Recently I received a DVD of the movie Awakened which is now available in stores and on Amazon for $9.99. It is a faith-based thriller which turns over the leaf of demonic oppression to create suspense and intrigue.

Personally, I don’t usually watch thrillers and don’t enjoy supernatural threats to life and limb,  not to mention the residual memories of them that haunt me in my sleep. I watched this one purely out of the desire to support Christian movies and producers who I hope are ultimately trying to glorify the Lord Jesus Christ with their craft and perhaps need an edge like this to break into the very short attention span of the current media consumer.

As for this particular movie, the plot is a bit slow — punctuated by the occasional sermon & visit to the pastor to remind the viewer who to turn to in times of trouble. Honestly, I started watching it in fast forward.  I think it needed just a bit more action throughout. I felt that the performance Rob Boltin (Jacob Harker) was the best of the actors. I wasn’t too impressed with his “wife” played by Gwendolyn Edwards but I am not sure her lines for the script were much to go on.

ABOUT Awakened:

Newspaper reporter Jacob Harker (Rob Boltin) loses his job, forcing he and his wife, Haley (Gwendolyn Edwards), to move into a small rental house owned by Webster Cain (Michael Monks). In the process of moving in, Jacob discovers a discarded audio recording of 60’s blues singer Carol James (Hannah Hughes). Captivated by the voice on the recording, Jacob conducts an investigation into Carol James’ life and death.  Through his pursuit, Jacob becomes haunted by an evil spirit. While the spirit seductively persuades Jacob, drawing him deeper and deeper into its own malicious plot, the spirit attacks and terrorizes Haley, creating both fear and distrust in the Harker’s home. Haley sees her husband turning into someone less recognizable each day.



MOVIE NEWS: Living Hope


Have you ever met someone who changed the course of his or her life completely to follow Jesus? In the movie, Living Hope, be prepared to be inspired by several individuals and families who gave it all and got so very much in return – not in money or fame but in the joy and peace of knowing they were serving the living God with their lives, serving the poor and needy, through the ministries of Living Hope in South Africa, where “poor” takes on a whole new meaning.

I had the great pleasure to go to South Africa recently on my way to Kenya for a Christian conference with the non-profit for whom I work. This movie truly shows the heart and soul of the people of Africa and I enjoyed the inspiring stories I saw here.


LIVING HOPE is the story of three extraordinary individuals who have devoted their lives to serving the poor in South Africa. It is a feature length documentary created by the filmmakers behind Journey to Everest, Apostles of Comedy, and Honoring a Father’s Dream: Sons of Lwala.  John Thomas, a pastor who is leading his church to serve the sick, hungry, and dying in the communities that surround them. Journey beside John through the neighborhoods where they work, meet the people their ministry has impacted, and hear from his heart why they chose to make a stand for the poor.  Joey Lankford, a businessman and father of four who moved his young family from the United States to Cape Town. Journey beside Joey as he equips men and women with job skills, and leads them out of the bondage of poverty.  Leonie Rustin, a single mom and nursing assistant, who turned from a life of crippling drug addiction to follow Christ. Journey beside Leonie as she attempts to help other in her community unshackle the chains of addiction and prostitution.

Learn more about how YOU can get involved in this amazing multi-faceted ministry.

Enjoy this Living Hope Trailer:


MOVIE NEWS: Chasing Grace


Recently, I had the opportunity to view a new Christian movie called Chasing Grace. Christian movies often get a bad rap because the filming quality, the acting quality, etc. (which is not the case in this film) but I do like to support them because I believe in the heart of the message and that is to glorify Jesus. Movies like Chasing Grace show us a bit about what happens when normal, God-fearing people deal with human emotions and human realities in the face of truly difficult circumstances. Every day we face temptations to walk away from God’s perfect will for our lives and there are very real consequences which this movie explores well.

Overall I felt that the movie moves at a pretty good pace and has some great actors and actresses in it. It also included a bit of a twist I didn’t see coming which is always a welcome surprise.

Read below a bit more about the movie and watch the trailer for yourself!

ABOUT: Chasing Grace


A tragic accident threatens to destroy a pastor’s family and sets into motion a complex betrayal between two brothers, while exposing secrets no one wants to face.

Pastor Jonathan Matheson lives in a world of black and white, yet finds a way to navigate the “grey in-between” to work to his advantage, while facing one of the most tragic moments of his life. Set in small-town America and woven inside a tale of redemption, “Chasing Grace” is a story of how one family takes on the burden of guilt in order to make sense of their loss. While pointing the finger of blame at his brother, Pastor Jonathan also chooses to hide from the truth while trying to escape his own personal demons. “Chasing Grace” is loosely based upon true events and provides a powerful story about the redeeming power of forgiveness.

Buy the DVD on AMAZON.

Learn more about the movie HERE.


CIRQUE DU SOLEIL – OVO comes to Liacouras Center in Philadelphia May 11-15

Last night I and a friend went to see the very talented cast of the CIRQUE DU SOLEIL – OVO performing at the Liacouras Center in Philadelphia now through May 15th. The show was simply phenomenal and created to appeal to all ages with a colorful bug theme and energetic acts that keep you on the edge of your seat.


The first-ever Philadelphia engagement of Cirque du Soleil’s OVO, a new arena touring production, opens at the Liacouras Center on May 11-15. (OVO also premieres in Atlantic City, at Boardwalk Hall on June 22-25). 
OVO, one of Cirque du Soleil’s incredible & amazing combinations of acrobats, costumes, music and international performers, is an ‘insect-themed’ production focusing on a unique,colorful ecosystem teeming with life, where insects work, eat, crawl, flutter, and play in a non-stop flow of energy and movement.
Buy your tickets NOW to see CIRQUE DU SOLEIL – OVO at the Liabouras Center.

Join the social fun: 

Facebook.com/ovo : OVO – Cirque du Soleil

Twitter : @cirque #OVOCirque

Instagram : @cirquedusoleil #OVOCirque


Enjoy the trailer for this delightful show below:


Broadway Philadelphia’s THE SOUND OF MUSIC

Growing up with the movie Sound of Music makes the opportunity to see the Rodgers and Hammerstein Broadway version live down in Philadelphia next week all that much more special. I can never get enough of one of MY favorite things –  a story filled with classic lyrics, tantalizing romance and big picture tension that keeps the plot moving throughout.

Can you believe that EVERY time my husband says “So . . .”, I immediately think and occasionally say, “a needle pulling thread . . . “? And, if he pauses too long, I may even start at the beginning with “Doe, a deer, . . .” Love, love, love this timeless classic that has contributed to many phrases in our culture today not to mention how we view Julie Andrews and her incredible talent in so many ways.

somMy friend Jo-Lynne and I are headed down to enjoy the show on opening night March 15 at 7:30 pm. The show will run March 15-20 and right now you can get a family 4-pack for only $179 through the Kimmel Center Ticketing website with the code EDELWEISS.

To join the social fun, follow the Kimmel Center on Twitter @kimmelcenter and hashtag #BWYPHL for news on all upcoming shows.

To get a brief glimpse of this North American Tour, see the trailer below:


32nd Season of #Survivor starts tonight! #BrainsBrawnBeauty

This last week, my friend and I embarked on a journey of surviving the train to NYC to take part in a totally FUN first-ever blogger preview of Survivor, now in its 32nd Season. (Can you believe we got on the “quiet” train by accident coming AND going?!)

IMG_20160216_155551461Jo-Lynne and I are both BIG Survivor fans going back to the start in 2000. In 2008, my sister gave my husband and I tickets to see the Survivor Micronesia Season Finale in New York. Of all the coincidences, two people who accompanied host & executive producer Jeff Probst to this media event were Micronesia winner Parvati Shallow and two time contestant Stephen Fishbach. How fun is that! Of course, I had to geek out and pull out my buff from that season andIMG_20160216_160044948 have Parvati and Jeff sign it.

But on to the BIG news, this season, filmed on the island Kaôh Rōng in Cambodia, is starting with three tribes: Beauty, Brain & Brawn. In the live interview posted below, Jeff, Parvati and Fishbach all answer questions about the show and their previous experiences on Survivor and how they dealt with challenges on and off the beach. Parvati gave a unique perspective about being behind the scenes one season when she went as press instead of contestant. Jeff answers the question “Which tribe would you be?” with Brains, of course (which he clarifies is because he humbly doesn’t see himself as beauty or brawn)!

Also, when asked if contestants respond to Jeff’s running narrative, Fishbach and Parvati enjoyed sharing instances where it motivated and then times they simply had to tune him out (hehe).

The event organizers from CBS went all out to welcome us and make us feel a part of the process – giving out colored buffs and very colorful cupcakes! We had plenty of time to talk to Jeff, Parvati and Fishbach and get our own pictures with everyone which is always fun as a blogger. We were also able to see most of the show – except who was voted off. Watching again tonight to see the ending along with my daughter.

We also received copies of Jeff’s best-selling book series STRANDED: SHADOW ISLAND which he shared came from all the conversations with kids about Survivor. When he asked our group who would want to be on Survivor, guess who raised their hands? The kids! Not the moms and dads in the crowd. Apparently, this book series came from their youthful optimism and confidence. I can’t wait to read them myself.

I just interviewed my own daughter asking “Why do you watch Survivor?” Her response – it’s a place where anything goes! (which if you see the amount of lingerie worn for clothes in this season, you might agree!)


Here is the live Q&A where you can see some fun questions being answered including background insider scoop on the worm in one contestant’s ear that you will see in tonight’s beginning to what is being called the most grueling season yet!

For more detailed information on SURVIVOR and the castaways, log on to www.cbs.com/survivor.

Join the Survivor Social fun on Facebook & Twitter here and here. Hashtags: #Survivor & #BrainsBrawnBeauty



Joseph & the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat comes to #BWYPHL – Family 4-pack Special

unnamedThis coming week, I am looking forward to taking one of my colleagues to see Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat which comes to Philadelphia Broadway this next Tuesday December 29th and stays through January 3rd.

Last summer, I saw “Joseph” at Sight and Sound out in Lancaster and I am interested to see with this Broadway production what they mean when one description for it reads that this biblical story has been “reimagined.” It is truly a great story regardless and I know it will be good.


Ring in the new year, with a 4-pack starting at $120.16!* https://tickets.kimmelcenter.org/APO/apo.aspx?apo_no=TECHNICOLOR


ABOUT THE SHOW: One of the most enduring shows of all time, Tim Rice & Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat is the irresistible family musical about the trials and triumphs of Joseph, Israel’s favorite son. Directed and choreographed by Tony® Award-winner Andy Blankenbuehler, this new production is a reimagining of the Biblical story of Joseph, his eleven brothers and the coat of many colors. The magical musical is full of unforgettable songs, including “Go Go Go Joseph,” “Any Dream Will Do,” and “Close Every Door.” Book your tickets and be part of the magic!

*Offer limited to select sections and performances to Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat at The Merriam Theater. Minimum of 4 tickets per order. May not be combined with any other offer and cannot be applied to previous purchase. All Sales Final.


Top 10 Reasons Women WIN in #StarWarsForceAwakens PLUS #StarWars Coloring Pages


Thanks to my husband & our dedicated friends, we held our day-long Star Wars Marathon last weekend before I joined a theater of dedicated journalists this last Tuesday eager to grab an early glimpse at the 2015 addition to this series from LucasFilm known as  Star Wars: The Force Awakens.

In my opinion, The Force Awakens definitely lives up to Director J.J. Abrams’ promise to welcome the viewer back into a world Star Wars fans know and yet have them experience one that is completely different and fun to experience on its own. You have the familiar dusty dry lands of foreign planets inhabited by orphans & pirates, the same slick metal world of the evil alliances, some old and some new friendly robots who always seem to be in the right place at the right time and the ever present alien bar with characters who make you want to stare even when you know you shouldn’t. The biggest difference: There’s more girl power in this movie than all the other Star Wars movies combined.



Without having read the articles documenting the addition of strong women characters, I came to my own conclusion about this drastic departure from the previous movies. Here’s my top 10 reasons women win out in this particular film: (*Spoiler Alert* There are some minor plot reveals here but not the biggest ones so that you still have plenty surprises ahead of you. Yes, go see the movie!)

  1. Skimpy bikinis are gone.
  2. Women get costumes we can actually see our girls wearing on Halloween or any other time of the year.
  3. Women are storm troopers.
  4. A woman runs the outpost alien bar.
  5. Women are key character Jedi (not just a side-thought who gets killed).
  6. The Force that has awakened appears to be girl power.
  7. The new jedi warrior figures out the force on her own because she’s just cool like that.
  8. And, (*spoiler) she flies the Millenium Falcon like a pro on the first try.
  9. Women are generals (go, Leia!)
  10. Men are the eye-candy in this one – Hello, Oscar Isaac. . .
Star Wars: The Force Awakens Poe Dameron (Oscar Isaac) Ph: David James ©Lucasfilm 2015

Star Wars: The Force Awakens
Poe Dameron (Oscar Isaac)
Ph: David James
©Lucasfilm 2015

That said, go see the movie so you can find out for yourself who the new Darth Vader replacement is, what he does to make you truly hate him and how he connects in this intricate plot.

About “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” Lucasfilm and visionary director J.J. Abrams join forces to take you back again to a galaxy far, far away as “Star Wars” returns to the big screen with “Star Wars: The Force Awakens.” The film stars Harrison Ford, Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher, Adam Driver, Daisy Ridley, John Boyega, Oscar Isaac, Lupita Nyong’o, Andy Serkis, Domhnall Gleeson, Anthony Daniels, Peter Mayhew and Max Von Sydow. Kathleen Kennedy, J.J. Abrams and Bryan Burk are producing with Tommy Harper and Jason McGatlin serving as executive producers. The screenplay is by J.J. Abrams & Lawrence Kasdan. “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” releases in U.S. theaters on December 18, 2015.

Download the Star Wars Activity Kit & Coloring Pages Here: starwars_pdf_5662199996c28

Want to connect with #StarWars across the social galaxy? There are many ways below:

Like STAR WARS on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/StarWarsMovies

 Follow STAR WARS on Twitter: https://twitter.com/starwars

Follow STAR WARS on Instagram: http://instagram.com/StarWarsMovies

Follow STAR WARS on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/user/starwars

Visit the official STAR WARS: THE FORCE AWAKENS website: http://www.starwars.com/the-force-awakens/

STAR WARS: THE FORCE AWAKENS arrives in theaters everywhere on December 18th!

And, just in case you HAVEN’T seen the trailer:


Saying Goodbye to My Old Blogs: Genesis Moments and DIYFrugal

Well, it’s done! GenesisMoments.com (my original Mom blog with years of review content, inspirational thoughts and celebrity interviews) along with DIYFrugal.com (my shared frugalista blog with reviews and money saving tips) are now GONE. Ignored, hacked, poisoned and now lost in cyberspace.

If you have been redirected here looking for those blogs, they are gone. Content lost in digital dots. Sorry, world. Life got busy and blogging took a back-step. In my absence, evil hackers took over my sites and sent viruses out into the world. To avoid further digital poisoning, I have shut them down for good and forwarded the domain names here. The hacked content no longer exists so if you are looking for old links, old mentions or branded images, they do not exist in any accessible form.

Those two blogs represent an active time in my life of creative writing and digital networking that led to several career building jobs in education and communications and amazing public relations experiences I won’t ever forget. I will never underestimate the value they had to my life but life goes on and now it’s time to move on.

Message me if you have any questions about these older blogs.



journalReading the Bible without meditating on it is like trying to eat without swallowing.” — Anonymous

Reading the Bible has always been a great source of joy, peace and wonder for me. I always seem to find new things that are perfectly applicable to whatever situation I am going through and I am in awe at knowing that I am reading the inspired word of God.

Whenever I am worried or afraid, all I have to do is to open this age-old book of wisdom and I know the triune God (the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit) are with me guiding, directing, loving and rejoicing when I give everything going on in my life to Him. I also know that unless I am feeding my mind and soul with the Word, I am probably not reacting to situations the way I should. The more we are in the word, the more it pours out of us in life in all situations. It doesn’t mean we are perfect – just properly equipped.

What I love about this journaling Bible is that you can make notes, write dates of prayer requests and even doodle as you contemplate God’s word. I have gone back to more than one older Bible in my life time and really enjoyed seeing what I wrote and how God inspired me in a particular moment. This publication of the Bible gives you plenty of room! I have always enjoyed journaling and reading the Bible and here you have both together.

I am doing a quick giveaway of one of these Bibles this week (to end by Friday, 11/20/15). US & Canada shipping only. Please comment below for a chance to win your own ESV journaling Bible. See more information about this Bible below.


About the ESV Journaling Bible: (Retail Price: $37.99) 

 – Black letter text
 – Double-column, paragraph format
 – Cream-colored paper
 – 2″ ruled margins
 – One-Year Bible Reading Plan
 – Introductions and section headings for each Bible book
About Crossway:
The purpose of Crossway has been, from its founding as a not-for-profit ministry in 1938, to publish gospel-centered, Bible-centered content that will honor our Savior and serve his Church.   They seek to help people understand the massive implications of the gospel and the truth of God’s Word, for all of life, for all eternity, and for the glory of God.  
Disclosure: Thanks to Propeller Consulting, LLC for providing this prize for the giveaway. Choice of winners and opinions are 100% my own and are not influenced by monetary compensation. I did receive a sample of the product in exchange for this review and post.
Contest Rules: Only one entrant per mailing address, per giveaway. If you have won a prize from our sponsor Propeller/FlyBy Promotions in the last 30 days, you are not eligible to win. Or, if you have won the same prize on another blog, you are not eligible to win it again. Winner is subject to eligibility verification.