Empires by Hillsong United

I love this album! It has been the perfect uplifting album to sing to or to have playing in the background. To me, Hillsong always seem to be able to produce songs that express worship to God in a deep and intimate way. 😊

It’s not that I can’t worship God without these songs, but they express well what I want to say to God when I worship him. These songs also make great choices for playing on the piano and singing.

I really love how they are slow and contemplative. Some songs run for longer than seven minutes! It doesn’t feel too long at all, though. The music lingers in such a way that I feel happy for it to linger. ❤

Whilst every song is wonderful in a different way, “Touch the Sky” has always been my favourite song of this album, from the moment I heard it. So much so that it’s been one of those songs that has sort of become “my song” to me.

 

 

My rating: 4.5 out of 5

Do you like this album? What is your favourite worship song?

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Christy Miller Collection Volume 3 by Robin Jones Gunn

True Friends 

What is a true friend? Christy Miller knows she has two of them: Todd and Katie. To show how much she appreciates them, she writes to Todd, who’s off surfing in Hawaii, and she agrees to join the ski club with Katie…even though she’s scared of skiing! Fortunately, Christy and Katie can laugh as they bumble their way around the bunny slopes at Lake Tahoe. But Christy finds herself caught between new friends and her loyalty to Katie. Will Christy find a way to be a true friend when it counts most? And will she ever hear from Todd?

Starry Night 

It’s Christmastime, and Christy Miller has so much going on: family time, work, and maybe, just maybe, going to the Rose Bowl Parade with a bunch of friends. If only she could answer Uncle Bob’s tough questions. Todd’s buddy Doug gives her some insight, and she starts to appreciate him in a whole new way. Rick Doyle shows up again…but is he pursuing Christy or the cutest elf at the mall? Through it all, will Christy find someone special to count the stars with?

Seventeen Wishes 

It’s summer, and that means the beach and other adventures. And Christy Miller’s best friend, Katie, is always full of ideas. They’ll be camp counselors! But when Katie can’t go, Christy is bewildered and overwhelmed by her fifth-grade girls, who have boundless energy for anything except what Christy wants them to do. Do they even hear a word she says? Soon they’re playing matchmaker between Christy and Jaeson, a handsome counselor…and he doesn’t seem to mind. When Christy’s seventeenth birthday arrives later in the summer, just what will she be wishing for?

Sourced from Goodreads

 

My review:

I don’t think this volume started out with a bang like the others so far. It took me a while to get invested in the story once again. However, at this point, it’s going to take a lot to get me to stop reading the series. 😛 Whilst this was my least favourite volume so far, I still enjoyed it a lot.

I’m really enjoying reading about Christy as she’s growing and maturing. I think her decisions are starting to bug me less and less as she matures. Mind you, when I was her age, I bet I would have made similar decisions in her place. It’s easy to be frustrated and wonder why on earth Christy would make that decision as a reader, but if it came down to it… 😂

I thought the volume was wrapped off so well and I couldn’t help but smile throughout that final chapter. In fact, that whole story #9 was probably my favourite of this volume.

1) Did this book inspire me?

Yes! The lessons Christy learns I find so relatable. Sometimes I feel like I’ve learned lessons just from Christy’s experiences.

2) Was this book humorous?

Yes! There were several moments where I laughed. I really admired these parts, as a writer. I appreciated the work that must have gone into these moments to make me laugh.

3) Did this book make me cry?

No.

4) Would I reread this book?

Yes.

5) Would I recommend this book to a friend?

Yes.

 

My rating: 4 out of 5

 

How many Christy Miller books have you read? What is your favourite book from volume #3?

Monthly Writing Wrap-Up ~ July 2018

photo source unsplash

 

~ Blog Post Published ~

3 Years ~ July 30

 

~ Novel Progress ~

TBA non-fiction novel ~ 755 words written

New novel ~ Plotting in the works—this may be my NaNo novel for later this year. 😉

 

~ Other Writing ~

Diary Writing ~ 71 pages written

 

~ Writing Goals for August ~

~ Finish copying old digital diary entries into a journal.

 

I haven’t done a whole lot of writing in July, but I get the feeling August is going to be a better month. 😄

 

What are your goals for August? What are you writing at the moment?

 

3 Years

Today I was thinking about what to blog about and then this notification popped up on WordPress.

There’s so many things I could do to celebrate this milestone, but for now I don’t see the need. I just felt like posting something simple. 💛

So I just want to say thank you to everyone following this blog, whether you followed it when it was starting out 3 years ago, or just last week.

Thank you for reading these posts week after week.

Thank you for responding in the comments and for being a supportive and encouraging community.

I appreciate it all very much. Maybe next time I’ll be prepared enough to do something in celebration of my blogiversary. But for now, thank you! 😍💕

Monthly Writing Wrap-Up ~ June 2018

photo source unsplash

 

~ Blog Posts Published ~

The Perils of Publishing (Reblog) ~ June 8

The Greatest Showman Soundtrack ~ June 11

The Awesome Blogger Award ~ June 18

The Hunger Games (The Hunger Games #1) by Suzanne Collins ~ June 25

 

~ Novel Progress ~

TBA non-fiction novel ~ 3,413 words written

 

~ Other Writing ~

Diary Writing ~ 80 pages written

 

~ Writing Goals for July ~

~ Write HEAPS more of my non-fiction novel!

~ Copy old digital diary entries into a journal.

 

What are your goals for July? What have you been writing lately?

I’m Not Ashamed

Columbine High School student Rachel Joy Scott grew up knowing the love of God but wasn’t always ready to receive it. At times her faith is strong, but at other times, she finds that it’s at odds with her daily life. After a difficult breakup with her non-believing boyfriend, Rachel finds inspiration from a formerly homeless teen, and her renewed commitment to Christ plays out powerfully at her high school and around the world. Based on a true story.

Sourced from Google

 

My review:

Being a big fan of the book, “Rachel’s Tears“, I’ve been anticipating this movie before it even was a movie, thinking, “Man, this would make a great movie!”

I don’t think this translated the best to movie. However, the story is so powerful that I still think it was a good movie.

I like the casting of Rachel. I think this actress portrayed Rachel’s emotions and struggles well. I guess reading “Rachel’s Tears”, there is so much good stuff written about Rachel that I found it easy to kind of see Rachel as a “superior Christian” (which doesn’t exist, btw). However, this movie portrayed well how Rachel was just an ordinary teenage girl, underneath it all.

Before I watched this movie, I knew it was going to be a sad one. It is about a school massacre after all. I was really glad, then, that this movie was so much more than the shooting. Over an hour of the movie was spent on Rachel’s life, struggles and the profound impact she had on others. The final 20 minutes was spent on the event. It was especially amazing how it seemed that she was quite ordinary and it wasn’t until she died that you really realise just how much of an impact she made.

It was very sad, but it was also very beautiful. Whilst I don’t think it lives up to the book, it’s still well done and worth a watch.

1) Did this movie inspire me?

Absolutely! It really makes you think about your own life and commitment to God.

2) Was this movie humorous?

Not much.

3) Did this movie make me cry?

Yes. Mostly the end. I had a tissue box on hand and cried for minutes at a time. 😥

4) Would I watch this movie again?

Yes.

5) Would I recommend this movie to a friend?

Yes.

 

My rating: 3.5 out of 5

 

Have you seen this movie or read the book? How has Rachel’s life impacted your life?

The Hunger Games (The Hunger Games #1) by Suzanne Collins

Winning will make you famous.
Losing means certain death.

The nation of Panem, formed from a post-apocalyptic North America, is a country that consists of a wealthy Capitol region surrounded by 12 poorer districts. Early in its history, a rebellion led by a 13th district against the Capitol resulted in its destruction and the creation of an annual televised event known as the Hunger Games. In punishment, and as a reminder of the power and grace of the Capitol, each district must yield one boy and one girl between the ages of 12 and 18 through a lottery system to participate in the games. The ‘tributes’ are chosen during the annual Reaping and are forced to fight to the death, leaving only one survivor to claim victory.

When 16-year-old Katniss’s young sister, Prim, is selected as District 12’s female representative, Katniss volunteers to take her place. She and her male counterpart Peeta, are pitted against bigger, stronger representatives, some of whom have trained for this their whole lives, she sees it as a death sentence. But Katniss has been close to death before. For her, survival is second nature.

Sourced from Goodreads

 

My review:

I missed the hype of “The Hunger Games” when the movies were being released. I was aware of it, but it’s only now that I’ve finally investigated what it’s all about. And I wanted the books to be my starting point, so I am reviewing this from a viewpoint which is currently oblivious to the film representation. 😉

I read this in the space of 12 hours. I went about my day in between, but I was continually drawn back into the story! I am amazed by how vivid and real this world has become to me. I’m almost hesitant to see the movie because it might not be how I visualize it. 😂 Suddenly I’m seeing new places I’ve never seen before, but I easily feel as though I have. It was made real with few words. It was a pleasure to read, and I’m sure it takes a lot of skill to write like that!

The story line is both riveting and ingenious, though a hard topic to touch on. The world that these characters are now living in is so broken, and I think that the brokenness inside its citizens was represented well. Whilst the actual Hunger Games event is pretty touchy, the emotional and mental trauma that comes with it was not overlooked. I thought that the acknowledgement of this pain of injustice made it easier to bear.

The characters are well-rounded. Since the story’s written from Katniss’ point of view, we get to experience these characters the way she sees them which is interesting and entertaining. 😄

Aside from the depth of story and everything, I found it to be extremely exciting, plain and simple. There’s such a feeling of suspense and adventure which kept me hooked.

It would have been a fantastic book had it ended here and the story been fully resolved. However, although the story is partly resolved, there is still much to come, leaving it with quite the cliffhanger. I can’t wait to see if its sequel lives up to this one!

1) Did this book inspire me?

Yes, I think so.

2) Is this book humorous?

A little.

3) Did this book make me cry?

Yes! It’s a pretty emotional story.

4) Would I reread this book?

Yes!

5) Would I recommend this book to a friend?

For sure!

 

My rating: 5 out of 5

 

Have you read this series? If so did you see the movies first or read the books first?