Thursday, April 5, 2018

Courageous Women of the Bible Book

Award-winning author and speaker Latan Roland Murphy's book "Courageous Women of the Bible" " empowers women through stories of choices that positioned them for success. She encourages her readers to look beyond their circumstances by laying out ways to develop more courage through scripture. She has her readers look at eleven biblical stories such as  Deborah, Widow with Two Coins, Joel, Abigail, Bathsheba, Samantain Women, Mary, Mother of Jesus, Shulammite Women described, Shunammite Women.
As someone who isn't very familiar with the Bible I had a hard time connecting the women from the Bible and relating it to myself without having to do more studying. However, I did find some very inspiring messages such as:

"Obstacles are simply opportunities with God by our side." "Own your tomorrow by making your way to Jesus today" -p. 48

There are many great messages in her book. However, I really wish she explained in detail more on the eleven stories as well as giving examples of to imply those stories to your life.

A lot of material in this book had a tendency to be repetitive. At the end of each chapter, there are discussion questions. This book would a good read for a Women's Bible Study.  The back of the book has a lined journal which really loved.

I couldn't help but laugh when she explained "filling up with God will help you not waste your time on loser guys." I find it is interesting women especially Christian women only look at life around men. Couldn't women find other things to waste time on such as going out to drink or wasting time on a job that isn't going anywhere?

The main message I received from Murphy's book is:
 "Our goal is to become courageous who leave behind fear and intimidation for a life of confidence and freedom." p.39

"Review for Bethany Christian"

Sunday, March 18, 2018

Red Sparrow Quck Movie Review

Trailers sure can make movies look good.  For me, this is what happened with Red Sparrow.  Jennifer Lawerance plays a Russian Ballerina who gets injured and is forced into being a Russian spy by her uncle, so she can help pay for her sick mother. While on her mission she runs into an American spy who changes her mind into helping the American catch the Russian mole. This movie takes you on the journey of deciding whom can you trust and whom can you not trust. It is a movie with twists and turns. 

I am very surprised this movie was not rated NC-17 for the severity of the nudity, sex, and rape in this film. Red Sparrow is filled with lots of uncomfortable sex scenes.  Not only do you see Jennifer Lawerance's breasts and butt you will also see many men's penises as well. There is a lot of violence including some pretty graphic rape and sex scenes. I am all for movies that have sex and violence in them as long as it has a purpose.  Yes, the sex and violence in this film have a purpose. The violence in this film is important because it shows the vicious side of Russia and being a spy. It also shows what it is like to be a woman in that field.  
Jennifer Lawerence's performance, I felt wasn't her greatest work. It defiantly showed how uncomfortable she was with being nude and having to do the sex scenes. I don't blame her. I would be the same way.  In Hungar Games, you can see the emotions of fear but in Red Sparrow, she was just flat Throughout the film, there were many times when she lost her accent.  Joel Egerton, the American spy, didn't have much chemistry with Jennifer's character.  To me, Joel Edgerton didn't have a spy look. Maybe I am visualizing James Bond too much in my head.

SPOILER ALERT- Sitting there for 2 hours and 20 minutes watching their story unfold but leaving me hanging at the end was not fun. 

There were a lot of continuity issues especially when it comes to make-up/special effects make-up.  In one scene she has bruises on her arm and the next she doesn't. There is a scene of her covering her bruises up with make-up, but makeup does not cover up those types of bruises that easily. You still will see some sort of skin discoloration where the bruises are. Plus, not only did she have bruises she had cuts and scrapes as well and makeup does not cover over fresh cuts and scrapes.

Yes, I know what you are thinking, Is there any positives to the movie?  The costumes were well done. The locations really showed two sides of Russia. Each location had different textures.  The cinematography was excellent. My favorite scene was when Joel's character is running from the Russians through the park. The street lights and the moon shining down on him was gorgeous.  The editing was pretty well done. There were a couple of crossing the 180-degree rule. It didn't take away from the film and non-filmmakers wouldn't notice it. The editing kept the scene fresh and kept you knowing the geography of the room.    SPOILER ALERT-  If they might have cut thirty minutes it could have been more of a solid movie especially since the ending really didn't end. 

You may be wondering how many stars I would give it. You probably aren't, but I will tell you anyways. lol.  I would give it 2 out of 5 stars. If I didn't have my Moviepass card I would have been very upset spending $10.00 on this movie.  I would highly suggest seeing it when it comes to Netflix or the $1.00 rentals. Unless you want to see Jennifer Lawerance naked on the big screen then you will not want to wait till it hits DVD.

Saturday, March 17, 2018

Chronic Ear Infections

May of 2017 I had a really bad ear infection. I have had sinus infections all the time, but never ear problems. After a variety of antiobotics and ear drops it seemed to go away. Two months later I got another one. My ENT doctor put me back on some more antiobotics and ear drops. It went away again after a month of fighting it again. Then in August it came back again. This time it caused a couple of holes in my ear drum. My ENT said I need surgery. He told me he is going to repair the ear drum and put in a tube. I had to wait 2 1/2 weeks for surgery.  In the meantime he stuck some purple stuff in my ear. This caused my ear to be completely plugged. 

Four days before my surgery I got into some gluten causing me to vomit. I was stupid and desided to do a paid taste testing thinking I could get away with it. I was completely wrong. The $30 I made was not worth it. Everytime I throw up it made me get really dizzy. The dizziness caused me to vomit some more. I ended up going to ER because I couldn't keep my pheregan pill down. The ER gave me some IV pheregan and hydration through an IV.   

Surgery day approached. I was terrified but was ready to stop suffering from ear infections. You don't realize what symptoms come from having ear infections. This includes, dizziness, headaches, neck aches, severe neasuea, vertigo, hissing sounds, hearing my heart rate, hearing loss, severe pressure in the ear and list goes on.  
My ENT told me that he didn't have to repair my ear drum because it healed, but he did put a tube in. 
Having a tube put in isn't horrid. It did take me 3 days for the pain to go away.  I had to be careful what I did for 2 weeks. I couldn't lift anything heavy or blow my nose. 

Having the tubes in was very helpful. But then in October my ear was acting really funny. It felt like another ear infection was approaching. My ENT took a look at it and said it looks fine.  
Ear Wax/Purple Medication fell out of my ear

Another ear infection happened to me in January. This time it was worse then the ones before. I ended up on four different antibotics, steriods, five different ear drops because each one didn't get rid of it. I had to get my ear suctioned out 1-2 times every week. Eventually he cultured the fluid in my ear, which was very painful.  It came back showing I had a fungus type  infection. He disagreed with the results because he feels it is still bacteria because fungus doesnt look like what he is seeing. However he does think yeast is growing in my ear due to it being so wet from the infection. After getting the results he decided to put me on another round of antibotics and created a special ear drop compound. It seemed to work except the compound ear drop plugged my tube causing all the infection and fungus to get caught behind the ear drum. This made it so I had to get the tube pulled out in the doctors office. He pulled the tube out with any numbing. At this point he didn't want to do anything. Instead he wanted to wait a week and see what it does. 

Well a week went by and the pressure and hearing loss was still pretty bad. He told me the yeast/fungus and bacteria looks like it is better, but my ear drum healed and trapped all the fluid behind the ear drum. This means he has to cut it open and drain it.  
My First Ear Surgery August 2018
He numbed it up. The way they numb the ear is the same way they would with anything else. He had to give me two shots inside my ear.  You cannot move one bit while he does that. It burned like hell. He was extremely concerned I could be having a spinal cord leak. Once he cut and tried to sample the fluid but couldn't because it was so thick. He said it is what he calls cement glue. Because there was so much of he there was no way he could get the right sample.   Let me tell you that was incrediably painful. It took about 15 minutes. He suctioned it out. It took about 10 minutes of suctioning.  He confirmed I need to have surgery to clean out the tissue around the ear, ear drum and in behind the ear. To do this he will have to drill a hole in my skull.  In the meantime a tube must be put it. I asked him if I could just wait until surgery. He told me he wouldn't recommend waiting to put the tube in. Plus, he already cut open a hole in my ear drum and it is numbed up. I agreed to put it in. Then he told me he needs to give me two more shots in the ear to numb it. Darn it. He freakin lied to me. The hardest part is you cannot move, swollow and flinch. He had a hard time getting the tube in causing alot it to be very uncomfortable. This appointment was the last week of Feburary 2018. 

The soonest they could get me in is March 29th. I saw him last week and my ear is looking pretty good, but he still recommends getting the surgery done to prevent the infection from coming back. He feels like there is still infection particulars that is behind the ear drum and in the tissue area around the back of ear and skull. He feels that is the reason for it coming back after getting the tube in August. 

I am not looking forward to it, but I am also looking forward to maybe getting my normal hearing back. I will keep you all posted on how it went. Please keep me in your prayers. 

Friday, March 16, 2018

Seeing Theatre Shows With Gastroparesis

Last week Friday, I went to see a play my friend was acting in.  A good friend of mine came with his mother because I had two free tickets.  My stomach wasn't doing very good that whole day. Before leaving I had some of my favorite Progresso Soup (Rice Roasted Chicken Wild Rice). That was a huge mistake. I got to our seats. These seats are you typically theatre seats they are just basic chairs. It sort of like a black box theatre. The building only contains one exit out of the theatre. The worse part is the restroom is downstairs where the actors dressing rooms are. The show got started and my stomach started really getting worse. I was seated clear across the exit. The only way to exit is to walk on the stage area. On top of it, I was seated dead center and would have to climb over a bunch of people.
It felt trap and my anxiety shot up. Finally, intermission came.  I hated leaving and not congratulating my friend as well as leaving my friend and his mom. But when you have to go you have to go.
Holding #2 for 2 hours is not a good thing. The pain is horrid. It didn't help I was stressed out about being stuck there for the whole Act 1.

I was very discouraged and upset with my body. Come to find out I forgot to change my pain patch. Not sure if that was why I was having such severe stomach cramps, running to the bathroom, hot and cold sweats. I also was gone every night and skipped dinner for 4 days, so I don't know if my body was just crashing from that or it could have been both. All I know was I was extremely miserable.

The following morning I woke up feeling a little better. I just always love how my stomach decides to give me troubles when I am busy and not home.

Sunday, March 11, 2018

Thoughts on Movie Pass

Movies today cost close to a Broadway show or even a concert depending on the seat. On Thanksgiving, we decided to see a movie before 5:00pm because we thought the tickets would be $7.50, but we were wrong. It costs $9.50.  Tickets after 5:00pm costs around $11.00.

A friend of mine told me about MoviePass. For only $10.00 a month you can see one movie a day.  The only thing you can't do with it is see the same movie more than once. You also can not see 3D or IMAX with it. It sounded too good to be true, Right?

Well, my mom and I decided to try it. It took about 2 1/2 weeks to get our debit cards. It is very easy to use.

Step 1: Order the Card online (They don't charge you until you use it for the first time)
Step 2: Wait for the card to come in the mail.
Step 3: Once you have the card in your hands download the app on your phone.
Step 4: Go to the movie theatre ( You have to be in the movie theatre for the money to go on the debit card.)
Step 4: Pick the Movie you want to see and its time.
Step 5: Hit Check In ( You have 30 minutes to get your ticket)
Step 6: Take it up to the cashier tell them the movie you are seeing.  They slide the debit card. And bam you have your ticket. Easy as pie.

I got my card two months ago. Every month with this card I have seen 4 movies saving me $30.00 each month. I have no clue how they are making any money from doing this, but I don't care because I love this card. Before you order one make sure there are theatres in your area that takes it.

So far, I have been really happy with it. The only problem I ran into is seeing movies on a Friday or Saturday night.  On those nights the app just doesn't want to work. Other than that I haven't had any problems with it.  It is allowing me to see movies that I want to see as well as ones I would be okay with missing.

Checkout Movie Pass at: Click Here

Thursday, March 1, 2018

Understanding Color by Bryan F. Peterson Book Review

As you all know I am a filmmaker and photographer.  I love learning about different ways to take pictures. ways on the lookout for books that give me ideas and teach me new ways to take pictures. Bryan F. Peterson's Understanding Color explores the use of colors. He discusses how the color wheel works and how to figure out what colors work best with each other. His book contains a variety of images of commercial and art photography. Understanding Color goes into detail on how to get the right exposure. There is information on ISO and other tools on making your photography stand out. This book is easy to follow.  Great book if you are doing professional photography or just a hobby. 
The only con on this book is he tends to take more pictures with Nikon. If you are new to photography I would suggest getting Peterson's book Understanding Exposure. 


"I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review."


Bryan Peterson is a professional photographer, an internationally known instructor, and the bestselling author of Understanding ExposureUnderstanding Shutter SpeedLearning to See CreativelyUnderstanding Digital Photography, and Beyond Portraiture. In addition, he is the founder of the online photography school the Perfect Picture School of Photography. He lives in Chicago.

Monday, January 29, 2018

The Empowered by Craig Parshall Book Review

 Grab a large cup of coffee or some Red Bull because you will need it.

The Empowered by Craig Parshall, a Christian crime drama about Trevor Black an ex-attorney who has the power of seeing demons.  This Travor Black sequel touches heavily on human trafficking.  Black takes on investigating a mysterious death in Washington, DC.  This investigation takes him to New Orleans where he tracks a shadowy Internet-driven child abduction group who has pagan sects of the Old Testament. There he discovers the human trafficking of young girls.  The supernatural catches up with him by creating a carefully staged a murder in his hotel room putting him on the top of the suspect list. Soon after the murder setup, his daughter goes missing. He is running out of time to save his daughter's soul. While trying to rescue his daughter, Heather, he uncovers a human trafficking ring that extends far beyond isolated murders, enslaving scores of innocent children with its head perhaps linked to the highest seats of power. The demons only give him a certain amount of time to save his daughter. 

Craig Parshall isn't new to criminal justice. As a constitutional attorney, Craig currently serves as Special Counsel in Washington DC with the American Center for Law and Justice.  He is also a commentator on issues involving culture, faith, freedom, law, media and technology and frequently debates the most controversial and engaging issues of the day with atheist groups and separation-of-church-state leaders. He has even made appearances on legal and constitutional issues before mainstream media including FOX news, CBS television, CBS radio, CNN, NBC's Today Show, Inside Edition, PBS, NPR, and Court TV among others. His cases have even been featured in major newspapers and magazines including the New York Times, the National Law Journal, the Chicago Tribune, the LA Times, the Boston Herald, Atlanta Constitution, Newsweek, and U.S. News and World Reports. 

I found this book to be very Bible preachy. I felt Parshall wrote this book not to tell a crime drama story, but a way to preach scripture. Every problem Black encountered was quickly and easily fixed within 2-4 chapters. The conflicts didn't last long. Human trafficking and scripture seemed to be Parshall's main themes.  I believe Parshall main theme of this book is if you trust in the Lord everything will come easy and turn out better than planned.  At times, I found this book to be very hard to follow. 

"Rely on the Spirit, that's what. Make room for faith in all this, Trevor. this isn't like improving your golf game, you know."  (p. 333)

My favorite part of the story was when his daughter went missing because I felt drawn into the story. This was an actual conflict happening. I was the suspense of him having to find his daughter in a certain amount of time would last through book and at the end of the book Black would find his daughter, but that did not happen. Sadly it only lasted three chapters. 

"Self-pity is a destroyer. A tool of the enemy. " (p. 333)
My least parts of the book are the Voodoo. Everything in this world seemed to be Voodoo to black. If you aren't on your knees begging for God to bless you then you are Voodoo demon.  Basically, I felt there were too many stories going on in this book. I wish he just stuck with having to find his daughter. I would tell you more, but I don't want to ruin the book for you.

The reason why I said get your coffee or a Red Bull because to me this book was very hard to finish. I was very disappointed in this book. For the life of me, I could not feel connected to these characters. I wouldn't recommend this book unless you are church book club.

Author: Craig Parshall
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Craig Parshall is a fiction writer who has authored or co-authored twelve suspense novels. His fiction work has appeared on the New York Times Best Seller List and on the CBA bestseller list. Craig is a current events columnist and has also co-authored several nonfiction books with his wife Janet, a national syndicated radio talk show host on Moody Radio. He was the founding director of the John Milton Project for Free Speech, a pioneering Internet investigation that brought him into contact with world experts on the dangers of the web. Craig has made appearances on mainstream media such as The Today Show, FOX News, CBS TV and Radio, Inside Edition, and many more. Craig is a cum lade graduate of Carroll College (English/Philosophy/Religion) and Marquette University Law School where he received his J.D. degree. As a constitutional attorney, Craig currently serves as a Special Counsel with the American Center for Law and Justice

Check out Craig Parshall's Website: Click Here
Craig Parshall's twitter: Click Here
Craig Parshall's Facebook Page: Click Here

Release Date: January 2018.
ISBN: 978-1-4964-1137-2
Publisher: Tyndale

Courageous Women of the Bible Book

Award-winning author and speaker Latan Roland Murphy's book " Courageous Women of the Bible" " empowers women through s...