Originally posted 2015-09-08 09:44:15.
Before reading the PR statements (listed below) I listened to the CD they put together. To be honest, I thought ‘Pizza Ranch’ was some sort of silly band name, but it didn’t matter to me. What mattered was how good the CD was, because that’s why I’m reviewing it, right? Initially, my post was going to start with telling you this compilation of music totally inspires a sense of hope. Until I read it’s purpose, now it’s got to start differently. Only, I don’t know what to tell you.
Guess I’ll just go…. On the three hour trip back to seeing our little blessing I began to listen to the CD Pizza Ranch has put out to inspire Hope, not knowing it’s purpose. Let me tell you, after almost 7 months of our little one being in the hospital, imagining going home (that hope that things may get on to the ‘new normal’ soon) becomes harder and harder. As a parent, I keep praying and waiting (and I know it will happen) but some days are hard, others harder and that trip back and forth to the hospital, living there and only visiting your home and pets, is taxing. Frankly, I think I should be paid in advance, at least 20 years worth. Regardless, by the third or fourth song in, I was feeling hopeful about life in general, about everything. The rest of the music brought the same good feelings of hope.
Although those at Pizza Ranch who took on this project and put it together may never know the effects of their project on everyone, but hopefully they read this and know that they did make a difference. More importantly, I hope that you’ll buy the CD and it will bring you some hope and happiness as well.
Adrie Groeneweg had a dream that started in Hull, IA, in 1981, when he was just 19 years old. It was simple. Why does everyone have to drive out of town to get a pizza? With just six specialty and single topping pizza recipes developed by Adrie’s mother, Lorraine, Pizza Ranch was born. Pizza Ranch’s vision and mission is to glorify God by positively impacting the world and to give every guest a legendary experience. They have 190+ locations across 13 states including Iowa, Minnesota, South Dakota, North Dakota, Wisconsin, Michigan, Nebraska, Illinois, Kansas, Missouri, Montana, Wyoming, and Colorado.
“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. If you have won the same prize on another blog, you are not eligible to win it again. Winner is subject to eligibility verification.”
Originally posted 2015-07-19 17:28:40.
Originally posted 2014-07-08 20:20:43.
Being someone who frequently does reviews, I’ve come to a habit of ‘writing’ my review as I view, listen to or test a product. It is hard for me, at this point, to forget that I’m supposed to be forming an opinion long enough to just experience what I’m doing. Soon after this video began, my thoughts of anything but the contents of the film left my mind. In fact, beyond just my ‘reviewers’ mindset, I’m rarely able to focus completely on a film. I was filled immediately with a sense of awe, of pure fascination with completely focused attention. I couldn’t tell you what my original thoughts on this one were, as my thoughts weren’t able to penetrate further than the importance of what I was hearing, and thoughts of reviewing passed into the recess of my mind, it was no longer important at all for that time.
Kirk Cameron wrote and narrated this this film as an answer to a question we as Christians all feel and I personally never know how to answer:
Where is God in the Midst of Tragedy and Suffering?
Prior to viewing this film, my answer was always that He was holding us. A generic answer which doesn’t ever give comfort, nor is it convincing. In all honesty, I’m not sure I ever had a real answer to the question. I live on faith, knowing that He is there. That is not enough for everyone or even myself particularly in times of dealing with grief, pain and sorrow. Knowing God is there, feeling Him, hearing Him, seeing Him doesn’t give me the answer. I’m still working on being able to productively be able to witness to someone, believer or otherwise.
In the film, Cameron is able to give an understanding to this dilemma that I’ve never heard before, one that in 30 years of going to various churches, hearing various sermons, I never was able to grasp. His narrative takes the story of a young mans exit of this mortal coil and utilizes it to help us grasp just how much greater God’s plan is than ours. I’m so in awe of the knowledge and overwhelmingly powerful realization of facts that I’m honestly having a hard time forming this review, but I have to share it.
I have a yearning need for you to see this film. Not because Kirk Cameron is the be all and end all by any means, but because God gave us a means of understanding through this film that I have never been able to grasp before. Cameron took stories I’ve heard my whole life, stories I’ve studied, and helped me to see things I have never seen before. Not through opinion, through simply putting emphasis and thought to parts of the story that have been dismissed or overlooked time and time again. I have no doubt that this film will move you, bless you and ultimately bring you deeper thought and understanding of why there must be suffering and death, as in them lies a beauty that has been hidden within the depths of grief that most of use would never grasp on our own.
Inspired by the death of Cameron’s close friend who succumbed to cancer at the age of 15, Kirk Cameron takes viewers on an inspiring and hope-filled visual journey to better understand the biggest doubt-raising question in faith: “Where is God in the midst of tragedy and suffering?”
Going back to the beginning—literally—Kirk investigates the origins of good and evil and how they impact our lives … and our eternities. UNSTOPPABLE will prompt audiences to consider the role that pain and suffering has in our lives, as they affirm their personal views on faith, and encourage conversation starters about God, suffering, and hope.
In theaters for only two weeknights (Sept 24th and Oct 3th, 2013), UNSTOPPABLE: A Live Event with Kirk Cameron sold a staggering 260,000 tickets and reached a theatrical gross of over $3.2 million dollars. In just two nights this independent project sent a loud message – audiences want thought-provoking and meaningful entertainment.
Kirk Cameron is best known for his memorable role as “Mike Seaver,” a cultural icon of the 80’s, with his mullet hairstyle, cool glasses, and wisecracking comebacks. More recently he enjoyed much success with the No. 1 grossing inspirational film of 2008, Fireproof, and his recent documentary, Monumental. Kirk and his wife, Chelsea, were on-screen sweethearts during their Growing Pains years and are the founders of Camp Firefly, where terminally and seriously ill children and their families are provided an all-expense paid retreat (www.CampFirefly.com). Together, Kirk and Chelsea live in California with their six children.
Visit the official website: http://
About Provident Films
Provident Films, a division of Sony Music Entertainment, produces, markets, and distributes faith-based films. The company is part of Nashville-based Provident Music Group, which has been one of the world’s leading Christian entertainment companies for more than three decades. Films from the company have included Courageous, October Baby, Fireproof, and Facing the Giants. More info is available at ProvidentFilms.org.
Originally posted 2014-01-31 05:36:53.
Official Trailer: https://www.youtube.
A great stocking stuffer and family Christmas classic, available at Amazon: http://amzn.to/IpaqUJ
Originally posted 2013-12-13 09:34:31.
’Twas the very first Christmas when all through the town
not a creature was stirring—there was not a sound.
The moon shining bright in the heavens so high
gave the look of midday to the Bethlehem sky.
The animals were nestled in warm, cozy places
with looks of contentment on each of their faces.
At a very early age, Christine Kornacki developed a love for painting and bringing stories to life. After receiving a BFA in illustration from the University of Hartford, her dreams of illustrating children’s books began to take shape, including illustrating the best-selling The Sparkle Box for Ideal’s Children’s Books. Christine’s recent work also includes illustrating the six-book series for the American Girl historical doll characters Marie-Grace and Cecile. She spends her days painting in her studio, which adjoins a charming cafe in New Haven, Connecticut.
Who is it for?
Kids ages 4-8 – The rhyming language can help them develop verbal language skills and learn to read
Family story time during the holidays
Children’s Ministers and Sunday school teachers
Christmas carolers could set it to a tune!
The First Christmas Night
Written by: Keith Christopher
Illustrated by: Christine Kornacki
Publisher: Ideals Books
Hardcover: 32 pages$16.99
Originally posted 2013-12-05 09:12:22.
Let me start this review with a confession: I had heard of this book before. Last year, somewhere around Christmas, I heard an interview with the author on Focus on The Family. It really touched my heart and I’ve literally thought about it all year long. The author’s goal seemed to truly be the lesson the book teaches: to give to others.
It is not often that I am inspired by a children’s book. I read the book in order to do the review and had to force myself to come in and write. Not because the task is so daunting, but because the book has me so inspired I don’t want to sit down and write. I want to do something. Anything. Make bread for the shelters, donate, something! Not simply to fill a box, but to make a difference in someone’s life. One of my favorite scriptures, and one my husband and I remind each other of constantly is this: “And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.” Matthew 25:40 KJV.
This book will not only teach your children the joy of helping others, but it will make you want to go out and help someone else, anyone else. My family has taught me throughout the years to help others. Even my little brother who seems to be on a poor attempt at running from God has reminded me through his actions to do whatever I can to help others. When we were kids we went through a period where our Mom couldn’t afford to pay the bills, much less provide for Christmas. That year, a man we had never heard of, came to our home with a basket of fruit and a gift for my brother and I. I don’t remember what my brother got, but I got a curling iron gift set. I’ve never been a girly girl, don’t even know if I ever actually used that set, but what I do know is that I hold that as one of my fondest memories. It was a great lesson and has been a constant inspiration for me to help others throughout my life. Granted, I don’t wish that upon anyone, but the lesson could never be the same. The closest I’ve seen to something teaching this lesson is this book.
About The Sparkle Box
A Gift with the Power to Change Christmas
Sam is so excited about Christmas! He’s thinking about his Christmas list, looking forward to holiday parties, and puzzling over one very mysterious gift: a sparkly box sitting on the mantel. In the midst of the festivities, Sam and his family participate in various acts of kindness to others. On Christmas morning, when Sam finally opens the Sparkle Box, he finds only slips of paper that record the family’s good deeds. Sam’s mom explains that the things that they’ve been doing are, in fact, a gift for Jesus, for Jesus said that whatever we do for those in need, we do for Him.
Must leave a physical address. However, if you are a military family and have an APO, I will personally ship it to you if you win, so go ahead and enter!
Originally posted 2013-11-19 10:07:11.
About 1 Girl Nation
Even after reading the description above, I expected to hear something that I really couldn’t enjoy but I was pleasantly surprised. 1 Girl Nation has a sound that reminds me of a mixture of 80’s girl bands, modern day secular music, and a hint of contemporary Christian wrapped up in a praise and worship band. As their pictures suggest, their music is fun and joyful. With their primary target audience being pre-teen, teens, and young adults I think 1 Girl Nation should be on their way to the top! I don’t think it will be long before they are being blasted all over Christian radio stations. They sing songs that make you feel good but aren’t like the typical music you hear. It wasn’t far into the CD before I was bobbing my head and enjoying the music.
Originally posted 2013-11-16 06:23:20.
In a time where the true meaning of Christmas can be lost or misplaced, especially for young children, it is important for my family to remember why it is we have this holiday and what we are really celebrating. Each Christmas even night they open one gift; it contains a new pair of pajamas, a mug for homemade hot coco and a new book. This year my children are going to receive books themed for the true meaning of Christmas (as last year they each received Santa books) and I am anxious to read them to my children as we wait to celebrate the following morning!
“Where Jesus Slept” is a beautifully illustrated book worded for young children, to tell the story of the birth of Jesus. The story is told in a catchy rhyming scheme that invites our babies to discover where Jesus slept on Christmas, and how so many came to adore him. The illustrations are wonderfully done to draw in the attention from all ages. Like so many popular children stories the rhyming scheme in this book it one that is destined to become a favorite; because it is so catch a rhythm it also allows children to generate a strong willingness to memorize the story and eventually they will learn how to read it on their own if they are not yet reading to themselves!
Our Children Need Christ in Christmas!
The Christmas holiday has dramatically changed in what is expected and appreciated out of this time of year. Where it was once solely about praising God for the birth of the savior, but about bringing a family together and sharing this magical time with our loved ones! Lately Christmas has become commercialized, bargain shopping and big gift buying has replaced priorities in some families. Children’s “wish lists” have gone from that heartwarming “I want to see granny!” to “I want that toy that everyone else has!”
Children need Christ in Christmas because it brings them to understand the gift of love! Quoting from How the Grinch Stole Christmas… “Maybe Christmas perhaps means a little bit more!”
Look for ways to keep Christ in Christmas for your family! Here are a few ideas from the Unlocking the Bible:
1) Read the Bible story with your family
2) Use and advent calendar with scripture
3) Listen to Chris-exalting Christmas music for the holidays
The above mentioned site contains great way to making this Christmas more about Christ and less about that gift those precious babies want so much!
Now for the giveaway!
a Rafflecopter giveaway
**Please note: I did receive this product for free in exchange for my honest opinion. All opinions are from My Crafty Zoo and are not influenced by sponsors.**
About the book:
“This is the bed where Jesus slept. This is the straw that lined the bed where Jesus slept.” From here, the story builds with each spread, adding a new element and explaining the relationships among the participants and witnesses to the first Christmas. From Jesus sleeping sweetly to the wise men bringing gifts, this charming book reminds readers young and not-so-young of the joyous event we celebrate at Christmastime. Children will love the delightful illustrations and the engaging repetition in this cumulative tale.
Format: jacketed hardcover
Trim size: 10×10
Page count: 32
Retail price: $16.99
Reading age: 4-7
About the author:
Norma Lewis is the author of ten books. She lives in Grand Haven, MI, with a marmalade cat named Scalawag. They both love spending time with her six grandchildren, ranging in age from three to twenty.
Illustrated by Katy Hudson.