Sunday, February 19, 2012

The Mighty Macs DVD Review and Giveaway

It's 1971. Cathy Rush is a woman ahead of her time ... and she's about to embark on an adventure for the ages. A new era is dawning in the country and in collegiate athletics, where a national champion will be crowned for the first time in women's basketball.

In the lead up to this historical season, major universities are preparing their game plans to win that first title. Meanwhile a tiny all-women's Catholic college in Philadelphia has a more modest goal: find a coach before the season begins. Providentially, Cathy Rush is about to find Immaculata College.

Recently married, Cathy is dealing with the aftermath of a truncated playing career. While cultural norms would have her staying at home, she's willing to do the hard work necessary to help her new team reach their goals—or perhaps she's just trying to achieve her unfulfilled dreams through them.

From the beginning, her challenges are as imposing as the big-school teams Immaculata will face on the court. Cathy learns there is no gymnasium on campus, she receives little support from the school's Mother Superior, and the school is in dire financial straits. To top it off, she may not even have enough players to field a team!

While it appears the Macs don't have a prayer, all hope is not lost. With the help of Sister Sunday—a spunky assistant coach—and the support of a booster club of elderly nuns, Coach Rush creates a new game plan that just might bring the team—and the school—together.

Will this pioneer buck cultural norms and spur her rag-tag team to unexpected heights? Or will her hard-driving ways create a wedge between the coach and everyone around her? One thing's for certain: there's never been anyone like Cathy Rush at Immaculata!

THE MIGHTY MACS is based on the incredible true story of the 1971-72 Immaculata College team that started in obscurity but became the original Cinderella story in women's basketball. This team of pioneers went from barely making that inaugural tournament to the first dynasty in their game. And Cathy Rush, the woman that was ahead of her time, became immortalized when she was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.

THE MIGHTY MACS stars Carla Gugino as Cathy Rush; David Boreanaz as her husband, NBA referee Ed Rush; Marley Shelton as Sister Sunday; and Academy Award and Tony Award winner Ellen Burstyn as Mother St. John. The film was written, directed, and produced by Tim Chambers. The film's executive producers are Pat Croce, the former president of the NBA's Philadelphia 76ers, and Vince Curran, a successful businessman and former basketball star at Penn. Curran and Chambers are founders and partners of Quaker Media.

As a concerned parent, we are always looking for great movies that have a truth about them, a moral message to be gained from simply just heading to the movies for a night of family fun and entertainment, and it's such an honor to share this one with my readers. For those of you that are huge fans of family-feel good movies like Fireproof, Courageous or Seven Days To Utopia, then I know you will want to see this one. This movie is now playing in select theaters near you. I received this opportunity to preview this before it was released compliments of Propeller, Quaker Media and Affirm Films, and can't wait for you all to see it. Hands down another 5 out of 5 stars!

For more information about this movie, click on the links below:

The Mighty Macs

You can also find them on Facebook by clicking here.

Twitter fans can find the Mighty Macs here.

Here's the best part, thanks to the generosity of Propeller, Quaker Media and Affirm Films they are providing a giveaway copy of this DVD to one lucky follower of my blog. Here are your details to enter.

1. Be a follower of my blog, Reviews From The Heart.

2. Like my Facebook page, Reviews From The Heart by clicking here.

3. Leave me a comment on my Facebook page, Reviews From The Heart on the movie giveaway link. You may have to scroll down a few reviews to find it.

4. Be a resident of the US or have a US shipping address. Please No P.O Boxes.

5. Leave me a comment telling me why you'd love to win this DVD on the Reviews From The Heart Blog Post. I have closed comments on this one so you will be entered if you leave a comment on the correct blog. Don't forget to include your email address so I can get in touch with you if you're the lucky winner. You can use the words (at) and (dot) instead of the symbols.

The giveaway will end on February 28th and I will notify the winner via email.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Where is God When I Need Him?

It's been quite awhile since I can honestly say I have been inspired by God to write a post that I felt is something that needed to be told. Funny thing was that this topic was inspired by a conversation I had this morning with my daughter. We were speaking about how people can be so endowed with their God-given faith and then fall up short for some reason.

The conversation was based around spiritual warfare and how some people can wage war against evil and not have come to God before heading to battle, even though they may be called to that purpose. I explained that it is possible to step out and think you're doing God's will because it may be the purpose your life has been designed around but to leave God behind in the process.

Too often I feel that we pray to God for an answer to a prayer we so desperately need to be answered and when it doesn't come, we feel God left us hanging. What we may in fact fail to see is God just simply didn't answer it the way you might have desired, but God never left you hanging.

I think too often as children of faith, we feel a sense of entitlement that because we are God's children, He owes us those answers to prayer we need. What we fail to understand is God knows what we need and what is best for us. I explained it to my daughter this way, as a parent I only want what is best for you and even though I want nothing more than to give you whatever it is you ask for, sometimes it's not what you need. For example, lets say you want another pair of shoes but you really don't need them and even though you may beg and plead for those shoes, I don't give them to you. Not because you don't deserve them, not because I don't love you, not because you are a child of mine, but because I see a bigger need for you to be addressed even though you can't.

So you think I didn't answer your prayer. You think I failed you. You think I don't love you and in fact, you must have done something wrong so maybe I am punishing you. So now you turn the other direction and simply stop asking me for anything.

It's funny when we can view things quite simply from a parent/child perspective and not from a human/God perspective, yet it is the same.

God perhaps didn't answer your prayer because it wasn't what you really needed, in fact perhaps He had something else in mind. Too often our expectations of God are that He will always answer us in the way we expect, but when that doesn't happen, we think God abandoned us. Now we are like spoiled children, turning our backs on God and walking away.

God doesn't owe us explanations or answers for anything He does. We will never have the answers to the question, "Why, God, why?" In some cases I think the answer to that would be beyond our comprehension to understand His reasoning, so we are not told. Yet one day, we will know the answers to all those times we cried out for help and didn't receive it like we wanted. I do know this, God loves us more than we could ever imagine. He never fails us. NEVER!

So when bad things happen, when you cry out to Him and He doesn't answer like you think He should, accept it. He has answered. You can ask for an explanation but it may not come. This is life in a sin-filled world. Choice are made every single day by Christians and non-Christians alike, and sometimes those choices will affect us in life-changing ways, however don't be bitter or angry at God. Ask Him to help you deal with your emotions and feelings.

Instead of running away from Him, run to Him. God will NEVER forsake you. Even if faced with a life and death situation and you cry out for His help and He doesn't answer in the manner you wanted, He still has answered. He has kept you safe, but you may still have to endure the battle and the injuries. Hold on to this scripture when hard times come...

A bruised reed he will not break,
and a smoldering wick he will not snuff out.
In faithfulness he will bring forth justice;
he will not falter or be discouraged
till he establishes justice on earth.

Isaiah 42:3-4

God will bring you through your battles in this world, but whatever you do, do not go into the darkness unarmed and without Him by your side. He may keep you from harm but it's not worth the price.

"Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. " ~ Ephesians 6:10-13

Friday, February 17, 2012

Attending to Self Care

I know if you're like me, we probably don't take care of ourselves half as well as we should. Our "To Do" lists are simply endless and there are simply too many people that need us. If you're anything like me, you put yourself last. No meaning that you are last, but your needs will be addressed after everything else has been completed in the day.

About a two weeks ago, I updated my status on Facebook to reflect I simply wanted to quit. I had had one of those days where I had reached the end of my proverbial rope and realized there wasn't even a knot at the end and it was directly over a crocodile invested cliff. I am exaggerating of course, but even though I was trying to get everything accomplished from school work, yard work, blogs, emails, housework, dinner, errands...I had gotten sick on top of it all. The worst part was it seemed like no one noticed or simply cared. So I snapped, I simply walked up to my room and declared "I quit!" for the day and shut the door.

What happened that day opened my eyes and that of my families quite a bit. I realized that the insane pace I was trying to keep up wasn't reasonable for anyone, yet I was acting like I could do it all. I wasn't asking my family to help and assumed the duties as though everything was fine. Rather than ask for help, I kept it all inside, thinking I was going to be the Proverbs 31 woman all in one day.

Yeah, a bit out of the question.

What I have come to realize is that I needed to adjust my schedule and that of the family members and friends that frequent my home that it is not a self cleaning, self running home and everyone needs to do there part. I am not super woman nor does God expect me to be. I think God got a good laugh at thinking I could keep up with Him. NOT!

So ladies, please do me a favor and start budgeting some time in your schedule for you. Whether you need just an hour to spend some quiet time alone with God reading your Bible and enjoying your favorite beverage, or going and spending time with your close friends, do it! If not, you will come up short every single time. Even Jesus realized the need for some ALONE time, and was often seen just heading up a hill to spend some time in prayer with His Father.

Here are some other things to find time for in your life and begin to start making some adjustments soon!

1. Eating Right. (Eating on the run doesn't count!)
2. Exercise. (Running the vacuum and doing laundry doesn't count)
3. Rest (Waiting until your dead, may just shorten your life span!)
4. Spiritual Self Care (quiet time alone with God, spending time in Church because you want to be there not because you HAVE to be there).

I share more with you in another post on ways we can recharge our batteries!

Thursday, February 16, 2012

A Change in the Weather

It was a beautiful, clear sunny day yesterday up here. Sun was shining, a few passing clouds were passing by in the sky, remnants from the previous days storm on their way out of town, the wind was blowing them eastward and the weatherman's forecast for a rainy day seemed wrong once again.

Nothing can dampen my mood more than when I am anticipating rain and none comes. However by mid morning the clouds really started piling up, turning various shades of gray and blocking the sun from shining any further. The temperatures really dropped along with the wind and I don't think it heated up much past 39. I could tell by the number of times our heater kicked on that the cold was coming back in to our area.

Next thing I know, we had rain falling in a consistent rhythm. The temps continued to drop and the winds continued to howl and before we knew it, my youngest daughter was telling me it was snowing. Yes, if you go to my Facebook page, I captured it on video. Mostly because it was such an unexpected surprise, but because just watching the snow fall in itself is such a beautiful process. The intricate dance of the snowflakes falling from heaven to touch down softly and blending together, some sticking and others melting in the pooling puddles of water that covered our back patio.

God is like that at times, always consistent but loves to surprise and delight us with simple gifts that too often we take for granted, like the delicate dance of one intricately designed snowflake. If you've ever seen one close up, look at the detail in it's construction. Hard to miss that it could be a random act of fate in it's creation or a Master Builder/Planner at work? I chose to acknowledge God as a creator and not some random speck of fluff created with a water molecule that is frozen and due to its weight falls helplessly to the ground.

Can you find sometime today to catch God's gift for you? Can you find time tonight on your rush home to see the sights on your way home, that field of flowers beginning to bloom? That flower springing up in the crack on the sidewalk, the setting suns colors reflected in the beautiful masterpiece that closes the end of your day today? How about the love reflected in the eyes of those that are your family and friends that we often fail to see? I would love to have you share with me, those gifts you captured today because you took the time out to stop and notice them today. Please share them in the comment box below!

God's waiting to surprise you today, are you looking?

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

It's Been Too Long

WOW! Hard to believe that so much time has elapsed since I wrote my last post. What's happening? Has my life grown so busy I simply don't have time, or have I managed somehow to lose sight of what is important?

When I first began my blog, it was to encourage and motivate people who are struggling to find hope in their days when the darkness seems to cast out all light. So where has that person gone? I guess to my defense, I can claim Facebook has become an outlet to post small quick encouragements, or one line proverbs along with a short picture or video designed to inspire. Yet I feel last night I was called to realign myself with my calling.

I feel the times are going to grow darker still in the lives of people we come into contact with every single day. I think people are tired of hearing the "Christian" label because of their personal experience of what they means when they hear it and for that, I am so sorry that people have shared their judgements of your actions or words when they are not in the position to judge you. They don't know what its like to walk in your shoes and for what it's worth, everything you have done, will do or say has already been paid for by Jesus' death on the cross.

I want to be the first to welcome you to a life filled with unconditional love and acceptance, forgiveness without condemnation and hopefully show you exactly what God's love means in a human form. If I have fallen short on these expectations with you, I am sincerely apologize. I will do better in the future. It's my goal and one I think God wants me to share with you.

I am willing to accept you the way you are, be willing to listen if you need someone to talk with, and hopefully we can find a place where we can be friends. There is simply too much hate and sorrow in the world today and if my goal today is to make you smile and feel loved, then I have achieved my purpose today.

If you need prayer, please reach out. I am here for you. I don't even have to know the details. Just know that it will be done and I'll be there for you.

“The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’ ~ Matthew 25:40.

By the way, if you want to follow me on Facebook, click here and tell me you're a blogging friend so I can approve you!