What Shakespeare Made Me Realize

At my co-op, my friend said something about the Google tribute to Shakespeare, and how she was thinking about me or something. Another time, another friend was thinking about me when we were reading a book that had a Shakespearian aspect (it actually has multiple aspects) to it. Another person shared a link about Shakespeare’s first folio for me. Another friend once sent me a link to something Shakespeare related and said that when she saw it, she thought I needed to see it. Another special adult tagged me in a comment for a thing about Shakespeare. One of my closest friends even told me that she needed my help writing a Shakespearian love letter.

Yesterday, I was stopped by two moms I know about Shakespeare. The first one was mentioning his birthday a few days ago. I told her it was also the 400th anniversary of his death, and she said she remembered me mentioning that. I think she remembers my (around) ten minute speech from two years ago about Shakespeare. Then, as I was walking, another sweet lady (my brother’s music teacher) stopped me to give me a Shakespeare in music cd. I obviously have a reputation for Shakespeare, and what’s crazy about some of these people doing these things is that some of them I barely know. Now I’m starting to think, and I realize a common thing. Almost everyone I know has a common belief, that I love Shakespeare. And it’s true, I basically yell it out to the world. Even people I barely know seem to know it. And it’s really cool. But it makes me think, ‘What if I advertised my love of God in this same way? What if I talked about Him like I talk about Shakespeare?’ I mean, my reputation is one of a Shakespeare fanatic, and everybody knows it. But if I talked about God in the way I talk about Shakespeare, think about how many lives I could impact for Christ! Wouldn’t it be cool to be known as the girl who is obsessed with Jesus? Sure, my Shakespeare rep is cool, but in the end, what really counts is what I did about Jesus. If I listened to the command, “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit…” (Matthew 28:19, ESV), then think about all that I could accomplish! I already have experience evangelizing to people; I just went on a mission trip where we evangelized to people on the beach! Why am I wasting my time talking about Shakespeare when I could be telling everybody how much God loves them, and how God offers a new life to anyone who will accept Jesus, repent, and follow Him? Wouldn’t that be a great accomplishment?

Advertisements

The Book of Esther (Film)

The Book of Esther is a movie based on the book of the Bible with a similar name. It stars Jen Lilley as Queen Esther. Esther is my favorite Bible character. A few years ago, I had the pleasure of writing (and acting) in a small play about the Bible story of Esther (a few months later I reprised my role in a short talent show skit). At the time, it was extremely important to me, and Esther is still special to me.

The plot of the movie follows the key elements of the Bible story fairly well. There are extra scenes added, (of course), but it is still pretty true to the beloved story of Esther. It is pretty clean; there is only one instance that would cause me to hesitate showing younger audiences (the second is an honorable mention but is probably subtle enough for the younger crowd):

1) A husband and wife have a scene that isn’t the most comfortable, but both are fully clothed and it’s just a giggle/sit on lap/show affection scene.
2) A man is choosing between two women, and it feels (to me) like it is alluded that he may be taking them to bed, one at a time. This is not the case. He is just watching the two of them talking through a secret window.

There is also a weird instance in the beginning when young Esther is seen. She very obviously has a wig on (it is not a very good wig), which takes away some of the quality of the film. There is also an animation part of the movie where it is showing a building.

Overall, this is a great movie. It has been awhile since I’ve watched it, but even though it seems somewhat low budget, it shows a love for God that is lacking in some films today.

Switched at Birth

For my sister’s ASL class, she was told that she could get extra credit through doing things with the show, Switched at Birth. My family tries to do a Girl’s Night/Guy’s Night where my dad and brother watch their show and my mom, sisters, and I watch ours. For awhile, one of our shows was Switched at Birth. In the beginning, it was really, really good. It is a cool storyline and has some nice elements to it. SPOILERS ARE COMING! But, as we went on and on, the show kept having affairs, and kids making bad decisions about drinking and etc. One of the characters who seemed sweet and good, Emmett, showed his true colors. His true colors were not appropriate for a Girl’s Night show. There are so many immoral decisions made on this show that even I (as the eldest child in my family) don’t need to be seeing. My mom told me I could read a summary of what happens after we quite the show, but I found out a really inappropriate thing. Throughout the show, there is so much sex/dishonesty/bad decision making that it keeps us from an otherwise good show about the deaf community and sign language. Throughout the show (just in season one!) we see…

Bay with three boys at least

Daphne with and/or interested in at least three

Simone (who isn’t even a main character) with at least two or three

Emmett with at least two girls

Regina with at least two men

Toby with at least one girl

The show is not suggested for anyone, especially young children and teens.

Once Upon a Time

I was a big fan of this show for a long time. It is extremely intriguing, exciting, and enjoyable to watch. It is a new spin on fairy tale characters. It mixes all the fairy tale characters (and even some Disney characters) and their stories together and makes their backgrounds overlap and over complicated. They have about five seasons now. The first season was good (though not always the most appropriate). The other seasons were also good but still have some adult elements to them. We didn’t keep up with the series this season, and are not continuing it further at this point in time. The writing is fantastic, but there are some sections that aren’t as good as others. I’d suggest doing your own research before watching this show, and using logic and common sense when deciding whether to watch it or not. This series is really good if you look at the creativity/writing of it, but really bad if you only focus on the sexual concepts of it. I do still watch episodes and will probably continue with the seasons we have already seen, but I am not sure that it would be wise to pick it up again after season four.

When Calls the Heart (TV Show)

I love this TV show so much! It is one of my favorite shows of all time. It is about a schoolteacher, Elizabeth Thatcher, and a Canadian Mountie, Jack Thorton. It is pretty family friendly, and has a very clean romance.

Spoilers are present!

Elizabeth Thatcher comes from a very rich family. She is used to every luxury, and is by no means prepared for what awaits her when she accepts the position as a school teacher in a coal mining town called Coal Valley. The stagecoach she traveled in is attacked and she has a rough time getting to Coal Valley. Once she arrives, the ladies she meets are not impressed by her, but agree to give her a short trial. She burns the house she stayed in to the ground on the first night she is there, and is taken in by Abigail Stanton. The rest of season one covers all the important details of the town, its people, and introduces us to the tragedy that happened months before. There was a disaster in the mine, and a lot of men (fathers and sons) died. The head of the coal mining business is not a favorable character for sure. We also get to see a romance between Elizabeth and Jack spark, but when a beautiful actress who was previously engaged to Jack comes, wanting Jack back, things get a bit…complicated. I’m not going to say much more about season one so that there are still some surprises for you.

In the second season, we get to see more about the mine disaster. We also see a romance spark between Rose Leveux (not going to say who she is), and see Elizabeth’s home. Things get complex with Jack and Elizabeth again, and when a man Elizabeth knows from her past gets involved in the storyline, things are crazy. The cliffhanger for the second season is way more intense (in the sense that it’s harder to wait for) than the first season.

I am almost done with the third season. We see an engagement, some orphaned kids finding their forever home, and a returning character from season two.

 

 

I love love love LOVE this show! It’s fantastic, and there are only a couple adult things that would go over a child’s head. Definitely a good family show. It is done by the Hallmark channel.

Les Miserables (starring Hugh Jackman, Anne Hathaway)

 

When this movie was released, I had wanted to see it with a friend of mine. Our moms discovered that there was some questionable content, and we went to see Parental Guidance (with Billy Crystal) instead. Of course Les Miserables was popular. Friends gave me information about it, and I heard some of the songs. I was even told that I’d be Cosette (if I was a character in it). So I knew a little about it, but only was allowed to see it starting this summer.

And wow, there IS a lot of “questionable” content. It’s a good thing I didn’t see it at age thirteen!

 

Spoilers are present below. 

The story follows a convict, Jean Valjean, who “stole a loaf of bread” and spent “nineteen years a slave.” (Look Down (song)). This movie is a musical, and there is singing throughout the entire movie. There are hardly any words that are not sung. Valjean breaks parole (thus ensuring that he will be enemies with Inspector Javert for the rest of his life) and steals some silver. He is captured by the authorities but the Bishop he stole from sets him free, and gives Valjean the silver. Years later, Valjean is the mayor of a town. One of the factory workers, Fantine, has a child but does not make it public. She is found out, and is fired. She is forced to become a prostitute to save her dear girl. Javert is sent to work for Valjean, but soon suspects the mayor of being the ex-convict. Valjean eventually confesses to save another man, and Javert is soon on his trail. Before Valjean is nearly arrested, he has the chance to help Fantine. She is ill. When she is on her deathbed, he promises to look out for her daughter. Fantine dies and Valjean barely escapes the unforgiving Javert. Valjean collects Fantine’s daughter, Cosette, and treats her like his own daughter. The two life together for many years. When Cosette has grown up, she catches the eye of Marius, a young boy against the French government, and Marius catches her eye. The two of them fall instantly in love. The townspeople are mad at the government and attack people. Eponine, a girl who loves Marius, wants to be with him, and conceals a letter from Cosette to Marius. When Eponine is dying, she gives it to him. Valjean wants Marius to be alive (he is one of the townspeople fighting because he is against the government), even if he doesn’t survive, and saves Marius’s life. Cosette marries Marius, Valjean dies, and Javert commits suicide by the end of the movie.

 

I love the movie. I love the songs, the characters, Daniel Huttlestone. It is very well done. This movie is not appropriate for younger audiences, (because of the multiple sexual references, the prostitutes, the sex-like scenes, etc.) but is worth seeing if you get the chance and can put it into proper perspective.

Braveheart

Braveheart was on my list of movies to watch for years. Starring Mel Gibson, this movie is about the historic William Wallance from Scotland. I saw part of it when it was on tv three years ago, but was more focused on *gulp* Minecraft than the actual movie. I really wanted to watch it after that, but without an edited version it was not okay for a young teenager. I’ve finally seen (most) of it (the movie is extremely long and I had just gotten information about my murder mystery party that night…so of course I was distracted). It is definitely NOT for young kids or teenagers. I am nearing adulthood, but I still closed my eyes from some of the gore.

*Spoilers*

The movie, about three hours long, is about the Scottish people versus the English people. William Wallace is orphaned when his brother and father are killed. At the funeral, a little girl gives him a flower (he ends up marrying this girl in secret years later). The English are not being kind to the Scottish people, and it is decreed that a soldier can spend the first night with a new bride. This is (of course) absolutely evil, but what can the Scottish people do? Things get worse when Wallace’s wife is raped and murdered by the antagonists of the movie. Well, the Scottish start attacking. Wallace becomes well known for his fighting. At the end of the movie, Wallace is (of course) killed.

 

 

This movie is NOT a happy one. There is a lot of blood, death, and marring, and even a rape. This is an adult movie for sure. It also deserves it’s rating. It is a pretty good story, but use caution when watching it.

The Golden Specific by S.E. Grove (Mapmaker’s Trilogy Book 2)

Can I just say this series is so amazing? The idea is so brilliant, I wish I had thought of it myself! I got my hands on one of the advanced copies for the first book in the series, and though the copy was not the same that they sell in stores, it was still very entertaining.

 

WARNING: SPOILERS MAY BE PRESENT

 

Book two starts up with Sophia Tims still trying to find her parents, who are still missing. A different format than the original, we get to learn Minna and Bronson Tims (Sophia’s parents) story through various diary entries put in the novel. Sophia starts seeing her mother’s ghost like spirit and Minna tells Sophia various one-liners. Sophia also receives some mysterious help, leading her to a library-type establishment. Sophia lies in order to enter it (for only people of a certain religion are allowed to access the resources), taking on the new name of ‘Every Tims’ in order to gain access. She searches documents, and with the help of a mysterious worker, Remorse, Sophia learns that Minna had a diary. Remorse offers to get Sophia passage on a ship, and also lets her take Shadrack Elli, her uncle and guardian, with her. Theo is out with Miles on an adventure, but returns near the novel’s beginning, bringing back a map made by someone with a very similar name to Cabeza de Vaca. Shadrack had declined the idea of leaving with Sophia in search of the diary, so the two children plan on going on their own. A murder occurs, changing the course of plans whether the kids like it or not. Sophia ends up on the ship alone (with not even Remorse) and Theo does some investigating (of the murder) back at home. Sophia gets help from some new friends, and at the novel’s end, we are left with a cliffhanger.

 

I really like this series. The plot is extremely entertaining. Though there are a few less positive parts of the format/style, the plot makes up for it and it is definitely worth reading.

 

When Calls The Heart by Janette Oke

When Calls The Heart is the first book in a series by Janette Oke. I grew up watching (and playing) Little House on the Prairie. We also would watch some of the Love movies (another series by Janette Oke). We found the tv show When Calls the Heart on Netflix, and fell in love with it. We’ve watched almost all three seasons. It is a fantastic tv show.

A few weeks ago I was in a van for a prolonged period of time. I decided to read the book with strong Christian themes,  When Calls The Heart. I finished it in a couple hours (it is only 200 something pages). I now know it is a multi-book series, so I can only write about the first book for now. A full comparison of the books/tv show will have to come later.
The book’s main character is Elizabeth Thatcher. She goes to a town far away from her home to teach and be with her brother, while also meeting an attractive Canadian Mountie named Wynn (in the tv show his name is Jack and he is absolutely amazing 😍).

Spoilers will be present!

Elizabeth is definitely not used to the conditions she faces at her new job. She is sent away from her brother by a vengeful and rejected suitor. She has a very persistent mice problem, and has a bit of a smoke issue with the stove. Elizabeth likes Wynn but gets the wrong idea that he’s married. She does find out that he’s single, and his “wife” is just a relative he’s helping out. The ending is pretty good, because it is inevitable that the two (Elizabeth and Wynn) will be together.

Compared to the tv show, the book really isn’t overly exceptional. It’s definitely a clean romance, but it’s not the best book I’ve ever read. It definitely has some cute romance, but that’s the best part of it. It is kind of dull.
I am going to try to read the rest of the series, but this book is definitely not a book for those who need excitement in a book. It’s an alright book.

The Edge on the Sword by Rebecca Tingle

 

I read this book for the first time in eighth (?) grade. It was exceptional. It doesn’t seem to be very well known, but that doesn’t take away from its quality. The story centers around Flæd, daughter of Alfred the Great. It is historical fiction, and very well written.

Flæd is about fifteen years old. An opposing kingdom is causing trouble. Flæd is assigned a guardian named Red, who teaches her how to defend herself. She runs into some trouble and it is up to her to save herself, and others.


 

I am a fan of old royalty, and adore Europe. This time period/story suits my taste nicely. It takes place before ten thousand A.D. . The novel is well written, exciting, and keeps your interest. I remember reading it at night when a friend was in a text conversation with me. I think I may have chosen the book over him a bit… Anyways, this book deserves more recognition than it has. It is pretty clean; there are only a few things I would warn someone about.

 

*SPOILERS*

I have not read this book cover to cover in a while (I’ve read it at least twice I think), but I remember that there is one part where Flæd has been captured by enemies. Something a little more adult and sexual may be referenced to but it would not have been that bad.

A beloved character (Red) gets killed when a group of good guys are attacked.

This book has to do with weapons/fighting, so I think there is blood and there is death.

Some of the scenes are somewhat intense.

A character  is betrothed.


 

Overall, I think this is appropriate for preteens who can handle some death/war type things. It is really good and worth reading!