180 Movie - An Eye Opening Documentary

Wednesday, 28 September 2011

Waterfall Wednesdays (Chapters 12-28) Yupp, I'm Way Behind...

I'm sooo behind on Waterfall Wednesdays! I'm blaming it on school, homework, and that week I was sick. So I'm going to cram THREE Waterfall Wednesdays into ONE. Yeah, it's going to be epic. Just read on.


1. In Siena, on her way to the ball at Palazzo Pubblico, Gabi likened her experience to being on the red carpet at the Academy Awards, the goal being "to see and be seen." If you were a peasant, watching from the crowd, what would you be thinking as this procession passed by?

I would be totally excited! It's always fun to see a famous person so you can brag to your friends later (Like, I met Lucas Till's mom this past weekend. It didn't meet him, but still! I've met his mom! And I bragged to all my friends :).

2. Though quite nervous about dancing at the ball, Gabi discovers a strange feeling of connection to the time, the people, and the society through the unified beauty of the dance. Have you ever been in a position where you felt out of your element, but, in one, pinpointed moment, became a part of or connected to something bigger than your fear?

Hmmm.....I thrive on stepping out of my comport zone, but I can't think of a moment where I just connected all of a sudden. I'm sure it'll come to me later and I'll wonder why I didn't think of it then.

3. The kiss. Oh, the kiss. When Marcello finally kisses Gabi, he believes the experience to be proof that they are meant to be together. What did you think about his assumption? Were you surprised at Gabi's reaction to it? Have you ever experienced a kiss that seemed to be prophetic in a similar (or opposite!) way?

I'm saving my first kiss for my wedding day, so no, I don't have any kisses to compare it to! Even if I wasn't though, like Gabbi I usually only attract the dorks and weirdos. I think his assumption was far fetched (even though I agree that they should totally be together!). If a kiss proved true love then couples wouldn't break up and and families wouldn't be torn about by divorce. I think Gabrielle was right not to say, "Yeah, totally! Break up with that evil Rossi chick and marry me right away!" She knew she had to think things out, find a way home and all that jazz.

4. Many go through their teen years with a subdued sense of immortality. Do you think Gabi has a sense of this teen feeling? And did you think Gabi's converse observation, "Sometimes death came hunting and there was no way to cut it off at the pass." was informed more by the experience of losing her father, her self-admitted closet hypochondria, or the forced maturation of being transported to a different time? How does this observation show Gabi's growth as a character?

I think the time in which she finds herself in is full of death, either through fighting or sickness, and she is sorta shocked by it. I mean, the first thing she sees is a guy killed right in front of her. Later she helps doctor Fortino and sees how close he is to death. You can't see all that and not be affected in some way. So yes, I think that observation just show her growth as a character. That was one of the things I loved about Gabi. She actually grows and matures in these books.

5. In the span of a few moments, Gabi goes from sword-wielding teen beauty to man-killing warrior. Did you think her realization of the finality of death -- and her justification for its necessity -- was realistic? A
nd, in her slippers, could you have done the same?

Like I said, it was different back then. More fighting, killing, and sickness. Gabi found herself in many situations where she would have died if she didn't defend herself. I personally don't think I could ever bring myself to kill someone, even in self defense. I might be able to injure them so they don't attack me, but not kill.


1. Gabi and Lia both face several life and death situations in these chapters, having to pick up weapons in defense of those they love and experiencing first hand the brutality of close combat. If you had the choice between picking up a weapon and standing on the front lines or staying behind to tend to the wounded as necessary, which would you choose?

Eeek! I could never kill someone and I hate hospitals. But I would totally choose tending to the wounded over fighting. I'm just not that brave, skilled, or okay with running my sword into someone's stomach.

2. Both girls get to wear extraordinary gowns to their victory celebration; what would your dream medieval gown look like?

Yay, I like this question way better! I could do a whole blog post on this question! I love all of Susan's outfits in the Narnia films.

3. Gabi has crude stitches put in and must endure both their removal as well as the cauterization of the wound. How is your threshold for pain? Do you think you would have simply gritted your teeth as Gabi does?

Double eeek! NO, NO, and NO! I was wincing and gasping all through that part of the book! I'm hardly ever sick and I can deal with pain, but that is asking too much.

4. Marcello wants to properly court Gabi after they express mutual feelings of affection, wanting to speak with her mother about his intentions. What do you think is the most romantic aspect of medieval courtship?

Aw! This is what makes Marcello so cute! Besides the good looks and everything :) That is definitively romantic. Most guys don't talk to the parents before taking the girl out and I think that's sad. I think it really shows that he is serious about the relationship and cares about the girl a lot.

5. Gabi and Lia find themselves with conflicting desires toward the end with Lia wanting to return home and Gabi hoping to stay. Do you think that Gabi is being unfair to Lia for wanting to stay, or is Lia being unfair to Gabi for demanding they go? A little of both?

Probably a little of both. I think Gabi should listen to Lia though because the plan has always been to find each other and the go back to the tomb. It wouldn't be fair if she suddenly backed out.


1. After Gabi is injured, the doctor gives her a tonic. Gabi questions the doctor several times what is in it but he refuses to tell. Would have you taken the tonic in Gabi situation?

I don't know...if I was in a lot of pain, probably yes. But if it was bearable pain, I probably would have been more suspicious. Or just scared of their medieval medicines. I don't even like to take medicine today unless I'm really sick.

2. Before the games Gabi asks Lia to let Lord Forabosch win in the archery event as people especially Lord Forabosch are becoming suspicious of them. But during the games Lord Forabosch upsets Lia trying to throw her off her game. So Lia decides to win. Do you think she did the right thing by not letting Lord Forabosch bully her or do you think she took an unnecessary risk?

Yes and no. I see why Gabi didn't want her to do it, but I also see why Lia did it. I'm with Lia on this one :)

3. When Gabi is dying and she and Lia decide to return to the tombs so they can get the cure at home but they have to tell Marcello the truth. Even though Marcello thinks that it is madness that they are from the future he believes in Gabi because he loves her. Do you think this is believable? What would you have done if you were Marcello?

It could be believable because they showed up in a tomb wearing weird clothes and they knew basically nothing about the culture back then. It would all add up, but I wouldn't believe them until I saw it for myself. If I was Marcello, I would have helped them even though I had my doubts.

4. In the end Gabi and Lia return home. Do you think Gabi will return to Marcello? Would you go back?

The only path back...to love. (Waterfall by Lisa T. Bergren, page 369)

I hope she goes back! Actually, I already know the answer because I read "Cascade" and "Torrent!" I don't think I could go back. It would be asking to much from my family to go back to a time where I had almost died numerous times. But if he was the one...I don't know. I guess I would have to go back or die unhappy and single.

5. Looking back at Waterfall what was your favorite moment?

Everything! I loved the whole book. It was all wonderful.

Monday, 26 September 2011

Night of the Living Dead Christian by Matt Mikalatos

"Night of the Living Dead Christian" by Matt Mikalatos is about a guy named Luther on the run from his werewolf-self. He turns to his neighbor Matt for help and together they try to find someone who can help him overcome his inner beast before Borut (a lethal hunter with too many weapons) finds him. Throughout their journey they run into a mad scientist with an android, a horde of zombies, a vampire, secret lairs and not-so-secret lairs, and a robot Jesus.

I'm a big fan of Mikalatos' first book "Imaginary Jesus." So I was pleasantly surprised when I read and saw that this book was a follow-up. I loved the whole monster theme because it was refreshing to see someone write about monsters as they really are, not some gushy I-love-you-and-yet-I-want-to-suck-your-blood-really-badly vampire book.

"And so we return to my most pressing need, the desire for transformation, the burning passion to have a more manageable and less destructive nature. Of course, the Christians say they can help with that. Or God can. But I look at their lives and see far too many zombies." - Luther the Werewolf, page 95

This book is an spiritual allegory. Christians claim to have been resurrected in Christ, but we sometimes act like a zombie, experiencing a resurrection that is 90% death and 10% life. Or like vampires who satiate themselves at the expense of others. In Luther's case, he was a werewolf who couldn't control his base desires.

"If you never see yourself the way you really look, it's pretty easy to be satisfied with your life." - Lara the Vampire, page 122

I really enjoyed this book along with the laughs and watery eyes that came with it. The discussion guide in the back was awesome and very thought provoking, great for a small group to get together and discuss. There was also a fun Are You a Monster? guide in the back of the book.

I received a complimentary copy of this book for review purposes from Tyndale House. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.

180 Movie - An Eye Opening Documentary

This is an eye opening documentary on the topic of abortion. Ray Comfort amazed me at the way he answered questions and the questions he threw back. The world needs more people like him who aren't afraid to stand up, even if they're the only one, and fight for what they believe in. The truth is, they're are tons of people fighting for what they believe in - but what they believe goes against God. It's time Christians stood up, not the gays and the pro-choice people.

Watch it. These 33 minutes will rock your world.

Saturday, 17 September 2011

A Heart for Freedom by Chai Ling

The dramatic and fascinating story of Chai Ling, commander-in-chief of the student protesters at Tiananmen Square and witness to the massacre of thousands of Chinese civilians. Risking imprisonment and possible death for her leadership role in the student democracy movement, she was on the run in China for ten months while being hunted by the authorities. She eventually escaped to the U.S., completed her education at Princeton and Harvard, found true love, and became a highly successful entrepreneur. But her desperate quest for freedom, purpose, and peace—which she had sought in turn through academic achievement, romantic love, political activism, and career success—was never satisfied until she had an unexpected encounter with a formerly forbidden faith. Her newfound passion for God led to her life’s greatest mission: Fighting for the lives and rights of young girls in China.

I loved this book so much. It made my heart thump, the beats echoing one word: freedom. In America, we take it for granted everyday. How we express ourselves, where we go to school, how many children we have, where we work, who is in charge of our country, etc.

"If I criticize the president," one congressman told me, "the worst that can happen is the White House won't give me a dinner invitation." - Page 233

I had never heard of the Tiananmen Square massacre, so this was opening up a whole new world to me. Thousands of college students going on hunger strikes and gathering together to stand up for a right to speak is a truly amazing thing.

Chai Ling also touched on the topic of abortion. China's law that each couple is only allowed on child has led to many abortions.

In both China and India, families eliminate girls in hopes of raising boys. This crime, called gendercide, is done through prenatal sex selection, infanticide, and abandonment. China's one-child policy makes it worse - with only one baby allowed, who wouldn't choose a boy? Girls cannot carry on the family line and will marry and leave when their parents grow old. For security, every family wants a son. Now in China, six boys are born for every five girls. - Page 299

I had recently read a blog post about this and it really opened up my eyes. I remembered my mom telling me about China's one-child policy when I was younger, but no one really talks about it and I slowly forgot. Now it is becoming an increasing problem in China with lots of boys and a shortage of girls.

The preference for sons and the one-child policy are a lethal combination. Daily, thousands of baby girls are aborted or killed simply because they are girls. With so many girls now "missing" in China, the surplus of thirty-seven million unmarried young men is bound to cause security and economic problems. With a shortage of available mates for all the eligible bachelors, trafficking of little girls and young women is now out of control in China. - Page 300

Now, the whole book isn't about abortion but she does devote a good bit to it at the end. The rest of the book records her amazing journey from a small Chinese village to China's most wanted woman.

I received a complimentary copy of this book for review purposes from Tyndale House. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.

A River to Cross by Yvonne Harris

Elizabeth Evan has traveled to Texas to help her brother take care of his house and daughter after his wife's recent death - and join his newspaper staff. But before she can ever write her first article, there is trouble and danger along the U.S.-Mexican border. Manuel Diego has a bone to pick with her brother and Elizabeth is kidnapped. Texas Ranger Jake shows up and sets out to rescue her, never expecting to fall in love with the smiling, dark-haired beauty he is looking for.

The whole idea for the book is great, but I'm not the biggest fan of historical romances. So I gave it a try, but didn't really like it. I love all of Bethany House's books and this is the very first one I've never enjoyed.

The story just seemed to be lacking something. Maybe that was because it was a shorter book and a quick read. It was also very predictable. Ya know, two people who don't want to get married fall in love and get married. Not a lot of brain work right there. I like romantic books to be realistic and not cheesy, but that really is a matter of opinion. I heard that there was a debut book called The Vigilante’s Bride that lots of people enjoyed. So maybe if I had read that book first I would have enjoyed this one better.

I received a complimentary copy of this book for review purposes from Bethany House. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own

Surprised By Oxford by Carolyn Weber

A "girl-meets-God" style memoir of an agnostic who, through her surprising opportunity to study at Oxford, comes to a dynamic personal faith in God.

Carolyn Weber arrives for graduate study at Oxford University a feminist from a loving but broken family, suspicious of men and intellectually hostile to all things religious. As she grapples with her God-shaped void alongside the friends,classmates, and professors she meets, she tackles big questions in search of love and a life that matters.This savvy, beautifully written, credible account of Christian conversion follows the calendar and events of the school year as it entertains, informs, and promises to engage even the most skeptical and unlikely reader.

I loved following Carolyn Weber as she found God (er, God found her) in her book, Surprised by Oxford. The book follows Weber throught her years at Oxford as she is studying Romantic literature. She struggles through issues such as growing up without a father figure, feminism, and questioning how could a loving God let so much bad happen.

This book is a jem. It's so rich and real, and yet tough and gritty. I laughed, I held my breath, and I pondered. I also fell in love with TDH right along with Weber, that Sweet-Talkin' Son of a Preacher (Chapter Seven's title).

There is some language in the Prologue, but you can skip it and start on the first chapter.

I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.

Saturday, 3 September 2011

Waterfall Wednesdays (Chapters 7-11)

1. Gabi's search for her sister is made increasingly difficult by the fight for territory between Castello Forelli and Castello Paratore. At this point, do you think the rivalry is warranted? Why or why not?

War isn't fun, but if Paratore is attacking Forelli more and more then they should protect themselves. I didn't really get at first why they wanted each ot
her's castles, but the more I read the more it made sense.

2. Gabi aids Fortino by having his sickroom cleaned out and using steam to loosen the phlegm inside his lungs so he could breathe better. Have you ever found yourself in a situation that required you to rely on home remedies to aid yourself or another? What are some of your favorite home remedies?

Thankfully, I have never had to doctor someone besides giving them Sudafed or a band-aid. Nursing is at the top of my Things I Stink At list. I also hate hosp

itals. Home remedies? Zip, zap, zero. I did love reading about Gabi helping Fortino get better though.

3. Marcello and his men don't hide their surprise when they learn that Gabi is skilled with a sword. What did you think of this development? Has your initial impression of Gabi changed? Do you have any secret skills?

I loved Gabi's skills with the sword! I was impressed right along with Marcello. My secret skill is that I'm a beast at Swordplay on the Wii. Okay, well, I can beat the first level. Fear me.

4. "Our lips were so close, I could feel the heat of his breath on my skin." Gabi and Marcello's feelings for one another are beginning to stir. What do you think of Marcello as a romantic interest thus far? What do you think of his intended?

Oh, it's so vexing! I want them to fall in love and yet I don't want to see Marcello get hurt if he dumps Lady Rossi. I would have fallen for Luca. So much less drama. Lady Rossi is a puzzle. You think she's mean one minute and then nice the next.

5. Marcello and Luca take turns teaching Gabi the dances of Toscana. Would you have liked to attend a ball like the one Gabi was practicing for? Do you like to dance? Do you know any cool dance moves? Extra (not really) points if you YouTube yourself dancing and share the video. Come on, it will be fun! :)

I can't dance to save my life, so I would totally be begging for dancing lessons before I went out and humiliated myself. I would love to attend a ball though. They say white people can't dance and I'm living proof of that. Sorry, no video! (: