We’ve made it to the sixth month of what may have been the most unusual year of our lives! Normally, time of year, I would be telling you how to get ready for camp, but a lot of summer camps have either delayed their start day or closed entirely for the year. I know many of you live in areas where there are safety concerns, and please know that you are being prayed for. So, what can we do for the month of June?
That’s right. Many libraries and bookstores are opening back up, and Amazon’s book shipping isn’t so delayed anymore. You may have a library, bookstore, restaurant, or school near you that offers a summer reading program, where you’ll get a prize for reading a certain amount of books this summer. (Don’t gloss over this if you’re an adult now- while a lot of programs are for kids and teens, some summer reading includes adults, too!)
So instead of a summer vacation, we invite you to take a “bookation” and explore new lands through the written word.
“Commit to the Lord whatever you do, and he will establish your plans.” Proverbs 16:3
Our Top 5 Reading Suggestions
After entering the book giveaway above, and then scrolling down to see G4C’s upcoming book, you may be wondering how else to fill your summer reading list. Here are a few suggestions:
First of all, we’d highly recommend looking for Christian books. They come in all types of genres, but unlike other books, they will better remind you of God, the Ultimate Author. Bookstores and libraries have sections set up just for Christian books. And if you order books online, it’s easy to search for Christian genres. The number one Christian book that we’d recommend above all others happens to also be the world’s number one bestseller: The Bible! We challenge you to read a little bit of that book every day this summer.
Need more book ideas? We have a whole Teen Reading List here. We’d love to update this page with your favorite books, so let us know what we should add!
Remember that not all reading has to be done in the form of books. Most of our books are available on Kindle as ebooks, and there are a ton of great blogs out there too. Naturally, we’d recommend reading our blog posts, but we know there are a lot of great blogs out there. Look through Pinterest for blog suggestions on topics you like.
And of course, don’t forget magazines! Here are a few of our past issues of Girlz 4 Christ Magazine that you can order. These ones feature an interview with an author, so you can get even more reading suggestions while getting behind-the-scenes info about the creation of each book!
Reading is great. But it’s a good idea to balance it with a well-rounded lifestyle. Here are a few FREE programs I’ve been using lately, including my invite links so you can join me!
I’m walking my way to some fantastic prizes! Sweatcoin is an app that counts your steps, which you get paid for. Use your sweatcoins to buy some cool rewards. Start using Sweatcoin today!
Do you like shopping? I bet you’d like it even better if it cost less money! Use Ibotta and you can get rebates on your purchases in most popular stores. Some items you can even get for free! Sign up for Ibotta.
EDIT JUNE 1ST 2020: Thank you to everyone who contributed! One True God, 80 Devotions will be a great book featuring all your work, available for preorder soon! If you missed your chance to write this time around, know that we are planning for another book that you can be a part of. Join our newsletter so you can get the next announcement.
Have you been enjoying our newest book, 77 Days of Devos? We’re making another devotional. Except this time, we want YOU to get involved!
Write a short devotional about any topic you’d like. Make sure to follow our devotional format (see examples here) and include:
A Bible verse or two, including the reference and translation
100-200-word life story or application related to the scripture
A short “Action,” something the reader can pray for or do to help apply the lesson of this devotion to their life
Of course, include your name at the bottom of the devotion unless you’d prefer to remain anonymous (If your work is accepted we may ask for a bio line. If you’re not sure what that is, don’t worry- we’ll explain when the time comes.)
If you look carefully, you’ll notice that we published 77 Days of Devos under “G4C Publications” instead of our full name, “Girlz 4 Christ Publications.” That’s because we want girlz AND guyz to have a daily devotional resource that will draw them closer to Christ! We would like this next devotional to be accessible in the same way.
Anyone is welcome to contribute to this book. That means if you know someone else who likes writing, feel free to forward this to them. However, if you’re under 13, please have a parent review and send your submission to us.
All submissions can be sent as a Word document to Girlz4Christ@yahoo.com with the subject line “Devotion Submission”. You’re welcome to submit more than one devotion. If your work is accepted for publication, you will get a free advance digital copy of the book before publication. After publication, you can also get a free paperback copy of the book as well as some free resources to help you as an author get featured in your local news.
Ephesians 5:16 encourages us to redeem our time, because the days are evil. In days like these, I’m often reminded of this verse. But how can we redeem our time for good when we are homebound? We’ve collected some ideas from Girlz 4 Christ and other Christian organizations to help you make the most of your day:
-This is a great time to catch up on previous issues of Girlz 4 Christ Magazine. You can even order print copies here. Right now, we only have a handful of our 40 issues available in print. However, if there’s a certain issue that you’d like to see in print, let us know and we’ll make it available!
-You may remember us reviewing the animated film, “The Pilgrim’s Progress”, in the Fall 2019 issue of Girlz 4 Christ Magazine. The makers of this movie just announced that they are allowing FREE streaming! This is great if you’re at home with siblings, but even if you’re alone, I think the messages behind this allegory are powerful for anyone.
-If you’re at least 18 and aren’t able to work right now due to closures, you cansupplement your income online with Swagbucks. Make money doing simple tasks like taking surveys, watching videos, and even online shopping.
-Netflix, Disney+, Hulu, and other streaming services have been getting more subscribers recently. Did you know that there are Christian movies and shows on many of these streaming services? Look for them! You can sign up for a free trial of PureFlix, a streaming service that is filled with wholesome, Christian films. You can also find tons of quality Christian YouTubers. No matter what you end up watching, look for God in the storyline!
-Since so many churches are including streaming their weekly services or currently are only streaming online due to social distancing rules, now is a great time to watch a bunch of great (and often free) sermons from churches all over the world. If there’s an audio-only download option, you can listen while working out, doing chores, or going to bed.
-Catch up on your reading, and make a new TBR (to be read) list. If you normally read fiction, now is a great time to expand your horizons with nonfiction: read about a topic, then try it out in your real life. We have a free book download this week only to get you started.
More than anything, we need peace during this storm. We don’t know how long this will last, but we do know that the next 77 days can be the beginning of peace, hope, and restoration. Our latest book, 77 Days of Devos, is available on Amazon now (in eBook or paperback), and can help guide you towards peace and living life God’s way.
Are you involved in a sport or other team? Is there one that you want to join? Imagine showing up on the first day of tryouts. You have your choice of seats, because no one else is there yet. You get a little nervous, and check the paperwork to make sure you’re in the right place. You are. Eventually, the coach shows up. No one else does. You’re the only person on your team.
What would you do? Stay? Quit? Encourage the discouraged coach?
Hannah Scott is in this situation in the movie Overcomer. Her cross country coach, John Harrison, isn’t thrilled that he had to give up basketball and instead coach his least favorite sport, which no one else seems to be interested in either. He’s more frustrated when he finds out that Hannah has asthma, which may jeopardize her ability to place in competitions.
But that’s the least of Hannah’s struggles. She’s new to this Christian school, and her home life is a stark contrast from her rich classmates. She lives with her grandmother, who’s told her that both of her drug-addicted parents died long ago.
But this one-person cross country team may be the life change that both Hannah and Coach Harrison need.
*2020 Update: You can read interviews with the cast of Kendrick Brothers movies, including actresses from Overcomer, War Room, and Courageous, in our book: Girls Who Change the World, available now!*
Kendrick Brothers Do It Again
Which of these films have you seen before?
Facing the Giants
All of these movies were made by the Kendrick Brothers, pastors who decided to expand their ministry with the silver screen. If you haven’t seen them all yet, order them online or check them out at your library this summer. That way, you can be all caught up before Ovecomer hits theaters on August 23rd.
Alex, Stephen, and Shannon Kendrick are the filmmaking Kendrick Brothers, based in Albany, Georgia. For OVERCOMER, Alex co-wrote, directed, and plays the role of Coach John Harrison. Stephen co-wrote and produced the movie. (He also has an onscreen cameo similar to War Room.) Shannon serves as the movie’s executive producer. They are excited to release their sixth movie.
The Kendrick Brothers exist to honor Jesus Christ and make His truth and love known among the nations through movies, books, curriculum, and speaking. By prayerfully blending engaging stories with doctrinal integrity, the Kendricks seek to encourage and inspire viewers and readers with resources that impact their spiritual lives and strengthen their families and personal relationships.
The Kendrick Brothers enjoy including little things to watch out for in their movies. Be on the lookout for these:
A favorite breakfast cereal for many of their movie characters is Coney Bombs. Who eats Coney Bombs in this movie? Can you figure out what real-life cereal it’s based on?
Alex Kendrick is the brother that gets the most screen time. He’s played a major role in every Kendrick Brothers movie, plus other Christian movies like Moms Night Out and The Lost Medallion. However, Stephen has made cameos in the last two films as well as Fireproof. Can you find him in War Room and Overcomer? (Hint: he seems to like competitions.)
Speaking of competitions, do any of the other teams seem familiar? Perhaps a school from Facing the Giants?
Many of the cars don’t have license plates. That’s because it appears that they were recently purchased, and still have the dealership plate. Where were they bought from? You might know if you’ve seen their first movie, Flywheel.
Can you find any other Easter Eggs or references to other movies as you watch Overcomer? Let us know and we’ll share your findings on our social media!
Aryn Wright-Thompson is an honor-roll student, a leader in her community, and studies piano and dance: ballet, jazz, tap, acro, and lyrical. Aryn also plays volleyball, basketball, and softball. Aryn has also participated in pageants including the Miss N.C.’s Little Miss program and the Black Miss North Carolina Organization. Overcomer is her debut film.
We had the opportunity to ask Aryn about her role as Hannah Scott in Overcomer, and we’re excited to share the inside scoop with you about her acting, her life, and her walk with God.
*2020 Update: You can read even more about Aryn Wright-Thompson and other actresses, athletes, and amazing Christian girls in our book, Girls Who Change the World!*
Have you done any acting or theater before Overcomer?
Yes, a little. I had done some regional NASCAR commercials, and extra work. I was an extra on the Three Stooges movie. That was a lot of fun because I was younger and there was a lot of playing outside and a big cafeteria scene where I got to sit next to my brother and eat and be silly all day. Jennifer Hudson took the time to talk to me that day. Still a highlight of my life…lol!
I have done both school and community theatre. I really enjoyed both.
How did you get involved with the Kendrick Brothers film?
My agent sent over the audition request. I read the sides that were sent and loved that. I taped the audition at home and made my dad cry.
What did a day on set look like?
Every day we would have devos as a group of all the cast & crew at between 7 and 8. Someone would pray and give a motivational or inspirational speech during breakfast. That was my favorite part of the day. Then I’d go to wardrobe, then hair and makeup. Sometimes I’d meet with Ms. Beth, the acting coach, to review my scenes. A lot of times Ms. Shari would talk with me or pray with me. We’d shoot some, have lunch. Shoot some more, then have dinner. There could be another wardrobe, hair or makeup change in there somewhere. We were also fortunate enough to have different churches volunteer to either cook or bring us all dinner to set! We’d eat, fellowship and then head home. Usually about 7 or 8 for me.
Your character is a runner, but do you do any sports?
Yes! My parents have always kept us busy and active. Dance has been a constant in my life. I’m a competitive dancer and tap is my favorite style of dance. I have also played softball, basketball, volleyball and been a cheerleader. I also enjoy competing in pageants. I have participated in several North Carolina pageants.
How did you balance acting with school or your other commitments?
To be honest, it has always been a challenge because I live in North Carolina and I have often had to travel for opportunities. My mom would work with the schools and my teachers so that I wouldn’t fall behind and I have had to attend Saturday school a few times to make up missed time. I am very serious about my education and school work, so I always take every opportunity to work on assignments so that they’re on time.
How are you and your character Hannah alike?
I think that we are alike in the sense that we are both unsure. I had not always been sure of myself or my purpose. Spending time getting to know God and the love he as for me and all of us has given me the confidence to follow my dreams and I know who I am in Christ. That’s a big deal.
In real life, what’s something you’ve been working on accomplishing or overcoming lately?
Hmmmm…lately I think it’s been body image. Social media is such a big influence on the world. It seems the expectation is perfection. That’s not realistic and actual. I think it’s ridiculous. I’m definitely overcoming looking at myself from the view of the expectations of other people. God made me exactly the way he intended to, Who am I or anyone else to second guess that? As far as accomplishments, I’m working on being a professional at doing my own hair, there’s a lot to it!
Now that filming is wrapped up and the movie’s almost out, do you have any plans or hopes for a next project?
Ultimately, whatever God has for me..I’ll do it and give Him my best. I would love to continue acting and telling stories! I have another project I’ve been cast in called Don’t You Tell A Soul. I’m super excited about it because it’s a period piece. I get to play a young lady in the 1940s. I have always wanted to do that. I also plan on going to college and maybe becoming an attorney one day.
Did you have a favorite scene or moment on set?
Every day was my favorite. If I could redo last summer all over again I would. Maybe my favorite day was the first day because everything was new to me. I was a little nervous, but after completing that first day I knew I could do this. I also LOVED getting to spend so much time with all of the Kendrick kids! That was so much fun.
Last question: how much did you REALLY have to run for the movie?
LOL! A lot! Probably an average of 3 miles a day, and when we were filming most of the distance running scenes probably about 7 miles a day. But the girls that were in all of those scenes with me are actual runners. They kept me going and encouraged. The crew was amazing in helping us get through those scenes.
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!
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!
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.
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!
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!
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!
*2020 Update: Like movies? You can read our interviews with Christian actresses, plus authors, musicians, ministry leaders, and more, in our book Girls Who Change the World!*
“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.
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.
Points 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.
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. Girlz 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!