22.9.18

Scripture and a Snapshot



Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever. Hebrews 13:8

     Thank you for joining Scripture & A Snapshot. Leave a comment with a verse that God has placed on your heart this week, or leave a link to your own post sharing a Scripture and a snapshot. Take time to visit some of the other links, too. Be sure to visit Kim! 


Scripture and Snapshot


Follow Jennifer Miller's board Scripture & A Snapshot on Pinterest.





20.9.18

Tori Kelly CD Review

The following is a review of product from Propeller Consulting, LLC.  


There is a new CD by Tori Kelly called Hiding Places. This L.A.-based singer/songwriter honors her deepest musical passion and delivers an R&B infused, infectiously melodic take on classic gospel album. She has teamed up with Kirk Franklin on this one, and the first single features him. Tori Kelly was the 2016 Grammy Award nominee for Best New Artist.



This upbeat CD had a few surprises. My son enjoyed hearing LeCrae singing with her in one song. 

Bio from FlyBy: 

While working on the follow-up to her debut album Unbreakable Smile—a 2015 release that premiered at #2 on the Billboard 200—Tori Kelly felt compelled to include a track that honored her lifelong passion for gospel musicWith the help of her manager, Scooter Braun, the L.A.-based singer/songwriter soon connected with Kirk Franklin, a 12-time Grammy Award-winning gospel artist and one of Kelly’s musical idols. “I flew to Dallas and Kirk showed me a few songs he’d written, and I fell in love with all of them,” says Kelly, a 2016 Grammy Award nominee for Best New Artist. “Next thing you knowone song turned into us doing a whole album together. It just took on a life of its own.”

With its R&B-infused, deeply melodic take on classic gospel, Hiding Place offers up what Franklin refers to as “hope-pop”—a classification that fully resonates with Kelly. “One of the things I want for this album is for people to feel uplifted and encouraged when they listen,” she says. “I want them to know that, no matter what they’re going through, there’s a God who loves them so much and so unconditionally, and there’s always a reason to feel hope. That’s what I really believe in, and I want everyone out there to hear my heart.” 

As Kelly explains, the title to Hiding Place draws inspiration from a line in one of her favorite psalms (“You are a hiding place for me; you preserve me from trouble; you surround me with songs of deliverance”). “That always stuck with me: this idea of God being a place of safety, a place where you can hide from all the crazy things that this world can throw at us,” she notes.

Produced by FranklinHiding Place unfolds with a lush yet simply adorned sound beautifully suited to Kelly’s incomparable voice. “I’ve worked with Mary J. Blige, Bono, Yolanda Adams, and I’ve never seen anyone that’s a monster behind the microphone like Tori Kelly,” says Franklin. “She’d nail one song in three takes, and all those takes were amazing. It set the bar higher for my whole career.”

While half of the songs on Hiding Place were penned solely by Franklin, the remaining tracks came from a collaboration between him and Kelly—the first time that Franklin’s ever co-written in a decades-long career that’s seen his songs performed by legends like Stevie Wonder and Whitney Houston. (“It blew me away that she wanted us to co-write, because she’s a phenomenal songwriter and could’ve easily done it herself,” Franklin says.) And at Franklin’s urging, Hiding Place was mostly recorded at his studio just outside Dallas. “The most important thing to me was that if Tori wanted to do a gospel album—a real, authentic, heart-throbbing gospel album—she’d have to come to the South,” he says. “Then she showed up at my studio with no entourage, no handlers—just Tori and her guitar, standing at my front door.”

With its sonic palette gracefully rooted in live instrumentation, Hiding Place first reveals its unbridled spirit on the album-opening “Masterpiece” (featuring Houston-bred hip-hop artist Lecrae)a joyfully uptempo track that instantly sweeps the listener into a more radiant state of mind. From there, Kelly delivers her slow-burning lead single “Help Us to Love,” whose breathtaking harmonies feature the famed HamilTones (official background vocalists for Grammy Award-winner Anthony Hamilton). Proving her versatility as an artist and musician, Hiding Place then shifts seamlessly from the silky groove and playful scat singing of “Sunday” to the sweetly ethereal soul of “Just As Sure” (a duet with chart-topping gospel star Jonathan McReynolds) to the quiet intensity of “Psalm 42.” “So many of the songs on this album are so intricate, I wanted a song that I could play completely stripped-down, just me and my guitar,” says Kelly of the tender piano ballad.

One of the most profound moments on Hiding Place, the hushed yet urgent ballad “Questions” finds Kelly tearfully examiningthe current state of the world (sample lyric: “What happens when the healing never comes?”). “It’s about trying to make sense of all the dark and heavy things that keep happening, sort of crying out to God and asking, ‘What’s going on? I don’t like what I see down here,’” says Kelly. Then, on the subtly determined “Never Alone,” Kelly recollects her own struggles(“I’ve cried many rivers/I’ve walked through some pain/Seen my world crumble”) and ultimately re-discovers comfort and peace through her faith.

On “Soul’s Anthem,” Kelly closes out Hiding Place with an a cappella, full-choir-driven rendition of the beloved hymn “It Is Well.” Perhaps the most powerfully captivating track on the album, “Soul’s Anthem” also gave way to what Kelly considers a landmark moment in her musical career. “Before we started, Kirk said to me, ‘Don’t look at me or the choir, just look down and get into your own world,’” says Kelly, who recorded “Soul’s Anthem” at the iconic Capitol Studios. “So I sang it all the way through, and at one point there’s a part where the choir takes over. I looked up and saw all these incredible singers, and it finally hit me that this was really happening. You can’t hear it on the recording, but I’m crying at the end of the song.” 

Looking back on the making of Hiding Place, Kelly still marvels at the experience. “I always thought I would do something like this, but I thought it would be much further down the line,” she says. “It’s been in my heart for some time, but the timing didn’t feel right until now. I didn’t think I’d get the chance to work with someone like Kirk just yet, and that people would be so excited and accepting.” And though the album marks a stylistic departure from her work in the pop world, a commitment to uncompromising artistry carries through all of Kelly’s music. “No matter what genre you’re working in, there should be a level of excellence, and Tori definitely brought that excellence to this album,” says Franklin. “A lot of artists out there will rely on Auto-Tune or studio tricks, but there’s no button you can push for emotion, and there’s no button for skill. Tori is excellent in everything she does, because she’s a real, pure artist.”

As she gets ready to share Hiding Place with the world, Kelly hopes that it might give others the same sense of solace and joy she’s found in gospel in her entire life. And as the album’s creator, one of the most rewarding aspects of Hiding Place was embracing gospel’s boundless intensity, and pushing her vocal performance like never before. “With gospel music, you can’t sing without all your heart being in it,” says Kelly. “This album was an opportunity to not only express my faith and my love for God, but to do what I felt and never hold back. I could just be free and let the song take me over.”


“Disclosure (in accordance with the FTC’s 16 CFR, Part 255:  “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising”):  Many thanks to Propeller Consulting, LLC for providing this  CD.   I did receive a sample of the product in exchange for this review.

19.9.18

Movie Review: Healed by Grace




ABOUT

Jesse is approaching her 15th birthday and the only gift she desires is a horse. Unbeknownst to Jesse, her mother Brandy is in the throes of a cancer diagnosis which has Jesse’s father jumping through unexpected obstacles.  He signs Jesse up for summer camp, but when summer camp falls through he decides to have her stay with her estranged grandfather, an old gruff horse trainer named Gauff. Gauff, still recovering from the death of a special horse named Grace, now faces the challenges of teen negotiation. Gauff finds he must swallow his pride and ask his daughter Brandy for forgiveness.  A humorous and inspiring story of how God’s grace works in mysterious ways.

OVERVIEW

Product category: filmTitle: HEALED BY GRACE 2: TEN DAYS OF GRACEStudio: Blended PlanetGenre: family/ dramaRating: NR/ Dove Approved: All Ages (see Dove review below)Run time: 1:32Talent: Sean Young, Kennedy Martin, Natalie Weese, David Matthew WeeseCampaign focus: home entertainment release
Release dates:
  • 8/20/18 Digital
  • 9/18/18 DVD
Themes
  • Forgiveness
  • Reconciliation
  • Faith


Trailer


Our family watched a digital screener of Healed By Grace. The movie is a story of long standing hurt and healing. In ways it is more realistic because of the conversations between characters, but it jumps  quickly between scenes. We haven’t yet had the opportunity to watch the first movie which might tie everything together more clearly. 


Disclosure: A screener was provided for this review and dvds will be sent to myself and the winner by Lev3l digital. 


Before Christmas Morning

The following is a promotional review of the One Night Advent calendar.

Each year, building up to Christmas with stories, devotions, and other advent calendars have helped us focus on the true meaning of the whole holiday instead of focusing on gifts. I was excited to review the One Night Advent Calendar after watching their introductory video.



Upon receiving this, it was even larger than I had expected. Each side can open and it can be displayed throughout the Christmas season.



The One Night Advent Calendar has a flap to open each day. Inside each flap are more lovely illustrations, a verse, and a statement. It progressively tells a story of two shepherd boys, through their point of view.








Visit their Kickstarter page here:  http://kck.st/2NnePNI where they share about the history of advent calendars and show this beautiful One Night advent calendar in use. 


Disclosure: Frontgate Media provided a copy of One Night for this review. No other compensation was provided. All opinions shared are my own and that of my family.




15.9.18

Scripture and a Snapshot


The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands. Psalm 19:1 

     Less than two weeks ago, we were preparing for hurricane Gordan. This week, friends in North Carolina have been evacuating from the threat of an even stronger hurricane hitting the east coast. When my daughter was driving a few days ago, she directed us all to look at the clouds. They were beautiful, declaring God’s glory. 

     Thank you for joining Scripture & A Snapshot. Leave a comment with a verse that God has placed on your heart this week, or leave a link to your own post sharing a Scripture and a snapshot. Take time to visit some of the other links, too, and be sure to visit Kym who is cohosting now and will be hosting Scripture and a Snapshot beginning in October. 


Scripture and Snapshot


Follow Jennifer Miller's board Scripture & A Snapshot on Pinterest.





8.9.18

Scripture and a Snapshot

will lie down and sleep in peace, for You alone, O Lord make me dwell in safety. Psalm 4:8 

     Thank you for joining Scripture & A Snapshot. Leave a comment with a verse that God has placed on your heart this week, or leave a link to your own post sharing a Scripture and a snapshot. Take time to visit some of the other links, too.  

     The Scripture and a Snapshot linky is moving.  If you visit others who link, then you may already be familiar with my friend Kym. She blogs at Just a Second, and you can also learn more about her here. Kim is co-hosting now and will be taking over completely in October. Please help me welcome her. 

Scripture and Snapshot


Follow Jennifer Miller's board Scripture & A Snapshot on Pinterest.





7.9.18

GrammarPlanet Lessons

The following is a review of GrammarPlanet from Analytical Grammar with the TOS Homeschool Review Crew. 

The online GrammarPlanet program is an innovative way to present grammar. Upon signing up, you are given a parent/teacher account which shows your student’s progress as well as the ability to move them back if they do not completely grasp a section the first time. Student accounts each have a different log-in. 
The program includes handouts which can be saved online or printed, video lessons, and labeling online activities in which students demonstrate knowledge (or lack of understanding) of the material covered. The handouts are a colorfully illustrated summary of the video lessons, and can be combined in a binder for a great grammar resource. The videos can be watched again and again. 



We have been reviewing the brand new online program from GrammarPlanet for nearly two months. As we began using it, we were more like beta testers, but changes were quickly made and our review accounts are now what paid users also experience. 

Because of the changes needed initially, my son did not enjoy the program after about six lessons. The company was incredibly quick responding to concerns from the review crew as a whole, and it is now customer ready. During the transition time, because of his frustration with it, I had my son stop using it. I have a second student account in my own name, and I worked through it up to his level to see how I could help him. As the program was revised, it just continued to improve. He started where he left off and is continuing still.  


 

When parts of speech are correctly labeled, all answers appear green. When incorrect, red boxes reflect the incorrect attempt with the correct answer visible in green. 

The program assumes the student has some basic grammar skills but starts simply with identifying nouns. Proper nouns then articles and adjectives are added in the first three units. It isn’t expected that a student complete a unit per day, instead that they consistently spend about fifteen minutes with the program at least three times a week. My son was able to easily follow that recommended pace. Other crew friends have shared that in lesson six students begin to diagram sentences. 


Most things are identified and labeled as I expected, following traditional English grammar rules. They do add their own method for multiple words in a series by using what they call wings to different between first, middle, and last words in the series. This led to increased mistakes at first, and when a student makes too many mistakes they are then “locked out” of the program until the parent unlocks it from their administrative account. This gives the parent a great opportunity to discuss mistakes and be sure the student understands it correctly. 

Although the review period is over, my son will be continuing with the recommended three lessons per week. Try it out, there is a free version! 

Visit GrammarPlanet on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest, and be sure to tell them hi from Jennifer at A Glimpse of Our Life.  

*Grammar Program Online {GrammarPlannet Reviews}
Crew Disclaimer

1.9.18

Scripture and a Snapshot

Your statutes are my heritage forever; they are the joy of my heart. Psalm 119:111

     Thank you for joining Scripture & A Snapshot. Leave a comment with a verse that God has placed on your heart this week, or leave a link to your own post sharing a Scripture and a snapshot. Take time to visit some of the other links, too.  


Scripture and Snapshot


Follow Jennifer Miller's board Scripture & A Snapshot on Pinterest.





30.8.18

High School Health from Apologia

The following is a review of Exploring Creation With Health and Nutrition By Dr. Laura Chase from Apologia Educational Ministries with the TOS Homeschool Review Crew. 



We were privileged to review the brand new Health and Nutrition Basic Set from Apologia Educational Ministries. The set includes both a hardback textbook and a student workbook as well as their classic online access to additional resources. Answers to each chapter’s study guide are available online, too. 

One of our favorites throughout our family’s 15+ years of homeschooling has been Apologia science. It was recommended to me years ago as a new homeschool mom filled with questions. New books keep being added to their selections as if they were timed just for us. Their elementary science series was completed by my oldest daughter before they started including workbooks, and they keep improving. Health is one of the recommended courses in our state for students planning to attend college, and having my son work through Apologia’s Exploring Creation With Health And Nutrition set fit perfectly into my son’s high school plan. 

This high school health and nutrition course can be completed either in one year or in one semester. Schedules are provided for both plans. We chose the one year plan, and my son will be continuing it throughout his ninth grade year. He is currently working through module three.  



Joseph’s view:  
I like the easy-going pace. The way the modules are set up and the way it delivers each topic makes it easy to understand. To make sure you understand it, it has thought-provoking questions. Some of the things I have learned about are mental illnesses and parts of the brain and what they control.”    
 
He has completed these lessons independently without complaints. At times, we have discussed the lesson and I’ve added personal details to make them even more relevant to him. I enjoyed listening to both views as he and his sister answered the same questions about him to complete a personality type test.  

The spiral bound workbook has the same questions and activities that are in the book, but they are formatted with plenty of space to actually write out complete answers. Tests are also in the workbook and are presented in formats including multiple choice, fill in the blank, and labeling diagrams. Questions give insight into proper health and nutrition in depth going into topics such as clear communication, personal boundaries as well as physical and sensory traits including color blindness and pain receptors. 

This curriculum is written from a Christian perspective, and the Bible is referred to throughout the text. 

 


The fifteen modules of this health and nutrition curriculum cover:  


  1.  Who am I and why does health matter?
  2.  Physical influences on thoughts and feelings 
  3.  Mental and emotional stability
  4.  Interpersonal harmony  
  5.  Treasuring your senses 
  6.  Processing nourishment and hydration  
  7.  Food science I— macronutrients 
  8.  Food science II— micronutrients 
  9.  Let’s look at what you eat 
  10.  Delivering the oxygen 
  11.  Let’s move 
  12.  You’re stronger than you look 
  13.  At war with infection 
  14.  Peace in difficult times 
  15.  Reproduction   


  

This workbook assignment required him to rewrite advice given in the chapter in his own words. I questioned him when I read his words “trust everyone” and he looked up the book’s original advice. What was actually written said “Trust people who truly love you. They are telling you the truth and looking out for your welfare.” He revised his answer after we discussed it.

One later assignment is an in-depth food diary completed in module nine after completing two different modules on types of nutrients. 


I recommend this course to anyone looking for a solid health and nutrition course. They are currently offering this free activity book. 


Visit Apologia on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Google+ and Instagram, and be sure to tell them hi from Jennifer at A Glimpse of Our Life. 
Health and Nutrition Basic Set {Apologia Educational Ministries Reviews}
Crew Disclaimer






25.8.18

Scripture and a Snapshot


Accept one another, then, just as Christ accepted you, in order to bring praise to God. Romans 15:7 

     It’s just a picture of burnt pizza. Lately I’ve been able to clearly see some of my imperfections as others see them. And it’s not pretty. Burnt pizza is just a symbol of them as burning pizza is one of my not so favorite meals that I prepare. I burnt it again this weekend. But I also made a delicious dessert with my daughter. And, we had more pizza in the freezer. Failure wasn’t the end of the evening. 

     I am so thankful that Jesus loves me as I am, imperfect. 

     Thank you for joining Scripture & A Snapshot. Leave a comment with a verse that God has placed on your heart this week, or leave a link to your own post sharing a Scripture and a snapshot. Take time to visit some of the other links, too.  


Scripture and Snapshot


Follow Jennifer Miller's board Scripture & A Snapshot on Pinterest.





24.8.18

Homeschool Favorites

Cue the music... 🎶 “these are a few of my favorite things...”

It is my 15th year as a homeschool mom, and with everything we’ve tried, I have some favorites. But you know what, that still changes because each of my children are different. 

My favorite lessons have been those that led to independent learning and those that happened while we traveled. Those were the ones that made memories. 

So far this fall, my three favorite subjects with my ninth grader have been Notgrass World History, Teaching Textbooks Algebra I, and Apologia Health. I’ll be sharing more about the newest Teaching Textbooks, version 3.0 soon; be sure to come back and enter the giveaway.  

Join us all week in the Back to School Blog Hop for Five Days of Encouragement.