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Category Archives: Mommy Stuff

Bible Journaling Kit from Ellie Claire – Review & Giveaway!

Good morning, readers. Long time no see! I have taken quite a long break from blogging, but I am so happy to be back so that I can share another awesome product with you. And this one is for the moms!

Bible journaling seems to be everywhere. A simple search on Pinterest will show you all sorts of gorgeous, perfectly hand lettered, expertly illustrated Bible pages. But what if you’re just starting out? You don’t know exactly what you need, where to start, or how in the world you’re ever going to get your Bible to look like those amazing examples. Friends, let me introduce you to the Bible Journal Kit by Ellie Claire.

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So what is so fabulous about this kit? Well, let me start by telling you what is included!

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  • journaling pen
  • 8 colored pencil twists
  • 4 sheets of word stickers
  • 4 sheets of alphabet stickers
  • 24 tab stickers
  • 1 pouch with adjustable strap to fit Bibles of all sizes
  • 1 ruled page protector mat with tracing lines

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And how will all this help you??

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Well, the first thing you need when you begin Bible journaling is a good journaling pen. The wrong type of pen will either bleed through or smudge, ruining all your hard work. The pen in this kit is designed specifically for your needs. Then, you will want to add some color, and these pencil twists are perfect for the task. This variety of pretty colors will really make your pages pop without the worry of bleed-through that you can get with markers and highlighters.

stickersBut then there is the question of what to write. If you’re not quite comfortable with diving right into writing on your pages, the word stickers are a great place to start. I began my Bible journaling by choosing some of my favorite scriptures, so I would personally recommend that as a starting point. Grab one of the word stickers and place them wherever you like on the page. They’re in black and white, so you can doodle around them, color them in as you like, or customize them however you choose. That will help you ease into writing your own notes, quotes, and lettering. The alphabet stickers can be used in much the same way, and are great for when you’re just not quite as confident with your own hand lettering. The sticker tabs are a cute, colorful way to mark your spot for future reference.

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When you do begin hand lettering, (and there are tons of online sites and tutorials, as well as how-to books on hand lettering techniques if you need ideas or help) you will find this template SO handy. It has ruled lines down one side, helping to keep that writing nice and neat and straight. On the other side is a die cut edge with several designs for adding a fancy edge or border to your decorated pages.

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And last but not least, you need a way to keep all these items close at hand with your Bible, so that you’re ready to journal wherever you are. This kit comes with a super cute, stretchy pouch with an adjustable strap that fits virtually any Bible. The only thing that does not fit in the pouch is the template, but I just tuck it in between my pouch and my Bible and I’m good to go. And there is plenty of extra room in the pouch for things like additional stickers, pens, washi tape, or even a small notebook for jotting down ideas. Plus, I think it’s simply adorable. 🙂

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So now that you have seen all of the wonderful goodies in this kit, let me show you where to get your own! (And remember, the holidays are coming, and these would make an awesome Christmas gift!)

Barnes & Noble: http://bit.ly/BNBibleJournaling

Amazon: http://bit.ly/BibleJournaling

Books-A-Million: http://bit.ly/BAMBibleJournaling

Christian Book Distributors: http://bit.ly/CBDBibleJournaling

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I am also very happy to offer one of my readers the opportunity to win a kit of your own! Just click the link below to enter to win!

ENTER MY RAFFLECOPTER GIVEAWAY HERE!

In addition to my own personal giveaway, the publishers are hosting their own giveaway where readers have a chance to win one of five journaling kits. Their giveaway page also contains some free coloring pages for you to enjoy!

ENTER THE PUBLISHER GIVEAWAY HERE!

“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 a prize from our sponsor Propeller / FlyBy Promotions in the last 30 days, you are not eligible to win.  Or if you have won the same prize on another blog, you are not eligible to win it again. Winner is subject to eligibility verification.”

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Home Discipleship ~ Book Review

front coverAs Christian homeschoolers, it is our job to provide our children with a solid education that prepares them for adulthood. But in the hustle and bustle of choosing courses, curricula, testing, credits, etc. we are at risk of losing focus on what should be our main goal of parenting: discipleship. But, what is discipleship exactly? Isn’t that the church’s job? Is teaching our children to believe in God enough? Where do we begin?

Home Discipleship by Kimberly Williams explains that above all, we must set the foundation of learning in our home upon our wisdom from God. This foundation is built through the discipleship of our children, by showing our obedience and devotion to our Lord. This book can help parents learn what it truly means to go beyond teaching belief in God, and to raise up real disciples of Christ.  Its 12 chapters offer a thorough study of the facets of discipleship, and includes “Practical Application” study questions at the end of each chapter to help parents implement these facets in the home.

I found this book to be eye-opening, as well as humbling. There are times when I have been guilty of allowing the discipleship of my children to take a back burner. This book, however, was not only a reminder of the necessity of keeping God as the focus of our homeschool, as well as our lives, but it also offered a plan for putting necessary behaviors into practice. Christ should be our main focus, and all other teachings must fall in line under that godly wisdom. I believe that Home Discipleship can help parents to see the importance of not just teaching children what to believe, but also showing, by example, how to live out that faith daily.

  The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge: but fools despise wisdom and instruction. ~ Proverbs 1:7

 

 

Please visit www.homediscipleship.net to learn more about this book, or click HERE to order your copy.

~ SPECIAL OFFER ~

Use Promo Code U9KNMTVM at checkout for 20% off your order!

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About the Author

kim 2Kimberly is a pastor’s wife, homeschooling mother, author, and most importantly a disciple of Jesus Christ. Living in NW Arkansas with her husband and three precious children, her career is her family. With the loving support and encouragement from her husband and the amazing grace of God, she has been homeschooling since 2000. Each year brings new experiences, creates wonderful memories, and brings her family closer together. The Williams family realizes that homeschooling is much more than ABC’s and 123’s. It is about discipleship. Kimberly contributes to various homeschooling magazines.

Her passion for writing has one purpose, to point others to Jesus Christ. She is the author of Living Out the Word, a series of expository ladies Bible studies through the books of the Bible. In addition to writing, Kimberly also enjoys speaking to women and encouraging them in their daily walk with the Lord. She points them to God’s Word and challenges them to be a true help meet to their husbands and loving mothers to their children. In her spare time, Kimberly loves to read classic literature, play the piano, and write songs and poetry. She would love to hear from you at www.livingouttheword.net or on her blog at www.untilthedaydawn.wordpress.com.

 

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Virginia Soaps and Scents ~ Review

At the end of May, I had the opportunity to attend the NCHE conference in Winston-Salem, NC. It was my first conference, and I admit, the vendor hall was my absolute favorite part of the event. Among the many curriculum vendors I came across the booth for Virginia Soap and Scents. (I know, I know. I was there for homeschool goodies, but there’s nothing wrong with a little mommy time too.) At the booth, I met the fabulous owner, Richelle, who told me the story of the company’s beginnings, which was actually the result of a homeschool history project. Now, she and her talented family, have turned a simple history lesson into an extremely successful family business.

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I will start by saying that I have extremely sensitive skin, so I am always a bit nervous about trying new skin care products. After so many trials and failures as far as products go, I am so excited to finally be able to say that I have found a company whose products ALL work so amazingly well for me, that I simply have to share my experiences with these wonderful products.

 Handmade Soaps

Virginia Soaps

The stars of the show are, of course, the handmade soaps. All of the soaps at Virginia Soap and Scents are made from a blend of palm, coconut, soy, olive, and castor oils, plus colrant and scent. That’s it. No strange or harmful chemicals, just good quality ingredients go in to making these soaps. (For more information on how these soaps differ from commercial soaps, which are actually detergents, please read THIS.)

These soaps truly won me over from the first lather. Luxurious is definitely a word I would use to describe it. Not only do they lather well, even in my hard water,  but the lather itself is light and moisturizing, not drying like commercial soaps. And the scent is simply divine. (The Lemon Verbena is my favorite!) The fragrances are light and natural smelling, not obvious chemical imposters.

I could tell a huge difference in my skin after using these soaps. Moisture loss is always an issue with commercial products, but these soaps leave my skin feeling clean, yet still hydrated. I have noticed that I need less lotions or moisturizers following my showers, because my skin is already receiving plenty of moisturizers from the soaps!

Another interesting thing to note about these soaps is that they can all be used as a solid shampoo. All those fabulous oils that are so good for skin are equally as good for hair! I have tried numerous shampoo bars in the past, but these are the absolute best, by far. You can rub the bar in your hands first, or rub it directly onto the hair and work it into a thick lather, then rinse as normal. I find that one lather is plenty to remove daily grime, hair products, and all, so I don’t bother with repeating. I would recommend following the hair washing with one of two things. Especially for those who have hard water, the first thing I recommend is a VERY diluted vinegar rinse. A spoonful of vinegar in a big cup of water will make sure the soap rinses completely, and return your scalp to its normal pH. The other option is to follow the shampooing with Virginia Soaps and Scents’ Honeysilk Hair Conditioner bar.

 

Honeysilk Hair Conditioner

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERABecause these soaps work so great for the hair, I was so excited to be able to try out the Honeysilk Hair Conditioner, which is actually a solid conditioner bar. The bar is actually very easy to use, and is definitely convenient for traveling purposes. Because this is not a soap, and thus does not lather, I apply it directly to my hair, in a downward motion along the strands. Then, I gently work it through and rinse.

I will note that for those interested in this product, but still prefer a liquid conditioner, there are instructions at the bottom of THIS page for turning your solid bar into liquid conditioner. Note this does NOT work with the soap bars, only the conditioner.

 

Facial Cleansing and Skin Repair Oil

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAAfter the soaps, this was the next product that I used that I absolutely fell in love with. It is an oil-based facial cleanser. I know what you’re thinking – “oil is what I want OFF my face, not ON it!” But this product uses what is known as the oil cleansing method, which THIS brochure explains. It basically states that oils break down other oils. So instead of drying out your skin by removing every single bit of moisture from it, this oil-based product breaks down unwanted facial oils, while still leaving the skin moisturized.

You apply this creamy oil to the face, and massage in. Then, you simply remove it with a hot, wet washcloth. The dirt and unwanted oils are washed away, and clean, moisturized skin is left behind.  It even works as a makeup remover as well. AND, as if that wasn’t amazing enough, you can also use this as an everyday moisturizer, particularly if you have any areas of excessively dry skin. This oil does it all, and I have found that it has dramatically improved the quality of my skin, especially on my face and neck. This is officially my new favorite facial product.

 

Apricot Facial Scrub

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI am a big believer in exfoliating regularly. The problem with a lot of commercial exfoliators, however, is all the harsh chemicals, which can severely irritate the fresh layer of skin. And then some exfoliators are simply much too rough. I don’t exactly want to feel like I took coarse grit sandpaper to my face.

The Apricot Facial Scrub, however, is a wonderful alternative. It is creamy, but light and easy to spread. Its apricot seeds are ground very finely, so that they exfoliate gently, without harming the delicate new skin. The smell is nothing short of delicious.

I will say that the first time I used this product, I was a little worried. I loved how it went on, how well it scrubbed, but then when I rinsed, I didn’t feel the typical “squeaky clean” feeling. I thought for a moment that it had left some sort of residue behind. But once I finished rinsing and patted dry, I realized that what was left behind were wonderful moisturizers that were quickly absorbed right into my skin. Immediately, I touched my face and could not believe how smooth and soft my skin felt. This is definitely the best exfoliator ever.

 

Whipped Shea Moisture Cream

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This is what I would consider your everyday lotion. It is smooth and soft, and extremely light. It absorbs into the skin very quickly and does not leave behind any sort of thick, coated feeling on the skin. But don’t let the lightness fool you! This is an intensely moisturizing cream, and it leaves my skin feeling super soft. It is gentle enough to be used as a facial moisturizer, yet potent enough for all-over moisturizing. The scent is lovely and light, and not at all overpowering. But, for those who prefer unscented versions, that option is available as well. This is definitely the best everyday moisturizer I have EVER used.

 

Honey Bee Lotion Bar

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAFor those who need a heavier, more intense moisturizer, the honey bee lotion bar is just the thing. I have found that this bar works especially well for problem areas such as super dry knees or elbows, or dry, cracked feet. With this tube, you can dab your fingers onto it, or apply to the skin directly from the tube. It feels a bit thicker initially, but much like the whipped shea moisture cream, it absorbs very easily into the skin, and gets to work right away. Even though I have only been using this for a short time, a couple of my problem areas have almost completely disappeared.

Another unique way I use this product is on my hair. I have very long hair, and my ends get very dry in the heat of summer. At night, I work some of this into my ends, and then twist my hair into a bun. When I take my hair back down in the morning, my ends are soft and smooth. I absolutely LOVE this lotion bar.

 

 Himalayan Salt Deodorant Spray

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI admit, I was a bit skeptical about this one. I have tried other natural deodorant alternatives, and either hate the scent, or they simply fail as far as odor and sweat protection. I had never tried a salt deodorant, however, and have never seen it available in a spray form.

Well, call me convinced, because this stuff is pretty awesome. Just a couple of quick spritzes under each arm keeps me protected all day long. I also find it incredibly gentle. I even tried it on my 12 year old son, who needs a good deodorant, but is having a problem finding something that does not irritate his skin. This definitely fit the bill for him. And with the convenience of a spray bottle, it is very easy for him to reapply as needed throughout the day (like after football practice!) In short, we are both pleasantly surprised by this product and plan on getting more for the whole family. Definitely a wonderful, safe alternative to commercial deodorants!

 

 Sunscreen SPF 30

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThe last fabulous product I want to mention is the SPF 30 sunscreen. I am extremely fair complected, and sunscreen is definitely a necessity. As we all know, though, many sunscreens are thick and goopy, and quite frankly, a pain to apply. Furthermore, the thick creams and harsh chemicals can often clog pores and cause breakouts.

This natural sunscreen is so light and gentle that it glides right onto the skin.  The tube makes it easy to apply either directly onto the face, or with your fingertips to rub in to arms, shoulders, etc. I can literally barely feel that I even have it on. That is, of course, until I spend time in the sun and come in without a hint of sunburn. This sunscreen protects my skin completely and perfectly. I have had no sunburn since I have begun using it, and have had no breakouts regardless of length or frequency of use. And yes, it is definitely gentle enough to use on children’s skin! The whole family is definitely benefiting from this product. We just love it!

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These products have been nothing short of amazing for me and my family. Especially considering all of my sensitivities, and the number of ingredients I have to avoid because of them, finding something that works is no small feat. Virginia Soaps and Scents, however, has definitely been a blessing! All of their products are well made, and of the highest quality ingredients. You can just tell that the family behind them has put so much thought and care into developing each product. This is a small sampling of all the amazing things that Virginia Soaps and Scents has to offer. I am so glad to have come across this company, and I hope you all will take the time to try some of their wonderful products!

 Please also follow Virginia Soaps and Scents on Facebook!

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The Mended Heart by Suzanne Eller ~ Review and Giveaway

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The Mended Heart is a new book by Suzanne Eller, speaker for Proverbs 31 Ministries. It is for women who struggle with feeling broken, by life or by circumstances. It offers hope to those who continue to carry the pain of brokenness, by showing how that, by turning all of our troubles over to God, and trusting in Him, we can truly be free from the burden of pain.

Each of the book’s ten chapters are concluded with several questions for personal reflection, which allow readers to actively work through the process of allowing God to bear our burdens, and how, in doing so, we can strengthen our relationship with Him. Please click HERE to read the Forward, Introduction, and Chapter One of this remarkable book.

And, as a special offer to my readers, Suzianne Eller is very generously donating a copy of this wonderful book to one of my readers! Please click the link below to enter for your chance to win!

Click HERE for the Giveaway Form!

 

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About the Author:

suzieeller2Suzie Eller is a Proverbs 31 Ministries author and speaker. Featured on programs such as Focus on the Family, Aspiring Women, The Harvest Show, KLOVE, It’s a Miracle, MidDay Connection, DayStar, and hundreds of other radio and television programs, Suzie connects with women on issues of family, feelings, and faith.

Suzie is the contributing author to over thirty books, author to seven books including The Unburdened Heart, The Mom I Want to Be and The Woman I Am Becoming. She has written hundreds of articles, columns, and is a popular International speaker. She has ministered to women in Germany, Austria, Italy, Hungary, Jamaica as well as throughout the United States.

Her desire is to come alongside women right where they are with a message that will challenge and encourage them to reach for all that God offers them, no matter where they’ve been, no matter where they are in their spiritual walk with God, or what they’ve believed possible before that moment.

prov31As a writer and speaker with the national Proverbs 31 Ministries, Suzie Eller serves alongside a stellar team of women, including Proverbs 31 president and bestselling author, Lysa TerKeurst, reaching millions of women through national conferences, radio, and specialty conferences such as She Speaks.

Suzie writes monthly for more than a half million women through the Encouragement for Today daily devotional. She is also the host of founder of Moms Together, a community of 18,000 moms, and the creator of Live Free, a FB community that reaches 9,000 women weekly.

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To purchase the book, please visit  Proverbs 31 Ministries bookstore (every dime goes back into reaching women). Amazon. Barnes and Noble. ChristianBook.com.
To learn more about Suzie Eller, please visit her website/blog at www.tsuzanneeller.com.

CrossReads Book Blast with Gisela Yohannan

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Let Me Walk with You: Letters of Faith and Strength
By Gisela Yohannan

About the Book:

Are you feeling alone or overwhelmed in your journey with the Lord Jesus? In this volume of letters, originally addressed to women serving on the challenging mission fields of South Asia, Gisela Yohannan shares precious lessons from her own life and insights from God’s Word that will fill your heart with faith and strength, no matter where you are in your walk with Jesus. By His grace, you will make it!

LINK to KINDLE | LINK to PAPERBACK

GiselaGisela Yohannan serves the Lord along with her husband, K.P. Yohannan, who is the founder and international director of Gospel for Asia.

Gisela ministers to thousands of Christian women in many countries, teaching God’s Word with deep insight and practical life application. She has written four other books.

Follow Gisela Yohannan

Website | Facebook | Twitter

Enter to Win a $50 Amazon Gift Card!

Enter below to enter a $50 amazon gift card, sponsored by author Gisela Yohannan!

Click HERE for the Rafflecopter giveaway

This book blast is hosted by Crossreads.

We would like to send out a special THANK YOU to all of the CrossReads book blast bloggers!

CrossReads Book Blast: Unraveled by Heidi McCahan


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Unraveled
By Heidi McCahan

About the Book:

Blind-sided by her questionable fiance, Lauren Carter returns to the one place she’s been avoiding, the place she used to call home. As she’s forced to look into the eyes of her past and even worse, her unraveling future she discovers that running only leaves you out of breath on a dead end street. Will she choose to unveil the secrets that haunt her? Or will she bury them once and for all and embrace a new life so different from the one she once held dear?

Blake Tully, wildly successful and breathtakingly winsome owner of a new rafting business, finds Lauren’s unexpected reappearance confusing. As he torments himself with what if’s and what should’ve been’s, he can’t mistake the feeling that crawls down his spine every time he looks at her. Although she broke his heart once, he longs to give his childhood sweetheart another chance, but can he convince her to stop running away when life gets tough? And can he forgive her when he discovers the reason she’s been hiding?

Follow the story of these two shattered hearts as they discover the beauty of grace and forgiveness.

LINK to KINDLE | LINK to PAPERBACK

2013-03-003Heidi McCahan was blessed to spend her formative years in Alaska, where she met many interesting people who frequented the lodge her parents owned and operated. Heidi’s unique upbringing, coupled with Alaska’s breathtaking scenery, fueled her active imagination and loosely inspired her debut novel, Unraveled.

Heidi graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Sports Medicine from Whitworth University in Spokane, Washington and then earned a Master’s Degree in Athletic Training from the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga. After a brief career as a Certified Athletic Trainer, Heidi married her husband, Steve. They live in North Carolina with their three active little boys.

When Heidi isn’t stepping on Legos, chauffeuring the boys around suburbia or folding laundry, she loves to write heartwarming romance set in unique locales.

 

Follow Heidi McCahan

Website | Facebook | Twitter

Enter to Win a $50 Amazon Gift Card!

Enter below to enter a $50 amazon gift card, sponsored by author Heidi McCahan!

Click HERE for the Rafflecopter Giveaway

This book blast is hosted by Crossreads.

We would like to send out a special THANK YOU to all of the CrossReads book blast bloggers!

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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