In case you haven’t heard, we’ve got a giveaway for Beyond the Break, a brand-new book from Penguin Teen.
Beyond the Break is a funny and gorgeous debut about a girl experiencing her first love. Well, second, if you count her faith… and that’s where things may get complicated.
Manhattan Beach native Lovette has two rules in life. One: no surfing. Not after her brother’s accident. Two: absolutely, no dating. And going into her junior year of high school, she’s pretty happy with that arrangement. She has friends, her church youth group, and God to fall back on when things get dicey. But after Jake Evans walks into her life, following these two simple rules gets a lot more complicated.
Jake is the boy from Lovette’s childhood who grew up. Handsome and sweet, he unlocks the part of Lovette that wants nothing more than to surf the waves again. And as their relationship grows, she begins to question what it means to be faithful: to her family, to God, but mostly, to herself.
Told with humor and heart, Heather Buchta delivers a sparkling debut that asks the question: Can you fall in love, be a teenager, and also be a good Christian?
You can read the first chapter of Beyond the Break by Heather Buchta here. If you want to read the whole thing, you have two options. Starting today, you can find it at any online or brick-and-mortar bookstore. Or, you can enter our contest.
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.
We all have goals. They’re a major driving factor that gets us through life. And here at Girlz 4 Christ, we not only want you to have goals, we want you to ACCOMPLISH them!
Have you ever wanted to do any of the following?
Read the Bible cover to cover.
Plan a trip to another continent.
Become a writer.
Get a straight-A report card.
Earn extra money.
Or anything that takes motivation and hard work?
If so, you’ve come to the right place! We’re excited to announce the theme for our Winter 2017/18 magazine issue: Going for the Goals!
We want you to help us design this issue so it can best help you reach your goals. Where is your stumbling block? Is it difficult to figure out what your goals really are? Is the day-to-day grind too much for you? Let us know what your goals are and how we can help you.
If you want to get a head start on your goals, we have the perfect eBook for you. Girlz with Goalz, our step-by-step workbook, can bring you from formulating your dreams to becoming a success! To celebrate our upcoming issue, we are giving this book away to everyone who makes any size of donation to the Girlz 4 Christ ministry. Just click here to safely give through PayPal, and we will send your downloadable Girlz with Goalz eBook to your email account.
PS: If your goal is to become a writer, we have an exciting way for you to do that! You can become a published writer by contributing an article to our “Going for the Goals” issue. E-mail G4Csubmissions@gmail.com for more information or to send your work in. (If you are a photographer or illustrator, you can contribute your work, too!)
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.
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.
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.
But although there are mysteries and faith themes, Hitting the Breaksis 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.
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 Breakspremiered. (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 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 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 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.
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.
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!
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.
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!