Nurturing Strong & Courageous Sons and Daughters

by Sally Matheny

Strong and Courageous
Photo by pixaby.com
Too often, we hear heartbreaking stories of youth, raised in Christian homes, choosing to walk away from the truth of Jesus Christ.

It’s frightening.

As Christian parents, we find it difficult to contemplate the possibility of our children living, and dying, without the hope, the peace, and the eternal joy that comes only through Christ.

What can parents do when the Enemy silently creeps into our children’s lives and captivates their attention with lies and deception? How can we help them?


“365 Devotions for Peace” Book Review, Author Interview, & a Giveaway!

by Sally Matheny
365 Devotions for Peace
by Cheri Cowell

As soon as I saw Cheri Cowell’s name on the cover of 365 Devotions for Peace, I selected it for my reading. I had never read Cheri’s writing before, but I heard her speak at a Write2Ignite Conference one year. Impressed by her speaking, I was eager to read her writing.

Each of the 365 Devotions for Peace is between 150-200 words in length. I found their brevity a nice accompaniment to my daily Bible reading. 

Also, I thought about people battling in the middle of a crisis. Some of life’s torrential storms delay a lengthy basking in God’s Word. This book is perfect for those brief moments of respite.

Each devotion begins with one verse of scripture. Scriptures are taken from various versions of the Holy Bible—NIV, NCV, NASB, NKJV, MSG, and The Voice. 

Following the scripture is a devotion and each ends with a one-to-two-sentence prayer.

Fifteen areas are covered including: Peace with God, Peace at Home, Peace Within, Peace in Times of Trouble, and Peace for the World.

If you know someone who is searching for peace, this book would make a lovely and thoughtful gift. Perhaps you’ll win the copy of Cheri’s book I’m giving away this week!


A Movie Review of Faith Flix Film: Providence

by Sally Matheny

Providence movie releases February 2016

Imagine watching a movie but instead of hearing the dialogue, we must cultivate it ourselves.  Although we all view the same scenes, each of us insert something unique to the story. We create conversations based on our own past experiences and knowledge. A kind grandmother in one scene expresses familiar words of love and wisdom because we’ve heard those words from someone significant in our own lives. Or we have hoped and dreamed of hearing them.

Such is the case in the the Faith Flix Film, Providence, set to release February 12, 2016. Screenplay writer, Sharon Wilharm, and her producer-husband, Fred Wilharm, are known for their award-winning, independent films, such as The Good Book, which I reviewed in March 2015.  Both The Good Book  and Providence stand out from the crowd as they speak volumes about the Christian faith—and without saying any actual words. Both are modern-day, silent movies, except for the music soundtracks.

Providence is a family-friendly movie encompassing a rich story of God’s divine power to bring people together, despite our own shortcomings.

Have you ever had a time of miscommunication, misunderstanding, or mistiming? Disappointments and missed opportunities have a way of pulling us into a melancholic party for one. 

However, the story in Providence shows God is able to pull something wonderful together out of our seemingly fragmented lives.

A failure to communicate can stall your love story.
(Actors Stacey Bradshaw and Josh Allen)
Providence is described as a redemptive romance. After the opening scene of a bride with second thoughts before her wedding, we view a flashback of her past. We see how the relationships she had with her parents, her grandmother, and her friends have affected her life.

When she is a teen, she becomes friends with a boy who secretly holds a key object from her past--a key that, at one time, was dear to her heart.

An entertaining story unfolds sharing the wonders and awkwardness of their high school years. Their friendship grows. But due to communication failures, the relationship they both longed for doesn’t happen. They go their separate ways. For forty years, they each wait for God to send them a soul-mate. 

Later, a tragedy and challenging life events produce second chances for several relationships. Does everyone grab their second chance?

You’ll have to watch the movie, Providence to find out!

I recommend you watch this movie. The acting is excellent and the film is well-crafted. I love the soundtrack. My favorite songs were “Paperdoll” by Jaclyn Brown, “I Will Fight,” by Caleb Allen, and “Walking Stories,” by Jilian Linklater.

This movie reminds me God is a God of love, forgiveness, and thankfully, second chances. But we can’t take those second chances lightly. Every choice we make affects our love stories and our life stories. Our actions and the words we choose to say--or not to say. As in Linklater’s song, “Walking Stories,” she sings, “We’re all walking stories—what’s yours going to say?”

Rachel (Juli Tapken) and Mitchell (Rich Swingle) have their
first date forty years after first meeting.

Check out more information, view movie clips, and hear songs from the soundtrack at:

www.providencemovie.com and on the Providence Movie’s facebook page.

I received a copy of this movie free from the producers. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255


A Knot in Time: When Life Isn't Going the Way You Expected

by Sally Matheny

When Life Isn't Going the Way You Expected
Are you discouraged because you thought things would be different by now? While many people reflect on their accomplishments of the past year, we also may focus on our unmet goals. How do we avoid disheartenment when life events didn’t go the way we expected?

Perhaps we thought we’d be farther along in our work. Or we wonder why we can’t go back to the way things used to be. We expected barriers in relationships lowered, and our incomes increased. Our physical health, emotional condition, or social status are not anywhere near the levels of what we had hoped. Like the 1970’s singers in the cornfield on The Hee Haw Show we sing, “Gloom, despair, and agony on me…oh!”