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More Favorite Resources

thumbnails of Christian biography videos

Screengrab from my Amazon Prime Video account page

Although I knew that my Amazon Prime membership came with more than just the two-day shipping perk, I haven’t really explored the benefits. I totally ignored the video section as I rarely watch movies anymore. Too many times I abandon a flick before I finish watching because of the coarse language, blasphemy, and sexually explicit images.

I can’t remember if it was a tweet, blog article, or podcast, but someone mentioned the Torchlighters series on Amazon Prime that included Christian content. I had a look through my Amazon account and found this description of  The Torchlighters – Heroes of the Faith programs:

The Torchlighters is a series of animated programs with strong values and educational content for youth ages 8-12. Each 30-minute episode presents the story of a true-life hero from Christian history. Kids will be challenged to shine the light of Jesus while learning about the history of our faith.

I watched an episode about John Bunyan and enjoyed it. I’ll be recommending this series to parents.

image from description of the video John Bunyan The People's Pilgrim

John Bunyan The People’s Pilgrim

After watching, I had several more recommended videos presented to me. I was pleasantly surprised to find many choices of documentaries and dramatized accounts of Christians from the past. I have enjoyed biographies of John Bunyan, Charles Spurgeon, as well as a dramatized account of the life of John Wycliff.

If you are disappointed with the offerings at your local theatre, stay at home and browse through the selections on Amazon Prime Video. (If you don’t subscribe to Amazon Prime, these videos are available to rent or purchase.)

If you don’t want to use Amazon, you can try two other sources for Christian films. The two websites I’ve used are Pureflix (pureflix.com) and ChristianCinema (christiancinema.com/digital).

I haven’t found a ton of offerings that I’d recommend. So many “Christian” films are just syrupy moral tales, but these sites offer more wholesome choices than your neighborhood movie house. Pureflix is a subscription site with a current monthly price of $10.99, discounted if you purchase an annual plan. Christian Cinema has no subscription. You purchase or rent as you see fit. If you didn’t see Gosnell in the theatre, you can rent in digital format for $4.99 currently on Christian Cinema or purchase (also digital format) for $9.99.

 

My favorite Christian fiction movie by far is The Secrets of Johnathan Sperry. I love to recommend this to church groups and families with youngsters! The Gospel is spoken, hell is mentioned, and folks are urged to evangelize. It’s touching, funny, and clean. Rent or buy, you won’t regret it! I’m not even going to give a synopsis, just watch it!

The Secrets of Johnathan Sperry movie

The Secrets of Johnathan Sperry. Highly recommended!


I had planned to make a list of suggested Twitter followers; however, I’m wondering how much time should be spent on social media. My time is often eaten up mindlessly scrolling through Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and then I don’t often leave more encouraged or enlightened.  I’ll leave off the social media recommendations for now.


What about you? What are your favorite Christian films? Any Christian entertainment resources that you recommend?

Thanks for reading!

 

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Favorite Christian Resources

woman writing on notebook paper near a laptop computer

Photo by J. Kelly Brito on Unsplash

The resource page of this site mentions some books, podcasts, and study tools, but I thought I’d put some of my favorite Bible study tools and apps here in a post as well.

Some websites and recently found Christian entertainment sources aren’t noted in the resources section yet.

(The list of favorites will stretch over two or three posts. I won’t get them all in today).

Favorite podcast: Wretched Radio

I have found a few good Christian podcasts, but by far my favorite is still Wretched with Todd Friel. The podcasts are freely available and available to listen on the web or with a variety of different podcast apps. The main website for Wretched is Wretched.org where you can also watch Wretched TV episodes.

Also, Wretched can be found on radio at these stations and on satellite radio systems.

Favorite podcast app: Podcast Republic

Not a “Christian” resource, but for years, I have used the free podcast app Podcast Republic. It is available on Android and is ad supported. The ads are not intrusive but if you want to remove ads, you can do so for a very small fee. It has all the features I need, like sorting podcasts into played and unplayed and which ones are downloaded (for when I think I may hit an area with a spotty internet connection). It’s easy to forward or rewind a few seconds within a podcast and has a sharing feature as well. I include the link to Podcast Republic here, opened to the page where you can listen to the Wretched Radio podcast.

Favorite Bible Study tool/app: Blue Letter Bible

Blue Letter Bible is available on the web at BLB.org and in an app that is available on both iOS and Android platforms. You can read the Bible in various English translations, use the Interlinear tool to find the original Hebrew and Greek words, access text and audio commentaries on almost every verse of the Bible, make notes, highlight passages, read devotionals, and more. I have not made use of all the tools available at BLB and am still learning about what is available there. Check it out! You won’t be disappointed.

Favorite Sermon and Commentary websites:

(There are too many websites that I use for me to narrow it down to just one website. Also, please be diligent to study your Bible prayerfully, no matter which site you use. I don’t agree with all the teaching found on these sites. These ministries are good, solid resources but are put together by fallible men. Let the Bible be your final authority on all matters! Pray for discernment and wisdom always).

  • Grace To You – the Bible teaching ministry of John MacArthur and others at Grace to You are available here. There is a huge collection of sermons and blog articles along with the ability to search on a wide variety of topics for Christian living.
  • Got Questions – easily search on thousands of subjects and get answers from the Bible.
  • Answers in Genesis – So many good articles about the Bible and Christianity are here with, as the name suggests, an emphasis on the book of Genesis. I subscribe to the ministry’s Answers Magazine which is available in print, online, or audio formats. Each issue comes every two months with an insert especially for kids. From the AIG about page:

Answers in Genesis is an apologetics (i.e., Christianity-defending) ministry, dedicated to enabling Christians to defend their faith and to proclaim the gospel of Jesus Christ effectively. We focus particularly on providing answers to questions surrounding the book of Genesis, as it is the most-attacked book of the Bible. We also desire to train others to develop a biblical worldview, and seek to expose the bankruptcy of evolutionary ideas, and its bedfellow, a “millions of years old” earth (and even older universe).

  • Living Waters – Get equipped to share your faith and purchase some of the best Gospel tracts around. The free evangelical videos produced by the ministry (see Fully Free Films) are outstanding!
  • Religious Affections Ministries – This website is the one I read the most lately. Have you ever been disappointed with the music that is described as “worship music” these days? Have you ever wondered why music can be such a divisive factor in churches? Do you feel you could benefit from learning what the Bible has to say about worship, emotions, music, and proper affections? If so, browse this website. And, if not, but you call yourself a Christian, browse this website. A good place to start is with the articles that are categorized as Essential Resources.

I was about to add a list of some of my favorite Twitter accounts to follow, but instead I’ll leave that for another post along with the Christian entertainment source I found.

Please share your favorite Bible study tools, websites, apps, and other resources with me by commenting on this post. Thank you!

 

 

Irregularities

I began this blog not long after becoming a Christian. As a new Christian, some of the earliest posts display my immaturity. (Maybe some recent ones, too!) A while back I deleted some of those posts as I was cringing upon rereading them. I started to do the same with my social media postings.

Now, however, I’ve decided to leave things as they are. I am in a process of sanctification and it’s been good to read some immature posts to remind myself of how far the Lord has brought has me and how He is being faithful to change me (Phil 1:6).

So, if you read any of the older posts or find me on social media and have issue with anything you read, please keep my ongoing sanctification in mind. If ANY posts contains what you think is a doctrinal error, please contact me! Doctrines such as the divinity of Jesus Christ and His being the only Savior are not up for debate, but as a Christian I’m called to maintain a teachable spirit, so I’m open for correction, dear saints.

My postings have been irregular too, and I am hoping to change that pattern and post at least once a week.

Blessings to you,
Patricia Grace

 
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Posted by on July 17, 2019 in Uncategorized

 

God’s Good Intention for Women

Listen to popular culture long enough and you will hear, more than once, the idea that Christianity is bad for women. Either that or you’ll find someone professing Christ but denying Biblical Christianity because of unpopular verses (ex. 1 Tim 2:12) and distorting the commands of Christ.

No matter what the world will tell you, the Bible is clear about the lengths that God has gone to in order to protect, honor, and show love to women.

The first person who sinned was a woman and part of the curse of her sin was regarding childbearing (Gen 3:6,16). Eve was told that she would now give birth to children in pain. Yet, in bringing salvation to the world, the Lord chose a humble young woman named Mary to give birth to the Savior. Childbirth was cursed, and yet God uses childbirth in His plan of salvation of mankind. And a star player in this plan was a Jewish girl.

As a woman poured a very expensive perfumed ointment onto Jesus (“…to prepare me for burial” Matt 26:12b), the disciples complained that the act was a waste. Jesus defended the woman stating that her actions would be remembered all over the world where the Gospel was preached.

Later we see his closest disciples abandoning Jesus as He was taken into custody before His crucifixion. Yet we are told “many women” were at the crucifixion “looking on from a distance, who had followed Jesus from Galilee, ministering to Him…” (Matt 27:55-56) and two are named: Mary Magdalene and Mary the mother of James and Joseph.

On the first day of week after Jesus was crucified, the two Marys are once again featured as they are the first to be tasked with sharing the good news of Christ’s resurrection, first by an angel, then by Christ Himself (Matt 28:1-10).

There’s certainly more Scriptural evidence of God’s care for women, but the example of God using childbirth is most precious to me. In the Gospel writers’ accounts, we see God using the very thing that was cursed in a woman’s life to bring eternal life to her and redemption to all who would ever repent and believe the gospel of Jesus the Christ.

Jesus is truly a Redeemer, reconciling us with God the Father who promises to be with His children always (Deut 31:6, Heb 13:5).

 
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Posted by on January 1, 2019 in Uncategorized

 

What I *Won’t* Do in the New Year

2019 and Happy New Year displayed in glitter with a sparkly white background
From Covi on Pixabay https://pixabay.com/photo-3848864/

It’s the time for New Year’s Resolutions, which usually includes something you want to DO in the New Year. For now, I’ve formulated a list of actions that I want to keep from doing instead.


Chasing Sleep

Although sleeping too much is definitely something that I want to avoid, that’s not exactly what I mean here. Whenever I can’t sleep (a situation that occurs more often lately), I tend to just lie in bed for hours praying for sleep.

This habit isn’t helping me to rest and I’ve decided to just get out of bed when it happens. I keep fearing that if I get up and do something else then I won’t feel rested; however, lying in bed for hours mentally chasing sleep hasn’t helped me a bit!

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I’ve read that evangelist Ray Comfort has spent hours in prayer when he can’t sleep. And one of my favorite Bible teachers Paul Washer has reminded us that while Jesus was God in the flesh, He still sacrificed sleep and relied on His Father in prayer. (Luke 5:16, 6:12) We are made to need sleep, but we can sacrifice some bodily rest to receive spiritual rest and refreshing.

(If insomnia is a problem for you, you may want to read Ray’s book Overcoming Insomnia*. And for more on Paul Washer and prayer, check out his sermon on the I’ll Be Honest YouTube channel).

Failing to Submit

This resolution is not simply a good idea, a goal, or part of a life enhancement plan. Being submissive is a command of the Lord to all of His children, and I’m referring particularly to the command to wives to submit to their husbands.


…submitting to one another out of reverence for Christ.

Ephesians 5:21 ESV

Immediately after writing the heading for this section, my resolve was tested. I enjoy my solitude, especially when writing, and my husband frequently interrupts with questions. Obeying the Lord’s command to serve my husband trumps my desire for quiet work, however, and this resolution is going to be the most difficult to fulfill. The Lord is worthy of my obedience and my husband, as a brother in Christ and fellow image bearer is worthy of my respect.

Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord.

Ephesians 5:22 ESV

We’re enjoying some new devices we received for Christmas, and he often has a million questions for me since I’m much further along in technology knowledge than he is. Instead of being grateful for these wonderful inventions, I am tempted to succumb to aggravation and an ungenerous spirit. Failing to submit is definitely something that needs to go.

Lack of discipline

My life is blessedly full. I have several self-paced online computer courses which I’ve undertaken, an active church membership, family obligations and events, along with a love of Bible study. The problem is that I float along from one task to another, often leaving projects unfinished. It’s well past time to do something about the lack of disciplined time management in my life.

With all the aforementioned technology tools, I have zero excuse. There are apps for time management, reminders, and event scheduling. And, whether or not I make use of technology to help, I have the gift of the Holy Spirit Who is a promised counselor and guide.


My first step after closing this article will be to take some time to actually schedule my day tomorrow, instead of lazily drifting into the stream of obligations with no plan or goal. With God’s help, I’ll be leaving a few sinful, bad habits in the past and greeting the New Year rested, submissive, and fruitful!

*Links to Amazon are affiliate links – I earn credits when folks purchase products using these links 🙂

 
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Posted by on December 27, 2018 in Uncategorized

 

Do not fret

After all the temptation to fret, once again, the Lord provided for all our needs.

In regards to my last post, my husband remembered another friend who used to attend our church who is an electrician. We found his office number and my husband had a nice conversation with the man. He is still attending church and came out to assess the situation the same day.

He needed to bury a new wire and told my husband that if he could dig a trench out, he could come back and hook up the new wire. Well, this accomplished two good things. One) It saved us money on having someone else do the digging and Two) we have old rotten deck boards that needed to be taken out anyway. So, my husband has gotten rid of those rotten boards in the process of getting our electrical repair sorted out. Blessings!

As of last week, the electrical issue with the sump pump is fixed. The yard is a mess and we need to put sod or new decking where all the digging was done, but the fearful fretting is over.

In the middle of all of this, before my husband had finished the trench and before the electrical work was done, our BSF (see https://www.bsfinternational.org/  for more information) study handout had this important reminder that jumped off the page at me:

Often, God uses times of waiting to teach His children that His presence is more precious than any answer or desired outcome.

BSF notes Lesson 11 People of the Promised Land

I thought, “Am I valuing God’s presence more than getting these home repairs done?” Maybe for the first time ever, I could honestly answer “Yes!” I want things to work properly, I want my husband to figure things out, I want folks to respond as they should, etc, etc, but my relationship to God is supremely important. More important than all of those other (good) desires.

I finally understood what people are talking about when they describe peace and happiness with the LORD even when their circumstances are less than ideal.

There are still little things that need done around the house. I wish all of them were completed and that the bank account could support hiring repairmen to complete them all. But, my emotional and spiritual health need not be wrecked by unfulfilled wishes. I can have a solid, settled peace whether or not these are done, all because my eternal soul is safe and I have a great future with the Savior of the world.

My newfound peace was tested again a couple of days ago, when I found that our homeowner’s insurance had quietly billed our mortgage company again, after more than doubling our premium. We’d received an email regarding a change in rating, but nothing else alerting us to a rate change. Again, the temptation to fret and carry a sinking feeling around with me threatened to rock my peace. But instead of giving in to fretting, I prayed and remembered the promises of God to sustain me and care for me.

In less than two days, after a quick quote from our auto policy provider that also offers homeowners insurance, I got a better policy with similar coverage. I’m hoping my mortgage escrow account can be readjusted soon as the former homeowner insurance double billing was now requiring over $200 more each month for our mortgage payments, starting next February. But, guess who’s not fretting as she waits for the mortgage company to sort all that out? Haha, you’re right if you guessed it’s me– THIS GIRL!

 
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Posted by on December 20, 2018 in Uncategorized

 

Trials and Testings

The latest trial involves a needed home repair.

A few days ago, I noticed a puddle in the yard near the septic tank. Oh no. A sinking feeling in my stomach began. My husband didn’t really know what to do. I don’t know about septic systems (or electricity or plumbing, etc) and I had expected him to know more. That was most discouraging to me, that he didn’t more about what to do.

However, instead of doing my usual routine (fretting and doing internet searches on the problem and getting more and more upset when I can’t find solutions) I knelt and prayed.

image of an open bible with bookmark
Photo by Wendy van Zyl on Pexels.com

As it turned out, the breaker to the pump had tripped. After resetting, all was well. It just came to my mind to check the breaker panel. I shared with my BSF Bible study on how I was learning not to fret so much, and how God had taken care of the situation. I had stopped to pray when I noticed the puddle, and tried hard not to let impatience and fear rise in my voice when trying to figure out what to do. I refrained from trying to take matters into my own hands (completing frustrating internet searches, emailing DIY forums or contractors in a frenzy) and lean on the Lord.

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I felt as though as I had taken a step forward in sanctification until yesterday. I was running the dish washer, and thought I would check the breaker panel again, just to make sure the pump switch hadn’t tripped again. (When I discovered the tripped breaker last time, I had been running both the dishwasher and the washing machine. We reasoned that maybe it was too much stress on the circuit. I am not sure now if that even makes sense — shows how little we know about circuits and electricity). Well, it was tripped again.

After resetting, my husband said he would get a replacement part for the breaker panel. But, before he could do that, I checked the panel again today, and noticed the breaker had tripped again! I wasn’t running anything either. I reset it but it keeps tripping.

Psalm 37:8 New International Version (NIV)

Refrain from anger and turn from wrath;

do not fret—it leads only to evil.

So, the issue is not resolved and I am struggling not to fall into despair.

My husband didn’t do anything about it and wanted to attend a funeral this evening but says he will call his friend who is an electrician tomorrow. We haven’t had much success in the past with his “friends” and family members helping. He has friends or family in HVAC, fencing, electricity, and roofing, yet when we’ve needed help with these issues in the past, none provided help (or if they did help, it didn’t save us any time or money. One didn’t return a call for weeks). So, I’m not relieved yet.

I’m afraid to run water or flush toilets until this is resolved. I’m going through a list of past victories, how the Lord helped with repairs in the past, how He has provided, how I was able to get through trials and find peace again. It’s not helping as it should. I can’t seem to get out of this mud of despair. I feel so weighed down.

My mom suggested calling an uncle who is handy. He wasn’t sure if I needed an electrician or septic tech. When we bought this home, we did get a one year home warranty that covers many systems and appliances. We’ve already used it once for the air conditioning. That was a blessing, though it does cost $75 for each service request.

What is more stressing is that we paid several hundred dollars getting access covers and an alarm installed for the septic system. Well, we’ve discovered the alarm is on the same breaker (not even sure if I’m using these terms correctly) as the pump, so when the breaker tripped for the pump, the alarm doesn’t work! If I hadn’t seen the puddle in the yard, we wouldn’t have known there was a problem until junk backed up into the house!

So, this electrical problem has snowballed into me mulling over past decisions, questioning past actions: This home purchase, paying extra for the alarm and access covers, questioning my marriage too, as my husband doesn’t seem to know how to handle some home repairs. This fretting is frightening, disheartening, unsettling, and extremely discouraging.

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What prompted this post was that I wanted to start documenting how I get through trials to try to bolster my faith and keep me from so much discouragement during trials. I’ll post again on what happens. For tonight, I plan to keep praying, search the Scriptures, and go to bed early. Please help, Lord.

 
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Posted by on November 27, 2018 in Trials