. The theme is relationships and in each chapter, they discuss a different kind of relationship starting with Your Relationship with Yourself, and going on to Parents, Siblings, Friends, Guys, Culture, Your Country, and the World. They discuss each topic in full detail and explain their convictions, beliefs, and personal interests.

This book was AWESOME! I'm a pretty big fan of the Duggars and actually had the chance to meet them at a book-signing not too long ago. I loved being able to get a "peek" inside their lives and see what they had to say about all kinds of different things!

Quality: This book was very well written! You could certainly tell that they had spent a lot of time on it, and it was very easy to understand. It was written in such a way that I was able to pick it up and put it down when needed to without feeling like I would have trouble understanding it later. 

My Thoughts: I absolutely loved this book! They explained why they do what they do in a very non-judgmental way. I loved the whole book, but my favorite chapters would have to be Your relationship with parents, siblings, guys, and the world. It was really cool to be able to hear what they thought about those topics. I also enjoyed seeing what types of things they are interested in doing long term, and how they are using their personal talents and interests for the Lord. Jana involved in a young women's ministry called "Journey to the Heart", Jill is training to be a Midwife, Jinger ministers to juvenile detention centers, and Jessa is using her gifts of organization to bless her family and others. I would totally recommend this book to anyone as it is very easy to understand and very encouraging as well!

Favorite Quote:
"Freedom is not the right to do what I want, but the power to do what I ought."

Monday, May 12, 2014

Movie Review: The Hobbit, Desolation of Smaug

   Hello! We are so sorry for the crazy delay of posts... We've had a bit of a stomach bug going around the house and have been unable to write them. Anyway, we feel much better now, so here's that Movie Review we promised!

Title: The Hobbit, The Desolation of Smaug
Rating: PG-13
Our Rating: 5/5

Plot: Bilbo Baggins continues on his journey with 13 dwarves and the wizard Gandalf. He encounters giant spiders, the wood elves, the skin-changer Beorn, and a mysterious man named Bard. All to retrieve the Arkenstone from the clutches of an evil dragon called Smaug; and reunite the dwarf kingdom under the reign of Thorin Oakenshield.

   We thought that this movie was amazing! It really kept you on the edge of your seat until the very end. We talked about it for about three days after we watched it, and are greatly anticipating the release of the third and final movie in this trilogy.

Bilbo: Bilbo is a rather comical character, being a home-body who has no taste for adventures in the beginning, the poor fellow goes through a great deal of discomfort. In this movie, you begin to see his adventurous side as well as his cunning abilities.

Smaug: Smaug is the evil dragon that stole the dwarve's Arkenstone and destroyed their kingdom. He now guards the Lonely Mountain (the dwarve's previous home), and lives among the mountains of gold and jewels there. He will not give up his riches without a fight.

Gandalf: Gandalf is the wizard that brings the dwarves together to regain their kingdom. He is also the one that pulls Bilbo into the story as the group's "burglar" :). Gandalf is much more than he seems, and fights fearlessly to defend his friends.

The Dwarves: Thirteen dudes of pure awesomeness. These guys are seriously hard core and will fight even a dragon to take back their beloved kingdom. Thorin is the leader, and the rightful ruler of the Lost Kingdom Under the Mountain.

Tauriel: Tauriel is a wood-elf who sets out to defeat the evil that is encroaching on her kingdom. She also develops feelings for the dwarf named Kili. She is willing to go against the wishes of her king if it means that good will prevail over evil.

Legolas: Legolas is the prince of the Wood Elves and leader of their army. He joins Tauriel in looking to defeat the growing evil around their kingdom. He has growing feelings for Tauriel, but his father disapproves.

Bard: Bard is a bargeman that lives in the town near the Lonely Mountain. He helps the group enter by smuggling them into the town and hiding them in his home. He has reasons of his own for wanting to defeat the dragon.

Elinor's Thoughts: When I saw this movie in December when it came out, I absolutely LOVED it! At that point my sister was a bit unsure of the Lord of the Rings/The Hobbit movies, she didn't really know if they were something she would like; but when I went on and on about how great this movie was, I talked her in to watching them with me and now she loves them just as much as I do!

I love this movie and everything about it! Being that I am currently working through the book, I loved seeing how well the actors portrayed the characters and truly bringing them to life. I will warn those that have read the book however, that there were several elements to the movie that were not included in the book. There wasn't a change the actual story, but there were some new turns to the story. This didn't bother me at all (in fact I rather enjoyed the new plot twist), but if you are a huge fan of the book and wouldn't want changes to it I thought I might point this out. I would definitely recommend this movie, but (depending on maturity level and fear of orcs) probably a 12+ audience.

Marianne's Thoughts: This. Movie. Is. Awesome. Ha! That's pretty much the best way to sum it up! While the first Hobbit movie (The Unexpected Journey) was great, this one totally passed it and I can't wait to see the next!  I've seen all the Lord of the Rings movies and didn't think this would top them... I'm not sure if it tops the third Lord of the Rings (Return of the King)  but it comes really close! Now, I will warn you, there are some rather frightening/violent scenes in this movie, and it is not appropriate for children, but it is SO worth your time! It's about 3 to 3 1/2 hours long, so you need to be able to just sit down and enjoy watching it. It is an amazing movie that combines action and adventure with a super complex and interesting story-line. It's absolutely WONDERFUL! One of the only things about this movie that doesn't make it better than the Lord of the Rings, is the absence of Samwise Gamgee, Frodo's best friend. I know they couldn't have put him in this movie, after all, Bilbo is Frodo's uncle, but still, I just kinda missed Sam (you can read about him in our fourth Book Friends post). :) But overall, this is definitely one of my all-time favorite movies!

Saturday, May 3, 2014

Quick Encouragement #29

Rend Collective - Boldly I Approach

"Oh, A thousand years, a thousand tongues are not enough to sing His praise! They're not enough."

By Marianne
Consider that for a moment. Have you ever seen someone who is worthy of that much praise? Not just worthy of praise, but worthy of so much of it, that neither a thousand tongues, nor as many people as there are in a thousand years could ever even come close to singing as much praise as He deserves. 
That's beautiful.