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The Amazing Spider-Man 2 Prize Pack Giveaway

For all you comic book lovers and superhero fans, this post is definitely for you! The Amazing Spider-Man 2™ is due to be released in theaters on May 2, and today I am very excited to share a fantastic giveaway with all of you to celebrate the release of the film. In case you have not had the opportunity to do so yet, please check out more information and the movie’s trailer below.

We’ve always known that Spider-Man’s most important battle has been within himself: the struggle between the ordinary obligations of Peter Parker and the extraordinary responsibilities of Spider-Man. But in The Amazing Spider-Man 2™, Peter Parker finds that a greater conflict lies ahead.

 

The Family Discussion Guide

spidermanMy family was recently given the opportunity to preview a Family Discussion Guide created to go along with the new movie. The discussion guide for The Amazing Spider-Man 2 is a great resource for families to discuss a range of important themes that include the relationship between personal choices and destiny, living a life that counts, sacrificing yourself in service to others, and the nature of power. This guide will help parents start (or continue) conversations with their children that will inspire them to think outside themselves and challenge them to live lives that matter. The conversations that will result from using this guide will reveal that even the most explosive summer blockbuster can leave lasting, positive impacts on its young viewers.

I feel that this discussion guide is an excellent tool to get children thinking about various themes in the movie, and how they can relate them to their own lives. Each discussion topic begins with a Scripture reference, then a scenario from the movie is presented in its relation to the given topic. This is followed by a short series of thought-provoking questions that are meant to lead in to deeper discussion and personal reflection. I think that this guide will help students to closely examine their own personal values, judgement, and character. It is definitely a resource that can benefit the whole family.

Giveaway!

I am so happy to offer my wonderful readers the chance to win a prize pack full of Spider-Man goodies. Please click the link below to go to the giveaway form to enter for your chance to win. Contest ends Monday, April 28th!

Click HERE For the Giveaway Entry Form

 

For more information about the movie, please visit the movie’s official website, or follow on Facebook and Twitter (#Spiderman).

 
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, 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.

 

Updates and Wrap-Ups

I haven’t been around the blog as much lately. Quite frankly, I just needed a bit of a break, and my family needed more of me. :) For the past couple of weeks, I have not done our weekly wrap-ups, so I just thought I would share a short post of some of our latest happenings.

On March 29th, my youngest son had his first major piano recital. He was very nervous before the event got started, but was quite composed once he began playing. He played 3 selections total, Hedwig’s Theme from Harry Potter, Georgiana from Pride and Prejudice, and a piece he composed himself called Battle of the Knights. (He didn’t even inform me he had written the piece until the night before the recital!) He did an outstanding job, and was complimented by other students and parents alike, which he accepted humbly. I couldn’t have been more proud.

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We attended an event at our local library, titled Electrifying Encounters. The boys learn all about electricity, circuits, and even got to check out a Van de Graaff generator. As a result, the boys have a new found interest in circuitry, so I see many projects and activities involving electricity in our near future.

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And finally, this past weekend, the men folk of the house dragged me along to the local Dragway for the 4-Wide Nationals. My husband’s company was actually incredibly generous in giving us the tickets, and none of us had ever been. (I later learned that this is the only 4-wide drag strip in the world, so extra cool bonus there!) And even though I was a bit reluctant at first, I must say that the races were actually pretty cool… and I’m sure my hearing will eventually return to normal. (Yes, I wore ear plugs, don’t worry.)

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So, that about wraps up the last couple of weeks. I did enjoy the break and spending more time with the family. I am hoping to be better about keeping everything balanced, and my priorities better in place.

As for the remainder of this week, I hope you all will be following along, as we will be doing some very exciting reviews and giveaways in store!

Poppins Book Nook Topic for April

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I hope you enjoyed reading our first contribution to the Poppins Book Nook virtual book club last week. March’s theme was “Where in the World?” and we visited England during the Middle Ages through the book Robin Hood. If you missed it, you can check it out HERE (and don’t forget to enter the giveaway!)

We are already beginning to work on our upcoming contribution for this month. The book club’s topic for the month of April is Planes, Trains, and Automobiles. This is definitely going to be a fun topic, and we are looking forward to sharing our activities with you all.

As usual, Enchanted Homeschooling Mom has created some excellent free lapbooking resources to go along with this month’s theme. If you haven’t done so yet, you can also download the introduction lapbook to the Poppins Book Nook, so please check that out as well. If your kids like lapbooking, this is a great way to dive right in to the club! Click the images below to visit Enchanted Homeschooling Mom’s page to download these FREE resources!

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Remember to come back on the last Monday of April to see all of our activities for this month’s selection! Please also check out this list of the Poppins Book Nook topics for the months ahead.

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Poppins Book Nook main image 2014 - 2015

Please stop by to meet this year’s other co-hosts of the Poppins Book Nook:

Enchanted Homeschooling Mom ~ 3 Dinosaurs ~ To the Moon and Back ~ Planet Smarty Pants ~ Farm Fresh Adventures ~ Growing in God’s Grace ~ Chestnut Grove Academy ~ Faith and Good Works ~ Learning and Growing the Piwi Way ~ The Usual Mayhem~ Preschool Powol Packets ~ Monsters Ed Homeschool Academy ~ Adventures in Mommydom ~ Teach Beside Me ~ Life with Moore Babies ~ Kathy’s Cluttered Mind ~ Are We There Yet? ~ Our Crafts N Things ~ Hopkins Homeschool ~ ABC Creative Learning ~ Joy Focused Learning ~ P is for Preschooler ~ Laugh and Learn ~ A Mommy’s Adventures ~ Inspiring 2 New Hampshire Children ~ World for Learning ~ The Kennedy Adventures ~ Ever After in the Woods ~ Golden Grasses ~ Our Simple Kinda Life ~ A glimpse of our life ~ Journey to Excellence ~ Happy Little Homemaker ~ Little Homeschool Blessings ~ Simplicity Breeds Happiness ~ Raventhreads ~ Water on the Floor ~ Learning Fundamentals ~ Tots and Me ~ As We Walk Along The Road ~ Stir the Wonder ~ For This Season ~ Where Imagination Grows ~ Lextin Academy ~ The Canadian Homeschooler ~ School Time Snippets ~ Peakle Pie ~ Mom’s Heart ~ A Moment in our World ~ Every Bed of Roses ~ Finchnwren ~ At Home Where Life Happens ~ Suncoast Momma ~ The Library Adventure ~ Embracing Destiny ~ Day by Day in our World ~ Our Homeschool Studio ~ A “Peace” of Mind ~ Thou Shall Not Whine ~ SAHM I am ~ eLeMeNo-P Kids

Clip Art by Melon Headz

Be sure to check out Poppins Book Nook and follow on Facebook and Pinterest!

Star Chronicles Review and Giveaway

Star_chronicles_graphicWe are all familiar with the Greek and Roman mythologies associated with the various star constellations. Tales of gods and goddesses, creatures, battles, and heroes were their way of explaining the configurations of the stars. But how did people before the Greeks and Romans view the constellations? And, most importantly, is there a Biblical interpretation that we should know about? Star Chronicles: A Bible-Based Study of the Stars by Dawnita Fogleman offers a Biblical view of the arrangement and meaning of star constellations. My children and I have been working through this study for the past several weeks, and I am happy to finally be able to share our review with you.

 

About the Study

Star Chronicles is a unit study that goes through each of the major constellations, and gives Biblical interpretations of each, backed by scripture references to support these interpretations. Included in the study is the text, star charts, lapbook, notebooking pages, and coloring pages. This makes it easy to use the study as a family, since there are plenty of activities for every age. With many scripture references for each constellation, parents can easily assign copywork or memorization as part of the study. Students are encouraged to keep a scrapbook, as a way of recording their findings from the study, and any additional resources they might use. Though additional resources can be used to enrich the study, it can definitely be used as a stand-alone. This allows a lot of flexibility with the study, and allows students to work through it at their own pace.

How We Used the Study

My boys and I decided to do the study together, with them filling out their notebooking pages as I read the text aloud. They then took their Bibles and looked up the scripture references on their own, which we later discussed together. Rather than making a scrapbook, we decided to just bind the notebooking pages together into journals so that they could personalize them and make them their own. The boys colored and decorated the pages as they saw fit, and used additional paper for scripture copywork and additional research. On occasion, after reading the text, they had their own ideas as to the symbolism of some of the constellations, so I allowed them to write their own interpretations as well, as long as they could find scripture references in support of their ideas. They loved being able to express their own ideas in this way, and really enjoyed “digging for the answers” in scripture.

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In all, my boys really enjoyed this study. Although we have studied mythology and constellations before, they were happy to finally have a true, Biblical interpretation of the constellations rather than just a “fairy tale” view of them. I like the fact that the study often presented more than one explanation for the symbolism of each constellation, because it encouraged my boys to do their own research of the scriptures and form their own conclusions. They appreciated being able to create a journal of their research and findings that was distinctly their own. I think this study would be a fantastic addition to any homeschool, especially for students who are fascinated by astronomy, or have an interest in Biblical prophecy.

Where to Buy

Printed versions of the study are available on Amazon and CreateSpace for $25. The PDF version of the study is available on the author’s website HERE for $12. Now through April 20th, there is a SALE for 25% off the PDF version on the author’s website using the discount code STARMOMS. This is a great deal you won’t want to miss!
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I am also pleased to have the opportunity to give away a PDF copy of the study to one of my fantastic readers! Please click the link below to be taken to the entry form for your chance to win!

Click HERE for the GIVEAWAY form!

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About the Author

DawnitaDawnita Fogleman is a fifth generation Oklahoma Panhandle Pioneer. She and her husband, Paul, have six amazing children. They have homeschooled from the start and now have two graduated and starting their own businesses. With the family business and their little farm every day is a surprise. Dawnita blogs about life on the “funny farm” at FoglemanForerunner.com.

 

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Victus Study Skills System Review

As parents, we hate to see our children struggle to learn, or do poorly on a test. Often, we tell our children that they just need to study more. But sometimes, for students, it’s not about the time or effort put into studying. Some students simply don’t know how to study effectively. And often, parents simply don’t know how to help children learn these skills. The Victus Study Skills System does just that. It is an easy and effective method for teaching students in grades 5 through 12 the skills needed to study more effectively. My family has recently completed this study, and we are happy to share our review with you.

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Program Costs

There are 2 options for the Victus Study Skills System. The first option, the one which my family reviewed, is teacher-led, and uses a Student Workbook ($20) and Teacher Edition ($40). The second option is student-led and uses The Student DIY Workbook. ($25). There are also additional items available on the product page that can help in presenting the material to students.

About the Program

The Victus Study Skills System is a 10 lesson program that is intended to be completed in approximately 30 minute lessons over a period of 2 weeks. The program can be completed at a slower pace if needed, however, which might be necessary for younger students.

The 10 lessons in the program are centered on 3 foundational cornerstones, which are questions that each student must consider in order to learn to study more effectively. As students work through the lessons, they learn to answer these questions.

Where am I now? (Lessons 1 & 2) – Students analyze current study habits, determine their learning strengths and type (visual, auditory, or kinesthetic), and discover learning aids specific to those strengths.

Where do I want to be? (Lesson 3) – Students learn the importance of setting goals in their learning and prioritizing their time in order to meet those goals.

How do I get there? (Lessons 4-10) – This is the real meat of the program. These lessons teach the skills needed for effective studying. They cover topics such as schedules and organization, developing an effective study process, active listening, improving note taking skills, and test taking strategies. Lesson 10 is a review of skills learned throughout the course.

What We Liked About the Program

My children and I learned a lot from working through this program. We liked the fact that the lessons are long enough to be informative, yet short enough that they didn’t feel overwhelmed. We found that presenting the material in 30 minute lessons over a 2 week period as intended was the perfect amount of time for us to grasp the material.

3 lessons in particular stood out for us.

Lesson 3: Mission and Goal Setting – This lesson begins with the students evaluating their priorities, and whether or not the amount of time that they devote to their daily activities reflects these priorities. I have to admit that this was one of those “ouch” realizations for all of us. Even though we all had our priorities set in our minds, the amount of time we spent on other things said otherwise. This realization helped us later in the study, when we prioritized our time and developed our daily schedules. The second part of the lesson showed us how to set goals, and to develop an action plan in order to meet those goals. These goals are priorities.

Lesson 6: PQRST – PQRST refers to the method that the student should follow for effective studying. It involves Previewing the material, Question the material, Read, State the material you just read, and finally Test or review the material. Following these steps can help ease the studying process. Prior to this, my boys studied by re-reading material, looking over notes, and sometimes using flash cards. This chapter showed them a MUCH more effective method for studying, which helps to truly learn the material, rather than just memorizing it.

Lesson 9: Test Taking – The method for good test taking is PDCA. This involves the following steps:

Plan – students listen to instructions and look over the material so they know what to expect and how to spend their time

Do – students are taught how to go about taking the test (do easy questions first, mark unknowns to come back to complete later, etc.)

Check – students should always check over their work

Act – students make any necessary changes or corrections

Following these steps give students a clear method for taking a test, which can help them focus and relax. This lesson also gives tips for tackling each type of question on tests, including multiple choice, true and false, matching, and essay questions. There are a LOT of excellent tips in this lesson, which I feel could benefit even the best test takers. As a mom of at least one child who often has test anxiety, these methods are proving invaluable.

Final Opinion

We enjoyed working through the Victus Study Skills System. It opened our eyes to a lot of current behaviors that were not quite effective, and showed my kids some excellent new skills to aid in their learning. This is definitely one of those items that we will hang on to, so that we can revisit the material in the future as needed. I think any and all students could benefit from this study, whether in a homeschool, public school, or private school. Even those students who learn easily and are good test takers can still benefit from the skills taught in this system. All kids need to learn how to study smarter, not just harder or longer. The Victus Study Skills System is the perfect product for learning how to do so.

Please also check out Victus Study Skills System on Facebook and Twitter!

Click to read Crew Reviewsdisclaimer_zps7f3b646c

Poppins Book Nook: Where In the World? with Robin Hood

The Poppins Book Nook for 2014 is officially underway! I am so excited to finally be able to share our very first Poppins Book Nook contribution with you all. The theme for this month is “Where in the World?” so we decided that we wanted to visit medieval England in the classic book, Robin Hood by Howard Pyle.

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Before we began our journey, we decided that we needed a way to record our findings about medieval England, so our first craft was to create our own travel journal. This is a very simple project that was a lot of fun to make.

We began with 5 sheets of plain paper, folded them in half, and then used scrapbooking scissors to roughen the edges. (You could also just tear the edges gently for a similar effect.)

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Then we found a piece of scrap vinyl fabric and cut it so that it would fit around the paper, overlapping with a flap on the front.

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We made a hole in the tab on the front and fed a scrap piece of vinyl through the hole, which would wrap around the book and tie it shut.

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Then we punched holes through the vinyl and the paper with a hammer and nails, and then simply stitched the binding with embroidery floss.

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With that, our journal was complete!

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This journal could be easily modified by changing the stitching on the binding, adding more sheets, or even pre-printing notebooking pages half sized before binding. It could also serve as a fantastic nature journal. This little book is perfect to have handy, no matter where in the world you want to go!

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What would a trip to medieval England be without a castle? And what good could a castle be if you can’t play with it? So, it was agreed, we needed to construct a castle. And not just a plain cardboard castle, but a more 3-dimensional version that would be a blast to play with!

We began with a few pieces of foam board. Each measured 20″ x 30″, so we cut them into quarters. We then measured 1 inch sections across one of the long edges that would form the tops of the castle walls.

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We then cut one inch wide strips to use for the wall-walk, and used some of the remnants from the wall cutouts for bracing on the bottom. With a little hot glue, we pieced together our 3 dimensional walls.

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Repeating that process, we made all 4 three-dimensional walls. We then made a tower for each of the 4 corners, measuring 2″ x 15″. We fastened each wall to the corners. Now the castle was really taking shape.

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Before we attached the final wall, we made an arched opening as our drawbridge. We also added some paper pyramids to the top of each tower, since the boys thought they were a bit plain. So here is our finished castle, complete with lego action figures poised to defend it!

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Robin Hood is such a classic book, and the time period is fascinating. We spent quite a lot of time, and had a ton of fun, learning all about it. We also used the following books for supplemental information on the time period. I hope you enjoyed our projects, and will try your hand at making them!

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  Poppins Book Nook main image 2014 - 2015

Please stop by to meet this year’s other co-hosts of the Poppins Book Nook:

Enchanted Homeschooling Mom ~ 3 Dinosaurs ~ To the Moon and Back ~ Planet Smarty Pants ~ Farm Fresh Adventures ~ Growing in God’s Grace ~ Chestnut Grove Academy ~ Faith and Good Works ~ Learning and Growing the Piwi Way ~ The Usual Mayhem~ Preschool Powol Packets ~ Monsters Ed Homeschool Academy ~ Adventures in Mommydom ~ Teach Beside Me ~ Life with Moore Babies ~ Kathy’s Cluttered Mind ~ Are We There Yet? ~ Our Crafts N Things ~ Hopkins Homeschool ~ ABC Creative Learning ~ Joy Focused Learning ~ P is for Preschooler ~ Laugh and Learn ~ A Mommy’s Adventures ~ Inspiring 2 New Hampshire Children ~ World for Learning ~ The Kennedy Adventures ~ Ever After in the Woods ~ Golden Grasses ~ Our Simple Kinda Life ~ A glimpse of our life ~ Journey to Excellence ~ Happy Little Homemaker ~ Little Homeschool Blessings ~ Simplicity Breeds Happiness ~ Raventhreads ~ Water on the Floor ~ Learning Fundamentals ~ Tots and Me ~ As We Walk Along The Road ~ Stir the Wonder ~ For This Season ~ Where Imagination Grows ~ Lextin Academy ~ The Canadian Homeschooler ~ School Time Snippets ~ Peakle Pie ~ Mom’s Heart ~ A Moment in our World ~ Every Bed of Roses ~ Finchnwren ~ At Home Where Life Happens ~ Suncoast Momma ~ The Library Adventure ~ Embracing Destiny ~ Day by Day in our World ~ Our Homeschool Studio ~ A “Peace” of Mind ~ Thou Shall Not Whine ~ SAHM I am ~ eLeMeNo-P Kids

Clip Art by Melon Headz

Be sure to check out Poppins Book Nook and follow on Facebook and Pinterest!

Link up your magical “Where in the World?” book fun below!

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Poppins Book Nook Giveaway!

Every month the Poppins Book Nook group will be offering readers a chance to win a brand new storybook that ties in with our theme for the month. This month one lucky entrant will win a copy of Where in the World! The winner must reside within the United States. This giveaway is brought to you by the company Enchanted Homeschooling Mom, who is owner and founder of the Poppins Book Nook. By entering this giveaway you are also acknowledging that you have read and agree to all of the Rafflecopter terms & conditions as well as Enchanted Homeschooling Mom’s disclosures found here {http://enchantedhomeschoolingmom.org/disclosures/}. Just enter the Rafflecopter below to win:

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Click HERE for the Rafflecopter giveaway!

Captivated by MediaTalk101: Movie Review

Technology is advancing at a staggering pace, and the involvement of media in our everyday lives has reached an all-time high. Since its inception, it seems that people cannot get enough media. Many consider our technological advances to be an advancement of society as a whole. What could possibly be the danger in such advances? Is there such as thing as too much of a good thing? And how do we know when enough is enough? MediaTalk101 has released the documentary Captivated, which deals with the many issues concerning our society’s obsession with media. I have had the pleasure of viewing the Captivated DVD, and today I would like to share my review with you.

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About the Film

Length: 107 minutes

Price: $16.95

Audience: Intended for adult audiences, but approved for all ages

Where to buy: Captivated DVD

Synopsis

Captivated is a documentary about the effects of media on us as individuals and a society. It discusses how that, since the invention of the telegraph in 1844, technology’s explosion has resulted in society’s unquenchable hunger for more and more media. This has resulted not only in society’s satisfaction with a virtual reality, but in a breakdown of our true society and personal relationships. Captivated offers interviews with many experts who all testify to the negative effects of overexposure to media. They tell how personal relationships are suffering, the family unit is breaking down, and children suffer developmentally and academically. And most importantly, they tell how an overindulgence in media hinders us from having a close personal relationship with the Lord.

Many people today are struggling. They want to avoid the realities of life. They seek escape and freedom. In this need to escape, they accept the false reality that the media portrays. Often times, this results in people becoming addicted to this media, experiencing physical effects seen in many other addictions. Media becomes a drug, and affects all facets of daily life. Basically, many people today are slaves to the media. The danger, of course, is that if we are a slave to the media, and seek to escape life, we cannot experience a strong relationship and true closeness with the Lord.

The documentary also features interviews with people, both young and old, who have faced their addictions to media, be it television, radio, phone, or internet. They tell their stories of how, once they “unplugged” from the media, they were able to see just how much they were affected by those negative influences in their lives. Unplugging was certainly difficult at times, which only confirmed the tight grip that their addictions to media had on their lives. Often, these people are shocked at just how much time they were spending, and wasting on media every day. Only when they began to fill that time that had been occupied by media with things that were good and pure, and pleasing to the Lord, could they truly appreciate the peace and true happiness that only comes from God.

My Opinion

Captivated is a wake-up call. Even for those of us who feel like we are doing a good job of limiting and censoring media exposure in the home, I think this DVD is invaluable in showing just how dangerous media has become. Not that this film is all about scare tactics, because it certainly isn’t. But it does show the reality of the affects of media obsession. What is so frightening, for me, is that media can have such a strong hold, without us realizing it, that it can take us away from the most wonderful gift in this life, which is our personal relationship with Jesus Christ. What this DVD has revealed to me is that anything that takes that much time away from my relationship with the Lord is becoming my idol. And that is something that I will simply not allow.

Does this mean that all media is a bad thing? No, and the documentary says this as well. What we, as Christians, need to be sure of is that we always need to consider if what we are doing or watching is something that is pleasing to the Lord. Is it a good use of the time that God has given us? If not, then it is time to unplug and refocus on the things of the Lord. I would definitely recommend this to all Christians today. And for those with teenagers, or soon-to-be teenagers, I recommend watching it together. I think the Captivated DVD will help open the eyes of many Christians so that we see our need to be captivated by Christ, rather than by the media flooding our society today.

Please visit MediaTalk101, the Captivated website, or click here to purchase the Captivated DVD. You can also follow Captivated on Facebook and Twitter.

 

Click to read Crew Reviews

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