To Joey, With Love [Movie Review]

To Joey With Love

To Joey, With Love is a touching tribute to a woman who impacted many lives through sharing her gifts and being true to herself.

Country music duo Joey and Rory Feek were at the top of their game—critical acclaim, awards, TV exposure, commercial endorsements, European tours, and hundreds of thousands of albums sold around the world…what could be better? How about a baby! This is where we join the happy couple. Just in time for them to take a year off their music careers to focus on what really mattered. Oh yeah, and they filmed it.

I’ve seen a lot of documentaries but none quite like this. It stays true to the synopsis—intimate home movies spanning a two-year period beginning with a beautiful baby, ending with a tragic death, and weaving an unwavering faith in God through it all. It didn’t have the cliffhangers we’re accustomed to these days but it held a quality I couldn’t ignore: authenticity. I was captivated.

Though this isn’t the path that we would’ve chosen to walk down, it is the path that’s been laid before us. So we put our faith in God and our hope in a future we can’t see. We believe that God will give us a great story.

Through the one-and-a-half-hours we’re invited to observe this piece of their story. The highs, the lows, the mundane, and the incredible. It was an honour to be invited.

Pre-orders of To Joey, With Love on DVD and on-demand are available now and digital HD will be available December 9.

To Joey, With Love Synopsis

Husband-and-wife singing duo Joey+Rory wanted more to life…so they chose less. In preparation for the birth of their child, the couple simplified their lives by putting their music career aside and staying at home, planting roots deep in the soil of their small farm, and the community they loved.

They believed God would give them a great story…and He did.

Experience the incredible true story of Joey and Rory Feek in the poignant new film TO JOEY, WITH LOVE. Intimately filmed by the couple over two and a half years, the movie documents the stirring journey of the 2010 Academy of Country Music Top New Vocal Duo.

TO JOEY, WITH LOVE takes moviegoers from the birth of their daughter Indiana, born with Down Syndrome, through Joey’s struggle with and ultimate surrender to cancer—all amidst their never-ending hope in something far greater. God gave Joey+Rory a love story for the ages, one that is sure to inspire hope and faith in all who experience it.

Searching the Scriptures [book review]

Searching the Scriptures by Charles R. Swindoll

Searching the Scriptures quote

Released mid-September 2016, the buzz surrounding Searching the Scriptures intensified as the publish date crept closer. As an employee of Insight for Living Ministries (the Bible-teaching ministry of Charles R. Swindoll) I stalked my email in hopes of an advance preview of the book, which I heard was a game changer.

But alas. All was quiet.

Because, you see, the book-end and the broadcast-end of Charles R. Swindoll are quite separate. But Tyndale was releasing review copies of the book so as soon as I got my chance I lept. And I was not disappointed.

Searching the Scriptures is unlike any book I’ve read. I’d boil it down to Chuck’s personal Bible-study method, which he has broken out into four easy-to-remember steps.

  • Observation
  • Interpretation
  • Correlation
  • Application

Chuck describes Searching the Scriptures as the culmination of 60-plus years of cultivating a love for an pursuing an understanding of the Bible.

Broken into 10 sections and themed after cooking and serving a meal, Chuck takes the reader on a journey towards understanding—beginning, well, at the beginning. He overviews the entire Bible, then builds an argument for careful study of the Bible.

At the end of each chapter is a “your turn in the kitchen” challenge, and as the chapters build (from choosing the recipe to adding the spices), the reader is asked more and more to become an active participant in the book.

I love this book and the approach Chuck used to teach us how to study the Bible. We should not be satisfied letting others tell us what the truth is, we should seek it for ourselves by careful reasoning, study, applying wisdom, and knowing Scripture.

This book is more of a manual than a one-and-done read. I can see myself using it in group Bible study, personal devotions, and for those times I feel stuck and need a push in the right direction.

I’m grateful for this work and believe it more than met my expectations. For me, this book is a game changer.

“When the movie The Exorcist was released, all kinds of weird information began to circulate about Satan and demons. People were afraid there were demons lurking in every corner after watching the film. I decided to learn about the topic firsthand, so I did a thorough study of demons and the devil in Scripture. Do you know what happened after I did that study? I lost all fear of the devil. Knowing what Scripture actually says helped me combat all the confusing comments that were being tossed around about the devil and demons. What saved me from confusion? Correlation.”


Charles R. Swindoll is the founder and senior pastor-teacher of Stonebriar Community Church in Frisco, Texas. But Chuck’s listening audience extends far beyond a local church body, as Insight for Living airs on major Christian radio markets around the world. Chuck’s extensive writing ministry has also served the body of Christ worldwide, and his leadership as president and now chancellor of Dallas Theological Seminary has helped prepare and equip a new generation of men and women for ministry. Chuck and his wife, Cynthia, his partner in life and ministry, have four grown children, 10 grandchildren, and four great-grandchildren.

Tyndale House Publishers provided me with a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.

Voiceless Hits Theatres October 7 [Movie Review]

You know how we live these quiet, normal lives and we have things we believe and then something bad happens and we doubt everything?

Or is that just me?

And you know how we make mistakes but we get through them and we’re better people and then something bad happens and we’re thrown right back into our worst-selves and you realize you’re not over anything?

Again…just me?

voiceless

Voiceless brings us to a rough area of Philadelphia where Jesse and Julia move for Jesse’s new job at a church. At first everything seems normal—they go to work, they do their jobs, they live their lives. But then something happens and we learn perhaps Jesse and Julia aren’t doing as well as we thought.

Near the church is a women’s clinic, which performs abortions. Jesse feels compelled to visit and witnesses a protester outside the building. He watches the crowd yell insults and abuse at the protester and something changes inside Jesse. He visits the clinic more and more and finds himself in confrontations with clinic staff, pregnant teens, and passersby. The church doesn’t approve of Jesse’s apparent political swing. His wife can’t understand what has got into him. Jesse faces opposition on all sides yet continues visiting the clinic.

Through the film you witness the struggle of a man who thought he had dealt with his past but must face it again. You see a man wrestle with his faith, violent tendencies, demons from his past, and unresolved trauma. You see a couple forced to face their issues, buried deep down. Through Voiceless you are taken on a journey where you learn to follow your gut even if it’s dangerous, stand up for what you believe even if no one stands with you, and to tell the truth even when you’re scared.

On the surface this is a faith-based movie with a pro-life slant but I think if you look deeper it is a movie challenging you to confront the things you’d rather avoid, to let yourself feel and hurt, and to be brave no matter what.

This film made me think and I’m glad for it. It was ambitious and tried to accomplish many layers of plot and character development, which left me a bit confused, but overall I appreciated the journey. Voiceless is not a stereotypical faith-based pro-life rah rah experience. It goes deeper, it shows you life happens to everyone (even Christians), and we all have skeletons in our closets.

The sooner we realize we’re just like everyone else, the sooner we can accept others as they are and start helping people.

Voiceless Synopsis

Jesse Dean is a recently discharged soldier who had a rough upbringing, but because of his wife, found God and now is totally devoted to his faith.

He and wife move to Philadelphia so he can take a new job as an outreach leader at an old church whose membership has been declining. As everything is going well and as he starts connecting to the community, he discovers there’s an abortion clinic directly across the street from the church.

He goes to the pastor and to several others in the church and tries to get their help to no avail. One day something tragic and personal happens to him while he’s going about his everyday routine. He comes to the point that he begins to take action himself. He gets involved but the more involved he gets, the more resistance he gets from those in church and community. His wife, who thinks his actions will get him fired or land him in jail, also comes against him.

Finally, it comes down to him having to make a choice: is he going to take the easy way out and back off, which is what everyone wants him to do, or will he face a major confrontation which will require him to put everything on the line…not just his job, but his freedom and marriage as well.

This film encourages people to stand up for what they know is right, particularly as it pertains to taking God’s truths into society to address social issues. It addresses the spirit of retreat as it pertains to engaging the culture that has developed within the Church.

How to Change Your Cabin Air Filter [tutorial]

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #FRAMFresh #CollectiveBias

HOW TO CHANGE YOUR CABIN AIR FILTER TUTORIAL

Let’s get one thing straight right off the bat: I love DIY but I am not a DIY car person. In fact, my current vehicle has only ever visited the dealership for work. I know what it sounds like.

In fact, it’s because I know what it sounds (and looks, and is) like I decided to do the unthinkable: change my own cabin air filter and engine air filter.

The difference between a cabin air filter and an engine air filter is one filters air in your vehicle’s interior and one filters air in your vehicle’s engine. The engine air filter is straightforward so I’ll skip to the cabin air filter change.

How to change your cabin air filter (because if I can do it, I am quite certain you can too)

What you’ll need:

  • Cabin air filter (you’ll have to check the book for your vehicle’s make and model to get the correct sized/shaped filter)
  • Screwdriver
  • Flashlight
  • The guts to remove your glove box

That’s it! Wondering if your vehicle even has a cabin air filter? If it was built after the year 2000 you have an 80 per cent change of having one installed. Again, check the book to be sure. When I purchased my FRAM Fresh Breeze Cabin Air Filter and FRAM Extra Guard Air Filter I checked the book at Canadian Tire for my exact make, model, and year so I knew I was getting the right products.

FRAM CABIN AIR FILTER TUTORIAL

The box instructions say this change can take you 15 minutes but for me it was longer. The filter case is snapped in tight and because you’re up under the glove box there are other thingies in the way. Here, perseverance plus my pink utility tool were the keys. I worked away at the top of the filter until it was far enough out for me to grab it. Except for that, the entire process was a breeze.

I was curious when the last time my cabin air filter was changed so I looked through my past receipts. You know, I don’t think it has ever been changed! I see my engine air filter having two changes (yay!) but nothing for the cabin air filter (boo).

FRAM Engine Air Filter

Changing the engine air filter is straightforward because it’s easy to get to. And bonus, my vehicle’s filter only has a lid to snap off, no finicky screws or tight jammed-up spaces. I expected a bit more trouble here but it took less than five minutes once I got started.

The most time consuming part? Figuring out how the heck to open my hood and find the thingy to make it stay up.

Here’s a few reasons why you should think about changing your air filter.

  • Air filters act as your vehicle’s first line of defense
  • Air filters block dust, allergens, and dirt
  • Dirty air filters restrict airflow, which can affect your vehicle’s overall performance

This was an awesome challenge and I pass the torch to you. Need inspiration? See other #FRAMFresh stories and find additional tips for changing your cabin air filter.

Need Eggs? The Little Hen Homestead Delivers!

the little hen homestead

In August I’m thrilled to publish an article in Modern Agriculture featuring a local egg farmer called The Little Hen Homestead.

I don’t remember when but I found this little business on Instagram and was intrigued.

The Little Hen Homestead was started about a year ago, by a little girl who had a vision. She wanted to start her own farm of raising chickens from wee babies and nurturing and watching them grow. Now, she sells the eggs from her beloved birds to people in the Lower Mainland. She is passionate about building relationships with her customers. She believes that while the egg starts with a hen, it goes a long way, feeding families, and developing the local community. Her business is centred around Jesus: glorifying him and sharing the love of Christ through a dozen of eggs 🙂 (source)

When I see a neat story I file it away in my notebook for such a time when I need an article to pitch. So when it was time for a local agriculture with a modern spin…this was the obvious choice.

In my opinion the story is great—it has everything. A young girl with an entrepreneurial spirit, an egg-delivery service…by bike, bird funerals, and the belief she can make a difference one dozen eggs at a time.

She makes me believe I can do it too.

The Little Hen Homestead makes me think I can sell eggs.

Unfortunately, my place came with remnants of an old barn and chicken coop, so it’s easy to picture. The good news is the coop is more like remnants of a once-thriving hen home. Now, it’s a jungle of weeds and blackberries and the place where nettles seem happiest.

But—no problem! Because I’m inspired!

Nettles

Right?

My intrepid niece and nephew showed up one Saturday prepared to battle the weeds. I followed suit and we spent the day clearing the coop.

It looked so nice. For a few weeks. And then time passed. And the nettles came back.

Do chickens eat nettles? Blackberries? How about alders…

Perhaps I’ll stick to writing about chickens.

Check out the article online or sign up for your free print subscription of Modern Agriculture