Category Archives: Reviews

The Beloved Daughter Book Review

Standard

the beloved daughterWould you practice Christianity knowing that, if caught, your family would be sent to a concentration camp to endure a lifetime of suffering and pain?  Would you stand for Christ knowing the consequences would be torture and starvation?  Are you willing to put your life on the line for the sake of Jesus Christ?  Would you denounce your faith to save the life of your child?  Would you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord or cave under the hands of those who persecute Christians?

Alana Terry’s new book, The Beloved Daughter, is nothing short of a masterpiece.  The story unfolds in North Korea when officials arrest a father and mother and their twelve year old daughter Chung-Cha for their belief in Christianity.  The family’s middle of the night capture is only the beginning of their nightmare.  They are quickly imprisoned in separate concentration camps and persecuted for their love of Jesus Christ.  They are starved, beaten, physically and mentally abused, sexually assaulted, and forced to work long hours for meager rations of food.

At just 12 years old, Chung-Cha’s life of security and love are ripped away from her.  She is separated from her father and told he denounced his faith.  She lives in and out of solitary confinement and fights daily for her survival.  She questions the sincerity of every person she encounters and her eyes are kept wide open, always suspecting danger around her.  The grief-stricken young girl is forced to make exceedingly difficult decisions when desperate and hopeless.  She questions her faith when sexually and physically abused by detention officers and is punished for her perseverance to live.  But through the pain and devastation, Chung-Cha continues her fight for freedom.

How would you react to these living conditions?  What would you do to survive?  Would you befriend your abusers for extra food and easier work?  How would your faith play out in your daily life inside a concentration camp?  Would your love for Christ turn to hate?  Or would you keep the faith and trust in His plans for your life?

This is a story of the present-day persecution of Christians in North Korea and how faith trumps all evil.  You will never again take your freedom for granted but will be left with a desire to be a part of change.  Your eyes will be opened to the liberties we have and that our problems compare nothing to those being victimized every day of their lives, all for the sake of Jesus Christ.  Your compassion and love will grow for those facing deprivation and torture in the attempt to make them deny their faith.

The Beloved Daughter is a work of fiction, but the book is both educational and informative of the many sacrifices and hardships faced in concentration camps and underground churches today.  The story is both heartbreaking and redeeming as Christ reveals himself to the characters time and time again.  Even as their faith waivers and they question His presence, His love for them never fails.  You will read this book in the safety and warmth of your own home, but the story will transport you into the horrendous living conditions of modern-day concentration camps in North Korea.  While most of us still have our freedom of religion, the truth is that others are fighting for their devotion and love for Jesus Christ.  The captivating journey you will take while reading this book is frightening and life-changing.

A Life Well Lived 2014 Day Planner and Prayer Journal Review and Giveaway

Standard

I confess… I’m the housewife and mother who refuses to give up her day planner.  Yes, I like to flip the pages, write on the paper, use different color ink and / or highlighters.  Some technology gurus may even call this blasphemy and convince me I can do the same thing or even better with today’s technology!  I’m not even ashamed to admit that I spend quite a bit of time each December seeking out the best planner for our family.  My planner must be durable with plenty of room to write and ample space for a family of six and all of their appointments and activities.  I spend hours searching for the perfect planner and have even thrown some out and started over after the year has started because it simply didn’t fit the needs for our family.  Finding the perfect planner is a very important decision for us and one that I thoroughly enjoy accomplishing.

The Judgmental Christian has been blessed with the opportunity to review and give away A Life Well Lived 2014 Day Planner and Prayer Journal.  I’ve been sitting here with the planner and journal for almost two hours now and am simply amazed at all this planner offers.  It is very apparent that much thought and hours of prayer were put into the planner and journal from the very first page.

planner4

The focus of the new 2014 planner is Getting Life Right.  The planner begins with the testimony of Jesus’ perfect earthly life and His desire for us to “live a holy life in preparation of eternity with God.”  When the first words of a planner grasp my heart and make me yearn to be more like Christ, I know it’s going to be a winner!  This company is not only concerned about selling fabulous planners but making sure we are living according to scripture and getting our schedules aligned with God’s desire for our life.  The makers of A Life Well Lived want to see us dedicated to serving Christ and reaping the rewards God has in store for us.

The planner then opens to the Seven Steps to Discipleship that help us to seek and know God’s will for our lives.  There are daily action steps provided as well as corresponding scriptures to these steps that help guide us towards daily growth in our Christian walk.  I simply cannot think of a better way to start off this new year and again each day than to evaluate my relationship with Christ and then to begin putting into place those steps necessary that will help me reach the goal of becoming a better disciple for Christ.

planner2

The planner is divided into 365 daily pages.  My initial thought was that maybe this was too much space, even for a girl who likes writing and doodling areas in my planner.  But upon closer look, the planner becomes more than just a calendar of events.   It’s your devotional, a prayer journal, and calendar all in one.  There are words of wisdom and daily scripture readings. There are daily suggestions that encourage growth in your spiritual discipleship.  A place is set aside for daily prayer concerns and praises, and directly across is additional writing space for your goals and tasks God has placed on your heart for the day.  And of course there is ample space for your daily appointments!

planner1

Each new week has a different theme that assists in your Christian growth.  Some of my favorites include priorities, witnessing and ministry, debt and money management, family and home, accountability, humility, mentoring and leadership, spiritual disciplines, tithing and giving, contentment and peace, and forgiveness and salvation.  The daily scriptures, words of wisdom, and discipleship suggestions all work together with the weekly theme.

planner3

Other remarkable features include:

  • Daily Bible readings that allow for the Bible to be read in one year
  • Seven Steps of Discipleship bookmark
  • Month-at-a-Glance pages as well as a Month-in-Review pages
  • A guide to help create a personal mission statement
  • Action steps for achieving financial goals and success
  • A reference guide for accomplishing goals in your life
  • A list of suggestions for Random Acts of Kindness
  • Daily Proclamation page

The mission statement of A Life Well Lived reads, “Our mission at A Life Well Lived is the Great Commission.  We exist to revive the Christian faith and rebuild the broken wall of discipleship by helping as many people as possible grow in their relationship with Christ in such a way that they are inspired to participate with us in Jesus’ final instruction.”  I believe they have done a remarkable job of growing disciples for Christ.  I am so very excited to begin the new year with a daily focus on God’s will for my life and organizing my life’s plans according to God’s will for my life.

You can purchase your own 2014 Day Planner and Prayer Journal combo pack for just $29.95.  Be sure to also follow A Life Well Lived on Facebook and Twitter for future promotions and special offers.

To enter the giveaway for your own A Life Well Lived Day Planner and Prayer Journal, enter HERE.

It Starts at Home Book Review and Giveaway

Standard

Tools_Books_It_Starts_At_HomeChurches worldwide are seeing a decline in the attendance of children who were raised in the church and have made a decision to walk away from their Christian roots.  Bill Hybels is quoted saying, “If the local church is the hope of the world, then we must take seriously the church’s responsibility to call couples, parents, and grandparents to create God-honoring homes.  Only then will we see the tide turn on declining generational faith transference.”

Authors Kurt Burner and Steve Stroope who both serve as ministers at Lake Pointe Church in Rockwall, Texas, have shifted the focus of the church towards helping parents reclaim their duty and responsibility to raise their children in a Godly home where biblical principles are not only taught but also witnessed through daily application.  Together they have written It Starts at Home: A Practical Guide to Nurturing Lifelong Faith, a book that proves the purpose and lasting success of intentionally raising children, families, and marriages where Christ is at the foundation and center of all homes.  Home is where the family lives and breathes; it makes sense that the home should also be the central location for spiritual development and where growth should continually be occurring in all members of the family.

The book presents strategies and goals for intentional couples, parents, grandparents, as well as church leaders.  It’s imperative to recognize that parents and families should not be waiting or expecting the church to teach their children but that faith formation begins at home.  Included in the book are parent report cards and tips and activities to building strong faithful families.  There is also a 120-day challenge for intentional marriages, parenting, and grandparenting that will inspire you to cultivate the faith of the future generations.

Christian home leaders are challenged to restore their homes and step into their God-given role to strengthen their family and become the central point for Christian growth.  It Starts at Home is a must-have for all family libraries.  It’s not a quick one-time read but a lifelong program about being intentional and strengthening the home.  The book is scripturally sound and full of biblical truths and at-home applications and strategies that families can easily apply to their everyday lives.

The Judgmental Christian was blessed with the opportunity to give away one copy of It Starts at Home.  What a blessing to be able to share this inspirational book to one of our faithful readers!  Thank you Lake Pointe Church for this unique opportunity!

Click HERE to learn how you can enter for multiple chances to win a free copy of this book.

This book can be purchased online at the Lake Pointe bookstore.  There is also a coupon online for 20% off any book or Bible.  It Starts at Home was donated to The Judgmental Christian and I was not compensated for my Review or Giveaway. 

Deuteronomy 6:5-9 says, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and
with all your strength. These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts.
Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk
along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Tie them as symbols on your hands
and bind them on your foreheads. Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates.”

Furious Love Review and Giveaway

Standard

Furious-Love-Home-Page-Design

Then the disciples went out and preached everywhere, and the Lord worked
with them and confirmed his word by the signs that accompanied it. -Mark 16:20

While God also bore witness by signs and wonders and various miracles and by gifts
of the Holy Spirit distributed according to his will. -Hebrews 2:4

So they remained for a long time, speaking boldly for the Lord, who bore witness
to the word of his grace, granting signs and wonders to be done by their hands. -Acts 14:3

The amazingly raw and incredible films, Finger of God and Furious Love, both created by Wanderlust Productions, set out to reveal modern day miracles through God’s mighty power.  But more than just miraculous events happen; God’s heart for His people is exposed as well as the war between good and evil.  The films prove the hand of God in everyday action and the amazing love He has for each of His children.

The Furious Love Event Collection is a documentary response to these two films with the sole purpose to inspire churches worldwide to spread the Gospel through the amazing wonders and love of God.  The speakers from the hit films came together in April 2011 with the intent to inspire and charge the church to “love radically, love excessively, and, above all, go and be the hands of God.”

The inspirational speakers include:
Heidi Baker
Rolland Baker
Shampa (Shanti) Rice
Robby Dawkins
Philip Mantofa
Angela Greenig
Mattheus van der Steen
Greg Boyd
Will Hart

Who doesn’t want to be inspired by God?  And who doesn’t want to be the hands and feet of Jesus Christ?  Within just minutes of hearing their testimonies, you too will be completely inspired to set out within your own community and travel throughout the world to preach the good news of Jesus Christ.  Your heart will be forever changed and empowered to prove God’s love for all of humanity time and time again.  Your mind will be transformed as you take a deeper look into the realms of good and evil.  Your mission for Christ will become so stimulated that you will ache to spread the word of God immediately!

You can order each individual event separately or you can order the complete 11 box set online for just $114.89.  Other products from Wanderlust Productions include the original films Finger of God, Furious Love, and the most recent Father of Lights.  Additional products include books, music, and video downloads.

The good news….

The Judgmental Christian has been blessed with the opportunity to offer this COMPLETE 11 box Furious Love Event Collection to one of our readers for FREE.  What a blessing to be able to share these inspirational and spiritual films to one of our readers!  Thank you Wanderlust Productions for this unique occasion.

To enter the giveaway, click HERE to learn how you can enter for a chance to have this box set.

Waterproof Bible Review and Giveaway

Standard

I admit, when I first heard about the Waterproof Bible published by Bardin and Marsee Publishing, I was not only intrigued but skeptical as well.  I couldn’t quite grasp the concept of an entire Bible, inside and out, being fully waterproof and not being bulky and awkward to handle.  But the publishing company has succeeded in fashion!  The *new* Waterproof Bible fits perfectly in your hand and holds up to its name as both waterproof and durable!

559191

Now you can take the Word with you everywhere you go and know your Bible will withstand any climate or environment, whether you travel as a missionary, tour in the military, swim all summer, relax outdoors, or unwind in the bathtub.  The pages and binding, both made of synthetic paper, doesn’t crinkle when wet.  And the water just wipes off leaving the pages completely dry.  You can write and highlight in your Bible (a must for me) and it doesn’t bleed through or smudge.  The Bible is definitely sturdy and durable enough for years of travel, just as described.  But then again, that’s why it’s been created, to travel all of God’s creation!

559192

The Bibles are available in English Standard Translation, King James Version, New International Bible, New King James Version, and New Living Translation.  The Bibles are $44.95 and the New Testament Bibles with Psalms and Proverbs are just $24.95.  They come in varying styles and trendy colors as well; any adult, child, and teen will be pleased with their cover options.  Bible accessories also available through the publishing company include waterproof Bible jackets, highlighters, index tabs, and book mark magnifiers.  You may also print or foil stamp your name or logo on the Bible cover or heat burnish your name or logo on a synthetic leather cover.

I definitely recommend this Bible to anyone!  I’m completely impressed with the resilience of the Waterproof Bible and the simple fact that all things that would generally ruin a Bible, simply wipe right off.  It’s definitely worth the investment.

Click HERE to enter for a chance to win your very own Waterproof Bible!

I received this Bible for a review and giveaway on this blog.  I was not compensated for my Review or hosting the giveaway.  These opinions are my honest, personal opinions. 

Nefarious: Merchant of Souls REVIEW

Standard

merchant_of_souls_poster
Nefarious: Merchant of Souls is one of the most horrendously difficult and yet incredibly inspiring movies that documents human trafficking and the sex slave industry.  Benjamin Nolot, director and narrator, lays out his heart and exposes the dark secrets of sexual slavery, which was once thought to be abolished but is quickly becoming an increasing global problem.  It’s estimated the sex trade industry has claimed an estimated 27 million victims around the world.

The heartbreaking and moving film offers a very deep, real and honest look at sex slavery as the film makers follow women, men, children, and families from various parts of the world.  The film reveals the realities of the growing number of orphans in Eastern Europe, the sad family dynamics in Southeast Asia, the legalized prostitution in Amsterdam’s red light districts, the demand and desire for sex and prostitution in Sweden, and the attraction and excitement of sex in Las Vegas, Nevada.  The reality that these women, men and certainly the children are not doing this by choice is made very clear; rather a well-crafted lie by satan is now revealed with the truth.

Several interviews are included in the film for the purpose of education as well as the redemption and love that can only be provided by Christ.  Former pimps, current brothel owners, psychologists, social workers, law officials, and reformed johns and prostitutes all discuss the problem of sex trafficking and their search for an answer to this horrifying crime.  Viewers will see the evils of grooming, kidnapping, selling, and entrapment of victims.  The violence these victims encounter is recreated in the film to give viewers a glimpse into the struggles and psychological abuse as they become slaves to their captors.  You will see women beaten and forced to submission, stripped naked, auctioned to the highest bidder, and sold multiple times night after night for the simple pleasure of a stranger.

The documentary serves as a testimony of these enslaved victims and addresses the global problem of this tragedy.  The answer to the problem is clear… Jesus Christ, who frees these victims from the evils of sexual slavery.  It’s a sad reality when people turn their backs on the Gospel and fall prey to lust of the eyes and flesh and the ripple effect this has on society.  The film shows the problem is much deeper than poverty and that the fingers of evil are entwined throughout every aspect of this unfathomable “business” and this un-chosen way of life.

Produced by Exodus Cry, the film proves the complex issues and horrors of modern-day slavery and will capture your heart and lead you on a mission of hope to end sex trafficking.  With the facts presented in the documentary, we cannot ignore the need for change but must press forward with hard work and a desire for justice.  The film offers hope for these victims being rescued and redeemed from this evil darkness.  There is a lot of work to be done, lives to be saved and ministered to – and it starts with you and me.

Watch the preview of the film below: