Wednesday, August 27, 2014

DVD review and Giveaway: Holy Ghost Be Bold Be Brave

Wanderlust Productions is putting out a movie called Holy Ghost.   On September 6, is the worldwide premier at

This is a 113 minute film where the premise is there would be no script, just allowing the Holy Ghost to direct the movie.  What it reminds me of is people having cameras follow them around while doing street evangelism.

As a Pentecostal turned Catholic, I thought I would either love this movie or not care much at all for it.  I did street evangelism in my day, and looking at this movie, I wonder if they helped those people connect to a local church.   I'm sure the intentions were good in by the people who made this film, but I wonder how much good it actually did for the people who were shown in it.  Now, it may well be the bigger purpose of this movie is encouraging the watchers of this movie, but I felt it left me with more questions than answers, questions that have no answers.

At one point, it is said in the movie "God will heal you".   Not "God can heal you".  Do I believe God heals?  Yes.  Do I believe God always heals?  No.  I think back to a year ago this week, I was told I was likely going to have to remove my mother from life support.  Was she healed?  Not in my mind.  She lived through that episode and her health deteriorated rapidly  and she passed away less than six months later.  I don't believe that means anyone lacked faith.  It just was.  God didn't fail me, it's just that His answer was not what I had hoped.  I'm sure someone could say she was healed by physical death, but I don't like that answer.

Another point I wasn't real keen on is how the encounters with God seemed almost emotional to some of the people.  I believe that can happen, but I also believe that God speaks in a still small voice as well.   I've been in the extreme emotional services, but I found at times I was chasing an emotional high instead of God.  Mass is rarely emotional, although sometimes it is for me.  The peace, the love God has for us speaks so loudly I occasionally shed a tear or two.   I experience God's love more through the stillness, the Gloria, and the acknowledgement that I am a sinner and He forgives than I do in another type of service.  While I believe others can experience God in other ways, I once heard it said that the way I worship God is something that others may not be able to understand because it is personal to me, and it doesn't make me wrong in how I worship, it's just different.  I'm not judging how others worship God, just saying it is different for me.

Still, I think this movie could be a huge encouragement to others, especially if you attend an Evangelical, Pentecostal, or Charismatic church.  Also, I think it would be great for someone who has never experienced this type of worship to see how others feel led by the Holy Spirit.

And for the giveaway:

Open to U.S. and Canada, 18 and older.  Winner has 48 hours to respond to the winning e-mail or another winner will be chosen.    Ends Sept 4.

"Disclosure (in accordance with the FTC’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising”): Many thanks to Propeller Consulting, LLC for providing this prize for the giveaway. Choice of winners and opinions are 100% my own and NOT influenced by monetary compensation. I did receive a sample of the product in exchange for this review and post.
 Only one entrant per mailing address, per giveaway. If you have won the same prize on another blog, you are not eligible to win it again. Winner is subject to eligibility verification.”

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Book Review: Lord Have Mercy The Healing Power of Confession

Lord, Have Mercy: The Healing Power of ConfessionLord, Have Mercy: The Healing Power of Confession by Scott Hahn
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Scott Hahn does it again.  This time in a 177 page volume, he explains the origin, history, and necessity of Confession.   As someone who is joining the Catholic Church and has completed RCIA, I think this book adds a lot to what was not covered in our classes.  I think Dr. Hahn’s books should be utilized in RCIA — or at least they were not in my classes.  

Don’t think this is a book for just the non-Catholic, I truly believe Dr. Hahn’s books are fantastic for anyone.  My fiancĂ© is a cradle Catholic, and because of me learning about the Catholicism, he has been enriched as well.  Sometimes things become rote, and that’s not what our faith is about, it should be living and dynamic, and I think that reading Lord Have Mercy will give you a new appreciation for Confession.  I admit, I picked up this book because as a Catholic convert, I am nervous about this sacrament.  This book has put my fears at ease, and in fact, I’m looking forward to when I will be able to make my first Confession.  

As with many of Dr. Hahn’s books, this took me a long time to read.  They are so full of great information I want to ruminate on them.  One of my favorite parts was where he explained why our sin does not cease to exist once it is forgiven, we live with the consequences.  He picked apart the common Protestant teaching that God turned his back on Jesus while He was on the cross.  This is something I heard my whole life, and when I read why Dr. Hahn feels it is an incorrect teaching, it felt so freeing, and helped me understand my sin and its consequences all the more.  We can’t think “Oh, this is just a little sin” because it still separates us from God — and therefore we need confession.

I also learned why Dr. Hahn thinks regular confession is a good idea.  I know at one local church they didn’t even have a confessional until recent renovations.  Penitents had to go with the priest to a room off the kitchen.  Yet, in years past, there would be lines of people on Saturday evenings.  Maybe they knew something we have lost along the years?

This is a book I will be referring back to quite a bit in the future.  It’s an excellent work, and one I believe should be in every Catholic’s library.

FTC disclaimer:  I received a free copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for a fair and honest review.  All opinions are my own.

You can purchase this book here:

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Back to School With Technology and U.S. Cellular

FTC disclaimer:  This is a sponsored post, but I only recommend products I believe in.

U.S. Cellular offers a FREE PRINTABLE Parent Child agreement to help you discuss safety of the Internet, cell phone usage, limits, and courtesy with your teen or tween.  You don't even need to be a U.S. Cellular customer to access this, although I have been for 10 years and highly recommend them. 

I've already been enjoying the back to school photos my friends are posting online.  With school back in session for a week now in some places (Really!  One of my friend's children started in July!)  I wanted to write a post about using technology to get organized, stay on top of things to do (including assignments) and a bit on how technology is used in the classroom.

A recent U.S. Cellular survey showed that 74% of households with children under 18 have a tablet.  That's a great tool for your child to use, especially when a child is sick and misses school.  It's easy to message a classmate  -- or even a teacher to get assignments which can be completed at home.  I know when I was a child before the advent of so much wonderful technology, teachers were scrambling to figure out a cost effective way to get snow day work to us during January 1985.  The solution -- as I remember it anyway -- was make the kids who lived in town go to school one day (the fire exits were snowed shut!).  We were loaded down with more snow work and we were to call our friends who lived in the more rural areas.  How easy would it have been for the teachers if they could have posted assignments online and we could have picked them up instead of those of us who lived in town having to relay the message via phone to those who were still snowed in!  Even if you live in a warm area, the same holds true -- if school is missed for any reason, it's easy to get assignments.

Did you also know that tablets are being used in the classroom?  I'm a little more familiar with this because I have friends who have special needs children and I am more aware of them using tablets.  But all children can benefit from educational apps, eBooks, online videos to enhance learning, and Internet access.  A recent Student Mobile Device survey showed 87% of students would like using eBooks instead of traditional textbooks because it would be much less to carry in their backpacks.   I know when I was in school, from about November through March, we were required to take home all our textbooks every day even if we didn't have homework -- in case it snowed and we were off school a day.  That would have been much easier if we had eBooks.

Accessing the Internet opens up a whole world of learning.   With U.S. Cellular's reliable 4G LTE high speed network, this can be utilized for many different learning activities.  I remember when I was in second grade, we were class pen pals with a school from Oklahoma.  How fun would it have been if the technology existed back then to have used Skype or Facetime to have been able to "meet" each other at the end of the year?  Obviously, this could also be used to "bring in" guest speakers to a class who might not otherwise be able to visit.  My 4th grade class had a very unique opportunity -- we had someone from Australia visit.  My teacher had taught there for a couple years and a friend of his came to visit.  In the 1980s, the only way we could have a guest speaker was for them to physically come into our classroom.  Now, there's the technology available that a guest speaker could be on the other side of the world and be able to interact with a class of students in another hemisphere.

Another notable app is Teachers Assistant Pro which is a $3.99 download.  This allows teachers to keep track of classroom behavior and achievements as well as communicate with parents to help cut down on paper usage.

Dropbox is another great app.  This is a cloud based file sharing app.  Be it teachers storing data or students working together on a group project, this is a handy site to use.

Notability gives users the ability to take notes, record a lecture, journal, sketch ideas and more.  It can even be shared with others using iCloud or Google Drive.

But what about funding?  Every school could use more funding, right?  Well, U.S. Cellular is bringing back the Calling All Teachers promotion.  If you live in the U.S. Cellular footprint area and are a public school teacher, apply at and register as a U.S. Cellular affiliate teacher.  U.S. Cellular is fulfilling $1 Million of teacher projects for the 4th year!  So if your classroom is needing something your budget doesn't allow, apply and your project might be chosen!  Your project must be submitted between August 11 an September 21 to be eligible for this year's funding.

Finally, back to school is a great time to go over cell phone usage with your child.  The FREE Parent Child Agreement is a great tool to be able to start a conversation to make your child's cell phone experience safe and enjoyable for everyone.

FTC disclaimer:  I am part of the U.S. Cellular Blogger Brigade and this is a sponsored post.

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Review and Giveaway: Dial Coconut Water Refreshing Mango Body Wash

I recently received a sample of Dial Coconut Water Refreshing Mango Hydrating Body Wash.  I love anything mango.  I spent a summer in Asia in 1997 and I was on the mango bandwagon well before anyone else in the United States seemed to be.  So I jumped at the chance to review the new Dial Soap Body wash.  If it's mango or mango scented, I'm right in line for it!  Another thing I like is it's a fruity scent so it's a great family body wash.

This is a clear body wash, which isn't always my favorite because without glasses in the shower I'm not always sure how much I'm using, but that's the only thing I didn't like about this.  I really like how slick it is, I can really tell it's a moisturizing body wash.

Dial is a brand I trust, I have used it my whole life, and I'm excited they have added this nourishing body wash to the line up of skin care products for healthy skin.  It's something I'll definitely be buying in the future.

FTC disclaimer: The Dial brand provided me with a sample of Dial Coconut Water Refreshing Mango body wash in exchange for a product review.  However, all the opinions expressed here are my own.

And now for the giveaway. . .

One winner will receive THREE totally free coupons for Coconut Water Refreshing Mango Body wash 11.75 ounce size or larger with a maximum valued of $4.49.  These expire on September 30, 2014.  Open only to the United States.  Winner has 48 hours to respond to the e-mail or another winner will be chosen.

Ends 8/10 at 11:59 pm.

a Rafflecopter giveaway