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.
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!