Monday, May 30, 2011

MOVIES ON DVD ---- That Don't Make You Blush

By Molly Noble Bull 

With Blockbuster and Hollywood Video in our rearview mirrors, watching a movie on DVD is not as simple as it once was. Add to that the fact that theaters aren’t showing movies that Christians would care to see. But if you like old movies or the few suitable new ones now available, I can make a suggestion.
Join Netflix.
I am not an employee of Netflix nor am I being paid to say this.
Nevertheless, for ten dollar a month (via a credit card) you can have movies on DVD sent directly to your home with a return envelope and free postage included. Simply watch the movie, put it in the envelope and send it back. Here is the address for Netflix. 
Netflix has thousands of available movies you can rent on DVD. To see what movies they have, click BROWSE DVD's at the top of the screen. To see if a movie you might want is available, look near the top of the screen on the right. 
In small letters, you will see the words [Movies TV shows, actors, directors, genres] Delete those words and write in the movie you want to see in its place. For example, write The Kings Speech over those words. I KNOW they have that movie, but you could write in that title as a kind of practice.  
The Kings Speech will come up. If you like that movie and want to see it, click on it. There will be a place to click on again, stating that you want them to send you that movie as a DVD. At that point, they will show you other similar movies. Click on the one you want. If not, write another movie in the spot (Movies TV shows----etc.]  
To get you started, here is a list of movies you might like. These are all "clean" movies, and you might have seen some of them. But it's always fun to see them again. 
Here is the list:    
Unconquered                                                               Emma
Pride and Prejudice                                                     Mansfield Park   
Sense and Sensibility                                                   Jane Eyre 
Samson and Delilah                                      Ann of a Thousand Days 
Raintree County                                                          Persuasion 
The Ten Commandments                                             Ben Hur 
The Inheritance                                                           Tuck Everlasting 
Vertigo                                         The Secrets of Jonathon Sperry  
Great Expectations                                                    Tale of Two Cities 
Deja Vu                                                                       The Red Pony 
National Velvet                                                           Blind Side   
Anne of Green Gables                        Little Lord Fauntleroy 
David and Bethsheba                                                  El Cid  
National Velvet                                                         Blind Side   
While You Were Sleeping                                         Oliver Twist
The Count of Monte Cristo                                       Rear Window

After you have made twenty or thirty DVD selections, go to the top of the screen and click YOUR QUEUE to see a list of the movies you have selected. When you reach that page, you can decide the order of the movies you want sent. 
I will be adding more titles in the days and weeks to come and reviewing many of these titles. If you like good movies and don’t like most of the ones available in theaters today, Netflix might be the way to go.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Movie Review -- ATLAS SHRUGGED

Part 1 

by Molly Noble Bull

According to the dictionary, atlas is like an exclamation of disappointment, regret or sorrow. And to shrug is to draw up the shoulders in displeasure, doubt or surprise.
I shrug when asked a question and don’t have an answer.
I’m supposed to be writing a movie review on Atlas Shrugged. Trouble is, I haven’t been able to see the movie yet. 
The movie is only available in big cities. We live in a small town.
Therefore, this will be what I call a do-it-yourself movie review. I’m depending on all of you to tell us about this movie. However, I do have a copy of the movie trailer. Let’s watch it, and we’ll talk again later.


The movie, Atlas Shrugged—Part 1, comes from a 1200 page novel by Ayn Rand, and apparently, there will be a Part 2 and Part 3. According to the product description on the book, Atlas Shrugged is about a man who promised to stop the motor of the world—and managed to do it.  
So why is the movie so controversial? Why did Hollywood prevent it from being shown in most theaters around the country? Some think it was because the book and movie paint free enterprise in a good light as opposed to the welfare state.
As I said, I have not seen the movie yet. But if and when the movie is available on DVD, I will let you know via a post on Writers Rest.
Please leave a comment. And if you have seen the movie, please tell us what you think. 

Monday, May 23, 2011

Childhood Favorites

by Cecelia Dowdy
What are your favorite childhood stories? Which books really resonated with you?

If you know me very well, you'll know that I LOVE READING! It's one of the few things in my life that has been constant from early childhood until now. When I think about my time as a kid, I think about some of my favorite books. I've listed A FEW of them here, but, as I think about it, I'm sure there are others:

1. The Dick And Jane Series - Actually, I don't consider this one a "favorite" but, these books kind of stay in my mind because these are the books that were used to teach me to read. I just remember the joy of being able to string words together and to actually read an entire book aloud!
2. Laura Ingalls Wilder's Little House Series - I read these books over and over again. I really enjoyed seeing these characters through the pages of these novels! The family went through lots of trouble in the wilderness and Laura had lots of struggles with her nemesis, Nelly Olsen. There was also a popular TV series on in the seventies that was based upon the characters in the Little House books. I watched most of the episodes of Michael Landon's series, too.

3. The Boxcar Children - A group of four orphaned children hide out in an abandoned boxcar to escape the care of their "evil" grandfather. The rest of the series focuses on their being raised by their grandpa and the adventures they faced. I read this entire series a couple of times I believe when I was around nine or tenish?

4. The Nancy Drew Mysteries - the originals. I read the original Nancy Drew mysteries when I was in the fifth grade. I was mesmerized by this courageous, smart, 18-year-old woman who solved mysteries and...she didn't accept payment for her services. Her mother died when she was three and she was raised by her lawyer father, Carson Drew and her housekeeper, Hannah Gruen (sp?).

5. Heidi
6. The Secret Garden

I recall reading Heidi twice and I believe I read The Secret Garden more than once. Both of these stories involved ill children, struggling to get well. In Heidi, she lives in the mountains with her grandfather, the Alm Uncle (sp?) and there's a shepard boy named Peter in this story too. Heidi loves to read and I recall her reading to a blind woman in the story. I believe this book took place in the Swiss Alps. My memories of The Secret Garden are a bit sketchy, but I recall teh garden served as a solace to a sick child as the youngster struggled to get better.

So, what are your favorite childhood stories? Why were they your favorites? Have you read any of the stories that I've listed above?

~Cecelia Dowdy~

Wednesday, May 18, 2011


by Molly Noble Bull

Do you believe that Heaven is a real place?
You will if you read Heaven Is For Real by Todd Burpo. Todd is a pastor and the father of Colton Burpo, the most astonishing little boy you would ever hope to know. At the age of three and a half, Colton was seriously ill and in the hospital, and during that time, he went to Heaven, met Jesus and had some incredible adventures. Then he came back to earth, and he has been here ever since.
His parents knew nothing about Colton’s Heavenly visit. They learned of it quite by accident when some time later the family drove by the hospital and his mother ask Colton if he remembered staying there.
[“Yes, Mommy, I remember!” he said, according to page # xvii of the book. “That’s where the angels sang to me.”] 
From that moment on Colton’s parents, Todd and Sonja Burpo, started asking questions, and they soon learned some amazing facts about Heaven and the people who live there. You will be amazed, too, when you read
Heaven Is For Real –A Little Boy’s Astounding Story of His Trip to Heaven and Back.
After you have read the book, you will have a better understanding of child-like faith in God, and there is a good chance you will never fear death or dying again. Instead, you will be eager to go to Heaven when your time on earth ends—to see what Colton saw and know what he knows. 
With a score from 1 to 5, I give this book five stars. 
It’s that good.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Put Your Money Where your Mouth Is


by Teresa Slack

I’m posting a few days late thanks to trouble with Blogger and my own issues with sticking to a regular blogging schedule. Not a good testimony on my part considering this post is the final installment in my series about setting and achieving goals.

We talked earlier in the series about stepping out of our comfort zone in order to reach our goals. The first step was to identify those goals and decide how important they are to us. Then we discussed a proper attitude necessary to carry one through to the completion of those goals. Goals are awesome, but will not get you far in reaching them if you have a self-defeating attitude.

You’ve decided on your goals and determined the staying power necessary to stick with them. You’ve spent the last few days working on a positive, success oriented attitude. Now you’re ready to roll up your sleeves and make those goals a reality.

Here’s where the rubber meets the road. We can talk all day about setting and reaching goals, but until we put plans into action, we’re no closer we were to reaching them than we were before I started this series.

ACTION—energetic, conscious habitual exertion of power.

Nothing will ever change in your writing life until you take action. Like me, you’ve probably read a thousand books on how to write a best selling book and get it published. You’ve attended writers’ conferences and joined writing groups. But until you put into action all the lessons you’ve learned, you’re not one page closer to completing your book.

Robert B. Parker, prolific writer of the Spenser: for Hire novels and scads of other best selling books, reportedly wrote 10 pages a day. 10. Didn’t matter if it was Christmas or a family wedding. 10 pages a day.

10 pages is quite a goal; not one I’m ready to tackle at this point in my life. Consequently I’ll never be as well known or successful as Mr. Parker. Each action we take—or don’t take—comes with consequences. Everything we do, every choice we make is a tradeoff. When I decide to sleep a few extra minutes instead of getting up early to workout, I must deal with excess weight and health issues. When I don’t pursue leads for my Scentsy business on a daily basis, I reap low sales numbers. When I choose to spend my day on the phone or in the flower garden or shopping instead of at my desk writing, I don’t come any closer to completing one of the writing projects on my hard drive.

What action will you take today to make your dreams come true? 10 pages of your manuscript a day? 5? Or just committing to 30 minutes of uninterrupted writing?

They’re your goals. Only you know the necessary action required to make them come true. But take action. Do something. Jump into the great unknown and grow your wings on the way down. They will grow. But not until you jump.

Molly Noble Bull lives in South Texas -- near the southern tip of Texas. It rained there this week, and she thanked and praised the Lord for it. They also had a inch and a half of rain a few days earlier, and she thanked and praised the Lord on that day, too. These rains were a blessing to thristy Texas. But too often, we ask for the Lord's blessing and then forget to thank Him when we get what we prayed for.
Please join us in prayer for rain in Texas and relief from the floods and tornadoes elsewhere.
Heavenly Father, 
We thank and praise you, Lord, for the rains you sent this week to parts of Texas, and we thank you in advance for the rains you are going to send to the dry areas. We also thank you in advance for relief from all floods, tornados and hurricanes.
In the blessed name of Jesus,
Amen and amen.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Attitude Makes the Difference

by Teresa Slack

Welcome back to Writers Rest and Part Two of my series on how to achieve your goals. I'm Teresa Slack and the last time here I posted about Ambition. Hopefully I got you thinking about what you want, why you want it, and if you’re willing to pay the price to get it.

Ambition is the key ingredient necessary in answering these questions. Chances are if you’re reading this blog, your chief ambition is to write a novel or polish that novel enough to get it published. Even thinking about writing a novel requires more ambition than 95% of the world possesses. But you have the desire, you’ve counted the cost, and you’re ready to do whatever it takes to attain your goals.

What matters now is ATTITUDE.
"It is our attitude at the beginning of a difficult task, which more than anything else, will affect its successful outcome." William James

Our attitude is the only thing we have control over. Positive or Negative. Success or Failure.

We all face doubts—artists and those in the entertainment industry possibly more than any other group. Think of all those amazing, talented, tortured souls before us who committed suicide or drowned their doubts and demons in the bottle. This is a tough, tough industry. It is not for the faint of heart.

Our attitudes determine our actions. Are you pumped or pitiful? Pestering or empowering? Bothering people or blessing them?

The best way to check your attitude is to measure other people’s reaction to you. Do friends come to you for advice and encouragement? Do they avoid sitting next to you at parties? Are you a giver or a taker? If friends must continually prop you up and feed your ego to keep your engines firing, your probably need an attitude adjustment.

A good or bad attitude doesn’t only affect those around you. It affects how much effort and zeal you put toward reaching your goals. If you approach your goals with the attitude that you don’t have time or a supportive spouse or whatever else is holding you back, then you probably won’t accomplish much.

So how’s your attitude? Are you determined to give your dreams everything you’ve got? Or are you going to wait to see what the economy does or how your mother-in-law reacts to another of your silly pipe dreams?

If you suspect you have an attitude problem, you probably need to rekindle your passion. The best way to do that is to surround yourself with people you wish to emulate. If you haven’t already, join some writing groups, online and in your local area. Follow some encouraging blogs online (like this one, I hope). Nurture positive relationships that have nothing to do with what you want. The world is bigger than ourselves after all.

“You’ve got to give something to get something.” Billy Blanks—Taebo creator and fitness instructor

Next time we’ll talk about taking ACTION. All the best laid plans in the world won’t do any good if you don’t have a plan of action and the tenacity of a pit bull to stick with it.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Ambition--What drives you?

by Teresa Slack

Ambition—the desire for achievement of distinction and the willingness to strive for it.

For the next week or so I’m going to post a series of articles about how to achieve your goals. For most of us, that means stepping out of our comfort zone. Come on, we’re creatures of habit. We do things the same way over and over, whether it’s taking the same route to work or disciplining our children the same way our parents disciplined us, sadly with much the same results.

But to succeed, to change the way we've always done things in order to break the chains that hold us back, we must step out of our comfort zone.

Three things are vital to step out of our comfort zone in order to reach our goals.
The first component necessary in reaching our goals is AMBITION.

Quick, without thinking too hard, answer this question. What do you want? Come on, it’s an easy one. Don’t think too much. Just blurt it out. Better yet, write it down. What do you want?

My response comes easy. Since you’re here at Writers Rest, yours probably will too. I want a new book contract. Right up there with acquiring that elusive contract, I want to finish the four or five nearly finished books in my hard drive so I can get started on the next four or five stories trapped inside my head.

Next question: Why do you want it? This one shouldn’t take much thought either. Writing is my passion. My ministry. I have a story to tell. It’s exciting and I want to get the story out. You probably have similar reasons. Maybe some a bit more noble.

Now here’s the tough one. Are you willing to pay the price? Hmm. This one gives me pause. Am I willing to turn off the TV, stay off the phone, work through the frustrating parts when the story isn’t coming together, write when the rest of my family is sleeping or having more fun than me and get these stories finished?

Let’s face it. This business is hard. It’s lonely and frustrating and easy to throw up my hands in defeat. How hard we’re willing to stick with something totally depends on how badly we want it.

I have a friend who keeps a money jar next to her workstation at the beauty salon where she works. Every tip and every extra dollar she can get her hands on goes into that money jar. She’s saving for a trip to Hawaii with her friends. They go every couple of years. Anyone who’s been to Hawaii knows it’s an expensive trip and sacrifices need to be made to make the trip a reality, especially on a stylist’s salary. But the sacrifice is worth the pay-out for her. It's important enough that she's willing to go without other things to afford it.

What about you? Do you want to go to Hawaii? Back to school? See your book at the top of the New York Times Bestseller List? What are your dreams worth to you?

While you're chewing on that for a day or two, you can think about my next article; Attitude Makes the Difference. Ambition is vital, but it will only get you so far. Is your attitude holding you back?

Monday, May 2, 2011

The Power of the Tongue --


by Molly Noble Bull

The human tongue is powerful, and the Old Testament Book of Proverbs is one of my favorite books of the Bible because it warns people to control anger and always speak in love. The scriptures below all come from the Book of Proverbs. (Good New Bible) When you finish reading them, scroll down and read more on this topic in Part 2, and if you could leave a comment, that would be great.

Proverbs 17: 5 
If you make fun of poor people, you insult the God who made them. You will be punished if you take pleasure in someone=s misfortune. 
Proverbs 12: 18
Thoughtless words can wound as deeply as any sword, but wisely spoken words can heal. 
Proverbs 16: 24 
Kind words are like honeyCsweet to the taste and good for your health.
Proverbs 12: 25
Worry can rob you of happiness, but kind words will cheer you up. 
Proverbs 14: 17 
People with a hot temper do foolish things; wiser people remain calm. 
Proverbs 14: 29 

If you stay calm, you are wise, but if you have a hot temper, you only show how stupid you are.
Proverbs 15: 1 
A gentle answer quiets anger, but a harsh one stirs it up. 
Proverbs 15: 4
Kind words bring life, but cruel words crush your spirit.   
Proverbs 13: 3 
Be careful what you say and protect your life. A careless talker destroys himself.
Proverbs 15: 28 
A good man thinks before he speaks; the evil man pours out his evil words without a thought.
Proverbs 16: 21 
A wise, mature person is known for his understanding. The more pleasant his words, the more persuasive he is.
Proverbs 16: 23
Intelligent people think before they speak; what they say is then more persuasive.  
Proverbs 16: 27
Evil people look for ways to harm others; even their words burn with evil. 
Proverbs 16: 28
Gossip is spread by wicked people; they stir up trouble and break up friendships.

Proverbs 18: 20
You will have to live with the consequences of everything you say.  
Proverbs 18: 21
What you say can preserve life or destroy it; so you must accept the consequences of your words.
Proverbs 19: 11 
If you are sensible, you will control your temper. When someone wrongs you, it is a great virtue to ignore it. 
Proverbs 19: 19
If someone has a hot temper, let him take the consequences. If you get him out of trouble once, you will have to do it again.
Proverbs 20: 3 
Any fool can start arguments; the honorable thing is to stay out of them.
Proverbs 20: 19 
A gossip can never keep a secret. Stay away from people who talk too much. 
Proverbs 21: 23 
Don’t hesitate to rescue someone who is about to be executed unjustly. You may say that it is none of your business, but God knows and judges your motives. He keeps watch on you; he knows. And he will reward you according to what you do.
Proverbs 24: 11  
Speak up for people who cannot speak for themselves. Protect the rights of all who are helpless. Speak for them, and be a righteous judge. Protect the rights of the poor and needy.