Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Expand Your World: India

Learn about the Orphans of India

New from Word Films, Mother India is the story of runaways and abandoned children surviving in a train station.  Two men set out to document the situation and find themselves overwhelmed by the stories they hear.  Instead of just making a documentary, they enter into the lives of a group of orphans living as a family on the streets and help convince the older children to let the youngest two go to a Christian orphanage.

I watched this film with my daughters, ages 11 through 22.  They were as riveted as I was, concerned about how these children survived.  Parts are very difficult to watch, e.g. references to sexual abuse and drug use, but the film is supposed to educate us.  This was made with sensitivity and would be a good film for a missions program, Sunday School class, or family viewing.

I received a copy of this DVD free from the publisher for my review.

Follow up with an activity that supports orphans in some way.  Here is an excellent book for ideas:

Orphan Justice by Johnny Carr tells ways everyone can help, even those who can't adopt or foster.

Monday, April 15, 2013

Tool for Studying Bible and Poetry

The One Year Book of Psalms is a resource for anyone who wants to study the Psalms.  By dividing this collection of sacred poetry into daily readings and using the New Living Translation, William and Randy Peterson have made these ancient songs more accessible to the modern reader.

As one who grew up with the majestic language of the King James Bible, I was concerned that a really modern translation would make the Psalms less musical, but I was pleasantly surprised.  This is my first time to own anything in the New Living Translation; I can now understand its appeal to modern ears.

A daily devotional and additional features such as quotations from notable Christians and fascinating facts about particular Psalms make this a great addition to your daily Bible reading.

I got my copy of this devotional free with my accumulated points through the Tyndale Rewards program.

Review: Break Away

Break Away from Word films is a nice, clean family movie.  It is set in South Africa, but the problems of corporate downsizing, unemployment, and financial hardship are nearly universal. A father loses his job and offers a bicycle messenger and delivery service to provide for his family.  Along the way, he becomes good enough to try his hand at racing.  The family sticks together and offers encouragement in trying times.

I found parts of the movie a bit slow, but I am more of an action/thriller person.  This would certainly be a good movie for anyone who enjoys competitive cycling or is looking for a family-safe movie to watch together.

To check out this DVD, watch the trailer.

I received a copy of this DVD free from the publisher for my review.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Helping Dogs with Injuries

I want to give a round of applause to Ruff Rollin' wheelchairs for dogs.  They helped a local dog, Chamberlin, who was abandoned and lost the use of two legs due to malnutrition.  Now Chamberlin gets around well and helps raise funds to help other abused animals.

Homeschoolers and others who want to learn about animal care or help in the community should contact their local animal shelter or rescue organization to volunteer.  Families can provide foster homes, collect food donations, walk dogs, help at rabies immunization clinics and much more.  Learning to live a humane life is important for everyone.

Monday, April 8, 2013

Firsthand by Ryan and Josh Shook

Firsthand is a book about growing up and taking responsibility for one’s own faith.  The Shook brothers include quotes from many young people to illustrate how one takes the step from following the faith of a parent to owning a personal faith in Jesus Christ.  Faith that is “secondhand” will not withstand the storms of life, as many young people learn when they leave the safety of home and youth group.

This book is recommended for young adults and those who love them.  Read the first chapter here.

I received a free copy of this book from the publisher, Waterbrook-Multnomah, for my review.