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Breakthrough

When John Smith crashed through the ice on a frozen lake near St. Louis, he was trapped for 15 minutes, and after he was rescued he had no pulse for 43 minutes. The ER physician called his mother in so she could say her final goodbye. She prayed instead and that’s when a miracle happened…John came back to life.

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John Smith was probably like a lot of the boys in your eighth grade class. He played basketball. He played video games. He hung out with his friends. Although he was abandoned as a baby in Guatemala, he was adopted into a loving Christian family in Missouri.

January 19th, 2015 started out as just an ordinary Martin Luther King, Jr. Day. To celebrate the day off of school, John and his two friends (both named Josh) decided to play on a frozen lake. After taking a selfie and running around… CRACK! The ice wasn’t as thick as they thought. Suddenly, the three boys found themselves in a cold lake with no means of escape.

When the emergency team responded, they found one Josh had managed to pull himself out of the water, and the other Josh was treading while trying to keep hold of an ice sheet. But John was nowhere to be seen. Since he had sunk underwater long before the rescuers arrived, they were prepared for the worst. As fireman Tommy Shine searched through the water, he heard a voice say “Go back!” He retraced the area he’d just searched and, sure enough, found John. Tommy Shine later tried to figure out who called out to him to go back, but no one on his team had said anything during that time. It was divine guidance that could have only come from God. Especially unusual since Tommy didn’t even believe in God!

It was a miraculous rescue, but it was only the start to a chain of miracles. The lifeless John had been submerged for 15 minutes- no breathing, no pulse. Yet the rescue team still did everything they could as they transported him to the hospital. He was considered dead for an hour by the time Joyce, his mom, was able to see him. After crying loudly, she shouted, “Holy Spirit…breathe life back into my son!”

No one expected John to make a full recovery. He was unlikely to even make it through the night, and if he did, he would have severe brain damage. But sixteen days and two hospitals later, John headed home as the healthy boy he’d always been. Prayer does work, and miracles do happen.

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Your Turn

As you’ll see in the movie, God wasn’t present only in John’s hospital room. His story made waves around his community. The classmates at his school gathered for prayer, and people came to his church to do the same. The prayer vigils were just as important as the prayers spoken at his bedside.

Do you know someone that needs prayer right now? It doesn’t necessarily have to be for a life-threatening issue; God hears all prayers and knows that each request is important to us. Take a break from reading- yes, right now!- and pray for a family member, friend, or someone in your community.

Need an idea for something to pray about? How about that Breakthrough would change lives! Here are a few other things you can do to help with that:

  • You can reserve your ticket right now! If your local theater doesn’t have showtimes for Breakthrough, ask what it would take to get the movie to your town.
  • Bring some people to see the movie in theaters. You can get discounts on group tickets, so this may be something you want to coordinate with your church, youth ministry, or other group.
  • Even non-Christian friends might be interested to see the movie for its cast of stars or basketball player-turned-producer Stephen Curry. Invite some people to the movies and then pick a restaurant, coffee shop, or ice cream parlor near the theater to chat afterward.
  • Visit breakthroughmovie.com to find out more about the movie. You can also access some “share tools”, that include printable prayer cards as well as images you can post on your social media.
  • Allow the message of the movie to affect your life. And keep on praying.

Breakthrough is in theaters now!

Copy of How tomaintainnot eatingpork &meat

For more about Breakthrough as well as lots of fun and inspiration for your personal journey, be sure to grab a current copy of Girlz 4 Christ Magazine. Subscriptions are free- just click here!

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Book Review: Into the Deep

The message of Into The Deep could be summarized in this quote:

 

“Following Jesus doesn’t guarantee sunny skies and smooth sailing.”

 

Into the Deep, written by Lauren Gaskill, is not just well written, organized, strongly themed, and easy to follow. It’s a new approach to Christian living–or if not new, better. Gaskill’s book divides between two crucial parts of the faith journey: choosing to trust in Jesus, and choosing to live for Jesus.

 

The part about choosing to live for Jesus really spoke to me.

 

Where I live, stories about “how God turned me around” and “how God changed my life” run rampant. While there is absolutely nothing wrong with a testimony of how one got saved, sometimes leaning on this perspective of Christianity limits us.

 

The truth is, Christianity isn’t just a quick fix to solve our depression, relationship problems, and selfishness. Christianity isn’t just that part where God lifted you up when you hit rock bottom. Christianity is living with God every day–swimming with Jesus–even when the skies aren’t sunny and the sailing isn’t smooth.

 

It is those parts of our journey, Lauren says, that truly deepen our faith. Deep waters require deep faith.

 

I can’t describe how this book strengthened and encouraged me, but I would definitely give it a 4.5 out of 5 stars and I’m looking forward to sharing it with my friends. Whether you’re in a dark time or looking to deepen your faith, this book is for you.

 

This book is not a checklist of “do this, do that and you’re set!” Rather, it’s something to lean on–a source of strength. A reminder that you’re not alone, and God is there, because that message is always true.

 

Written and reviewed by Priscilla Doran

 

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Three Surefire Ways to Beat the Winter Blues

It’s January.

It’s cold.

It’s raining.

(At least it is here at Girlz 4 Christ headquarters in the beautiful PNW.)

Let’s face it–for many of us, January is the month where we find ourselves in a bit of a mood slump. We say goodbye to the beauty and magic of the holiday season, and welcome in a month of…nothingness. If you’re like me, January seems to stretch on endlessly, with NOTHING fun on the horizon.

But I’m here to say…let’s change that! Let’s plan something fun for the weekend that will give us something to look forward to and help us beat the winter blues.

 

1.) Spa Day In!

Who doesn’t love a good manicure, pedicure, or facial? Even if you’re on a budget, you can easily recreate a relaxing spa experience in the comfort of your own home. Invite a few of your best girlfriends or make the day all about you! Either way, you’ll find yourself feeling recharged and refreshed.

Find a soothing, spa-like instrumental playlist online, and light a candle or two before giving yourself–and maybe a friend or two–the works. Trying to save money? There are plenty of recipes online for inventive and inexpensive face masks that you can make with a few basic ingredients found in your kitchen. Even the simplest brand of lotion can feel positively luxurious if you spread it on while giving your hands a mini-massage.

If you’re feeling really fancy, break out a robe and slippers and read a new book or magazine while you let your mask set or your polish dry. Make a day of it by brewing a pot of herbal tea or making a jug of fruit-flavored spa water. You could even buy a few healthy snacks (think fresh fruits, trail mix, or veggie sticks and hummus) to munch on in between treatments.

Most of all, focus on relaxing and recharging–it’s important for your inner beauty as well as for your outside appearance.

 

2.) Cooking Competition

It’s tough to shy away from a challenge…especially one that promises to yield delicious results! Grab a friend or two and set a timer–may the best dish win! There are several different challenges you can participate in, or you could come up with one of your own!

  • Grocery Store Showdown: If you’re looking for a good reason to get out of the house, then this one is for you! Head to the closest grocery store and give yourself a set amount of time in which you can shop for ingredients for your meal, then throw in a twist. Maybe you can only buy ingredients that start with a certain letter. Maybe you can only shop in the even-numbered aisles (or vice versa). Or set a budget: no more than $10–or $20 if you’re feeling generous! Then race back home and set another timer before you start cooking. Ready, set, GO!
  • Pantry Powwow: This time, there’s no trip to the grocery store to help you out. Everything in your pantry is fair game…but that’s it. Missing a key ingredient? You’ll have to improvise! Make sure to set a tight time limit to heighten the tension.
  • Mystery Ingredients: Invite your friends and ask each of them to each bring a “secret ingredient” (make sure you have one too!) then put them all together and unveil them, like on a TV cooking show. Divide into teams, work together, or go mono e mono. May the best chef win.

 

3.) Make it Bookish

Gather a group of friends who enjoy reading and read the same book. When you’re done,  meet together and discuss the story. Sound too much like a book club? Add an element of the extraordinary by challenging everyone to come dressed as their favorite character. When you meet, prepare a meal or snack mentioned in the book–or get creative and come up with your own menu! You could even try your hand at an activity described in the story. If there’s a movie version of the book, turn it into a movie night complete with PJ’s and popcorn. Below are a few books that Girlz 4 Christ suggests:

  • Porch Swing Girl, by Taylor Bennett (Contemporary Christian YA with a summery setting on the beach in Hawaii!)
  • Roomsby James L. Rubart (A breakout speculative Christian fiction novel with a BIG twist at the end.)
  • The Tethered World by Heather L. L. Fitzgerald (A book–the first in a series–filled with fantasy and flights of fancy, all written from a Christian worldview.)

 

We hope one of these ideas sparked something in you…here’s to surviving the rest of the winter with NO MORE boring weekends! Have any more ideas to add to this list? Drop them in the comments.

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Singles Awareness Day? They Were Single Too!

I’m writing this on Valentine’s Day, a holiday known for excluding singles while couples display lovey-dovey acts. I myself am single. No husband, no boyfriend. But this Valentine’s Day, I don’t feel alone. Maybe it’s because I know a lot of other single people now. They’re right in the Bible.

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They Were Single Too features eight chapters, each outlining a single person from the Bible and explains what we can learn from their lives. One of the chapters is about Anna. I remember when I first read her story in the book of Luke. I was working at a camp as a teen and was so excited about it, I texted the girls’ dean and asked if we could learn about her at that night’s Bible study. She liked that idea, but I learned even more from reading her profile in They Were Single Too. Author David M. Hoffeditz delves deeper into explaining what singleness and the lifestyles of these people meant in relation to their culture and time period, and how that can personally translate to my life today.

I would recommend They Were Single Too to singles of any age and circumstance. Maybe even married people should read it, because understanding each other diminishes the “us vs. them” mentality. Reading this book would be a great way to spend your Singles Awareness Day. Here are a few other Valentine-less ideas:

  • Watch a movie on PureFlix, which has a host of clean movies and shows in different genres. Whether you want a romantic flick or nothing of the sort, you’ll find something here. (You can even watch God’s Not Dead 2 before the next movie comes out!) Click here for a free month of PureFlix streaming!
  • Make a fun dinner and have some friends over.
  • Go shopping! Just because no one’s giving you a cheesy gift doesn’t mean you can’t treat yo’self. (And you can earn cash back when you shop online with Swagbucks!)
  • If you have a job, offer to cover an extra shift. You probably have a coworker who would love the night off for Valentine’s Day. You’ll make some extra money and be too busy to wallow in self-pity.
  • Listen to an audio sermon from your church or by another pastor. Since Valentine’s Day lines up with Ash Wednesday and the beginning of Lent this year, it’s a good reminder to keep focused on loving God.

A copy of They Were Single Too was provided by Kregel Publications for the purpose of this review. No other compensation was made. Links may be from affiliates, which will help our ministry while offering positive deals for you. 

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She’s Got the Wrong Guy

A few weeks ago, I did a series of polls using Girlz 4 Christ’s Instagram stories. All of them were about relationships. Presumably, most of our Instagram followers would consider themselves Christians, so I asked questions surrounding that idea, from hotly-debated topics such as “Do you prefer dating or courting?”, to what I thought would be unanimous questions like “Would you ever consider dating a non-Christian?” I assumed just about everyone would vote “no” for that last question, but boy was I wrong!

Just as I was wrong about the poll results, some girls get caught up in the wrong relationship with the wrong guy. It may be because that guy’s not a Christian (which about 10% of our female Christian voters would at least entertain the idea of going out with a guy like this), or may be some other negative situation, like he’s controlling or encouraging you to get physical.

Then I got a copy of She’s Got the Wrong Guy.

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As it turns out, lots of Christian women get into a relationship with the wrong guy. This book lays out the facts, gives explanations for this phenomenon, and makes suggestions for how to avoid this. You’re a smart woman. You shouldn’t have to settle for less than what God wants for you.

 

Girlz 4 Christ is glad to be part of this book’s blog tour. We received a copy of this book to assist in our review, but all opinions are our own. 

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Hitting the Breaks

Earlier this year, I came up with an idea I thought would revolutionize Christian television production. Along the same vein of The Office and Parks and Recreation, we needed to shine a light on the world of ministry through a mockumentary of those front-line workers. I created characters, ministry jobs, and early versions of a script. Unfortunately, while writing is my forte, I do not have an in with anyone working in Hollywood.

Little did I know that, around the same time, a new mockumentary-style Christian series was in the works. I admit it might even be better than my show idea. Hitting the Breaks premiered last month. I watched it on Pure Flix and am hyped to tell you about it.

Hitting the Breaks is the first original sitcom series from Pure Flix. We would like to invite you to watch this series for FREE by signing up for a free trial of Pure Flix’ streaming service. To celebrate this comedy, we wrote this review comedy-style as well.

The Premise

Lightning McQueen… I mean, Randy Wilcox’s car

In case you forget why this mostly-normal Christian family ended up in an anything-but-normal Colorado Rockies town, just listen to the theme song. The title sequence begins with the opening sequence of Cars 3. (That’s also the same scene as the final race of the first Cars movie, but I digress…) Without giving away too much of the setup of the show (or the Pixar Cars franchise), there’s an accident on the racetrack. This forces driver Randy into a midlife crisis of early retirement and moving his family cross-country to his recently inherited hotel, which is where we first meet them in the pilot episode.

Serenity Inn from Hitting the Breaks
Quaint, quiet, and no cell phone tower within miles to disrupt the scenic view!

The Wilcox family walks into The Serenity Inn, their new home in Colorado. Oh no! What happened to the Wi-fi and cell service? I guess it lacks those features to make what otherwise looks like a just-built hotel set seem old and dilapidated. They never get those services, so I guess they won’t be able to read this review. Or watch their own show.

When it comes to the topic of finances, this modern-day Petticoat Junction is mysterious . Why did Randy’s father die and leave his estate conveniently at the same time that Randy also flirted with death and needed a place to move to? Why is Randy concerned about money when he has free housing and presumably a professional athlete’s savings account? How can a hotel that never has a paying guest afford to keep on a maid? (Although this does explain why she never does any work- there’s no one to clean up after!) How can Randy quickly get hooked up with an endorsement deal when he wants several thousand dollars, but can’t drop a hundred bucks to replace a falling-apart floor rug that everyone complains about? And the most mysterious of all: why are Christian films notoriously low-budget, but Hitting the Breaks is actually a good show?

Speaking of Christianity, this is an original series created by and available exclusively through the Christian entertainment company, Pure Flix. But don’t expect the characters to awkwardly pause the story line to give their testimony. Instead you’ll see the Wilcox family and some of their friends living out their life with Christ through Bible studies, church events, reading, and prayer. For them, Christianity isn’t a separate part of their lives that they focus on for two minutes but ignore the remainder of the episode. It’s how they live their whole lives. That’s a good takeaway for all of us.

Wilcox Family from Hitting the Breaks Pilot
Accurate depiction of how kids feel when they have to move to the middle of nowhere.

But although there are mysteries and faith themes, Hitting the Breaks is a comedy. You’ll be reminded of that every four seconds when the laugh track goes off. Sometimes it gets so cheesy that you’ll want to grab tortilla chips and make some nachos. The characters even acknowledge this a handful of times while breaking the fourth wall.

The Characters

Is it Brother White? Is it Holy Man Undercover? No! It’s a racing star you’ve never heard of!

Randy Wilcox is played by that ever-present actor in nearly every Christian movie, David A.R. White. Instead of his typical portrayal of a pastor or an Amish man, David branches out in this show as a retired race car driver. The word “retired” might be a bit harsh, since he’s only middle-aged with daughters still in school. But what can you do if you have a family full of women who convince you that your line of work might be dangerous after your last race ended in smoke and shambles?

Coincidentally, I was also in a car crash shortly before Hitting the Breaks premiered. (I’m not a race car driver; I just share the road with people who think that a red light means “keep going!”) I even got the same lingering injury as Randy: a shoulder in so much pain that I couldn’t raise my arm. But since Randy’s arm was instantly cured by falling off a roof, I am definitely jumping off a building now. If anything goes wrong, I’ll just send my hospital bill to the production company. (Not everything you see on TV is meant to be impressionable, kids!)

Charlie Wilcox Hitting the Breaks
I think she’s the only person in this whole TV show that has any idea what’s going on.

Charlie Wilcox is Randy’s wife. Actress Andrea Logan White is also the real-life wife of David A.R. White. In Christian film world, that means it’s okay for the couple to share a bed unlike the sitcom couples of the 50s, and kiss each other without pulling Kirk Cameron’s stand-in stunt from Fireproof. Yay for realism!

Delancey Wilcox Hitting the Breaks
While watching Hitting the Breaks, try to get a screenshot of her without a sarcastic look. I dare you.

Delancey Wilcox is the oldest daughter of Randy and Charlie. Since she’s a teen, the writers gave her typical teen traits like being obsessed with boys and shampoo. Wait, shampoo? Is that a legit obsession? I started working on this teen magazine (that you should subscribe to) as I was aging out of my own teen years. All this time I guess I forgot to include a much-desired magazine section dedicated to shampoo. If you’re a teen girl with a shampoo obsession,  please leave a comment at the end of this post. I need your help with an upcoming article.

Darcy Wilcox Hitting the Breaks
She may be a preteen, but her IQ is higher than the rest of the town’s combined.

Darcy Wilcox is basically a female version of Brick Heck from ABC’s The Middle. Book brainiac, youngest child, remembers everything, socially awkward… you get the picture. I almost expected her to repeat words in a whisper. Maybe they’re saving that for season two.

Bernie and Sky
Sheriff Bernie and non-cranky-vegan Sky appear to be best friends. Not sure what they have in common.

Other Characters abound in this Rocky Mountain town. A fan favorite is Sky, a vegan-restaurant-owning/ motorcycle-riding/ friends-with-everyone twentysomething who knows the rest of the townsfolk are unusual without realizing that she’s a different kind of offbeat as well. The bumbling cop Bernie makes Barney Fife look like a SWAT Team agent. Then there are two old guys who continually wear bunny costumes. It’s weird how quickly you get used to that.

Tim Tebow in Hitting the Breaks
Tim Tebow makes his appearance. I wonder how many people watched the entire series just to get to this point?

Let’s not forget the special guest stars! There’s Alyson Stoner, and Morgan Fairchild, and Carrot Top, and IS THAT TIM TEBOW? LET’S FREAK OUT LIKE EVERY CHARACTER DID IN THE SEASON FINALE!

The Recommendation

Wilcox Family Hitting the Breaks
Your new favorite TV family. Do they have room for one more? I’ll see if I can make a cameo in the next season.

Joking aside for a moment, you probably know that there are fewer and fewer sitcoms airing that the whole family can enjoy. Two of the three family-friendly shows I alluded to above (The Andy Griffith Show and Petticoat Junction, which also has episodes available to stream on Pure Flix) were first filmed in black and white. The other mention, The Middle, is in its final season as television networks turn to edgier shows with more shock value. I’m glad that Pure Flix is stepping up to fill this widening gap. We need more shows that are funny, entertaining, and hold to God-honoring, family-friendly values.

Although Hitting the Breaks is only available on Pure Flix, we have a special deal for you. If you click here (or on any other link in this post) you will get a free month of streaming on Pure FlixHitting the Breaks has ten episodes, so you can easily watch the entire first season during your free trial, even if you’re not a binge-watcher.

Question: What kinds of things do you enjoy in a sitcom? Also, do you have a favorite kind of shampoo? I really want to know!

Don’t forget to check out our movie reviews for Princess Cut and I’m Not Ashamed, as well as snag a free Girlz 4 Christ Magazine subscription!

Reviewed by Jessica Lippe. All photos are from Hitting the Breaks/ Pure Flix. This article utilizes affiliate links. All opinions belong to the author.

 

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Back to School Savings 

Back-to-school shopping is in full swing. You can go to any superstore and pick up pencils, paper, and folders for just pennies each. But now, we at Girlz 4 Christ would like to offer you savings on bigger ticket items that you can use year-round!

The following contains affiliate links. This just means that if you click on the links, we’ll both end up with some extra money in our pockets. Thank you for supporting Girlz 4 Christ through your wise shopping!

Movie Streaming Service

We are excited to tell you about our favorite streaming service. We are even more excited that we can give you a month of unlimited movies and shows for free! Pure Flix offers a wide variety of clean things to watch in every genre. We even offer a growing list of recommended movies for you to see. Click here to start your free month now!

Shaving Razors

We like using Dollar Shave Club razors because they’re effective, durable, and help the environment by having replaceable blades. Not to mention, they are super inexpensive!  The options may look like razors for men, but we assure you that they remove hair from legs and armpits at least as well as any pink razor ever has. The Dollar Shave Club toiletry options are pretty great, too. Click here to shop or set up a subscription, which you can cancel at any time.

Gift Cards

We know that gift cards are fun to shop with. It’s even better when those gift cards are free! When you sign up for an account with Swagbucks, you can earn points for doing simple things like playing games, taking surveys, or searching the web. You can then use those points for gift cards to places like Amazon, Redbox, restaurants, or even the gas station. Click here to join Swagbucks and start off with $3 for free!

Lodging

Need a getaway before the school year begins? Or maybe a weekend trip to retreat in the fall? No matter where you go, there’s probably an AirBnB nearby. We like renting rooms and houses from AirBnB because they’re unique and often inexpensive. Click here to save $40 off your first AirBnB stay. If you prefer hostels, check out the price comparison tool from the largest database of hostels.

Books

If you have to buy your own school textbooks, our best recommendation is to try to find used ones online. But for personal reading choices, we can point you to FREE books! When you join Tyndale Rewards, you can earn free Christian books, discs, and other gifts for things like posting online or giving your opinion.

Magazine

We couldn’t forget this one! You can always get a 100% free, no-strings-attached subscription to Girlz 4 Christ Magazine. Each issue is packed with devotions, celebrity interviews, beauty tips, book and movie reviews, and so much more. Click here to become a subscriber now!

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This post has utilized affiliate links. Thank you for clicking through them so that we both can have a little more cash in our pockets!

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Princess Cut

 

 


We watched Princess Cut by streaming it on PureFlix, a service offering an entire library of clean, Christian movies and shows. We at Girlz 4 Christ would like to offer everyone a free one-month trial. Click here to start streaming PureFlix for free!

Have you ever gazed longingly at the engagement rings in a jewelry store? That’s where we meet Grace, a twentysomething farmgirl over the moon about getting married. True, her boyfriend hasn’t even proposed yet, but it’s just a matter of time, right? When he visits her on college break, she gets a surprise. It’s a ring… on another girl’s finger!

Heartbroken, Grace experiments with new relationships, starting with Jared. But when their differences in values makes dating each other miserable, Grace decides to approach romance in a new way. She has a lot to learn before getting that longed-after princess cut!

Princess_Cut_Screenshot1Highlights

“Princess Cut” busts a lot of the misconceptions that are believed about dating and romantic relationships. Do you have to get physical with your boyfriend? How involved should your parents get? Is there an appropriate amount of flirting? What qualities should you be looking for in a mate?

Remember that this movie shows just one example of a God-honoring relationship. Since everyone’s circumstance is different, “Princess Cut” isn’t a how-to guide or a list of dos and don’ts. However, it can still point you in the right direction of thinking about how you can form your own personal guidelines.

Aside from the main moral of purity, a major subplot point expresses the value of hard work and seeking God in all you do. When the family’s combine breaks, everyone pitches in to pick the fields by hand. After a successful harvest season, they give the glory to God by hosting an outreach community event.

Princess_Cut_Screenshot2Connection Points

When Grace decides that there must be more to God-honoring romance than what she’s experienced in the past, she checks out a pile of books to learn more. During her marathon of a reading session, she takes notes, highlighting things she finds important in a relationship. Do you think that something like this might help you prayerfully figure out your own dating rules and what you’re looking for in a future husband?

The soybean analogy that Grace’s dad introduces in the movie could be a great reminder in your own life. Sometimes we try to get a harvest before we even plant the seeds. We may be planting seeds right now for qualities such as patience, communication, and romance. They may not come to fruition right away, but that doesn’t mean we should quit working on them, just like you wouldn’t quit watering a plant that is still growing. You can remember this when you’re working towards just about anything.

Princess_Cut_Screenshot3Points of Concern

There was only one scene that caused enough concern that it may affect viewers. Grace receives a suggestion to try professional counseling. Although she’s apprehensive, she nervously goes anyway. Within the first few minutes, her counselor gives poor advice about premarital relationships, which causes Grace to walk out. For those who have never visited a counselor, know that this was a very atypical experience. Most counselors are in fact helpful in navigating a variety of life situations. Don’t be afraid or ashamed to go to counseling for yourself, whether it’s for for relationship concerns or any other reason.

A later scene involves two young men fighting over a love interest. The one that ultimately wins her affection is the one that tries to be a peacemaker despite the violent attacks. The fight quickly subsides when her father steps in.

Though it’s not clear, Grace at times seems more excited about getting a princess cut ring than she is for the relationship that comes with it. However, the movie is clear that, whether single or in a relationship, valuing others is more important than valuing objects.

Princess_Cut_Screenshot5Final Word

I often get tired of watching romance movies, or really any movie that has a romantic subplot. But I actually liked “Princess Cut”. It wasn’t unrealistic. It didn’t have inappropriate sexual content. It wasn’t even preachy. Instead, it inspired me to seek God for conviction in relationships, and not just in the romantic sense. Family members, friends, and yes, even boys, are all relationships that play a major role in your life. But through them we should seek our most important relationship of all: the one with our loving Savior.
000pcGirlz 4 Christ was provided with a PureFlix membership in order to view this movie. Opinions expressed are our own and were not swayed by payment. You can get a FREE month of PureFlix too just by clicking here!

To read our movie review of I’m Not Ashamed, click here. To get a free subscription to Girlz 4 Christ Magazine, click here. And of course, don’t forget to leave a comment on this post letting us know what you think!

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I’m Not Ashamed 


We viewed this movie thanks to Pure Flix, a clean, Christian streaming service for movies and TV shows. All opinions expressed are our own and were not swayed by payment.

There aren’t many movies where you know the ending before you even watch it. But the events leading up to the climax of “I’m Not Ashamed” will keep you on the edge of your seat!

Based on the inspiring true story in the midst of the tragic Columbine Shooting, follow teenager Rachel Joy Scott’s life, including her faith, her art, and her untimely death. Find a story of hope in this tragedy. IMG_9367_web

Highlights

Rachel believes that “if one person can go out of their way to show compassion, then it will start a chain reaction”. You see several chain reactions like this play out over the course of the film. Rachel’s walk with Christ begins after visiting her cousin, who spent the summer demonstrating compassion.

Rachel continues this chain reaction with others she meets. One night after youth group, she encounters Nate, a homeless young man that becomes her “big brother”. Another sweet moment was when she arranged a date with a developmentally disabled boy who was often teased at school.

As a teen, Rachel made plenty of mistakes when it came to the world of dating. While these are clearly not examples to follow, it does help singles form their own guidelines of what to do and not do.

And of course, “I’m Not Ashamed” shows that we can all find light in some of the darkest moments of life. This includes both everyday mundane moments and headlining tragedies.

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Connection Points

The accuracy of this movie wouldn’t be possible if not for Rachel Joy Scott’s real-life journals. Quotes and doodles from these diaries were used to create the script and art. More importantly, the light of Christ shines through her writing. You can tell that journaling was a great way for Rachel to connect with God.

What about you? Do you keep a journal? If writing isn’t your forte, you could make your journal more visual with drawings or small mementos like ticket stubs and notes from friends. Use your journal as a space that’s just between you and God. This is where you can ask bold questions, state your personal beliefs, and come up with ideas to change the world. Who knows? Maybe in the future, your journals will become valuable historic documents!

Another way Rachel used journaling was to communicate with her “big brother”, whom she led to Christ. For awhile she didn’t get to see him in person very often, so she ministered to him through letters in a notebook. He wrote back with his own questions and ponderings. This turned out to be beneficial to both of them. Is there a friend or family member that you could send a letter to today?

Sign up for a free month of Pure Flix and start watching I’m Not Ashamed Now!

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Points of Concern

“I’m Not Ashamed” certainly earned its PG-13 rating. After all, it would be nearly impossible to tell the story of one of the biggest school tragedies without a dose of violence. Other than Rachel and a friend with gunshot wounds, most of the massacre takes place off-screen.

There are other elements more commonly found in high school. Teens are seen smoking and drinking. A group sneaks out of their homes and breaks into a pool in the middle of the night. One of Rachel’s friends appears to come from an abusive home. Other friends are promiscuous and criticize Rachel’s Christianity. Rachel herself even struggles with a bout of suicidal thoughts. Despite all this, I do appreciate that the struggles that hit closest to home do come to reasonable resolutions. Most of these are addressed by bringing God into the situation and transferring trust to him.

Final Word

This is a must-see movie for every teen and young adult. It’s relatable and relevant. Since I’m Not Ashamed is based on a real-life tragedy, it’s not a fluffy fairy tale that magically solves every problem. Instead, it tackles tough subjects head-on. Even though the movie takes place in the late 90s, it has a powerful message we can still learn from today.

If you would like to learn more about the behind-the-scenes aspect of the I’m Not Ashamed movie, check out the features in Girlz 4 Christ’s Fall 2016 issue. You’ll find our chat with Rachel Joy Scott’s actress Masey McLain, articles from the fashion department on how they pulled off the 90s look seen onscreen, and an interview with Beth Nimmo, the real-life mother of Rachel Joy Scott. Click here to read Girlz 4 Christ for free!

You can watch I’m Not Ashamed and many other movies for free! Just sign up for a free month trial at PureFlix.com. If you decide to get a subscription to Pure Flix’s service, a portion of the proceeds will help support Girlz 4 Christ.

blog, Fun 4 Girlz

10 Spring Break Staycations

By Cheyenne Baccary

Spring break is right around the corner! A week off from classes to do whatever you want! Well, almost… If you’re like me, you probably don’t have the money to take a trip to Cancun or Miami. But that’s okay! Because I compiled a list of ten Spring Break Staycation ideas that will make spring break at home feel like a real vacation.

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  1. Throw a Macaroni and Cheese Party

Invite all your friends to cook their favorite mac and cheese recipe or a recipe they’ve been wanting to try and have them bring it to the party. There are so many ways to make macaroni and cheese! You can stick with the classic or make a vegan version; the possibilities are endless! And who doesn’t love macaroni and cheese?! For more inspiration, check out this link to the Food Network’s website of 50 ways to make macaroni and cheese: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/articles/50-mac-and-cheese-recipes

  1. Go to a super fancy restaurant and just order dessert

You know that super fancy restaurant in your hometown everyone has been wanting to go to? Ordering a full meal can be pricey…so don’t! Just order the dessert! The dessert is the best part of a meal anyway. Plus, it gives you a reason to get all dressed up and go out with your friends. Not to mention that the dessert is amazing!

  1. Have a classic movie marathon

One of the things I love is classic movies. There is a certain magic and timelessness to them. If you haven’t had a chance to see any of the classics yet, this spring break is the perfect time to do so. Hint: Some of my favorites are Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, Roman Holiday, Breakfast at Tiffany’s and Don’t Bother to Knock.

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  1. Volunteer

Find somewhere local to volunteer at. You could give blood or help an elderly neighbor clean their house. Whatever you can to do help someone in the community, do it! It will bring great joy to that person and bring joy to you for helping someone else. Also, if you make volunteering an ongoing thing, it looks really great on a resume.

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  1. Be a hometown tourist

Explore your hometown like you’re a tourist. Go to all the local museums and restaurants. Take selfies in front of local landmarks. Just go out and do all the things someone who isn’t from your town would do. Google things to do in your hometown beforehand; there may be attractions that you didn’t even know of!

  1. Binge watch Netflix

Whether it’s a show you’ve been wanting to start or a show you’ve been watching, spring break is the perfect time to binge watch. Chill out in your pajamas with your favorite snack and spend your spring break watching all six seasons of your favorite Netflix show.

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  1. Have a clothing swap

What better thing to do on spring break then to do some spring cleaning? Clean out your closet and invite all your friends to do the same. Then invite all your friends over and go through what each other no longer wants. Then- voila!- you and your friends have a whole new wardrobe all for free. Whatever is left over can be donated to a women’s shelter.

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  1. Go to a local pet shop and play with the animals

Playing with puppies and kittens!? Um, that sounds like the best spring break ever! Google your local pet shops and visit them all. Take pictures and post them to Facebook and help them find “furever” homes.

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  1. Do a DIY

DIYs can be a ton of fun! Search Pinterest for a DIY idea that interests you. It could be a dreamcatcher or homemade bath bombs. The possibilities are endless of what you can create.

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  1. Read Christ Centered Girls and Girlz 4 Christ Magazine

Spring issues are coming! Click here to get a free subscription to Girlz 4 Christ Magazine. The spring issue drops on March 20th and is jam-packed with fashion tips, volunteer projects, and other ideas to make your spring break the best ever.

And there you have it, some awesome fun spring break ideas from a Christ Centered Girls writer! If you try any of these make sure to take a picture and tag us on social media! We want to see how much fun you guys are having! Blessings!