Big News for Hobbit Fans!!!

It’s official: “The Hobbit: There and Back Again” has been renamed to “The Hobbit: Battle of the Five Armies”. The fandom is going nuts right now, sides are being chosen. There are those who love the new title, those who hate it, and those who don’t care either way. I am in the camp of those who loves it, though I did have a special place in my heart for the original title. What many people do not realize is that this “new” title, was actually the title they originally had in mind. I think the new title, while hard to get used to, is cool, and will please the purists who were afraid that the Battle of the Five Armies wouldn’t even be in the film.

In other news, my mom and younger brother watched “The Hunger Games” for the first time last night. I was cool with it… But for the fact that my brother has never read the books, which happen to be WAY better. Watching it for a third time with people who haven’t read the books makes me realize even more just how bad the first film was. Half of the stuff would only be understood by people who have read the books, so I spent a great deal of time explaining stuff to my brother. While an book to film movie should be made with the goal of reaching people who HAVE read the books, I feel like “Catching Fire” did a better job of reaching people who have not read the books.

Sorry for not posting in over a week! I went on vacation with my family and had a great time! I even got my picture with the Avengers! Pictures will be coming soon!

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Thought for the Day – Perseverance

Hey everyone! Sorry that I haven’t posted the last couple of days! I have been sick with the stomach bug and felt pretty miserable.

I have been participating in something called Camp NaNoWriMo this past month. It is a more relaxed version of National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) in November, which is basically an event where you try to write a novel in a month. Anyway, it can get rough. There are a lot of times when I just want to give up on whatever I happen to be writing at the time, usually because I have writer’s block, my story just isn’t going well, or I am struggling to connect with a character. Then I remember perseverance. That I should give it my all and do my best. And somehow, it helps me do better than I ever thought I could. This applies to many areas of our everyday lives. We often give up when the going gets tough, forgetting that the reward at the end will make the work worth it. In school, in sports, in friendships, in life, we often forget just how important perseverance is. But the Bible calls us to persevere, to complete the tasks we are given, because we are given those tasks for a reason. Sure, we might not see the big picture, but we can be sure that God does. The Bible also says that we should be faithful in everything, both the little things and the big things. So next time you want to give up on something because it is getting hard, remember that your perseverance will pay off in the end.

“Blessed is the man who perseveres under trial, because when he has stood the test, he will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him.” James 1:12

Movie Review – Captain America: The Winter Soldier

captain-america-2-the-winter-soldier-logo

So last night I finally had the opportunity to see what is being called by some the first real blockbuster of the year. It broke the record for best April box office opening, and is currently the number one movie in the world. Is it worthy of the accolade? My thoughts? DEFINITELY! Worthy of an Oscar in my personal opinion!

Let’s start with the characters. Obviously, Steve Rodgers is back, and this time his character is even better. We explore more about his beliefs, and his dedication to justice and freedom. There is one scene between him and an old, dear friend which absolutely broke my heart, because we see just what his being frozen for 70 years caused. We also see fellow Avenger Natasha Romanov, better known to some as Black Widow. She definitely shines in this film, revealing the depths of her character and making a pretty big sacrifice in order to save a lot of people. I loved how all throughout the movie, she was wearing a necklace with an arrow on it. A gift from Hawkeye? A new character was introduced in this film: Sam Whitaker, better known to some as the Falcon. He will be in the next Avengers film according to reports, so while we didn’t get to know a whole lot about him in this film, we will definitely be seeing more of him again. Sam turned out to be a delightful character, who becomes a great friend to Captain America. We also see the return of several familiar faces, including Nick Fury, Agent Maria Hill, and a couple of old friends from Captain America.

The plot itself gets off to a “running” start (no pun intended for those who have seen the film), and gets us right into the action after briefly introducing us to Sam. After this, it is pretty much nonstop action, from rescuing a ship from pirates, to running from a dangerous assassin known only as the Winter Soldier. Throughout the film, Captain America, Black Widow, and the Falcon, discover dangerous secrets about S.H.I.E.L.D., fight against mysterious forces, and must decide what to do when the very people that are supposed to be protecting them betray them.

The biggest problem I had with this film was the amount of violence. People get hit with fists, shields, falling objects, etc. Bullets fly often, though we rarely see the aftermath, as well as knives once or twice. Several people are electrocuted, and we see several car crashes. Thankfully, it is relatively bloodless, minus some bullet wounds, and one scene in which we see a burned body that looks pretty gross. There is also some language, but thankfully the worst word we hear is sort of covered by a bunch of explosions. We hear the d, h, and one of the b words, the worst, like I said, is the “s” word. Cap and Natasha do share one kiss, but it is not sexual in any way.

Captain America was an incredible movie with a great political thriller twist, that is sure to please longtime Marvel fans and newbies alike. I give it 4 1/2 stars out of five, and recommend it to teens!

Thought for the Day – Facing Temptation

We face temptations every day. Sometimes it is nothing more than the temptation to sneak a piece of that cake when you really shouldn’t. Other times, it is a strong urge to be rude to your parents. And sometimes it is even a temptation to do something really, really wrong. When we are tempted to sin, that is when we must put into practice the verse about the Armor of God. We must arm ourselves in every area of our lives so that we can fight Satan. I can say from experience that Satan will attack you the hardest in the places you least expect to be tempted in. Often, when we are tempted, we beg God to take away the temptation, and when He doesn’t, we give in. But I have learned that first, we must fight it, even if it is hard! I have been tempted do something so hard that I had trouble breathing, but living with a guilt free conscience was well worth the fight. Second, instead of asking God to take away the temptation, I have learned to pray that he would give me the strength to fight it. When I have no more strength, I ask Him to fight it for me. Many times we are told that God will not allow us to be tempted more than we can handle. This is often interpreted as meaning that we don’t need God to help us fight temptations. It does not mean that. It does mean that no one will be tempted so much that God will not provide an escape. And most of the time, God is that escape. He allows us to be tempted to the point where we cannot handle it so that we will turn to him to fight it for us, to fight through us. So next time you are tempted, pray that God would be your strength, and would give you a way out.

“No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it.” 1 Corinthians 10:13

In Memory of Shadowfax, Lord of all Horses

 

Today is a sad day in the Lord of the Rings fandom, and we learned that Blanco, the horse best known around the world as Shadowfax in LOTR, was put down due to serious health issues. I will never forget watching the movie for the first time, and seeing the glowing white horse cresting the hill, or watching as he raced across fields and forests bearing Gandalf. If it weren’t for Shadowfax, Gandalf and Pippin may not have reached Gondor in time. If it weren’t for Shadowfax, Gandalf may not have reached the Rohirrim in time to save the people of Rohan at Helms Deep. We owe a lot to Shadowfax.

This is a link, describing the circumstances of his passing, and giving a link to a fundraiser, where they are collecting funds to pay for the extensive care he received before he died.

We will always remember him as Shadowfax, and he will always be Lord of all Horses, running in a far green country, free and glowing white and beautiful! Rest in peace.

Thought for the Day – Faithful in Everything

I know that I struggle with being faithful in everything, especially the little things. I struggle to find the motivation to do math and science, and to do the chores that I really hate. We are often more willing to do the big things, because they get more notice, while the little, menial tasks often go unnoticed and unrewarded. But we must remember that we should not look for rewards or applause from humans, because we should seek God’s approval first. We often look at a task with the thought: “What will I get out of it?” When our thoughts should be: “How can I glorify God and edify others through it.” We must learn to be faithful in everything, even in the things that seem unimportant. You never know what doing that little task might do for another person. It could brighten someone’s day, help someone in need, or even teach you something. So remember to be faithful in everything today.

“He who is faithful in a very little thing is faithful also in much; and who who is unrighteous in a very little thingĀ  is unrighteous also in much.” Luke 16:10

Thought for The Day – Learning to be Joyful, not Happy

So I thought I would start doing daily thoughts, little snippets of what I hope are inspiration for y’all!

Today’s thought is on being joyful instead of happy. I know that sounds a bit contradictory, but roll with me here, because there is a difference between the two. Happiness is a feeling, something that often comes and goes as we hit life’s ups and downs. Happiness is actually kind of fleeting. That’s where joy comes in. True joy comes from a heart that is living in the light of Christ, and, unlike happiness, joy does not come and go. Joy does not mean that we will be dancing and smiling every second of our lives, but it does mean having hope, and gladness, even when times get rough. We will still have our tough days, but joy is what helps us to get through them with strength. Joy is something that only comes from Christ, and is evidence of someone who is at peace with God, the world, and themselves. Will you have joy in your heart today? Or are you focusing on what makes you happy for the moment?

“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in Him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” Romans 15:13

Movie Review – God’s Not Dead

Gods-not-dead This evening my sister and I went to see the film God’s Not Dead, which has been highly praised by Christians for being an excellent film that is well worth the drive many people are making to see it. My sister and I personally drove about 40 minutes to get to the nearest town to see the film, and got lost twice, which made the total over an hour. And it was well worth the drive.

The synopsis of the film is as follows: Present-day college freshman and devout Christian, Josh Wheaton, finds his faith challenged on his first day of Philosophy class by the dogmatic and argumentative Professor Radisson. Radisson begins class by informing students that they will need to disavow, in writing, the existence of God on that first day, or face a failing grade. As other students in the class begin scribbling the words “God Is Dead” on pieces of paper as instructed, Josh find himself at a crossroads, having to choose between his faith and his future. Josh offers a nervous refusal, provoking an irate reaction from his smug professor. Radisson assigns him a daunting task: if Josh will not admit that “God Is Dead,” he must prove God’s existence by presenting well-researched, intellectual arguments and evidence over the course of the semester, and engage Radisson in a head-to-head debate in front of the class. If Josh fails to convince his classmates of God’s existence, he will fail the course and hinder his lofty academic goals. With almost no one in his corner, Josh wonders if he can really fight for what he believes. Can he actually prove the existence of God?

The film was certainly well made and well researched, with Josh presenting reasonable, scientifically based arguments for the existence of God, confirming once more that science actually proves the existence of God in more ways than not. Josh’s bold stand for Christ, along with several other characters, was truly inspiring. Several other characters must make a choice, including Prof. Radisson’s girlfriend, who is a Christian. Others include a Chinese student whose very culture is opposed to Christianity, and a young Muslim woman, in whose culture you can be cast out for following Christ. At some point in the film, each of these characters must make a choice. Will they follow Christ? Or take the easy path and follow the world?

The movie was also well acted, with Shane Harper portraying well a student who must choose between his beliefs and the world. Radisson was brilliantly done by Kevin Sorbo, whose own story was remarkable in the light of the film. To be honest, there isn’t much more I can say without spoiling it. Though I can say that I NEVER expected the ending. I cried, and was truly inspired by the film. There was nothing inappropriate in the film, the only things of concern are: 1. A scene showing a person being hit by a car and 2. A lot of the debate will go over the heads of younger viewers.

God’s Not Dead was an amazing film that I highly recommend to anyone looking for a good film to see this weekend, but be aware that not all theaters are showing it. Go to the movie website to find out if a theater near you is showing! I give this film 5 out of 5 stars!

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